5 best sci-fi movies of 2024 so far, ranked

While the year is only half over, 2024 has already been great for science-fiction movies. Films from Marvel (Deadpool & Wolverine) and DC (The Batman 2) have yet to grace the silver screens, but other franchises have taken the opportunity to win over audiences and stake their claim in theaters worldwide.

As we venture deeper into the second half of 2024, these five sci-fi films have stood apart from the pack and emerged as the best the genre has to offer so far in 2024.

5. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

Godzilla glows pink and screams in a still from "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

This sequel features Godzilla and King Kong teaming up to face two new threats from the depths of Hollow Earth: the tyrannical Skar King and the ice titan Shimo. Most people can agree that this film doesn’t even come close to Godzilla Minus One, as it all but casts aside any genuine human drama and social commentary in favor of a movie more akin to a comic book popcorn flick.

Nevertheless, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire does a pretty good job thanks to its dazzling visuals, thrilling fight scenes, and lighthearted tone. From Godzilla sleeping in the famous Colosseum in Rome to Kong getting the world’s biggest dental appointment, this kaiju blockbuster doesn’t take itself too seriously.

4. A Quiet Place: Day One (2024)

Two people huddle in darkness in A Quiet Place: Day One.

Despite not having John Krasinski as director and featuring all-new characters, A Quiet Place: Day One works because of Pig director Michael Sarnoski, who delivers an outstanding new addition to the Quiet Place franchise with this thrilling spinoff. This prequel ups the ante by depicting the first day of the Death Angel invasion in the loudest city on Earth. It follows a terminally ill woman (Us actress Lupita Nyong’o) and a shell-shocked law student (Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn) as they try to survive in an alien-infested New York.

While it remains to be seen what this prequel will add to A Quiet Place at large, it is still a solid entry on its own thanks to its fantastic cast, frightening atmosphere, and unique story, the latter of which explores how people resist or come to terms with their seemingly inevitable death. This film elevates this horror franchise by aiding in its transformation into a sprawling, insightful epic akin to The Lord of the Rings or The Last of Us.

3. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024)

Furiosa aims her rifle in "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Almost a decade after the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, franchise creator George Miller finally brought audiences back to the Wasteland with this ambitious prequel. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga explores Furiosa’s (Anya Taylor-Joy) origins as she is taken from her home in the Green Place and is forced to survive as an Imperator for Immortan Joe before exacting vengeance on those who wronged her.

Though this movie may be a prequel to Fury Road, it feels like the culmination of all previous films in the Mad Max franchise a sit incorporates elements from past adventures to create a revenge story for Furiosa that’s very similar to Max’s. Unlike the more high-octane Fury Road, Furiosa takes its time exploring the hero’s life and the postapocalyptic world she and her enemies populate, making it a noteworthy addition to the Mad Max saga.

2. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

An orangutan, a chimp, and a human brace for battle in a still from "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes."
Disney/20th Century Studios / Disney/20th Century Studios

“Oh, what a wonderful day!” Set centuries after Caesar’s death, director Wes Ball’s sequel delivers a classic hero’s journey as the young chimp Noa (Owen Teague) teams up with a human (Freya Allan) to rescue his clan from the warlord Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand). Like its predecessors, this film boasts incredible VFX as it brings the titular apes to life.

Through the villain Proximus, the film analyzes how one’s teachings can be misinterpreted and twisted by those who wish to serve their own wicked agendas, mirroring real-life extremists and keeping the franchise as fresh and relevant as it was back in 1968.

1. Dune: Part Two (2024)

Timothée Chalamet gazes upon a distant explosion in a still from "Dune: Part Two."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

While the first Dune film was busy building Frank Herbert’s intergalactic world, Dune: Part Two delivers the full tragedy of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), who is compelled to wage a holy war to reclaim Arrakis from the evil Harkonnens. As Paul reluctantly accepts the role of the Fremen’s false prophet, this sequel displays the horrors brought on by colonialism, imperialism, and one’s blind devotion to their faith.

Director Denis Villeneuve’s film has been heralded as the savior of cinema thanks to its glorious imagery and epic narrative. While introducing standout characters like Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (The Bikeriders star Austin Butler), it also reinvents Paul and Chani’s (Zendaya) characters to better fit Frank Herbert’s vision for this cautionary space opera. The only films that even compare to this heart-wrenching opus are The Empire Strikes Back, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, making Dune: Part Two one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.