Skip to main content

5 sci-fi movies on Netflix you need to watch in October

The turn of the calendar brings a fresh selection of movies to Netflix. Many of these films end up on Netflix’s 10 most popular movies shortly after their arrival. Sci-fi films, in particular, have done well on the service, with recent additions Dredd and Arrival occupying spots in the top 10.

Below, we curated a list of five sci-fi movies on Netflix to watch in October. The list includes Dune, the 2021 sci-fi epic from Denis Villeneuve; Bird Box, the 2018 dystopian thriller that became a global phenomenon; and War of the Worlds, the action thriller based on one of the most influential sci-fi novels.

Dune (2021)

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides saluting with his knife in Dune.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Frank Herbert’s influential sci-fi novel was considered unadaptable, especially after David Lynch’s 1984 critical and commercial failure. However, Villeneuve proved Dune could be adapted for the big screen, creating a sci-fi masterpiece of substance and spectacle. Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, the brilliant son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Lady Jessica), and heir to House Atreides.

Leto is ordered to serve as the steward of Arrakis, a dangerous desert planet home to the most valuable resource in the universe, “spice.” Leto sees this as a chance to ally with the Fremens, the natives of Arrakis. However,  House Harkonnen plans on overtaking Arrakis from House Atreides. With war inevitable, Paul is called to fulfill his destiny and bring peace to Arrakis.

Stream Dune on Netflix.

War of the Worlds (2005)

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds.
Paramount Pictures

Two of the most influential figures in Hollywood – Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg – teamed up in 2005 to adapt War of the Worlds, based on the iconic 1898 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells. Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced Brooklyn dockworker struggling to maintain a relationship with his two children: teenage son Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and young daughter Rachel (Dakota Fanning).

After his ex-wife (Miranda Otto) drops the children off at his New Jersey house, Ray witnesses an electromagnetic storm wipe out the power. Originally thought to be a power outage, the lightning strike signals the beginning of an alien invasion as extraterrestrial creatures attack the planet. Amidst the battle of humanity, Ray travels to Boston to reunite his children with their mother, but the journey proves troublesome due to the alien invaders.

Stream War of the Worlds on Netflix.

Elysium (2013)

Matt Damon holds a gun next to a woman and child in Elysium.
Sony Pictures Releasing

Class warfare, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and capitalism are the core themes in Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi fairy tale Elysium. However, these topics are intertwined with pulse-pounding action and visceral thrills. In 2154, the wealthy live on an affluent space station called Elysium, while the less fortunate citizens are banished to live in poverty on Earth.

Max (Matt Damon) is one of the unlucky citizens living on Earth. While working at a factory, Max is exposed to deadly radiation, and the doctors give him five days to live. If Max can get to Elysium, he can use a Med-Bay to eliminate the radiation and save his life. Max cuts a deal with a smuggler named Spider (Wagner Moura) to steal classified information from a powerful employee in exchange for a ride to Elysium to use the Med-Bay. However, Defense Secretary Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) gets wind of Max’s objective and goes to great lengths to thwart the mission.

Stream Elysium on Netflix.

Bird Box (2018)

A blindfolded woman rows a boat alongside two children in Bird Box.

In 2018, Bird Box became the first Netflix original movie to dominate pop culture on its way to becoming the most popular English film in Netflix history, a title it held for nearly three years. In a post-apocalyptic world, mysterious entities force people to commit suicide. The only way to ensure survival is to not look at the entities, forcing survivors to stay inside. If they leave the house, they must wear blindfolds to cover their eyes.

Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) is one of the survivors. When she hears transmissions of a safe community hidden in the forest, Malorie and her two children – Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) – embark on a dangerous journey down the river. It’s a race against time as unblindfolded survivors are hellbent on stopping Malorie from reaching the sanctuary.

Stream Bird Box on Netflix.

What Happened to Monday (2017)

A woman with a bloody face runs through the snow.

In What Happened to Monday, famine and overpopulation have devastated the population in 2043, forcing the Child Allocation Bureau to institute a “One Child Policy.” The eldest children are allowed to live, while the rest are forced into cryosleep. Before her death, Karen Settman (Noomi Rapace) gave birth to identical septuplets.

Karen’s grandfather, Terrence (Inside‘s Willem Dafoe), raises all seven girls and names them after each day of the week. Terrence teaches them to live under one identity, using wigs and makeup to make the girls look like the same person. Each girl can leave the house on the day of their name. One day, Monday never comes home, forcing the sisters to find their missing sibling before Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close) of the Bureau can kill them.

Stream What Happened to Monday on Netflix.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
3 underrated sci-fi movies on Amazon Freevee you should watch in November
Kurt Russell wearing an eyepatch, head tilted to the side in a scene from Escape From New York.

Sci-fi is one of those genres that is fun to watch any time, with movies that skew toward everything from comedy to horror, drama, suspense, and more. When it comes to Amazon Freevee, there’s a wide selection of sci-fi movies you can watch for free, with ads.

Along with high-profile titles from the past (you won’t find new releases here), and underrated action movies on Amazon Freevee, as well as other genres, there are a few underrated sci-fi movies on Amazon Freevee you should watch in November, too. They’re all critically acclaimed, come from various decades, and feature top-notch casts.
The Pink Cloud (2021)
The Pink Cloud- Official Trailer- Sundance Selection

Read more
3 rom-coms on Netflix you need to watch in November
Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron wave hi in Longshot.

The dawn of a new month brings an influx of new movies to stream on Netflix. With Halloween complete, it's time to start thinking about the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon. One genre that goes hand in hand with the holidays is the romantic comedy.

Many of the best romantic comedies are on Netflix right now. To celebrate November, we curated a list of three rom-coms you need to watch. Our choices include a sweet comedy about growing up, a holiday ensemble celebrating its 20th anniversary, and an odd-couple love story.
13 Going on 30 (2023)

Read more
5 best sci-fi movies from the past 5 years you should watch right now
An astronaut views Earth from space in Ad Astra.

The best sci-fi movies often push the boundaries of what's possible to depict on the big screen by taking on complex fictional concepts that are often rooted in reality. Recent films in the category embrace the intersection between science, philosophy, and humanity, and use mind-blowing visuals and cutting-edge cinematography to bolster filmmakers' ambitious efforts.

From the visually stunning and otherworldly story told in Dune to the mind-bending mix of existentialism and the multiverse in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the greatest science fiction movies from the past five years represent the best that the genre has to offer. With so much to explore in the genre, these are the few standouts that should be considered essential viewing for fans.
Ad Astra (2019)

Read more