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The best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video

What do extraterrestrial invasions, sentient cyborgs, and time-traveling all have in common? They’re all variations of the sci-fi genre, and far beyond the shelves of dusty used bookstores, you can find science fiction across all mediums these days. In fact, if you’re a fan of sci-fi movies, one of the best places to watch them is Amazon Prime Video. 

As fans of both the streaming service and the genre, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up all the best sci-fi movies you can watch on Prime Video.

We’ve also rounded up the best sci-fi movies on Netflix and the best sci-fi movies on Hulu if you’re in need of additional sci-fi recommendations.

New sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video

Firestarter (2022) new

r 94m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror
Stars Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon
Directed by Keith Thomas
In this all-new adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter, Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong star as father-daughter duo Andy and Charlie, a family on the run from a secret government organization hellbent on harnessing their otherworldly abilities. As it turns out, an experimental procedure conducted years before has gifted Andy with telepathy and his daughter with pyrokinesis. But as Big Brother closes in, Andy and Charlie must do everything in their power to evade the onslaught and stay alive. While the overall critical consensus is that this latest Firestarter isn’t as gripping as the 1984 adaptation, it’s still an entertaining watch and a decent addition to Amazon’s sci-fi lineup.
Firestarter - Official Trailer

Mr. Nobody (2009) new

Mr. Nobody
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Stars Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger
Directed by Jaco Van Dormael
Written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael, Mr. Nobody stars Jared Leto as Nemo Nobody, a man well over 100 years old who just happens to be the last mortal man on Earth. Now on his deathbed, as Nemo’s memory slowly starts to fade, he recounts his life to a reporter. When you’ve lived a life as long as one Nemo Nobody, there are plenty of profound stories to tell. With a narrative hinged on the multiverse theory, Van Dormael’s surreal sci-fi masterpiece is a triumphant and visually bold piece of art, further powered by a strong leading performance from Jared Leto.
Mr. Nobody Official US Release Trailer #1 (2013) - Jared Leto, Diane Kruger Movie HD

Cold Skin (2017) new

Cold Skin
r 106m
Genre Horror, Fantasy, Drama
Stars Ray Stevenson, David Oakes, Aura Garrido
Directed by Xavier Gens

Directed by Xavier Gens, Cold Skin is a filmic adaptation of the 2002 book of the same name. Our story follows a weather observer (David Oakes) who travels to a remote Antarctic outpost to study the area’s climatology. But when a horde of vicious humanoid creatures emerge when the sun goes down, the unnamed man and a lighthouse keeper named Gruner (Ray Stevenson) are forced to do battle with the mysterious enemy. Packed with great performances and memorable makeup effects, Cold Skin may tread some familiar genre waters but does so in a fitting and stylistic manner.

Cold Skin Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie

Meander (2021) new

r 91m
Genre Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller
Stars Gaia Weiss, Peter Franzén, Romane Libert
Directed by Mathieu Turi
Meander is the kind of movie that will have you thanking the walls and floors of your cozy and unassuming apartment for being a welcoming home that doesn’t aim to kill you. Gaia Weiss stars as Lisa, a woman who receives a ride from a man named Adam (Pete Franzén). During the ride, a startling revelation is immediately followed by a sleep-inducing blow to the head. When Lisa awakens, she finds herself in a tube-like cavity with a light-emitting bracelet strapped to her wrist. She soon learns that every eight minutes a section of tubing is engulfed in flames, so she has no choice but to “meander” through the unending maze if she has any hope of surviving. Claustrophobic to the max, Meander’s one-trick premise may wear a bit thin from time to time, but it’s an exciting watch nonetheless.
MEANDER Official Trailer (2021)

Maggie (2015) new

52 %
r 95m
Genre Horror, Drama, Mystery
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Directed by Henry Hobson
The feature debut of director Henry Hobson, Maggie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin as Wade and Maggie Vogel, a father-daughter duo living life in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. After Maggie gets bitten, she flees the family farm to protect her kin, but Wade tracks her down. Desperate to find a cure for the cannibalistic virus that will consume his child, Wade and Maggie set off to search for any hope of salvation. In a rare dramatic performance from Schwarzenegger, he manages to subvert our action-hero expectations, portraying a father who is willing to do all and anything if it means his daughter may have a chance of escaping a zombified existence.
Maggie Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin Movie HD

John Dies at the End (2013) new

John Dies at the End
53 %
r 99m
Genre Horror, Comedy
Stars Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Doug Jones
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Based on the David Wong novel of the same name and fittingly written and directed by none other than cult-horror stalwart Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), John Dies at the End follows a group of hapless ex-college students who come into the possession of an otherworldly narcotic. After taking the drug, Dave (Chase Williamson), John (Rob Mayes), and their acquaintances soon realize that the mind-altering chemical could actually be a portal into a dimension of cosmic, psychological horrors. Frantic from the first scene to the last, John Dies at the End barrels along at one crazy and kinetic speed, so do buckle up before joining the onscreen madness.
John Dies at the End (2011) Movie Trailer

Samaritan (2022) new

45 %
pg-13 102m
Genre Action, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Javon Walton, Sylvester Stallone, Dascha Polanco
Directed by Julius Avery

Seeing as we’ve already seen wave after wave of actors getting the cape and cowl treatment, it was only a matter of time before the superhero story found its way to someone like Sylvester Stallone. The movie to do so is Samaritan, and while it’s pretty par for the course in terms of narrative scope and set pieces, it’s certainly not the worst blending of sci-fi action and drama we’ve ever seen. The story follows Sam Cleary (Javon Walton), a 13-year-old kid who is watching the world around him crumble. Crime is rampant, heroes are hard to come by, and the end times seem to be drawing near. But perhaps all is not lost. Mr. Smith (Stallone) could actually be Samaritan, a superhero who was the white knight of Sam’s stomping grounds a long time ago. And it’s up to the persistent and hopeful Sam to convince Mr. Smith to become a hero once more.

SAMARITAN Trailer (2022)

Clockstoppers (2002)

40 %
pg 94m
Genre Adventure, Family, Science Fiction, Thriller
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Clockstoppers is your typical coming-of-age teen dramedy, but one with a hardy sci-fi backbone. The film stars Jesse Bradford as Zak Gibbs, the son of a prolific scientist who just so happens to have some ties to a top-secret NSA artifact — a wristwatch with the ability to freeze time using molecular rearrangement tools. But when Zak discovers the watch, he starts using the time-bending device to enact adolescent mayhem and hijinks all over town. At least until the NSA thugs start closing in on Zak and his friends. Clockstoppers is infested with tropes and bits and pieces of other more significant films, but if you’re looking for something dazzling, but un-demanding, it’s a quick 90-minute adventure that has aged pretty decently over the last 20 years.
Clockstoppers (2002) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

RoboCop (2014)

52 %
r 118m
Genre Science Fiction, Action
Stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton
Directed by José Padilha
Director José Padilha’s 2014 Robocop remake may not have been the sci-fi reimagining the world asked for, but as a new take on the ‘80s cult sensation, it beats pretty strongly to its own drum while doing what it can to satisfy fans of the original. Joel Kinneman stars as Detroit police officer Alex Murphy. After Murphy is injured in the line of duty, the robotics engineering minds at OmniCorp grasp at the opportunity to rebuild and revive him by outfitting the cop with an all-powerful mech suit. Back on the streets, Officer Murphy is now a nearly invincible cyborg. But will his impervious tech outweigh the soul of the man behind the armor? Action-heavy and visually stunning, Robocop isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but as a fresh spin on a beloved story, it deserves a watch.
RoboCop TRAILER 1 (2014) - Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish Movie HD

Black Box (2020)

Black Box
62 %
Genre Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashād, Amanda Christine
Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.
The feature debut of co-writer/director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., Black Box stars Mamoudou Athie as Nolan Wright, a widowed father who tragically gained amnesia from the same car accident that took his spouse’s life. Left to raise their 10-year-old daughter Ava (Amanda Christine), Nolan’s failing faculties convince him to take part in an experimental neurological procedure that could reconnect the ailing father with his memories and identity. Initial proceedings go pretty smoothly, but as the influence of neurologist Dr. Brooks’ (Phylicia Rashad) “black box” begins to introduce unimaginable horrors to Nolan’s psyche, he must choose between a life hindered by a loss of short-term memory and motor functions or one affected by medically-induced monsters. Housed under producer Jason Blum’s “Welcome to the Blumhouse” umbrella of Amazon original features, Black Box is a riveting medley of sci-fi and horror that provides plenty of twists, turns, and rock-solid performances.
Black Box | Official Trailer | Welcome To The Blumhouse | Prime Video

Sharknado (2013)

r 86m
Genre Fantasy, Horror, Action, Comedy, TV Movie, Science Fiction
Stars Ian Ziering, John Heard, Tara Reid
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante
How can any sci-fi roundup be complete without the inclusion of the camp classic Sharknado? A monstrous cyclone sucks up sharks from the ocean blue, dropping hordes of great whites onto a helpless Los Angeles. A group of citizens then must band together to save their loved ones and themselves from the mighty-finned onslaught. One of the greatest examples of a film built to be scoffed at and despised, Sharknado made its proud debut on SyFy back in 2013, and it has gone on to spawn five sequels and a legion of dedicated fans that love the films to death. If you haven’t seen it, you may or may not be missing out, but you simply need to watch.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness
72 %
pg-13 132m
Genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldaña
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams spent time honing his classic sci-fi reboot chops with his reworking of the Star Trek franchise, first with 2009’s Star Trek, followed three years later by 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. The story follows the classic crew yet again, with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and associates facing the mission of a lifetime. When devastation brings a crippling blow to the Federation, all sources point to an ex-Starfleet elite named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). But it turns out Harrison is actually Khan, a superhuman who is hellbent on wiping out what remains of Starfleet. Visually impressive and packed with incredible action sequences, Star Trek Into Darkness is a more than worthwhile sequel to the 2009 original.
Star Trek Into Darkness Official Trailer #3 (2013) - JJ Abrams Movie HD

World War Z (2013)

World War Z
63 %
pg-13 116m
Genre Action, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Directed by Marc Forster
Based on the 2006 Max Brooks novel of the same name, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, an ex-U.N. investigator who finds himself on the receiving end of an apocalyptic onslaught of zombies. Stuck in a horrid Philadelphia traffic jam with his wife and two daughters when the undead descend on the city, an impromptu escape and a later rescue place Gerry in a position where he must harness all of his governmental expertise to get to the bottom of the vicious outbreak … that is, before the zombies completely overrun the world. A visual epic and a surprisingly successful blend of science fiction, action, and horror elements, World War Z manages to pay fine homage to its source material while also rising to the surface of the hard-to-nail zombie sub-genre.
World War Z Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Brad Pitt Movie HD

C.H.U.D. (1984)

57 %
r 97m
Genre Horror, Science Fiction
Stars John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry
Directed by Douglas Cheek
In C.H.U.D., a dystopian sci-fi shocker, John Heard is George Cooper, a photojournalist tasked with documenting the lives of New York City’s underground homeless population. When the vagrants of the subway tunnels start disappearing, a conspiracy theory that sounds like the tallest of tales suddenly becomes a bit more realistic than anyone could imagine: There are cannibalistic humanoids picking off the homeless. As these “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers” become a very real threat, it’s up to George and a few friends to put an end to their reign of terror. No one said sci-fi had to always be epic and highly-budgeted. Filled with plenty of campy thrills, C.H.U.D. simply soars through its cheesiness.

Encounter (2021)

57 %
r 108m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Lucian-River Mirage Chauhan
Directed by Michael Pearce
Riz Ahmed continues to proliferate the world of movies and television, popping up in everything from The Sound of Metal (an Amazon Studios release) to HBO’s The Night Of. Rejoining forces with Amazon for his first sci-fi outing, Encounter stars Ahmed as Malik Khan, an esteemed Marine that must save his two sons from an onslaught of extraterrestrial invaders. At times, the film comes off as a bit un-balanced, but director Michael Pearce does enough in his power to mesh big themes like paranoia, manhood, and current affairs into a visual feast of sci-fi splendor. Let’s say that it proudly works in more ways than it doesn’t. 
Encounter – Official Trailer | Prime Video

The Wave (2019)

The Wave
51 %
r 87m
Genre Science Fiction
Stars Justin Long, Tommy Flanagan, Katia Winter
Directed by Gille Klabin
The Wave stars Justin Long as Frank, an insurance lawyer who is celebrating a major work success. On a night on the town with coworkers, Frank is given a powerful psychotic agent that starts breaking down his grip on reality. Falling asleep and waking up in totally different surroundings, Frank must do everything in his power to reclaim sobriety — or does the drug he was given have more to do with time and space than anyone could ever imagine? An arresting film from start to finish, The Wave is an adrenaline ride done right.

The Tomorrow War (2021)

The Tomorrow War
45 %
pg-13 138m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons
Directed by Chris McKay
You may often hear pundits talk about “fighting for our future,” but what happens when that gets literal? That’s the task the heroes face in Amazon Studios’ The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt as Dan Forester — a present-day soldier who agrees to a trip across time. When soldiers from 2051 arrive in the present to warn of a future in which unbeatable aliens lay waste to humanity, Forester and other brave souls sacrifice their todays to save all our tomorrows. With an exciting premise and a great cast featuring Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson, and more, The Tomorrow War is a fun, explosive adventure with just a dash of Edge of Tomorrow.

Light of My Life (2019)

Light of My Life
67 %
r 119m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama
Stars Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss
Directed by Casey Affleck
In a post-apocalyptic landscape, a man only referred to as Dad (Casey Affleck) shepherds his pre-teen daughter named Rags (Anna Pniowsky) through a ravaged British Columbia, an unrelenting hellscape devoid of women. It turns out a plague vanquished nearly the entire world’s female population approximately 10 years before the events of the film. Disguising Rags as a boy, the two must constantly be on the move from bandits looking for female stragglers. A survivalist sci-fi thriller penned and directed by leading man Casey Affleck, Light of My Life explores familiar end-of-the-world terrain but through a matured and philosophical lens that Affleck’s layered script provides.

Vivarium (2019)

64 %
r 97m
Genre Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery
Stars Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Eanna Hardwicke
Directed by Lorcan Finnegan
One of the joys of Amazon Prime is discovering movies that may have otherwise fallen through the cracks. Case in point: Vivarium, a sci-fi/horror film that only had a limited theatrical release. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg star as Gemma and Tom, a young couple who are looking for a new home. However, their experience quickly becomes a nightmare when they are trapped in a seemingly infinite row of identical houses. Something otherworldly is in play, and neither Tom nor Gemma will be happy to learn what they have to do in order to break free.

Infinity Chamber (2016)

Infinity Chamber
pg-13 103m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Christopher Soren Kelly, Cassandra Clark, Jesse D. Arrow
Directed by Travis Milloy
Frank Lerner (Christopher Soren Kelly) wakes up in a futuristic prison cell after being arrested for unknown reasons. His only company within this sealed chamber is a ceiling-mounted A.I., which calls itself simply Howard (Jesse D. Arrow). Herein lies the entire premise of Infinity Chamber, a story about one man’s confused isolation in his attempt to escape. It saddles itself among the best sci-fi movies currently on Amazon Prime Video by not being typical, straying away from the overused science fiction premises of yesteryear with a host of twists and turns that would leave even some of the best chess players scratching their heads. From the reasons for Frank’s incarceration to how exactly he will get out, and then even into questioning the real functionality of this accompanying artificial intelligence, theories abound leaving the viewer strapped in, not unlike Frank himself.

Coherence (2013)

65 %
Genre Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
Directed by James Ward Byrkit
At first blush, Coherence seems like an ordinary bottle movie about a dinner party. But when a comet passes overhead, it inexplicably creates infinite realities, causing the characters to undergo countless, near-identical experiences over and over. As time continues, the science fiction and psychological horror accelerate as eight individuals begin to question the nature of reality and whether or not the people they’re with are who they say they are. The film is low-budget sci-fi at its best, shot almost entirely in one house, using mostly improvised dialogue and a severe external threat that you feel but never really see. If you like to sit on the edge of your seat, Coherence is for you.

The History of Time Travel (2014)

The History of Time Travel
pg-13 72m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama
Stars Stephen Adami, Krista Ales, Valerie Black
Directed by Ricky Kennedy
Time travel movies are typically convoluted and filled with unnecessary plotlines that confuse more than they engage. Except, of course, 2014’s The History of Time Travel, which actually conveys a cohesive narrative in the form of a fictionalized documentary. It was written and directed by newcomer Richard Kennedy, who showcases the birth of the world’s first time-travel machine through various reports and experts. Of course, despite appearing like a godsend, time travel always comes with consequences, many of them now altering some of the most renowned events in human history.

The Vast of Night (2019)

The Vast of Night
84 %
pg-13 91m
Genre Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Bruce Davis
Directed by Andrew Patterson
The Vast of Night, a low-budget film self-funded by first-time director Andrew Patterson, is the best sci-fi gem you’ve never heard of. Written by newcomers James Montague and Craig W. Sanger, this old-school period piece manages to build a gripping sense of looming panic without the aid of big-budget special effects, mouth-dripping aliens, or explosions — it’s all on the characters. Cleverly framed as an episode of a Twilight Zone-style show called “Paradox Theater,” we’re transported to Roswell-era Cayuga, New Mexico, where small-town radio DJ Everett Sloan (Jake Horowitz) and town switchboard operator Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick) try to get to the bottom of a strange audio frequency that’s interrupting calls during Fay’s nightly shift. Turns out they may be emanating from a UFO hovering over the town. The Vast of Night opened to critical praise at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival and later that year was named first runner-up for the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Split Second (1992)

Split Second
26 %
r 90m
Genre Horror, Science Fiction
Stars Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Pollard
Directed by Tony Maylam
Blade Runner-alum Rutger Hauer returns to his roots in the 1992 horror sci-fi Split Second as a veteran detective named Harley Stone. Still suffering from the loss of his partner, Foster, coupled with the guilt of having an affair with Foster’s wife, Stone now must saddle up with junior officer psychologist Dick Durkin (Neil Duncan) on a case that could very well end his suffering. Together, Stone and Durkin must learn to come together in an investigation of mass serial killings perpetrated in the same vein as Foster’s own demise. Set in a far-future 2008 London now flooded due to extreme rainfall and global warming, made all the more downtrodden with a gruesome killer on the loose, Split Second is a sci-fi movie that takes heart in the noir mystery without being too cheesy with its horror tropes.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Michael Bizzaco

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from A/V components and smart home devices to encryption software, cloud backup platforms, search engine tools, and more. He has written for Digital Trends for over three years, covering entertainment content, A/V, and smart home devices.

Derek Malcolm

Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in publications such as Toronto Life, Canadian Business, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Today's Parent, and The Huffington Post. Derek has been covering the worlds of technology and entertainment for more than 20 years and is currently a Contributing Editor for the AV and Home Theater section at Digital Trends. When he's not obsessing over turntables, projectors, speakers, vintage audio gear, or what movies and shows to binge, Derek can be found at home spinning vinyl with his daughter.

Blair Marnell

Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek Monthly, SYFY Wire, Superhero Hype, Collider, DC Universe, and the official sites for Star Trek and Marvel. He also lends his pop culture expertise to Digital Trends on a variety of TV, movie, and streaming features.

Michileen Martin

Michileen Martin has written about pop culture in general and comics in particular for two decades. His work has appeared in numerous sites including Looper, PopMatters, Popdose, and He probably knows more about the Incredible Hulk than you.

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