There is nothing better than a good sci-fi movie. The good ones combine powerful storytelling and compelling philosophies with fun action and fascinating worlds that resemble our own, but differ in the ways that matter most. There is no better way to transport your mind out of your own worries for a few hours than with a good sci-fi film.
List of Sci-Fi Movies
- 12 Monkeys (1995)
- Anon (2018)
- ARQ (2016)
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
- Children of Men (2006)
- The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
- How it Ends (2018)
- I Am Legend (2007)
- iBoy (2017)
- Inception (2010)
- Limitless (2011)
- Mirage (2018)
- Riddick (2013)
- Signs (2002)
- Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (1977-1983)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
- Total Recall (2012)
- TRON Legacy (1999)
- WALL.E (2008)
- What Happened to Monday (2017)
Netflix currently has a huge selection of sci-fi classic available to stream (including all the original Sci-Fi films), so start binging with these 20 quality choices.
12 Monkeys (1995)
IMDB Score 8/10
Inspired by the 1962 short film La Jetée, this neo-noir sci-fi flick by Terry Gillam stars Bruce Willis at the peak of his career, and Brad Pitt when he was on the rise. It is set in a world where a deadly virus has wiped out most of humanity, which has been forced underground. Willis plays a prisoner who has been selected to be trained and sent back in time to find the original virus, believed to have been released by terrorists, and help find a cure. But things do not go according to plan. A well-deserved cult classic.
IMDB Score 6.1/10
This is a British Sci-Fi thriller is set in a future world where privacy no longer exists. It stars Clive Owen as a troubled detective that encounters a woman, played by Amanda Seyfried, as someone who has managed to evade the government’s transparency system. The only problem with this film is that it tries to answer all the questions that it raises, leaving little for the viewer to wonder about.
IMDB Score 6.4/10
Robbie Amell stars as an engineer whose invents a machine that causes time to loop during a home invasion. This gives him the opportunity to save his former lover, played by Rachel Taylor, and learn who has targeted him and why, and eventually seek his revenge. This film was made on limited funds, but with a compelling story with lots of twists, it is very satisfying. Plus it manages to gather all its loose ends for a satisfying conclusion.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
IMDB Score 6.9/10
An early Disney animated foray into the sci-fi genre, this animated adventure is surprisingly good. Set in 1914, we meet a young man, voiced by Michael J. Fox, who finds a book that he believes will guide him to the lost city of Atlantis. He teams up with a group of mercenaries and embarks on an adventure to discover the city. Sadly not one of Disney’s musicals, because that would have been epic.
Children of Men (2006)
IMDB Score 7.9/10
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by P. D. James, the film stars Clive Owen as a man living in a future world where infertility has left human society on the brink of collapse. Owen is a civil servant in England, which has put very restrictive immigration laws in place, who must break with everything he believes in to help one very special woman find refuge.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
IMDB Score 5.6/10
This J. J. Abrams film is the third in the Cloverfield franchise, and is just as difficult to predict as the rest. This time we leave earth, following a group of international astronauts on a space station who are using a particle accelerator to solve the earth’s energy crisis. They must try and find a way home after accidentally travelling to an alternate dimension. Starring Daniel Bruhl and Elizabeth Debicki, this prequel of the series opens more questions than it answers.
How it Ends (2018)
IMDB Score 5/10
A Sci-Fi disaster film, Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Grace Dove and Kat Graham star in this Netflix Original. James stars as a young man who visits Whitaker, his pregnant girlfriend’s father, to ask for his permission to marry her. As they argue, an unknown disaster strikes, and they must travel together to try and find the woman that they both love, and learn what exactly is happening.
I Am Legend (2007)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi action flick based on the novel of the same name, the film stars Will Smith, a sole survivor in New York City after it has been hit by a deadly virus, that was originally created to cure cancer, but instead has created its own unique kind of zombie. Smith is mesmerizing and carries us through the film to create something that is powerful and thought-provoking.
IMDB Score 6/10
Worth watching just to see if Masie Williams can play a character other than Arya Stark, this film also stars Bill Milner, as a young man who finds that he can control electronics with his mind after having an accident with his cell phone. Based on the Kevin Brooks novel of the same name, what will he do with his new found powers.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this mindbender. He leads a team of thieves who steal information, by entering a person’s dreamscape. But traversing this unchartered territory has uncharted dangers. If you haven’t already seen it, watch it and find out what all the fuss is about. Also starring Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
We all know that we only use a small percentage of our brains, but imagine if there was a drug that would allow us to use our whole brain, supercharging our existence? Bradley Cooper finds out that if something sounds too good to be true in this sci-fi thriller that also stars Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish.
IMDB Score 7.5/10
In this Spanish sci-fi suspense film, a woman finds herself in a unique position to stop a tragedy of the past, but with devastating consequences for her present. Following her heroic act, she finds that nothing in her life is what it was, and must fight to reclaim what is most important to her. Adriana Ugarte gives a compelling performance in the leading role.
IMDB Score 6.4/10
A surprisingly awaited sequel considering just how terrible Chronicles of Riddick (2004) was. Starring Vin Diesel as the eponymous Riddick, he goes from leader of an empire to man left for dead on a sun-scorched planet and hunted by the native predator species. When help does arrive, his dark past means it might not be all that welcome. Definitely better than Chronicles, but Pitch Black is still the film of the series.
IMDB Score 6.7/10
On the back of The Sixth Sense we were all very excited about this M. Night Shyamalan film starring Mel Gibson. While it may not have delivered in the hype, this story about a man and his family who discover crop circles is a solid sci-fi classic. Also nice to see a compelling performance from a young Abigail Breslin.
Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (1977-1983)
IMDB Score 8.6/10, 8.7/10, 7.2/10
With Star Wars making a comeback with a vengeance, go back to where it all began with the original three Star Wars movies. Today’s franchise would not have its strength without these groundbreaking originals.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
IMDB Score 8/10
If you are eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the Star Wars franchise, help make the wake bearable by re-watching the first in the new series, that reassured us that Star Wars is in good hands with Disney, and we won’t be relieving those turn on the millennium disasters. The film has a strong ensemble cast, but Daisy Ridley is the standout star.
Total Recall (2012)
IMDB Score 6.3/10
A remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, this new look is designed to introduce the story to a new generation, and it does a good job, but probably should have diverted more from the original, which is a classic. Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, it is a good romp for fans of the genre.
TRON Legacy (1999)
IMDB Score 6.8/10
A sequel to the 1982 classic, this film does a better job of introducing a classic story to a new generation. Garrett Hedlund stars as a young man who enters a virtual reality to find his father, who disappeared into it in the original movie. Also starring Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges.
IMDB Score 8.4/10
Meet a solitary trash compactor robot living on a future, uninhabitable, deserted earth, left behind to clean up our garbage. When a probe visits, he naturally falls in love, and then pursues her across the galaxy. The entire film plays out without words, but this does not stop it from being incredibly powerful and poignant.
What Happened to Monday (2017)
IMDB Score 6.9/10
Set in a future world with a strict one-child policy, all but the eldest children and out into cryo-sleep and electronic bracelets track all citizens. A woman dies after giving birth to identical septuplets, and their grandfather hatches a plot for them to share a single identity, so that they all might live. Starring Noomi Rapace.