"A toast, the undiscovered country... The future..."
-David Warner in "Star Trek VI"
The future is always on our minds to the point where it seems impossible to stay in the present. Our hopes and dreams (as well as our fears) are based on what we will think will happen in a time far from now. That's what seems to make futuristic movies all the more fascinating to watch. The best ones are entertaining as hell, and they mirror the current zeitgeist of culture in contrast to the technological advances that will greet us sooner than we think. They also become greedy fodder for other filmmakers to make exploitative trash which (while sometimes an absolute gas to watch) offers no redeeming qualities or production values except for one or two decent action scenes that can keep certain movies somewhat watchable ("Cyborg" with Jean Claude Van Damme is barely worth citing as an example).
Still, these movies are typically difficult to make because people in general have different ideas of what our world will look like years from now, and they usually remind you of films already made and praised extensively. The trick for filmmakers is to design something that is unique to what came before it and if it’s done right, will stay in your conscious mind long after you have seen it. Some futuristic movies do this almost immediately upon their release while others end up bewildering the mainstream audiences will later rediscover through cable, DVD and Blu-ray.
It took some time, but I managed to whittle down this list to include what I feel are the top ten futuristic movies of all time. In many ways, ten are not enough, and there are many I still love to watch after all these years. So my hope is to not feel too guilty about the ones I ended up leaving off for I know there will be a frustrating few.