The other day, I whipped up a post entitled The Other Best Video Games of 2011, and in that post I talked about what a great year it was for videogames. The same can be said for film, as 2011 brought us a plethora of cinematic treats. There were highly-anticipated titles that didn’t disappoint, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, as well as quite a few surprises, like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, my absolute favorite film of the year.

This being MEGATechNews, we’re a ragtag band of geeks and nerds and we love us some science fiction. And fortunately for us, while there were some stinkers, our favorite genre was treated pretty well this year. While I’ll look at those stinkers in an upcoming article, for now let’s talk about The Five Best Science Fiction Films of 2011.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

While this list isn’t necessarily in any kind of order, if it were, this Rupert Wyatt-helmed prequel would probably make the top of the list. Sequels and prequels are met with groans nowadays, and not without reason. Few cheered when Rise was announced, but they changed their tunes when they laid eyes on the finished product. With a smart script and a good cast, Rise is far more impressive than what are essentially its B-movie counterparts. The stroke of genius? Casting Andy Serkis – the man behind The Lord of the Rings’s Gollum – as leading ape Caeser.

Attack The Block

When I said there were quite a few surprises this year, this is one of the films I was referring to. In Attack The Block, a gang of London teenagers team up with a nurse to fight off some of the most creative-looking aliens in the history of cinema. It offers a lot of awesome action, plenty of laughs, and above all, a lot of heart. Attack The Block is a film made by people who love film, and it shows.

Source Code

It’s really no surprise that the man who directed and co-wrote 2009’s Moon, Duncan Jones, would turn in another stellar science fiction film. What is a surprise, however, is that Duncan Jones is also known as Zowie Bowie, as he’s the son of music legend David Bowie. Why he doesn’t use more of his dad’s music in his films, I don’t know. What I do know is that Source Code is an excellent film that gives off a serious Twilight Zone vibe. A powerful love story wrapped up in a time traveling bundle of great characters? Yes please.

X-Men: First Class

The X-Men series has certainly seen its ups and downs. The first X-Men wasn’t exactly a home run, but it was certainly a good film, good enough to bring legitimacy to the superhero genre. Then the sequel, X2: X-Men United, proceeded to knock it out of the park. Sadly, Brett Ratner’s third entry into the series was a step backwards, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine was offensively bad. Then along comes X-Men: First Class, which had no right to be good, but thanks to powerful lead performances from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, was one of the best science fiction films of the year.

Midnight in Paris

Those who aren’t familiar with Woody Allen’s latest film might be a little confused to see it on this list. Owen Wilson plays Gil, a struggling writer who travels to Paris with his fiance in this romantic comedy. Oh, did I mention that every night at midnight Gil goes back in time and hangs out with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and, in a wonderful performance, Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali?

I almost put Limitless on the list, but it was sadly edged out. And I haven’t had the chance to watch Contagion, which has received great reviews and is most definitely hard science fiction. I also missed Apollo 18 and The Thing prequel, but all in all, I’m more than happy with this list.

Stay tuned to MEGATechNews for my list of the five worst science fiction films of 2011, which should be a hell of a lot of fun.

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