Science Fiction is a truly beautiful term. On the one hand you have science which many people (rightly or wrongly) count as irrefutable. The other side of the coin gives us fiction. This can literally be whatever the mind can conjure up. Merge the two and you have the best of both worlds, right?

In 2016 it sure seems like that is the case. This year we have the usual culprits. Sequels of reboots, maiden voyage reboots, regular sequels and brand spanking new films. This might be a stretch, but it honestly seems like sci-fi is the place where cinema truly chooses to break new ground.

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Think I am wrong? Let's just start with A Trip to the Moon. How about 2001: A Space Odyssey? Lets bring it a little closer to home with Gravity? Now, I know what you are thinking, "Hey moron, there's like a million years between each of those films!!"

Yes! You are 100% correct. However, whenever new ground is broken it takes awhile for the effects to truly be felt. If new ground was being broken every day in cinema, it probably wouldn't be new ground would it? This isn't to say that other genres don't bring new forms and ideas to the medium. It just seems like if you really want to introduce something transcendent, there's no better way than with a sci-fi film.

So it is with great excitement that that we bring you the 13 biggest Sci-Fi Movies Coming in 2016. Some of the films on this list might not seem appropriate. Others might seem curious choices for a bevy of other reasons. What matters is that with each of these delectable celluloid delicacies, there is a real chance that one of them is going to turn the medium of cinema on its ear in the greatest of ways.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - December 16

Rogue One

The most exciting thing about a new film in the Star Wars universe is that we don't know too much about it! One thing is certain, it will contain nods to the previous films. But the air of mystery aroundRogue One: A Star Wars Story, after what we got with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, seems truly well deserved. Rebels on a mission to steal the Death Star plans? Count us in.

Independence Day: Resurgence - June 24

<strong><em>Independence Day: Resurgence</em></strong>

It certainly took Fox long enough to bring this one out, didn't it? And with a $200 million price-tag, this thing had better be more than merely good. Considering that the US is presently shrinking its military, a movie about earth being attacked by aliens again just might be highly topical. With a cast that sees some of the originals returning, we haven't yet given up that Will Smith will make an appearance SOMEWHERE. But we know he won't, since it's been confirmed that his character has been killed off.

Star Trek Beyond - July 22

Star Trek 3

With a highly secretive plot dangling before us (that always seems to be the way with sci-fi films, right?), we do know one thing just by looking at the credits... Director Justin Lin will deliver. Look, it's not like the Fast & Furious franchise is in the same class as Star Trek, but if you want a big movie about things that go boom...Hire Justin Lin and let him do what he does best. The fact that the cast is returning as well bodes quite nicely for the third installment in this new, old, rebooted franchise.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant - March 18

Allegiant

Any film that has a Bureau of Genetic Warfare already has our attention. Sure, some may see The Divergent Series as simple, young adult pap. We at MovieWeb choose to see the adventures of Beatrice Prior as metaphors for the world around us. Or...Perhaps just a harbinger of a really scary world to come.

Ghostbusters - July 15

<strong><em>Ghostbusters</em></strong>

Alright, we get that sci-fi likes to keep things tight-lipped, but do they really need to be so secretive with a Ghostbusters movie? Or, is this not our parents Ghostbusters film? If this thing is half as funny, scary and interesting as the cast and top secret plot have led us to believe, the Ghostbusters of 2016 might finally be the 1980s film to bring it all back. Whatever it ends up being...We sure hope it has been worth the wait, right?

Spectral - August 12

<strong><em>Spectral</em></strong>

Okay, there are echoes of Escape from New York in this thriller from first time director Nic Mathieu. It also sounds a lot like the previous mentioned Ghostbusters reboot. Now, let us be the first to say that this is a good thing. The plot sees supernatural entities wreaking havoc on New York City. A special-ops team must come in and show these entities that, as crazy as the NYC is, there's only so much carnage it will put up with. Lets us say it now, this will be the sleeper sci-fi hit of this year!

The Purge: Election Year - July 1

<strong><em>The Purge: Election Year</em></strong>

The faux election year campaigns (during an election year) are nothing short of a brilliant marketing trick. As somebody who loved the first Purge and didn't love the second Purge as much, I am really hoping that The Purge of 2016 literally brings in some new blood. The plot seems to be anti-purge, and the cast is solid (Raymond Barry and Mykelti Williamson, anyone?), so lets sit back and hope that the third time is the charm for this franchise.

Midnight Special - March 18

<strong><em>Midnight Special</em></strong>

The marketing for this film seems like a cross between Earth to Echo and Close Encounters. Is that a bad thing? Not when the result seems to be almost scary. Jeff Nichols is proving himself to be the most eclectic of eclectic directors. We aren't ruling the other offerings on this list out, but if new ground is going to be broken...It might just be done with this film. It also has a stellar cast that includes Michael Shannon, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst.

Passengers - December 21

<strong><em>Passengers</em></strong>

In Passengers, a spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 60 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger. Could this film be Before Sunrise masquerading as a Gravity-esque science fiction film? You know what? Who cares! With Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt leading the cast something tells us we're going to get a lot more than we bargained for. Having captivated us with The Imitation Game, something says that director Morten Tyldum is going repeat that feat again, and, dare we say... Break new ground?

Geostorm - TBA

<strong><em>Geostorm</em></strong>

Call this one Armageddon meets Global Warming. Dean Devlin directs this tale that sees a man trying to prevent satellites from putting together a storm that could literally end humanity. You know, sometimes you just want a good sci-fi tale that takes things back to their roots. Geostorm may not be groundbreaking, but whatever it is, we probably haven't seen a similar movie in quite some time.

Max Steel - August 26

<strong><em>Max Steel</em></strong>

Based on the animated series and toyline, the idea behind this film is that Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) needs to find a  way to harness this incredible power inside of him. He finds this vessel in an alien named Steel. Now, united as one, Max Steel, this half man/half alien superhero has to battle a new foe from a far off land. This film has a sleeper quality about it and that could be the thing that separates it from the pack.

10 Cloverfield Lane - March 11

<strong><em>10 Cloverfield Lane</em></strong>

With those J.J. Abrams inspired trailers that tell you everything and nothing about the film, 10 Cloverfield Lane appears to be trying to play it straight. This film sees a woman wake up in the basement of a man's home who says he's put her there to save her from the outside world. The world, we come to find out, may or may not be livable. But what does any of that matter? 10 Cloverfield Lane is a distant cousin to 2008's Cloverfield and that alone makes it one of the sci-fi films to see in 2016.

The Little Prince - March 18

<strong><em>The Little Prince</em></strong>

With animation that is detailed, yet refined, The Little Prince, brings us into the world of a young girl who is getting old before her time. Then her neighbor takes her to the a special place, and suddenly our heroine's life becomes a lot more interesting. Okay, a movie like this might have trouble getting attention as we brace for a new Star Wars film, a new Star Trek film and a reboot of Independence Day. However, it could just be 2016's sci-fi Frozen.

So what'd you think? Have you gone through your calendars (or iCals) and added all the release dates? Did we get this thing right or were we way off? Let us know and as usual, try and be civil about it!!

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs