Best Sci-Fi Romance Movies, Ranked

“Star-crossed lovers” no longer has to be regulated to Shakespeare’s plays and movie adaptations, as romance and the stars have long since developed into quality entertainment. Moving fits small side-story moments in science fiction-themed movies like Empire Strikes Back or Planet of the Apes, romance has become the front-and-center storyline of many excellent and popular science fiction films, especially in the last few decades. An unlikely genre-blend, much like its cousin, the horror-romance subgenre, the science fiction romance subgenre has told some of the most beautiful and heartbreaking love stories in cinematic history. Let’s take a look at the best science fiction romance movies, ranked.


8 Love and Monsters (2020)

A surprisingly entertaining flick that released in the midst of the pandemic, Love and Monsters follows Joel (Dylan O’Brien) as he maneuvers his way through a world overrun with mutated amphibians, insects, fish, and more, with hopes to reconnect with Aimee (Jessica Henwick), his girlfriend he became separated from six years prior to the monster apocalypse. The film has a heartfelt story, excellent special effects in both the computer graphics and practical variety, and a great supporting role from Michael Rooker. This lesser-known gem also sports, according to Horror Geek Life, one of the absolute best dog/owner relationships in film, period. If you haven’t seen this one, we definitely recommend checking it out. think Zombielandbut even better.

Related: Steven Spielberg: The Best Sci-Fi Movies From the Legendary Director

7 Turbo Kid (2015)

In another post-apocalyptic world written and directed by the trio of François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell (Summer of ’84), a comic book fan adopts the persona and weaponry of his favorite superhero (who happens to be real), and uses his new gifts to help rescue the new friend he’s falling for, a robot named Apple, who has been captured by the forces of an evil warlord. Though the synopsis may seem kid-friendly, we assure you that this splatter-fest of a film is the furthest from. With an amazing villain role from Michael Ironside (Total Recall), incredible practical effects in both gore and style, and a rockin’ synth soundtrack from Le Matos, Turbo Kid is a sci-fi romance that lays heavily on the need for emotional connection in a lonesome wasteland.

6 The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

In a bit of a heartbreaking tale starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife follows Henry, a librarian that has a gene that causes him to time travel, which, in turn, poses issues for his relationships and marriage. On the surface, much of the film is comedic, but as the film runs on, more serious themes start to take place, as younger versions of Henry show up to inform his wife of future visits and issues she can expect in the future. Boasting excellent performances from both leads, this film shows that true love has no bounds, including time itself. The film was seen as a critical failure upon release, but is well-liked among viewers and has developed a bit of a cult following since.

5 Her (2013)

In this 2013 film written and directed by Spike Jonze, a lonely writer develops a romantic relationship with an operating system that was designed to meet all of his emotional needs. Though the film has standout performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (providing the voice of Samantha) in the feature roles, the supporting cast is strong as well, which includes Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Chris Pratt. The film feels a little weird on the surface, but as it progresses, the viewers easily start to understand why Her is so revered. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Jonze won the award for Best Original Screenplay.

4 Star Man (1984)

In the only true romantic film of John Carpenter’s making — okay, fine, Big Trouble in Little China counting — starman follows an alien that comes to Earth in response from an invitation found on the gold record aboard the Voyager 2 space probe. Upon arrival, the alien takes the form of a widow’s husband (Jeff Bridges), and convinces her to take him to his departure point. starman landed Bridges his third Oscar nomination for Best Actor, but Karen was also fantastic. The screenplay was written by Bruce A. Evans, the man behind the screenplay for Stand By Meand the story inspired a short-lived TV series of the same name.

Related: Romance Movies Where the Girl Ended Up With the Totally Wrong Guy

3 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Coming from the powerhouse minds of Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the tale of a couple, who after a strenuous and heartbreaking relationship, decide to undergo a procedure to erase one another from their minds. In preparation, Joel (Jim Carrey) creates a tape recounting all of his memories with his former love (Kate Winslet). Not only is this film beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting, and extremely creative, it sports an ensemble supporting cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson and Elijah Wood. The film won Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars that year, and Winslet was nominated for Best Actress.

2 Back to the Future (1985)

We might get some flack for putting this in the romance genre, but at its core, Back to the Future‘s story completely revolves around the fact that when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) goes back in time, he disrupts the timeline and events has to save the relationship between his mother and father, in order to save his family from being erased from existing. Putting aside the weird infatuation that Marty’s mother has with him in the past, Marty spends most of the film playing matchmaker in attempts to help his meek father fall in love with his mother. The first film is part of one of the best trilogies of all time, and the film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Song for “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis. Back to the Future took home the award for Best Effects, and Robert Zemeckis’ masterpiece remains one of the most beloved films of all time.

1 The Fly (1986)

“Be afraid, be very afraid”. These words uttered from Veronica Quaife’s (Geena Davis) mouth when she sees the man that she loves has gone from brilliantly eccentric scientist (Jeff Goldblum) to obsessed fly-monster in David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly. Though the tale is horrific and heartbreaking, at its core, the film details the events of a relationship and the hardships of going through one when the person you love is slowly dying. Often thought to be an analogy for a loved one going through cancer, The Fly hits the nail on the head with portraying exactly what it feels like to go through losing someone little-by-little to sickness. The Fly excels on every level, from story, to acting, to Howard Shore’s booming and intimidating score. Though the film was only nominated (and won) for Best Makeup, many believe if you swapped out the “man turns into a fly” storyline with any other disease, The Fly could have won an Oscar in any category it was nominated for. For these reasons alone, it lands at the top of the best science fiction romance films.

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