Skip to main content

5 sci-fi movies on Max that are perfect to watch in the summer

It’s been three months since HBO Max rebranded as Max, a streaming service that features movies and TV shows from Warner Bros. and Discovery. From The Batman and The Sopranos to Beat Bobby Flay and 90-Day Fiancé, Max has over 35,000 hours of content to keep you busy.

One of the more prominent sections of Max is sci-fi. To save you time, we selected a handful of films that may pique your sci-fi interest. From a James Cameron adventure to an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, here are five sci-fi movies on Max to check out this summer.

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Jake Sully riding one of Pandora's underwater creatures in Avatar: The Way of Water.
20th Century Studios

After waiting 13 years, audiences finally returned to Pandora for Avatar: The Way of Water. Sixteen years after the events of the first film, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is raising a family with Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña). Jake, now the chief of the Omatikaya clan, and his family are forced to flee from the group after the return of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). They head east and seek refuge with the Metkayina clan, who teach them the ways of water.

The Way of Water is arguably the most visually spectacular film ever created by James Cameron, and this is the man who directed The TerminatorTitanic, and Avatar. The third act of The Way of Water will have you on the edge of your set. As always, any time spent watching a Cameron movie is time well spent.

Stream Avatar: The Way of Water on Max.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Keanu Reeves as Neo stopping dozens of oncoming bullets in The Matrix Reloaded.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix is undoubtedly a sci-fi masterpiece thanks to its groundbreaking visual effects and stunning action sequences. Unfortunately, the three sequels were inferior to the original, but The Matrix Reloaded is the film that came closest to channeling the spirit of the original.

Reloaded continues the battle between man and machines as Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) are front and center in the fight to save humanity. Although Reloaded features significantly fewer philosophical themes than its predecessor, it raises the bar for action films thanks to the incredible freeway chase and memorable Burly Brawl.

Stream The Matrix Reloaded on Max.

Predator (1987)

The cast of Predator poses with their guns in the jungle.
20th Century Fox

“Jaws in the jungle” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Need I say more? One year before directing Die Hard, John McTiernan crafted the sci-fi action classic Predator. Schwarzenegger stars as Dutch, a former Vietnam War vet tasked with leading a team of skilled mercenaries into the Central American jungle to extract a group of politicians held hostage by local rebels.

After mounting an attack, Dutch and his team go from the hunters to the hunted as a vicious alien stalks their every move in the jungle. With an invisibility cloak, elite weaponry, and advanced tracking technology, The Predator becomes the soldiers’ toughest matchup as they fight for survival. Predator is a must-watch for any 1980s action fan.

Stream Predator on Max.

Limitless (2011)

Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper stand next to each other and stare in Limitless.
Relativity Media

What if there was a dangerous drug that enhanced your mental capacity? Would you take it? That’s the dilemma at the center of Limitless, Neil Burger’s 2011 sci-fi thriller. Bradley Cooper stars as Eddie Morra, a struggling author and glorified loser with no purpose in life. After his girlfriend, Lindy (Abbie Cornish), breaks up with him, Eddie is introduced to a nootropic called NZT-48 that will supposedly enhance his creativity.

Eddie’s life significantly improves thanks to his ability to analyze every situation at record-breaking speed. As Eddie uses the drug to ascend to the top of the financial world, he attracts the attention of business mogul Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro), who wants to profit off Eddie’s expertise. As his supply dwindles, Eddie must figure out a way to control the drug and keep it out of the hands of those who are willing to kill for it.

Stream Limitless on Max.

Ex Machina (2014)

An android touches a face on the wall in Ex Machina.
A24

Alex Garland is one of the leading voices in sci-fi this century. Garland wrote the scripts for 28 Days and Sunshine, but it wasn’t until 2014’s Oscar-winning Ex Machina, his directorial debut, that the world truly embraced his sci-fi expertise. Domhnall Gleeson stars as Caleb Smith, a programmer at a tech giant called Blue Book.

Caleb wins a trip to spend one week at the secluded home of Blue Book’s CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Nathan selected Caleb to determine if Ava (Alicia Vikander), an AI android, is capable of consciousness and independent thoughts. With the growing threat of AI, Ex Machina could not be a more timely film to watch amid the ongoing battle of man versus machine.

Stream Ex Machina on Max.

Topics
Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
5 best Netflix sci-fi movies to watch on Father’s Day
The cast of Starship Troopers.

As is true with most labels, dads aren't really any one thing. While there may be some qualities that unite many dads, some dads are more into sports than others, while some are into gaming or other types of entertainment. If there's a dad in your life with a love for sci-fi, though, then Netflix has plenty of titles worth checking out.

Sorting through all of them to determine which ones are actually worth watching can be a chore, though. That's why we've done the hard work for you and found five great sci-fi movies that are worth watching this Father's Day.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE - Official Trailer #2 (HD)

Read more
Like the Netflix sci-fi movie Atlas? Then watch these three great films now
A woman looks at an AI interface in Atlas.

Netflix's latest action movie, Atlas, takes on one of the more pressing and existential issues of our time: artificial intelligence. The film, which stars Jennifer Lopez, follows a data analyst with a deep mistrust for AI who discovers that it may be the only way to take down a super soldier who is hell-bent on destroying humanity.

Although AI and movies about it feel more relevant than ever, this is hardly the first time that AI has been featured prominently in this kind of story. Long before we had the kind of real-world AI that we see today, we had movies that tackled the question head-on. We've selected three movies that expertly tackle the subject.
The Creator (2023)
The Creator | Official Trailer

Read more
5 most shocking sci-fi movie endings ever, ranked
Amy Adams in Arrival.

There are few things more beautiful than when a movie manages to genuinely shock you. If you're a movie buff, it's likely that you're on the lookout for potential twists or reveals that could totally upend you're understanding of what you're watching. Even the most experienced movie watchers still get surprised sometimes, though, and that's especially common in great science fiction movies.

Because sci-fi movies often have to build their own worlds that have totally distinct rules, it's possible for us to watch something without fully understanding what we're seeing until the film's final moments. That's where the shocking ending comes in, and we've selected five of the very best for this list.

Read more