5 Outstanding 'Hard Sci-fi' Movies For Those Who Are More Into Science Than Fiction

5 Outstanding 'Hard Sci-fi' Movies For Those Who Are More Into Science Than Fiction
Image credit: A24

While many sci-fi movies veer into speculative fiction, these five do their best to keep things as real as possible.

Science fiction is an incredibly diverse genre where everyone can find something to their taste, from flashy space operas to something dark and gritty like cyberpunk.

However, if you want to indulge in a little more science than fiction, these five movies are perfect choices, as they keep things grounded and as close to reality as possible.

Gattaca (1997)

Despite being released more than 25 years ago, this sci-fi drama starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law has aged incredibly well, thanks in no small part to the fact that eugenics research is actually banned in most countries around the world.

Set in a world where humans are divided into perfect genetically engineered humans and flawed natural-born humans (which leads to widespread discrimination), it follows Vincent Freeman, a natural-born man who tries to pursue his dream of going to space.

The Martian (2015)

Based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir, the movie takes some creative liberties, but still remains a fairly realistic depiction of how a person would survive on the Red Planet.

After Dr. Mark Watney, a member of the Ares III mission to Mars portrayed by Matt Damon, is accidentally left behind during an evacuation, he must come up with a plan to contact Earth and stay alive until rescue arrives.

Ex Machina (2014)

With AI already playing a significant role in our daily lives, this film offers a possible glimpse into the future of rapidly evolving technology that learns to mimic humans more convincingly with each passing day.

After Caleb Smith, portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson, arrives at the mansion of wealthy CEO Nathan Bateman, played by Oscar Isaac, to perform a Turing test on the latter's latest invention, he suddenly realizes that Ava, the AI in question, may be much closer to humans than he initially suspected.

Arrival (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this movie focuses on a crucial question that many sci-fi movies with aliens tend to ignore, which is how humans would even communicate with the extra terrestrials.

After mysterious spaceships arrive on Earth and simply hover in various locations, a group of scientists is assembled to try to make first contact.

Predestination (2014)

Many sci-fi movies about time travel end up being riddled with flaws and buried by the paradoxes created in their stories, but this film starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook is a welcome exception.

Following a time-traveling agent trying to stop a mysterious terrorist, the story becomes increasingly convoluted and suspenseful, culminating in a completely stunning yet perfectly logical finale.