The Absolute Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

It can be tough to find quality sci-fi movies on Netflix. Movies like these, especially older classics, tend to be buried beneath the algorithms. That’s where we came in.

We wanted to highlight a few of the best sci-fi gems on the service — like Synchronic — alongside established classics like Men in Black and Starship Troopers. There are also a few newer movies in here like Spiderhead.

All up, there’s a decent amount to watch if you’re a sci-fi fans. Get stuck in.

Read more: The Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix


The Platform is a Spanish sci-fi horror flick with a gruesome high concept. Prisoners in a correctional facility are fed in a very unique way: Folks at the top floor get fed a ludicrous amount of food, folks below get their leftovers. Chaos ensues.

It’s not perfect, but still well worth watching.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)

Is there a more critically revered science fiction movie than Blade Runner? If there is, I can’t think of it. Maybe the original Alien or The Thing?

Either way, neither of them is currently on Netflix, so Blade Runner is probably the must watch sci-fi movie on the service.


Spiderhead is the latest movie from Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski, and also stars Miles Teller, who features in that same movie.

Spiderhead isn’t quite on the same level as the superlative Top Gun: Maverick, but it’s still worth watching. Based on a dystopian short story published in The New Yorker, Spiderhead takes place in a state of the art prison, where drug-induced experiments are taking place with the inmates.

Columbia Pictures

Men in Black is currently on Netflix. You know this movie, everyone has seen this movie. It’s good. You should watch it.


An Australian-made sci-fi thriller starring Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne, I Am Mother tells the post-apocalyptic tale of Daughter, a character raised by Mother, a robot tasked with helping repopulate the Earth. Very tense, very strange, very good.


I just watched The Colony recently. It’s surprisingly good!

It follows a very familiar trope: Rich people returning to Earth years after abandoning it, to find it overrun by new, unknown threats. The Colony subverts some of these cliches, however, and has some surprisingly powerful things to say about the ways in which we dehumanize one another. Well worth giving a chance.


The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of the smartest, most accessible kids movies of the last few years. It’s the sort of movie kids and parents can watch together and both have a blast.

I should know, my kids have made me watch this… eight times so far? Sweet.


The Mist is great. A sci-fi horror movie based on a Stephen King story that’s got some brilliantly executed horror elements. Just be aware, it has an ending that will suck the oxygen out of your lungs. Don’t say you weren’t warned.


The Adam Project isn’t a perfect movie, but it is perfect for those seeking out an easy watch for a family movie night. Ryan Reynolds does his Ryan Reynolds thing as a time-traveling pilot working with his 12-year-old self on a mission to save the future.

Look, it’s a crowd pleaser!

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Is this sci-fi? I think it’s sci-fi.

It’s sci-fi. End of discussion.

Don’t Look Up is far from a perfect movie. It reeks of Hollywood faux-activism and it’s too long and way too on the nose. But it still feels important and also… quite funny?

I think regardless of its flaws, Don’t Look Up is a movie that has had a net positive on the world and it’s worth watching.


Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Childhood (2022)

Apollo 11 1/2 is loosely based on director Richard Linklater’s childhood. An animated tale set around the time of the Apollo moon landing it stars Glen Powell, Jack Black, Zachary Levi and Josh Wiggins and features a beautiful animated aesthetic.

It’s a beautifully made movie you can’t afford to miss.