Last Updated: September 26th
There was a time when tales of aliens, space travel, and robots were believed to be the strict province of four-eyed basement dwellers, but the truth is that everybody can find something to enjoy in the weird world of science fiction. The best sci-fi works in both universal truths and hyperspecific detail, using fantastical yet fully-realized worlds to tell stories about our own.
Netflix‘s selection of good sci fi movies isn’t exhaustive, but there’s still plenty worth exploring nestled among the sequels and paycheck-generators. Keep on scrolling for 10 of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix streaming to watch right now, taking you from the moon, the farthest reaches of space, and to the outer fringes of reality itself.
1. Jurassic Park (1993)
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Jurassic Park tells the story of one man’s dream of a theme park filled with genetically engineered dinosaurs run amok. When three experts are brought in to sign off on the park and its cloned creatures, things unsurprisingly don’t go as planned, and the humans are forced to survive amidst T-Rexes, raptors, and Wayne Knight. An effects breakthrough at the time, Steven Spielberg’s film still retains the beautiful terror that comes from seeing giant, millions-of-years-old killing machines for the first time. It’s an iconic film for a reason, and not just because of the trembling glass of water and the John Williams score. It deservedly won three Oscars, broke box office records, and remains a favorite of many today.
2. Ex Machina (2014)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller breathed new life into the tired A.I. trope when it landed in theaters a few years ago. The film focuses on a naïve young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who’s selected amongst a pool of applicants to evaluate a new A.I. lifeform. The poor kid is whisked away to a remote villa to spend time with the eerily-human-looking robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander) and her eccentric, often cruel creator Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a genius with an ego to match his talent. The film takes some twists you don’t expect, and Isaac gives cinema one of its greatest dance sequences, in case you needed more reason to watch.
3. Serenity (2005)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Fans of Joss Whedon’s sci-fi space cowboy adventure were pretty bummed when the series got cancelled after just one season but luckily the show’s cult following earned it a movie follow-up meant to tie up old ends. The film picks up where the series left off, trailing the crew of the Serenity as they evade a government-sent assassin looking to capture River (Summer Glau) a telepath who knows too much. There are adventures to be had in the meantime, and a few characters bite the bullet by the end of the film, but it’s a fitting send-off for a show that was just a few years ahead of its time.