20 best sci-fi movies on Netflix to escape reality in 2023
The great thing about science fiction is the way it can take form in limitless methods on display. Once you take a look at the varieties of sci-fi narratives that filmmakers have explored in movies, it is exhausting to deny the truth that it’s one of the distinctive, versatile, and thrilling genres of all time
Whether or not you need to be transported to a world of futuristic improvements, a dystopia the place the destiny of the planet relies upon on an intergalactic mission, or a small city the place a mysterious outbreak unleashes ghastly monsters, sci-fi has you coated. We have rounded up the very best sci-fi movies you possibly can get pleasure from on Netflix, from heroic YA thrillers to grounded dramas, political take-downs to wacky spins on superhero tropes, and all with various levels of imaginative science fiction.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Platform
- 2. The Wandering Earth
- 3. Minority Report
- 4. Psychokinesis
- 5. The Mist
- 6. What Occurred To Monday
- 7. Oblivion
- 8. Oxygen
- 9. Sleight
- 10. Okja
- 11. I Am Mom
- 12. The Starvation Video games: Mockingjay – Half 2
- 13. Venture Energy
- 14. Fowl Field
- 15. See You Yesterday
- 16. Code 8
- 17. Area Sweepers
- 18. A Shaun the Sheep Film: Farmageddon
- 19. Advantageous
- 20. The Mitchells vs. The Machines
1. The Platform
Credit score: Netflix
When you like scathing social commentary and twisted horror together with your sci-fi, The Platform is simply the factor. This Spanish anti-capitalist parable takes place in a vertical jail facility the place inhabitants are staggered throughout 300 ranges. Every day a platform stuffed with decadent meals is lowered from prime to backside, permitting prisoners to eat as a lot as they need. However the meals doesn’t get replenished, leaving the center and lowest rungs of individuals — some aged and younger youngsters — with none sustenance. Locked up and ravenous, many are pressured into cannibalism to survive.
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A horrific and bleak commentary on class, wealth inequality, and the jail industrial complicated, The Platform is a testomony to the facility of sci-fi to replicate the horrors of the realities round us. Additionally, whereas the meals does look scrumptious in this film, undoubtedly keep away from consuming whereas watching. — Oliver Whitney, Freelance Contributor
How to watch: The Platform is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
2. The Wandering Earth
Catastrophe film fiends, might I introduce you to the final word bonkers area catastrophe movie? On this Chinese language sci-fi epic, the Earth is in large bother, a lot in order that to keep away from complete local weather annihilation from an getting old solar about to engulf our planet, a bunch of astronauts are tasked with flinging the planet into one other photo voltaic system. Not insane sufficient? Now the planet is on observe to collide with Jupiter.
Take the intense doomsday chaos of a Roland Emmerich movie, the emotional weight of a planet-saving mission and wonderful visuals of Interstellar, and the racing suspense of Gravity, and also you get one hell of a sci-fi movie. It is no surprise The Wandering Earth grew to become one of many highest grossing Chinese language movies in the nation’s historical past. — O.W.
How to watch: The Wandering Earth is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
3. Minority Report
Credit score: twentieth Century Fox/Dreamworks/Kobal/Shutterstock
Steven Spielberg’s enlargement of Philip Okay. Dick’s 1956 brief story stays one in all best and most enjoyable sci-fi motion movies of the 2000s. Set in the 12 months 2054, homicide is now prevented due to a system of psychic monitoring through a trio of beings often called “precogs.” However when a brand new premonition means that Pre-Crime Chief Officer John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is about to kill somebody, Anderton escapes, kidnaps one of many precogs (Samantha Morton), and goes on a hunt for the reality.
Over 20 years later, Minority Report nonetheless holds up. Not solely is it a testomony to Spielberg’s adept hand at crafting heart-racing suspense (the vertical freeway chase scene nonetheless hits), however its desaturated chrome visuals nonetheless really feel like a definite and recent take a look at the long run. The movie’s commentary on the hazards of a mass surveillance police state, not to point out the spot-on prediction of customized algorithm advertising and marketing, additionally stay as prescient as ever. — O.W.
How to watch: Minority Report is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
In Psychokinesis, Prepare To Busan director Yeon Sang-ho takes an alternate strategy to the superhero narrative — in place of the same old explosive world-saving, he tells an intimate story a couple of father, his daughter, and a bunch of enterprise house owners combating corruption.
Seok-heon (Ryu Seung-ryong from Miracle in Cell No. 7) has been an absent father for years. However simply as his estranged daughter Roo-mi (Shim Eun-kyung) hits her absolute lowest, a supernatural power, shot down to Earth through a comet, zaps into the spring water he occurs to be sipping. In time, Seok-heon notices he is developed an odd energy to management issues along with his thoughts. After reconnecting with Roo-mi, whose restaurant has been shuttered by a violent gang of builders, he decides to use his powers to assist her and her fellow neighbors combating to acquire their storefronts again.
Psychokinesis feels so refreshing in the age of superhero glut by grounding the supernatural in small-scale emotional storytelling, and minimizing its use of CG to a handful of set items that slowly construct in visible grandeur. That is the kind of superhero origin story we want extra of. — O.W.
How to watch: Psychokinesis is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
5. The Mist
When you’re in the temper for a supernatural monster film, few movies can match the ice chilly chills and gripping suspense of The Mist. Frank Darabont’s adaptation of the Stephen King novella finds a bunch of small city Maine folks bunkered down within a grocery retailer throughout a ferocious storm. However thunder and wind are removed from the scariest threats; outdoors in a thick mist lie mysterious creatures that will not hesitate to kill.
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The Mist is a superb hybrid of sci-fi and horror with its Lovecraftian monsters, from big spiders to winged creatures and large tentacled beasts. However The Mist is much less a movie in regards to the horrors of monsters per se, and extra about turning a lens onto the habits of people once they’re pressured to survive the unimaginable. That is no film for the faint of coronary heart; Darabont’s movie is understood for having one of the devastating finales of all time. — O.W.
How to watch: The Mist is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
6. What Occurred To Monday
Credit score: Netflix
When you’ve ever discovered your self craving extra ruthless, ass-kicking motion from Noomi Rapace — a pure want after watching Prometheus or the unique Lady With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy — then What Occurred To Monday is the whole lot you may hope for. It’s a futuristic motion extravaganza with B film sci-fi thrills, and as a substitute of 1 Rapace, you get seven.
The Swedish actress performs seven similar twin sisters in a dystopian world the place having a couple of youngster is outlawed due to overpopulation. To maintain his septuplet granddaughters a secret from the fascist authorities, Willem Dafoe’s grandpa names every of the women after a day of the week, corresponding to the at some point they will exit in public below a singular identification. However after Monday goes lacking, the sisters should launch their very own investigation, which leads them to the evil machinations of Glenn Shut’s mad scientist politician. What begins as an entertaining show of Rapace in a number of roles, Orphan Black-style, quickly catapults into motion insanity stuffed with energized combat sequences. — O.W.
How to watch: What Occurred To Monday is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
Earlier than there was Prime Gun: Maverick, there was Oblivion. Tom Cruise and his Maverick director Joseph Kosinski first soared by way of the skies in their 2013 collaboration, a visually chic post-apocalyptic story replete with loads of signature Cruise flying and operating.
Jack Harper (Cruise) and Victoria (current Oscar nominee Andrea Riseborough) are a pair of drone technicians who survey the stays of a destroyed Earth after an alien warfare. However quickly Jack discovers the reality behind the planet’s destruction, main to a twist that is as ridiculous as it’s delightfully entertaining to watch play out. A cross between WALL-E and The Twilight Zone, Oblivion is of the number of affected person, mystery-laden sci-fi flicks with minimal dialogue and dazzling slow-mo area visuals. However fear not, there’s loads of high-octane motion sequences that remind you that is certainly a Tom Cruise car. — O.W.
How to watch: Oblivion is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
On this survival thriller, Mélanie Laurent instantly wakes up inside a cryogenic pod. She has no thought who she is, the place she is, why she’s there — and she or he solely has 90 minutes of oxygen left. Struggling to clear up all of those mysteries with nothing however the pod’s A.I. robotic assistant, Laurent’s nameless protagonist begins recalling fragmented recollections to piece collectively her previous. The remainder of the plot is best left unsaid, however should you’re a fan of contained sci-fi thrillers that do so much with just a little, Oxygen will fulfill. It is each a robust performing showcase for Laurent in primarily a one-woman present, and it emphasizes the emotional and suspenseful energy of POV cinematography, which French director Alexandre Aja, most identified for his horror movies like Excessive Pressure and Maniac, has utilized properly in the previous. — O.W.
How to watch: Oxygen is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
Sleight is simply the movie for individuals who want a contact of sci-fi in a dramatic story grounded in reality. On this function debut from J.D. Dillard (Sweetheart, Devotion), Jacob Latimore’s Bo is a younger man elevating his sister (Storm Reid) alone in Los Angeles. His ardour is performing avenue magic, however his essential hustle is pushing medication for a seller at night time. The place the sci-fi comes in is Bo’s arm, which has an electromagnetic implant that permits him to pull off his secret tips, making something with steel float or fly throughout the air.
In the end, Sleight is an easy story a couple of younger man making an attempt to survive in a harmful, violent scenario — and the movie does get fairly violent at instances. However with a cyborg as our essential protagonist, the story will get a extra elevated and suspenseful contact. It is a reminder that science fiction can coexist in, and assist us handle, the harshness of the world we encounter on daily basis. — O.W.
How to watch: Sleight is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
Few filmmakers have taken on the behemoth of capitalism with as a lot wit, fashion, and enthralling storytelling as South Korean grasp Bong Joon-ho. The Parasite and Snowpiercer filmmaker as soon as once more explores the evils of company greed and sophistication inequality in Okja, probably the most heartbreaking movie a couple of big pig you will ever see.
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Half journey buddy comedy, half sci-fi fantasy, and half a takedown of the meat business, Okja tells the story of farm lady Mija (Ahn Search engine marketing-hyun), her best good friend Okja (a genetically modified “superpig” that resembles a cuddly hippo), a CEO supervillain (Tilda Swinton), a kooky zoologist (Jake Gyllenhaal), and a band of anarchists. Okja completely blends the comedic histrionics of chase sequences with an extremely candy however heartbreaking story of revolt, and has a complete lot to say as properly. A warning: You could go away this film a vegetarian. — O.W.
How to watch: Okja is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
11. I Am Mom
Credit score: Netflix
I Am Mom is one other addition to the post-apocalyptic style the place robots reign and humanity is scarce. We meet an A.I. robotic named Mom (voiced by Rose Byrne) who, whereas overseeing a bunker of human embryos, has determined to elevate one, a woman named Daughter (Clara Rugaard). Now an adolescent, Daughter has discovered the whole lot from her robotic caregiver, together with the truth that all people have gone extinct. However instantly at some point a stranger arrives (a delightfully badass Hilary Swank doing her best Sarah Connor) who will quickly disprove the whole lot Daughter has come to know.
Although there are dozens of sci-fi movies with related narratives, I Am Mom surpasses style expectations with a refreshing mixture of tautly directed suspense, shocking twists, and a small however mighty all-female solid. — O.W.
How to watch: I Am Mom is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
12. The Starvation Video games: Mockingjay – Half 2
Whereas the finale to the Starvation Video games saga might not be the best movie in the franchise, director Francis Lawrence makes use of its prolonged runtime to give a worthy and memorable ending to Suzanne Collins’s epic dystopian story.
Choosing up after the cliffhanger of Mockingjay – Half 1, when Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) makes an attempt to kill Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) shortly after the pair reunite, the movie skyrockets into all-out warfare towards President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Katniss, alongside along with her huge star squad of revolutionaries, together with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Boggs (Mahershala Ali), head into the Capital. From a spewing eruption of black oil to terrifying lizard mutants, Katniss faces all of it. Balancing quiet emotional exchanges between characters with explosive motion, and, most notably, telling a fancy story about energy, corruption, and the ethical quandaries of an insurrectionary revolution, Mockingjay – Half 2 is an exhilarating sci-fi YA blockbuster with so much on its thoughts. — O.W.
How to watch: The Starvation Video games: Mockingjay – Half 2 is now on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
13. Venture Energy
In Venture Energy, a brand new drug has simply been launched on the streets of New Orleans that provides individuals superpowers for 5 minutes; suppose Limitless meets X-Males. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s native cop groups up with Jamie Foxx’s Artwork, the preliminary take a look at topic of the Energy tablet, and a younger seller (Dominique Fishback, simply the movie’s standout) to observe down the army distributor behind the drug.
Whereas Energy Energy’s story veers into overcomplicated and sometimes foolish territory, what’s most enjoyable in regards to the sci-fi motion hybrid is the individuality of the powers on show. Everybody reacts otherwise to the tablet, from getting bulletproof pores and skin to Hulk-like energy, and turning into a human torch to rising bendable rubber bones. Directing duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman undoubtedly ship on the zaniness of all that might occur when superpowers go awry. — O.W.
How to watch: Venture Energy is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
14. Fowl Field
Director Susanne Bier’s Fowl Field would not work significantly properly as a horror film; the protagonists aren’t likable sufficient to care about, and the scares are decidedly lame. However as a sci-fi idea, the apocalypse arriving as a swarm of invisible monsters, who, when seen, drive their victims to horrible deaths by suicide, is appetizingly intense. (That is what landed this film on our best monster movies listing!)
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Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, and the remainder of Fowl Field’s stellar solid lead a devastating journey by way of this demonic, post-apocalyptic world, combining the thriller, motion, and sci-fi genres. The result’s an adequately complicated imagining of how the world would cope with such creatures, and, although its comparatively low-tech, manages to maintain itself grounded in tense realism. — Alison Foreman, Leisure Reporter
How to watch: Fowl Field(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
15. See You Yesterday
Eden Duncan-Smith is C.J. Walker, a gifted highschool science prodigy who ventures to construct a time machine after her brother is killed by the police. With the assistance of her best good friend, she tries to save her brother’s life — however she’ll quickly study that altering the previous doesn’t come with out penalties.
Written by Fredrica Bailey and Stefon Bristol, and directed by Bristol, this science-fiction journey is the proper mixture of teenage hijinks and emotional depth. We’re on one hell of a trip, however we always remember the stakes these younger characters are dealing with. It is fascinating, enjoyable, and a much-needed recent take on a traditional style. Science-fiction movies that middle Black lives and Black tales have lengthy been a rarity, however with extra A+ entries like See You Yesterday, they’re going to hopefully turn out to be the norm.—Kristina Grosspietsch, Freelance Contributor (* )
How to watch: See You Yesterday(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
16. Code 8
Code 8 imagines a world the place individuals with superpowers exist, however after spurring on a second industrial revolution they have been changed by automation and relegated to the underside rung of society. That is the reality Connor Reed (Robbie Amell) resides as an “Electrical” powered particular person who simply desires to make sufficient cash to assist his terminally unwell mother (Kari Matchett).
Out of choices and introduced with an sudden money-making alternative, the good-hearted Connor reluctantly turns to crime. This trendy Canadian crowdfunded function directed by Jeff Chan lands just a little on the nostril at instances, however an intriguing premise and robust central solid — which additionally consists of Stephen Amell and Sung Kang — retains issues shifting at an entertaining clip. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Reporter
How to watch: Code 8(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
17. Area Sweepers
Credit score: Netflix
In Area Sweepers’ not-terribly-distant way forward for 2092, Earth has turn out to be a polluted wasteland whereas the wealthiest and strongest people dwell in a utopian, corporate-owned orbital area station. The story follows a crew of area sweepers, Earth-dwellers who scrape out a dwelling by cleansing up orbital trash and promoting it. Their powerful however peaceable existence is shattered at some point when, combined in among the many trash, they discover just a little lady named Dorothy (Park Ye-rin) who, it seems, could also be an android fitted with a robust bomb. However the plan they hatch to ransom Dorothy off to the terrorists who’re in search of her goes awry as she spends extra time aboard the ship. It isn’t probably the most unique story in sci-fi historical past, however beautiful visuals, a robust solid, and cautious plotting mix to make this two-plus hour journey — billed as the primary area blockbuster from Korea — breeze by. — A.R.
How to watch: Area Sweepers(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
18. A Shaun the Sheep Film: Farmageddon
When you’ve ever puzzled what E.T. the Additional-Terrestrial may need been like with extra mischievous claymation animals, A Shaun the Sheep Film: Farmageddon could be for you. The Aardman Animation movie drops an lovely child alien named Lu-La into Mossy Backside Farm, the place she turns into quick buddies with the equally playful Shaun — however wants him to develop up just a bit bit so she will get again dwelling.
Foolish, candy, and soothing, Farmageddon is a galactic journey the entire household can get pleasure from. — Angie Han, Deputy Leisure Editor
How to watch: A Shaun the Sheep Film: Farmageddon(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous might contain some fantastical innovations, however the ideas and issues that form its universe are firmly rooted in our personal. Jacqueline Kim stars as Gwen, a single mom who loses her job after her employer decides to substitute her with a youthful, extra racially ambiguous spokesmodel. In desperation, she considers a process that might switch her consciousness right into a extra acceptable new physique — however that comes at nice value.
Combining considerate evaluation of race, gender, and sophistication with a touching story of a mom’s love for her daughter, Advantageous is the sort of low-key sci-fi that will encourage you to look just a little deeper on the world already round you. — A.H.
How to watch: Advantageous(Opens in a brand new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a brand new tab).
20. The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Take your typical household highway journey comedy, toss in a robotic apocalypse, and prime all of it off with a heavy smattering of meme-worthy filters, doodles, and GIFs, and also you may find yourself with one thing like The Mitchells vs. The Machines: a really fun-for-the-whole-family function that hinges on whether or not an artsy teen (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) and her Luddite dad (voiced by Danny McBride) can put aside their variations lengthy sufficient to save all of humanity from being launched into area by Siri Pal.
Come for the jokes about our impending AI-led dystopia, keep for the heart-tugging moments of Mitchell household bonding. Significantly, we would by no means hear T.I. and Rihanna’s “Reside Your Life” with out tearing up ever once more. — A.H. (*)
How to watch: The Mitchells vs. The Machines is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)
Asterisks (*) point out the entry comes from one other ClassyBuzz streaming listing.