1. Metropolis (1927). Metropolis surpasses A Trip To The Moon (1902) and Things To Come (1936) for its compelling story and cutting-edge visual effects. A masterful silent film by Fritz Lang, Metropolis presents viewers with a shiny, Utopian society; a thin facade that cloaks the civilization's dark underbelly — hordes of grimy workers who toil to keep the city alive. From robots to rebellion, Metropolis was the first to bring grand science fiction to the silver screen.
2. Fantastic Planet (1973). I first saw Fantastic Planet when I was ten years old, and have watched it countless times since. The award-winning animated feature depicts humans (known as 'Ohms') as playthings for giant 'Draags' who rule the planet on which they all live. Eventually one Ohm learns the secret to conquering his oppressors, and unites others of his species to overthrow the Draags. Even if the story isn't your cup of tea, the surreal animation is absolutely stunning.
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Arthur C. Clarke's vision of the “wild west in space” came to life brilliantly in this Kubrick film. The viewer feels humbled by the vastness of space, and the timeline — which spans from the dawn of man to our first (conscious) encounter with a higher intelligence — was groundbreaking at the time. What also makes 2001: A Space Odyssey a rarity is the fact that the author worked directly with the filmmaker on this project. Both men were notorious perfectionists, which contributed in no small way to the film's flawless execution.
4. Fantastic Voyage (1966). For all of its plot holes, Fantastic Voyage will stick with many viewers for the novel concept (people in a vessel shrunk small enough to travel inside the human body) and the never-before-seen special effects used to create everything from white blood cells to the nervous system.
5. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). The human race — having unleashed the power of atomic energy — is visited by a representative from outer space to warn them of the dangerous weapons they hold in their possession. When faced with an outside force demanding total disarmament (or complete annihilation if they don't comply), are humans trusting enough to think their own position out to an Omega Point that promises peace, or will they hold fast to their history of war?