Sci-Fi films have fascinated the audiences for many years. From Metropolis to Ready Player One, these movies give us so much to ponder about. To watch these movies has also become much easier with streaming services like Netflix which contains as endless supply of movies in its arsenal.
Netflix itself has explored the Sci-Fi with the new Black Mirror movie which puts the audience on the hot-seat. What makes it more unique is that Netflix constantly refreshes its movie catalogue. With the help of Film Oracle’s best sci-fi list, here are 10 of the best Sci-Fi films you can watch on Netflix this year.
Table of Contents
1. The Wandering Earth
It certainly took China some time to make their own Sci-Fi blockbuster but the wait was worth it as this delivers everything we expect from a Sci-Fi movie. The plot in itself is insane. In the near future, the sun is on the brink of death and the extinction of human population is almost certain.
The cities which are left are shown in almost a genre mixing combination of Cyberpunk and Steampunk. It’s the solution that becomes the crux of the movie – to propel the planet to another galaxy 4.2 light years away using 10,000 giant rocket thrusters. With its spectacular visual effects, excellent pacing and a great Sci-Fi plot, The Wandering Earth is China’s own Interstellar.
2. The Matrix
Nothing defines 90’s Sci-Fi more than The Matrix. The movie is groundbreaking in terms of storytelling and creating a world of characters, diction and attire that has impacted pop culture in more ways than possible.
The sequels never packed a punch, but the original 1997 film remains an enduring classic for Sci-Fi nerds. The plot follows Keanu Reeves who is at the helm of things as he plays a hacker comes to a sudden realization about the world he has been living is an illusion and must fulfil his destiny to defeat the machine oppressors.
3. District 9
No one expected a movie where the aliens land on South Africa could become such a hit. With movies always focusing on aliens loving that American soil, Neill Blomkamp’s masterpiece takes us to a place where the aliens crash land and are forced to live in shabby outskirts of Johannesburg.
District 9 takes a different route than most Sci-Fi films as it depicts humans on the bad side and sympathises with the alien creatures. The movie stars Sharlto Copley as a South African reporter who gets in the mix of fight between aliens and humans.
4. Ex Machina
A beautiful and thought-provoking Sci-Fi film, Ex Machina follows Oscar Isaac who plays brilliant scientist and a billionaire who designs a realistic robotic woman named Ava and invites a low-level employee played by Domhnall Gleeson to test the human nature of the invention.
The robot is played to perfection by Alicia Vikander. What seemed like an easy interview soon distorts to something sinister. Ex Machina is easily one of the best Sci-Fi films to come of this decade.
This movie came out after Chris Evans played Captain America. As far as comic book adaptations go, this one hits all the marks. It chronicles the lives of passengers on a moving train as it sleds through the frozen wasteland in a post-apocalyptic future. The class divide in the train is what strides the plot as the poor are kept on untidy coaches on the back and the rich are positioned in the front with all the luxuries. This was also the English debut of the acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
The most recent remake of the comic book demon was a complete failure. The original movies still remains a fan favourite and especially the one that started it all. Guillermo del Toro use of non CGI characters is what makes this movie so spectacular to watch and no wonder he won for best director for Shape of Water. Ron Perlman plays Hellboy, a demon who was raised by the humans to protect us from supernatural forces. With outstanding action and a brilliant chemistry between Perlman and Selma Blair, this one shouldn’t be missed.
In Her Joaquin Phoenix plays an office worker who falls in love with an AI. The AI here is voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The film is a heartbreaking look at loneliness of human nature as they tend to reach out for comfort in ways that may not be traditional at all.
The trials and tribulations of falling in love with an AI make the crux of the movie. The role of AI’s voice shouldn’t be underestimated as Johansson really lends a sex appeal to the voice. This movie clearly shows the potential of AI and though most of us might shrug it off as fictional, such abilities aren’t really that far away!
8. The Fifth Element
Without a doubt the most fun movie to watch from the list, The Fifth Element follows not so bald Bruce Willis who plays a cab driver who gets tangled in a fight between aliens and humans and now is tasked in saving the planet from destruction.
The initial reviews of the movie was mixed but the years it has become an enduring fan favourite and one of the best Sci-Fi films of the 90’s, it contains all the vital sci-fi elements, so it’s not hard to see why. The film also stars Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman.
9. Black Panther
Black Panther was a global phenomenon when it hit the theatres. With the 3 big of MCU Iron Man, Thor and Captain America took the box office by storm; Black Panther decimated box office records and became an instant cultural phenomenon. The beautiful cinematography, production designs, action sequences and special effects are all of the highest quality and it will surely be a superhero classic for future generation.
Before Sam Rockwell took home an Oscar, he played a stranded astronaut whose moon mission is coming to an end and he sees something sinister is going on with his life up there.
Director Duncan Jones made this atmospheric Sci-Fi mystery which puts on the audience right on the edge as the movie progresses. One of the most underrated Sci-fi films of the last decade, Netflix picking this movie up was a great decision.