Science Fiction Disaster Cinema

On February 4, Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will fly by past Earth, missing our planet by 2.6 million miles. NASA has categorized it as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Luckily we'll be safe for a hundred more years. But if we want to continue to "Imagine the Future" as our One Book, One Chicago theme suggests, we might also want to prepare for the worst. These five films showcase the fragility of our planet by giving credence to human endurance and perseverance during catastrophic times. 

Melancholia: In preparation for Earth's collision with an unknown planet, two sisters accept the fate of the world in very different ways. Their story provides a moving, sympathetic portrayal of sickness, opulence and nihilism.

Pacific Rim: Bearing the burden of supermachine power, soldiers pair up and share neurological pathways linked to memory in order to defeat massive aliens that have emerged from the ocean.

Mad Max: Fury Road: This apocalyptic adventure features the old hero, Max, and a new comrade, the stoic Imperator Furiosa, both fighting to save the world from Immortan Joe's barbaric, tyrannical empire.

Edge of Tomorrow: Forced into the front lines of war, William Cage learns quickly that one of the main defenses of the alien enemy is their ability to restart the clock one day at a time.

Gravity: Two astronauts devise a plan for survival after a space shuttle malfunction leaves them with no link to Earth. While perhaps a well-known trope, beautiful cinematography and dialogue highlight life and love in this riveting new allegory.

What's your favorite sci-fi disaster film? 

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