Ten Science Fiction Movies that are Really Fantasy

Without belaboring the concept, let’s do it.


1. Star Wars.  The force is magic, as are most other elements.  Just because something has robots, spaceships, ray guns doesn’t make it science fiction.

2. Inception.  Entering different levels of dreams to change minds as in this interesting but speculative movie isn’t based on realistic science.

3. Back to the Future.  Time travel doesn’t work like this in science!  You have all the time in the world without your picture vanishing halfway when you halfway fail!

4. Signs.  This is a contrived story to prove a point about faith.  And aliens shouldn’t disintegrate under water like they’re witches.

5. Donnie Darko.  I love this movie, but WTF?  Thinking about it some more, WTF?

6. Planet of the Apes.  Any version.  This is just a conceit really, and a cool one, but a fantasy.  Go to sleep, wake up with an ape civilization where humans can no longer even talk?

7. Reign of Fire.  Dragons?  Fantasy!

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  As contemporary science fiction, implausible.  Could have been done with magic.  And any science fiction version would not be literal.

9. Cloverfield.  It’s a modern Godzilla movie, with a meteor, but there’s no deep, logical explanations for this.  It’s a cool, fun, disturbing movie, but not something with the reason of science fiction.

10. Hot Tub Time Machine!  For the win!  This is pure fantasy that might as well be magic.  Fun, but when the butterfly effect is invoked and ignored, it’s not serious.  But, duh!


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  1. Magic is just sufficiently developed technology, so it’s all science fiction! 😀

    The Back to the Future pictures are probably in some kind of quantum superposition. More inexplicable is what Marty does to the timeline.

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