Recommend upbeat sci-fi/fantasy movies

I loved Another Earth, Frequency, Source Code, Family Man, The Love Letter, At the Edhe of the Garden (Hallmark movie), The Lake House, The Kid, and Somewhere in Time.

I’ll take less happy stuff as long as it’s provocative, not too violent or depressing. And has a great twist–e.g.,

Right At Your Door, Predestination, Deja Vu, & Triangle.

I enjoyed Groundhog Day, Gattaca, Edge of Tomorrow, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I don’t think I’d classify Eternal Sunshine as “upbeat”, it continually baffles me that it’s filed under comedies. I guess because it has Jim Carrey in it?

The Fifth Element.

The Fifth Element certainly is a lot of fun-- Just don’t go into it expecting it to be a good movie.

And Guardians of the Galaxy is similarly fun, and good besides.

“A Boy and His Dog.” As long as you like dogs better then women…


Gattaca looks like a message movie, and part of what I love about it is that the movie takes great care to undermine its message, so that by the end it’s reasonable to argue about whether the protagonist is a hero or a selfish asshole. You may see the ending as triumphant or as awful, and that’s awesome.

Galaxy Quest is not nearly so complex, but it’s damn fun.

Star Trek Beyond is a good very recent one.

Tomorrowland. Certainly flawed, but it was designed to be a anodyne to downbeat SF and I think it works well.

Zathura. Lightweight but entertaining.

Ever After
About Time
Ant Man
Kung Fu Panda
Shaun The Sheep
Now You See Me
The Lone Ranger
John Carter
The Martian
Pirates of the Caribbean

Star Man with Jeff Bridges.

Upside Down
Winter’s Tale
The Night at the Museum trilogy

Are we defining “fantasy” as “magic and/or whimsy,” or “swords and sorcery”?

In any case, Howl’s Moving Castle certainly seems to qualify. Along with most of Studio Ghibli’s oeuvre.

And ditto on RealityChuck and GuanoLad’s entries.

*Dean Spanley *is based on a story by Lord Dunsany. Beautifully shot in New Zealand (passing easily for Edwardian England). Starring Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam, Bryan Brown and late-period Peter O’Toole.

It may be hard to find–but don’t read “about” it. Just watch it…

Possibly too lightweight but there are always the Bill and Ted films plus the Back to the Future trilogy.

Then there is Brazil as well.


What Dreams May Come is a very pretty movie, with an upbeat ending. Whether good or not I leave to others to decide.

Brazil is amazing. But the OP said “not too depressing.” Ahem.

Been a while since I watched it. It was a black comedy in my recollection and I do find entertainment in a lot of black comedy.

Looked at the ending on Wikipedia for a reminder. Might not count as a ‘feelgood’ movie.


Most of these suggestions aren’t science fiction, I observe.

Howq about

The Last Mimzy
Grand Tour: Disaster in Time

Both of these were sorta downer stories by Catherine L. Moore originally, but they got happy endings as movies

If you liked Source Code, you might like


…written and directed by the same guy
I highly recommend

Cloud Atlas

by the Waschowskis and Tim Twyker

2010 , despite its flaws

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which a lot of people hate, but which feels like a 1930s pulp adventure played straight.