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The 10 best sci-fi movies on Netflix
Netflix is home to some great sci-fi movies, both new and old. The titles you’ll get to watch cover most categories in the science fiction genre, including cyberpunk, steampunk, space opera, superheroes, science fantasy, dystopian, utopian, time travel, and more. But what are the best sci-fi movies you can watch on Netflix? To help you choose the perfect celluloid escape to other worlds and dimensions, we have a curated list of 10 movies that you might want to catch.
The streaming service constantly refreshed its library of sci-fi flicks so you might see some movies come and go from the platform. That’s why we keep updating this list with the latest sci-fi titles. If you can’t get enough sci-fi, check out our list of the best sci-fi shows on Netflix, too.
Best sci-fi movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: We will update this post as more great Netflix sci-fi movies are added to the service’s catalog and others are removed.
It didn’t get a lot of critical or audience love when it was first released, but this movie has since gotten a big cult following and is now considered one of the best sci-fi films ever made. Humans have to fight off giant alien bugs, but that’s just the surface of the story. Beneath its plot are some funny satire and comments on fascist societies, the media, and the military in general. It’s also pretty funny in spots. It’s worth a watch.
Outside The Wire
Starring Anthony Mackie in the lead role of a robot soldier, this action-packed sci-fi movie is centered around a mission to find a doomsday device. A drone pilot (Damson Idris) is sent on a punishment posting to a deadly militarized zone where he finds himself working for an android officer (Mackie). He’s reluctant at first for having to report to a robot, but soon forms a deep bond with the sentient droid when he realizes it’s trying to stop a nuclear war.
The Wandering Earth
The China-made film The Wandering Earth may be the most epic sci-fi movie on Netflix, just in terms of its visuals and themes. In the far future, humanity learns the sun is dying. It is about to expand in its last stage to a red giant, which will destroy the Earth. So what do the nations of the world do to avert humanity’s extinction? They put a bunch of really big rockets on the Earth and start moving it to another solar system.
Is it a little goofy? Yes. Is it one of the most spectacular films you might ever see? You bet. It’s definitely one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix.
See You Yesterday
A Netflix original, See You Yesterday is a story of time travel. But if you’re thinking “Back To The Future,” think again. The film is not the fun, adventurous ride you’re imagining. Instead, it’s a tale of desperation that’ll make you feel sorry for the protagonists — two teenagers who happen to invent a time-traveling backpack. Instead of using their invention for something fun, the duo has to take it upon themselves to save a friend and a brother who dies in a wrongful police encounter.
I Am Mother
I Am Mother is a sci-fi thriller about a young girl (Clara Rugaard) who is being raised in isolation by Mother (Rose Byrne), a robot tasked with the responsibility of repopulating the Earth after the near extinction of humankind. Things go horribly wrong when a stranger (Hilary Swank) enters the mix and challenges everything the robot has taught the young girl about the outside world.
Rian Johnson wrote and directed this sci-fi movie that has an interesting take on time travel. Criminals in the future send people they want to see die back into the past to cover their tracks, where they are actually killed by people called Loopers. One such assassin, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is getting ready to make such a kill, but the person who appears from the future is actually his own future self, played by Bruce Willis, who then gets away from his younger self. It gets wilder from there, and that makes it one of the best sci-fi films on Netflix.
A strange force eliminates the population of the world. If you see it, you tend to kill yourself. So what must Malorie (Sandra Bullock) do to get herself and her two toddlers to safety? Her last option is to flee to the only safe place left and seek sanctuary from the deadly force. But to survive, she and her kids must undertake a perilous two-day journey blindfolded. Will they survive? Watch this Netflix original sci-fi thriller to find out.
A mysterious new pill that unlocks superpowers unique to each user is going viral on the streets of New Orleans. The catch is that people don’t know what will happen to them until they take it. As is the case with such drugs, crime starts to escalate in the city as some develop bulletproof skin, invisibility, and super strength. Given the circumstances, a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier (Jamie Foxx) to fight power with power and risk-taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Black Mirror is one of the best original TV shows on Netflix, but its creator and writer Charlie Brooker decided to release a great Black Mirror feature film in late 2018 on Netflix as well. This is great news on its own, as we get to watch how developing a fictional video game starts to affect the reality of its programmer.
This movie is an interactive experience, as you will be asked in the middle of the narrative to make choices that will affect the storyline. There are several different ways the storyline can end, and once you reach it, you can always start over again and make different choices to see if you can get to all of the endings.
Two paramedics and best friends (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) start coming across strange deaths owing to a new designer drug called Synchronic. It mostly affects young people and makes them time travel to the past, sometimes resulting in their death and sometimes leaving them behind. When the daughter of one of the two (Dornan) goes missing, the other (Mackie) decides to take the drug, go into the past, and recover the missing girl.
Best sci-fi movies on Netflix – Honorable mentions
There are actually a ton of great sci-fi movies on Netflix that didn’t make our top 10 list. Here are a few more you can stream and watch:
- Stargate – The discovery of a device buried in Egypt for thousands of years soon leads to the device transporting an expedition from Earth to an alien planet. This is the start of the Stargate franchise that has led to three spin-off TV series.
- The One – Jet Li plays good and evil versions of himself in this movie, where the evil version is killing his other selves in different universes to become “The One”.
- Space Sweepers – This recent Netflix original from South Korea centers on a spaceship crew in the future who encounter issues while trading an android.
- Stowaway – The first mission from Earth to Mars is threatened when its three-person crew discovers a fourth person has managed to sneak aboard the ship.
- The Midnight Sky – George Clooney directs and stars in this post-apocalyptic tale about a man on Earth who is racing to communicate with the last remaining spaceship so it won’t land.
These are our choices for the best sci-fi movies on Netflix. We’ll update the list with new titles once they hit the streaming service.