These are my favorite SciFi flix, all for the same reasons. They all have something in common. They each create a new universe… Some, like Sunshine, do it in a very subtle manner… Others like Dune, do it overtly and hit you over the head with it. I think if I was going to teach a class on Science Fiction, these movies would be foundational on “World Building”.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end all of a movie list… These are just my favorites… And in my opinion, must see movies. If you haven’t seen one of these movies, you are indeed wrong. Clarification on Dune… It needs to be the Alan Smithee version. The original director cut too much out. Aliens, has to be the extended version. And with Blade Runner, don’t get the Director’s Cut, get the Original, with Harrison Ford’s voiceovers.
I like the darker stories… That’s just me. Bright shiney ones, like the new Star Trek film… Just fine. But I prefer darker stuff.
I also like the SciFi to leave some things unexplained. Like future technologies… Show them, but don’t try to explain it to the audience. Characters wouldn’t explain things to each other… Unless the tech was brand new to that universe and it being paramount to the telling of the story.
Give the technology some limitation. See, SciFi has technology like Fantasy has magic. I don’t want to see tech or magic being the answer for everything. The future tech and universe is just the setting and framework a good story is written upon.