There are tons of great movies to watch on Netflix, often so many that it’s hard to pick one. If you’re looking for some great sci-fi, it can be especially hard to wade through the schlock (unless that’s what you’re after) to find the real gems. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now.
The directorial debut of Warcraft and Mute filmmaker Duncan Jones, Moon follows astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) near the end of his three-year tenure as the sole inhabitant of a lunar mining base responsible for shipping resources back to Earth.
As his stint nears its end, Bell’s health takes a turn for the worse and everything else takes a turn for the strange.
The movie is a neat exploration of isolation. Rockwell turns in a great performance, considering he only really speaks to himself and the base’s AI (played by Kevin Spacey).
No list of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix would be complete without Steven Spielberg’s epic dinosaur movie, which broke new ground in the special effects world and spawned a massive franchise still going strong. This masterful melding of wonder and horror stars Sam Neill and Laura Dern as paleontologists brought to an island theme park populated by resurrected dinosaurs. Things go wrong as they inevitably must, and the dinosaurs break out of their cages, forcing the characters to fight for survival and find a way off the island.
If you’ve somehow missed Jurassic Park, you should fix that. Even 25 years after the film’s release, the mix of practical and CG special effects holds up pretty well.
28 Days Later writer Alex Garland’s directorial debut, Ex Machina is a gripping sci-fi psychological thriller. The film follows the programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) who wins a contest at his company, letting him spend a week with its reclusive and eccentric CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Upon arrive at Nathan’s secluded mansion, Caleb learns he’s to be a Turing test of sorts for Ava (Alicia Vikander), an android with a sophisticated AI.
Set against an isolated wooded backdrop, the film builds a sense of quiet, steady horror as Caleb falls prey to the manipulations of both Nathan and Ava. Eventually everything falls apart, in spectacular fashion, and all that tension explodes. This is definitely one the best sci-fi movies on Netflix, and more generally of the last decade.
There’s a certain tendency among sci-fi fans to recoil when a movie like Ghostbusters is labeled science fiction, but screw it. Ghostbusters is about a group of scientists who build gadgets to capture ghosts — it’s sci-fi as hell. Of course, it’s also one of the great works of modern comedy. Bonus!
If you’ve never had the chance to Bill Murray get slimed, or Dan Akroyd accidentally summon a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you are in for a treat. This is a classic for a reason.
The Iron Giant
This is a classic animated film about the friendship between a young boy and giant robot from space. The giant (Vin Diesel) falls to Earth damaged and is sheltered by young sci-fi devotee Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal). Together the boy and his colossal iron friend avoid detection by sinister government forces and work to overcome the giant’s programming as a weapon of war.
It’s a wonderful story about peace, friendship, self-determination, and sticking it to The Man. With a classic 1950’s aesthetic and animation the still hold up well, you can go back this heartwarming movie time and again.
The conclusion to Joss Whedon’s cult classic TV show Firefly, Serenity picks up where the show left off, follow Malcom Reynolds (Nathan Filion) and his crew of outlaws as they fly through space avoiding an assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) targeting one their group.
The film pulls elements and themes from cowboy films into its sci-fi setting, all tied together by Whedon’s characteristic plucky dialogue. It really feels like a Western in space.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The follow-up to Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi action film about the adventures crimson-skinned, stone-fisted son of Cthulhu-esque trans-dimensional evil space gods, Hellboy 2 follows the titular character (Ron Perlman) as he and his team battle to save the world from an Elven prince bent on unleashing an ancient mechanical army.
Hellboy skates between a lot of different genres, from action, to sci-fi, to fantasy, and beyond. It’s got all the flare and characteristic weirdness of a Guillermo Del Toro film, introducing a wider supernatural world full of colourful and grotesque characters and settings. It’s a real treat and definitely a great option if you’re looking for the best sci-fi movies on Netflix.
Under The Skin
In Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson stars as a silent alien wandering around Scotland disguised as a human, luring men back into her lair (maybe it’s a ship? It’s all very trippy and unclear) to be eaten. Eventually the alien begins questioning her life and how she lives it and heads across the countryside to get a better understanding of humanity.
The movie is intense and atmospheric from the start and it only builds as the alien’s moves from town to town pursued by a mysterious assailant on a motorcycle seemingly bent on bringing her back into the fold.
It’s a slow burn, it’s weird as heck, and it can be confusing, but Under The Skin is definitely worth a watch.
There you have it, these are some of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix. Did we miss any you think should be on the list? Sound off in the comment’s below