Cover Check out our picks for the best sci-fi movies to watch on Netflix

Looking to freshen up your Netflix queue? We’ve rounded up the best sci-fi movies to add to your watchlist

So, you’ve watched the whole season of Halston, are all up to date with Netflix’s latest fantasy show Shadow and Bone, and have made it to the end of the hit action drama Vincenzo. What’s next? Don’t worry, binge-watchers and fellow Netflix addicts—the platform is a treasure trove of many great shows waiting to be explored for your viewing pleasure. From sitcoms to true crime, K-dramas and book-to-movie adaptations, whatever genre you’re looking for, there’s always something new on Netflix to suit every mood.

But if you love gripping stories and are always fascinated with technology and what the future might look like, these acclaimed sci-fi movies tick all the boxes. Ahead, we’re listing the best sci-fi movies to watch on Netflix in 2021. Replete with plot twists and action scenes featuring sci-fi elements including parallel universes, extraterrestrial lifeforms, space travel and more, these movies will keep you hooked till the very end. 

See also: The Best Family-Friendly Movies To Watch On Netflix

1. The Matrix series

Consisting of three movies, the Matrix series follows a computer hacker called Neo (Keanu Reeves) who discovers that the world is a computer simulation, who joins a group of freedom fighters to battle against the machines—artificial intelligences that have overrun the world and enslaved the human race. The film’s dystopian and cyberpunk aesthetics, and predictions about 21st-century life form part of its unique appeal that’s bolstered by impressive performances from the cast.

Watch it on Netflix

2. The Martian (2015)

A great movie by legendary director Ridley Scott, who has established a well-earned reputation with notable sci-fi works including Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), The Martian is a film that you really need to just throw yourself into. Matt Damon plays a stranded astronaut who struggles to survive on Mars after a fierce storm separated him from the crew, where you can expect a clever plot and spectacular special effects combined with Damon’s good performance that makes for an immersive watch.  

Watch it on Netflix

3. Back To The Future (1985)

No roundup of the best sci-fi movies would be complete without mentioning Back To The Future. The 1980s classic tells the story of a young teenager Marty McFly (Michael J.Fox) who accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean time machine invented by his friend, the eccentric scientist doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Action-packed, funny and original, this film is perfect if you want a pleasant hour or two of easy watching with your family and friends.  

Watch it on Netflix

See also: 8 New Netflix Shows And Movies To Watch In June 2021

4. The Jurassic Park series

Another sci-fi classic that deserves a spot on your radar. Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name served as the basis for this sci-fi, where the first instalment in the Jurassic Park series presents an engaging story that revolves around a group of scientists who have created a wildlife park of de-extinct dinosaurs. The movie’s blend of family adventure, action and fantasy horror have made it a successful blockbuster, and if you enjoy it, don't miss its sequels.  

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5. Her (2013)

Just when you thought there was nothing new brought to the sci-fi world, Spike Jonze introduces a romantic take on the genre. Her follows a depressed writer, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system—a virtual assistant with AI capabilities, Samantha. The movie gives audiences a thoughtful provocation on the implications of technology and how we think about human relationships in today’s digital age. 

Watch it on Netflix

See also: 13 Book-To-Movie Adaptations To Watch On Netflix

6. Space Sweepers (2021)

Touted as Korea’s first space-themed sci-fi movie, Space Sweepers has garnered plenty of attention and acclaim from Netflix fans around the world since its launch in February earlier this year. The movie is set in 2092 when Earth has become uninhabitable, with Song Joong-ki and Kam Tae-ri playing a part of the crew of The Victory, a space junk collector ship, and embarking on a mission to save the planet from its imminent destruction. 

Watch it on Netflix

See also: 5 Things To Know About "Space Sweepers"—Netflix's First Korean Space Movie

7. 2012

Roland Emmerich, the man behind cult classics including Indepdence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004) is undeniably something of a pioneer when it comes to curating sci-fi disaster movies. One of his major works, 2012 (well, don’t let the age fool you), is still a very compelling narrative to enjoy by modern standards.

The story centres on a geologist (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who discovers the Earth’s core is heating and becoming unstable caused by solar storms; and novelist Jackson Curtis (Cusack) as he attempts to save his family from catastrophes when the world starts falling apart.  

Watch it on Netflix

8. Transformers (2007)

Ask any sci-fi movie fanatic what their favourites are, chances are you’ll hear about the Transformers franchise. The first instalment in the popular series has brought all the ingredients you’d love to see in an action-packed drama: stunning visuals, clever cinematography and plenty of big knockout fights. The movie follows the adventures of teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons—two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery.  

Watch it on Netflix


9. Extinction (2018)

Lauded by critics for its visual effects and captivating storyline, Extinction is a psychotropic trip into a mad world filled with alien invasions. It centres on Peter (Michael Peña), a father and husband who has recurring disturbing dreams about the loss of his family and a devastating attack from extraterrestrial beings. The move saves a big twist for the very end, we’ll leave it here and let you find it out.  

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10. I Am Mother (2019)

Blending horror and the director’s ambitious vision of future where human civilisation is coming to an end, I Am Mother features a cryptic tale of a teenage girl (Clara Rugaard), who’s the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother (Rose Byrne), a robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of humankind. If you’re on the hunt for a sci-fi flick that will leave you on the edge of your seat, this is your best bet.  

Watch it on Netflix

11. Transcendence (2014)

It's hard not to love this star-studded sci-fi thriller. Built around the theme of artificial intelligence, the movie is about Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a scientist who attempts to upload his consciousness into a quantum computer as his life is threatened. The movie is a little cliched in places, but the visual style, combined with brilliant performances from Depp and his co-stars, make it an entertaining piece to enjoy.  

Watch it on Netflix

See also: The Best True Crime Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

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