While legitimate science fiction has all but vanished from television, it lives on in movie theaters as dozens of science fiction films continue to be released every year. Almost every Hollywood blockbuster contains at least a sci-fi element or two, but for this list I’ve stuck with the films that are truly a part of the genre. If you love science fiction make sure you didn’t miss any of these 2011 films. These were the best sci-fi movies of 2011.
1. Attack the Block
Attack the Block is so good it’s one of two movies on this list that made my best films of 2011 list over on Cinema Blend. Here’s why. This little indie movie from writer/director Joe Cornish takes the worn out alien invasion genre and injects new life. In large part it’s because, though it has plenty of it, his film is about more than reveling in man on alien violence. Attack the Block goes its own way by creating characters who don’t fit any of the usual stereotyped molds. Instead our heroes are a bunch of teenage thugs, completely unlikable idiots who only become worth rooting for after they’ve been changed by their experience. Attack the Block is content to let you hate everyone in it when the movie begins, certain you’ll love the kinds of people they’re starting to become by the time the movie ends.
Attack the Block manages to come up with something new in a genre that hasn’t even been trying. From creature design to story structure to its completely unflinching take on some pretty scary alien violence, it succeeds. A violent, gory, action movie which also comments on the lives of frightened people living in a crummy apartment complex full of absent parents and pre-teen drug dealers? What’s not to love? Cornish’s sci-fi movie is a grand mix of alien entertainment and subtle social commentary. It’s relevant without being preachy, violent without being gratuitous, and action packed without skimping on character. Attack the Block is proof that you don’t need a big Hollywood effects budget to do science fiction right.