The Best Sci-Fi Movies Led By People of Color

Filed in Movie by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

There are a lot of great science fiction movies out there, as it has always been a popular genre. It’s popular enough that many of the biggest franchises in existence are heavily sci-fi, like Star Wars and star trek. Whether you like these movies for the smart take on the science behind everything, or you’re in it for the cool designs, like the spacesuits, there’s always something for you to enjoy.



There’s also no doubt that, in film as a whole, many shows and movies tend to be led by predominantly white casts. For a long time in mainstream Hollywood, it was hard to find many movies that featured any people of color in leading roles (and still is, to some extent), as studios tend to cast POC as the side and supporting roles, especially in sci -fi.

Without certain pioneering performances like Joe Morton in Brother From Another Planetand the great success of Will Smith leading the way and starring in so many different sci-fi movies himself, such as independence day goldI-Robot, there might not even be a change in casting like we can see today. Now that more and more POC are featured in sci-fi movies, it’s time to look at some of the best you can find out there.

7 Pacific Rim

In Pacific Rim, an interdimensional portal in the bottom of the Pacific is letting large aliens known as Kaiju onto Earth where they attack coastal cities. Humanity builds large robots in response, the Jaegers, which are piloted by two or more people who share a mental link. Raleigh Becket retires from the Jaeger program when his brother is killed in an attack, but as the alien forces continue to grow stronger and none of their defenses are working, he’s recruited once more in an attempt to seal the breach.

Related: Best Sci-Fi Movies Directed By Women, Ranked

Raleigh ends up teaming with Mako, and they learn to work together in order to team up with the remaining Jaeger bots to save the world. Director Guillermo Del Toro pays tribute to the kaiju and mecha films of Japan, and his designs and vision in Pacific Rim are really amazing. Starring prominent figures such as Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi, this movie is full of action and characters that you don’t want to miss out on.

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6 sunshine

The psychological thriller sunshine is set in a future where the Sun is dying, and the Earth is freezing over. The crew of the Icarus II is on course to go to the Sun and detonate a bomb in hopes of using it to restart the Sun. Everything seems to be going smoothly until the ship nears Mercury and hears the distress signal of the Icarus I, a ship previously set on their course before it disappeared years ago. Believing two bombs will be better than one, the crew changes course to intercept the Icarus I, and when they forget to adjust the ships shielding from the Sun causing damage to the ship, things begin to rapidly decline. With names like Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, and Benedict Wong in this ensemble cast, you should see for yourself if their mission succeeds.


5 Attack the Block

In Attack the Block, everything seems normal on Guy Fawkes Night when a small gang of teenagers attempts to rob Samantha. She runs away, however, when a meteorite falls from the sky and crashes nearby. The boys instead try to loot it and are attacked by an alien, quickly overcoming the dog-like beast and hoping to gain riches and popularity if they try to sell this foreign body.

When more objects begin to fall from the sky, they find these aliens are much larger than the first and are able to kill them. Retreating to their apartment block, the gang is chased by the aliens and tries to fight their way through the building to get at them. Starring John Boyega in his debut role, this is one you should definitely watch.

4 Sorry to Bother You

Sorry to Bother You follows Cassius “Cash” Green as he starts a new job as a telemarketer. While it may seem mundane and boring at first, when Cash excels at work and then joins a protest to try and unionize, he’s promoted so that the bosses can pull him from the picket line, and quickly learns all the dark secrets of the company. It turns out they secretly sell military weapons and cheap labor that is essentially slavery. Things begin to grow stranger and more dangerous for Cash as he tries to enjoy the money he’s getting but faces more and more morally corrupt things the company has done. Starring well known actors such as Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, and Terry Crews, the story is a wild ride from start to finish that you just have to experience yourself.


3 Dunes

The first of a multiple-part book adaptation, Dunes is set in the distant future, where the noble houses, rulers of their own planets, are thrown into war over a largely inhospitable and deadly planet, Arrakis. It’s the only source of spice, what is essentially a hard drug that, when used, gives heightened vitality and awareness, and is necessary for faster-than-light travel.

Related: 16 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, Ranked

As tension rises, the fight begins as House Harkonnen tries to retake the planet and eradicate House Atreides. Jessica and Paul, the concubine and heir of House Atreides, mother and son duo, are caught directly in the crossfire, trying to survive as House Harkonnen hopes to assassinate Paul. There are many easy to recognize names in this cast, like Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Jason Momoa, so if you like sci-fi not set on Earth, definitely check this out.


2 Men in Black

Men in Black is a classic sci-fi movie. Agent J is recruited to the Men in Black, a secret government organization that keeps an eye on all alien activity on Earth. Ever since first contact was made in the 60s, the Men in Black have been there to keep a close eye on them, watching those who decide to take refuge on Earth and erasing the memories of anyone who came into contact with them and realized they weren ‘t human.

Agent J and his partner, Agent K, are investigating an alien crash in upstate New York when they find a hostile creature has come to Earth in search of something he and his race can use to eradicate another race they don’t like. They now have to figure out his plans and try to stop him before it’s too late. Will Smith stars in this movie, and it’s worth the watch if you haven’t seen it yet.


1 Everything Everywhere All at Once

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, the viewer gets to explore the multiverse through the eyes of a seemingly normal person. Evelyn Quan Wang runs a struggling laundromat which is currently being audited by the IRS. During a meeting with the IRS inspector, Evelyn’s husband’s demeanor changes, and suddenly she’s not talking to him anymore, but an alternate universe version of him. In that universe, her alternate self discovered a way to “verse-jump”, accessing the skills, memories, and even bodies of their alternate selves.

The multiverse is currently in danger because of that universe’s version of Evelyn’s daughter, and they believe this version of Evelyn is the only one that can stop her. As Evelyn gets verse-jumping tech of her own, she starts fighting off the minions sent after her and begins to try to understand her daughter to save the universe. Starring Michelle Yeoh, it’s a fun, eye-catching film that you shouldn’t miss.

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