A good science fiction film explores life’s great questions such as why we are here and what the universe is about.
A great science fiction film creates a connection between its own narrative and the audience, its depth placing us in its dimension and its themes staying in our minds long after we have seen it.
An overlooked science fiction film, however, might employ an unconventional way of exploring existence and the world around us, and might get neglected just because it dares to be different.
For every Inception and Gravity, there is an Under the Skin and The Signal - underappreciated cinematic gems not seen by millions, merely asking for a chance that they undoubtedly deserve.
12. Predestination (2014)
Based on Robert A. Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies, this mind-bending film revolves around a time-traveling agent (Ethan Hawke) sent back in time to prevent a 1975 New York bombing by the so-called Fizzle Bomber.
Along the way, he meets a mysterious man (Sarah Snook), whose life story might prove to be key to the mission.
Relying heavily on the concept of the predestination paradox - a sequence of causally looped events - the film takes the idea of time travel to a new level, exploring the human dimension within.
Snook is the standout among the cast, bringing vulnerability and a fighting spirit to her character; the actor’s eyes tell a tale beyond the character’s haunting narrative.
This is Hawke’s second collaboration with the directors The Spierig Brothers after the underrated Daybreakers and his performance is the contrasting epitome of curiosity and weariness.
This cerebral riddle will stay with you long after the credits roll.