Watching grungy and gray-skied London in Guy Ritchie's action/drama Sherlock Holmes made me think of the future. Ritchie presents the fictional detective as a reflection of the period in which he lived, and as such Robert Downey, Jr. stands out as much for his independent thinking and alternative lifestyle as for his deductive reasoning.

That means he would have fit in very well in the future, or in an alternative today, as well illustrated by the ten films I've chosen for this list. As usual, it's a very personal list, which means I cheat sometimes on the nationality of the film. To me, born and bred in America, these films feel very British, reflecting a very distinct point of view. I'm sure that's more reflective of my own (perhaps misguided) perceptions rather than reality, but at least I've stuck with flicks that are set somewhere in Great Britain, somewhere in time. Are they all great? You be the judge.

1. Children of Men (2006)
My pick for SciFi Squad's The Best of the Decade. Without repeating myself, let me add that the film feels like a James Bond spy thriller in which the world has gone to hell. Clive Owen makes for a very good, tattered, weary 007, no longer interested in bedding or drinking martinis or gambling or chasing after the bad guys. The picture also tilts and narrows its worldview to present conditions after Britain has shut itself off from the world. Once again, the British Empire rules the world -- or, what's left of it.

categories Sci-Fi