The 11 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now

Science fiction is an incredibly flexible and encompassing field that allows writers, filmmakers, and actors to show off their creativity without being hampered by the confines of other genres. All sci-fi films can have elements of action, drama, romance, adventure, and mystery (with the best ones having a mixture of sub-genres) without blurring the lines, so it’s a genre that offers something for everyone. With that in mind, we’ve gone through and rounded up the best sci-fi movies on Netflix.

The Adam Project

Director: Shawn Levy
 
Release Date: 2022-03-11
 
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Comedy

If you’re looking for a fun throwback to the Amblin adventure films of the 1980s, look no further than Shawn Levy’s Netflix original sci-fi film, The Adam Project. The film centers on a young boy (breakout star Walker Scobell), who discovers that his future self (Ryan Reynolds) is an astronaut who has crash-landed on Earth. If you’re expecting the typical quippy performance from Reynolds, you’ll be surprised to see that it’s actually Scobell who gets most of the film’s best zingers. Reynolds turns in a more hardened, mature performance, and the film itself does a great job balancing humor and heart. Look out for the moving performances by Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner as Adam’s parents, but stick around for Catherine Keener’s scenery chewing villain.

Director: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
 
Release Date: 2023-07-14
 
Cast: Georgina Campbell, Mario Casas, Diego Calva, Michelle Jenner
 
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Bird Box Barcelona continues to build layers within the thrilling post-apocalyptic horror film franchise that began in 2018 with Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock. In this new chapter, co-written and co-directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor, Bird Box Barcelona explores the evolution of the terrifying tragedies, particularly as events unfold in Spain. Centering on Sebastián (Mario Casas), a survivor who reluctantly joins others on their attempt to escape the city, Bird Box Barcelona co-stars Naila Schuberth and Georgina Campbell as travelers determined to find refuge in a haven beyond the city. 

Director: Juel Taylor
 
Release Date: 2023-07-21
 
Cast: Jamie Foxx, John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Kiefer Sutherland
 
Genres: Comedy, Action, Mystery

As the feature film directorial debut of Juel Taylor (Creed II), They Cloned Tyrone is a love letter to the pulpy Blaxploitation of the 70s that perfectly captures the campy vibe of old-school sci-fi. Starring Jamie Foxx (Day Shift), John Boyega (Attack the Block), and Teyonah Parris (Candyman) as a hustler, a pimp, and a sex worker who stumble on a vast government conspiracy right underneath their hood, the story is bursting with sharp satire and wildly absurd humor that feels tailor-made for this trio. Taylor brings a fresh eye to an old genre and creates a wonderfully stylized aesthetic that manages to feel both retro and futuristic. 

Director: Stefon Bristol
 
Release Date: 2019-05-17
 
Cast: Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, astro, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Wavyy Jonez
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Crime

Director Stefon Bristol takes the short he created with Fredrica Bailey and expands it into a socially relevant feature-length time travel film See You Yesterday about the endless cycle of Black pain at the hands of the cops. After her brother is killed by a racist officer, C.J. Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith) and her best friend Sebastian Thomas (Dante Crichlow) figure out the secret to time travel so they can go back and save his life. The film introduces the real issue of police brutality and fatalities of people in Black communities into a sci-fi environment where it cleverly mirrors how the frequent police shootings of unarmed Black men can feel like its own time loop that we have yet to escape.

Director: Nic Mathieu
 
Release Date: 2016-12-09
 
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Clayne Crawford, Max Martini, James Badge Dale, Bruce Greenwood, Ryan Robbins
 
Genres: Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure

Spectral is a military action thriller about a troop of US Army soldiers in Moldova who encounter a mysterious condensate entity that instantly kills everyone it touches. Unable to see the apparitions with the naked eye and their weapons being useless against them, the troop is forced to find a solution before they’re all wiped out. The most captivating part of this film is the design of the apparitions and the way they utterly decimate the US special-ops forces in an instant. Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) sell the menace of a force you need a spectrometer to fight with great stand-out performances.

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Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
 
Release Date: 2011-10-14
 
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen
 
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A prequel to John Carpenter’s classic horror film of the same name, The Thing is a haunting survival thriller intended to evoke the same eerie vibes. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., The Thing stars Joel Edgerton as Sam Carter, a military vet and helicopter pilot, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate Lloyd, a scientist in a Norwegian Antarctic research crew who uncovers a mysterious ship belonging to an alien species buried deep below the surface of the ice. As the insidious alien parasite awakes and latches onto the isolated Arctic outpost team, they turn on each other and fight their own paranoia with the single goal of survival.

Director: McG
 
Release Date: 2019-05-24
 
Cast: Lynn Collins, Annabeth Gish, Michael Beach, Tony Cavalero, Dean S. Jagger, Miya Cech
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Comedy

Action director McG (Terminator Salvation) helms this alien invasion-driven coming-of-age film that harkens back to classic 80s sci-fi movies like Red DawnE.T., and Predator. The story follows a ragtag group of four teens who get separated from their summer camp during a devastating alien attack. Left with the literal key to humanity’s survival, the four misfits have to work through their differences and travel across the state to fend off the invaders. Rim of the World is a fun flick for kids that has great creature designs and plenty of inspiring moments that will have viewers pumping their fists.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon
 
Release Date: 2023-01-20
 
Cast: Kang Soo-youn, Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-soo, So-yi Park
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Drama

Kang Soo-yeon is incredibly impressive in Jung-E, which unfortunately serves as her final movie before her death. Written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Jung_E boldly explores an unnerving and fascinating story inspired by the evolution of artificial intelligence while brazenly broaching questions regarding the dangers of technology, greed, and our dying planet. With a gorgeous technical design, Jung_E is a beautiful, thought-provoking sci-fi drama about humanity, grief, and perseverance. Also starring Kim Hyun-joo and Ryu Kyung-soo, Jung_E captivates with the action and drama, appealing to a sci-fi-loving audience.

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
 
Release Date: 2020-08-14
 
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Foxx, Rodrigo Santoro, Machine Gun Kelly, Amy Landecker, Courtney B. Vance
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Crime

Directing duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman brings to life Mattson Tomlin’s fascinating script in Project Power, an original film about the inevitable commodification of superhuman abilities. Built on a cleverly provocative premise with an exciting philosophical implication, Project Power provides the stellar cast with an exciting playground to explore. Led by Jamie Foxx (Spider-Man: No Way Home) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) and Dominique Fishback (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey), Project Power builds on highly intricate stunts and action sequences, grounding a CGI-filled film with tangible aspects and an alluring mystery.

Director: Mark Raso
 
Release Date: 2021-06-09
 
Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos, Shamier Anderson
 
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama

Gina Rodriguez (Diary of a Future President) stars in Awake, a fascinating science-fiction film about a former soldier who discovers that her daughter might be the cure for a global bout of insomnia. Director Mark Raso, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joseph Raso, carefully dictates the specificity of his post-apocalyptic world, navigating the aftermath of a mysterious catastrophe with fatal consequences. Co-starring Shamier Anderson (Wynonna Earp) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hunters), Awake reveals Rodriguez’s nimble skill in balancing strength and vulnerability as a mother tasked with protecting the potential key to salvation.

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Director: Charlie McDowell
 
Release Date: 2017-05-31
 
Cast: Robert Redford, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Segel, Rooney Mara
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance

The Discovery is an intriguing science-fiction romance film directed by Charlie McDowell, who wrote the provocative screenplay with Justin Lader. Beginning with Dr. Thomas Harbor’s (Robert Redford) scientific revelation that an afterlife exists, leading to a heartbreakingly massive increase in suicides, The Discovery leans into discourse about scientific processes, as well as a detour focusing on how his findings affect the doctor’s son’s (Jason Segel) attempts to help a young woman, Isla (Rooney Mara), with her own issues surrounding the concept of death. With a talented star-filled cast, The Discovery initiates truly curious and thought-provoking ideas, leaving audiences eager for more answers and discoveries.

Tau

Director: Federico D’Alessandro
 
Release Date: 2018-06-29
 
Cast: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Directed by Federico D’Alessandro (Spider-Man: No Way Home), Tau is a sleek movie based on a fascinatingly terrifying concept. The director’s previous cinematic experiences in the art department of Hollywood’s biggest features give him a unique vision that is beautifully implemented in Tau. Starring Maika Monroe as Julia, a woman who finds herself being held prisoner by a sadistic artificial intelligence voiced sternly by Gary OldmanTau also sees Ed Skrein (Deadpool) as Julia’s captor, continuing his impressively believable villain streak. Written by experienced science-fiction television writer Noga Landau (See), Tau plays with predictable sci-fi themes and elements of horror, but the wonderful casting sets it apart, providing an entertaining ride.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
 
Release Date: 2022-04-01
 
Cast: Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Michael Keaton, Jared Harris, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith
 
Genres: Superhero, Action, Adventure, Drama

Surely you’ve seen the memes, but now, you can watch the film that spurred them all from the comfort of your couch. Based on the Marvel Comics character, Morbius stars Jared Leto in the titular role – and what a role it is. The film focuses on a biochemist attempting to cure his rare blood disease. However, he instead infects himself with a form of vampirism and must feed on the artificial blood he created to satiate his thirst. As his urges for the real thing become more and more powerful, Morbius must also try and escape the FBI agents after him. Though critically panned and a box office flop, Morbius’ cultural impact on summer 2022 can’t be denied. It’s worth a watch to see what all the talk is about.

Director: Grant Sputore
 
Release Date: 2019-06-07
 
Cast: Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Luke Hawker, Tahlia Sturzaker, Jacob Nolan
 
Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery

Danish actress Clara Rugaard stars in the intriguing science fiction film I Am Mother, about a lone girl who is raised by an android she calls Mother. Voiced by the multifaceted Rose Byrne (Physical), Mother has convinced her ward that they are the sole survivors of a vicious plague. But when a stranger arrives, played by Oscar winner Hilary Swank, everything Mother has said is called into question. The “I Am Mother” screenplay by Michael Lloyd Green, based on the story written by director Grant Sputore, broaches provocative philosophical points to be investigated in strikingly sterile sceneries, allowing these talented actresses to discuss and kick ass at the same time.

Director: Frank Darabont
 
Release Date: 2007-11-21
 
Cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher
 
Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Based on the Stephen King novel, The Mist is one of the most chilling sci-fi/horror films ever made. The plot revolves around a group of people trapped in a supermarket as they try to stay safe from bloodthirsty monsters lurking right outside. Though the creatures are terrifying, the real scares come from the humans and what people do under the most stressful circumstances. The film almost plays out like a dark, tense social experiment. Marcia Gay Harden as religious fanatic Mrs. Carmody gives an especially memorable performance.

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