The 1982 movie was the favorite when 60 scientists were questioned by The Guardian, including evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, the newspaper said Wednesday.
In the film, a retired cop played by Harrison Ford hunts down renegade human replicates in a dark futuristic vision of Los Angeles.
Stephen Minger, a stem cell biologist at King's College, London, said "Blade Runner" was the best movie he had ever seen.
"It was so far ahead of its time and the whole premise of the story — what is it to be human and who are we, where we come from. It's the age-old questions," he said.
Stanley Kubrick's epic, "2001: A Space Odyssey," came in a close second, followed by the first two films of George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy: "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back."
The others chosen, in descending order, were "Alien," "Solaris (1972)," "Terminator," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "War of the Worlds," "The Matrix," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
Asked to pick their favorite authors, the scientists chose: Isaac Asimov, "I, Robot"; John Wyndham, "Day of the Triffids and Chocky"; and Fred Hoyle, "The Black Cloud."
The other writers chosen, in descending order, were Philip K. Dick, H.G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert and Stanislaw Lem.