Sci-fi films often concern themselves with advanced technologies and their effects on society. Artificial intelligence, time travel, and mass surveillance are just a few of the themes explored in the best sci-fi movies – many of which are rated R for graphic depictions of violence and sometimes sexual situations. (These are the best R-rated movies of all time.)
To determine the best R-rated sci-fi movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of early May 2023, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 10,000 audience votes on IMDb. Directorial credits are from IMDb.
In addition to futuristic technologies, these movies also explore themes including aliens, psychic abilities, fascism, and dystopian futures. Well-known genre directors including John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Ridley Scott, and Terry Gilliam appear on the list. Several of the films have evolved into franchises, including “Alien,” “The Terminator,” and “The Matrix.” (Check out the worst movie from every major franchise.)
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