Hulu has slowly expanded its catalog, which is good news for fans of sci-fi movies and shows. Hulu used to be just a more affordable Netflix, but nowadays Hulu Original shows have largely leveled the playing field. 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. Stargate SG-1
If you’re looking for a sci-fi show on Hulu to binge watch, Stargate SG-1 is a great option. With all 10 seasons and 214 episodes available, you should have more than enough content to keep you busy.
Stargate SG-1 is about an alien technology called a Stargate, which can travel to unknown regions of space. Most alien species are less than friendly, so the entire operation is run by the United States government and Air Force. Ancient Egyptian themes are found throughout this classic sci-fi series.
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 with this 2018 film starring Natalie Portman. Annihilation might have been a box office flop, but it’s a great film and among the best sci-fi movies available on Hulu.
The film 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.
3. District 9
This 2009 film provides an original take on the well-worn alien sci-fi genre. It explores the themes of xenophobia and social segregation, fittingly taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was nominated for four Academy Awards.
When a spaceship filled with sick and malnourished aliens appears over Johannesburg, the South African government confines them to an area that becomes known as District 9. One year later, the area is a slum and locals convince the government to hire a private weapons company to relocate them. These leads to the exposure of harsh mistreatment of the alien visitors.
4. The Fifth Element
This sci-fi movie on Hulu doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s precisely why it’s gained such a cult status. The Fifth Element’s story doesn’t make a lot of sense, with an ex-cop taxi driver taking an ancient reconstructed alien (in the form of a young woman) under his wing to prevent the destruction of the universe.
Even so, writer/director Luc Besson pulling in legendary French comic artists Moebius (The Incal) and Jean-Claude Mézières (Valerian and Laureline) lead to some truly incredible visuals, which still hold up today.
5. The Matrix
What kind of sci-fi movie best list can ignore this 1999 movie that really set the trend for all action movies to come? The Matrix is the Wachowski siblings at their best, with a young Keanu Reeves getting pulled out of his desk job and into a convoluted world of machines harvesting humans for energy. The resulting movie is a mix of mind-bending virtual reality and spectacular action sequences, including the slow-motion eye candy known as bullet time.
The entire trilogy is available for streaming on Netflix, but the first entry in the series is without a doubt the best.
That’s it for our list of the best sci-fi on Hulu! We’ll update this post with new movies and shows once they launch on the streaming network.