The 4 Most Unfairly Overlooked Sci-Fi Movies Of 2011

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Next week we’ll put together our best science fiction of 2011 list, but before we do that, it seems worthwhile to stop and take a look back at a few movies you might have missed. Maybe they never got a wide release in your area, maybe you were scared away by bad reviews, maybe you simply never got around to seeing them. But here are four really good science fiction films which we think more people should have seen, even if they didn’t.

Attack the Block
Box Office: Never cracked top 30 / $1 mil domestic

This low-budget indie got a lot of buzz coming out of the SXSW film festival in the spring, but when it finally showed up in theaters no one really talked about it. The fact that it was only in limited release probably prevented a lot of you from catching it, but the film did show up on your television through On Demand, which means it was at least available in some form to most potential viewers. It’s a shame then, that more of you didn’t see it because it’s not just good for a low-budget indie, it’s flat out good. There’s no need to grade Attack the Block on a budget curve.

The story’s pretty simple. Aliens attack and the only thing in their way is a group of inner-city London kids with a propensity for violence. What makes it different is the way none of the film’s human characters fit the usual stereotyped molds. And unlike a lot of other alien invasions this year, aliens aren’t used just because they don’t have the balls to show people fighting humans. There’s an actual sci-fi story going on here, set to the blazing beat of the perfect soundtrack. Attack the Block is unflinching in its violence, no character is safe, and it has something to say. Science fiction is always at its best when used to comment on modern problems, and Attack the Block does that brilliantly by delivering a thrilling action movie with unusual characters and freaky aliens unlike any you’ve ever seen.

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  1. Sci Fi fan says:

    I saw the movie “Paul”, and I agree.  It is a totally aetheist film, but so what?  I found it to be very clever & funny; the scene with Paul talking with Steven Spielberg over the phone is worth the price of admission/renting it alone. 

  2. Dominatr37 says:

    I loved “Cowboys and Aliens”, and I have to totally disagree with the reviewer. I don’t care about social problems being represented in movies. I’m not going to see that in sci fi flicks I pick. “Cowboys and Aliens” was another perfect summertime movie amidst a very busy summer filled with them. I bought a blu ray copy of the film, as I did with my other summer favorites “Green Lantern’, “Thor”, “Captain America” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part II”.

    • Il says:

      It’s not ok to be proud to ONLY like dumb things. It’s completely OK to like dumb things, but broaden your horizons and take an interest in more complex, socially relevant movies as well.  When that’s done well, and done right, it can do all the things those dumb movies are doing for you, plus so much more.

    • midas68 says:

      Wow,  Dominatr, you are easily amused!

  3. Craig Brown says:

    “Paul” was a great laugh – it’s a shame most people seemed to give it a miss.  “Source Code” was something different, but again very watchable and definatelty worthy of your time.  “Cowboys & Aliens” should’ve got more attention as far as I’m concerned.  Is it only plausable for aliens to show up over New York in the 20th/21st Centuries?  Why not in the wild west?  The title didsn’t make me laugh the first time I heard it – it made me CURIOUS to see the movie!  I could rattle on and on, but suffice to say any of those three movies would make a decent night in.  “Attack The Block” I haven’t seen yet, but will do soon.  Happy viewing folks!

  4. Lonewolf5030 says:

    i saw all of them and thought that they were all awsome

  5. midas68 says:

    Attack/Block  had a Ok first have and sloppy 2nd.  People are either infatuated by British voices or ghetto kids with weapons.  But its still all so predictable. 

    Source Code was almost a very good show,. unrealistic in how the characters  reacted to each other. but not bad.

    Limitless was Fine Entertainment!

  6. Rabid Fox says:

    I’ve only seen Paul and Source Code so far, but I’m inclined to agree that they deserve less scorn.

  7. Capobrian says:

    I enjoyed Paul overall, but the problem with such an aggressively atheist film is that it can be just as offensive as an aggressively Christian film. My personal take on religion is pretty open and I could get past it and laugh, but I have friends and family members that I think would feel a bit under attack by it. I think the higher route to take would be to show atheism as a legitimate and mainstream belief to exist alongside religion, rather than bashing religion as being inherently stupid because regardless of moronic dogmatism, there are some damn fine folks out there that are not atheist and this film is just as nasty to them as Pat Robertson is to atheists.

  8. irin says:

    Attack the Block is one of the most amazing movies I’ve seen recently. I like science fiction, but I prefer movies that do not talk only about one genre. It’s a very humanizing piece.

  9. Doomed says:

    Source code was good but nothing new. It’s been done before, Wasn’t Denzel Washington in something like it where he went back in time to stop a bomb (not repeatedly I know), reminded me of the TV show I think was called “7 days”, where a guy was sent back in time up to a week to prevent terrorism and crime in a sphere minus the humour that show had.

    Plus the the twist became fairly obvious very early on, and well, that’s also been done too.

    I think it’s true that every story has been written now. All they can do is just change the names and locations.

  10. Dheep' says:

    Source Code – Its a Great movie and SO much better than the boring and over-hyped Moon. Didn’t once relate it in any way to Groundhog Day. That’s like saying Singin in the Rain and Blade Runner were alike because there was a scene with rain in both.
    But then again-what am I sayin’? It hurts the heads of most viewers when watching Cowboys and Aliens (also Firefly). I guess there was more than 2 genres mixed so therefore painful Brain Stretching for most.

  11. Jason Brock says:

    Cowboys & Aliens was so bad I could never recommend anyone to spend 1penny. Attack the Block best out of this bunch.

  12. Rob says:

    Seen all of them except “Attack the block”, never heard of it actually. I’ll look this up!

  13. haniff_din says:

    It seems there are a few Americans that have some great sci fi taste, all great under rated movies. People in the west must be getting dumber if they can’t grasp merging some genres and more interesting story lines, the more time goes by the film idocracy is becoming true; now that is the most underrated movie of all time by Americans.

  14. Random says:

    I am a scifi fa and a Christian. I have seen all 4 movies and was entertained by all of them. I can easily overlook religious differences in a movie as it is only meant for entertainment value, most of the time.

  15. Sliquid says:

    out of the list i liked attack the block the best and probably paul the worst..the others are ok but nowhere near the greatness some people make them out to be…good for a once over as all of these are by far not the worst ever..