Serenity, the Josh Whedon film based on a cancelled TV show called Firefly. The movie that previewed months before release.
I was not a Firefly fan and never got addicted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon’s most famous creation. But I loved this film. Great story, great visuals, great music, great camera work. Interesting touches like the odd way the crew talks, in an English that harks back to pre-twentieth century. (Remember the American Pilgrims that anchor our Thanksgiving holiday? I think they sounded like Pilgrims.)
The last time I enjoyed the Sci-Fi genre this much was 1999 when The Matrix was released. Both films are basically comic books brought to the screen. Neither one had a Star Wars budget and therein may be the key. Without the xtreme special effects, they had to have an interesting story. (Neither film slouches in the special effects area though.)
This is a must-see if you like Sci-Fi.