Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

3 sci-fi movies on Prime Video you need to watch in December

Sci-fi movies can be many things: escapist fun, cerebral explorations of the nature of humanity, or purely superficial visual spectacles. Yes, that even includes movies from decades before we reached the level of technology we have today with CGI and other visual effects. Such is the case with the three sci-fi movies on Prime Video you need to watch in December. All three are from decades ago, yet they still impress.

One stars Charlie Sheen in a more dramatic role than fans might be used to seeing him in, one is from the James Bond universe, and another is an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. If you’re looking for something a bit different from the typical sci-fi fare, these three movies won’t disappoint. For more ideas, check out the best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video.

The Arrival (1996)

The Arrival (1996) Trailer

An astronomer named Zane (Charlie Sheen) discovers intelligent alien life, but his boss doesn’t believe him and fires him. So, Zane proceeds to continue with the investigation on his own and comes across irrefutable proof. But as it turns out, these creatures have a secret, and they’re willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure Zane never learns what it is. Zane and his new climate scientist ally, Ilana (Lindsay Crouse), now find themselves in grave danger.

The mystery suspense sci-fi thriller shows a different side of Sheen, who went on to tackle more comedic roles in his career. It’s one of those lost movies in his vault that’s worth checking out. The Arrival offers a fresh take on an overdone genre, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you thoroughly entertained throughout.

Stream The Arrival on Prime Video.

Moonraker (1979)

Moonraker (1979) Official Trailer - Roger Moore James Bond Movie HD

Travel all the way back to the 1970s for this spy-fi film, one of many in the James Bond universe. Roger Moore stars as the fictional MI6 agent looking into the theft of a space shuttle. He eventually travels into outer space where (spoiler alert!) and saves the world from the threat of apocalyptic proportions, which would have involved the creation of a master race.

Sure, Moonraker isn’t your traditional sci-fi movie. But if you’re in the mood for sci-fi that isn’t totally sci-fi, this is a good compromise. You get all the elements of a great action thriller with one of the best to ever play the Bond character combined with science and space exploration. It’s silly and entertaining, perfect for more lighthearted, nostalgic viewing.

Stream Moonraker on Prime Video.

The Running Man (1987)

The Running Man - Official® Trailer [HD]

Back in the 1980s, before he was Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest action movie stars in Hollywood. One of his less flashy films of that decade was The Running Man, a dystopian action movie set in a future (2017 and 2019!) where professional killers hunt down convicted criminals to kill them. Oh, and it’s all for sport because it’s the subject of an entertaining game show on television. The prize? A tropical vacation and a government pardon from the totalitarian police state.

Schwarzenegger is Captain Ben Richards, a police helicopter pilot who, after refusing to open fire on rioters, is blamed anyway and sent to a prison labor camp from a crime he didn’t commit. He is coerced into joining the TV show after the host, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), becomes impressed with his stature and incredible abilities. Not surprisingly, Richards becomes a force to be reckoned with in the “game.” As far as action movies go, The Running Man isn’t one to take too seriously. But it’s Schwarzenegger at his best and will remind you why he was one of the most sought-after movie stars of the generation.

Stream The Running Man on Prime Video.

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
3 great Amazon Prime Video movies you need to watch on Valentine’s Day
Two people stand in the cold in The Other Zoey.

The Other Zoey | Official Trailer | Prime Video

Valentine's Day is here and it's usually the time for couples to act obnoxiously in public by showcasing their love for one another. A great way to avoid that public spectacle while still celebrating the holiday is to stay in and watch a movie or two.

Read more
Like Amazon Prime Video’s hit movie Upgraded? Then watch these 3 great rom-coms now
Archie Renaux and Camila Mendes in Upgraded.

Earlier this month, Amazon Prime Video released a new original rom-com called Upgraded, which features Riverdale's Camila Mendes as Ana, a young intern who is working for a demanding boss, Claire (Marisa Tomei). After getting bumped to first class during a trip to London, Ana is mistaken for her Claire by a handsome young stranger, William (Archie Renaux), who quickly falls for her. There have been plenty of romantic comedies that started off with mistaken identity moments like that, but Upgraded has the distinction of debuting near the top of the most popular movies on Prime Video.

If you like Amazon Prime Video's Upgraded, check out our picks for the three great rom-coms you should watch next. The selections include another recent film on Prime Video, a classic romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock, and a wild movie that borders on being an action comedy as well.
The Other Zoey (2023)

Read more
3 great Amazon Prime Video shows to watch on Valentine’s Day
Two people elbow each other in Modern Love.

Who said you have to go out to celebrate Valentine's Day? Thanks to streaming services like Amazon's Prime Video, couples can spend their Valentine's Day evening sitting back, relaxing, and watching a romantic TV show. Prime Video has several subgenres of romance on the service, including complicated love and teen relationships.

For Valentine's Day, we picked three great shows to watch that are streaming on Prime Video. One of our picks is Mr. & Mrs. Smith, an espionage series based on the 2005 film. The other two selections include an anthology of modern love stories and a musical drama.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024)

Read more