Fighters can be absolutely fantastic, but they are rarely smart. They are funny, loud and attractive, but usually do not make you think. Even sci-fi action movies tend to avoid cerebral concepts for a range of explosions.

For example, reboot star trek 2009 is a great movie, but it lacks the philosophy of the originals. More lasers, but fewer ideas. In the series » star Wars » everything is exactly the same: great films, but the light is in the concepts.

It should not be. There are plenty of films that combine hard action with deep concepts. These are smart, thought-provoking films that you won’t get bored of. We’ve rounded up eight of the smartest futuristic movies for you to enjoy, so let’s start with the classics.

Thing (1982)


There are a lot of classic 80s movies that didn’t last many years. Predator , TRON and Weird Science may be classics, but few will claim that they are actually good. 1982 John Carpenter hit film «Things» not included in these films. With a few exceptions, the film hits just as hard as when it was first released in the 1980s, with just a few traces of callosity.

The desert arctic setting is still claustrophobic. The monster effects are still impressive. The blood test scene is still heartbreaking. Isolation and paranoia still grab you and pull you in. The film is a triumph of action and suspense, and a must-see for any horror fan.

It’s also smart — smarter than any of its 80s horror peers, except maybe Alien . The film gets a lot of praise for its inventive premise. An alien that can restructure its tissue at will would be brilliant sci-fi news.

What’s more, the film shines with its attention to detail. Thing packed with secrets and clues. The full story only unfolds after many viewings. This is a movie that needs to be watched carefully because there is a lot to see. In the final scene, who is human and who is not? The answer is revealed only to those who pay enough attention.

District No. 9

District No. 9

District 9 is an intellectual roller coaster written and directed by Neil Blomkamp. It passes between high concepts and brilliant performances, and robots shoot pigs at people. One side, District 9 is a unique story of first contact, conveyed with images of apartheid South Africa. On the other hand, it’s an action movie about alien weapons that makes people explode. The result is a joyful mess of a film that is a joy to watch.

District 9 represents a fine line that Blomkamp has been unable to walk ever since, with frustrations such as Elysium and Chappie . It has something for everyone, and its psychotic marriage of the brain and the downright stupid is quite unique.

children of men


«Child of Man» is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, and yet you’ve probably never heard of it. You may know director Alfonso Cuarón from his more ambitious and far worse film » Gravity» . If you liked it at all gravity you just need see human children . It is very good. Holy crap, this is good.

children of men lowers viewers in the midst of a slow apocalypse. After the plague from infertility, the world collapses. The London of the future is like a third world slum. This is the cataclysm of a thinking person. The world does not succumb to monsters or robots — it succumbs to despair.

This movie is ridiculously tense. Cuarón’s long shots contribute to some exciting action sequences. They also hammer into themselves the hopelessness and mental illness of the collapsing Earth. «Children of Children» would make a great story, and that makes an even better action movie. You won’t feel good after watching it, but you’ll be thinking about it for months.

Minority report

Special opinion

On the the first sight, Minority Report is a simple Tom Cruise car about futuristic cops who use psychics to prevent crime. Not what you expect to make you think. But you are wrong about this.

The envisaged system of justice raises an enormous number of moral and practical questions. The film is almost forced to spend time exploring these issues. The result is a tight and complex movie wrapped in slick plywood with a hefty budget, lots of gadgets and endless footage of Tom Cruise running away from things.

To give a nod to the whole package, the visual design is also excellent throughout. Gadgets are amazing and their famous user interface is so cool that it has had a permanent influence on user interface design.



«Matrix» is a movie that makes brilliant concepts and lyrics to serve a fundamentally stupid premise. In style Jeopardy The Matrix is the answer to the question, «What’s the smartest excuse we can come up with for making a stupid kung fu movie?»

The result is not only the best kung fu movie, but also the introduction of most people to philosophical concepts. What is reality? Do we have free will? Can we make intelligent machines? If so, what will they be?

Matrix has become our cultural reference to all these questions. Which is surprising because it’s also a movie where flying kung fu masters beat the hell out of each other. With virtual reality always at hand. , Matrix on really has never been more relevant.



A modern classic, Interstellar is a phenomenal action thriller from master storyteller Chris Nolan. There are so many thrilling sequences: a ticking clock on an ocean planet keeps your heart in your throat, and the «docking» scene is definitely one of the most tense things ever done in a movie. I can’t say too much about Ice Cloud Planet for fear of giving out spoilers, but suffice it to say that the entire movie is fantastic.

In terms of film intelligence, Interstellar pretty disappointing.

There’s so much smart about it: the robots are totally overjoyed and make up about 40 percent of the cast’s charisma. Almost all physics are perfect. The environment of the dust collector is memorable and terrifying. The black hole and wormhole visualizations are accurate and completely unique. Even the design of spaceships combines realism and the unusual factor. And all this makes his film almost perfect. Almost, but not quite.

The frustration is there because the film often neglects the things it’s good at in order to focus on the lame parts. The human characters are not very charismatic, with one notable exception. The storyline can be very melodramatic. The «alien» storyline doesn’t make much sense compared to the rest of the movie. With a slightly different focus, this great film could have been » space odyssey XXI century» 2001 . Unfortunately, it’s just really, really good.

Blade Runner


Blade Runner is a sci-fi classic about a cop tasked with tracking down and killing rogue androids. hiding in the Los Angeles of the future. The film is rife with moral ambiguity — the androids are bio-engineered, not mechanical. They are clearly slaves, not robots.

Harrison Ford’s character is a slave hunter and there are no punch lines in this movie. The action sequences are brutal and the film takes time to explore the characters before they are unceremoniously killed off.

Much of the credit the film receives for its intelligence comes from its subtlety. There are plot points that are crucial to the story that are never explicitly stated. The film is rich in detail and cunning clues that build the mythology. Seemingly whimsical details become significant with a deeper understanding of the film.

«Blade Runner of the Blade» is a rich and complex film that you’ll think about years after you’ve seen it. One piece of advice: in the original cut, some subtleties are ruined by bad voice-over dictation. Must see director’s or final cut, if possible.



Another Nolan film, » Start», tells a near-future story about a team of criminals who manipulate the rich and powerful into their dreams. «Start» is not my favorite Nolan movie (it will be «Prestige» ), but it is the most viewed of all his films.

The movie combines some amazing action sequences (the hotel hallway fight is really cool) with a lot of nifty ideas. The film also has a complex plot that it explains well to the audience. It’s not as hard as, say, primer but also much cleaner and (perhaps) easier to follow than this particular time-traveling epic.

«Start» is a great example of a film where concept and filmmaking work well together. It would be very easy to create a very conceptual dream exploration film without making full use of the distortions of time, space and gravity. Inception on the contrary, capitalizes on the possibilities created by its premise to create memorable visuals and action scenes.

What makes for a smart movie?

You may disagree with this list and are probably already writing a rather frothy answer. This is true: militants are relatively easy to identify, but «smart» can be more difficult to identify.

However, I will say that all of these films listed here leave the viewer to explore a bit. The universes are deep enough to think and go mentally enter. You may ask questions and feel that there are satisfactory answers somewhere. All of these movies will stay in your head and you will find that they will appear again and again for the rest of your life. If that’s not smart, I don’t know what is.

As for what brilliant movies might be missing from the list, here’s where you come in. If we missed something really unforgivable, let us know in the comments and we can do an additional article in the future.

Image Credits: Cartoon Brain via Shutterstock, Screenshots taken from The Thing , District 9 , children of men , Minority report , Matrix , Interstellar , Blade Runner and Inception .

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