Behold the wondrous opening sequence of Spielberg's War of the Worlds. Any movie that starts with Morgan Freeman's cask-aged voice, telling us we're screwed, is off to a great start. Many science-fiction movies open with voiceover narration, which prepares you for greatness... or bombards you with backstory.
Here are more than 50 of the most amazing, thunderous and ridiculous opening voiceovers from science fiction and fantasy films.
Too bad War Of The Worlds goes downhill a bit after that amazingly portentous opening. No movie could live up to the promise of Morgan Freeman reading H.G. Wells, more or less verbatim, but it's still a sad thing.
The greatest voiceovers tell you what kind of movie you're in for, and also give you the information you need to hit the ground running. Take Sean Connery's iconic voiceover from Highlander, which is so awesome, you need it written out for you to appreciate its greatness:
Sadly, most voiceovers that launch movies either try to pack in way, way too much backstory ("And then there was a man named 92ZorkX, who built a mega-cube in his pants") or go way, way overboard with the cheese. Here are 48 more voiceovers that mostly go way over the top, sorted by type: