The 21st century has seen a rise in genre pictures, with superhero films garnering billions of dollars, films based on children’s novels capturing the minds of idiots worldwide, and comedy entourages led by the likes of Judd Apatow, Edgar Wright and Will Ferrell continuously providing the laughs at our multiplexes. But throughout the ebbs and flows of cinema, few genres have maintained popularity like science fiction. Since Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, this genre has been an important component of the movie landscape.

This century has been no different. So grab your light sabers and watch out for the monolith as we cover the 10 best sci-fi films of the 21st century.

10. Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko (2001)

In the cult indie hit, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie Darko, an emotionally disturbed high school student. Through somnambulism and threats of impending doom, Donnie finds himself vandalizing his school and burning down houses. His awkward and disturbed charm manage to intrigue Jena Malone’s new student to the region, and the two begin to date.

The film progresses with Donnie’s interactions with Frank, the man in a bunny suit, becoming darker and more dangerous.  As the 28 days until the supposed end of the world wind down, Donnie finds himself facing a monumental conundrum which will define the film and may help to explain the bizarre circumstances that have plagued him.

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This article was first posted on February 17, 2013