The best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now

Netflix’s library is huge, and even whenever you hone down by style, there’s nonetheless approach an excessive amount of for anybody individual to sift by.

That’s the place we are available. We try to prevent time by choosing the best of the best, whether or not it’s the best thrillers, best horror, best comedies, best motion movies, or simply the best movies on Netflix.

Today, it’s time to get spacey and discuss concerning the best sci-fi movies the platform has to supply. There are neat little indie tasks, massive blockbusters (together with two within the class of “the first big space movie from a prolific filmmaking nation”), and all-time classics.

Let’s dig in.

Beyond Skyline and Skylines

Frank Grillo as Mark Corley in Beyond Skyline, killing a large, humanoid alien. The alien’s body is made of overlapping plates of organic armor.

Image: Vertical Entertainment

2010’s Skyline was nothing to cellphone dwelling about, an alien-invasion epic with the center of a DIY particular results reel. So nobody would fault you for overlooking the unsolicited sequel… and but, right here we’re, ecstatically recommending it. B-movie bruiser Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) stars within the playfully vicious continuation Beyond Skyline, which finds his LAPD detective rescuing his son from abduction, then rescuing his son from contained in the hull of a brain-extracting vessel, then rescuing a hybrid alien-human child from a battalion of slobbering aliens, then serving to a band of Laotian freedom fighters rescue humanity from the ultimate wave of the invasion. Violent and brazen with full-bodied alien motion (regardless of the reverse of Alien’s hide-the-creatures-in-the-shadows scariness is, that is it), Beyond Skyline orchestrates mayhem just like the best direct-to-DVD schlockfests, fingers Grillo the conductor baton, then offers The Raid’s Iko Uwais simply sufficient extraterrestrial-smashing solos to qualify as a romp. The follow-up, Skylines, takes it even additional, with a fascinating superpowered story that sends the collection to new heights. —Matt Patches


Contestants from 2015’s Circle stand in the death machine, a circular black room with space-age lighting in the ceiling and a red geometric pattern in the floor.

Image: FilmBuff

Without warning, and with out a clue how they wound up confined to a round dying grid, 50 individuals discover themselves enjoying probably the most literal spherical of Survivor ever. Every two minutes, the contributors — from throughout the demographic spectrum of age, race, and career — forged psychic votes to find out the subsequent sufferer of an energy-blasting alien orb. And each two minutes, the remaining women and men attempt to make sense of the scenario, befriend their fellow prisoners, discuss by their private histories and put apart their variations to determine who’s worthy of constructing it out alive. Like a blunt sociology 101 experiment, the low-budget, extremely efficient Circle investigates the morals of a contemporary society by horrific means. What would you do? —MP

A Clockwork Orange

Malcolm McDowell as Alex in A Clockwork Orange stands in a darkened milk bar full of naked female mannequins, with fictional drug names all over the walls

Image: Warner Bros.

Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 masterpiece concerning the delinquency, reeducation, and complete smash of a British teenager named Alex (Malcolm McDowell) stays one of many best and most unnerving movies ever made. The film’s first half focuses on the mayhem and horrific violence that Alex causes, right up till the second he will get arrested. But reasonably than remodeling into an ethical parable about teenage delinquency, A Clockwork Orange dives into what would occur if the federal government gave up on concepts like imprisonment and rehabilitation and determined that breaking criminals’ brains and tossing them again on the road was best for everybody.

All of this makes A Clockwork Orange one of many bleakest and most postapocalyptic-feeling movies ever made. It’s set in a close to future that’s stuffed with brutalist concrete buildings, swells of classical music, a hodgepodge of inspirations from totally different many years, and an unimaginable quantity of violence. But regardless of all its horrors, it additionally stays one of many best and most considerate sci-fi horror movies ever. —Austen Goslin

Illang: The Wolf Brigade

The gas masked armored members of the Wolf Brigade in Illang: The Wolf Brigade

Image: Warner Bros.

Based on Hiroyuki Okiura and Mamoru Oshii’s 1999 sci-fi anime thriller Jin-Roh, Kim Jee-woon’s 2018 movie transports the unique’s premise from an alternate Fifties Japan to a newly unified Korea circa 2029. Illang: The Wolf Brigade follows Im Joong-kyung (Gang Dong-won), a member of a militarized police drive who experiences a disaster of conscience after a fateful encounter with a lady who might or will not be concerned in a plot to overthrow the federal government. Substituting the melancholy wistfulness and ennui of Okiura’s movie with a blistering show of ballistic shootouts and thrilling hand-to-hand fight, Illang: The Wolf Brigade is a byzantine alt-history political thriller that finally settles into compelling motion drama. —Toussaint Egan

Men in Black

Agents K (Jones) and J (Smith) prepare to erase a subject’s memory.

Image: Sony Pictures

One of the best buddy comedies of the Nineteen Nineties can be a blast of a sci-fi image and options an all-time main efficiency from one among our technology’s biggest main males, Will Smith, reverse a wonderfully grouchy Tommy Lee Jones. The sprawling ensemble forged additionally options Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, David Cross, and an unbelievable flip by Vincent D’Onofrio because the bug-infected Edgar. —PV

The Mobile Suit Gundam trilogy

A white, blue, and red robot holding a rifle in one hand with a yellow scope, light gleaming off the surface of its barrel.

Image: Sunrise

One of the primary situations of an anime tv collection being reedited right into a feature-length movie, the Mobile Suit Gundam trilogy follows the story of Amuro Ray, a younger boy dwelling aboard an area colony sooner or later who unwittingly turns into the pilot of a prototype “Mobile Suit” often called the Gundam. Fleeing dwelling alongside together with his buddies and neighbors aboard the White Base spaceship, Amuro is pressured to combat in opposition to the Principality of Zeon in hopes of ending the warfare. All three movies — Mobile Suit Gundam I, Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow, and Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space — should not solely a wonderfully good introduction to one of the crucial influential mecha collection of all time, however an essential work within the historical past of anime that took a floundering franchise and remodeled it right into a cultural phenomenon in Japan. —TE

Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway

A brown haired anime male in a navy blue suit jacket aims a pistol while terrified passengers hide behind chairs, a gunman wearing a mask seen in the background.

Image: Sunrise

Set 12 years after the occasions of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway is the primary in an ongoing trilogy of movies directed by Shuko Murase (Witch Hunter Robin, Blade Runner: Black Out 2022) that observe the story of Hathaway Noa, the errant son of Federation Captain Bright Noa from the unique Mobile Suit Gundam collection. Secretly main a guerrilla warfare in opposition to the Earth Federation’s plot to denationalise the planet, Noa pilots the experimental RX-105 Gundam into the newest battle to determine the course of humanity’s future. With intricate, historically animated mecha designs, stunning character designs, and a tense, tightly wound plot, Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway is an exciting sci-fi film that’ll have you ever glued to your display screen from begin to end. —TE

The Platform

The weary-looking, gaunt, bearded protagonist of The Platform peers numbly into the camera in a close-up shot

Image: Netflix

It’s truthfully stunning that Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s terrifying film The Platform is his debut function: It’s polished and assured in a approach that means a lifetime of filmmaking, and it’s deeply bizarre in a approach that means a director with the cachet to get any “one for me” film under a sure value level funded. In an eerie near-future, prisoners are stored in a facility consisting of naked concrete rooms, all linked by an open vertical shaft. Once a day, an impressive banquet descends down the shaft on a floating platform — however the prisoners within the topmost cells eat every little thing they will, leaving a picked-over mess (or nothing in any respect) for these under them. It’s a easy, stark metaphor for wealth inequality, however Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia complicates it with brutal guidelines and intelligent wrinkles, then with character decisions, because the inmates begin arguing about how to answer the system, and every chooses their very own path. Darkly hilarious at instances, depressingly grim at others, and endlessly shocking as the reality behind the unusual facility steadily emerges, this intelligent, bloody metaphor film is completely distinctive, and one of many best and strangest movies on Netflix. —TR


Random household objects float in front of a stunned-looking man, who is sitting cross-legged on the floor.

Image: Next Entertainment World

From Korean animator Yeon Sang-ho — best identified for his leap to reside motion, 2016’s zombie knockout Train to Busan (additionally on Netflix) — Psychokinesis follows Shin, a bumbling, borderline-alcoholic safety guard who drinks from a mountain spring just lately contaminated by a meteorite and positive aspects telekinetic powers. Ryu Seung-ryong is a pleasure because the oaf, who’s studying to manage his skills simply as his estranged daughter reenters his life and sucks him right into a real-estate-driven class warfare. Psychokinesis performs Shin’s “fighting style” for laughs, and whereas it’s not as cartoonish as Hong Kong director Stephen Chow’s style hybrids, the film could make the flying object mayhem each cheeky and thrilling. The political edge offers weight to Shin’s superpowered selections, however Yeon by no means loses sight of why everybody confirmed up: to push the psychic conceit to greater and greater heights. —MP

Space Sweepers

Three human space sweepers and their android buddy look down with sweaty horror on something offscreen in Space Sweepers.

Image: Netflix

Space Sweepers has all of it — trenchant critiques of capitalism! A motley crew of house criminals banding collectively for a standard trigger! Trans themes as expressed by a lovable robotic! Kick-ass combat sequences! Generally thought-about the primary Korean house blockbuster, it whips. —PV

From our assessment:

Space Sweepers manages to rise above the familiarity of its ideas, bolstered by its forged’s sheer charisma. Its most enjoyable and transferring moments are discovered within the back-and-forth between its ragtag forged of characters and the minor particulars of its near-future world. Imagining house as an extension of earthly capitalism actually isn’t new, however at the very least Space Sweepers’ forged has the collective appeal to make the fabric really feel like contemporary, worthwhile viewing among the many growing detritus of streaming content material.


Ed Skrein and Maika Monroe sit next to each other with their legs folded in Tau. A fireplace burns in the background, and Skrein holds a pair of glasses in his hands. They look at each other.

Photo: Sanja Bucko/Netflix

Somewhere between an escape-room horror film and a found-family film a few lady and her AI buddy, Tau has a few formidable belongings in its forged: The Guest’s Maika Monroe because the captive of a sleazy tech-bro genius, and sleaze extraordinaire Ed Skrein as that tech-bro genius. Gary Oldman because the AI that Monroe’s character must befriend to flee along with her life is only a bonus. Tau is the definition of a small, insular sci-fi film: When Alex (Skrein) captures Julia (Monroe) for experimental functions, he retains her contained at his super-tech home, run by an AI named Tau. The complete film options just some easy units: It’s largely concerning the battle of wits between Alex and Julia, and about Julia’s efforts to get Tau to acknowledge her humanity and assist her escape. It’s tight, taut, environment friendly micro-budget sci-fi, with some memorable particular results thrown in for spice. —TR

The Wandering Earth

Wu Jing as Liu Peiqiang in his astronaut suit in The Wandering Earth.

Image: China Film Group

Billed as China’s first sci-fi blockbuster and constructed on a scale meant to completely justify that title, 2019’s The Wandering Earth presents its characters with an issue out of Snowpiercer — the Earth is freezing and everybody’s going to die. Then it offers them an answer straight out of ’50s sci-fi: Humanity decides to strap a ton of rockets onto Earth and fly it like a spaceship out of the photo voltaic system and towards one other solar. Too dangerous Jupiter’s gravity nicely is right there. Like the equal American sci-fi blockbusters it intently resembles — Armageddon leaps immediately to thoughts — The Wandering Earth options giggle-worthy science and a sprawling forged of thinly outlined characters enjoying out their very own private crises atop the worldwide disaster than hyperlinks all of them. But the spectacle is superb, the motion is thrilling, and the audacity of the entire thing is a whole lot of enjoyable. Based on a brief story by Three-Body Problem creator Liu Cixin, The Wandering Earth focuses sufficient on household drama to maintain the story related and accessible, however the true draw is the scope and sweep of the movie, and all of the startling imagery a blockbuster funds should buy. —TR

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