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The best sci-fi movies on Netflix (January 2022)

Minority Report and Blade Runner
Minority Report and Blade Runner. Pic credit: Fox/Warner Bros.

Netflix is home to some of the best sci-fi movies for anyone looking for some out-of-this-world adventures.

With its own original films, as well as movies it has licensed over the years, there is something here for everyone who loves some good sci-fi entertainment.

From outer space epics to more grounded Earth-based sci-fi craziness, Netflix hits every corner of the world.

Every month, Netflix deletes movies from its streaming service when contracts expire. The good news is that Netflix also had plenty of great movies to replace them.

Bookmark this page, as we will update this article every month to remove the films that drop off and add great new sci-fi movies you can enjoy every month.

Updated in January 2022: Every month, Netflix makes significant changes by removing many movies from its streaming service and then replaces them with other films, some even better than what came before.

The good news is that we are here to check the entries every single month and will replace those that leave with new options that might even be better than the rest.

Make sure to check back every month as we will continuously update this list to make sure you have the best choices every month for current Netflix streaming.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong in Terminator 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong in Terminator 2. Pic credit: Tri-Star Pictures

After finding success with the sci-fi horror movie Terminator, James Cameron returned to the franchise and directed the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

While the first movie was a survival horror movie with an unstoppable robot killer trying to murder a young woman to prevent her from having a baby. However, T2 arrived and showed a glimpse of the apocalypse that was coming.

It also moved the focus to more of a sci-fi setting, with the original killer robot now returning to protect the woman’s son and a new robot killer showing up to finish the job the first one couldn’t.

He movie remains one of the best action movies of the 1990s and holds up as the best in the franchise.

Minority Report

Minority Report
Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Pic credit: Fox

Philip K. Dick wrote some of the most groundbreaking science fiction novels in history. He often approached issues of morality and the use of technology to break those moral codes.

Several of his stories became movies, including one that Spielberg directed — Minority Report.

The film starred Tom Cruise as a police officer in a dystopian future where technology working with a pair of precogs predicted crimes before they happened.

While the police had no problem arresting people before they ever committed a crime, when the machine claimed Cruise’s police officer was going to commit a murder, he went on the run to try to prove that he could stop the crime from happening.

Looper (2012)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. Pic credit: TriStar Pictures

Rian Johnson (Knives Out, The Last Jedi) made one of the best time travel sci-fi movies this century with Looper.

The movie had the idea that criminal organizations in the future sent enemies back in time for their assassins to kill, this being the only way to avoid getting caught. The one twist is that these assassins who live to the present day (2074) are sent back to have their younger self assassinate.

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This ends up not working when Joe (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time for his younger self (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to assassinate. However, they soon realize the organization hat work for is covering something up and they have to work together to stop what is coming in the future.

Total Recall (2012)

Colin Farrell in the Total Recall remake
Colin Farrell in the Total Recall remake. Pic credit: Sony

In 2012, Len Wiseman remade the sci-fi thriller classic Total Recall.

Colin Farrell took on the role that Arnold Schwarzenegger played in the original, as a man who goes through a fantasy experience where he was a spy, only for it to turn out he really was a spy in the past.

The big change here is that the action no longer takes place on Mars and is instead of an Earth devastated by chemical warfare. There was a great sci-fi device as an elevator went through the center of the Earth to make cross-planet travel quick.

Blade Runner (1982)

Harrison Ford on the Blade Runner poster
Harrison Ford on the Blade Runner poster. Pic credit: Warner Bros

The movie considered the seminal science fiction movie and one of the greatest in film history hit Netflix in September 2021.

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is on the streaming giant, and it is the Final Cut, adding in what Scott created but the studio edited out in the original release.

Harrison Ford is Deckard, a Blade Runner whose job is to hunt down replicants – androids created to serve humanity. The replicants he is sent to take out are ones that have developed an advanced level of being and consider themselves living beings.

The one he hunts down in this movie is Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, and the entire movie is the template for what smart sci-fi should look like.

Mars Attacks!

The Martians in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks
The Martians in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks. Pic credit: Warner Bros

Tim Burton created one of his most bizarre movies in 1996, and that is saying a lot.

Mars Attacks! is an alien invasion movie played for gags, with the Martians attacking Earth silly-looking creatures and their targets being a who’s-who of Hollywood talent.

The stars in this movie include Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Tom Jones, Natalie Portman, and many more.

Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer
The cast of Snowpiercer. Pic credit: RADIUS-TWC

Television fans are watching the first seasons of Snowpiercer on TNT, but movie fans had already gotten to see the comic book adaptation play out on the big screen in 2013.

Fans who want to catch up with that original movie once again can see it on Netflix.

The film has a great cast, with Chris Evans (Captain America), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange), Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four), and Ed Haris leading the way. It also has an Oscar-winning director in Bong Joon-ho (Parasite).

The story is about a train that is the only thing keeping the people on it from dying on the frozen wasteland that is Earth, and the class system on board that threatens to bring it all to an end.

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The Darkest Hour (2011)

The Darkest Hour (2011)
The Darkest Hour (2011). Pic credit: Summitt Entertainment

The Darkest Hour is a science fiction movie from 2011 about a pair of Americans heading to Moscow to sell the computer software they designed.

However, when they get there, an alien invasion begins, with invisible aliens killing humans in a hostile takeover. The two Americans join up with other survivors and set out to try to survive this attack.

Soon, they discover other survivors who developed a way to hide from, detect, and kill the aliens. The movie is about the start of the war, but it is these young survivors who help find a way to turn back the invasion in the future.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Pic credit: Netflix

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of the best family movies Netflix released in 2021, and might end up the best animated movie of the year by year’s end.

The movie features the Mitchell family, with a father and daughter who used to be close but now can’t seem to understand each other. The daughter is ready to go to college and never plans to return.

Wanting to fix things with his daughter, dad sets up a road trip to drive her to college. However, a robot uprising occurs and the Mitchell family finds themselves the last free humans, and it is up to them to save the world … if they can learn to get along.

Stargate (1994)

Stargate
James Spader (left) and Kurt Russell in the film “Stargate.” Pic credit: MGM

An archeologist played by James Spader discovers a Stargate, which allows interdimensional travel to the far reaches of space.

The government wants to test out the Stargate and brings in a retired military man with nothing left to live for to help him go through it to a distant planet.

However, when they reach the planet, they find a god named Ra on the planet, worshipped by everyone there, and they realize they might have no way back to Earth.

The movie was a huge success and spawned three TV series totaling 17 seasons.

Synchronic (2019)

Synchronic
Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan in Synchronic . Pic credit: Well Go USA

Synchronic is a brand-new science fiction movie that had a 2019 festival release date but hit theaters during the pandemic and lost out on a deserving audience.

Directed by Jason Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the men behind The Endless, the movie stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as paramedics who are called to a series of cases with strange circumstances.

The cases are linked to a designer drug called Synchronic. When Steve (Mackie) learns he has cancer and is dying, he buys all the Synchronic to keep it out of everyone’s hands.

He then realizes it is a time travel pill and he can use it to try to find his partner’s missing daughter.

Project Power (2020)

Jamie Foxx as Art and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Frank in Project Power
Jamie Foxx as Art and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Frank in Project Power. Pic credit: Skip Bolen/Netflix

Project Power is an original superhero movie for Netflix, where it is more based in a sci-fi world where a drug gives people powers.

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The powers only last for a short time but they are very powerful, and therefore the drug is illegal.

Jaime Foxx is a U.S. Army Major who was one of the first test subjects and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a New Orleans detective who uses the drug to become bulletproof.

They team up with a drug dealer named Robin to find and stop the distribution of the pills.

The Midnight Sky (2020)

Midnight Sky review
George Clooney and Caoilinn Springall in Midnight Sky. Pic credit: Netflix

The Midnight Sky is George Clooney’s latest movie, which he both directs and stars in.

The Midnight Sky tells the story of a scientist in the Arctic and one of the last survivors of an Earth that had fallen to some sort of apocalyptic disaster.

He knows a space exploration seeking a new habitat on a moon of Jupiter is returning soon, and he sets out to contact them to warn them to head back because all is lost here.

However, a girl that was left behind when the rest of his team left shows up, and his plans are interrupted when he has to care for her as well.

Self/Less (2015)

Self/Less
Ryan Reynolds in Self/Less. Pic credit: Focus Features

Ryan Reynolds took a break from his comedy work to make a serious science-fiction action movie in Self/Loss.

In this movie, a billionaire learns he has cancer and is told he would be able to “shed” his life and transfer his consciousness into another artificially grown body.

He orders his death to be staged and then transfers his consciousness into the body. However, when he forgets to take the medication required for the transfer, he starts to hallucinate a woman and child and wonders if the body was artificially grown or something more ominous.

I Am Mother (2019)

I Am Mother, promo pic
Netflix’s I Am Mother. Pic credit: Netflix

I am Mother is a former Sundance Film Festival sci-fi movie that was picked up and distributed by Netflix.

After an extinction-level event, a robot named Mother (voice by Rose Byrne) grows a human child from an embryo and raises it, calling the child, Daughter (Clara Rugaard).

Mother claims the surface of the planet is toxic, and the girl must remain protected to live. However, when a woman (Hilary Swank) shows up outside, it changes everything Daughter knows, and Mother realizes she has to defend her home at all costs.

Freaks (2018)

Freaks
The cast of Freaks. Pic credit: Well Go USA

Freaks is an original superhero movie that flew under the radar in 2018.

The movie is about a seven-year-old girl named Chloe who lives in a house and has never been outside or met any other person.

Her father (Emile Hirsch) has protected her from what he calls the “bad men,” but she longs for real life.

Soon, Chloe learns that there are abnormals in the world, which are people with superhuman abilities that the government is hunting down and capturing. Chloe is one of these abnormals, and the reason her father was so protective becomes apparent.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting...read more

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