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Ed Harris, "Apollo 13"

R2D2, "Star Wars: A New Hope"

Rutger Hauer, "Blade Runner"

Rutger Hauer, "Blade Runner"

Ethan Hawke, "Gattaca"

Sam Rockwell, "Moon"

Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Scarlett Johansson, "Her"

Matt Damon, "The Martian"

Richard Dreyfuss, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

Harrison Ford, "Star Wars: A New Hope"

Editor's note: Each week we ask the people around the office a question to see what makes them tick. This week we wanted to know what is their favorite acting performance in a sci-fi movie.

Acknowledging the solid acting across the board in "Apollo 13" (Universal Pictures), Ed Harris as Gene Kranz stole the show for me. Now granted, there's a certain amount of "Ed Harris is awesome in a leadership type of role" factor, but I believe he aces it in this film. The range from soft moments to commanding the room is great, and from the moment he appears in the Houston Control Center, in my eyes he "takes over" as the central figure in the movie. I'd certainly follow him into the sewers of Alcatraz after seeing this!

--Jeremy Toeman, vice president, product

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

While everyone else might think humans give the best acting performances in sci-fi movies, I'm all about the droids. R2-D2 in "Star Wars: A New Hope" (20th Century Fox) gives one heck of a performance without the use of facial expressions or even words. Granted, actor Kenny Baker is inside the droid, but he never actually has any dialog, at least not human dialog. R2-D2 shows his range of emotions through beeping and blinking of lights. But everyone who watches that feisty astromech in "Star Wars" knows exactly what he's thinking and feeling without ever needing subtitles. Now THAT'S acting! 

--Bonnie Burton, contributing editor

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

I have to pick Rutger Hauer from "Blade Runner" (Warner Bros.) mainly because of the final "Tears In the Rain" scene. In my opinion, it's one of the finest "death" scenes ever filmed and a brief but poignant reflection that goes straight to the core of what is "human." It forces you to ask who are really the villains and who are the heroes?

--Jon Chaikin, sr. manager, direct marketing and merchandising

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

I also chose Rutger Hauer from "Blade Runner" (Warner Bros.). There are so many moments where Hauer, not necessarily known as a great actor, sells replicant Roy Batty's combination of menace and naivete. From threatening a bio-engineer that makes eyes to confronting his creator, until his death scene, everything he does in the movie is extremely memorable. I even give him the nod over Harrison Ford, who's portrayal of Rick Deckard has so many standout scenes. "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time... to die."

--Wayne Cunningham, senior editor

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I'm going with Ethan Hawke in "Gattaca" (Columbia Pictures). A criminally underrated sci-fi movie to begin with, Hawke perfectly sold me on the would-be astronaut with a heart defect that bars him from space travel. His quiet desperation and determination plays perfectly off Jude Law's bitterness, and right up until the closing scene you're behind him the whole way. 

--Luke Lancaster, associate editor

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The only acting better than Sam Rockwell's performance in "Moon" (Sony Pictures Classics), is Sam Rockwell's other performance in "Moon." He gives not one, but two touching performances. Drawing a line from the work of Bruce Dern in 1972's "Silent Running", Rockwell plays haunted astronaut Sam Bell. His emotional performance touchingly evokes the loneliness of space as he clings to hope and humanity in a soul-crushing corporate future. 

--Rich Trenholm, senior editor

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Charlize Theron in "Mad Max: Fury Road" (Warner Bros. Pictures (United States/International, Roadshow Films (Australia)). While the title character is wonderfully portrayed by Tom Hardy, Theron's performance as the one-armed buzz cut Imperator Furiosa is what truly drove the film. Furiosa is the heart and soul of "Fury Road" and Theron is equally masterful driving a gargantuan War Rig as she is powering through the loss of her home and her hope. Plus, Theron looks crazy badass with a mechanical arm and a giant smear of oil across her forehead.

--Patrick Holland, associate editor

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Scarlett Johansson in "Her" (Warner Bros. Pictures). You don't actually see her in the whole movie and can disassociate her characteristic voice from Johansson's face and public persona. With only her voice, she constructs a character without a body, without a face and yet with a whole personality that gets to seduce Joaquin Phoenix's Theodore. That Spike Jones' movie satirizes a not-so-distant and very connected universe only helps.

--Patricia Puentes, engagement editor, CNET en Español

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Matt Damon does a great job conveying the different dimensions of astronaut Mark Watney in "The Martian" (20th Century Fox), a character that is stranded alone on another planet with little hope of surviving. 

I enjoyed his touch of sarcasm, his jokes and the way he takes us on the emotional ride of someone that's determined to never give up. 

A lot of amazing acting moments throughout the movie but one that sticks out is when he's waiting for the Ares MAV IV to launch. We get to see so much emotion from his facial expression; one that shows hope, adrenaline and fear at the same time. 

--Tania Gonzalez, audience development manager

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (Columbia Pictures). Back before actors needed six packs on their six packs in order to secure a blockbuster leading role, Dreyfuss repeatedly gave us incredible stand out performances. In "Close Encounters," Dreyfuss captures obsessive fixation and wonderment in such a way that I find myself watching him in awe.

--Rebecca Fleenor, executive assistant

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

I have to go with the old standby, Harrison Ford as Han Solo in "Star Wars: A New Hope" (20th Century Fox). Ford plays the perfect scoundrel, a lawless space pirate who slowly finds his honor over the course of the movie.

The best part is when Greedo finds him early on during the famous Cantina scene. He's such a badass as he shoots Greedo from under the table. Pay no attention to George Lucas' 1997 remake -- Han definitely shot first. Greedo never had a chance.

--Jason Parker, senior editor

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
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