10 Sci-Fi Movies That Were Way Too Complicated

Seriously, can somebody please explain just what the heck is going on here?

Cloud Atlas
Warner Bros.

Science fiction is a genre that, by its very nature, is vulnerable to overcomplication.

With literally the entire universe at their disposal and the ability to incorporate technology that doesn't exist yet, sci-fi writers can sometimes lack discipline in their storytelling and end up overreaching.

Still, a complicated story or theme doesn't always spell disaster.

Just take a look at 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, but if anybody tells you that they know what's happening in it, they're telling you a giant lie.

One thing that's for certain though, is that the following ten films are not 2001: A Space Odyssey.

These movies all had very grand ideas, but were largely unable to pull them off. Some came close, but just took that little extra step too far that threw all their hard work completely out the window.

There will be people out there who cherish these movies and enjoy the fact that they don't follow a conventional structure. However, for the most part, these pictures left audiences scratching their heads, and not in a good way.

10. Transcendence

Cloud Atlas
Warner Bros.

In 2014, two films were released just a few months apart that were both about an ordinary person ascending to a higher plane of existence through technology.

Both of them also had Morgan Freeman in them, and both of them also kinda sucked.

Although that's not Morgan Freeman's fault.

Nothing is ever Morgan Freeman's fault.

Whilst this spot could easily have gone to Luc Besson's Lucy, we've opted for the Wally Pfister-directed, Johnny Depp-starring Transcendence.

Depp plays a scientist dying of radiation poisoning whose wife attempts to save his life by uploading his conscience to a super computer. She is successful, but things soon get out of hand when this artificial version of her husband expands across the world via the Internet.

Just imagine Johnny Depp knowing your browser history. Frightening stuff.

There's a nugget of something to say in this film, something about the nature of the human mind, etc, etc, but any hint of that is bogged down in mind-numbing technobabble and increasingly ludicrous scenarios.

The film attempts to tie down its high concept using Depp's character's relationship with his wife, but this isn't enough to overcome what is a thoroughly bemusing two hours.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.