A little guide for sci-fi movies from the later years, avoided (kind of) by mainstreem distribution, that every sci-fi-aholic must not miss to live a happy life.
Talent flows copiously in young Duncan Jone's blood veins, son of such an artist. His growing success will lead him to compromise but in the mean time his work is quite admirable. I suggest his two movies Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011). A hard-core fanbase (part of which is the excentric Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory) hasn’t gone over the cancellation of Firefly in 2002. At least it had a “finale”: Serenity, directed by Joss Whedon in 2005, is for sure one of the best sci-fi movies of the 2000s. So much for the quality… Pandorum (Christian Alvart, 2009) ) is claustrophobic, tense and cerebral… and with a worthy ending. The man from Earth (Richard Schenkman, 2007)... I don't know if it was ever shown in theatres... you could call it conceptual science fiction: no special effects, no hi-tech scenery, the movie isi all about a long dialog between a bunch of guys trying to disprove their friend's odd theory - his name is John Oldman (nomen omen).
You can't claim to have a comprehensive quadrimensional vision without having seen (and understood!) Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004). Indipendent flick, produced with little money but held by a very original idea, it revolves around time travels. Story development is so complicated you may have to consult a schematic of the intricate timelines unwinding in the film: there's one here.
To honor well made crossovers with comedy we point out: Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 1999) (which was unknown to me until a provisional report from mr. G.) irresistable parody of the well known Star Trek universe, fiction-wise and fandomwise ;-) and the witty Idiocracy (Mike Judge, 2006) that addresses the (serious) problem of cultural and intellectual impoverishment in a insane comic way.
A science fiction pretext is the backdrop for the dramatic and hyper-romantic events of Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (Michel Gondry, 2004) and Never let me go (Mark Romanek, 2010). Both acts manage to gracely intertwine heavy ethical questions with real and human feelings.
Last on the list is Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaròn, 2006) because I can't remember if I've seen it or not. they say it's good.
Let's end, for completeness, with a warning: not every barely known movie is automatically great... if during your search for forgotten gems you stumble upon one of the following titles: The Day The Earth Stood Still (Scott Derrickson, 2008), Invasion (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2007), The Last Mimzy (Robert Shaye, 2007)...
engage the warp nacelles!