There are a lot of good science fiction movies out there, but arguably, there are more worse ones than good ones. This is due to the fact that there are not that many good directors who can make a really good science fiction movie. The script can cause a move to be awful, but a really good director will know when to step in and modify the script to make the film better. Case in point is the movie "Sphere" directed by Barry Levinson, an oscar-winning director. The book was an enjoyable read, but the movie was a miserable failure. So, what went wrong? Simple. The director didn't realize you can't just translate the book and script into a movie without making some key changes. Also, this genre requires a certain understanding of the technical aspects of how equipment work, how the laws of nature react to certain actions, and an appreciation for the infinite possibilities of life. I certainly did not see these in Levinson's movie. But I have seen these qualities in many other directors, five of whom I'd like to mention now.
Spielberg is one of the all-time science fiction directors. Even if he has made a lot of movies in other fields, he will forever be linked with movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, etc. He has a very good appreciation for possibilities involving otherworldly beings that is clear when you watch his movies. He is also very good with technical details and has an eye for making different scenes and plot points all fit together well.
Similar to Spielberg, Cameron clearly shows he has a solid handle on being able to get all the technical details accurate. In fact, I would argue that Cameron is actually way more intelligent with technical details than Spielberg. Cameron has a background in the Physical Sciences and it clearly shows in his movies. Although perhaps a little lower than Spielberg on the storytelling side, Cameron perhaps will be the most technically efficient director that ever lived.
Although Nolan hasn't really directed a lot of science fiction movies, his Inception clearly shows his capabilities. He tackles such a difficult subject with the ease of a master craftsman. His storytelling abilities are on par with anyone's, and he does a fantastic job of using characters well. I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually surpasses Spielberg as the greatest science fiction director of all time.
With movies like Blade Runner and Alien under his belt, you can see why he's on this list. Rather than the idealized fantasies some writers and directors use, Scott does a fine job of portraying his vision of the future as one involving gritty realism. Cameron may come close, but Scott is the king in this area.
What can I say? If you're looking for simple movies, you won't find any with this director. Instead, you'll find the kinds of movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and a Clockwork Orange that really make you think and wonder in awe about what must be going through Kubrik's mind. These movies are not just science fiction but scientific artworks that display the possibilities of human existence.
There are a few other directors that have made great science fiction movies, but these five are arguably the best.
Kubrick is my favorite!
I love Mr. Spielberg and Stanley Krubic particularly. You know your Sci-Fi Directors that's for sure. H5
Steven Spielberg is the King of Science Fiction movies.
select one here...