1980 - Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

8.6 / 8.2 78 8.8 X1 9.14

Following a difficult production, The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980, and initially received mixed reviews from critics, although it has since grown in esteem, becoming the most critically acclaimed chapter in the Star Wars saga and one of the most highly-rated films in history. It earned more than $538 million worldwide over the original run and several re-releases, making it 1980's highest-grossing film. When adjusted for inflation, it is the twelfth-highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada as of 2012.

The Empire Strikes Back won the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing, and received the Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects. Other Oscar nominations include Best Original Score and Best Production Design. In addition, John Williams was awarded the British Academy Film Award for his compositions: the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music.

The Empire Strikes Back also received British Academy Film Award nominations for Best Sound and Best Production Design. Williams' film score also received the Grammy Award and the Golden Globe Award for best original soundtrack. The film received four Saturn Awards, including Best Actor, Best Director, Best Special Effects, and Science Fiction Film. The Empire Strikes Back won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The film was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

It was awarded the Golden Screen Award in Germany. Darth Vader was ranked as the third-greatest film villain of all time in the American Film Institute's 2003 list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains, and Wizard magazine selected the ending of The Empire Strikes Back as the greatest cliffhanger of all time. The most well-known line of the film – "No, I am your father" was selected as a nominee for the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes. The film was selected in 2010 to be preserved by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry.


The Empire Strikes Back was clearly the sci-fi box office event of 1980, but here's a few more mentions. The Falls (IMDB 7.1), this little known drama sci-fi won a British Film Institute Award. Fragments of director Peter Greenaway's short films A Walk Through H (1978) and Vertical Features Remake (1976) appear in the film. Another unknown, the Polish remake of the sci-fi fantasy Golem (IMDB 7.0) won a Polish Film Festival Best Debut Director Award.

Christopher Reeve's romantic time travel film Somewhere in Time received universal negative reviews from critics, but viewers and award organizations were more favorable, earning a 7.14 SFMZ final score. The film was Oscar nominated for Best Costume Design, and won Saturn awards for Best Fantasy Film, Best Music, & Best costumes. It was also Saturn nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress. John Barry received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score.

Christopher Reeve also returned in Earth's favorite orphan alien, Superman II, earning a 7.00 SFMZ final score. Not receiving near the univeral praise as the original, it did win a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. The film was also Saturn nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Music.

Director Richard Lester was not sympathetic to the epic look that Richard Donner had given the original Superman and most of Oscar-winning cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth''s footage, and hired director Michael Winner's cinematographer, Robert Paynter, to create a style that would evoke Superman's roots in comic books. Lester, Paynter and camera operator Freddie Cooper replaced Unsworth's gliding camera with horizontal panning and static framing to evoke comic books and comic strips, with static frames crammed with people and objects.





1981 - Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

8.3 / 7.2 7.6 X1 8.96

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is an Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky

The film received much recognition from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. It won the Saturn Award for Best International Film. It received additional nominations for Best Director, Best Writing, and Best Costume Design. Mel Gibson and Bruce Spence received nods for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. George Miller won the Grand Prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival.

Mad Max 2 was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and was awarded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for Best Foreign Film. The film was also recognised by the Australian Film Institute, winning awards for best direction, costume design, editing, production design and sound. It received additional nominations for the cinematography and musical score.

In 2008, Mad Max 2 was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. Similarly, The New York Times placed the film on its Best 1000 Movies Ever list. Entertainment Weekly ranked Mad Max 2 93rd on their 100 Greatest Movies of All Time in 1999, 41st on their updated All-Time 100 Greatest Films in 2013, and the character Mad Max as 11th on their list of The All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture.


Other sci-fi films of 1981 worth a mention: To my surprise, Quest For Fire (7.57 SFMZ final score) is considered sci-fi by a number of sources. Besides IMDB categorizing it as adventure sci-fi, it received sci-fi award recognition, and other sources such as scifimoviepage.com classify it as fantasy sci-fi. Checking several other sources and the genre sci-fi keeps popping up. And if that's not enough, even the official poster states, "A Science Fantasy Adventure."

Anyway, Quest for Fire is a film adaptation of the 1911 Belgian novel by J.-H. Rosny. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and adapted by Gérard Brach, the film stars Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nameer El-Kadi, and Rae Dawn Chong. Michael D. Moore was the associate producer in charge of action and animal scenes. It is set in Paleolithic Europe, 80,000 years ago, its plot surrounding the struggle for control of fire by early humans.

The film received numerous award wins and nominations. It won the Oscar for Best Make-Up, and two Saturn wins for Outstanding Film Award and Best International Film Award. BAFTA awarded it a win for Best Make-Up Artist and it was Golden Globes nominated for Best Foreign Film. For the César Awards, it won Best Film and Best Director, along with César nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Production Design, and Best Screenplay. The film also cleaned up at the Genie Awards, winning Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Actress. It also received Genie nominations for Best Motion Picture and Best Actor.

Terry Giliam's Time Bandits received very respectable universal praise, earning a 7.45 SFMZ final score. The film was Saturn nominated for Best International Film, Best Special Effects, Best Director, Best Writing, and Best Supporting Actor. It was also Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation and Fantasporto nominated for Best Film.

John Carpenter's Escape From New York, earning a 7.09 SFMZ final score, received Saturn nominations for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Costumes, and Best Make-Up. John Carpenter originally wrote the film in the mid-'70s as a reaction to the Watergate scandal, but no studio wanted to make it because it was deemed to be too dark and too violent. That all changed after the success of Halloween.

Another worth a look would be David Cronenberg's Scanners, earning a 6.87 SFMZ final score. The film won the Best International Film and Best Make-Up Saturn awards along with a Saturn nomination for Best Special Effects. It also won the Fantasporto Best Film award and was nominated for several Genie Awards. David Cronenberg once called this the most frustrating film he'd ever made. The film was rushed through production - filming had to begin without a finished script and end within roughly two months so the financing would qualify as a tax write-off.

While the animated sci-fi fantasy Heavy Metal received mainly negative reviews from critics, viewers and award organizations were a slightly more positive. The film won three Genie Awards and was Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film.





1982 - Blade Runner

8.5 / 8.0 88 8.3 X1 9.31

Blade Runner is a American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Blade Runner initially polarized critics: some were displeased with the pacing, while others enjoyed its thematic complexity.

The film performed poorly in North American theaters but has since become a cult hit. It has been hailed for its production design, depicting a "retrofitted" future, and remains a leading example of the neo-noir genre. Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as "probably" his most complete and personal film.

Blade Runner has won and been nominated for the following awards: Oscar nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects. Golden Globes nominated for Best Original Score. Won a Special Achievement Award from the London Critics Circle Film Awards. Won the Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation Award. Nominated Best Cinematography the British Society of Cinematographers. The film was also nominated the Fantasporto International Fantasy Film Best Film Award.

At the BAFTA Awards, it won Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design, along with BAFTA nominations for Best Film Editing, Best Make-Up, Best Score, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects. For the Saturn Awards, the film received nominations for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Special Effects, Best Supporting Actor.

Blade Runner has a prominent place in many of the established All Time Lists: Sight & Sound 2012 critics top 250 films and 2012 directors top 100 films. IGN Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time. Total Film 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. 2008 New Scientist All-time favorite science fiction film (readers and staff). Empire The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. American Film Institute Top 10 Sci-fi Films of All Time and AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies. Total Film's Editors 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. Time Magazine's Critics "All-TIME" 100 Best Movies None. The Guardian, Scientists Top 10 Sci-fi Films of All Time. Entertainment Weekly The Top 50 Cult Movies. Online Film Critics Society Top 100 Sci-fi Films of the Past 100 Years. The Village Voice 100 Best Films of the 20th Century.


1982 was definitely a landmark year for sci-fi at the box office with the appearance of a few highly praised films considered today by many as sci-fi classics. Besides the top honored Blade Runner, there was also John's Carpenter's horror sci-fi remake The Thing, earning a SFMZ final score of 8.25. It's legacy has evolved to a sci-fi classic in it's own right. The film ranks #1 on The Boston Globe's list of the 50 scariest movies of all time. It was also Saturn nominated for Best Horror Film and Best Special Effects.

Besides being one of the top box office draws in cinema history, Steven Spielberg's drama sci-fi E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (8.92 SFMZ final score) has achieved sci-fi classic status from viewers, critics, and award organizations. The film was nominated for nine Oscars, winning Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

It also won the Golden Globe Best Picture and Best Score. For the Saturn Awards, it won Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Special Effects, and Best Music. E.T. also landed on a number of All Time Lists including the American Film Institute (multiple lists), Channel 4, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Times, People Magazine, and the National Film Registry.

The sci-fi top honor classics continue in 1982 with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, earning a 8.02 SFMZ final score. The film won the Saturn Best Actor and Best Director Awards, along with Saturn nominations for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Costumes, Best Make-Up, Best Writing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. It was also Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation.


Another sci-fi film of '82, TRON (6.86 SFMZ final score), received much less universal praise from viewers/critics than the films previously mentioned. However, the film was nominated for two Oscars (Best Costume Design and Best Sound). It also won Saturn Awards Best Costumes Award, along with Saturn nominations for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Animated Film. Additionally, the film was BAFTA nominated for Best Special Effects.





1983 - The Right Stuff

8.8 / 7.8 7.9 X4 8.62

While The Right Stuff is often classified as period drama, some sources classify it as science fiction, likely due to it's historic accuracy has been doctored by Hollywood. Not to mention it was also nominated for the science fiction focused Hugo award. The film is adapted from Tom Wolfe's 1979 book The Right Stuff about the test pilots who were involved in high-speed aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base as well as those selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury, the United States' first attempt at manned spaceflight.

The story contrasts the "Mercury Seven" and their families with pilots like Chuck Yeager. While never selected as an astronaut, Yeager was considered by many test pilots to be the best of them all. The Mercury Seven were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. The film stars Scott Glenn as Shepard, Ed Harris as Glenn, Fred Ward as Grissom, Dennis Quaid as Cooper and Sam Shepard as Yeager.

It won four Academy Awards for Best Sound Effects Editing; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score and Best Sound (Mark Berger, Tom Scott, Randy Thom and David MacMillan). It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Sam Shepard), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Geoffrey Kirkland, Richard Lawrence, W. Stewart Campbell, Peter R. Romero, Jim Poynter, George R. Nelson), Best Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel) and Best Picture. It was nominated for the 1984 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The Golden Globes nominated it for Best Motion Picture - Drama, and nominated Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium by the Writers Guild of America.


Other sci-fi films of 1983: George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy capped off with Return of the Jedi, earning a SFMZ final score of 8.30. Although a critical and commercial hit, grossing more than $475 million worldwide, Return of the Jedi has, in the decades that followed, been considered by many critics and fans to be a lesser achievement than its predecessors.

At the 56th Academy Awards in 1984, the film received the Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects. It was nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Music/Original Score, and Best Sound.

At the 1984 BAFTA Awards, the film won for Best Special Visual Effects, and nominated for Best Makeup, Best Production Design/Art Direction, Best Sound, and Best Album of Original Score. The film also won for Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1984 Hugo Awards.

Other sci-fi films of '83 include WarGames and Testament, earning a 7.40 and 7.36 SFMZ final score respectively. WarGames was nominated for three Academy Awards — Best Cinematography, Sound, and Writing. For WarGames, the company that provided the large screens used to display the tactical situations seen in the NORAD set employed a new design that was super-bright enabling the displays to be filmed live. It was also awarded a Technical Achievement Award by the Academy.

Testament was nominated for one Academy Award, Best Actress for Jane Alexander. The film was originally shot as a made-for-TV movie. Paramount executives were so impressed with it that they released it in theaters as a feature.





1984 - The Terminator

8.6 / 7.2 84 8.1 X3 8.39

Though not expected to be either a commercial or critical success, The Terminator topped the American box office for two weeks and helped launch the film career of Cameron and solidify that of Schwarzenegger. Three sequels have been produced: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), and Terminator Salvation (2009), as well as a television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009).

The Terminator has received recognition from the American Film Institute. The film ranked 42nd on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding films. The character of the Terminator was selected as the 22nd-greatest movie villain on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains. Arnold's catch phrase "I'll be back" was voted the 37th-greatest movie quote by the AFI.

In 2005, Total Film named The Terminator the 72nd-best film ever made. In 2008, Empire magazine selected The Terminator as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. Empire also placed the T-800 14th on their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters. In 2008, The Terminator was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

The terminator won three Saturn Awards - Best Make-Up, Best Science Fiction Film, and Best Writing. It was also Saturn nominated Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Music. The film won the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Grand Prize.


1984 had quite a sci-fi line up: For Starman (6.89 SFMZ final score), Jeff Bridges was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Bridges was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Actor.

Karen Allen also received a nod for Best Actress from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The film itself was nominated Best Science Fiction Film. Jack Nitzsche received a Golden Globe nomination for his score. AFI nominated it for it's All Time lists - 100 Years...100 Passions and 10 Top 10 - Science Fiction Film.

Another film of '84, Seksmisja, earning a 7.95 SFMZ final score. This Polish comedy sci-fi won the Polish Film Festival Best Production Design Award. It was also nominated the Chicago International Film Festival Best Feature Award and the Fantasporto International Best Fantasy Film Award.

Earning a 7.23 SFMZ Final Score, the crime sci-fi Repo Man won the Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor, along with a Saturn nomination for Best Writing. The film also won the Boston Film Critics Best Screenplay Award.

The worthy mentions of '84 continue with The Brother from Another Planet, earning a 7.02 SFMZ Final Score. The film won the Catalonian International Film Festival Best Screenplay and Best Actor Awards. It was also nominated for the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.

The sci-fi drama 1984 is another multi-award winner, earning a 7.24 SFMZ finals score. The film won the Fantasporto Best Actor Award and nominated for Best Film, along wit wins from other award organizations. It also won the Valladolid International Film Festival Best Actor Award and was also BAFTA nominated for Best Production Design.

The sequel to Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi classic, 2010: The Year We Make Contact (6.55 SFMZ final score), received fair to poor reviews from critics, and not much better praise from viewers. The film did receive a number of nominations including four Oscar nominations - Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, and Best Sound.

It received Saturn nominations for Best Costumes, Best Science Fiction Film, and Best Special Effects. The film's lone win is the Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation Award.

Receiving even less universal praise is David Lynch's Dune. The film was Oscar nominated for Best Sound along with Saturn nominations for Best Costumes, Best Make-Up, Best Science Fiction Film, and Best Special Effects. Lastly, a Hugo nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation. While maybe not a stellar line up, 1984 did offer a bountiful supply of sci-fi feature films.






1985 - Brazil

8.7 / 8.1 88 8.0 8.89

Brazil is a 1985 British science fiction fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam. It was written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. The film stars Jonathan Pryce and features Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, and Ian Holm. Though a success in Europe, the film was unsuccessful in its initial North America release. It has since become a cult film. The film is named after the recurrent theme song, "Aquarela do Brasil", as performed by Geoff Muldaur.

Brazil's long list of awards and nominations include: Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Writing. The film won Best Production Design and Best Special Visual Effects at the BAFTA Awards. For the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor and a Special Commendation award. The British Film Institute Awards awarded the film for Technical Achievement, and was Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards awarded Gilliam with Best Director and the National Society of Film Critics nominated it for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. The film was honored by multiple All Time Lists including: Total Film named Brazil the 20th greatest British movie of all time. In 2005, Time film reviewers Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel named Brazil in an unordered list of the 100 best films of all time.

In 2006, Channel 4 voted Brazil one of the "50 Films to See Before You Die", shortly before its broadcast on FilmFour. The film also ranks at number 83 in Empire magazines list of the 500 Greatest Films of All Time. Wired ranked Brazil number 5 in its list of the top 20 sci-fi movies. Entertainment Weekly listed Brazil as the sixth best science-fiction piece of media released since 1982. The magazine also ranked the film #13 on their list of "The Top 50 Cult Films".


Practically a tie for best sci-fi film of 1985 is Back to the Future, earning a SFMZ final score of 8.80. The movie ranked number 28 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies. In 2008, the film was voted the 23rd greatest film ever made by readers of Empire.

It was also placed on a similar list by The New York Times, a list of 1000 movies. In January 2010, Total Film included the film on its list of The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. Back to the Future was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

In 2006, the original screenplay for Back to the Future was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 56th best screenplay of all time. The film is also among Film4's 50 Films to See Before You Die, being ranked 10th.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed the AFI's 10 Top 10 – the best ten films in ten classic American film genres – after polling more than 1,500 people from the creative community. Back to the Future was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the science fiction genre. It was also AFI nominated for several other All Time Lists.

Four other solid entries of 1985: Two horror sci-fi's Re-Animator and Day of the Dead, earning a 7.72 and 7.19 SFMZ final score respectively. Re-Animator ranked the #32 on Entertainment Weekly's The Top 50 Cult Films, and also #14 on their "The Cult 25: The Essential Left-Field Movie Hits Since '83" list. Day of the Dead won a Saturn Award for Best Make-Up, and Best Actress at the Catalonian International Film Festival.

The Quiet Earth, earning a 7.12 SFMZ final score, won Best Direction and Best Actor at Fantafestival. It basically swept the New Zealand Film Awards, winning Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Lead Performance, Best Supporting Performance - Male, Best Production Design, and Best Screenplay.

The fourth film, Real Genius (7.02 SFMZ final score) received a Paris Film Festival Best Actor Award, and nominated Best Family Motion Picture by the Young Artist Awards.

While Enemy Mine and Cocoon received less than impressive viewer and / or critics praise, both films did receive recognization from various award organizations. Enemy Mine was Saturn nominated for Best Actor, Best Make-Up, and Best Science Fiction Film. It was Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, and won the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival C.S.T. Award.

Cocoon won two Oscars - Best Visual Effects and Best Actor in a Support Role. It also won the Saturn Best Director Award along with Saturn nominations for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music, and Best Supporting Actress. It was also Golden Globes nominated for Best Motion Picture and Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation.





1986 - Aliens

8.8 / 7.6 87 8.5 X2 8.98

Aliens was directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. The film's action-adventure tone was in contrast to the horror motifs of the original Alien. Following the success of The Terminator (1984), which helped establish Cameron as a major action director, 20th Century Fox greenlit Aliens with a budget of approximately $18 million. It was filmed in England at Pinewood Studios and at a decommissioned power plant. Aliens grossed $86 million at the US box office during its 1986 theatrical release and $131 million worldwide.

Aliens was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Music, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Art Direction. It won two awards for Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects. Sigourney Weaver received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The film received four BAFTA award nominations and won in the category of Visual Effects. It won eight Saturn Awards in the categories of best science fiction film, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, performance by a younger actor, direction, writing, and special effects.

The film's long list of recognition continues with: won Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award; won Best Sound Editing by the Motion Picture Sound Editors; nominated Best Foreign Language Film by the Japanese Academy Awards; and nominated Best Casting by the Casting Society of America.

In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named Aliens as the second-best action movie of all time, behind Die Hard. In a Rotten Tomatoes analysis of the top 100 science fiction films, Aliens ranks tenth among the best-reviewed films of the genre. In 2004, Aliens was ranked 35th on Bravo's "100 Scariest Movie Moments". IGN ranked it third in its "Top 25 Action Films of All-Time"


Another solid sci-fi film of 1986 is David Cronenberg's The Fly, earning a 7.97 SFMZ final score. The film won an Oscar for Best Make-Up. It also won Saturn awards for Best Horror Film, Best Make-Up, and Best Actor, along with Saturn nominations for Best Music, Best Director, and Best Actess. Besides BAFTA and Hugo, it also received nominations from various other award organizations.

In 2005, Time magazine film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel included The Fly in their list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Movies, Time later named it one of the 25 best horror films. The film was ranked #33 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Similarly, the Chicago Film Critics Association named The Fly the 32nd scariest film ever made. It also received multiple nominations on AFI's All Time Lists.

Also released in '86 was Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, earning a 7.45 SFMZ final score. The film received four Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Music, and Best Sound. It won the Best Costumes Saturn Award along with ten other Saturn nominations. The Hugo Awards nominated it for Best Dramatic Presentation. The film was the highest grossing box office results of the series featuring the original cast. The only Star Trek movie to earn more was the Star Trek reboot.

Also there was Flight of the Navigator, which was Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, and Best Performance by a Young Actor. The horror sci-fi From Beyond received three Saturn nominations and won the Catalonian International Film Festival Best Special Effects Award.





1987 - Predator

6.9 / 7.0 36 7.8 X1 7.92

While initial critical reaction to the Predator was generally negative, Roger Ebert was more complimentary of the film, saying "it supplies what it claims to supply: an effective action movie." He praised its pacing, location photography, strong but simple characterizations, and special effects. The film has been a perennial cable favorite outside of America, in India and other countries.

Predator was Oscar nominated for Best Visual effects and Hugo Awards nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation. The BMI Film Music Awards awarded Alan Silvestri for Best Music, and the Golden Reel Awards awarded the film for Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects. Winning Saturn Awards Best Music Award, it was also Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Special Effects, and Best Actor.

In 2001, it was one of 400 films nominated for the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Thrills list, though it did not place in the top 100. In 2003, the Predator creature was one of 400 characters nominated for AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains. In 2007, C. Robert Cargill of Film.com ranked Predator as the seventh best film of 1987, calling it "one of the great science fiction horror films, often imitated, but never properly duplicated, not even by its own sequel."

Entertainment Weekly named it the 22nd greatest action movie of all time in 2007, and the 14th among "The Best Rock-'em, Sock-'em Movies of the Past 25 Years" in 2009, saying "Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been as manly as he was in this alien-hunting testosterone-fest. IGN proclaimed it the 13th greatest action movie of all time. In 2008, Empire magazine ranked it 336th on their list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.


Another film released in 1987, Robocop, is also considered by many as a sci-fi classic, earning a 7.66 SFMZ final score. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named it the #14 greatest action movie of all time. In 2008, the film was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

It was placed on a similar list, The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made, by The New York Times. The film was on the ballot for two of the American Film Institute's 100 Series lists. These lists included 100 Years…100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding movies, and AFI's "Ten Top Ten", a list of the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres.

The Hidden, earning a 7.18 SFMZ final score was Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Director, and Best Actor. The film won Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Grand Prize and the Catalonian International Film Festival Prize of the International Critics' Jury Award. It was also nominated by Fantasporto for Best Film and Best Director.

There was also Innerspace featuring Dennis Quaid. The film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, and Best Special Effects.





1988 - Akira

7.4 / 8.0 76 8.0 8.11

Akira has been regarded as one of the greatest animated movies of all time and prompted an increase in popularity of anime movies in the US and, generally, outside of Japan. It is still admired for its exceptional visuals. Channel 4's 2005 poll of the 100 greatest cartoons of all time featuring both cartoon shows and cartoon movies, Akira came in at number 16.

On Empire magazine's list of the 500 greatest movies of all time, Akira is number 440. It showed again on Empire's list of The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema, coming in at #51. IGN also named it 14th on its list of Top 25 Animated Movies of All-Time.

Akira is regarded by many critics as a landmark anime film, one that influenced much of the art in the anime world that followed its release with many illustrators in the manga industry citing the film as an important influence. The film led the way for the growth of popularity of anime outside of Japan. Akira is considered a forerunner of the second wave of anime fandom that began in the early 1990s and has gained a massive cult following since then.

Akira has also been cited as a major influence on live-action films ranging from The Matrix to Chronicle. The Akira anime also made TIME magazine's list of top 5 anime DVDs. The film also made number 16 on Time Out's top 50 animated movie list and number 5 on Total Film's Top 50 Animated Films list. Wizard magazine also listed the film as #5 on their list of the greatest anime.


Other sci-fi films of 1988: They Live (7.24 SFMZ Final Score) was Saturn nominated for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Music, along with a Fantasporto nomintion for Best Film. The film was ranked #18 on Entertainment Weekly magazine's "The Cult 25: The Essential Left-Field Movie Hits Since '83" list. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the fight scene between Roddy Piper's character, John Nada, and Keith David's character, Frank Armitage, seventh on their list of the "The 20 Greatest Fights Scenes Ever".

Alien Nation grossed over $32 million worldwide, becoming a moderate financial success. The film was met with mixed reviews before its theatrical release, although it has since gained a cult following. The film's success marked the beginning of a franchise, with a short-lived television series, and five television movie sequels, all attempting to continue the character development surrounding the fictional alien culture.

Alien Nation won the Saturn Best Science Fiction Award along with Saturn nominations for Best Make-Up and Best Supporting Actor. The was also nominated for the Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation Award and the Fantasporto Best International Fantasy Film Award.

Miracle Mile, earning a 6.97 SFMZ final score, was nominated for Grand Jury Prize by the Sundance Film Festival along with a couple other nominations from other award organizations. Another film of '88 is the animation sci-fi Gandahar. Though viewer / critic input is scarce, it did receive a Best Film nomination from Fantasporto. On the Silver Globe, a Polish sci-fi fantasy, was also nominated for the same award.





1989 - The Abyss

7.2 / 7.0 62 7.6 X1 7.78

Rotten Tomatoes consensus: "The utterly gorgeous special effects frequently overshadow the fact that The Abyss is also a totally gripping, claustrophobic thriller, complete with an interesting crew of characters." Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers enthused, "The Abyss is the greatest underwater adventure ever filmed, the most consistently enthralling of the summer blockbusters...one of the best pictures of the year."

The release of the Special Edition in 1993 garnered much praise. Siskel remarked, "The Abyss has been improved," and Ebert added, "It makes the film seem more well rounded." In the book Reel Views 2, James Berardinelli comments, "James Cameron's The Abyss may be the most extreme example of an available movie that demonstrates how the vision of a director, once fully realized on screen, can transform a good motion picture into a great one."

The Abyss won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects along with Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound. The won the Saturn Best Director Award and Saturn nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music, Best Science Fiction Film, Best Special Effects, and Best Writing. The American Society of Cinematographers nominated it for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography and Hugo nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation. It also won the Key Art Best Action Spot Award and the Motion Picture Sound Editors Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects. Young Artist Awards nominated the film for Best Family Motion Picture.


1989 was another lean year for sci-fi film with The Abyss receiving the most universal praise. Also released in '89 was Back to the Future Part II, earning a 7.38 SFMZ final score. The film won the Saturn Award for Best Special Effects for Ken Ralston, a BAFTA Film Award for Ken Ralston, a Golden Screen, and a Young Artist Award.

Also won, the Favorite Movie Actor (Fox) and Movie Actress (Thompson) at the Kids' Choice Awards. It was Oscar nominated for Visual Effects, and the film ranks 498 on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.

As I mentioned in the introduction, I'm including superhero movies, which brings us to Tim Burton's Batman, earning a 7.30 SFMZ final score. The film won an Oscar for Best Art Direction along with multiple Saturn nominations. It also received nominations from BAFTA, Hugo Awards, and the Golden Globes.



SCI-FI BEST FILMS BY YEAR - 1990 to 1999 > > >




Resources: wikipedia.org, imdb.com, rottentomatoes.com, metacritic.com





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