The 5 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of 2013
Wow, that was quite a year wasn't it? 2013 saw arguably the largest haul of sci-fi films ever to hit theaters in one year, subsequently creating an unprecedented amount of chatter and rumor-mongering on the internet. Big name franchises such as Star Trek and Man of Steel were at the top of most forum discussions, but did they live up to their hype? Spoiler alert....NO.
So here is a rundown of our top 5 sci-fi movies from 2013...
5. Pacific Rim
Yes, it was cheesey. Yes, it seemed to insist on inserting cliches roughly every 5 seconds. But Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim gets on this list for transporting us back to a time when science fiction was allowed to be preposterous and over-indulgent. Pacific Rim never tried to be anything other than sheer, unadulterated fun and for that, I salute it. Unfortunately this playful ambition did not translate into raw box-office dollars, but a strong performance overseas and what will hopefully be solid home video sales, should see the Jagers and Kaiju return for a second outing.
4. The World's End
I'll be honest, i'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Shaun of the Dead is undoubtedly my favourite movie of all time, so I do tend to look upon any of their works with rose-tinted spectacles. However, this love of their work also meant that I had incredibly high expectations for the conclusion to their 3 Flavors Cornetto Trilogy. While I wasn't blown away by The World's End, I was thoroughly entertained and I left feeling I had witnessed a fitting yet bonkers tribute to the Sci-Fi genre. Pegg and Nick Frost always seem bring their love of science fiction on screen with them and while the ending may have felt like a let down, The World's End was both a charming coming-of-age story and an entertaining sci-fi adventure all rolled into one.
3. Europa Report
I normally cannot abide movies shot in a found footage style, but with Europa Report it just seemed to click. The documentary-style format complete with post-action interviews really helped to immerse the viewer into the lives of the astronauts on screen. However, what I enjoyed most about this movie was its commitment to scientific reality. Sebastian Cordero consulted heavily with experts from NASA to ensure that his depiction of a manned mission to Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, was as realistic as possible. The result is a movie that is realistic to a tee, yet able to capture one's imagination as successfully as the most outlandish of sci-fi movies.
2. Upstream Color
What Shane Caruth did with his small-budget movie, Primer, was nothing short of spectacular, so when I found out about Upstream Color I was pretty darned excited. Flash forward to the movie's release and I was blown away. Upstream Color is an absolute feast for the eyes and an assault on the mind. If it hadn't tried quite so hard to confuse its viewers, Caruth's vision could easily be at the top of the list. It's currently available on Netflix streaming, so do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this wonderful picture.
Alfonso Cuaron's thrilling vision of a disaster in space was not only the best sci-fi movie of the year, it was the best movie of the year...period. Never have I felt more exhilarated and terrified in one movie than when I watched Sandra Bullock and George Clooney scrabbling for their lives in Gravity. Cuaron's ambitious project delivered on so many levels, from the jaw-dropping visuals to a relentless emotional rollercoaster of a story that left me leaving the theater feeling thoroughly exhausted. I don't care about the few scientific inaccuracies and if people like Buzz Aldrin and Chris Hadfield can enjoy it despite them, then anyone can. Should Gravity get the number of Oscar nods it deserves, it will truly mark the beginning of the new golden age of science fiction.