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The Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies of the Decade, 2000-2009!

When I sat down to make my best films of the decade list, I realized that they were all sci-fi/fantasy films (with the exception of a few like There Will Be Blood, The Weather Man, Shaun of the Dead, and Traffic.)

So… here’s my list for the decade’s best films, which all happen to be sci-fi!

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

You may think it’s three movies, but it’s not. Watch Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King back-to-back (director’s extended cut ONLY) and you’ll see why it’s the very definition of cinematic bliss. Peter Jackson’s sprawling epic adapts J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novels by deftly balancing grandiose visuals, intimate performances, and the most spectacular battle sequences ever seen. Wizards, hobbits, elves, monsters – this trilogy has everything I’ve ever thought was cool about Dungeons & Dragons and brings them to life in a way that will make you swear Middle-Earth is a real place. FRODO LIVES!

2. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron’s long, unbroken takes mesmerize in this captivating tale of a future with little hope.)

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry tell a deeply personal story of love gone awry by using tech gone awry. A perfect film.)

4. Solaris (Steven Soderbergh’s cerebral thriller is a gorgeous remake of Tarkovsky’s 1972 film about a widower’s memories in the presence of a mysterious blue planet. Damn fine filmmaking.)

5. Batman Begins (Best comic book movie ever. Yes, better than Dark Knight.)

6. Moon (Duncan Jones delivers a story of isolation and paranoia that ranks among the best of the alone-in-space genre.)

7. Serenity (Joss Whedon’s action adventure is one of the most entertaining space flicks ever.)

8. The Fountain (Beautiful and haunting. Hugh Jackson’s performance is heartbreaking in this underrated rumination on mortality from Darren Aronofsky.)

9. Primer (Uber realistic and smart sci-fi that requires repeat viewing.)

10. The Prestige (Christopher Nolan turns this magician’s rivalry tale into a gripping sci-fi flick with the aid of Nikola Tesla… Nikola. Frakkin’. Tesla!)

What are your fave films of the 2000s?


  1. AnimeGaryX says:

    This is a fine list, though I think you left out STAR TREK!!!

  2. u2snumberonefan says:

    One Blog to rule them all. One Blog to find them, One Blog to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!

  3. Nar Williams says:

    Star Trek was good, but top ten of the decade? I don’t think so.

  4. Ward Daems says:

    How about Donnie Darko? It’s in the same direction as primer, moon (very under appreciated movie btw)…
    And how can you like Batman begins better? The Joker is by far the best villain of the decade.

  5. Jess says:

    I was gonna mention Donnie Darko too…one of the best but unfortunately most unnder rated movies ever !! I highly recommend it Nar.
    LOTR is definitely number 1 though…plain EPIC.

  6. Nar Williams says:

    I liked Dark Knight, but didn’t get much more insight into our hero Bruce Wayne. While Dark Knight feels a bit bloated and lopsided at times (I honestly just wanted The Joker to be in every scene) Batman Begins holds up as a perfectly paced hero’s journey.

    Regarding Donnie Darko, it’s a unique film but no way underrated. If anything it’s overrated — I’ve had so many people tell me it’s one of the best films ever and I just can’t agree…

  7. John says:

    Don’t know when lotr became a Sci-Fi movie and not a fantasy movie. But other than that good list thanks.

  8. johnbu says:

    hey arn’t you forgetting avatar?!?!??!

  9. the dude says:

    LOTR is in no way sci-fi, obviously adapted from the books, FANTASY

  10. Bob says:

    Yeah, LoTR is pure fantasy, not even a hint of scifi in it. Its really annoying how so many lists cross over (more annoying really with novels and sites like amazon, you’re looking for a good book but no matter what you pick scifi or fantasy its basically gonna bombard you with every single freaking sci-fi and fantasy book, saying everything is both genres and every single subgenre of each of the two and so forth. Makes it really friggin hard to find good books to read, just because the people tagging them are too stupid to realize the difference between sci-fi and fantasy). Its acceptable if you take something that’s science fantasy or just future fantasy and call it sci-fi, everyone does that these days, but when you put the film adaptation of the set of books that pretty much defines fantasy these days on a scifi list… well its just stupid. I assume you had some reason for putting it there, some witty point you were making or something, because no-one could be so stupid as to not realize that it is fantasy and has not the least bit of science in it.

    Here’s a good guide for the future – if there’s magic it’s not sci-fi because by definition magic stops being magic if there’s a scientific explanation for it.

  11. Nar Williams says:

    I wrote this list for another website with the original title of “best sci-fi/fantasy films” — I regrettably changed the name to just “best sci-fi films” when I posted it here. I have since changed it back due to the confusion. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

  12. Jake says:

    As personal taste, I would rank Dark Knight above Batman Begins, but otherwise a great list of some of the best fantasy films. If you like Primer, you owe it to yourself to check out Timecrimes, an equally mind-bending time-travel movie with just a hint of fun. To see where you’ve favorite fantasy film ranks on a comprehensive list, visit

  13. peterzees says:

    Donnie Darko

    So worth watching. I remember seeing this at the movies when it came out and then again for the directors cut.

    Again so worth watching

    Not so much S Darko

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