If a visitor from the year 1919 traveled 100 years into the future, our world would look like something out of a science-fiction film. People attached to small screens they keep in their pockets. Planes soaring across continents. The president having “intimate” conversations with civilians through some invisible force field that connects us all, in 180 characters or less.
Science-fiction movies project the fantasies, fears, and hopes of the people onto an imagined future. The best sci-fi movies use interesting science-based phenomena to get at the heart of the human experience, and have fun along the way. They transcend the genre's tropes of alien invasions and overly intelligent robots, instead presenting us a new way to consider our future — and our present.
Don’t kid yourself: A lot of movies considered “sci fi” these days are just blockbusters with aliens or computers. Avoiding that trap, the movies on this list are the 21st century’s most imaginative explorations of the future — and, okay, some aliens and computers.