The best sci-fi movies of 2018 (updated)
Science fiction has always been a marginalized genre.
Despite the most popular movies within it—and there are so many billion-dollar blockbusters that audiences flock to see every summer—there's the sense that sci-fi can't quite be serious.
While the multiplex-friendly fare is still rampant today, the movies in the genre have gotten bolder, funnier, and better.
Here's the best of what the year has offered us so far:
Pacific Rim Uprising
Ten years after humanity defeated the massive Kaiju monsters that threatened our planet in 2013's Pacific Rim (thanks to a fleet of giant robots called Jaegers), a new threat arises from the ocean: drone Jaegers that have turned on their human creators thanks to Kaiju control.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
We have to go back to the island again, this time to save the dinosaurs that caused so much trouble to begin with. In this latest entry in the franchise, a volcanic eruption threatens the prehistoric inhabitants of Isla Nubar. Naturally, a team of scientists put themselves in peril in order to protect the creatures.
A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay directs this adaptation of Madeline L'Engle beloved classic. Meg Murray (Storm Reid) learns that her missing astrophysicist father is still alive—thanks to three mysterious women (Oprah Winfrey's Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon's Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling's Mrs. Who) who reveal that he has travelled through time to another dimension.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Another standalone entry into the Star Wars universe, Solo offers up an origin story for the iconic pilot (played here by Alden Ehrenreich) as he navigates the criminal underworld of the galaxy far, far away—and joins forces with Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian.
Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg offers up an onslaught of '80s pop-culture references in his adaptation of Ernest Cline's dystopian novel, in which the distant future sees all of humanity finding salvation in a virtual reality universe called the OASIS.
Avengers: Infinity War
It's basically Fantasy Football: Superhero Edition, with a stacked cast of pretty much every single comic book hero coming together to fight a single enemy, the devious Thanos, who plans to destroy the entire universe as we know it just because.
This sequel to the 2004 Oscar-winning Pixar film reunites the Parr family, the seemingly normal Americans who are secretly superheroes (led by Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl). While Supers are still technically illegal, Elastigirl gets a corporate sponsorship to continue saving the world—leaving her exasperated husband home to take care of the kids.
Marvel's best movie succeeds because it roots its superheroes and fantastical elements in reality. Chadwick Boseman stars as the titular superhero, who succeeds his father as the King of Wakanda—a secret African nation that holds a wealth of vibranium that allows it to be most technologically advanced country on Earth. But his sovereign is challenged by a complicated foe played by Michael B. Jordan.
Alex Garland's follow up to Ex Machina is the equally mind-bending Annihilation. Natalie Portman stars as a biologist whose husband returns from a secret mission in a quarantined area called The Shimmer, a mysterious growing bubble taking over the southern United States. She joins a team of women who go into The Shimmer to investigate the bizarre mutations taking place inside—which soon begin to take over their own bodies and minds.