Paycheck (2003, dir. John Woo)

An industrial spy leaves himself clues to solve the crimes of which he’s now accused. An SF twist on a Hitchcock plot (based on a Philip K Dick story), this lumpen chase thriller gets bogged down early and doesn’t relax into what Woo – when unrestrained – does best.

Downsizing (2017, dir. Alexander Payne)

A man is forced to re-evaluate his life after volunteering to be miniaturised. Quirky fantasy which can’t work out if it’s social satire, science fiction, or romance, but has a go at all three. Defiantly odd, though, which is no bad thing.

Hostile (2018, dir. Mathieu Turi)

In a post-apocalypse America, a female scavenger is trapped inside her upturned vehicle by a marauding creature. Single-location thriller – with sustained flashbacks – which almost deserves its running time except for a groan-worthy and well-telegraphed climax.

Contact (1997, dir. Robert Zemeckis)

A young astrophysicist decodes a signal from an alien intelligence. Good-hearted SF thriller from the Carl Sagan novel held together by fine performances and a positive outlook on space.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

An alien civilisation makes a series of contacts with life on Earth; one provokes a space mission. Still-extraordinary piece of mainstream SF with philosophical ambitions, plus a technical marvel. Essential viewing, even if it remains impenetrable to some.

Galaxy Quest (1999, dir. Dean Parisot)

The former stars of a Star Trek-like TV show are mistaken for genuine space heroes by an alien race searching for saviours. Three Amigos! / A Bug’s Life redux, perhaps, but with excellent casting, a sense of fun, and affection for genre and conventions (of both kinds) throughout.