Paramount+ doesn’t quite have the film library that its competitors do, but it has bolstered its lineup with the premium Paramount+ with Showtime tier. We feel that it’s unfair when the best premium movies are withheld from the lower tiers. That’s why our choices for the three sci-fi movies on Paramount+ that you need to watch are available on all tiers.
This month, our selections include John Woo’s best American movie, an Oscar-nominated sci-fi parable, and the first collaboration between Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg.
For the most part, Face/Off plays like a typical action thriller, which is why people tend to forget that its very premise is what makes it a science fiction film. FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) has a serious grudge against a deadly criminal, Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), thanks to a botched assassination attempt on Archer that left his son dead. During their next confrontation, Archer emerges victorious and Troy is knocked into a coma … but not before revealing that there is a bomb hidden in the city.
To locate the bomb before it can kill innocent people, Archer reluctantly undergoes an experimental procedure that literally puts Troy’s face on his body. And just when it seems like the plan is working, the real Troy emerges from his coma and forces the doctor to put Archer’s face on his body. Troy also kills anyone who knows the truth, leaving Archer on the run with everyone, including his own family, believing him to be the real Troy.
Watch Face/Off on Paramount+.
Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is so great that it’s kind of hampered Blomkamp’s career because nothing else he’s done has been able to recapture that success. (And that includes his recent movie Gran Turismo.) Even the Academy Awards recognized District 9 with a nomination for Best Picture of 2009. Blomkamp draws upon the all-too recent history of his native country South Africa, to present a vision of an alternate world where alien refugees are subjected to apartheid era discrimination and squalor.
Christopher Johnson (Jason Cope), one of the alien Prawns trapped on Earth, secretly conspires to regain access to the ship that brought them to our world. When a low-level human bureaucrat, Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley), is exposed to Christopher’s alien fuel, he begins mutating into a Prawn. Wikus’ only hope to retain his humanity is to help Christopher’s plan succeed and avoid the factions on Earth who want them both dead.
Watch District 9 on Paramount+.
The reason why Hollywood keeps coming back to Philip K. Dick‘s stories and novels is that he had a knack for big sci-fi ideas that translate well to film. In the case of Minority Report, this Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation examined Dick’s vision of a future where the police’s Precrime division can so accurately predict lethal crimes that murder is practically a thing of the past. In theory, the precognitive trio who drive Precrime are never wrong. But Precrime Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise, in one his best action movies) clings to the hope that the precogs were incorrect when they predict that he will kill Leo Crow (Mike Binder), a man whom he has never met.
There are no appeals with Precrime, and suddenly Anderton’s own officers are hunting him down. To escape and prove his innocence, Anderton has to dive into the criminal underworld and decide who he can trust before fate places him in the same room as Leo Crow at the time of Leo’s death.
Watch Minority Report on Paramount+.
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