Science-fiction movies like to portray a grim version of our future -- from dystopian thrillers ("Blade Runner") to space-age frontier flicks ("2001: A Space Odyssey") -- and include plenty of ridiculous technological advances. (Phasers! Time machines! Cloaking devices!) However, out of all the sophisticated gadgets sci-fi has to offer, the ones that connect the most with moviegoers are robots.
Yet while plenty of movie robots in history have been destructive and deadly, not every film believes our future lies in the hands of Hal or the Fembots. Sometimes robots can represent the good in us: our silly, sensitive and humane sides.
In honor of the new movie "Robot and Frank," which hits theaters today, here is a list of the 11 friendliest robots in film.
R2D2 ('Star Wars')
More courageous than his counterpart, R2D2 is a battle-hardened warrior with an unmatchable brave streak. We may never know what it is his beeps and boops add up to (even C3P0 seems mostly confused), but we hope that if we were faced with the dangerous situations that R2 finds himself in, from X-Wings to rebel invasions, that we could respond with a fraction of his cool.
C-3P0 ('Star Wars')
The absolute embodiment of a Nervous Nellie. If Milhouse was a robot, this would be it. As smart as 3P0 is, and as worldly as his six million forms of communications seem to be, he really is a scaredy cat, plan and simple. Nevertheless, having a robot that, for once, isn't hellbent on killing and wiping out its creators? It's kinda nice.
A hopeless romantic whose dreams come true, Wall-E's dutiful and trustworthy and a believer in old-school romantic gestures. Once he finds his dream girl EVA, he follows her to the ends of the universe. He loves old movies and sweet gestures, but it's his unmatchable boldness that wins the girl, and keeps him in our hearts.
Johnny 5 ('Short Circuit')
A military robot who rejects his coding and embraces life and a love of learning. His cries for "NEED MORE INPUT" are declarations for knowledge, and very human ones at that. Who among us has set down one career path, only to find something else more intellectually stimulating and desirable? Johnny 5's had a change of heart, and that's a new trick for a robot.
The Fix-its ('*batteries not included')
These tiny robots are quiet, modest machines, but their willingness to repair each other, and to build each other up out of spare parts and scrap metal, shows a social community and family to which we should all aspire.
NDR-113, AKA Andrew ('Bicentennial Man')
He transforms himself from mild-mannered robot servant to creative contributor, friend and family member. His search for other robots who are sentient, but finds little luck. He ultimately chooses a body modification that will allow him to die, rather than suffer an immortal life of unhappiness and loneliness.
The Terminator ('Terminator 2')
Don't try your luck on this one, but there are the occasionally helpful Terminators who are willing to go to the ends of the world for the human race, risking life as well as the majority of their limbs (like Schwarzenegger in "T2"). This loyalty is unwavering, and may go beyond humanity.
Though its behaviors appear ominous, this happy-go-lucky robot is fair and honest and does his job well, even as Sam Rockwell is discovering some very disturbing truths.
David ('A.I.: Artificial Intelligence')
Here is a robot made after our best qualities: David was programmed with the ability to love. This last scene, when he chooses to be with his mother for one more perfect day instead of a loveless immortality, once again separates this herd of charming, reasonable lifelike robots from the sinister death machines.
Though just a Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform in name, his time around kids and a family teaches him emotions to the point where his creators can no longer tell if he's a machine. When we see him get to live on as a child, free of government death warrants, we delight.
The Iron Giant ('The Iron Giant')
Though the Iron Giant doesn't respond well to anything he perceives as a weapon, he's actually very sweet. (He likes Superman! And any robot who enjoys Clark Kent can't be that bad.) Despite being continuously harassed by a scapegoat-desperate government, the Iron Giant is a protector and a defender, and really just a boy at heart.
Earlier on Moviefone: