For movie fans, the Academy Awards are kind of like the Superbowl. But unlike the Superbowl, when it comes to the Oscars it hasn't always been an even playing field. In the world of sports it all seems so simple: if you win, you get a spot in the championships. But in the world of movies, sometimes the films that are the most loved by audiences (or critics) are overlooked by Academy members because of a long-standing prejudice against blockbusters, or because they're labeled as "genre fare". But, a recent article in Variety has suggested that sci-films (which have traditionally been relegated to the tech categories) could finally be earning some respect as Best Picture contenders. For some time now, there has been a complaint that the Academy has lost touch with modern films, and that the members still suffer from a touch of snobbery when it comes to what makes a film worthy of consideration for that little golden man.

But things are changing, and with 10 spots open for Best Picture nods there is a chance that this year maybe it won't be the same old movies making it into the winners circle. Sci-fi is more popular than ever before, and in 2009, some of the best reviewed flicks were genre films. But until those nominations are announced, we can only speculate, so I decided to put forth my suggestions for sci-fi films that I think have earned a shot at an Oscar. Now before we get started, keep in mind that I'm not saying these films should win an Oscar, just that they deserve a shot.

After the jump: My 5 suggestions for sci-fi Oscar contenders....