Best sci-fi movies of 2012

2012 has the potential to be one of the best years for sci-movies in recent times, with the return of Ridley Scott to the sci-fi genre and some ambitious projects on the horizon.

Here’s a list of what we hope will be some of the best sci-fi movies of 2012.

Best sci-fi movies of 2012

John Carter

Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong
Release Date: March 9th, 2012

Plot: The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Potential: Andrew Stanton has previously directed Finding Nemo and WALL•E, so many will be hoping he can work the same storytelling magic in a live action environment. There are also some pretty epic-looking battles, and if it’s a success a whole new sci-fi franchise will be born.

The Hunger Games

Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks
Release Date: March 23rd, 2012

Plot: The film, based on the Suzanne Collins novel, chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event.

Potential: Lionsgate see The Hunger Games as their answer to Twilight, but because of the storyline it’s a film both males and females can enjoy. To ensure a hit Lionsgate cast both upcoming and established actors in the main roles, and getting 4-time Oscar nominee Garry Ross (Seabiscuit) on-board to direct was a good move as he’s had a solid run so far.


Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare
Release Date: April 20th, 2012

Plot: Guy Pearce is Snow, a loose-cannon government agent convicted of a crime which he did not commit. When it comes to breaking the rules, he’s the best in the business. He is offered his freedom if he can rescue the President’s daughter from a prison in space which has been overtaken by its prisoners.

Potential: The underrated Guy Pearce will have a double helping of sci-fi in 2012 as he’s also set to appear in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, but he takes the lead in Lockout which is co-written and produced by Luc Besson. Besson has been behind movies such as Taken, Léon: The Professional, and The Transporter, so fans of his already know they have a cool sci-fi movie in the pipeline.


Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba
Release Date: June 8th, 2012

Plot: The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.

Potential: Ridley Scott, director of Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator, is returning to the sci-fi world with a movie that shares “strands of Alien’s DNA”. He put together one heck of a cast, and hired Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek 2) to write the script. Noomi Rapace said it will be “brutally beautiful”, and if you haven’t seen the first trailer, watch it now!

Total Recall

Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke
Release Date: August 3rd, 2012

Plot: As the nation states Euroamerica (formerly United States) and New Shanghai (formerly China) vie for supremacy in the far Fascist future, a simple factory worker suffering from violent nightmares (Farrell) also begins to suspect that he’s a spy whose memory and personality were erased and replaced, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on and how important his lost memories will be in its outcome.

Potential: Remaking loved films is rarely welcomed, but the 2012 version is said to be closer to the Philip K. Dick short story (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) and “the world created is very different from the world in the original [film]” according to Colin Farrell, which is why it’s worth retelling. Len Wiseman won’t be ignoring the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film though, as the three-breasted woman will be making an appearance, along with a few more homages.


Director: Pete Travis
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Jason Cope
Release Date: September 21st, 2012

Plot: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Potential: Another remake here, only this time the original movie (released in 1995 and starring Sylvester Stallone) was a critical and commercial failure. There’s a good chance this new version will be a lot better than the previous effort, mainly because it’s written by Alex Garland who is responsible for Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and 28 Days Later. Plus, Karl Urban is cool.


Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo
Release Date: September 28th, 2012

Plot: A present-day killer (Gordon-Levitt) works for a mob in the future and kills people who are sent from the future. He recognizes one victim (Willis) as himself and hesitates, resulting in the escape of his older self.

Potential: The cast alone is enough to get bums on seats, but test screenings for Looper have already taken place and they confirm we’re in for a treat. Badass Digest said director Johnson “tackles time travel with confidence” and it reminded them of what Duncan Jones did with Moon. AICN also said Looper was “masterful filmmaking – a stirring reminder that genre entertainment can be both smart and accessible.”


Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Release Date: November 21st, 2012

Plot: In Earth’s orbit, satellite debris hits a space station, destroying most of it and killing all but two astronauts, Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). The remaining astronauts fight for survival and to return home.

Potential: I’ve been a fan of Alfonso Cuarón every since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and that only intensified with the release of Children of Men in 2006. The director is known for his single-shot action sequences, and in Gravity we can expect an opening shot that will last at least 20 minutes. 60% of the film will be CGI and Guillermo del Toro, who visited the set, said they’re “absolutely pushing a new boundary in filmmaking” and it will be “completely mindblowing.”

Cloud Atlas

Directors: The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon.
Release Date: TBA – Late 2012

Plot: An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.

Potential: The fun thing about Cloud Atlas is that not only will it contain sci-fi elements, it’s also a thriller, mystery, and historical drama, with six stories ranging from the South Pacific in the 19th Century to California in the 1970s to a post-apocalyptic future. Most of the cast will be playing multiple characters throughout the six stories, and they’ll also be swapping race and gender.

The directors of The Matrix will handle the futuristic stories, while Tom Tykwer will direct the past and present segments. The adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel has been described as “phantasmagorical” and “wild“, and it’s definitely one of the most ambitious movies of 2012. Juggling all the stories and character swapping will either result in an epic classic, or an epic mess.

What do you think of our best sci-fi movies of 2012 list?

  • MC

    they’ll also be swapping…gender.”

    Sounds like some autobiographical material from Lana Wachowski

  • Wz701

    So much violence, what happened to good ol’ story telling?

  • Breanna

    Excellent line-up! Thanks for the suggestions – we’ve enjoyed watching the ones that are available now.

  • LK Bhadra

    This list is really great and i am looking forward to the new post related to sci fi category

  • fattyZ

    thanks for the list but HGames was one of the worst movies ever made I could not BELIEVE the poor quality of that story after the HYPE which was unbelievable