According to me. I'm in no position to name anyone else's top 5. 2013 will probably go down in history for fans as one of those special sci-fi years such as 1977, 1982, 1995 and 2009. We saw some mid level space sci-fi make a comeback (Astronaut:Last Push, Europa Report, Last Days on Mars). Huge space epics: STID, Gravity, Oblivion, Elysium, After Earth, Ender's Game, and other pop genre movies like Hunger Games and WWZ, and superheroes high on the sci-fi quotient (Iron Man and Man of Steel)rule the worldwide box office. Even the "B" movie hit it big with Sharknado creating a twitter buzz for a week or two. Short films are also making headway on youtube and elsewhere, including AMP (list of best scifi short films here: http://www.shortoftheweek.com/category/genre/sci-fi/) So what are the best sci-fi movies of the year? It wasn't easy, I try to balance the production/scale of the movie with the story and sheer entertainment value, ultimately I had to enjoy it. So here they are: 1. Pacific Rim: Its basically the Star Wars of 2013. A big, flashy, pop culture movie that gets it right, pushing all of our scifi fan buttons and managing to do it with style and a genuine sense of reverence for it's subject..not easy to do when most of the source material has cardboard monsters and zipper enhanced kung fu stuntmen. For making mecha cool again, and sheer entertainment value this movie takes the top spot. 2. STID: A hard one to judge in some respects, I named ST09 the best sci-fi movie of the 2000s (not 2010s), and it has to compete with that movie for a lot of people. In terms of fun, the first movie may come out on top, but STID is probably a slightly better film, with a deepening advancement of the characters, a darker, more topical story, and a gigantic scale unfathomable in previous Trek movies. This movie is high on the rewatch factor, I could easily watch it every day if I could. 3. Europa Report: Much better than the near-future darling of 2013: Gravity. I love this movie. It's been getting more notice and critical acclaim lately, much deserved. It's not particularly high on characterization..so what. It's a 2010(1985) style film, a sober, realistic telling of an investigation of findings on Europa, the ending...it's a sad one, but also filled with hope. A pro-science movie in a Hollywood realm filled with knee-jerk pessimism. 4. Man of Steel: The best superhero movie ever, period. Light years better than the Avengers on every level except "fun factor" and not even comparable to the horrible Iron Man 3. Heroes and Alphas tried to make superheroes "real" on tv, but MOS makes one of the most unbelievable characters "real"! It ditches the idea Lois can't tell who Superman really is. Turns Zod from a badly dressed disco lunatic into a genetically engineered protector of his people, who takes the job way too seriously. Jor-El is no longer an ineffectual bystander, he's a doer. Every scene is bursting with some sort of history, either Kryptonian or Earthly. Nolan can do no wrong. 5. Oblivion: A potential classic. This movie echoes sci-fi of the 70s, with a modern flair and amazing visual style. Pays lip service to ideas like the Singularity, but also tells a nice personal story. While the themes and background are large scale, it enfolds like a play, quiet and somber until we learn the details of Earth's war with the aliens. Honorable mention: Yes, there are some happily, since it was a year burgeoning at the seams with sci-fi. 6. Gravity: Undeniably well made, a visual ride, but if you're a sci-fi fan very familiar story. The actors are good, but not particularly monumental. Less scientifically accurate than Europa Report. 7. Ender's Game: Underrated, mostly accurate translation from the book. I'll enjoy rewatching it on bluray. 8. Elysium: On many levels a disappointment. It's a cautionary tale that we are told is already happening now according to it's director, though I don't believe it's an accurate future for many reasons. As an action sci-fi movie, it's above average, as a relevant story, it's a failure. 9. After Earth. Was every critic who watched this on crack?? It's not a bad survival tale, with a story right out of a cozy winter reading of a good sci-fi short story collection. Talk about a popularity backlash. I feel sorry for Will Smith. There may be a few films I missed. I'm tracking down Upstream Color and hoping that's good, as I named Primer one of my top 15 sci-fi movies of the 2000s.