In addition to several outstanding superhero movies that could also be classified as sci-fi, 2023 has delivered a surprising amount of original science fiction worth watching. The best sci-fi movies of the year prove that sci-fi is a genre that can contain multitudes, including everything from comedy to downright horror.
Although each of these movies could be classified as something other than sci-fi, there’s no denying that each of them also has strong roots in science fiction, and they take full advantage of what the genre has to offer.
Brandon Cronenberg is following in his father David’s footsteps, which means he’s making some of the most disturbing science fiction out there at the moment. Infinity Pool tells the story of a wealthy man on vacation in a tiny country who discovers after a horrific crime that he can escape punishment by watching a clone of himself die.
It’s a process that the wealthy on the island are already well aware of, and the glorification of their clones’ deaths is only the beginning of this twisted saga, which makes it clear that for the wealthy, absolutely nothing is off limits.
Any Wes Anderson movie is, first and foremost, a Wes Anderson movie, but Asteroid City also has touches of sci-fi that are new to Anderson’s universe. Asteroid City, which is set at a sequestered space convention in the middle of the desert, follows a group of strangers as they deal with the aftermath of their first encounter with intelligent life from outer space.
It’s not a new idea for science fiction to explore. In fact, it might be the oldest, but Anderson still finds ways to keep things feeling entirely fresh, thanks in large part to his broad ensemble and the incredibly artificial and undeniably beautiful production design.
A recent release that went straight to Netflix, They Cloned Tyrone follows an unlikely trio who find themselves investigating a massive government conspiracy after things start getting strange around them. Perfectly bridging the gap between a sci-fi romp and something with bigger ideas on its mind, They Cloned Tyrone is the kind of streaming exclusive title that feels like it should be a bigger deal.
Jamie Foxx, John Boyega, and Teyonah Parris are all terrific in their central roles, and director Juel Taylor has proven that he’s going to be one to watch moving forward, no matter he decides to tackle next.