Hulu has slowly expanded its catalog, which is good news for fans of sci-fi movies and shows. The streaming service used to be just a more affordable Netflix, but nowadays Hulu Original shows have largely leveled the playing field, and it seems to get new movies in a much more timely fashion. When it comes to sci-fi on Hulu, there are a lot of options. From classic sci-fi movies to award-winning Hulu Original shows, there are more than enough options to get your science fiction fix.
We’ve split the list into the best sci-fi shows and the best sci-fi movies on Hulu. You’re sure to find something to watch, so keep on reading!
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as sci-fi movies and shows leave and other new arrivals make their debut on Hulu.
Best sci-fi shows on Hulu
1. The Handmaid’s Tale
This Hulu Original is not only one of its best, but also one of its most successful. The first season of the Handmaid’s Tale won eight Primetime Emmys and several Golden Globe awards, and in many ways was the first show to put Hulu Originals on the radar. Season three began in June 2019.
The show takes place in a dystopian near-future New England, where ultra conservative religious leaders have taken over. Women’s rights have been erased, and their role in society reduced to that of Marthas, who do typical house chores, and handmaids, whose only purpose is to bear children for their masters. It’s based on the classic 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, and it strays far from standard genre tropes, making it one of the best sci-fi shows on Hulu.
If you’re looking for more standard science fiction action, Joss Whedon’s Firefly will be right up your alley. If you haven’t already seen it, the 2002 space cowboy western can be streamed in its entirety on Hulu. It was unceremoniously canceled in its first season, but it remains a fan favorite. The movie, Serenity, can also be streamed on Hulu and ties up some loose ends from the series.
Firefly follows of crew of captain Mal Reynolds aboard a Firefly-class spaceship. Unlike other shows in the genre, it takes place in a multicultural future, where Eastern and Western cultures intertwine. Significant disparities between the rich and the poor still exist, and the decision to focus on the latter makes it all the more interesting.
James Franco stars in yet another Hulu Original sci-fi series, this time based on a Stephen King novel by the same name. The show unfolds over eight episodes, all of which are available for streaming now on Hulu.
11.22.63, as the name implies, centers around the assassination of JFK. An ordinary high school teacher is tasked with traveling back in time to prevent the murder from taking place, which proves more difficult than he could imagine.
4. The X-Files
The X-Files follows FBI agents Mulder and Scully. They search for “the truth” and often work in very extraneous cases. Some topics covered include UFO sightings, abductions, and other paranormal activities. The series is a classic favorite from the 90’s. You’ll be entertained for a while, as it is 11 seasons and 219 episodes long.
5. 12 Monkeys (series)
Loosely based on the 1995 movie, 12 Monkeys is a science fiction show that originally aired on the SyFy network. All four seasons and 47 episodes are available now on Hulu.
The series focuses on two strangers who are tasked to travel back in time to stop a cataclysmic event. A deadly plague will wipe out more than 90 percent of the planet unless they can stop it in time.
Best sci-fi movies on Hulu
We kick off our list of the best sci-fi movies on Hulu with this 2018 film starring Natalie Portman. Annihilation might have been a box office flop, but it’s still a great film.
The movie follows biologist and military veteran Lena as she is assigned to explore a mysterious anomaly called the Shimmer. Inside, animals and other life have rapidly mutated into terrible beasts. The area grows larger every day, threatening to engulf nearby towns and cities unless her team can find a way to stop it.
Akira is one of the most famous animated movies of all time, and for good reason. This cyberpunk sci-fi action film was first released in 1988 and has proved hugely influential on the genre ever since.
Set in the distant future of 2019 (ok, maybe not so distant), Akira follows the story of Kaneda, the leader of a local biker gang. When one of his friends suddenly gains telepathic powers, it’s up to Kaneda to protect him from government forces that want to take advantage of his supernatural abilities, and to protect him from himself.
Forget everything you hate about Michael Bay’s gaudy Transformers movies and give this sci-fi movie a watch on Hulu right away. Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight, takes place years before the other titles in the series. The eponymous Autobot is sent to Earth as a scout, where he befriends Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) and immediately sets out to evade both the Decepticons and a government agents.
Despite failing to make waves at the box office, Bumblebee is filled with nostalgic charm and brings some much-needed character development to the established series. It still has action, but better pacing and camera work means you can actually follow what’s happening on screen. This won the film a number of accolades, and scored it a sequel that’s still in the works.
4. A Quiet Place
This sci-fi movie on Hulu is one of the best horror films you can find. The story revolves around a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world in which aliens have taken over the world. While these beasts are blind, they have an amazing sense of hearing, so staying completely quiet is crucial to surviving.
The movie was directed by John Krasinski, who also starred in the film. It got plenty of award nominations, so you know this will be a good watch for a good scare.
5. Super 8
This 2011 J.J. Abrams sci-fi movie is a throwback to genre classics like E.T. and Close Encounters with the Third Kind. When a 14-year-old aspiring filmmaker and his friends accidentally capture an otherworldly creature escaping from captivity, they take it upon themselves to solve the mystery (and evade the adults that are trying to keep them away).
It was produced by Steven Spielberg and is filled with homages to his early works. It even takes place during the same time period as E.T., giving it a distinctly nostalgic feel that’s perfect for audiences young and old.
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