Critically-Panned Sci-Fi Movies That Are Actually Worth Your Time

The Black Hole (1979)

"There's something endearingly human about our ability to take the most astonishing ideas and treat them in trivial stories." -- Roger Ebert, January 1, 1979

Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn (1983)

"... exudes the aroma of something desperately hustled onto celluloid one afternoon on location with limited stock and non-pros in the leads." -- Gary Arnold, The Washington Post, August 23, 1983

The Ice Pirates (1984)

"... bewildering, exceedingly jokey science fiction film that looks like a 'Star Wars' spinoff made in an underdeveloped galaxy." -- Vincent Canby, The New York Times, March 16, 1984

Invaders From Mars (1986)

"The original 'Invaders From Mars' did something this spoof never even comes close to -- it scared the heck out of you." -- Paul Attanasio, The Washington Post, June 9, 1986

Alien 3 (1992)

"Director Fincher is best known for his music videos and his MTV sensibilities are in full evidence, right down to the film's breakneck pace and jagged editing."

Fire In The Sky (1993)

"... there's no disguising the fact that the first hour of 'Fire in the Sky' is little more than a laborious delaying tactic." -- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, March 26, 1993

Event Horizon (1997)

"... douses almost every scene with glitzy special effects in a futile attempt to cover up a paucity of thought." -- Stephen Holden, The New York Times, August 15, 1997

The Faculty (1998)

"Some of this is fun in a low-grade 'Hellraiser' sort of way, but it reduces the script's mildest ambitions to hamburger." -- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, December 25, 1998

Pitch Black (2000)

"Night is coming fast. But so is that sinking feeling we've seen this movie before." -- Desson Howe, The Washington Post, February 18, 2000

Pandorum (2009)

"Some scary moments, but its final half-hour is a right old mess, and the title is doomed never to be remembered." -- Anthony Quinn, The Independent, October 2, 2009

Oblivion (2013)

"Six minutes or 60 years after seeing the movie, viewers are unlikely to remember it." -- Richard Corliss, Time, April 19, 2013

Earth To Echo (2014)

"Even at a cramped and frenetic 82 minutes, the movie feels long. That's what happens when the audience can guess everything that's going to happen..." -- Kyle Smith, New York Post, June 30, 2014

Underwater (2020)

"An acceptable creature feature at best and a waterlogged 'Alien' at worst ..." Ty Burr, The Boston Globe, January 9, 2020

The Tomorrow War (2021)

"... it's a big, blundering, CGI-heavy action sci-fi that works within its genre mould rather than outside it." -- John Nugent, Empire, July 2, 2021