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You’re probably currently working your way through our exhaustive list of the 25 Best TV Shows Streaming On Netflix and taking time out to broaden your horizons with The 25 Best Documentaries available, too.
Continuing with our roundup of Netflix’s best offerings (not to mention latest offerings), I’ve researched the highest rated geek and sci-fi movies currently offered through streaming. To compile the list I looked at the movies offered and their Netflix star rating, along with the number of times they had been voted on. I’ve only included movies that had at least a million votes to ensure that the movie’s rating was based on a solid popular vote — not that 150,000 votes isn’t solid, but it’s a big difference from 2,000,000. While there might be lesser-known sci-fi movies on Netflix with more critical acclaim, these are the 12 best based on the popular vote.
If there are other sci-fi greats people should check out, please share them in the comments. Now on with the movies…
The Avengers 4.5 stars out of 4,937,187 ratings.
Given the success of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and to a lesser extent, The Hulk movies, director/screenwriter Joss Whedon had a blockbuster basically lying in his lap before he even sat down to write the first draft. The Avengers has nearly everything comic book fans could want in a movie: humor, a solid plot, and unbelievable special effects as the heroes and foes wreak havoc upon New York City. Rotten Tomatoes 91, IMDB 8.2
The Hunger Games 4.2 stars out of 8,101,859 ratings.
I haven’t seen The Hunger Games — so I can’t comment on whether it’s deserving of such a high rating — but from the two dozen or so awards it was nominated for, the story of a girl taking her sister’s place in a futuristic televised death race is popular with audiences and critics alike. It’s sequel, Catching Fire hasn’t been released on DVD yet, so now’s the perfect time to watch (or re-watch) the movie that catapulted Jennifer Lawrence from “actress” to bona fide “movie star.” Rotten Tomatoes 81, IMDB 7.3
Men In Black 3.9 stars out of 10,810,368 ratings.
The comic book saga about a secret government agency assigned to monitor extraterrestrial lifeforms living on Earth was destined to be a movie, and man, was it ever. MIB was Will Smith’s follow-up to the success of Independence Day and pulled in $589,390,539 at the box office. Tommy Lee Jones plays Smith’s curmudgeon partner as the pair attempt to overthrow an alien plot to takeover Earth. Equal parts humor and action, Men In Black is one of Netflix’s most popular sci-fi streaming options, and one of Will Smith’s better offerings. Rotten Tomatoes 79 IMDB 7.2
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3.9 stars out of 7,446,986 ratings.
James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both had stellar success in the sci-fi genre, but T2 is the crown jewel for each. The first Terminator was great, but the technology simply wasn’t available to give it’s futuristic assassin the justice it deserved. When Arnold returned in 1991 as the cyborg assigned to protect a boy and his mother from a more advanced terminator, the movie’s special effects blew audiences away. And damn, if it doesn’t hold up and still look impressive 23 years later. Rotten Tomatoes 94, IMDB 8.5
Donnie Darko 3.9 stars out of 4,559,704 ratings.
One of the strangest and also best films to come out in the early 2000s, the story is centered around a teenage loner who seeks to understand his doomsday visions following a bizarre accident. The movie’s got a a strong cast of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, and Patrick Swayze as a motivational speaker that nobody should be taking advice from. Oh, there’s also the unsettling giant rabbit, Frank. Empire magazine ranked it #2 on their list of 50 Greatest Independent Movies of All Time. Rotten Tomatoes 80 , IMDB 8.2
Stargate 3.9 stars out of 2,714,519 ratings.
The History Channel owes Stargate’s creators, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, some royalties for all the alien/Egypt conspiracy shows they’ve churned out. The movie centers on the idea that there’s a portal that has allowed extraterrestrial beings to have an influence on human civilization. It received mixed reviews when it opened in 1994, but the story of a team led Kurt Russell that is sent to investigate the portal has gained a steady cult following since. Rotten Tomatoes 74, IMDB 7.0