Top 10 Movies With Special Effects That Aged Well



Top 10 Movies With Special Effects That Aged Well

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake

Age doesn't wither the look of these flicks! Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies with Special Effects That Aged Well. For this list, we're taking a look at overall effects in older movies that manage to impress even to this day.

Special thanks to our user Godslayer79 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest

Top 10 Movies With Special Effects That Aged Well

Age doesn't wither the look of these flicks! Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies with Special Effects That Aged Well.

For this list, we’re taking a look at overall effects in older movies that manage to impress even to this day. Granted, not every film here remains totally convincing on a visual level. Given the limitations of the time, though, these special effects are still highly admirable.

#10: “Starship Troopers” (1997)

You wouldn’t expect a late ‘90s romp as corny and over-the-top as “Starship Troopers” to age especially well. Yet, director Paul Verhoeven of “RoboCop” and “Total Recall” found a strong balance between prosthetics and computer-generated effects, envisioning a wild 23rd century. Earning an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects, “Starship Troopers” also delivered some of the coolest giant bugs ever put on screen. There are a few effects here and there that look like something out of a multimillion-dollar B movie. Given this space adventure’s goofy nature, however, that’s actually pretty fitting.

#9: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979)

The Starship Enterprise’s first voyage into feature film territory is far from the franchise’s best outing. Even if the story lacked the ideas and character development of the TV series, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was an upgrade in terms of visuals. With a much bigger budget, the film was able to utilize more detailed sets, models, and props to reach a whole new frontier. It’d take several more films until “Star Trek” would truly perfect its effects, but this was a bold step forward.

#8: “Metropolis” (1927)

Even in today’s technologically advanced world, it’s impossible to watch Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” without saying, “Wow.” Every second of this film is a technological wonder, crafting a stunning dystopian future that would influence filmmaking visionaries for decades to come. Believe it or not, much of the film heavily used miniatures to bring this daunting city to life. Through some crafty camera tricks and the Schüfftan process, there’s rarely a second of disbelief. Coming out towards the end of the silent era, “Metropolis” remains a perfect example of how this visual medium can make dreams come true.

#7: “A Trip to the Moon” [aka “Le Voyage dans la Lune”] (1902)

On one hand, you could say that the effects in “A Trip to the Moon” are beyond obvious now. Its sets and props couldn’t be more exaggerated. Watching this immortal silent short, though, you don’t think about its cheesiness. You’re too busy being entranced by its style and atmosphere. When it’s over, all you can think about is how Georges Méliès pulled off such technical wizardly at the dawn of cinema. Every shot is just dripping with passion, pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and imagination. Even over a hundred years later, few films scream movie magic like it does.

#6: “Star Wars” original trilogy (1977-83)

When we think of game changing, special effects blockbusters, “Star Wars” immediately comes to mind. Audiences are still in complete awe of the original trilogy’s handmade set pieces, costumes, and props. You could argue that some of the creatures and locations don’t look as polished as those in modern sci-fi blockbusters. The galaxy George Lucas created is booming with so much personality, however, that it practically feels inhabitable. If only Lucas hadn’t taken us out of the experience with crappy CGI in the special editions.

#5: “Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

2015 didn’t turn out exactly how “Back to the Future Part II” predicted, although we did get wireless video games, video phones, and a million 3D sequels. What’s truly remarkable about the film, however, is how slick it still looks thirty years down the line. Upon initial release, the film was primarily praised for its motion control camera system, allowing Michael J. Fox to seamlessly play three different characters at once. While the film itself has a very ‘80s look to it, that only adds to the charm. It’s a film that feels futuristic and nostalgic at the same time.

#4: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)

Part of what makes “Close Encounters” such a unique special effects picture is that it doesn’t throw special effects at the audience every minute. Rather, director Steven Spielberg keeps many of the film’s otherworldly elements clouded in mystery. Then when the alien mother ship finally does show up, Spielberg doesn’t disappoint. This science fiction classic’s visual achievements are only matched by its masterful storytelling. Much like Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” it continues to convince the world that we aren’t alone in the universe.

#3: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

Where the original “Terminator” has a couple of moments that look kind of cheesy, director James Cameron nearly perfected his vision with “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” This sequel most notably employed landmark computer-generated imagery to give the T-1000 his liquid metal appearance. Of course the film didn’t solely rely on CGI either, utilizing practical effects and puppets you’d never believe weren’t computerized. It may be a movie about killer cyborgs, but nothing about “T2” feels artificial.

#2: “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

Much like “Back to the Future,” many of the innovations in “2001: A Space Odyssey” have yet to become a reality. Some of the technology looks pretty dated too. While that admittedly takes us out of the illusion a little, we’re still totally blown away at how Stanley Kubrick pulled off such a technical extravaganza in 1968. Where most sci-fi movies at the time looked blatantly phony, Kubrick settled for nothing less than state-of-the-art production values. Marking one of the first times the audience really felt like they’d been teleported to outer space, this film’s revolutionary effects remain a major step forward in cinematic evolution.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Blade Runner” (1982)
“Dragonheart” (1996)
“The Thing” (1982)
“An American Werewolf in London” (1981)
“The Fly” (1986)

#1: “Jurassic Park” (1993)

When the park opened over two decades ago, the world was treated to the most realistic and badass dinosaurs cinema had ever seen. Hell, you could argue that they’re still the greatest dinosaurs ever put on film. Demonstrating the full potential of CGI, Steven Spielberg brought these savage beasts back from extinction. “Jurassic Park” additionally made impeccable use of animatronics, constructing a life-sized T. rex that continues to thrill audiences of all ages. Watching the film, you rarely know what’s handcrafted and what’s computer-generated. All we know for sure is that the end product is almost 100% authentic and enthralling.

Do you agree with our list? What movie still astounds you with its special effects? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to
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