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Never Let Me Go (2010)
Most sci-fi movies envision a future where science has either solved or created a major problem for mankind. "Never Let Me Go" -- adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed novel by director Mark Romanek and writer Alex Garland -- instead takes us into the past. Warning: The details are a bit spoiler-y if you're unfamiliar with the story. In the film's alternate history, a 1952 medical breakthrough radically extended the human life span -- people could live longer thanks to clones groomed and raised specifically for organ donation. The story follows several of these donors through their formative years in the late '70s, into their lives as highly sheltered '80s teens. Setting the action in the past creates a timeless quality that upends sci-fi conventions and sidesteps the need for futuristic world-building that may have distracted from the characters and their relationships. While the film couldn't duplicate the heartbreaking wallop of the novel's delicate first-person narration, it remains one of the most intellectually and emotionally daring sci-fi movies to come along in recent years.