I won’t beat around the bush. You’re here for one thing and one thing only: our picks for the best sci-fi movies on Stan.
The Aussie streaming service has a few science fiction goodies up its sleeve. So without further ado, here are 14 of the best sci-fi movies you can watch on Stan right now.
Best sci-fi movies on Stan
In no particular order, here are the best sci-fi movies on Stan, according to Gizmodo Australia.
2008’s blockbuster kaiju film Cloverfield somehow mixes Godzilla with The Blair Witch Project. In Cloverfield, a creature the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Using a handheld video camera, the friends record their struggle to survive as New York crumbles around them. It’s a little dumb, but that’s where the magic is.
Before he became the face of DC’s cinematic universe, Zack Snyder adapted one of DC’s most famous graphic novels, Watchmen. And critical reaction was divided. All these years later, however, the movie holds up for me, for one simple reason: It’s incredibly gorgeous. Yeah it’s superhero, but it’s also sci-fi. There will be no further questions.
The plot of Gravity is pretty simple: a crew of astronauts in space are working on the Hubble space telescope, when a Russian satellite is destroyed, splaying debris in a dangerous orbit around the Earth, tearing apart telescopes, space stations, shuttles and other satellites to pieces. It’s a brilliant film, and you’ll be gripping your seat from start to finish. The plot holds you right until the very end, with the series of unfortunate events plaguing Dr Stone from the edge of space right down to … no spoilers, the movie is only 90 minutes long. It’s a must-watch.
Ready Player One
It’s 2045 and the world is on the brink of chaos and collapse but all is good because there’s a metaverse. I mean, there’s a VR world. Overly cliched, overly FX’d and unfortunately, overly accurate in terms of where the Zuckerbergs of the world want to see us all head. It’s a spectacular Spielberg delight, one that delivers on the explosions front, even if you don’t think so on the book adaptation side. It’s got all the hallmarks of a good sci-fi film, and I’m ready for you all to come for me.
David Lynch’s attempt at Dune may not have garnered the favourable reviews the new movie did, but it’s the next best thing to cure your itch while you wait for Dune: Part 2. The 1984 version of Dune may also not have Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, but you’ll find Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart and Sting (!?) just as entertaining. The film has amassed a cult following over the years and does tell the same tale from Herbert’s epic novel that you’ll find in the 2021 edition, so it’s the perfect movie to fill the Dune-sized hole you might have.
Oh boy, does Interstellar hit the ground running with its plot. The only complaint I have about Interstellar is that a lot of old sci-fi cliches are rehashed throughout the film, to the point that it sometimes draws out a laugh when it shouldn’t. But, it’s a movie with a rich plot, dense storyline and about six different twists as the film goes on which leaves you really wondering where it’s about to go next. Sure, you might guess a few of the big ones, but it still leaves you gripping your cushion the rest of the time wondering what’s going to happen next.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
This is the obvious one, right? We all know E.T. It’s Steven Spielberg’s classic about a young boy who befriends a lost alien and must battle against the odds to get the alien home. It’s one of the most famous movies of all time, and is basically the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. OK, it does have one kind of gross scene when E.T. is all white and icky but if you’ve seen this movie before, you can sort of check out there. Hell, even if you fall asleep watching, John Williams’ magical music is the perfect soundtrack for a much-needed nap. Odds are, though, the film will suck you right back in with its emotion and nostalgia, and work its magic as it always does.
What if Mad Max was really, really depressing? We can’t say for sure that was the inciting thought that led director David Michôd to follow up his magisterial feature debut, Animal Kingdom, with this harrowing road movie, but it seems like a safe bet. In a crumbling near-future that is, as mentioned, reminiscent of Mad Max‘s pre-apocalyptic setting, drifter Eric (Guy Pearce) teams up with criminal Rey (Robert Patrick) to track down his stolen car, taken by the same criminal gang that abandoned Rey. That sounds like a recipe for a buddy comedy, but The Rover is anything but, depicting a bleak outback world on the brink of total collapse, where military units protect mining interests while the civilian world falls to savage barbarism.
When Inception was released I, like many others, instantly fell for it. The scope, the ambition, the effects, it was one of my favourite films of the year. I’m also a very big Leo fan. The story, if you’re not familiar (or have forgotten), is that DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, specialises in invading people’s dreams and extracting information. However, when a job goes wrong he’s asked to perform “inception”, which means going into a person’s dream and planting an idea. Everything is obviously much more complex than that, almost shockingly so, but Nolan keeps the viewer acclimated and alert to what’s going on at all times.
There are lots of good Spielberg sci-fi movies, but one of (arguably) the best is this Tom Cruise film about a man who stops criminals before they commit crimes, and is then accused of committing a future crime himself. Rewatching Minority Report in 2022 (its 20th anniversary, mind you) a few things instantly became clear. First, this film hasn’t aged at all. One or two shots look a little wonky effects-wise but everything else, from the visual and practical effects to the compelling story, award-worthy production design and hugely talented cast, all feel timeless.
This movie is divisive. When we reviewed it initially, we declared Chaos Walking had “too much walking and not enough chaos“. We were harsh, but it’s not an opinion everyone on the team has. Rotten Tomatoes has Chaos Walking with a 71 per cent audience score – a lot of you seem to like it. It might be worth a rewatch to see what you think in 2023.
What Happened to Monday?
In a world where families are allowed only one child due to overpopulation, resourceful identical septuplets must avoid governmental execution and dangerous infighting while investigating the disappearance of one of their own. Critics are mixed on this post-apocalyptic thriller. While many consider What Happened to Monday? an enjoyable film, some have said it avoids digging into important themes. This is true, but it’s still a decent sci-fi movie that even though is branded by Netflix, can be found on Stan.
In Divergent, Tris Prior lives in a futuristic world in which society is divided into five factions. As each person enters adulthood, he or she must choose a faction and commit to it for life. Tris chooses Dauntless — those who pursue bravery above all else. However, her initiation leads to the discovery that she is a Divergent and will never be able to fit into just one faction. Warned that she must conceal her status, Tris uncovers a looming war which threatens everyone she loves. This is more a rite-of-passage film that also includes action (with the obvious romance and self-realisation parts, too).
World War Z
World War Z is basically a big-budget B-movie. A lot of the action sequences are lifted straight out of Resident Evil, and its basic tropes are a somewhat unstable mixture of disaster movie and political thriller. But there are a couple of great zombie movie ideas inside it, struggling to get out. Which is sad, because Max Brooks’ novel World War Z is one of the greatest zombie stories ever written. The idea of turning a zombie pandemic into a war story is fascinating, nonetheless.
There you have it, 14 of the best sci-fi movies on Stan, according to us.
Want more suggestions across the other streaming services? Check out our guide to the best sci-fi movies on Netflix, the best sci-fi movies on Prime Video, the best sci-fi movies on Binge, the best sci-fi movies on Disney+, the best sci-fi movies on Paramount+, and the best sci-fi movies on Apple TV+. This article has been updated since it was first published.
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