The Top 40 Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century

From space-invader thrillers to interstellar-overdrive headscratchers, we're counting down the best science fiction films since the turn of the century

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'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015)
Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron Everett Collection11/40

11. 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015)

It took 30 years for action maestro George Miller to follow up his Beyond Thunderdome with another Mad Max … so long that he had to replace Mel Gibson with Tom Hardy as the leather-clad anti-hero. With Fury Road, the director delivers something close to a two-hour chase scene, as Max joins forces with steely warrior and slave-liberator Imperator Furiosa (a badass Charlize Theron) to rescue a group of young women from a resource-hoarding death-cult. From the unexpected character-depth to the geometry-defying high-speed standoffs, the movie is a prime example of how to balance thrilling postapocalyptic spectacle with a sober social message. It's sci-fi with its pedal to the metal. NM

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