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The best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now

Godzilla strikes an impressive pose in Godzilla Minus One.
Toho / Toho

Netflix does so many genres well that it’s a little disheartening that sci-fi and fantasy don’t get the same kind of attention that thrillers and rom-coms do. This has often led to long dry spells between new sci-fi movies on Netflix, and an overreliance on older films from other studios. Netflix has made a few big swings in sci-fi, including Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon movies. But given the tepid response those films received, Netflix doesn’t have much incentive to try something that big again.

In the meantime, the latest additions to our roundup of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix include Godzilla Minus One, The Matrix Reloaded, and Lucy. If you want more options, just keep scrolling down.

In need of a few more suggestions? We’ve curated guides to the best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best sci-fi movies on Hulu, too.

Recently added to Netflix

Godzilla Minus One (2023)

Godzilla Minus One
81%
7.9/10
pg-13
125m
Genre
Science Fiction, Horror, Action
Stars
Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada
Directed by
Takashi Yamazaki
Watch on Netflix

Why is Godzilla Minus One so much better than the American MonsterVerse movies? There are two reasons. First, Godzilla has no redeeming qualities in Minus One. He is simply a monstrous force of nature. The second reason is that Minus One has a human story that resonates through Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki).

Shikishima should have died twice, first as a kamikaze pilot in the last days of World War II, and then during his initial encounter with Godzilla. Because he fails to act or give up his life, Shikishima views himself as a coward… and that’s a view shared by others. Noriko Ōishi (Minami Hamabe), a woman who lives with Shikishima, sees him as the man he could be. She gives him something to live for, even if it means he may ultimately have to die.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The Matrix Reloaded
62%
7.2/10
r
138m
Genre
Adventure, Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Directed by
Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Watch on Netflix

When The Matrix Reloaded hit theaters two decades ago, fans of the original hoped that the Wachowskis could put together a sequel that could match the original. In hindsight, they could not. But Reloaded is a lot better than the two Matrix sequels that followed, and the action is incredible, especially during the chateau scene and the attack of the infinite Smiths.

Neo (Keanu Reeves) is basically Superman in this film, as his mastery of the Matrix makes him almost invincible. The machines aren’t willing to surrender, and in under three days, the last human city, Zion, may fall. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) believes that Neo, Trinity (The Acolyte‘s Carrie-Anne Moss), and the rest of their allies can end the war against the machine by reaching the source of the Matrix. But Neo may not like what he finds there.

Lucy (2014)

Lucy
61%
6.4/10
r
89m
Genre
Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik
Directed by
Luc Besson
Watch on Netflix

Because Lucy came out when Scarlett Johansson was still playing Black Widow in the MCU, it was easy to assume that this movie was also some kind of superhero tale. In the actual film, Lucy Miller (Johansson) isn’t a heroine, and she’s rapidly losing her humanity after she is unwillingly turned into a drug mule and exposed to an experimental drug.

The drug gives Lucy incredible abilities and vastly increased brain capacity. However, Lucy’s superhuman powers come at a high cost, and she’s running out of time before her body will simply disintegrate and fade away.

Upgrade (2018)

Upgrade
67%
7.5/10
r
100m
Genre
Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars
Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson
Directed by
Leigh Whannell
Watch on Netflix

The R rating for Upgrade doesn’t fully prepare you for just how brutal the fights in this movie can be once Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) becomes a lethal weapon of vengeance. It’s not what he wanted to become, of course. But without STEM (Simon Maiden), Grey would still be trapped inside his own paralyzed body following an attack that claimed the life of his wife.

Billionaire Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson) offered STEM to Grey to give him back his life. Yet instead of a dream, it’s becoming a nightmare as the AI STEM takes more and more control over Grey’s body.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Starship Troopers
51%
7.3/10
r
129m
Genre
Adventure, Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars
Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards
Directed by
Paul Verhoeven
Watch on Netflix

There are plenty of unintentionally funny sci-fi movies, but Starship Troopers is well-aware that it’s a satire. Sometimes, it’s the audience of this movie that doesn’t realize director Paul Verhoeven is adding subversive humor to Robert A. Heinlein’s novel that might be flying over their heads.

In the relatively near future, Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) follows his girlfriend, Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards), into military service only to find disgrace. But just as Johnny is about to walk away, massive alien bugs attack Earth. This rallies Johnny and his fellow troops for an all-out war in space. Unfortunately for humanity, the bugs are intelligent and far more powerful than anyone initially believed.

Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver
6.3/10
pg-13
123m
Genre
Action, Science Fiction, Drama
Stars
Sofia Boutella, Michiel Huisman, Ed Skrein
Directed by
Zack Snyder
Watch on Netflix

It took Zack Snyder two movies to retell the story of The Magnificent Seven in space, which is essentially what Rebel Moon is. Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire introduced Kora (Sofia Boutella), and revealed her personal connection to Motherworld, the heart of the empire that dominates the known universe. It also established that Kora is the title character in the sequel, Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver.

Kora and her remaining allies triumphed in the first part of the film when they survived an Imperium trap. But now the real challenge begins, because the Imperium is marshaling its forces to conquer Veldt, Kora’s adopted home. And she’ll do anything to protect her people, even if it kills her.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix
73%
8.7/10
r
136m
Genre
Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Directed by
Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Watch on Netflix

Nothing the Wachowskis have done in the last 25 years has come anywhere close to recapturing the magic of The Matrix, and that includes all three of the sequels. The first film is just about as close to perfect as a sci-fi action film can get. Keanu Reeves solidified his action hero persona as Neo, a talented hacker who is trapped in a dead-end office job.

That’s not all Neo is trapped in, especially once Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) offer Neo the answer to the question that’s been haunting him for years: “What is the Matrix?” Once he learns the truth, Neo may be forced to face his own morality as part of a prophecy that he doesn’t believe in.

Spaceman (2024)

Spaceman
56%
5.8/10
r
108m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama
Stars
Adam Sandler, Paul Dano, Carey Mulligan
Directed by
Johan Renck
Watch on Netflix

Alien’s promo line infamously states that “in space, no one can hear you scream.” Spaceman isn’t a horror film, so there’s not much suspense about whether astronaut Jakub Procházka (Adam Sandler) will survive. But since Jakub is alone in deep space, no one can hear or see just how badly he is being consumed by his loneliness, his inner turmoil, and his failing marriage to Lenka Procházka (Carey Mulligan). No one except Hanuš (Paul Dano), an alien spider that Jakub encounters on his journey.

Hanuš sees and knows everything in Jakub’s mind, often to the detriment of Jakub himself. Reliving painful memories isn’t something Jakub wants, and yet he’s so desperate for any kind of companionship that the prospect of Hanuš leaving him behind is absolutely devastating to him.

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once
81%
7.8/10
r
140m
Genre
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars
Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
Directed by
Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Watch on Netflix

2022’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, Everything Everywhere All at Once, is simultaneously a sci-fi fantasy adventure and a relationship drama. Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh) used to have a happy life, but now her husband, Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan), is on the verge of leaving her, their daughter, Joy Wang (Stephanie Hsu), barely speaks to them, and now the IRS is auditing their business.

That’s when another version of Waymond from across the multiverse takes over his body and warns Evelyn about a threat that could destroy everything. To save all of reality, Evelyn has to learn how to navigate the multiverse and also repair her relationships with the people whom she loves.

Looper (2012)

Looper
84%
7.4/10
r
118m
Genre
Action, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Directed by
Rian Johnson
Watch on Netflix

Murder’s a messy business in Looper, and that’s why the future is sending its dirty work back in time. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a contract killer known as a Looper because he kills targets sent to the present on behalf of criminals from the future. At the end of his contract, Joe is supposed to murder his older self to close the loop on his life.

Old Joe (Bruce Willis) has other ideas when it’s his turn to be sent back. After overpowering the younger Joe and changing the timeline, Old Joe begins looking for a kid who will grow up to be a feared crime boss. But thanks to Old Joe’s actions, Joe becomes a target in the present and his future is no longer in his control.

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (2023)

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire
32%
8.6/10
pg-13
134m
Genre
Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars
Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam
Directed by
Zack Snyder
Watch on Netflix

Zack Snyder’s space opera, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, should be familiar to fans of Star Wars and other sci-fi epics. It takes place in a universe that is ruled by Motherworld and its intergalactic army, the Imperium. Kora (Sofia Boutella), an ex-member of the Imperium, sought to redeem herself by starting a new life out of Motherworld’s reach on a moon called Veldt.

When the Imperium finally arrives on Veldt, Kora can’t run anymore. To defend her adopted homeworld, Kora recruits a former Imperium general, Titus (Djimon Hounsou), as well as Kai (Charlie Hunnam), Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), Tarak (Staz Nair), Nemesis (Doona Bae), and more. But even this assortment of warriors may not be enough to withstand a full assault by the Imperium.

They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

They Cloned Tyrone
75%
6.7/10
r
122m
Genre
Comedy, Science Fiction, Mystery
Stars
John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx
Directed by
Juel Taylor
Watch on Netflix

Very early on in They Cloned Tyrone, a drug dealer named Fontaine (John Boyega) is brutally murdered in front of one of his clients, Slick Charles (Foxx), and one of his Slick’s girls, Yo-Yo (Teyonah Parris). But much to the surprise of Slick Charles and Yo-Yo, Fontaine shows up the next day without any memory of what happened to him.

While investigating the mystery of Fontaine’s apparent resurrection, the trio uncover a clone conspiracy that has very troubling implications for their lives and their future. And if they want to save themselves, Fontaine, Slick Charles, and Yo-Yo need to fight back.

65 (2023)

65
40%
5.4/10
pg-13
92m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama
Stars
Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman
Directed by
Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Watch on Netflix

65 doesn’t try to hide its sci-fi premise. It’s about a pilot named Mills (Adam Driver), a man who accepts a long-term gig as a pilot to provide for his family. But when his starship crash lands on Earth 65 million years ago, Mills is left with no way to reunite with his wife, Nevine (Chloe Coleman), and their daughter, Alya (Nika King).

The only thing that gives Mills the will to live is Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), a young girl who is the only other survivor. When Mills discovers a potential escape from prehistoric Earth, he escorts Koa across a landscape that is filled with very ravenous and very dangerous dinosaurs.

Captain Nova (2021)

Captain Nova
5.5/10
86m
Genre
Adventure, Family, Science Fiction
Stars
Kika van de Vijver, Marouane Meftah, Anniek Pheifer
Directed by
Maurice Trouwborst
Watch on Netflix

Captain Nova (Anniek Pheifer) has come from the future to save the past in the Dutch sci-fi movie that shares her name. Unfortunately, for Nova, the trip back in time has also changed her into a 12-year-old child. And young Nova (Kika van de Vijver) soon realizes that her mission is now nearly impossible because of this unforeseen side effect.

With few other viable options, Nova teams up with a kid named Nas (Marouane Meftah) as she attempts to rewrite the future by taking on a greedy corporation. And if Nova fails, her future is destined to unfold in the same way that it did before.

Rim of the World (2019)

Rim of the World
5.2/10
pg
99m
Genre
Science Fiction, Adventure, Action, Comedy
Stars
Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr.
Directed by
McG
Watch on Netflix

McG’s Rim of the World takes its inspiration from the kid-centric sci-fi films that Steven Spielberg produced and directed in the 1980s. At the Rim of the World summer camp in California, Alex (Jack Gore) is a boy who is still grieving the loss of his father when he starts bonding with his fellow social rejects, ZhenZhen (Miya Cech), Dariush (Benjamin Flores Jr.), and Gabriel (Alessio Scalzotto).

Much to their collective surprise, Alex and his new friends discover that they are in the midst of an alien invasion. And they may be the only ones left who can deliver the key to victory to NASA … if they can live long enough to escape.

What Happened to Monday (2017)

What Happened to Monday
47%
r
123m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Action
Stars
Noomi Rapace, Marwan Kenzari, Christian Rubeck
Directed by
Tommy Wirkola
Watch on Netflix
In the future, overpopulation and famine have forced world governments to strictly enforce a One-Child Policy. But not everyone is so keen on following the rule, especially a group of seven identical sisters (Noomi Rapace) who are forced to live a fugitive existence, constantly pursued by the Child Allocation Bureau. Led by Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), the Bureau is ruthless, but the sisters outwit them by assuming the identity of a single person and each entering the world only one day of the week. It works until Monday doesn’t come home.

Warriors of Future (2022)

Warriors of Future
pg-13
101m
Genre
Drama, Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Louis Koo, Lau Ching-wan, Carina Lau
Directed by
Ng Yuen-fai
Watch on Netflix
This Chinese blockbuster sees a meteor strike the Earth. Onboard is a destructive alien lifeform that spawns and soon threatens humanity. After elite forces are almost completely wiped out trying to save their city, one surviving soldier, Tai Loo (Louis Koo), discovers that there’s a larger conspiracy connected to the invasion.

Spiderhead (2022)

Spiderhead
54%
r
106m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars
Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett
Directed by
Joseph Kosinski
Watch on Netflix
Spiderhead is a state-of-the-art penitentiary where inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. It doesn’t look like a prison — there are no bars, cells, or uniforms. There are just drugs, administered at the beck and call of visionary Steve Abnesti (Thor: Love and Thunder‘s Chris Hemsworth), who presents himself as a humane reformer of the criminal justice system. When two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), begin to form a connection, however, Abnesti takes special interest in them as his experiments begin to test the limits of free will itself.

The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project
55%
6.7/10
pg-13
106m
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Stars
Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by
Shawn Levy
Watch on Netflix
After a decade in development hell, with Tom Cruise attached to star at one point, Netflix finally saved the day and brought The Adam Project to life. Our story follows Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), a fighter pilot living in a dystopian 2050. While manning a time jet to rescue his wife, Adam’s craft plummets into 2022, where the adult Adam is forced to take up arms with his younger self (Walker Scobell) in order to save the world from the tyrannic clutches of Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener), the wretched ruler of the future. At this point, we’ve seen Ryan Reynolds do it all, especially when it comes to action. While there’s plenty of the actor’s familiar chops on display, the sci-fi backbone of The Adam Project gives Reynolds a fun sandbox to show off in. And he delivers a performance that is a few notches above what we’d normally expect to see.

Stowaway (2021)

Stowaway
63%
5.6/10
pg-13
117m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Adventure
Stars
Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim
Directed by
Joe Penna
Watch on Netflix
Stowaway is a sci-fi film that explores just how far human beings are willing to go to protect one another, breathing new meaning into words like “sacrifice” and “preservation.” Following the crew (played by Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, and Daniel Dae Kim) of a Mars-bound spacecraft, the trio of planetary researchers discovers an accidental fourth passenger named Michael (Shamier Anderson) trapped aboard the vessel. Literally entangled in a carbon dioxide purifier, the dislocated launch engineer inadvertently destroys the device, robbing everyone aboard of precious oxygen. As the clock starts ticking on how much air is left to breathe, the crew is forced to consider some perilous and tragic choices in order to arrive on Mars safely. There’s nothing like the absence of familiar Earth to raise the stakes in any live-or-die situation, and Stowaway handles this familiar sci-fi formula with an impactful narrative.

Synchronic (2020)

Synchronic
64%
6.2/10
r
101m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Horror
Stars
Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
Directed by
Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson
Watch on Netflix
Synchronic stars Anthony Mackie and Steve Dornan as New Orleans paramedics Steve and Dennis. When a series of deaths are linked to an experimental new drug called Synchronic, the emergency responders are forced to follow the trail of the elusive chemical when Dennis’ daughter vanishes. Her disappearance may have more to do with the mind-altering substance and inter-dimensional time travel than either medical technician could ever expect. With the look and feel of a raw ’70s film, Synchronic successfully balances its sci-fi horror leanings, delivering thrill after thrill as the plot compounds and time begins to fold.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. the Machines
80%
7.7/10
pg
114m
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction, Action
Stars
Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
Directed by
Michael Rianda
Watch on Netflix
Want to get the kids into sci-fi? This techpocalyptic animated thrill ride from Lord/Miller (The Lego MovieSolo: A Star Wars Story) ought to do the trick. Teenager Katie Mitchell has trouble connecting with her oddball family, especially when it comes to her father, who just could not be more different than Katie. But when he fears he might lose her forever when she leaves for film school, Katie’s father cancels her plane ticket to LA and takes the family on a road trip instead. Unfortunately, mid-trip, a scorned artificial intelligence (A.I.) called Pal incites a robotic rebellion, rounding up all the people of the Earth to send them out to space. Narrowly escaping capture, the Mitchells are now the last free humans on Earth, and with the help of a couple of damaged robots, they must find a way to save humanity — and their family.

The Swarm (2020)

The Swarm
5.3/10
pg-13
101m
Genre
Horror, Drama, Fantasy
Stars
Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne
Directed by
Just Philippot
Watch on Netflix
Bugs. They’re smaller than us, but few things freak us out more. Director Just Philippot capitalizes on our innate fear of things that crawl and hop in his 2020 horror film The Swarm. Suliane Brahim stars as the widow Virginie, who’s trying and failing to keep her family afloat by raising locusts. When she learns the insects have developed a taste for human blood, it opens the door for her to finally make money off the things while at the same time making them more dangerous. When the inevitable comes, as Richard Brody writes for The New Yorker, the film does for grasshoppers “what Alfred Hitchcock did for birds.”

Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead
57%
5.8/10
r
148m
Genre
Action, Adventure, Horror, Crime
Stars
Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick
Directed by
Zack Snyder
Watch on Netflix
What do you do when there’s a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas? Well, obviously, you take advantage of the situation and rob one of the city’s most successful casinos. At least that’s what Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward and his squad of mercenaries do in the zombie heist movie Army of the Dead. Judging by the previews for the film, Ward and his squad of mercs will need all the firepower they have and more. Unlike the shambling horrors populating your average zombie story, the undead of Vegas (sounds like a band name) not only count Elvis Presley impersonators, Vegas showgirls, and Bengal tigers among their ranks, but they’re fast, smart, and a lot more organized.

Oxygen (2021)

Oxygen
67%
6.5/10
r
100m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama
Stars
Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric, Malik Zidi
Directed by
Alexandre Aja
Watch on Netflix
Waking up with no memory of your identity would be pretty bad, right? Imagine that, on top of amnesia, you’re also inexplicably trapped in a cryogenic pod that’s slowly running out of air. That’s the premise for the French language sci-fi drama Oxygen. Mélanie Laurent plays the imprisoned protagonist who has nothing but her buried memories and the pod’s uncooperative computers to piece together who she is and how to survive. Oxygen looks to be a claustrophobic and gripping thriller, and it will be available for streaming beginning Wednesday, May 12.

Spectral (2016)

Spectral
6.3/10
pg-13
109m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller, Action
Stars
James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Gonzalo Menendez
Directed by
Nic Mathieu
Watch on Netflix
If you’re in the mood for good ol’ fashioned alien warfare, you’ll love Spectral. This early Netflix original shows just how creative the studio could get with a slim budget despite significant action demands. An extraterrestrial force begins to wreak havoc on a war-torn European city, forcing local engineers to team up with American Special Ops to stop the invasion.

The Midnight Sky (2020)

The Midnight Sky
58%
5.6/10
pg-13
118m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama
Stars
George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
Directed by
George Clooney
Watch on Netflix
George Clooney directs and stars in The Midnight Sky. With humanity on the brink of extinction, scientist Augustine Lofthouse (George Clooney) refuses to vacate his Arctic laboratory when radiation levels on Earth grow to dangerous levels. Instead, he chooses to use his lab’s computer system to search for orbiting ships deployed on missions. Intending to warn the distant crew of Aether of Earth’s impending doom, Lofthouse discovers a young girl in the lab. The two band together to brave the Arctic elements on a journey to a north-bound radio tower that will be powerful enough to send a warning signal to Aether. An effects-laced sci-fi thriller, The Midnight Sky looks and feels like similar brink-of-the-apocalypse films but with extra weight placed on the performances — notably, Clooney. It’s not a perfect film, but it more than does its job.

Outside the Wire (2021)

Outside the Wire
45%
5.4/10
r
116m
Genre
Thriller, Action, Science Fiction
Stars
Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Enzo Cilenti
Directed by
Mikael Håfström
Watch on Netflix
In 2036, a Russian civil war has the U.S. providing wartime support to the nation. The military now fights alongside “Gumps,” robot soldiers that occupy every branch. As punishment for disobeying squad commands, Harp (Anthony Mackie), a drone pilot, is sent to Ukraine to fight alongside Leo (Damson Idris), an android super-soldier. Together, the duo is forced to take on Victor Koval, a terrorist determined to use Cold War missiles for combat. Led by two great lead performances and a medley of sci-fi action that’ll keep you glued to your seat, Outside the Wire delivers the thrills from start to finish.

The Discovery (2017)

The Discovery
54%
6.3/10
r
102m
Genre
Drama, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Stars
Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford
Directed by
Charlie McDowell
Watch on Netflix
In a reimagined modern era, proof of the afterlife is amongst us, thanks to the research of scientist Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford). With the news hitting the world by storm, suicide rates climb exponentially as people opt to begin life anew as opposed to remaining in troubling situations. Harbor’s son, Will (Jason Segel), questions his father’s studies. Meeting Isla (Rooney Mara) on a ferry, the two discuss mortality and eventually begin a relationship. When Will takes Isla to his father’s hidden compound, the nature of his father’s work comes to light in ways neither father, son, or Isla could ever expect. A wonder-filled, philosophical film, The Discovery features an intriguing story and stellar performances, especially from Segel and Redford.

The Wandering Earth (2019)

The Wandering Earth
57%
6.0/10
tv-ma
Genre
Science Fiction, Action, Drama
Stars
Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Zhao Jinmai
Watch on Netflix
The Wandering Earth may be the biggest film that you’ve never heard of, but it was a huge blockbuster in China. The movie takes place in the future, as the expanding sun forces humanity to literally move the Earth to another solar system. This requires Captain Wang Lei (Li Guangjie) to leave behind his son, Liu Qi (Qu Chuxiao), as his mission in space keeps him away for several years. However, both father and son will have major roles to play in order to ensure that the Earth survives its perilous journey.

Mirage (2018)

Mirage
7.4/10
tv-ma
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama, Romance, Mystery
Stars
Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darín, Javier Gutiérrez
Watch on Netflix
Don’t be afraid to read subtitles when watching Mirage. This Spanish sci-fi film has a story that is universal no matter which language is used. Adriana Ugarte stars as Vera Roy, a woman who inadvertently discovers a way to communicate with a teenager named Nico Lasarte (Joel Illescas) 25 years in the past. After helping Nico prevent his own accidental death, Vera discovers that her own world and timeline have greatly changed. Vera’s daughter no longer exists, and her husband, David (Álvaro Morte), is married to someone else. Subsequently, Vera desperately searches for a way to regain what she lost.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
61%
7.1/10
tv-ma
Genre
Science Fiction, Mystery, Drama, Thriller, TV Movie
Stars
Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe, Asim Chaudhry
Watch on Netflix
There’s nothing else on Netflix exactly like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This spinoff from the British sci-fi anthology series is an interactive movie that allows players/viewers to control the fate of Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead). In 1984, Stefan is a young programmer who gets the chance to adapt a “choose your own adventure” book into a video game. However, art imitates life, and Stefan is soon faced with questions about his own free will. It’s not possible to see every bit of footage from Bandersnatch in one continuous viewing. That’s why it invites repeat viewings by letting alternate choices unlock new story paths. This may not be the future of all movies, but it is a subgenre worth exploring.

Advantageous (2015)

Advantageous
59%
6.2/10
tv-ma
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama
Stars
Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams
Watch on Netflix
Advantageous is not a flashy sci-fi movie, but it is thought-provoking. In the near future, a single mother named Gwen Koh (Jacqueline Kim) loses her job and her financial security. Desperate to provide for her daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim), Gwen volunteers for a radical experiment to transfer her mind to a younger body. However, Gwen 2.0 (Freya Adams) is a very different woman from the original model, much to the horror of Jules and even Gwen herself.

Project Power (2020)

Project Power
51%
6/10
r
113m
Genre
Action, Crime, Science Fiction
Stars
Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dominique Fishback
Directed by
Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Watch on Netflix
Superheroes aren’t real, but their powers are. That’s the premise behind Project Power, a film that presents a near-future world in which superhuman powers can be granted to almost anyone via a special pill called Power. For five minutes, users of Power have abilities uniquely tied to them. New Orleans police detective Frank Shaver (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) openly uses Power, even against regulations. In his search for the source of Power, Frank comes across Art (Jamie Foxx), a man who may have unexpected connections to the development of the drug. This is a cautionary tale, and a fresh take on a very familiar genre.

Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box
51%
6.6/10
r
124m
Genre
Thriller, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars
Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver
Directed by
Susanne Bier
Watch on Netflix
It’s understandable if you get some Quiet Place vibes from Bird Box. Both are sci-fi horror movies that deal with monsters that directly connect with human senses. In this flick, the creatures can make anyone who sees them become insane with suicidal urges. Hence the constant blindfolds to keep the entities out. Sandra Bullock plays Malorie Hayes, a woman struggling to survive in this horrific new world, while flashbacks explore how she dealt with the end of life as she knew it. Not all of the moments land, but Bird Box has its share of real scares.

See You Yesterday (2019)

See You Yesterday
74%
5.2/10
r
86m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Crime, Action
Stars
Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, Astro
Directed by
Stefon Bristol
Watch on Netflix
Many sci-fi films have something important to say about the present, and See You Yesterday has a premise that seems all too timely. The story follows C.J. Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith), a revolutionary genius even as a teenager. C.J. has come up with actual working time machines, and she has a very personal reason to use them. Her brother, Calvin Walker (Brian “Stro” Bradley), has been killed during an encounter with the police. To save Calvin, C.J. and her friend Sebastian (Danté Crichlow) try to change the past. Needless to say, complications ensue.

Beyond Skyline (2017)

Beyond Skyline
46%
5.3/10
r
105m
Genre
Action, Science Fiction, Adventure, Horror
Stars
Frank Grillo, Bojana Novaković, Iko Uwais
Directed by
Liam O'Donnell
Watch on Netflix
The long-delayed follow-up to 2010’s Skyline is one of the rare instances where the sequel is vastly superior to the original. This unapologetically pulpy, alien invasion B-movie shows what happens when civilians are left to defend themselves against a superior species of aliens. Paradise Highway‘s Frank Grillo stars as a cop at odds with his son when the aliens strike. Suddenly sent running for their lives, the father-son duo move at a breakneck pace, traversing through subterranean tunnels to the nuclear wasteland of Los Angeles to an alien ship to a rebel human base in Laos to mount a final defense. Beyond Skyline is absolutely nutty, but if you like big action, ludicrous sci-fi tropes, and good ol’ fashioned human versus alien violence, this one’s for you.

Okja (2017)

Okja
75%
7.3/10
tv-ma
Genre
Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Stars
Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seo-hyun Ahn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins, Steven Yuen
Watch on Netflix
Bong Joon-ho earned Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for Parasite, but he was making remarkable movies well before that recognition. Okja is one of his most polemical films, taking on the meat industry and capitalism at large in this touching sci-fi drama for Netflix. The story follows Mija, a young girl who has grown up in the mountains of South Korea with a fictional super-pig best friend named Okja. But when the multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation kidnaps Okja and transports her to New York to launch an entirely new meat industry, it’s up to Mija to save her best friend. A caustic satire of the greed and grotesqueness of American food processing, Okja pokes fun at everyone from self-obsessed CEOs to bumbling, naive activists in a sci-fi romp that hits close to home.

I Am Mother (2019)

I Am Mother
64%
6.7/10
pg-13
114m
Genre
Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars
Clara Rugaard, Hilary Swank, Rose Byrne
Directed by
Grant Sputore
Watch on Netflix
Director Grant Sputore turned a lot of heads with I Am Mother, a superbly made and terrifically acted sci-fi thriller. In the far future, humanity is seemingly extinct. An android called Mother (voiced by Bridesmaids star Rose Byrne) fulfills its primary function by attempting to revive humanity. But first, Mother raises Daughter (Clara Rugaard) for practice and teaches her how to survive in this inhospitable world. However, Daughter’s reality is shattered when she encounters a woman (Hilary Swank) from the outside, who happens to be the first human that Daughter has ever met. And once the newcomer is inside of the bunker, I Am Mother takes a decidedly sinister turn. The truth will come out, but will anyone survive to see it?

Movie images and data from:
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.

Nick Perry

Nick Perry is a freelance writer who bounced from Hollywood to Silicon Beach to pajama pants. His work has been featured on Digital Trends, Good Morning America, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and more media outlets.

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.

The best dramas on Netflix right now
Two pirates confronting Captain Richard Phillips in the film Captain Phillips.

Out of all the streamers currently vying for your attention, Netflix is probably the one with the best and most complete dramatic library. The best dramas on Netflix include several modern cinematic films helmed by some of the industry's most acclaimed filmmakers, many of which have left a considerable mark on modern pop culture. Since the release of its critically acclaimed war movie Beasts of No Nation, Netflix has built a strong film library, recruiting auteurs like Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuarón, Jane Campion, and David Fincher to ensure its reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

The best dramatic movies on Netflix offer a mix of searing romantic tales, intense family dramas, passionate romances, tragic tales of woe, and a few small-scale yet no less worthy movies. However, because Netflix has a wide and diverse collection of quality films, it might be difficult for you to choose just one, especially because some are not as high-quality as others. To save you some time and effort, we've compiled a list of the best dramas on Netflix right now.
Netflix may be a treasure trove when it comes to content, but it doesn't have everything. Thankfully, we've also curated a list of the best dramas on Hulu and the best drama shows on Amazon Prime Video.

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The best animated movies on Netflix right now
Rudger and Amanda hang on for dear life in The Imaginary.

It says a lot about Netflix's powerhouse animation lineup that it can lose films like Shrek and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron at the end of July and not miss a step. That's because Netflix has added an incredible anime film, The Imaginary, which is one of the most impressive hand-drawn movies we've seen in years. Netflix has also added The Lego Batman Movie and Rango to go along with two of last year's biggest hits,  Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

The secret to Netflix's dominance are its deals with DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, and Universal/Illumination. Those outside movies have helped give Netflix a library of animated flicks that rivals Disney+'s selection. And you can find all of the best animated movies on Netflix right now simply by scrolling down.

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The best anime on Netflix right now
One Piece anime key art featuring the main cast in a colorful environment.

Netflix is an ideal mainstream platform for watching the best anime. While its high-budget originals are the biggest attractions, including the live-action adaptation of One Piece, the streamer's anime library is incredibly diverse. Every anime fan will be well-catered to thanks to the range of genres Netflix covers between its movies and TV shows.

The medium is more accessible than ever and the service has plenty of variety. Even so, newcomers can be overwhelmed with choices. Thankfully, this list streamlines things by focusing on the platform's highlights. This guide is updated monthly to ensure fans have a consistent rundown of the best anime on Netflix right now.
If you want more options, check out our other guides to the best anime on Hulu and the best anime available on Amazon Prime Video.

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