Happening Hits
Top sci-fi films from the late-2000s


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War of the Worlds
D: Steven Spielberg (2005) 116m


Blockbuster version of the H G Wells classic starring Tom Cruise. Set in contemporary America, the now-familiar story of Earthly resistance to a devastating alien invasion is a special effects eye-popper - as one might expect from its director, Steven Spielberg. A great movie if you can stand all the doom and gloom.





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Serenity
D: Joss Whedon (2005) 119m


When the short-lived cult-TV series Firefly folded, fans rallied. As yet they haven't got their series back, but what they did get was this theatrically released feature film. The crew of the Serenity are finding jobs hard to get, thanks to the fact that two of them are fugitives from the Alliance. A spoken word, 'Miranda', may hold the key.





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Children of Men
D: Alfonso Cuarón (2006) 109m


Searing tale of social collapse based on the novel by British mystery master P D James. In 2027 human fertility is a thing of the past. When an African 'fugee' becomes pregnant the leader of a pro-immigration insurgency (Julianne Moore) embroils her ex-husband in a plot to get the woman to the Human Project scientists. A stirring example of what serious sci-fi is all about.





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Sunshine
D: Danny Boyle (2007) 107m


A half-century from now the sun is dying out. After one failed attempt, a new team of astronauts is sent to complete the mission and reignite the sun. Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) capably turns his hand to sci-fi in this atmospheric adventure-thriller that has more in common with 2001: A Space Odyssey than it does with contemporary action-packed blockbusters.





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I Am Legend
D: Francis Lawrence (2007) 101m


The third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's post-apocalyptic 1954 novel, starring Will Smith as virologist Robert Neville… "the last man on earth". Unfortunately, he is not alone. While the original novel is pretty much a zombie story with a few sci-fi trimmings, this latest film version successfully goes to great lengths to come up with some genuine science fiction credibility.





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Transformers
D: Michael Bay (2007) 144m


Originating in Japan, the Hasbro toy line renamed as Transformers hit the big screen in this critical flop that made a lot of money. Transformers are alien robots that can change into all manner of things in order to disguise themselves. The film has teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) getting entangled in the war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons.





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Star Trek
D: J J Abrams (2009) 127m


Trekkies the world over breathed a collective sigh of relief when they saw this. The best Trek in a long time was a long time coming. A slam-bang action flick that follows the story of Captain Kirk from the Starfleet Academy to the bridge of The Enterprise. Zachary Quinto (Heroes) is perfect as Spock and the set design is the ideal blend of TOS and the CGI-era. Trek is well and truly back.





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Inception
D: Christopher Nolan (2010) 148m


Christopher Nolan directs Leonardo DiCaprio in the best sci-fi mind-bender in a long while. Dominick 'Dom' Cobb is a thief practising corporate espionage by getting inside the subconscious of his victims. Yearning for his old life, Cobb is offered the chance to regain it if he can perform the impossible by inconspicuously implanting an idea into the mind of another.


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