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The best sci-fi movies on Netflix (November 2020)

The 15 best sci-fi movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Total Recall and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Pic credit: Tristar/Focus Features

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 on November 1: 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. Here are some other new sci-fi movies that hit this month that just missed our list: Real Steel, Zathura, and Back to the Future II and III.

Lockout

Lockout
Guy Pearce in Lockout. Pic credit: Open Road Films

Lockout hit theaters in 2012 and is a sci-fi film that was judged to be a remake of the classic John Carpenter movie Escape from New York.

Like that original movie, Lockout follows a man framed for a crime he never committed who is offered his freedom if he helps save the President’s daughter from an orbital prison that was taken over by the inmates.

It was judged because the movie was released as an original film, but a French court ruled it was too similar to the Carpenter movie to avoid the comparison.

Maggie Grace co-stars as the President’s daughter.

Self/Less

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.

WarGames (1983)

WarGames
Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in WarGames. Pic credit: United Artists

In 1983, Matthew Broderick starred in the sci-fi action movie WarGames.

In this film, Broderick is a teenage hacker who gets into a government agency program that predicts the outcomes of a nuclear war. Thinking it is a game, he takes on the role of the Soviet Union and tries to “win the game.”

However, this causes the national defense system’s computers to think the United States is under attack and plans a counter-attack in real life.

The teenager then has to go on the run as the government believes he is a Soviet sleeper agent who is purposefully trying to start World War III.

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. Pic credit: Universal

In 1985, one of the most successful sci-fi movies of all-time hit from Robert Zemeckis called Back to the Future.

The story had a teenager named Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) who was friends with an older scientist named Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd).

The two end up sending McFly back to the past where he ends up meeting his parents when they were in high school and realized that he was on the verge of screwing up the past and wiping himself out of existence.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich
John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich. Pic credit: USA Films

Spike Jonze directed Being John Malkovich in 1999, one of the most quirky sci-fi movies of all-time.

The film starred John Cusack as a Craig, an unemployed puppeteer, who discovered a secret floor in between two floors of a high rise building, and when he entered, he found a mysterious door.

When passing through this door, the person finds themselves in the head of John Malkovich and can control what the real-life actor does.

The strange sci-fi idea came from the mind of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, and when Malkovich learns what is happening and finds the door, things get even more bizarre.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Pic credit: Focus Features

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind takes place in a world where a technique exists that allows a person to erase memories from their mind.

While this is a great technique to remove traumatic pain from a person’s mind, there was also a way for people to use it to just move on freely in their lives with no consequences.

In this movie, directed by Michel Gondry and once again written by Charlie Kaufman, Jim Carrey is Craig, a soft-spoken man who meets and falls in love with a free-spirited woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet).

When the two have an argument, Clemantine just has Craig erased from her memory, and that leaves Craig heartbroken. When he starts to have the same procedure done, the movie shows his memories of her as they dissipate.

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max
Mel Gibson in Mad Max. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best sci-fi movies created in the last decade, and Netflix now has the film where it all started.

Mad Max arrived in 1979, a film directed by George Miller that introduced the world to Mel Gibson.

A dystopian movie that had a world where an oil crisis has sent society into an almost post-apocalyptic situation, Gibson is a highway patrol pursuit officer in Australia that wants to quit after watching his close friend and fellow officer die.

However, when Max’s family is murdered by the same biker gang that killed his officer friend, grief overwhelms him, and he heads after the killers with a murderous rage.

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall. Pic credit: TriStar

Released in 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the sci-fi movie Total Recall, from acclaimed director Paul Verhoeven.

The film takes place in 2084, and Schwarzenegger stars as a man named Douglas Quaid, who is having strange dreams about Mars. When he decides he wants to go to a company called Rekall, that can provide memory implants to simulate vacations, something goes wrong.

Soon, people are trying to kill Douglas, and he believes he might have a past life as a secret agent that was wiped from his memory. The answers to his questions rest on Mars.

Splice (2009)

Splice
Delphine Chaneac in Splice. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Splice is a mind-bending sci-fi film by Vincenzo Natali, the man behind the cult-horror classic Cube.

Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley star as genetic engineers who hope to splice animal DNA to create hybrids for medical purposes.

They had already achieved success with a dog-sized worm hybrid that they wanted to mate with a female specimen. If this worked, the two would revolutionize science.

When they developed the female specimen, it grew at an accelerated rate, and they named her Dren. Soon, she developed into something more than they expected that became a danger to them and herself.

Bright (2017)

The best action movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in Bright. Pic credit: Netflix

Bright is a Netflix original sci-fi action movie about a world where humans and aliens live together.

Will Smith is a human police detective who is forced to team up with a new partner – the first orc police officer in the LAPD. The world is an exaggerated version of the real world, with the racism focused on aliens, including orcs.

When the two are sent to a disturbance, they discover a Bright – a young elf girl who possesses extraordinary powers. With everyone wanting her for their own purposes, the two partners have to protect her and end up discovering a great conspiracy in their world.

Snowpiercer (2013)

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

Television fans just watched the first season of Snowpiercer come to an end, but movie fans had already gotten to see the story 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.

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.

Apollo 18 (2011)

Apollo 18
The sci-fi movie Apollo 18. Pic credit: Dimension Films

Apollo 18 is a movie that is an alternate history sci-fi film. The movie supposes that the Apollo 18 mission landed on the moon.

In real life, it was canceled. However, this time the mission lands, and the astronauts start to explore, finding something terrifying waiting for them.

This is one of the scariest movies on Netflix – a found footage film that shows that none of the astronauts made it back to Earth. It also explains why, in this world, the U.S. government never tried to go to the moon again.

The Signal (2014)

The Signal
Laurence Fishburn and Lin Shaye in The Signal. Pic credit: Focus Features

The Signal was a sci-fi movie released in 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival before getting a limited theatrical release.

Jonah, Nic, and Haley are three MIT students on a road trip in California when Haley is abducted by something in the sky, pulling her from the ground in a blinding white light.

Nic then wakes up and is interviewed by a doctor (Lawrence Fishburn) before he realizes he no longer has his legs, but now has super-powered prosthetics and escapes to figure out what is going on, and ends up realizing that nothing is as it seems.

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 with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos


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