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The best sci-fi movies on Netflix (May 2021)

netflix sci-fi movies
Stargate and Mad Max. Pic credit: MGM/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 on May 2: 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.

Back to the Future (1985)

Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd on the set of Back to the Future
Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd as Marty McFly and Doc on the set of Back to the Future. Pic credit: © Globe-photos

Robert Zemeckis created one of the most beloved science fiction movies of all time in 1985 with Back to the Future.

Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, a high school student who ends up accidentally going back in time in a souped up DeLorean thanks to a scientist, Doc Brown.

Once he gets there, he has to convince a younger Doc Brown what happened and then he accidentally does something that could destroy his future and he has to fix it or his parents could never get married, and Marty could cease to exist.

Stargate (1994)

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)

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.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in The Time Traveler’s Wife. Pic credit: New Line Cinema

Based on the 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a romantic science fiction film starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.

Bana is Henry DeTamble, a librarian who randomly time travels. This offers difficulties as he tries to start a romantic relationship with Claire (McAdams).

Henry has no control over the time travel and can’t change any events outside of minor differences that his being in a different time period creates.

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.

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.

Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel
Hugh Jackman in Real Steel. Pic credit: Disney

After a decade of becoming one of Hollywood’s top stars thanks to his role as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman tried to lend his name to another possible franchise.

This was Real Steel, which was about a future where animatronic robots are built to take part in fights, replacing human boxers for audiences.

Jackman is a former boxer and loses his robot before his ex-girlfriend dies and he ends up with the son he never had any contact with but is a huge robot boxing fan.

Together they build a robot that seems like a disaster but it ends up winning fights and this becomes the ultimate underdog story.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange
Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. Pic credit: Warner Bros

Stanley Kubrick directed A Clockwork Orange in 1971, an adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel.

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian sci-fi film taking place in Britain, where debauchery, delinquency, and violence are commonplace.

Malcolm McDowell is Alex, the leader of a gang called the Droogs, as they rape, steal, and kill people without a care in the world. When Alex is arrested, the story changes.

He goes through what is a sci-fi version of conversion therapy to “cure” him from being evil. When cured, he can no longer defend himself when people he hurt in the past come to collect receipts.

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.

Lockout (2012)

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 (2015)

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.

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.

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.

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)

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

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