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15 Classic Science Fiction Films to Watch on Streaming Services

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There is no shortage of amazing films out there for fans of the science fiction genre. But while moderilms are intelligent and draw on technology that seems terrifyingly real, they sometimes lack the imagination and guts of the classics.

So, once you have had your fill of the really good new sci-fi titles on Netflix, check out this list of 15 classic sci-fi films that you can stream today. We have options from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube, as well as options from the Internet Archive, which should be your first stop when seeking out old silent films.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This Stanley Kubric movie is still considered one of the best sci-fi films of all time. It is based on a short story written by Arthur C. Clarke in 1951.

A group of human scientists travels to Jupiter to examine an alien monolith that seems to have had an important influence on human evolution. They are accompanied by an artificial intelligence called Hal, who is undergoing its own evolution.

Currently streaming on YouTube.

Akira (1988)

Akira (1988)

A must watch for any sci-fi fan as it was one of the first anime sci-fi flicks available in the west. It might not be that old, but it is certainly a classic.

Akira is sent to the not too distant future (2019, lucky it wasn’t 2020!) where he discovered that Tokyo is a wasteland dominated by the military. Experiments with ESP have also changed the nature of humanity.

Currently streaming on Hulu.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1916)

While the 1954 version of this film is also a classic, go back to the first imagining of this Jules Verne story on film.

Meet Captain Nemo and his crew in the first-ever motion picture filmed underwater with photography from the Illiamsom Submarine in the Bahamas. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cutting edge special effects of the day used to bring this classic to life.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)

This silent sci-fi flick is probably the earliest Soviet sci-fi film ever made. It is based on the Alexei Tolstoy novel of the same name.

While the main focus of the movie is a group of people trying to make lives for themselves in post-war Soviet Russia, we get our sci-fi element in an engineer who travels to Mars in a rocket, where he leads an uprising against the group of elders there. He is assisted by the Martian Queen Aelita, who has fallen in love with him after watching him through a telescope.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

Blade Runner (1982)

I am still asking myself why they remade this film that still resonates with audiences today in its original format, and stars a young Harrison Ford.

The film is set in a dystopian future (again 2019), where a group of synthetic humans created to be workers flee to find freedom. Ford plays an ex-cop who agrees to hunt down the group of fugitives.

Currently Streaming on YouTube.

Assignment: Outer Space (1960)

This Italian sci-fi film is the first full directorial effort from Antonio Margheriti, who went on to have a prolific career directing 55 feature films.

It is set on a space station in the early 22nd century, where the crew must perform daring feats to divert a malfunctioning spaceship on a collision course with Earth.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

Contamination (1980)

Invaders from Mars

This is a classic Italian sci-fi film that creates a fertile breeding ground for telling a startling horror story. Mixing some of our favorite genres.

An alien cyclops makes its way to Earth and uses human agents to place eggs all over the planet. The eggs release a gelatinous goo that causes people to explode when they come into contact with it.

Currently streaming on YouTube.

Invaders from Mars (1953)

This chilling Sci-Fi story has been reimagined in different guises many times in the last 70 years, but this was an original and chilling film when it first landed.

A young boy awakes in the middle of the night to see a flying saucer crash near his house. He begs his dad to go and investigate. But when his dad returns, he just doesn’t seem like himself.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1973)

The concept of this film is so good that it has been remade several times. But the best version is, without doubt, the 1978 production starring Donald Sutherland.

A group of aliens that arrive on earth slowly start taking over human bodies, leaving you wondering who is friend and who is foe. Sutherland leads a group of humans who discover the truth and decide to fight back.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957)

This film has such a cult following that there is actually another film, Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp, about the making of.

The film focuses on a group of aliens on a mission to try and stop humanity from creating a doomsday machine. Their plan? Raise the dead to cause chaos and force humanity to listen to them.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

Total Recall (1990)

If it is old enough to have a remake, it is old enough to be considered a classic! And this original sci-fi thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is certainly that.

Set in a time when Mars has been colonized, Schwarzenegger plays an ordinary construction worker, or at least that is what he thinks. A series of events cause him to uncover hidden memories that reveal him to be a spy involved in a brutal Martian mystery.

Currently streaming on Netflix.

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

The oldest film on our list, this French film is inspired by the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon.

The movie follows a group of astronomers that reach the moon, explore the planet, and capture an alien inhabitant and return to Earth.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

Unknown World (1951)

Unknown World (1951)

This chilling black and white film is also known as Night Without Stars

The movie follows a scientific expedition looking for livable space beneath the surface of the Earth. They want to create a sanctuary for humanity in the event of nuclear war.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1953)

This is a film to scare every little boy who thought that it would be cool to have Superman’s x-ray vision.

A scientist trying to develop x-ray vision decides to experiment on himself. It works, but over time, he can see more and more but has less and less control over what he can do. It is enough to drive anyone mad.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Yesterday Machine (1965)

No list of sci-fi films would be complete without both time travel and Nazis, and this film ticks both of these boxes.

An unexpected group of people finds themselves caught up in the plan of a mad Nazi physicist to time travel back to the 1940s and snatch Hitler and bring him into the present to dominate the world again.

Currently available from the Internet Archive.

What To Watch Next?

When you are finished with these, continue exploring the sci-fi/horror genre, as they are the perfect combination. Check out our list of the 10 best new alien movies and the 15 best horror movies on Hulu.

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