28 arthouse sci-fi films that will make you smarter (and cooler)

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Apr 29, 2019, 7:23 AM EDT (Updated)

There's a lot more to "science-fiction cinema" than just Star Wars, Star Trek and the MCU. And "arthouse cinema" doesn't just mean black and white movies in which people sit around and spew witty existential dialogue before bursting into random song.

Perhaps the most successful cinematic fusion of "sci-fi" and "arthouse" is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a film that dared to ask questions about the Dawn of Man, where we're going as a species and who's really calling the shots when it comes to our evolution. It spawned thousands of thesis essays whilst also keeping stoners happy with a trippy third act sound and light show courtesy of effects wizard Douglas Trumbull.

Now in theaters, Jonathan Glazer's quietly frightening Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien prowling the streets of Scotland, has us looking back on 28 of the most essential arthouse sci-fi films. They'll make you think, and people will think you're cool for watching 'em.