Good, bad, or lost in the vast so-so hinterland in between which claims so many forgettable titles, some films simply demand repeated viewings. They may be so bad that you need another viewing just to appreciate the depth of cringe they manage, or so superb that you need another chance to soak it all in.
Other films are cerebral enough that a single viewing is nowhere near enough to appreciate their genius, whilst some are so emotionally affecting that you need another go just to have a clear-eyed view of proceedings now that you know where it’s all headed. Sci fi in particular is littered with flicks, some genius and some only passable, which nonetheless require repeat viewings whether it’s because their cozy comedy is endlessly funny, their hefty themes are worth revisiting, or their plots are so labyrinthine that you’ll need a few goes just to get things straight.
With that in mind we’ve compiled this massive list of the new millennium’s most re-watchable sci fi flicks for your (re-)viewing pleasure.
Shane Carruth’s mind-bending 2004 debut borrows heavily from the enigmatic director’s background in advanced mathematics and engineering for its convoluted tale of two graduate students who uncover the secret to time travel.
Now there’s no denying that this one will require more than one viewing solely so the befuddled viewer can understand its complex structure and interweaving time loops, but the flick rewards patience with a logical puzzle more complicated than most mainstream sci fi feels comfortable messing with.
Carruth’s follow-up Upstream Color may be more emotionally engaging, but for sheer mental legwork, few films can beat the notepad-requiring depths of Primer’s knotty timeline.