Sci-Fi movies are a genre that are always popular with a specific audience. They offer escapism, action, laughs, and adventure. The audience might be limited in some regards, but the universal stories they tell are simply undeniable.It is with this in mind that we have scoured Netflix to find you the best ones they have available right now.
The titles on display here come in all shapes and sizes. This is probably what makes the sci-fi genre so popular. There really is something for everybody. Whether you want to look at a dystopian future, a not to distant future, or an alternate future, there is something here for you. Science-Fiction films have a way of taking a present we know and distorting it to be something we no longer recognize. All while making a statement about the here and now.
It is the fluid ability of this genre that makes it so reliable to its audience. The best part about sci-fi is how it takes highly complex subject matter and makes it accessible. Because it can do that we get truly far out stories that we can understand. So basically forget about your Netflix queue. Why spend the time looking up a good science-fiction movie on your own? Especially when we have done the work for you with these 15 best sci-fi movies on streaming on Netflix right now.
Bright is not just one of the biggest original Netflix movies, but also one of it's first forays into sci-fi. This tale of Will Smith teaming up with the an Orc played by Joel Edgerton wasn't necessarily beloved by hardcore sci-fi fans. But Bright, with its Rotten Tomato score of 27%, is something of an anomaly.Bright has an audience score of 85%. Which means someone out there loves it. Set in Los Angeles and looking like a fantasy version of Training Day, from David Ayer, the guy that wrote that film, Bright makes a comment on the divide our nation has with itself. Netflix is bold but Bright is literally on another planet.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
Okay, The Cloverfield Paradox is a beautifully flawed film. Sure, Netflix essentially dumped this third film in the Cloverfield universe on their platform, but that doesn't mean that it is totally bad. While it isn't anything like the original Cloverfield, or 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Cloverfield Paradox is not a movie without merits. This story about a space crew who find themselves moving through the multiverse of space and time, is bold, audacious, and, at one point, relies on a severed arm to save humanity!
Mute is another big budget Netflix original that hasn't necessarily been winning over the critics. But fans of Netflix sure are devouring it. The story follows a mute man who ventures into a near-future Berlin to find his missing girlfriend in the seamy underworld. There, his actions speak louder than words. The movie stars Alexander Skarsgard in the lead, but it's really Paul Rudd who steals the show.
Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)
Based on the popular anime of the same name, fans have been waiting for this one for a long time. And it doesn't disappoint. While alchemist Edward Elric is searching for a way to restore his brother Al's body, the military government and mysterious monsters are watching closely.
When We First Met (2018)
When we first met is an interesting foray in the sci-fi sub-genre of romantic comedies. As this is a time travel tale at heart, it calls back some of the better entries like Back to the Future and Bill and Ted. The movie follows a love lorn guy who believes he's missed out on marrying his true soul mate. Their first night was perfect. So this lovesick guy, played by Workaholics favorite Adam Devine, keeps traveling back to that point in time to finally win the girl of his dreams. You can watch it here.
Spectral was supposed to be a big summer release. But Netflix decided the movie was a better fit for its line-up of original streaming movies. The story follows an otherworldly force that wreaks havoc on a war-torn European city. An engineer is forced to team up with an elite Special Ops unit to stop it.
Armageddon tells to the story of humans trying to stop a giant meteor from destroying earth. And with a cast that includes both Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, Armageddon is a movie that is literally bigger than life. Sure, the people involved in saving humanity seem like they are only doing it between laughs. And yes, the audience for this movie isn't the same is the one for say, Serenity. That's what makes sci-fi so much fun. Netflix knows that some people might like one style of film or another, but what does it matter as long as they get their content from Netflix?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Without Rogue One: A Star Wars Story we would never have seen how Princess Leia ultimately got the Death Star plans that Luke would use to destroy the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Now, this is a Star Wars film that is in everybody's wheelhouse. It has action, adventure, laughs and tips its hat to Episodes 4-6 to be respectful. What better way to spend a few hours on Netflix than with this baby?
Cloud Atlas (2012)
An ambitious saga from Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowksi and Lilly Wachowski, Cloud Atlas is nearly a 3 hour meditation on human beings and their interconnectedness through time. There... how's that for a one line distillation? Featuring the likes of Tom Hanks and Halle Berry like you've never seen them, Cloud Atlas offers our stars in multiple roles, multiple situations and multiple stories. It also does this with many of the other actors and actresses in this film. The vast bigness of Cloud Atlas represents the perfect way to spend a Sunday with Netflix.
Trollhunter so perfectly melds low budget and large budget filmmaking that this film actually breaks new ground as a sci-fi film. This found footage story of students following a man who who is hunting trolls is the perfect film in the Netflix age. With it's dramatic moments mixed with special FX, Trollhunter truly takes on a life of it's own as you watch it. How many films can claim that?
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Giovanni Ribisi top-line Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. This blast from the past film came out in 2004 and did everything it could to recall the acclaimed serial films of the 1930s. With a look and feel that hadn't been seen in years, this film gives us a New York City under attack, disappearing scientists, and two reporters who won't let go of the story of the decade. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is the sort of Netflix offering that will make the uninitiated positively giddy!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Mix tapes, Star Lord, an absentee dad, Drax, and Groot are all the fun elements that appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. With a cast that features Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper all reprising their roles from the original (with an assist from Kurt Russell), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could very well be Director James Gunn's masterwork. So imminently contagious is this film that it singlehandedly revived the cassette tape. Now, if only Netflix could stream all of those somehow?
In these times of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a film like Chappie isn't only important it's necessary. This film looks at a world in which people are patrolled by robot police officers. When Chappie is taken and rewired, suddenly, he becomes a patrol droid with a conscious. This film is sci-fi at its absolute best with a fair amount of crime, drama, and social consciousness thrown in.
The Giver (2014)
With a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift, The Giver is a truly inspired work based on a book by Lois Lowry. The book focuses on a community that is in many ways utopian. There's no war, crime or any of the problems that have amassed in the real world. However, when our main character starts learning from The Giver (Bridges) suddenly their world is opened up and their mind is blown. Netflix really gives us a nice dystopian sci-fi adventure here!
John Dies at the End (2012)
Phantasm director Don Coscarelli seems to be channeling Philip K. Dick with John Dies at the End. There is a new drug being passed around that allows people to essentially move through the multiverse. However, traveling can change people and when some of them return and are no longer human that is a BIG problem. Truthfully, this movie isn't for everyone. However, it is bold and brash enough to be one of the best sci-fi offerings Netflix can give us.
Doctor Strange (2016)
An acclaimed neurosurgeon loses the ability to use his greatest asset (his hands) and sets about on a journey unlike any he's ever experienced. And the fact that in Doctor Strange the title character has to save the world, only seems to make this inter-dimensional film that much better. Truly, sci-fi films don't generally come this well acted and this well put together as Doctor Strange does here. I know that Disney plans to pull it's Marvel content off of Netflix but perhaps they will spare this gem?
The Perfect Weapon (2016)
Steven Seagal plays the controller of society in The Perfect Weapon. Okay, stop right there. If the sentence "Steven Seagal plays the controller of society in The Perfect Weapon," doesn't make you want to stream this movie then you might seriously have to wonder if you really like science fiction!
Khalil Sullins' Listening sees what happens when a bunch of grad students try and figure out how to read minds. Sure, things are great at first but eventually reality kicks in and everybody pretty much has their life destroyed. Okay, this offering is decidedly low budget, there aren't name actors to rely on, but that is why Listening works the way that it does. Netflix, you done good making this thing available the masses!
The Road (2009)
You can't go wrong with Cormac McCarthy and The Road is one of the best adaptation of his work. With a solid cast that includes Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, The Road is a meditation on how parents will stop at nothing to provide their kids a chance at a better life. Netflix has a lot of content to wade through, but films like The Road stand out because they are deadly serious about the worlds they portray.