The Must-Watch list is our ongoing column which covers the best of the best in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror movies. We are currently approaching our 50th review and I thought I would take this moment to look at some of the highlights from the column. The following is not a Top 10 list of genre movies because we still have not hit a few that would belong there (as we are cranking out these reviews in a rather arbitrary fashion). But these are some of the best ones that we have covered so far in my opinion. I have listed these in alphabetical order so that readers can focus more on the movies and less on which is better than the other (click on the links to read the full review of each film).
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): One of the all-time best intelligent Science Fiction movies and a career triumph for the extremely talented Stanley Kubrick. And despite all the advances in special effects that have occurred since this movie came out, it can still hold its own next to the CGI-fests of today.
The Abyss (1989): Many would rank other James Cameron films above this one, but when you see the full version of the film (with the extra 20+ minutes restored), you realize what a powerful movie he created.
Batman (1989): Was this one or The Dark Knight the best Batman film (or perhaps best superhero film)? That’s a tough one, but you have to acknowledge that Tim Burton re-invented the Caped Crusader for the general public (following in the spirit of the Frank Miller reboot in comics) and finally erased the commonly held camp image of the crime fighter (then Batman & Robin would undo all of that once again).
Blade Runner (1982): This seminal piece of dystopian film-making was a game-changer for Hollywood and would basically define the look of the near future in films for years to come. And it gave us a hell of a good story to boot.
Dawn of the Dead (1978): George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead may have started the zombie-pocalypse sub-genre, but this one raised the bar and kicked things into high gear.
Forbidden Planet (1956): One of the first Science Fiction “blockbusters”, this one delivered a serious, well-written film (that bucked the matinee movie trend the genre followed at the time) and heavily influenced the genre for years to come. Watch this film to see the seeds of the Star Trek franchise.
Frankenstein (1931): The is a seminal monster/horror film that still stands up as a great piece of film-making almost eighty years after its release. It’s a toss up whether this or Bride of Frankenstein was the better of Whale’s films featuring the monster, but I will go with this one because it got things started and helped immortalize Mary Shelley’s tale.
Silent Running (1972): A flawed masterpiece, this film delivered a rare attempt at intelligent Science Fiction before the Blockbuster Era made the genre a staple in the theaters.
Star Wars (1977): This film, along with Jaws, changed the game of movie-making and helped elevate Science Fiction and Fantasy films above the status of kiddie-matinee fare. Many will say that Empire Strikes Back was the better film, but this is the one I always turn to as the prime example of George Lucas’ genius during his early career.
The Thing (1982): A remake that not only bested the original but that also established itself as an important Science Fiction/Horror film and that would influence many others that would follow it.
Read more reviews from the Must-Watch List at this link and also let us know which films you think we have missed