You can find a wide range of excellent sci-fi movies on. Dust off the classics, like The Terminator and Galaxy Quest, as well as the . One of those is widely regarded as the best hidden sci-fi gem out there.
Scroll down for our top picks foron Prime Video you can stream right now.
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For a well-made, thoughtful sci-fi that makes sure not to let its meditations overtake entertainment value, Archive is a great shout. The British directorial debut from Gavin Rothery stars Theo James as a scientist working on making an AI as human as possible. His reasons are hidden, personal and sure to put a spanner in the works. Drawing comparisons to Ex Machina, Archive is assured storytelling with an astute focus on character.
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Coherence doesn’t need an Avatar-size budget to craft a compelling story. The low-budget indie film follows friends at a dinner party who start noticing bizarre occurrences after a comet passes. Even more unsettling because of its grounded setting, Coherence nails the brief of true indie gem.
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Intriguing premise? Check. Low budget? Check. Twists in the end? Check. This indie sci-fi mystery from Travis Milloy solidifies its place in the Google Search quest for “best indie sci-fi gems.” Infinity Chamber’s complex story focuses on a man held in an automated detention facility. He must fight superior technology to escape, an immensely tricky feat.
The ’80s adaptation of Stephen King’s sci-fi horror didn’t draw rave reviews, so this 2022 reboot from horror movie factory Blumhouse took another stab. The results? Not good. Firestarter scored even worse than the original, but it does offer the intrigue of seeing Zac Efron take the lead in a horror flick. He plays a father who attempts to keep his daughter — who can use pyrokinesis — out of the hands of a shadowy federal agency.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (2020)
How cool and imaginative is that title? Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is a low-budget time travel comedy from Japanese filmmaker Junta Yamaguchi. The wild premise: A café worker discovers his TV can show him what happens 2 minutes into the future. There’s obviously a lot more to that and the results are as creative and trippy as you can expect under the constraints of indie filmmaking. A gem.
Just watched Prey and looking for another sci-fi flick starring a heroic pup? Love and Monsters lives up to its name, centered on Joel (Dylan O’Brien), a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where mutated monsters roam the Earth. On his search for his ex-girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), he encounters a stray dog named “Boy.” This is when the real romance begins. Catch this enjoyable monsterpocalypse adventure, which will leap out at you with a few surprises and hit all the right emotional beats.
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Not much needs to be said about the first in the Terminator franchise. Apparently born of a fever dream, James Cameron’s story gives us a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to save mankind from the robot apocalypse.
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Before Dune, Denis Villeneuve directed another immense sci-fi classic. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a linguist who suffers a personal tragedy in the past. When mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft hover over Earth, she’s recruited to make contact — with completely unexpected life-changing results. Arrival is a complete package, with performances, cinematography and writing that are… out of this world.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The second Star Trek movie in the rebooted franchise beams up a terrific adventure with a memorable villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. The gang on the USS Enterprise travels to the forbidden zone in space to rescue an endangered species. While a little dated — a gratuitous underwear scene and a change in ethnicity for Khan — Into Darkness is a rolling trip.
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It’s hard to leave The Tomorrow War off this list, because it’s Prime Video’s big sci-fi actioner starring Chris Pratt. It follows a schoolteacher who’s drafted into a war with aliens — in the future. An easily digestible flick that you can watch while looking at your phone.
In the mood for sci-fi comedy? Galaxy Quest is a cult classic, an affectionate parody of Star Trek. The clever premise: The cast of a fictional cult sci-fi TV series are drawn into a real interstellar conflict. Actual aliens are involved, who believe the series is a documentary. A warmhearted comedy with a stellar cast, including Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver.
An ’80s techno-thriller starring Matthew Broderick, WarGames won big praise for its inventive concept, paired with teen drama. A young hacker unwittingly accesses a US military supercomputer, one that can execute nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Oops! Well-executed with entertaining results, WarGames is a smart sci-fi flick for everyone.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in this entertaining sci-fi romance based on a Philip K. Dick short story. A US congressman discovers events in his life are being controlled by a mysterious organization. With a love interest at his side, he attempts to outsmart and escape their control.
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Vivarium is an interesting one. It might frustrate a lot of viewers with its surreal aspects, but it’s still a compelling film. A young couple becomes trapped in a labyrinthine suburban neighborhood of identical houses. While trying to escape, they find themselves taking care of a mysterious baby.
This little-known sci-fi thriller takes its science aspects seriously, using a found footage format to dial up the realism. Europa Report recounts the fictional story of a crew’s mission to Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Despite hitting crisis after crisis, the crew continues to be drawn into the mysteries of their destination, including signs of life. Prepare to be sucked into a vacuum of suspense, made more heart-pumping by Europa Report’s preoccupation with plausibility.
This low-budget indie has surprisingly high production values, impressive performances and inventive camerawork to help tell the story of two teenagers in ’50s New Mexico. The resourceful pair chase down the potentially extraterrestrial origins of a mysterious audio frequency.
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For those missing Black Mirror, this will go some way to filling that gap. Black Box follows a father who tries to piece his life back together after a car accident. He agrees to an experimental procedure that leads him to the darkest recesses of his mind.
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