Death Rays, Disintegration Rays, Heat Rays, Ray Guns, and other similary named energy weapons were part of Sci-fi before real-life lasers were invented. Producers use the term laser because it's easy to understand, and it seems close to the older stuff.
But in spaceship to spaceship battles we often see lasers doing incredible damage to spaceships, sometimes destroying them outright. In reality in order to do this, they would need a vast amount of power. The systems to generate this power would be far bigger than the spaceships can house. I mean they use a lase system in our military to take down enemy missiles. But the power system to accommodate this is in a plane the size of a 747. But I know fictional starships are often bigger than 747s.
I'd assume advanced future technology would be able to solve any power problems.
What I don't understand in these old sci fi films is why they don't color the spaceships a chrome silver. That's all you need to deter a laser, a simple mirror. You don't need some complex force field system. That would never work.
Technically, this wouldn't work on a high powered laser in real life. The laser would generate enough heat to melt through the mirror. Still, fiction shows lasers capable of destroying space ships deterred by mirrors, so, from an in-story perspective, your right.