Science fiction is one of the most exciting film genres to watch on Netflix today, and we’ve compiled a list of the best science fiction movies that are available right now. Netflix has amped up its sci-fi game to meet high demand in a genre that’s immensely popular among moviegoers because it caters to many tastes. You’re sure to discover something you like, whether it’s alien machines, dystopian settings, dragons, magic, or time travel.

What Makes a Good Science Fiction Film?

In our opinion, hope is a recurring theme in Netflix’s top science fiction films. Whether fighting aliens, travelling through outer space, or getting stuck in other dimensions, the characters in these films have an unwavering urge to discover the truth or find fresh hope. Science fiction has recently served as a mirror to the world around us, revealing inverted realities and worlds that are not beyond our grasp. Our writers decided to rank each film based on its watchability—could they immediately sit through the movie a second time, or did they even want to.

The Performance Appraisal

With so much choice it’s not easy to construct a list of the best science fiction movies on Netflix, so we did it ourselves. To make the list, we considered critics’ opinions, and fan feelings from sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, and, of course, our own personal takes on the films.

Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

We think these are the best Netflix science fiction movies right now, so curl up on the sofa with some popcorn and get ready to enjoy your own binge watch. Our choices are ranked from worst (or least-best) to best.

#31. Cloud Atlas (2012)

This sci-fi blockbuster offers a complicated entanglement of past, present, and future, and is billed as the most expensive indie movie ever produced. The film is a little over three hours long with multiple plots and time periods, yet it seamlessly transitions between six different stories. Prepare yourself; you’ll need all your focus for this one as it ranks the worst of our bunch. 


#30. ET (1982)

A friendly alien being becomes trapped on Earth and becomes friends with a young boy, who hides the ET in his house in California. The boy and his siblings try to keep the strange visitor’s existence a secret, but when ET becomes sick and may die, government agents become involved, causing a new wave of problems.


#29. Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max is an iconic sci-fi film that catapulted Australia’s Mel Gibson to international prominence. It depicts the story of a highway patrolman racing over the back roads of a dystopian Australia trying to protect his family. Expect post-apocalyptic action and adventure. Though not considered the best of the Mad Max movies, the original still boasts a sizable cult following. All the Mad Max sequels are WAY better than this, but this is the one that got them going.

#28. Oxygen (2021)

Oxygen is a riveting and disturbing sci-fi thriller now available on Netflix. It follows a woman who wakes up in a cryo-chamber and does not remember how she got there, who she is, or how to get out. She must deal with all of this as her air steadily runs lower. In this well-acted French film, you may feel as if you’re living the nightmare yourself.

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#27. Mars Attacks (1996)

Mars Attacks is loaded with enough campy fun to make even the most severe sci-fi lover smile. With Jack Nicholson as the United States president, Sarah Jessica Parker’s head appearing atop a chihuahua body extraterrestrial species that talks in a bird-like squawk, reviewers and fans at first gave it a collective thumbs-down. But repeated viewings of Mars Attacks grew a cult following. It’s silly, but still draws audiences who love watching so many Hollywood stars get bumped off.


#26. Okja (2017)

Okja is a must-see for fans of all things magical and mysterious. The sci-fi film seamlessly blends fantasy speculations with real-world complications, and though the poster showing a giant pig and a little girl in what appears to be a family-friendly film, the movie is very intense and full of violence against animals. A little girl risks her life to save her beastly-looking buddy, Okja, from being kidnapped by a greedy corporation. It thoughtfully addresses relevant concerns of capitalism and power.

#25. Midnight Special (2016)

Midnight Special is one of the finest independent sci-fi films of late, delving into the fantastical world of superpowers in a grounded, realistic way. A father and young son flee from the government and a cult who are both on the lookout for them because of the son’s extraordinary abilities. This is a scary, introspective performance that shows the strong bond between a father and his son, and just how far a parent will go to protect his offspring.

#24. Total Recall (1990)

In this cult classic, the worlds of espionage and science fiction collide. Expect plenty of action and a classic tribute to spectacular effects from the 1980s. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a construction worker embroiled in espionage on a Mars colony where his entire life may only be a false memory, and people he doesn’t know want him dead.

#23. Snowpiercer (2013)

This dark and twisted sci-fi film offers a relevant investigation of the present climate crisis. The film depicts a climate-change experiment gone awry, with just a few humans surviving the consequences. A new class system emerges in the post-apocalyptic world, prompting us to consider climate change and the impending end of the planet.

#22. Ex Machina (2014)

In this A24 sci-fi film, a programmer tests his latest invention, a female android named Ava, to see if she can simulate proper human awareness. Ex Machina is a modern-day Frankenstein narrative about man’s ambition to play God, but who goes too far.

#21. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988)

This Japanese animated science fiction film was directed and written by Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of the Gundam series, and was based on his novel, Hi-Streamer. Char’s Counterattack is widely regarded as the best film in the Gundam franchise. It is most effective in resolving the 14-year conflict between Amuro Ray, the “hero” of the Earth Federation, and Char Aznable, the commander of Neo-Zeon.

#20. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Are you a fan of time travel? For you, Safety Not Guaranteed may be the perfect movie. The drama follows Darius, a young magazine intern who investigates the writer of a classified ad who’s searching for a time travel companion. This dramatic cult phenomenom has a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

#19. The Midnight Sky (2020)

The Midnight Sky is a post-apocalyptic drama and one of the more recent sci-fi movies added to the list. This film is a highly plausible sci-fi drama about an arctic scientist who races against time to warn a group of astronauts from coming home to all-out disaster.

#18. The Old Guard (2020)

This action-packed sci-fi film stars Charlize Theron. A group of immortal mercenaries is discovered and must battle to keep their identities hidden, resulting in a complicated and long voyage. The film takes a serious and intriguing look at the concepts of power and money.

#17. In The Shadow of The Moon (2019)

This movie is a must-see sci-fi thriller that blends time travel and crime in a complicated, engaging story. A serial murderer is on the loose, committing acts that defy explanation, and one Philadelphia cop is obsessed with solving the case.

#16. The Platform (2019)

The Platform seems to go beyond what the human mind can comprehend; it’s both a brilliant notion and a never-ending horror. The film depicts a jail with one cell on each floor, one food platform, and two minutes to feed every day. The watch is worth the brain-twisting. It is diabolical, doomed, and without a doubt a film that will pique one’s interest.

#15. The Endless (2017)

A dark drama and sci-fi horror film inspired by the weirdness of a sci-fi cult. After uncovering an old DVD, two adult brothers who survived a UFO death cult, seek answers. This film is poignantly spooky and equally fascinating, and it will take you on an unexpected trip.

#14. Blame! (2017)

Blame! is a unique sci-fi anime feature set in a distant technological future and focused on a battle to rescue humanity. In the film, humans are labelled “illegal inhabitants” and are pursued by killer robots. This is a thrilling, violent struggle for survival that shows the darker side of the technology-human relationship in a world as big as the orbit of Jupiter.

#13. Project Power (2020)

This 2020 sci-fi film starring Jamie Foxx explores dystopian themes of power through an easy-to-understand premise. Taking a pill gives you a new superpower for five minutes in the movie. It’s hardly innovative, but it’s an excellent and amusing movie.

#12. The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)

This animation is a charming and quirky sci-fi film that the entire family will love. A somewhat dysfunctional family finds themselves in the middle of a robot apocalypse on their road trip. It’s one of our favorites because of the end-of-the-world excitement with a hilarious twist.

#11. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2001)

Invader Zim is a humorous extraterrestrial film aimed at an older audience of cartoon fans. ZIM is the tiniest member of an alien society who learns that his overlords never meant for him to come to Earth.

#10. Space Sweepers (2021)

It is a dystopian film set in 2092 and one of the first Korean blockbusters to explore science fiction. When the crew of a space garbage collecting craft discovers a young girl trapped in space debris, they discover she is a humanoid robot in much demand and decide to demand a ransom for her return. They later discover she’s also a weapon of mass destruction. Expect plenty of action, a compelling narrative, and significant philosophical problems.


#9. Looper (2012)

A time-travel film where the rich can afford to travel into the past and the rest of us don’t even realize what’s going on. The mob routinely sends their main hit person, Joe, back in time to kill their chosen targets, and all goes well until they decide to remove Joe himself. With Bruce Willis playing the older version of Joe, you can guess somebody’s going to pay for this decision. A sensitive and creative plot with excellent combined with strong roles well-played.

#8. The Signal (2014)

Have you ever had a nightmare only to wake up and realize it was true? The Signal delves into this frightening subject with sharp detail, drama, and mystery. A computer genius plays an integral part in the story, raising concerns about trusting technology and the hacker world.

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#7. Jiu-Jitsu (2020)

In this sci-fi picture, jiu-jitsu is combined with alien invaders in a race to rescue humanity. Despite its engaging premise, the film has been criticized for its poor fight choreography and lack of intellectual dialogue. Nevertheless, it’s worth seeing if you’re looking for something simple and a little cheesy.

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#6. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Stanley Kubrick’s famous dystopian picture from 1971 is still one of the finest sci-fi movies on Netflix right now. In this satirical comedy-thriller, Malcolm McDowell plays the leader of the Droogs, a group of delinquents. The classic film addresses themes of criminality, revolt, and the value of individual choice.

#5. Real Steel (2011)

Fans of boxing will like this sci-fi action drama about robot boxing: Hugh Jackman, one of the world’s favorite action heroes, stars in this film that’s full of feel-good moments. With a combination of sports, family, drama, and robot action, this picture has something for everyone.


#4. Code 8 (2019)

Code 8 presents us with a classic sci-fi moral problem to consider. A super-powered construction worker joins forces with a gang of crooks to commit crimes that will help support his sick mother. The special effects are amazing!

#3. The Jurassic Park Trilogy (1993-2018)

The Jurassic Park Trilogy is a must-see, and it is arguably the most famous sci-fi cult classic trilogy ever made. The film features all the excitement and adventure you’d expect from a well-known sci-fi film, reminding us of the mystical and fanciful worlds of dinosaurs we adored as children. These movies show what can happen when scientists mess with something they truly don’t understand.

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#2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

This film had a lot to live up to as the widely anticipated sequel to Terminator. A cyborg who failed to murder Sarah Connor now has to safeguard her ten-year-old son, John Connor, from a more evolved and stronger cyborg. Many viewers consider T2 to be the best of the bunch.

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#1. Back To The Future (1985)

Unquestionably one of the most famous and beloved films of all time in the sci-fi genre. The film concerns an adolescent who travels back in time and runs into his own parents, who are now the same age that he is. Loaded with iconic 80s cinematography at its foreground, this lighthearted, action-packed film plays with standard dystopian themes bringing out unforgettable characters that will have you hoping for a sequel—and you get it!

Do you agree with our rankings? Do you disagree? Either way, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a comment in the box below and tell us what you think.