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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'Reign of Fire' (2002)
Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection30/40

30. 'Reign of Fire' (2002)

If this movie was made today, with exactly the same leading men and exactly the same premise, it would be a summer-season tent-pole. It might not be better though: Reign of Fire, released to little fanfare in 2002,  is a thrillingly loopy, classic B movie – with dragons. Set in the not-so-distant future of a post-apocalyptic 2020 England terrorized by flying, fire-breathing beasts (who have awakened, ornery, from a eons-long hibernation), the film features an intense, shaven-headed Matthew McConaughey as an obsessive dragon hunter and Christian Bale as a meek farmer. Deliriously over-the-top and riotously fun, Reign is a reminder that in addition to parables about human progress, sci-fi is uniquely suited to ram cinematic wows down an audience's throat. DM

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