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25 Best Sci-Fi Movies On Netflix

There's never been a better time to be a fan of sci-fi movies — especially if you're one with a Netflix account. Though more and more streaming services make their debut every day, the one with the big red "N" logo remains a dazzling source of genre greatness. Whether you love futuristic military stories, speculative drama, or dystopian thinkers, Netflix has a flick for you. 

Wading through all the offerings Netflix presents takes precious time away from actually watching good movies, however. We here at Looper understand that struggle, so we've taken the time to assemble this list of stand-outs. These are the 25 best sci-fi movies available on Netflix, from space-faring sagas to post-apocalyptic fables.

Updated on January 18, 2023: Like all streaming services, Netflix rotates films on and off its platform. We'll keep you in the loop by regularly updating this list of sci-fi favorites to reflect the streamer's current offerings. Be sure to check back every month for the very best in Netflix sci-fi.

The Adam Project

Sometimes it's enough for a sci-fi movie to provide action, adventure, and lighthearted fun. This Netflix original follows Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), a pilot from 2050 who uses a time travel machine to search for his wife Laura (Zoe Saldaña). Adam inadvertently crashes lands in 2022 and must partner with his younger self (Walker Scobell) to attempt to reunite with his wife and save his own timeline from collapsing into a full-blown dystopia. "The Adam Project" avoids the pitfalls of other time travel movies to tell a story that's sure to keep anyone entertained.

  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Zoe Saldaña
  • Director: Shawn Levy
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%


In the future of "Advantageous," based on director Jennifer Phang's short film of the same name, women are losing jobs and becoming infertile at alarming rates. Single parent Gwen tries to give her daughter, Jules, a comfortable life but has trouble as an older woman once she's let go at an advanced tech company that prefers youth. However, if Gwen is willing to undergo the company's new procedure — one involving human consciousness — Jules' future would be secure. "Advantageous," co-written by Phang and star Jacqueline Kim, is anchored by solid performances and eschews big budget effects for quiet, serious contemplation about misogyny, race, and financial inequality.

  • Starring: Jacqueline Kim, Samantha Kim, James Urbaniak
  • Director: Jennifer Phang
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Bird Box

Malorie (Sandra Bullock) must survive in a strange world where glimpsing the mysterious entities that have overrun the Earth causes a person to commit suicide. No one knows where the entities came from, or how their power works, and neither do they know how to defeat them. Thus, the survivors must learn to navigate the world while blindfolded. Director Susanne Bier mines creepy dread from the proceedings, while simultaneously presenting a grim metaphor for parenthood. The film also boasts a great performance by Bullock and a perfectly calibrated score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

  • Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver
  • Director: Susanne Bier
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Code 8

For anyone feeling superhero fatigue, "Code 8" makes for an incredibly refreshing take on superpowers. Directed by Jeff Chan, the movie has a fully realized world that depicts the interaction of powers, oppressive governments, and organized crime syndicates. Connor Reed (Robbie Amell) uses his electric powers as a construction worker, but when his crew is forced to disband, he finds himself struggling to pay for his mother's cancer treatment. Desperation pushes Robbie into working for a gang known as the Trust, and his world is soon turned upside down.

  • Starring: Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, Sung Kang
  • Director: Jeff Chan
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

The Discovery

"The Discovery" arguably under-delivers on its premise, but for fans of big idea sci-fi, there's plenty to chew on here. Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) has definitely proven the existence of an afterlife, and his discovery has shaken the world. Suicide rates are spiking as people attempt to escape their current problems for a new life, which leads Dr. Harbor's son Will (Jason Segel) to believe that this discovery isn't as wonderful as it might appear on the surface.

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters

"Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters" is the first of an animated trilogy featuring the famous kaiju in the villain role. Thousands of years after nearly destroying all humans, Godzilla reigns on Earth. The survivors of his wrath are forced to live on a spaceship, where they search for a new planet to call home. Joining them are two different alien races who tried to ally with Godzilla, but were also driven off-world — the King of the Monsters doesn't need help to rule. The humans and aliens decide to work together to retake the Earth from its monstrous master. Fans of anime and Godzilla should both enjoy this take on the classic kaiju.

  • Starring: Yûki Kaji, Kenta Miyake, Mamoru Miyano
  • Director: Hiroyuki Seshita, Kobun Shizuno
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

I Am Mother

Human life has been wiped out, leaving Mother (Rose Byrne), a sophisticated robot, to repopulate the Earth. Mother lives underground with Daughter (Clara Rugaard), teaching her lessons, keeping her fed, and preparing her for a mysterious exam. Their existence is upended when Daughter lets in a woman (Hilary Swank) from the ravaged outside. "I Am Mother" is a contemplative and suspenseful film that leaves Daughter wondering who she should trust — if anyone.

  • Starring: Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne
  • Director: Grant Sputore
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%


This Netflix original combines elements of post-apocalypse stories with the promise of space travel. As the Earth's atmosphere becomes increasingly inhospitable, more and more people are abandoning the planet for a colony on Jupiter's moon Io. Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) believes that there's still hope for the atmosphere to be saved, but her faith is somewhat shaken after meeting a man named Micah (Anthony Mackie), and together the two of them attempt to reach the last shuttle to Io.

  • Starring: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston
  • Director: Jonathan Helpert
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%

Looop Lapeta

"Looop Lapeta" is a remake of 1998's experimental German film, "Run Lola Run," with an added comedic dimension to alleviate the thriller's more intense moments. Savi, a former athlete, meets Satya, a criminal whom she falls for and who gets her into trouble. Savi's athletic career is cut short by a knee injury, but when she has to run around town to help save Satya, she puts her own pain aside. Events unfold multiple times as each ending resets Savi's day — will she get the outcome she desires, or is she destined to stay stuck in this loop forever?

  • Starring: Tahir Raj Bhasin, Taapsee Pannu, Shreya Dhanwanthary
  • Director: Aakash Bhatia
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Minority Report

It doesn't get much better than Steven Spielberg adapting Philip K. Dick. Based on a short story by the acclaimed sci-fi author, "Minority Report" is set in a world where humans with precognitive abilities allow law enforcement to stop crime before it ever happens. John Anderton (Tom Cruise) leads the budding Precrime program, but when the precogs determine that he will murder a man he's never even met, he'll go to great lengths to clear his name and tear down the unit he helped to build.

The Mist

A mysterious mist envelops a small Maine town, trapping artist David Drayton and his young son in a supermarket. Things get even worse when horrific creatures begin to emerge from the gray clouds. The trapped shoppers soon form factions, while more rational folks try to figure out what's happening and how to survive it. This film features plenty of monstrous mayhem, but the beasts aren't the point. Rather, "The Mist" is most interested in what happens to ordinary neighbors when put under intense duress. What results will chill you to the bone.

  • Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Rating:
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), an aspiring filmmaker and tech-savvy teen, is preparing to leave home for college. When a family squabble erupts, Katie's dad Rick (Danny McBride) decides to haul his kin across the country on a road trip, rather than send Katie to school on an airplane. But while they're traveling, a war breaks out between robots and humans. The Mitchells must band together to save the day in this colorful, heartfelt film, which also earned accolades for its LGBTQ+ representation.

  • Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
  • Director: Michael Rianda
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%


The human race has been devastated by an alien attack. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough) are among the last humans left alive, and they work to guard the Earth's resources on behalf of the remaining survivors, who live on an orbital station called the Tet. When Jack has a chance encounter with another human being, he starts to question the nature of his mission and the very history of the war. "Oblivion" is an intriguing plot wrapped with stunning sci-fi imagery that'll keep any genre fan engaged.


The titular creature of this environmentally conscious film is a "super pig" who becomes close to Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), a young farm girl who raises Okja alongside her grandfather. Okja is part of an experiment by the Mirando Corporation, who are looking to breed oversized animals for enormous profit. Okja quickly becomes a pawn between corporate interests and animal rights activism, with little Mija caught in the middle. This hybrid fantasy-sci-fi film delves deeply into our relationship with animals and the food industry, as seen through the eyes of an innocent.

  • Starring: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Outside the Wire

Anthony Mackie starred in and produced this Netflix original designed for war movie fans looking to branch out a little. "Outside the Wire" takes place in a war-torn Ukraine in the year 2036. Harp (Damson Idris) is a disgraced drone pilot tasked with working under Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie), an android soldier with incredible abilities. The two of them are sent on a mission to capture Russian missile silos built during the Cold War in order to stop the launch of a nuclear bomb.


A woman with amnesia is trapped inside a pod that's slowly running out of air in this taut sci-fi thriller. Elizabeth (Mélanie Laurent) has no idea what's happening, or that her name is Elizabeth — she only knows that she needs to get out before she suffocates. Unfortunately, she doesn't remember the administrator code she needs to be released. Why is she in this pod? Why can't she remember anything? The answers are as complex as they are surprising. Genre great Alexandre Aja expertly directs Laurent, who gives a harrowing performance as Elizabeth.

  • Starring: Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric, Malik Zidi
  • Director: Alexandre Aja
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Platform

This Spanish sci-fi horror film was directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia and is sure to leave any viewer with chills. "The Platform" is set in a futuristic vertical prison where inmates are shuffled two at a time to platforms on various levels. Each day an elevator packed with food moves from the top of the prison to the bottom, stopping for extremely limited times to let the prisoners eat. In the fight for survival, some inmates turn violent and others are forced to make unimaginable decisions to keep themselves alive.

  • Starring: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan
  • Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

See You Yesterday

A pair of teen science prodigies in the Flatbush neighborhood of New York develop backpack time machines in "See You Yesterday." The film's hook is the deadly serious reason C.J. keeps going back in time — to prevent the death of her brother at the hands of the police. Of course, the more times she goes back, the more chances there are for things to go wrong. The film is carried by the charismatic Eden Duncan-Smith as C.J., as well as her castmates Danté Crichlow as her bestie, Sebastian, and Astro as her brother, Calvin. Sci-fi frequently takes on heavy topics, and director Stefon Bristol, adapting his short film of the same name into feature length, navigates the heaviness expertly.

  • Starring: Eden Duncan-Smith, Danté Crichlow, Astro
  • Director: Stefon Bristol
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Soul

A tale that mixes magical elements and hard science, "The Soul" posits that a human soul can be transferred from one person to another, via technological means. While this fantastical feat is attention-grabbing, "The Soul" puts its futuristic setting in the background, and focuses on what seems like a simple crime story. Liang Wen-Chao (Chang Chen) is an officer dying of cancer. He's working to solve the murder of an important businessman — but things aren't exactly what they seem. Soon enough, this whodunit becomes an intricate tale about human existence.

Sorry to Bother You

Director Boots Riley's "Sorry to Bother You" is a savage indictment of capitalism and systemic racism. The film takes place in an alternate universe where LaKeith Stanfield's Cassius Green and his girlfriend, performance artist Detroit, are living a life of financial struggle. Green takes a telemarketing job that seems to solve his money problems — he finds great success thanks to his ability to use a spot-on "white voice" — but leads to something much more bizarre and unsettling. "Sorry to Bother You" is one of those films where it's best to go in knowing as little as possible and let the film's substance and visuals carry you along to its surreal, brutal conclusion.

Space Sweepers

In the future of "Space Sweepers," Earth is a hellscape of pollution and the richest live off-world. The crew of the spaceship Victory collects floating detritus in space and sells the scraps. These "sweepers" exist on the margins, making money where they can. One day, the crew finds a young girl named Dorothy (Park Ye-rin) who they believe to be a very valuable and dangerous android. But is Dorothy really human? While "Space Sweepers" runs a bit long, its insights into class and power are worth the ride.

  • Starring: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu
  • Director: Jo Sung-hee
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%


"Oblivion" director Joseph Kosinski returns for this adaptation of the George Saunders short story "Escape from Spiderhead." The movie is set in a futuristic prison that gives its inmates the option to volunteer for chemical research in order to earn an early release. The mind-altering substances given to the inmates induce extreme feelings of pleasure, love, and terror. Slowly the inmates begin to question the real purpose behind Spiderhead prison and whether or not they'll ever be released from it.


"Stowaway" presents one heck of a moral dilemma for the crew of a mission to Mars: Their ship only has enough oxygen for three people, but a fourth person is discovered on board. More troubles soon plague the mission when experiments go awry and supplies become even more limited. Tensions mount as the odds of survival for the entire crew diminish, leaving them to make an unthinkable choice. "Stowaway" presents a thorny issue with deep feeling, beautiful cinematography, and fantastic performances.

  • Starring: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Toni Collette
  • Director: Joe Penna
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%


A man-made drug called Synchronic is causing massive problems in New Orleans. Two paramedics, Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan), have a first-hand view of this, as they respond to calls of inexplicable deaths and accidents involving the drug. Soon enough, Steve discovers it has properties beyond just getting a user high: It allows them to travel through time. The concept of time travel contained in a pill is intriguing, and Mackie does a good job capturing Steve's growing understanding of how it works, even as his body deteriorates.

  • Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
  • Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

The Wandering Earth

"The Wandering Earth," loosely based on the Liu Cixin novella of the same name, takes place far into the future, when the sun's expansion threatens to destroy the Earth. A daring plan is conceived, which sees astronauts work to move the entire planet into the Alpha Centauri system using Jupiter's gravity and a lot of engines. Naturally, things go wrong. This movie juxtaposes its cosmic crisis with the petty peccadilloes of humanity to tremendous effect. People will be people, after all, even as their literal world is coming apart.

  • Starring: Wu Jing, Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie
  • Director: Frant Gwo
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%