A Guide to the Best Sci-Fi Movies in Theaters This Fall

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 - 7:32PM
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.2
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 - 7:32PM
A Guide to the Best Sci-Fi Movies in Theaters This Fall
This year has seen its ups and downs in the sci-fi genre, with small indies mostly killing the game. Ex Machina and Z for Zachariah were two of the best films of the year in any genre, while Tomorrowland, Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man underwhelmed and Insurgent, Jupiter Ascending, Terminator: Genisys, and (of course) Fantastic Four sorely disappointed. But then there's always Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World, and although summer blockbuster season is over, there are a few big-budget films that look genuinely amazing and are coming out this fall. Here are the seven most exciting sci-fi movies coming out in the remainder of this year, from the monstrous franchise installments to the small literature re-imaginings:

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials - September 18




The Maze Runner was a little silly, but thoroughly entertaining, and we would expect no less from its sequel. Scorch Trials may even surpass its predecessor, as it seems to expand on James Dashner's complex world-building and mythology. 

The Martian - October 2




We couldn't be more excited for The Martian. It generally has all the makings of a great movie, from the acclaimed source material to the vision of Ridley Scott to the star studded cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Ant-Man standout Michael Pena. But it also has the stamp of approval from NASA, which means it looks to be one of the most scientifically accurate sci-fi movies in recent memory, and will hopefully inspire more public support for a manned trip to the Red Planet (unless they're all afraid of getting stuck there). 

Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse - October 30




The trailer gives us pause when it comes to objectification of women and general misogyny- a lot of pause. But the premise- a bunch of nerdy boy scouts take it upon themselves to save the world- has a lot of comedic potential, and if they play their cards right, this could be a much more juvenile version of Zombieland.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 2 - November 20




I'm not a huge Hunger Games fan, but even I thought Mockingjay pt 1 was both entertaining and accomplished, and the highly anticipated finale of the hugely popular franchise should be well worth seeing. (Plus, it's written by Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we all have to see it.)

Victor Frankenstein - November 25




We can't really tell if Victor Frankenstein looks good from the trailers, for the most part the jury is still out. But there's no denying the buddy chemistry between James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, who are adorable together even just in that short trailer introduction, and good movies have been built on much less.

Beyond Skyline - December 11




Skyline was somewhat polarizing when it came out, in the sense that pretty much every critic hated it (so I guess that's just one pole). But somehow, it gained a cult following, which convinced the studio to make a sequel, so hopefully we'll see an improvement. We're skeptical, but if anyone can single-handedly make a terrible franchise better, it's Frank Grillo, as he proved when he successfully anchored The Purge: Anarchy.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - December 18




This movie needs no introduction, as it already has six movies, two TV shows, dozens of video games, countless comics, and legions of fanatics under its belt. Chewie is coming home, and everyone in the world is going to see it.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.2