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Recommended:’s 50 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies

Recommended:’s 50 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies (photo)

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Looking for something to help you avoid talking to your family this Thanksgiving? How about catching up on the “50 Greatest Science-Fiction Movies of All Time” as selected by There’s definitely some obscure nuggets to seek out; I’ve never seen Joseph Losey’s “These Are the Damned,” but Glenn Kenny sure makes it sound enticing. Kenny’s selections run the gamut from black and white silents to modern CGI behemoths and everything in between. The biggest deficit here isn’t anything to do with the lineup of films, but rather the lack of an easily accessible index to said lineup; so if you want to find each movie, you’ll have to click through one at a time in numerical order, no cinephile hopscotch allowed.

If you’re curious, here’s Kenny’s top ten, with links to his blurbs on each:

10)“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977, Steven Spielberg)
9)“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982, Steven Spielberg)
8)“Aliens” (1986, James Cameron)
7)“The Thing From Another World” (1951, Christian Nyby)
6)“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991, James Cameron)
5)“The Empire Strikes Back” (1980, Irvin Kershner)
4)“Alien” (1979, Ridley Scott)
3)“The Matrix” (1999, The Wachowski Brothers)
2)“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
1)“Blade Runner” (1982, Ridley Scott)

As film critics go, Kenny’s about as knowledgable as they come. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time quibbling about the sometimes questionable ranking of this list. But, really, you’d need one hell of a Jedi mind trick to convince me — and pretty much everyone on Earth not named Roland Emmerich, right? — that “Independence Day” is superior to the original “Star Wars” (Kenny has “ID4” at #15 and “Episode IV” at #20). That’s just crazy talk. That’s say-it-in-the-wrong-company-and-get-committed-to-a-mental-institution crazy talk.

To my mind there are also two glaring omissions: Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s ingenious time travel extravaganza “Back to the Future” and Franklin J. Schaffner’s unforgettable interpretation of Pierre Boulle’s novel “Planet of the Apes.” And I’m sort of intrigued by the fact that three different directors are represented twice in the top ten: Spielberg, Cameron, and Scott. But as I’m reminded by readers every time we do one here on, no list is perfect, and this one is a still a pretty good one. And I’m adding “These Are the Damned” to my Netflix queue right now.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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