The Best Free Sci-Fi Movies You Can Watch On YouTube Right Now

It wasn't very long ago that the very idea of streaming a movie seemed like science fiction. The notion that satellites would eventually be launched with the specific purpose of beaming "Stargate" to your phone during your morning train ride was a wild concept. And most of all, that they would do it free of charge? Well, that's just ludicrous.

But here we are, living in the future, with more content at our fingertips than any one person will ever be able to consume. It's neat, no doubt about it, and even niftier now that YouTube is offering over a thousand movies to watch for free.

That's a lot of flicks to sift through. Luckily, we're here to help, specifically if you're in the mood to watch something even more futuristic than your already impressive 2021 surroundings. We've compiled a list of some of the best sci-fi films currently available to watch for free on Youtube. From vengeful time-traveling cyborgs to more congenial, contemporary cyborgs, here are our top five picks for your next zero dollar movie night.


It was 1994, and director Roland Emmerich had not yet evolved into the CGI-spewing mastermind behind "10,000 BC" and that movie where Godzilla has a pregnancy test administered by Matthew Broderick. No, the filmmaker was still enveloped in the process of creating headier fare, like a flick about Kurt Russell trying to nuke the aliens that built the pyramids.

Enter "Stargate," the first chapter in a science fiction franchise that would stretch on into three live action TV series, a small pile of direct-to-video movies, and a decidedly weird kids' cartoon. Here, we witness the journey of Daniel Jackson, an archaeologist who has everything a nerd could ask for: the looks of a young James Spader, the eventual respect of Kurt Russell, and the ability to walk through a door and be lightyears from social obligations.

Today, the original "Stargate" movie feels like a Tom Clancy novel and a DVD box set of "Ancient Aliens" got pureed together on an episode of "Will It Blend?" It's a fun adventure with plenty of thrills. If you liked Disney's "Atlantis," you'll love this film, seeing as they're basically the same movie, but this one isn't damp. As an added bonus, you can also watch the spin off sequels "Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum" for free on YouTube, provided you don't mind missing 14 years of exposition provided by the television series "Stargate: SG1."

Minority Report

From a critical perspective, "Minority Report" killed so hard that it should have been arrested just before the crime was perpetrated. Roger Ebert gave it four stars, describing it as "a virtuoso high-wire act, daring so much, achieving it with such grace and skill," and went on to gush that "Minority Report reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place." The New Yorker mused that "The worst thing about the new Steven Spielberg picture is the title, 'Minority Report.' The best thing about it is pretty much everything else." Andrew Sarris of The Observer wrote "My minority report is that it stinks," but he also gave "To Kill a Mockingbird" a thumbs down, stating: "When all is said and done, Southerners are People Like Us, some good and some bad. So what?" He might have been cranky. Ignore him.

Steven Spielberg's 2002 adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick story "The Minority Report" is still an adrenaline rush nearly 20 years after its initial release. Content warning for people with a fear of spiders, a fear of having their eyes touched, or a fear of having their eyes touched by spiders.

The Terminator

Ever wanted to go back in time and fix your mistakes? Work up the courage to ask out your high school crush, or let a beloved family member know how you feel about them before it's too late? Hook up with your boss's mom and become his father while also making room in your schedule to fire a shotgun into an Austrian robot's chest? Well, "The Terminator" is just the power fantasy you've been waiting for.

Nobody could have suspected that "The Terminator" would spawn one of pop culture's most ubiquitous franchises when it first debuted in 1984. It was, by all appearances, another shlock fest from the director of "Piranha 2: The Spawning," this time with robots or something. Then it made back twelve times its budget in its initial release, cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger's place as a very long household name, and kick started four decades of seemingly endless sequels, TV shows, reboots, video games, theme park attractions, and the recently announced "Terminator" anime. If you've never seen it, you might wonder whether or not Arnold mentions his intention to be back. Brother, are you in for a treat.

Mars Attacks!

It's difficult to overstate just how funky and wonderful Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!" turned out to be. Based on a series of 1960s hyper-violent bubble gum trading cards, the film served as Burton's personal and professional tribute to Ed Wood.

With gleeful bloodshed, surreal special effects, and a tone best described as "live action Looney Tunes war crimes," "Mars Attacks!" was a tough movie for critics to put their finger on when it came out. It didn't help that it was released around the same time as "Independence Day" — which a handful of reviewers saw as a more serious homage to classic sci-fi disaster pulp and therefore, for some reason, better.

Even if watching Congressmen get the flesh zapped from their dramatically posing skeletons isn't your cup of papaya juice, "Mars Attacks!" is worth a watch just for the almost impossibly impressive cast. Previous Burton collaborators like Danny DeVito, O-Lan Jones, and, in a dual role, Jack Nicholson, all show up to work. Then there's Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman, Glenn Close, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Short — Tom Jones, playing himself, ruminating on the peculiarities of being loved by anyone. Five out of five stars.


"Part man. Part machine. All cop." With these six words, the poster for "RoboCop" assuaged any potential audience fears that the title character was anything besides a cop. The movie lived up to its promise. Never once during "RoboCop" does RoboCop pick up part-time work walking dogs or spend time on hobbies like model train collecting or reading about SCUBA.

As satires go, "RoboCop" is still hard to beat, in part thanks to director Paul Verhoeven's trademark oeuvre, also seen in 1997's "Starship Troopers," seemingly designed to confuse half the audience into thinking that the movie is taking itself seriously. Here, Officer Alex Murphy, a gun-slinging Detroit policeman, is killed by evil men, returns to life and brings justice to the sinful. He even walks on water in the third act. It's not directly on-the-nose, but it's certainly nose-adjacent.

There's an added bonus here. The version of "RoboCop" that's currently streaming on YouTube is the TV edit. If you've never seen a TV edit of a Verhoeven movie, it's an absolute must. The cuts are weird, the ultra violence is eerily bloodless, and you get to hear Kurtwood Smith and his cronies toss out dialogue like "You dipstick! You stupid, stupid man!" and "Die, you blaggard!" Oddly, during the boardroom sequence, the line "I'm very disappointed, Dick" made it into the final cut. Don't tell anyone.