The 5 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now
It's winter. You're cold. It's the weekend. But let's be honest: Do you really need a reason to bingewatch sci-fi movies on Netflix?
That's what we thought.
Here are the 5 best sci-fi movies streaming on Netflix right now.
5) The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
It's probably the most famous alien contact film ever made (sorry, Plan 9 From Outer Space), and at 91 minutes, it's not a slog to watch. Though the special effects and props are silly by modern standards, it bears a lot of similarities to recent sci-fi films like Arrival: the real drama isn't a battle of wills between humans and aliens, it's all about human politics and society trying to reconcile with its own destructive urges before it's too late.
Beneath the '50s hokeyness, The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of those films that's permeated modern sci-fi in a thousand different ways, from the Fallout series to Watchmen.
The Day the Earth Stood Still was even the allegedly the impetus for Ronald Reagan trying to build an agreement with Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev to unite against an alien threat, if one ever appeared.
I sure as hell don't see Battle: Los Angeles brokering grudging peace agreements between global superpowers.
4) The Road (2009)
Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road is about as bleak as it gets: one man, one boy, and one vast, post-apocalyptic wasteland. 2009's The Road movie is somewhere between No Country for Old Men (which McCarthy also wrote) and The Revenant-crushing loneliness, vast, unforgiving landscapes, and the primal struggle to survive are all central to The Road.
If you're familiar with Naughty Dog's landmark video game The Last of Us, The Road might be for you: the two share similar elements, including limited ammo, dealing with murderous marauders, and a heartbreaking relationship between a grizzled old guy and a kid.
3) Armageddon (1998)
Swinging to the other end of the spectrum, we've got Armageddon: one of the cheesiest summer blockbusters to ever grace the genre. If you haven't seen this sucker, it's time to experience the majesty of the famous astronaut montage scene (along with one of the most inspiring movie speeches in history).
Armageddon is a straight-up popcorn movie, before the term was tainted by Bay's own Transformers movies: Bruce Willis is a deep-sea oil driller who is enlisted (along with his team) to launch into space and blow up an incoming asteroid with strategically placed nukes. The movie is incredibly fast-paced (to the point of irresponsibility), and apparently caused a nervous breakdown in its special effects supervisor, according to Bay.
That's how you know it's good.
2) Rogue One (2016)
I made my opinions on Rogue One clear in my review of the movie last winter, but you know what? For all the editing and plot problems, it's still a more entertaining sci-fi movie that most of the films out there. The characters are interesting, the action sequences are cool, and the Star Wars-y stuff gives you that warm fan feeling. Plus, there's two Star Destroyers crashing into one another. Awesome.
What you might not have known about Rogue One is how much Star Wars lore is folded into it. Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus, for example, are part of a monk order called the Guardian of the Whills, which ties into George Lucas' original script for Star Wars, whose title was Adventures of the Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. The Whills have been lurking beneath the surface of the movies ever since.
1) Men in Black (1997)
This is it, baby—the slickest, coolest, most entertaining sci-fi movie on Netflix, possibly in sci-fi history. It's got Tommy Lee Jones as the weathered, poker-faced badass Agent K and Will Smith as the street-smart, wise-ass Agent J, not to mention one of the weirdest, scariest antagonists ever put on screen: a giant cockroach wearing a guy's skin as suit.
Men in Black is filled with a menagerie of weird aliens and great chemistry between K and J, but the beauty of the film is how it manages to sneak in beautiful little reflections on life, the universe, and everything. In the meantime, the off-kilter humor, imagination, and action in Men in Black make it infinitely accessible and endlessly re-watchable.
With all the sequelitis schlock coming out of Hollywood these days, do yourself your favor and watch it.