The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

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The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

The top 10 sci-fi films of 2023, in order

We only have a few more days to enjoy the highs and lows of 2023’s film slate because 2024 is quickly approaching. Thankfully, there are plenty of movies this year for moviegoers to discuss.

More memorable movies have been shown to audiences in the last 12 months than they have in any other year since 2019.

This is especially true of the sci-fi feature-length offerings of the year, which range from wildly popular to surprisingly avant-garde.

 

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10. Carpet

9. Completely Lethal

8. Tyrone was Cloned

7. The Infinite Swimming Pool

6. Mutant Mayhem: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

5. Nobody Can Help You

4. Minus One Godzilla

3. The City of Asteroids

2. Negative Things

1. Marvel Comics Presents: Spider-Verse

 

We have been honoring this year’s top TV series, comedies, and thrillers in recent weeks.

It’s now time to reflect on the past and recall the top ten science fiction films of 2023, which include a few underappreciated gems that many moviegoers might have overlooked upon their initial release.

The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

10. Carpet

A delicate, multi-layered science fiction gem, Linoleum was quietly released in February. It’s an ambitious low-budget drama with a lot of ideas on its mind,

most of which aren’t revealed until the film’s subtly heartbreaking final minutes. Written and directed by Colin West, it stars Jim Gaffigan and Rhea Seehorn.

Throughout the majority of its duration, Linoleum appears to be a simple yet peculiar movie about a science show host for kids attempting to construct the rocket of his dreams.

But there’s a lot more to Linoleum’s story than meets the eye, and the film is well worth seeing just for the way it gradually reveals the wounded, compassionate heart at its core.

 

9. Completely Lethal

Totally Killer is an eccentric, ridiculously entertaining film about a young girl who finds herself stuck in the 1980s and has to save her mom’s teenage self from a masked killer.

It’s a Back to the Future-esque take on a classic slasher thriller. The Amazon Prime Video original film is simple but subversive, absurd but relatable—just like all great time travel films.

Horror fans have embraced the movie, but it’s also one of 2023’s most underappreciated sci-fi releases thanks to Kiernan Shipka’s incredibly endearing and energetic lead performance. With any luck, that will change in the upcoming years.

 

8. Tyrone was Cloned

They Cloned Tyrone felt visually, stylistically, and narratively unlike many science fiction films released this year.

Launching on the streaming service in late July, the Netflix original movie is a loving homage to the 1970s Blaxploitation films as well as a genre-bending sci-fi comedy.

Not only that, but it’s a conspiracy thriller with a lot to say, and it does so with more attitude and flair than the majority of other science fiction movies released in 2023.

Since its release this past summer, the movie has garnered a fervent following, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if this love for They Cloned Tyrone only grows in the future.

That’s as high a compliment as it gets—the kind of film that looks like it was made to slink onto a lot of people’s lists of favorite science fiction movies.

 

7. The Infinite Swimming Pool

The visceral 2020 feature debut of writer-director Brandon Cronenberg was followed by one of the most memorable and acidic sci-fi thrillers of the year.

Set in an alternate reality where the wealthiest people in the world are able to transfer the consequences of their crimes onto their own,

fully functional clones, Infinity Pool is at once a disorienting thriller, a haunting sci-fi fable, and a cynical critique of the bourgeoisie.

When it was released in January, Infinity Pool, which starred two incredible, insane performances by Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård,

solidified Cronenberg’s status as one of the most innovative and exciting new directors working today. Almost a year later, it is still difficult to break the spell it cast.

The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

6. Mutant Mayhem: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem pushes the franchise’s natural sci-fi elements to the limit. The animated film,

directed by Jeff Rowe, boasts an abundance of exquisitely crafted mutant characters and creatures. Its climax is a menacing kaiju battle that skillfully balances absurdity and horror.

More than any previous TMNT film, the film makes hanging out with its four eponymous leads seem appealing. Upon its release at the beginning of August, it appeared certain to become one of the most charming blockbusters of 2023.

As the year draws to a close, it appears reasonable to conclude that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has maintained its title.

 

5. Nobody Can Help You

One of the easiest and best thrillers of the year is No One Will Save You. It’s a story about a young woman who has to fight for her life during an alien invasion, written and directed by Brian Duffield.

She is shunned by her small town’s residents, but she still proves to be very challenging for her extraterrestrial assailants to overcome.

But the more she battles for her life, the more viewers—and her extraterrestrial adversaries—get insight into the past traumas that have shaped her existence.

No One Will Save You, which is led by Kaitlyn Dever in yet another outstanding performance, is both an intense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat

for most of its running time and an introspective examination of the consequences of guilt and the value of forgiveness, regardless of who or where it comes from.

 

4. Minus One Godzilla

Godzilla Minus One, a visually stunning blockbuster of truly amazing proportions, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, makes the forgettable quality of many American kaiju films seem much less forgivable.

The Japanese film, which was produced by Toho, runs for 125 minutes, but in that time it introduces and develops human storylines that work, and it provides enough amazing set pieces to balance the story’s grand scope.

Put another way, a lot of the things that Hollywood fans had previously been forced to accept as impossible are pulled off in this movie.

Not only is it one of the biggest last-minute surprises of 2023, but it’s also among the best science fiction movies of the year.

The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

3. The City of Asteroids

The most recent feature film directed by Wes Anderson is many things: Three things: a heartbreaking investigation of grief, a comedy about quarantine, and a love letter to theater.

In fact, Asteroid City has so much going on that it’s easy to overlook the fact that the entire plot revolves around the unexpected arrival of extraterrestrial life on Earth.

The short UFO scenes in the movie aren’t pointless examples of sci-fi conceit, though. They hold equal significance to Asteroid City as any other element in the movie.

Asteroid City, like many great science fiction tales and films before it, is about confronting the immense unknowability of the cosmos and attempting to find one’s place in the vast, cosmic wilderness.

It’s a stunning addition to the science fiction genre, full of flawless retro-futuristic details and design choices, along with enough profoundly insightful emotional and intellectual moments to keep you returning time and time again.

 

2. Negative Things

A strikingly beautiful, distinctly feminist take on Frankenstein is called Poor Things. The critically acclaimed comedy, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, centers on Bella Baxter (Emma Stone),

a recently deceased woman with the mind of a child, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery unlike anything audiences have ever seen.

Poor Things’ sci-fi elements might have been lost in its first act if not for Stone’s bold performance as the lead. The film’s surreal, Victorian-era European world is so striking and appealing.

But Stone’s bold, unrestrained performance as Bella is so powerful that you never forget you’re witnessing the development of a woman in the most bizarre sci-fi scenario. That’s just one of the factors contributing to Poor Things’ success.

The movie deftly strikes a balance between a myriad of elements, making many of the other films this year seem trite and uninspired in contrast.

 

1. Marvel Comics Presents: Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the most sci-fi thrilling film of the year. The movie is an amazing adventure that inexplicably manages to keep the otherwise stale concept of the multiverse exciting.

It also happens to be the best superhero movie of 2023. It accomplishes this by seizing the chance given by its multiple realities and plunging spectators into worlds that are radically dissimilar in terms of appearance, movement, and sensation.

One of the many delights of Across the Spider-Verse is witnessing how masterfully it uses its medium to tell its purposefully complex, high-concept sci-fi story. The movie is one of the most stunningly beautiful, technically impressive feature-length animated films ever made.

The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order
The Top 10 Sci-Fi Films of 2023, In Order

 

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