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The last few years have seen the return of science fiction cinema in a big way. Not since the early 80 s have there seemingly been so many sci-fi movies released in such a short time. Movies like Avatar have set box office records, and visionary directors such as Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Guillermo Del Toro have turned to the genre as a way to tell their stories.

Although not as prevalent before about 2009, science fiction has been fairly well represented at the movies ever since the turn of the century, with the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix bringing more attention to the genre.

Even though many of the sci-fi movies released this year have been disappointing either critically or financially, there are many potentially fascinating examples of the genre left to come in the next few months and years.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has received significant pre-release buzz, celebrated cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence comes out early next year with one of the most interesting plot ideas in quite a while, and Christopher Nolan’s potentially groundbreaking Interstellar looms over almost every movie coming out in 2014. Many other projects are sure to come out over the next few years, hopefully continuing sci-fi’s second golden age.

What constitutes science fiction is up for debate but generally, I would list the prerequisites as being something that either depicts a future society, advanced technology, or uses a technical or scientific idea as a springboard to tell a story.

For this list, movies that contained elements of science fiction, but primarily belonged to a different genre were not considered, which is why no superhero movies appear and great films such as The Prestige, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Fountain are not listed even though they are better than many of the movies on here.

20. Pitch Black

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It’s cheap, derivative, uninspired, and certainly did not need an overblown sequel, but Pitch Black is one of the more underrated sci-fi films of the millennium so far.

When a cargo ship carrying the notorious criminal Riddick crashes on an uninhabited world, Vin Diesel’s hulking criminal escapes, much to the chagrin of the crew. However, after the dark secret of the planet is revealed, Riddick must join forces with the other survivors to have a chance at escaping the planet alive.

Pitch Black, while hardly a masterpiece, is a surprisingly clever film that has an unexpected number of ideas for what is essentially a B-movie. Vin Diesel plays the role he was born to as Riddick, a killer who shows no fear, empathy, or emotion, and the bleak landscape of the film sets just the right tone.

Sure, the special effects are pretty poor and there’s nothing particularly original about any aspect of it, but Pitch Black is a well executed, above average horror/action/sci-fi film that is just good enough to crack this list.

The post 20 Greatest Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Inception

As a population of movie-goers who are frequently exposed to the same types of motion picture over and over again, it’s always nice when a movie comes along that laughs in the face of what came before it and refuses to play into the hands of current trends. So to reward this level or risk-taking and innovation, what do we do? Well, we make it a bonafide hit at the box office, of course. That’s what you get for pushing the boat out, Mr. Filmmaker, we say to ourselves. Take all of our money – you know, to show our appreciation for what you’ve done.

Good as our intentions might be though, in embracing this new, trend-less movie, we’re also bringing about our own doom. The moment Hollywood realises that a different sort of picture has made a killing at the box office, they set about on their evil agenda: making even more movies in the same vein. By rewarding the trend-less, we accidently give rise to the next generation of trends. It’s a vicious circle, and there’s no way to stop it. But it also means that for every great, cutting-edge movie that comes along, we get a succession of copycats in its wake.

Here are 10 brilliant movies that inspired horrifying cinematic trends. Unfortunately, we’re still feeling the repercussions of most of them…

The post 10 Brilliant Movies That Inspired Annoying Cinematic Trends appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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