Sci-fi is a massive category when it comes to movies—there are so many out there today that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Whether it’s big franchises that span generations or small indie films, there’s something for everyone.
However, obvious big hits aside, finding your next favorite watch can be tricky. There are so many great movies that just slip through the net and get forgotten.
That’s why we’re highlighting three great sci-fi movies that you can stream via Netflix on your TV or any of the other great TVs out there.
Love and Monsters
Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing
Directed by: Michael Matthews
An epic quest to reunite college sweethearts, a loyal and trusting dog, a lonely robot… oh, and a post-apocalyptic Earth filled with giant, mutated, man-eating bugs and other forms of evil big! Beautiful.
Love and Monsters it is the very definition of a hidden gem. Released to almost zero press or publicity and unceremoniously tossed into the depths of the Netflix algorithm, this odd little oddity of a film works in many ways.
It’s a solid love story told with real emotion and realism, a great action movie with beautifully rendered CGI creatures, and an intuitive doomsday movie told with well-defined lore and geography.
Despite its almost unknown cast and complete lack of network support, the film has become something of a cult classic.
Brilliant, well written, visually impressive and not afraid to be unique, it’s a great little film and well worth a watch. Unless you have a phobia of large scratching bugs, that is.
Stars: James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Bruce Greenwood, Max Martini
Directed by: Nic Mathieu
One of the first waves of sci-fi originals coming to Netflix in 2016, Spectral not only is it sadly forgotten, but also a bit of an anomaly.
It feels like a European movie pretending to be a Hollywood movie that also takes heavy inspiration from Japanese manga. As such it can be a confusing and yet impressive watch.
Civil unrest in the European country of Moldova has led US forces to engage with the insurgents. However, there is a new threat that threatens both.
Unknown supernatural beings inhabit an alternate spectrum that renders them invisible to the naked eye and instant death to anyone they encounter.
With a heavy emphasis on impressive CGI, a regular cast of B-movie-level stars, and some seriously impressive action set pieces, Spectral deserved much more attention than it did in 2016, so it should still be on watch lists today. It’s a very solid sci-fi action movie that does exactly what it sets out to do..
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland
Directed by: James Gray
When discussing his father in Ad Astra, Brad Pitt as astronaut Roy McBride says: ”He captured strange and distant worlds in greater detail than ever before. They were beautiful, magnificent, full of fear and wonder.
“But beneath their sublime surfaces there was nothing. Neither love nor hate. Neither light nor darkness. He could see only what was not there and missed what was before him.”
That basically sums up the overriding arc of the film.
McBride must travel to the edge of the known universe to stop his father Clifford (a reserved Tommy Lee Jones) from instigating a catastrophic end for Earth. As such it is more of a study of the relationship between fathers and sons and the nature of abandonment, loneliness, grief and loss.
Proving once again that well-written science fiction can be much more than just spaceships and aliens, the film follows peers like 2001: A Space Odyssey AND Bladerunner in more thoughtful and interpretive places.
Pitt gives, as always, a solid performance as the lead and, along with some nice practical on-screen effects and composite CGI work, the film looks great.
Don’t expect laser guns and shooting spaceships, but instead enjoy a stark look at the not-too-distant future.