The 18 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

The 18 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

There’s an absolute beast of a list on Netflix when it comes to sci-fi movies and TV shows, but too much of a choice isn’t always best and can sometimes be a burden for a science fiction fiend.

But fear not, we’re here to give you our own list of what we reckon are the 18 best sci-fi movies available to stream on Netflix right now.

Best sci-fi movies on Netflix

In no particular order, here are the best 18 sci-fi movies on Netflix, according to Gizmodo Australia.

Blade Runner 2049

Too often sequels are little more than weaponised nostalgia, but Blade Runner 2049 offered an extended stay in the universe created by Ridley Scott’s original. At the time, we compared watching this flick to staying up all night to finish a 150,000-word fanfic that you started reading, thought was good but not great, and then just kept reading because you’d committed to it. And then the next morning, as you struggle bleary-eyed through the work day, you keep wondering if it was worth it. It’s worth it, somehow, and Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best sci-fi movies you can binge on Netflix, so do it. Let us change your mind.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim doesn’t deal with a lot of the potentially amazing sci-fi lore that makes up its post-Kaiju-apocalypse world. It just dumps you straight into the movie’s 80-metre-tall missile-and-plasma-cannon-and-sword-equipped fighting robot world, and delivers a genuinely gripping rollercoaster ride of a story, with some memorable characters — Idris Elba’s Marshal Pentecost, Ron Perlman’s Hannibal Chau — including some genuinely stunning CGI. (Oh, and a terrible Aussie accent or two.)


Don’t let the fact that Oxygen is about a woman stuck in place for two hours fool you. The claustrophobic setting provides more twists and turns than most films with the whole world at their disposal. Liz is in a mysterious high-tech medical enclosure with all matter of tubes and needles sticking in her and only 35% of her oxygen supply remaining. Nope. Wait. 34%. Now 33%. You get the idea. Most of Oxygen is Liz talking to herself or her medical computer named MILO, trying to figure out what the heck is going on. It’s not for the easily squirmish.


Alex Garland’s Annihilation has just about everything a moviegoer could want. It has an incredibly compelling mystery at its heart, it’s filled with nuanced performances by amazing actors and it looks unbelievably fantastic. Most importantly, like the best science fiction, it challenges you and makes you think.


An movie that mixes the worlds of fantasy and sci-fi, Nimona has to be one of the best animated films ever made. The film follows the hilarious and villainous Nimona and a knight framed for murder, desperate to clear his name. Please watch Nimona.

The Adam Project

With its blend of childlike wonder and sci-fi action, it’s fairly obvious that The Adam Project, Netflix’s 2022 film from director Shawn Levy, draws inspiration from films of the 1980s. Films like E.T., Back to the Future, The Goonies or Explorers. Beyond just that though, one thing that really makes The Adam Project feel like a 1980s movie, and part of why we like it so damn much, is its brevity. In the modern world of three-hour superhero films, fantasy epics with 12 different endings, and eight-hour TV series binges, there’s just something refreshing and delightful about a movie that jumps right in when it starts, and keeps that energy going until the very end.


Arrival follows a language expert, whose been asked to figure out how to communicate with a mysterious alien race that has touched down on Earth. Do the aliens come in peace, or is something sinister afoot? It’s a remarkable movie made by Denis Villeneuve (Dune, Blade Runner 2049).

Fear Street

The Fear Street trilogy of films are proof that, while Netflix has a history of putting out live-action adaptations of beloved stories from people’s childhoods that end up failing to wow audiences, the studio is capable of pulling it off when the circumstances are right. What was alarming (in a good way) about each of the Fear Street films was how, even though they initially seemed as if their scares would be defanged a bit for younger viewers, they were all legitimately horrifying in a way that didn’t feel pandering.


The premise of M3GAN is simple, if not predictable. A hyper-advanced AI-operated doll, made to become a child’s companion, is developed by a group of roboticists who has recently taken her orphaned niece into her care. M3GAN is then programmed to ensure she remains safe, both physically and emotionally, so she can process the loss of her parents. Things become sinister when M3GAN takes this protection-at-all-costs to the extreme.

The Hunger Games

If you’re unfamiliar, The Hunger Games is set in the systolic future where society is divided into factions. Every year, two children from every faction are reaped to participate in the hunger games, a blood bath fight where only one tribute survives. Katniss, from the improvised District 12, heroically volunteers as tribute in place of her younger sister. It captures the violence and emotion of the novel it’s based on, with a bonus Katniss kicking ass.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live. Die. Repeat.) is like if Groundhog Day was also an action sci-fi that also starred Tom Cruise. It’s an exciting thriller that sees a soldier continuously repeat the same day, fighting against aliens. It’s definitely one of Tom Cruise’s best films.

Spirited Away

Although it’s a cartoon, and maybe more on the fantasy than sci-fi side, Spirited Away has incredible visuals and animations that transcend it above other movies of its time (2001). It deals with being separated or removed from the normal, natural world, in a way that’s just sweet.


There are no xenomorphs dripping acid in Netflix’s Stowaway. There’s also no insane computer and no deadly microbes. Stowaway’s premise is simple enough: A launch support engineer named Michael (Shamier Anderson) somehow gets knocked out on the space shuttle, taking a three-person crew to Mars, as it launches. According to the official movie synopsis, he “accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems,” and as a result, there’s only enough oxygen for three people to make it to the red planet. Either someone dies, or all four of them will.

I Am Legend

I Am Legend is a depressing, suspense-filled film, set in the aftermath of a global zombie-like outbreak, and following a hero played by Will Smith, as he simply attempts to survive in what remains of New York City. The ending isn’t terrific, but the film itself is great.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

A quirky, dysfunctional family’s road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity’s unlikeliest last hope. It’s cute, fun and full of sci-fi tropes. It’s made by Sony so similarities can be drawn from the conglomerate’s Spider-Man Universe. It’s one of the best animated movies you can watch on Netflix, the bonus is it’s also sci-fi.


Set in a dystopian future, where the rich have abandoned Earth for a luxurious space station, while the poor remain on the planet, Elysium follows a man attempting to save himself by undergoing an extremely dangerous mission. It’s not as narratively strong as some of these other films, but it’s a great action film.

Space Sweepers

The first and last half-hours of Space Sweepers have some of the grandest, most fun space action we’ve ever seen in a movie. But Jo Sung-Hee’s flick has a bit of a problem, though: in between those chunks is another hour-plus of movie that can’t really decide what it wants to be until it’s almost too late. This one is definitely divisive – there’s a lot of potential in Space Sweepers’ world, felt as much in its most high-octane thrills as it is in trying to cram two different kinds of sci-fi movies into its overlong runtime. The long and short of it is there’s pretty cool space action wrapped around a decent, but aimless sci-fi adventure.


The xeno-organism at the centre of the new space thriller Life starts off microscopically small. By the time the movie’s over, it will probably generate some giant-sized nightmares. Anything else would probably be a spoiler, but here’s our review from back in 2017.

There you go, 18 of the best sci-fi movies to binge on Netflix this weekend.

Want more suggestions across the other streaming services? Check out our guide to the best sci-fi movies on Stan, 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.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

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