Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Movies

by matt-baen | created - 22 Sep 2012 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

An intriguing emerging genre inspired by mumblecore and budgetary constraints.

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1. The American Astronaut (2001)

Not Rated | 91 min | Musical, Comedy, Sci-Fi

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
51 Metascore

Samuel Curtis, an interplanetary trader, sets forth through a rustic and remote solar system, unaware that his old friend Professor Hess is trying to kill him.

Director: Cory McAbee | Stars: Cory McAbee, Rocco Sisto, Gregory Russell Cook, Annie Golden

Votes: 2,766 | Gross: $0.04M

A precursor to the genre.

2. Another Earth (2011)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
66 Metascore

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, DJ Flava

Votes: 80,557 | Gross: $1.32M

3. Antiviral (2012)

Not Rated | 108 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
55 Metascore

In a blackly satirical near future, a thriving industry sells celebrity illnesses to their obsessed fans. Employee Syd March's attempts to exploit the system backfire when they involve him in a potentially deadly mystery.

Director: Brandon Cronenberg | Stars: Caleb Landry Jones, Lisa Berry, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell

Votes: 10,363

4. The Baby Formula (2008)

Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy, Fantasy

4.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Two adventurous women in love are desperate to have their own biological child. They take a chance on an experimental scientific process and make sperm from their own stem cells. Pregnant ... See full summary »

Director: Alison Reid | Stars: Angela Vint, Megan Fahlenbock, Rosemary Dunsmore, Jessica Booker

Votes: 264

5. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
86 Metascore

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director: Benh Zeitlin | Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes

Votes: 74,615 | Gross: $12.80M

6. Bellflower (2011)

R | 106 min | Action, Drama, Romance

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
72 Metascore

Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa".

Director: Evan Glodell | Stars: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman, Rebekah Brandes

Votes: 7,086 | Gross: $0.17M

7. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

R | 110 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
49 Metascore

Despite being under heavy sedation, a young woman tries to make her way out of the Arboria Institute, a secluded, quasifuturistic commune.

Director: Panos Cosmatos | Stars: Eva Bourne, Michael Rogers, Scott Hylands, Rondel Reynoldson

Votes: 7,909 | Gross: $0.06M

8. Bokeh (I) (2017)

TV-MA | 92 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
56 Metascore

On a romantic getaway to Iceland, a young American couple wake up one morning to discover every person on earth has disappeared. Their struggle to survive and to reconcile the mysterious ... See full summary »

Directors: Geoffrey Orthwein, Andrew Sullivan | Stars: Maika Monroe, Matt O'Leary, Arnar Jónsson, Gunnar Helgason

Votes: 4,252

9. Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (2011)

PG | 76 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
63 Metascore

The adventures of lesbian space aliens on the planet Earth, and the story of the romance between Jane, a shy greeting card store employee, and Zoinx, the woman Jane does not realize is from... See full summary »

Director: Madeleine Olnek | Stars: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan

Votes: 249

10. Coherence (2013)

Not Rated | 89 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
65 Metascore

Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.

Director: James Ward Byrkit | Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen

Votes: 75,354 | Gross: $0.07M

11. Computer Chess (2013)

Unrated | 92 min | Comedy

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
74 Metascore

A 1980s-set story centered around a man vs. machine chess tournament.

Director: Andrew Bujalski | Stars: Kriss Schludermann, Tom Fletcher, Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester

Votes: 3,801 | Gross: $0.10M

12. Creative Control (2015)

R | 97 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

5.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
58 Metascore

In near future Brooklyn, an ad executive uses a new Augmented Reality technology to conduct an affair with his best friend's girlfriend...sort of.

Director: Benjamin Dickinson | Stars: Benjamin Dickinson, Nora Zehetner, Dan Gill, Alexia Rasmussen

Votes: 1,794 | Gross: $0.06M

13. Escape from Tomorrow (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

5.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
58 Metascore

In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father's sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.

Director: Randy Moore | Stars: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Jack Dalton

Votes: 8,053 | Gross: $0.17M

14. Fetching Cody (2005)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Art, a drug-addicted dealer and hustler, arrives at his girlfriend Cody's apartment to find that she has overdosed on heroin. He tries to fix things by traveling back in time in an attempt to prevent her death.

Director: David Ray | Stars: Jay Baruchel, Sarah Lind, Jim Byrnes, Lucas Blaney

Votes: 1,297

15. The FP (2011)

R | 82 min | Comedy

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
48 Metascore

In a post apocalyptic future, two rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park by playing "Beat Beat Revelation", a deadly version of Dance, Dance, Revolution(TM).

Directors: Brandon Trost, Jason Trost | Stars: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley

Votes: 1,465 | Gross: $0.04M

16. Frequencies (2013)

Not Rated | 105 min | Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In an alternate reality, children learn how lucky they will be (their "frequency"), knowledge which shapes their destiny. The unluckiest boy must parse the mysteries of free will in order to pursue his forbidden love of the luckiest girl.

Director: Darren Paul Fisher | Stars: Daniel Fraser, Eleanor Wyld, Owen Pugh, Dylan Llewellyn

Votes: 12,036

17. The Future (2011)

R | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
67 Metascore

When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves.

Director: Miranda July | Stars: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky, Isabella Acres

Votes: 7,360 | Gross: $0.57M

18. H. (I) (2014)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two women descend into madness after an alleged meteor strike sets off a series of strange events in their town of Troy, N.Y.

Directors: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia | Stars: Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble

Votes: 401

19. The History of Future Folk (2012)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Music, Sci-Fi

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
67 Metascore

The possibly exaggerated origin story of the real life alien bluegrass band, Future Folk, that has been playing for NYC audiences for the better part of a decade.

Directors: John Mitchell, Jeremy Kipp Walker | Stars: Nils d'Aulaire, Jay Klaitz, Julie Ann Emery, April L. Hernandez

Votes: 2,121 | Gross: $0.02M

20. Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
84 Metascore

From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.

Director: Leos Carax | Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

Votes: 33,805

21. I Origins (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
57 Metascore

A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Michael Pitt, Steven Yeun, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Brit Marling

Votes: 93,817 | Gross: $0.33M

22. The Last Winter (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
69 Metascore

The American oil company North Corporation is building an ice road to explore the remote Northern Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seeking oil. The independent environmentalists together ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Fessenden | Stars: Ron Perlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford

Votes: 7,782 | Gross: $0.03M

23. The Machine (I) (2013)

R | 91 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
52 Metascore

In efforts to construct perfect android killing machines in a war against China, UK scientists exceed their goal and create a sentient robot.

Director: Caradog W. James | Stars: Toby Stephens, Caity Lotz, Denis Lawson, Sam Hazeldine

Votes: 27,264

24. Mars (I) (2010)

Not Rated | 90 min | Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The discovery of life on Mars places a robotic expedition and a manned mission in a race to the Red Planet. On the way we discover that love - biological, spiritual, and even mechanical - can flourish in all kinds of ways.

Director: Geoff Marslett | Stars: Mark Duplass, Zoë Simpson Dean, Paul Gordon, Cynthia Watros

Votes: 335

25. Monsters (2010)

R | 94 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion, a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. border.

Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies

Votes: 81,302 | Gross: $0.24M

26. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
67 Metascore

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 288,581 | Gross: $5.01M

27. The One I Love (2014)

R | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
66 Metascore

A troubled couple vacate to a beautiful getaway, but bizarre circumstances further complicate their situation.

Director: Charlie McDowell | Stars: Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson, Kiana Cason

Votes: 28,015 | Gross: $0.51M

28. Pi (1998)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
72 Metascore

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart

Votes: 153,758 | Gross: $3.22M

Predated the trend of indie director's first film being ultra low budget sci-fi before going to make big genre movies.

29. Primer (2004)

PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya

Votes: 83,232 | Gross: $0.42M

30. Robot & Frank (2012)

PG-13 | 89 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
67 Metascore

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

Director: Jake Schreier | Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler

Votes: 56,442 | Gross: $3.33M

Almost doesn't make it into the genre because it has several movie stars.

31. Robot Stories (2003)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
66 Metascore

Winner of over 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart, four stories in which utterly human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office... See full summary »

Director: Greg Pak | Stars: Tamlyn Tomita, James Saito, Vin Knight, Gina Quintos

Votes: 1,343 | Gross: $0.13M

32. Run Robot Run! (2006)

Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy

6.6
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Ken Weston lives in the not-too-distant future and is not your typical human being. He is more organized than a day planner and more regimented than a Marine. With his goals of dating his ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel O'Connor | Stars: Chris Gibbs, Lara Kelly, Christian Potenza, Peter Mooney

Votes: 84

33. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
72 Metascore

Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Votes: 107,584 | Gross: $4.01M

34. The Science of Sleep (2006)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
70 Metascore

A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Miou-Miou, Alain Chabat

Votes: 64,131 | Gross: $4.66M

35. The Signal (2014)

PG-13 | 97 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
54 Metascore

On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare.

Director: William Eubank | Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Laurence Fishburne

Votes: 54,296 | Gross: $0.60M

36. Sleep Dealer (2008)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
59 Metascore

The near future. Like tomorrow. In a world marked by closed borders, corporate warriors, and a global computer network, three strangers risk their lives to connect, break through the barriers of technology, and unseal their fates.

Director: Alex Rivera | Stars: Luis Fernando Peña, Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas, Metztli Adamina

Votes: 5,979 | Gross: $0.08M

37. Sound of My Voice (2011)

R | 85 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
67 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future.

Director: Zal Batmanglij | Stars: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Davenia McFadden

Votes: 18,144 | Gross: $0.41M

38. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
85 Metascore

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart

Votes: 77,520 | Gross: $1.73M

39. TiMER (2009)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

If a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know?

Director: Jac Schaeffer | Stars: Emma Caulfield Ford, Scott Holroyd, Kali Rocha, Katherine Von Till

Votes: 11,332

40. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 26,380 | Gross: $0.44M

41. Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
62 Metascore

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic | Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits, Shannyn Sossamon

Votes: 49,173 | Gross: $0.32M