Independence Day

Independence Day

Science Fiction is one of the most loved films genres of all time and over the last twenty years we have been treated to some absolutely cracking movies.

2013 is set to be the year of the sci-fi film with the likes of Elysium, Pacific Rim and Riddick all on the horizon.

But we are looking back over the last two decades to find the best sci-fi films that hit the big screen.

- Independence Day (1996)

It was released back in 1996 but Independence Day remains one of the biggest grossing sci-fi movies of all time as it took a whopping $817 million at the global box office.

Directed by Roland Emmerick the movie follows America's response to an alien invasion and was a blockbuster on a grand scale.

The movie turned Will Smith into a bona fide Hollywood leading man while Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman were also on the cast list.

It was action packed, exciting about sci-fi on a grand scale - the destruction of the Empire State building and The White House have become iconic.

- The Matrix (1999)

You can't talk about sci-fi films of the last two decades without giving The Matrix a mention as it saw Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski back in the director's chair.

The film used innovative visual effects - known as bullet time - to create some of the most iconic film moments of all time.

Keanu Reeves led an all star cast and the movie went on to take in excess of $463 million worldwide and win four Oscars.

While the movies have followed never quite lived up to the first the 1999 film is widely regarded as one of the best science fiction movies to ever grace the big screen.

- Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black is one of my favourite sci-fi films of all time as we were introduced the character of Richard B. Riddick from the very first time.

Over a decade later and this summer will see Vin Diesel reprise that role for a third outing.

The movie was one of the sleeper hits of 2000 and has gone on to gain a real cult following over the years - it really is a terrific movie.

It was made for just $23 million and it is a movie that really does look terrific, not to mention is boasts a great central performance from then rising star Vin Diesel.

Diesel and director David Twohy have since collaborated on The Chronicles of Riddick and this summer's new film Riddick.

- Serenity (2005)

Serenity was a big screen continuation of short lived TV series Firefly and saw Joss Whedon back in the director's chair.

Serenity follows the crew of the ship Serenity tries to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their number who is telepathic.

This is a movie that should have enjoyed more success then it achieved as it really was a terrific watch.

Whedon not only delivered an intelligent movie but Serenity that was also a film that balanced action, comedy, drama and emotion.

The film was met well by the critics but did not perform well at the box office - however it has gained a cult following over the years.

- District 9 (2009)

District 9 was one of the best movies of 2009 and was also one of the greatest directorial debuts of all time.

Hard to believe but District 9 was the first feature film for Neill Blomkamp as he has produced a movie that was flawless.

The CGI was terrific and the spaceship that looms over the city of Johannesburg are truly spectacular.

District 9 mixes sci-fi with action, comedy, political intrigue as well as a very strong racial message. But there is a real human story at the heart of all that - thanks to the great performance from Sharlto Copley.

The movie went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and everyone seems excited about Blomkamps's new movie Elysium.

- Avatar (2009)

James Cameron blended science fiction and fantasy like never before when he delivered Avatar at the end of 2009.

No movie has dominated the box office like Avatar and it became the first film to break the $2 billion barrier as critics and audience heaped praise on the film.

Avatar was a milestone in 3D cinema as Cameron showed how it really should be done as he produced an unforgettable big screen experience.

Avatar was a beautiful and bold movie and while it looked terrific it was a film with real heart and a great story.

Cameron really brought the world of Pandora to life and everyone is excited to return for the sequel - a movie that is being planned as we speak.

- Moon (2009)

2009 really was a terrific year for sci-fi films and Moon was another of the standout projects.

The movie marked the directorial debut of British director Duncan Jones who teamed up with Sam Rockwell.

Moon followed Sam Bell, who is coming to the end of his three year stint on the moon. He is looking forward to heading home until he discovers that everything is not all it seems.

Moon is a great sci-fi film that will have you on the edge of your seat and year it is a movie that is also full of humanity as well as heart.

It was a critical smash when it was released and it was a movie that showed Duncan to be a directing talent to watch out for.

- Rise of the Plant of the Apes (2011)

Tim Burton's attempt to bring this story to the big screen was not a huge success so, I have to admit, that I was a little apprehensive when Rise of the Plant of the Apes hit the big screen in 2011.

I couldn't have been more wrong as this was one of the best movies of the year as director Rupert Wyatt did an incredible job.

Wyatt effortlessly blended live action with outstanding CGI - the apes really are the most wonderful thing about this movie.

Andy Serkis plays another CGI role as he played Caesar and he delivered a character that is well developed, believable and one that an audience really connects with and feels for.

The movie was a box office hit and filming on the sequel has just got underway - however Wyatt is not on board this time around.

Other honourable mentions include Star Trek, Children of Men, Sunshine, Looper and Gattaca.

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