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Like Ready Player One on Netflix? Then watch these three great sci-fi movies on Netflix

Tye Sheridan's Wade Watts looks up to Olivia Cooke's Art3mis in Ready Player One.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Although Ready Player One was a modest hit at the box office in 2018, it didn’t capture the imagination of the public in the way that director Steven Spielberg’s previous films had. Regardless, Spielberg’s most recent sci-fi flick is heating up the charts as one of the most popular movies on Netflix. This demonstrates that Netflix subscribers are hungry for more sci-fi content.

The selection of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix is fairly sparse compared to some of its streaming competitors. But there are three great sci-fi movies on Netflix that should appeal to fans who loved Ready Player One. You can find our selections below.

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

The cast of Cowboys and Aliens.

Casual sci-fi fans probably don’t know or care that there was an actual Cowboys & Aliens comic that was essentially created to sell this movie to Hollywood. The comic has next to nothing to do with the film helmed by Jon Favreau, who was coming off directing the first two Iron Man movies for Marvel. That’s why the resulting movie is a lot more fun than the source material, with James Bond star Daniel Craig as the main character, Jake Lonergan.

After waking up in the wild without his memories, but with an unknown alien device attached to his arm, Jake discovers that he’s an outlaw who has made an enemy out of Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny‘s Harrison Ford). But that old grudge will need to be set aside when aliens attack the town of Absolution. An enigmatic woman named Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) helps Jake and Dolarhyde rally the town and the nearby indigenous tribes. Yet, against this alien threat, their efforts may still not be enough to save their town and the world.

Watch Cowboys & Aliens on Netflix.

Pacific Rim (2013)

The cast of Pacific Rim.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Guillermo del Toro apparently just wanted an excuse for giant robots to fight giant monsters in Pacific Rim. And as the director and co-writer, del Toro seems like he has rarely had as much fun as he does with this film. In an alternate timeline from our own, alien monsters called Kaiju emerge from a portal in the ocean and begin wrecking havoc on the planet. That’s why humanity builds Jaegers, giant robot mechs that require two human pilots.

Following the death of his brother in battle, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) is the only man to briefly pilot a Jaeger solo. But Raleigh is so burned out by the experience that he attempts to leave fighting monsters in his past. Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty‘s Idris Elba) and his adoptive daughter, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), think that Raleigh is too valuable to be left on the sidelines. And they had better be right, because the next Kaiju offensive just may be enough to devastate humanity’s future.

Watch Pacific Rim on Netflix.

Looper (2012)

Older Joe restrains Young Joe and points his gun at something off camera while on a diner in Looper.
TriStar Pictures

Prior to helming the Knives Out franchise and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson came up with a trippy time travel crime story in Looper. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis both portray a guy named Joe at two different points in his life. In 2074, it’s so difficult to hide dead bodies that it’s easier for criminals to send the people they want dead back in time to be killed by Loopers who live in 2044. And when a Looper’s contract is up, they’re expected to kill their future selves to close the loop on their own lives.

Old Joe manages to break that loop when he escapes from his younger self, and he has very good reasons to change the future for himself. Young Joe also finds something worth fighting for when he meets Sara (Emily Blunt) and her son, Cid (Pierce Gagnon). The problem is that the two Joes’ goals are diametrically opposed to each other, and the future can’t be settled until one of them bites the bullet.

Watch Looper on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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