15 Most underrated sci-fi movies possibly, you missed

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Here are some of the best-underrated sci-fi movies I noted.

Some flop at the box office, some get criticism, and others do not receive much attention. Based on its box office performance, we can judge it as an underrated film. Also, critical and audience responses and social effects, Or there could be more reasons.

I don’t want to offend anyone, but I don’t know how to analyze a film in the right way. Sometimes we feel that this movie deserves more acclaim. However, we can recognize that certain movies are woefully underrated in every sense.

Some movies receive terrible reviews from critics, but massive blockbusters, such as “2012.”

Others have received positive reviews from critics but failed at the box office, like Dark City, Moon, Children of Men, and many others.

There are thoughtful movies with failed critics/audiences and big box offices, such as Annihilation, Equilibrium, John Carter, and many others.

So I created an underrated sci-fi movie list; some fail at the box office, some terrible welcome reviews, and others need more attention.

Read more: Movies About Hope.

Here’s a list of underrated science fiction films you may have missed.

15. Europa Report (2013)

Europa Report (2013)
Source: Magnoliapictures

Europa Report is a really underrated science fiction movie directed by Sebastian Cordero. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the trailer for Europa Report since it looked like they just borrowed the footage format and adapted it for a space movie.

The film lacks special effects and a well-known cast. But, I was hearing positive things about it. I’m glad I caught it because it’s a good movie, crafted in such a style that you can’t take your eyes off it.

This story follows a space travel firm that sends six of the world’s greatest scientists on a sponsored mission to look for life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

I don’t have much to say about this movie because it’s just 90 minutes long, but if you like sci-fi, you should see it because it gets beyond space travel. 

Read more: 

14. Spectral (2016)

Spectral (2016)
Source: Netflix

Spectral is a sci-fi thriller directed by Nic Mathieu and delivered on Netflix. This film follows a Delta Force protecting the war-torn city of Moldova as their troops begin to be killed by an unseen force only detected with solid military goggles.

It seems like an exciting snack theme, but Spectral has a few things that could be improved. That idea is more exciting than what the film does with it. So, besides the obvious fact that it feels like a shoddy knock on this type of modern film. It also draws concepts and storylines from other movies.

However, it is alright; a watchable film for sci-fi lovers, with some interesting material and actions. This movie borrowed some facts from the Alien film series. But while not awful, you can enjoy this underrated sci-fi movie.

13. Lockout (2012)

Lockout (2012)
Source: EuropaCorp

Lockout is a sci-fi/action film based on a story by Luc Besson and directed by James Mather and Stephen Leger. The movie’s story follows the US President’s daughter and her team hostage in a space camp. The authorities call on Snow (Guy Pearce), a mistakenly convicted agent, promising him his freedom in return for her redemption.

Its flawed storytelling and comedic faults override the unique world creation and performances. There is a fantastic half-hour of paying some attention to the best bits of movie images and attractive protagonists, with a clever test and characters setting the background. 

After dramatic chases, dead zones, psychopaths characters, and funny prisoners are slowed by the narration of the spaceship and unstable suspended life, and positive and negative are typical of fault conditions throughout the movie.

This movie is critically and financially underrated, but it is okay. You can enjoy actions, but they could be more flawless. Also, the film runs for 95 minutes.

12. Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine 2007
Source: Searchlight Pictures

Sunshine is a sci-fi thriller directed by Danny Boyle. The story begins in 2057 when the sun dies and the Earth freezes. A scientific crew deploys a missile to cause the sun to heat again. They hear a warning light from a spaceship that was lost years back. The team chooses to follow that spacecraft, the mission becomes extremely difficult, and the story grows more complex. 

Although many visually stunning films have surpassed Sunshine, visual elements and special effects are still tremendous and unique.

It has several images highlighting the star’s size and brilliant brightness. 

Damn! This film should be watched in a theater to enjoy the visual effects truly.

This movie’s budget was $40 million, and the box office was $32 million. That means an incredibly underrated end-of-world film in every way. Can’t forget the cast, such as Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, and others.

11. 9 (2009)

Image of animated sci-fi movie 9
Source: Focus Features

This animated sci-fi movie, “9,” was directed by Shane Acker, and the film didn’t receive much attention, although many others are criminally underrated.

This film’s story shows the earth being completely destroyed and empty of humans following an epic conflict between humans and robots. A ragdoll rises and holds the key to humanity’s evidence.

It also contained typical film qualities like a moral protagonist, strange settings, gloomy sounds, and other exciting stuff, and a very different theme from others. But not like other mainstream cartoon films; not overly bright and colorful, but it has a distinct dark shape that sets it apart from the contest.

This is a good film for anyone who enjoys movies.

10. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending film image
Source: Warner Bros

The Wachowskis’ other step at creating a sci-fi world but less effective than the Matrix films. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis lead roles with Eddie Redmayne. This film mostly welcomed negative words from critics; it made $183M against a $200+M budget, making it a big box-office flop like “John Carter (2012).”

However, Jupiter Ascending is visually stunning, with an excellent balance of vision and digital effects. It regularly used darker settings for sequences. Still, it mainly sidesteps the fair gripe of having everything appear too gloomy, and, on top of the multiple other landscapes, some of the space imagery is quite lovely at times.

The cinematography in Jupiter Ascending isn’t as awful as the film’s use of it. I like the Interesting film Designs. I don’t know why people accused it, but the designs and VFX are Outstanding. Yes, there are some flaws in the screenplay, character development, acting, and dialogue.

But, it is not as bad as some claim.

9. What Happened to Monday (2017)

What Happened to Monday is a dystopian sci-fi thriller directed by Tommy Wirkola and starring Noomi Rapace as 7 characters which are remarkable and something not every actress is capable of.

This movie is set in the future when the government bans people from having more than one kid. If They detect additional children and place them in cryosleep. However, seven sisters who carry one tag are forced to stay secret to avoid detection. Still, when one sister mysteriously disappears, the remaining must bypass the authorities to discover her.

What Happened to Monday seems like an action thriller but has a lot of futuristic science-fiction elements, and it does not lack that while also being an emotional journey about the family bond. The connection between the 7 sisters is the most heartwarming and underrated element of the film, although the chase scenes, gunfights, and street fights are also exciting.

8. Pitch Black (2000)

Vin Diesel as Riddick
Source: Universal Pictures

Pitch Black is a space film directed by David Twohy and features Vin Diesel as Riddick. The story focuses on a starship with people stuck on a planet overrun by night monsters during sundown. They had no other option except to depend on “Riddick,” a dangerous prisoner.

Yeah seemed to be a great popcorn flick.

Yeah, it’s excellent and enjoyable, and the ideas and logical stuff don’t matter. Also good if you’re a lover of space movies. I like this film because its enjoyable tiny sci-fi/horror workout is enough to keep its audience pleased with its runtime. There are two other sequels: “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “Riddick,” which were released in 2013 with the reuniting.

This film is average, with no dazzling graphics or a great adventure like Star Wars, but it is thrilling and keeps your eyes glued to the screen for 100 minutes. Critics frequently find some logical stuff, but audiences love it.

7. Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation science fiction movie
Source: Netflix

Annihilation is a science fiction movie BY Alex Garland. It is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, but it differs from the story in some ways and delivers a far more nonlinear story. Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and other characters in various roles round out the cast.

The film’s graphics are among the most beautiful parts. The Dazzle is composed of a pink, violet, and green wave and looks dynamic. The twisted plants and animals are also horrifyingly attractive. The shapes and hues that flow are simply unique.

It explores the team’s psychology and various problems with mental health. All of the crew have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. Many science-fiction films involve characters battling deadly environments. Annihilation tries to understand why humanity would actively enter into something so horrible.

This one is difficult to grasp on first viewing because it ultimately admits the gloomy parts of the world and its characters, giving them and the film a more profound sense.

Annihilation has received mixed reviews from critics and the public at large. However, it has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

6. Serenity (2005)

Serenity's team of rebels
Source: Universal Pictures

Serenity is a space movie that Joss Whedon directed, marking his feature film debut as a filmmaker. Based on the television series “Firefly,” which is set in 2517 and tells the tale of the citizens of Serenity. That primarily relates to a planetary system with a hundred planets. There’s a battle between the Federation, which rules everything, and a team of rebels who start making unsettling findings.

Yes, it looks like a sequel to the Star Wars or Star Trek film series, but it is not. Nevertheless, use music, scenery, and visual art to evoke the feeling of a galaxy’s iconic while keeping the galaxy’s details hidden.

You do not need to watch Firefly. The movie does an outstanding job of providing the groundwork for understanding the relevant evidence. However, if you have not seen it, there are 14 beautiful episodes.

I recommend this underrated science fiction movie with outstanding scenery that isn’t as boring as some other films. Booyah!

5. Oblivion (2013)

Tom Cruise-starring film Oblivion.
Source: Universal Pictures

Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic film directed by Joseph Kosinski and featuring Tom Cruise. The story centers around Jack Harper, a drone repairman situated on Earth after being destroyed by alien combat, who begins to question his stance after saving the woman he sees in his dreams.

It focuses mainly on the protagonist, with Tom Cruise at the core of it all.

The special effects, camera angles, and scenic beauty are the best aspects of this film, and it is a work of art that was cleverly executed in every way. Hard to believe this is Joseph Kosinski’s second film; his first, “Tron: Legacy,” was fantastic and enjoyable.

Joseph Kosinski recently directed “Top Gun: Maverick,” which he did brilliantly.

The ending scene in such stories is always exciting, with a person who has lost everything suddenly popping up. Get some popcorn and watch this visually beautiful VFX film; you will not be disappointed.

4. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

 Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Source: 20th Century Fox

Alita: Battle Angel is a futuristic action movie based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series. This film was directed by Robert Rodriguez, and the script and produced by James Cameron. Featuring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali.

The story centers on 2563, 3 centuries after the world was ruined by the disastrous war known as “The Fall.” Alita, a battle cyborg, is awakened by higher activity, and a doctor discovers her in a trash area. Alita then reveals her true identity and background.

Its battle scenes, gory cyborgs, and visual effects, especially the incredible digital effects, are the main pieces in this movie. To get a good film experience, you must stream it on a massive 3D screen. Alita’s budget is $200M. It contains enormous VFX, fight scenes, and a James Cameron screenplay and production. You can imagine what will happen.

Robert Rodriguez is a talented filmmaker who makes films of this type. His previous work includes Desperado, the Spy Kids Film Series, Sin City, Machete, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

This is for you if you like science fiction, action, adventure, and cyborg movies with incredible digital effects or world-building with Salazar’s superb performance.

3. John Carter (2012)

John Carter (2012): backgrounds
Source: Walt Disney

John Carter is an action-packed science fiction film directed by Andrew Stanton and based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars novel. The story follows John Carter is suddenly entered Mars he discovers he has extraordinary skills. The situation takes a turn for the worse when he saves an escaping princess.

Why did I include this film in my list of Underrated Sci-Fi Movies?

There are plenty of reasons why this may be the most underrated movie of all time. Some say; criminally underrated!

This film’s production cost was $250M, and an extra $100M was spent on the promotion. Despite this, the movie lost over $150-200M, making it one of Hollywood’s worst disasters. And one of the poorest promotion campaigns in cinema history.

This film has faults, like many others, but they are not enough to justify such a massive box office disaster.

Its incredible journey begins with a green-skinned civilization with tremendous strength, worm-like dogs, the scale of cats that can race a Jaguar, flying warships, a deceptive secret society, a collapsing planet, and romantic love. A wonderful surprise.

So don’t think about facts, logic, or other things; that day has passed, and you can relax and enjoy the scenery for what it is, a convenient space epic, rather than comparing it to the famous novel. If you like VFX and fantastic creatures, this is a must-see film.

2. Under the Skin (2013)

Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin (2013)
Source: Film4productions

Under the Skin is a sci-fi/thriller directed by Jonathan Glazer and based on the book by Michel Faber. Scarlett Johansson plays an alien dressed as a beautiful lady in the movie. She looks like a regular woman on the outside, but she is a dangerous monster and convinces men with her beauty, traps and gradually murders them.

Look at the box office and audience responses to see why I included this film on this list. Under the Skin is impressive for a range of reasons. It’s an uncommon science fiction movie, and Johansson plays a muted role but has compelling acting. 

It also contains several hidden concepts, such as men’s weakness against women. Also tense from beginning to end. 

Under the Skin was OK-rated by critics and won numerous awards. Despite that, it wasn’t a box-office hit, making only around $7 million. 

However, it’s a beautiful shot and one of Scarlett Johansson’s top. It is not a cheerful movie at all, but it is a highly thought-provoking movie that must see.

1. Dark City (1998)

Dark City (1998)
Source: Movieweb

Dark City is a sci-fi masterpiece directed by Alex Proyas set in an immensely gloomy city. It got multiple good reviews at the time but was a complete commercial disaster. That is why it is known as the underrated ’90s sci-fi classic. 

This movie shows the story of John, who wakes up in a hotel with no memories and discovers that he is being chased for killing. While he searches for solutions, he finds a group of aliens named the Strangers that rule the city.

Dark City is an excellent pick if you’re looking for a film similar to The Matrix and a meaningful movie with a new vision. All of the performers are outstanding and story at a blazing rate. It is just 100 minutes long, yet each moment seems jammed with fresh insights. And twists and characters get middle of the unusual puzzle of the city they are trapped in.

The movie is technically impressive, and its structure and color combinations draw apparent similarities to The Matrix—both films used a few of the same settings. However, there are many differences. The film’s visual impression featured a scary and gloomy vibe. 

Dark City is still one of the films that most people never watched.


Many bad movies receive more attention than good movies. Another concern is that many people like bad stuff over genuine cinematic views and practices, which is why many box office failures happen.

Perhaps, there are numerous underrated films that we are not aware of. I can’t include them all in this list, don’t forget such as Life (2017), Pandorum (2009), Event Horizon (1997), Passengers (2016), The Thirteenth Floor (1999), Total Recall (1990), The Fifth Element (1997), I Am Mother (2019), etc. And, etc.

Leave a comment if you have anything to add.


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