Aimee O'Keefe

30 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix | Man of Many

All the best sci-fi movies on Netflix have a common theme – Hope. Whether it is battling aliens, travelling to outer space or through time itself, the characters in sci-fi movies tend to have an unrelenting desire to seek the truth or find new hope. More recently, science-fiction has pointed a mirror at the world around us, helping to show inverse realities and world’s not beyond our comprehension.

What Makes a Good Sci-Fi Movie?

Choosing a list of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix is no mean feat, so we took it upon ourselves to do the research. After hours spent reviewing, watching and deconstructing the vast array of films on the streaming platform, we dived into the upper echelon. Further, reviews from critics, fan sentiments through platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB have also factored into our list, as well as the cultural impact on the film industry. Every movie has a rating of at least 5 out of 10 on IMDB, which means you don’t need to waste time trawling through search results to get to the cream of the crop. Some directors have established household names, whereas some are young guns making their debut.

The Criteria

Perch yourself on the couch and grab some popcorn because these are the 30 best sci-fi movies on Netflix.

Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic is a quintessential dystopian film and one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now. The satirical comedy-thriller stars Malcolm McDowell, who plays the leader of the Droogs, a gang of delinquents. The iconic film explores themes of crime, rebellion, and the importance of free will.

1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The highly anticipated sequel to the Terminator, this movie has a lot to live up to. A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten-year-old son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg. Almost just as good as its predecessor; if you’re a fan of cyborgs and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s definitely worth a watch.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

If you love all things magical and mystical, Okja is a must-watch. The sci-fi movie seamlessly combines fantastical musings with real-world complexities. A young girl puts her life at stake to prevent a money-hungry company from kidnapping her beastly-looking friend, Ojka. It explores timely themes of capitalism and power in a thoughtful, nuanced way.

3. Okja (2017)

One of the best sci-fi movies in the indie realm, Midnight Special enters the fantasy world of superpowers in a grounded, realistic way. A father and son run away from the government and a cult, who are on the hunt to catch him for his special powers. The minimalist effects make this an eerie, contemplative performance.

4. Midnight Special (2016)

The worlds of espionage and sci-fi combine in this cult classic. Expect plenty of action and an iconic throwback to 1980s stellar effects. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a construction worker who finds himself in the world of espionage involving a colony on Mars. The movie is funny and a little bit weird, which is why we love it.

5. Total Recall (1990)

This sci-fi movie is a timely exploration of the current climate crises in a dark and twisted way. The film depicts a climate-change experiment gone wrong, where only a few humans remain alive after its disastrous effects. The post-apocalyptic world sees a new class system come into being, making us think about ideas surrounding climate and the looming end of the world.

6. Snowpiercer (2013)

This A24 sci-fi film follows a programmer testing whether his latest creation; the female android Ava, can imitate real human consciousness. All three main performances are excellent and the direction is top-notch too, making Ex Machina a modern-day Frankenstein story about man’s ambition to play god going too far.

7. Ex Machina (2014)

The Jurassic Park Trilogy is a must-watch, perhaps the most iconic sci-fi cult classic trilogy to grace our screens. Reminding us all of the magical and fantastical worlds of dinosaurs we loved in our youth, the movie has all the action and adventure you’d expect from a much-loved sci-fi movie.

8. The Jurassic Park Trilogy (1993-2018)

Fan of time travel? Safety Not Guaranteed is a must-watch for you. The drama follows the story of Darius, a young intern at a magazine who investigates the author of an ad seeking someone to travel back in time with. There is also a bit of romance to keep all the romance-lovers happy.

9. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

The movie that skyrocketed Australia’s Mel Gibson to international fame, Mad Max is an iconic sci-fi movie. In a dystopian Australia future, Mad Max tells the story of a highway patrolman cruising the back roads full of criminals foraging for gasoline and scraps. Expect action and post-apocalyptic adventure.

10. Mad Max (1979)

One of the best sci-fi thrillers on Netflix right now, Oxygen is as gripping as it is terrifying. It follows the journey of a woman who wakes up and has no idea how she got there, who she is, or how to get out – all the while her oxygen is running out. You will almost feel like you’re living the nightmare yourself and will undoubtedly come out with a greater appreciation of memory.

11. Oxygen (2021)

One of the more recent sci-fi movies on Netflix to add to the list, The midnight Sky is a quintessential post-apocalyptic drama. This movie is a highly believable sci-fi story of a scientist in the arctic who races to stop a group of astronauts returning home to catastrophe.

12. The Midnight Sky (2020)

Charlize Theron stars in this action-packed sci-fi movie. A team of immortal mercenaries are exposed and must fight to keep their identity under wraps, which sees a complex and long journey play out. The movie deep dives into the ideas of power and money in a thoughtful, provocative way.

13. The Old Guard (2020)

A well-executed sci-fi drama that explores time travel and crime in one twisted, engaging plot, In The Shadow of The Moon is a must-watch. A serial killer is in the midst whose crimes defy reasonable explanation, and one Philadelphia police officer is obsessed with figuring it all out. Go on the confusing, scary and earth-dying journey with him.

14. In The Shadow of The Moon (2019)

A complex entanglement of past, present and future, this sci-fi hit isn’t one for the faint-hearted. Just under three hours long, the time is needed as the movie seamlessly shifts between six very different storylines. Brace yourself- you will need maximum concentration for this one.

15. Cloud Atlas (2012)

The Platform ventures beyond what the human mind could ever imagine; a genius idea and an endless nightmare. The film documents a prison with one cell on each level- there is only one food platform and two minutes per day to feed. Diabolical, doomed, and no doubt a movie to strike one’s curiosity, it is definitely worth the brain-twisting.

16. The Platform (2019)

A dystopian film set in 2092, it is one of the first Korean blockbusters to delve into the sci-fi genre. Watch on with anticipation as a crew of a space junk collector ship discover a humanoid robot that is a weapon of mass destruction. Expect lots of action, an engaging plot and some serious questions about humanity.

17. Space Sweepers (2021)

Spurring from the freakiness of a sci-fi cult, The Endless enters the dark world of drama and sci-fi horror. Two adult brothers who escaped a UFO death cult seek answers after discovering an old videotape. Poignantly eerie and equally as gripping, this movie is bound to take you on an unexpected journey.

18. The Endless (2017)

A distant technological future and the fight to save humanity, Blame! is a sci-fi animation like no other. In the movie, humans are declared “illegal residents” and hunted by murderous robots. Watch as an exciting and, at times, tumultuous battle to survive ensues.

19. Blame! (2017)

Exploring dystopian ideas of power with an easy-to-grasp concept comes this 2020 sci-fi movie starring Jamie Foxx. In the movie, if you take a pill, you get a new superpower for five minutes. Whilst not majorly groundbreaking, it is a fun, entertaining watch.

20. Project Power (2020)

Easily one of the most iconic films of all time, not just in the sci-fi realm, Back to the Future is essential viewing for everyone. With classic 80’s cinematography at the forefront, the movie follows a teen who time travels. This is a feel-good movie that takes a spin on traditional dystopian themes classic of the sci-fi genre.

21. Back to the Future (1985)

One of the few animations to make it onto the list, The Mitchells vs The Machines is a funny and quirky sci-fi movie that the whole family can enjoy. The film follows the bizarre journey of a somewhat dysfunctional family who finds themselves in the thick of a robot apocalypse while on their road trip. The end of the world energy with a humorous edge makes it one of our favourites.

22. The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)

Invader Zim is a quirky movie about aliens for a slightly older crowd of cartoon lovers. ZIM is the smallest member of an alien species who discovers his almighty leaders never intended to come to Earth.

23. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2001)

Have you ever had a nightmare then realised it was reality? The Signal explores this harrowing concept with stark detail, drama, and mystery. A computer genius plays a vital role in the plot, asking questions about trusting technology and the world of hacking.

24. The Signal (2014)

I Am Mother is an emotional take on classic sci-fi themes. A robot mother raises a human child, providing a newfound sense of hope for humanity. It is a gripping drama that touches on the idea of human and non-human bonds in a thoughtful way.

25. I Am Mother (2019)

This sci-fi film combines jiu-jitsu and alien invaders in a race to save humankind. Although an interesting concept, the movie has been criticised for its poor fight choreography and lack of sophisticated dialogue. It is worth watching if you’re in the mood for something simple and a little bit cheesy.

26. Jiu-Jitsu (2020)

Prospect is another one of the better alien-themed sci-fi movies to make the list. A teenage girl and her father travel to an alien moon, hoping to become rich, but it goes wrong, and they are left fighting for survival. It starts slow, but we recommend sticking it out.

27. Prospect (2018)

Steven Spielberg shines in this family-friendly sci-fi film. Expect to feel all the feels as a troubled child helps an alien escape Earth and reunite with their homeland. It’s one of those rare movies that truly never gets old.

28. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Boxing fans will be sure to love this sci-fi action drama about robot boxing. It stars Australia’s favourite action hero, Hugh Jackman, and has plenty of feel-good moments. With a mix of sport, family, drama and robot action, this movie has a little bit of everything.

29. Real Steel (2011)

Code 8 provides a classic sci-fi moral dilemma for us to think about. A super-powered construction worker falls in with a group of criminals in order to raise funds to help his ill mother. The special effects are also to be applauded.

30. Code 8 (2019)

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