5. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn’s contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is as quirky and funny a comic book movie can really get. The film’s greatest weapon – even surpassing the technical achievements allotted by Marvel Studios’ bank account – is its creator’s vibrant and indie-seeded soul, crafting a simultaneously interesting, mythical, heroic, and sympathetic band of heroes all at once. A surefire origin story, the film has since spawned a in 2017, with a third movie on the way.
4. Star Wars (1977)
Love it or hate it, Star Wars is among the most monumental of all cinema ventures. Created by George Lucas, its sense of scope helped expand moviegoers’ notions of the galaxy, as well as the limitless nature of storytelling. Since its blockbuster release in 1977, almost every aspect of its production has become iconic: from John Williams’ masterful score, the gorgeous cinematography, and the revolutionary visual effects. Though the film itself does suffer from the occasional case of quirky acting (a small fee to pay for the Star Wars experience) the starting off point to the most important franchise in history is a science fiction film for the ages.
3. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
On top of expanding what audiences understood the comic book movie to be, Avengers: Endgame demonstrated the lengths at which a science fiction movie could go. Adding the element of time travel into the established setting of super powers and mythological gods, Endgame burst out of the established comic canon formula and provided audiences with an extensive and satisfying conclusion to treasured character arcs. It is worth noting that while some consider it to be a superior film, Avengers: Infinity War will not be available to stream on Disney+ until its contract with Netflix expires in June 2020.
2. WALL-E (2008)
Pixar’s primary contribution to the science fiction genre, 2008’s WALL-E is a heart-wrenching, intelligent, and timely warning of the human race’s dependency on technology and crippling ignorance of the environment. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the film follows a solitary trash collecting robot on an uninhabitable Earth. Gorgeously presented and meticulously calculated, WALL-E is among the best and most important films Pixar and Disney have ever put out. It also proves that with the right amount of imagination anything is possible: Who would have thought that a trash compactor would become one of the most adorable, recognizable, and seminal screen characters of the millennium (so far)?
1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Whereas the first Star Wars movie inducted a new brand of storytelling and filmmaking onto audiences, it was its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, which established the franchise’s place among the most cherished, significant, and entertaining of all time. Less of a sequel and more of a continuation of the Star Wars saga, The Empire Strikes Back challenged viewers’ notions of what a film franchise was capable of. Though time and pop cultural obsession has since rendered its mind-warping twist useless, this film’s darker, even sinister tone, brought the series to new emotional heights.