The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix to Watch Now

sci-fi movies on netflix

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix – Here at Paste, a lot of us like reading science fiction. And during the past year, Netflix has improved its sci-fi movie selection, adding some of our list of the 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time. Modern independent films like Okja and Looper are particularly well-represented in the streaming film library, which is further bolstered by Netflix originals like Project Power or The Platform. Of course, see Blade Runner whenever you can. Whether you’re seeking for alien invasions, superheroes, space travel, technological perils, or futuristic visions, it’s an exciting moment for speculative fiction.

Here are the 10 best sci-fi movies on Netflix:

1. Blade Runner

Year: 1982
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edgar James Olmos
Rating: R
Runtime: 117 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

The world of Ridley Scott’s dismal, damp, and crammed Blade Runner established the bar for the representation of pre-apocalyptic dystopias, much as The Road Warrior defined the look and tone for innumerable post-apocalyptic cinema-scapes to follow. In addition, he had a cast of performers, including Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, and others, who helped bring this Philip K. Dick-inspired story of a replicant-retiring cop to grimy, convincing life.

A captivating meditation on the hidden loneliness of the human (and maybe inhuman) condition lies behind the film’s stunning set design and outstanding performances, and it has continued to reverberate (and inspired new works, including Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049) to this day.

2. Sorry to Bother You

Year: 2018
Director: Boots Riley
Stars: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Stephen Yeun, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Terry Crews, Danny Glover
Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix – Sorry to bother you It almost seems churlish to point out that the movie ultimately careens gloriously out of control since it has so many ideas bursting out of every seam and so much ambition. This is rapper and producer Boots Riley’s debut feature film, and it is obvious that he threw every concept he had at it since he didn’t know whether he’d ever be able to make another one.

In some parts of Sorry To Bother You, you’ll want to leap maniacally around the cinema. Additionally, there are instances where you’ll question who in the world handed this crazy a camera. (Some of those times are also rather giddy.) Far more of the former than the latter. In the film, Danny Glover plays a colleague named Cassius who suggests using his “white voice” on calls because he feels like his life is slipping away from him.

Cassius tries his hand at telemarketing and fails miserably (in a series of fantastic scenes in which his desk literally drops into the homes of whoever he is dialling). Stanfield suddenly resembles David Cross at his most nasally, and he has elevated himself to the position of “supercaller” at the corporation, where he pursues the Glengarry leads. That is only the starting point:

Along the way, we meet a Tony Robbins-like businessman (Armie Hammer) who may also be a slave trader, Cassius’ radical artist girlfriend (Tessa Thompson), who wears earrings with so many slogans it’s a wonder she can hold up her head, and a revolutionary coworker (Stephen Yeun) who is attempting to incite the workers to rebel against their employers. There are many more individuals as well, but only a small number of them are truly human. It’s a good movie.

3. Blade Runner 2049

Year: 2017
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto
Rating: R
Runtime: 163 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Since Ridley Scott produced one genre masterpiece after another dithering over the question of what constitutes “reality,” the discussion has become a staple of adult-oriented sci-fi fare. However, Blade Runner 2049 excels in how intimately Villeneuve (along with writers Hampton Fancher and Michael Green) attempt to have us experience this world through the unreal eyes of a Replicant, K. (Ryan Gosling).

The best case scenario is when empathy—caring about these robots—is the inevitable outcome of the filmmakers’ storytelling, forcing us to consider what “humanity” is. Therefore, Blade Runner 2049 is unquestionably the most beautiful thing to emerge from a big studio in a while. Roger Deakins leaned into the overwhelming discomfort that pervades the monolithic Los Angeles Ridley Scott constructed, instilling Jordan Cronenweth’s lived-in feeling of a future on the verge of obsolescence.

The immensity of the movie is only rivalled by the pervasive sensation of gloom; the lighting alternates ceaselessly, amplifying and obliterating the sense-shattering corporate structures and hyper-styled chambers where mankind escapes from the dead natural environment they have created. There is a vast planet, a solar system, orbiting this miserable metropolis. It is so out of proportion that San Diego is now a literal enormous dump for the trash from New L.A., yet a great deal of it is hidden in shade and opacity and is therefore always out of reach.

Villeneuve and Deakins have paid homage to what Scott and Cronenweth did with the original movie—putting a potboiler inside a beautifully imagined other reality—while poking fun at its limitations. There is no other way to adequately sum up what they have accomplished except to say that they understand.

4. Okja

Year: 2017
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, An Seo Hyun, Byun Heebong, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Yoon Je Moon, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Devon Bostick, Woo Shik Choi, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal
Rating: NR
Runtime: 118 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

In its opening five minutes, Okja takes more artistic chances than most movies do during their running time, and it doesn’t let up after that. The film’s tone, which shifts from pathos to tension to joyful action to whimsy to horror to whatever Jake Gyllenhaal is doing, seems to be a sticking point for certain critics and moviegoers, especially Western ones. However, this is an integral component of what distinguishes Bong Joon-ho films as such:

Although intricate and nuanced, they are not particularly restrained or subtle. They pay close attention to the little things, yet their handling is not gentle. They put together various objectives that they have in order to jam. The wild pendulum swing of a Bong film’s rhythmic tone is a feature of these innovative works that build momentum through part-counterpart alternations, and Okja is maybe their best example to date.

Okja isn’t a movie about veganism either, but it does address how we may behave with integrity and, more importantly, how we can act with humanity toward all living things, including humans. Because Okja has asked all the correct questions and done it in a style that is really entertaining, even if its conclusions are straightforward and important, it lets you hear them for yourself. This is one of the best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix.

5. Black Mirror

Year: 2011-2019
Creator: Charlie Brooker
Rating: N/A

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

They combine their many goals into one jamming purpose. They are inventive works that create momentum through part-counterpart alternations, and Okja is maybe the best illustration yet of the erratic pendulum swing of a Bong film’s rhythmic tone.

In addition, Okja is not a movie advocating veganism; rather, it is a movie that explores the question of how we may behave with integrity and, more importantly, how we can act with humanity toward all living things, including humans. Because it has posed all the appropriate questions and done it in a way that is really captivating, Okja allows you hear those answers for yourself without actually uttering them.

The black mirror of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, and in the palm of every hand: the cold, glossy screen of a TV, a monitor, or a smartphone, as stated by the title’s author Charlie Brooker. This show’s purpose is to portray our society in a negative light, and it accomplishes this goal by using a fresh cast and intriguing new plotlines in each episode. Even if our brave new world is unavoidable, it is not enjoyable to watch—it is largely horrifying—but the programme symbolises a kind of resistance that feels more urgent than ever.

6. Gattaca

Year: 1997
Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 106 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Andrew Niccol’s 1997 film imagines a near-future in which nearly all children are lab-created and genetically engineered to prevent any mental or physical “imperfections,” with less emphasis on gadgetry and spectacular effects and more on profoundly felt people. Vincent, a “God kid” born naturally and with inherent flaws, is portrayed by Ethan Hawke.

Vincent gets assistance from a DNA broker and adopts a new, genetically superior persona in order to fulfil his ambitious professional goals. The movie, which is archetypal in form, employs a lovely orchestral soundtrack by seasoned composer Michael Nyman (The Piano) to convey a mood that is both introspective and melancholy, layered atop excellent production design.

Every visual component of the movie, from colour saturation to sound design, helps to create an environment that feels both entirely foreign and completely familiar, like those beings that are just a semantic step away from being manufactured.

7. Contagion

Year: 2011
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 106 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

With its genuinely gruesome representations of civilians dying from an unknown sickness, the opening 30 minutes of Contagion accomplish the job just fine if you truly want to be afraid. After a work trip to Hong Kong, Beth’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) reported jet lag worsens upon her return to her family, and she passes away in the emergency room due to severe convulsions.

Before it is discovered that Mitch (Matt Damon), Beth’s husband, is mysteriously immune, the sickness swiftly spreads as researchers scramble to find its source. As the death toll rises quickly and at an unprecedented rate, Mitch attempts to keep his teenage daughter safe as municipal services break down and neighbourhoods degenerate into chaotic zones.

He is the common person who allows us to understand how frail the facade of politeness truly is. At the risk of getting sick herself, Kate Winslet portrays a doctor tasked with monitoring the epidemic in the United States. Additionally, she must contend with oppositional municipal authorities who are still haunted by the lacklustre N1H1 incident. Winslet, like the other characters in the movie, takes a back seat to the illness, which appears to be able to kill almost every test animal that becomes afflicted.

But Paltrow’s quick but outstanding performance stands out above the others. Jude Law, an investigative blogger who thinks the government is hiding information on the sickness and even a vaccine, appeals to the public’s scepticism while also adding a touch of madness and wisdom. But Law’s role, like everyone else in this stellar cast, is neither good nor bad. Soderbergh portrays the gruesome start of the epidemic with a natural instinct for knowing when to stop short of going too far. He moves just far enough in the direction of terror. Its a must watch Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix.

8. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack

Year: 1988
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Stars: Toru Furuya, Shuichi Ikeda, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Maria Kawamura, Nozomu Sasaki, Koichi Yamadera
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 119 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Char’s Counterattack has the weight of three TV seasons behind it. It is the first Gundam theatrical feature and the conclusion of the original narrative started in 1979 with the “Universal Century Timeline” of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. The movie was written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, the man behind the Gundam television series, and it was a faithful adaptation of his book Hi-Streamer.

Char’s Counterattack, often regarded as the greatest movie in the Gundam trilogy, excels at putting an end to the 14-year conflict between Char Aznable, the commander of Neo-Zeon, and Amuro Ray, the “hero” of the Earth Federation. The plot features a typical Gundam conundrum: An asteroid loaded with nuclear bombs is dropped into Earth by Char’s Neo-Zeon force in an effort to liberate the colonies from the rule of their enemies, the Earth Federation, while also destroying the whole planet.

As with many of the finest Gundam stories, Tomino tackles the narrative from a hard science perspective, outlining the theory behind concepts like enormous mobile suits and “newtypes” in plain terms (humans that have evolved to acquire psychic abilities). Tomino expertly explains the motivations behind Char and Amuro’s emotions and animosities without letting the audience pick a side. The Gundam series has always been open to talking about the horrors of war and how despite all its accomplishments, humanity still can’t manage to break free from its worst instincts.

Char’s Counterattack makes the same endeavour, but its main goal is to put an end to the rivalry between Char and Amuro, and in that regard, it succeeds wildly. The movie is unquestionably one of the pinnacles of the Gundam Universe, with stunning, stressful space battle scenes, an outstanding score by Shigeaki Saegusa, and some of the most celebrated Gundam designs in the franchise’s history.

The narrative might be unclear if you don’t have the time to commit to watching hundreds of episodes of television with these individuals. and Char/finale Amuro’s probably won’t have the same impact. In any case, Char’s Counterattack is still important to the Gundam world and is well worth watching even now, more than 30 years later. Salute Zeon!

9. The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Year: 2021
Director: Mike Rianda
Stars: Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen
Rating: PG
Runtime: 109 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

In The Mitchells vs. the Machines, animated generational differences resemble a sci-fi carnival more than any other animated series. The feature film debut of writer/director Mike Rianda is a mix of ridiculous, adorable, and horrifying (he and co-writer/director Jeff Rowe got their start on the superbly creepy, hilarious programme Gravity Falls).

It’s simple to feel as disoriented or overpowered by the flashing lights and electrifying visuals as the primary family battling on one side of the title’s grudge battle, but it’s also simple to leave with the worn-out joy of a protracted, exhausting theme park excursion. Its genre-specific family surges through each cluttered, crammed frame like they’re trying to escape (and frequently do), producing the year’s most vivacious, adorable animated comedy in the process.

10. Starship Troopers

Year: 1997
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Clancy Brown, Neil Patrick Harris
Rating: R
Runtime: 129 minutes

Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is a gleaming agitprop after-school special and gross-out bacchanalia that takes pleasure in the extreme violence it doles out in big spurts—but then berates itself for having so much fun with something so terrible. The story of a group of extremely attractive upper-middle-class white teens who have their cherries popped and then ground into hamburger inside the abattoir of interstellar war is told by shiny adults Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Nina Meyers, Jake Busey, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Verhoeven cruises through the various tones of bellicose filmmaking: hawkish propaganda, gritty action setpieces, and thrilling adventure sequences. Giant space bugs and human skulls alike explode without regard for fundamental physics or empathy, all of it accompanied by a lot of gut-wrenching CGI. The sci-fi spectacle can’t help but arrive at the same place no matter which angle one takes: geeked out on some hardcore cinematic mayhem.

It’s as much a bloodletting of Verhoeven’s childhood trauma, forged in the fascist mill of World War II Europe, as it is a critique of Hollywood’s cavalier attitude toward violence and uniformly heroic depictions of the military.

These are the top 10 must watch Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix.

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