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Sci-Fi Films That Take Us To A New Dimension

From Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to The Signal, movies that are out-of-this-world good

Focus Features 07.19.2017
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This week during Comic-Con, hordes of space aliens, star warriors, and superheroes gather to celebrate the imagination of the fantastic. Since 1970, Comic-Con has been a mecca for science fiction fans, a place where Focus Features has many times showcased upcoming projects to enthusiastic attendees.

As part of our celebration of Focus Features' 15th anniversary, we salute our library of dynamic sci-fi films. From mind-bending romances like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to apocalyptic comedies (such as The World’s End and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and visually stunning explorations of new lands (with 9 and The Signal), these movies are extraordinary examples of how remarkably diverse science fiction can be.  

2018 Focus Film Festival Short Film Contest

A budding filmmaker's dream getaway to the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

The future is unforgettable in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 

ScreenCrush put Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at the very top of their list of “Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 25 Years” for its brilliant exploration of what it means to be human. Mixing ingenious lo-fi effects with Charlie Kaufman’s high-concept, Academy Award-winning screenplay, Gondry unfurls the love story of Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), a couple who can’t seem to forget each other, despite repeated technological attempts to erase their memories.

Get Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind now on iTunes or at Amazon.

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It’s aliens vs. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in The World’s End.

As the final film of the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End was, as the director Edgar Wright told Vulture, “based on the sci-fi films I watched as a kid.” Simon Pegg and Nick Frost join up with Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan to return to their hometown to repeat a marathon pub crawl. Only the good people of Newton Haven have been replaced by androids controlled by alien forces out to take over the world. For ScreenCrush, The World’s End is one of the “Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 25 Years” for being “a whip-smart science-fiction adventure that also happens to pack tons of laughs into every scene.”

Get The World’s End now on iTunes or at Amazon.

Simon Pegg stands up for humanity in The World's End.

Humanity’s final hope is a stitchpunk doll in 9.

Tim Burton was so impressed with Shane Acker’s short animated film 9 about ragdolls who've come to life in a post-apocalyptic world that he stepped up to produce it as a feature-length movie. The final film, voiced by such talents as Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer, and Jennifer Connelly, went on to be one of the top choices in SyFy Wire’s “17 Greatest Animated Sc-Fi Features.” Indeed the Globe and Mail wrote that “Sci-fi fans will find heaven in” its fantastic world of stitchpunk creatures who must team up to keep the last spark of humanity alive. 

Get 9 now on iTunes or at Amazon.

9 and his friends are out to save the world in 9.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World finds the lighter side of the apocalypse. 

Writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World pulls off the seemingly impossible, transforming the conventional end-of-the-world nightmare into a tenderhearted romantic comedy. As a giant asteroid crashes toward earth, two strangers––Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley)––take some time to get to know each other as the rest of the world goes mad around them. “In our summertime-movie world of aliens and superheroes,” writes Entertainment Weekly, “Dodge and Penny look all the rarer in their precious humanity.” 

Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley connect in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

A road trip veers off into an unimaginable destination in The Signal.

For the Los Angeles TimesWilliam Eubank’s sci-fi adventure is “a mind-blowing experience.” During a cross-country road trip, a brilliant MIT student (Brendon Thwaites), along with his ex-girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) and best friend (Beau Knapp), decide to track down a hacker in the Nevada desert. But their detour sends them into terrifyingly uncharted territory, including an underground military lab run by Laurence Fishburne, in this visually jaw-dropping adventure that goes beyond anything they—or you—can imagine. 

Get The Signal now on iTunes or at Amazon.

Brendon Thwaites and friends take a voyage to the beyond in The Signal

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