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The Best Sci-Fi Movies Available On Netflix Instant Stream

Updated on August 27, 2013
The Wrath of Khan
The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

You can’t talk about the Sci-Fi genre without mentioning Star Trek. The two are practically synonymous. The original Star Trek movie is not currently available on Netflix Instant Stream, but many would argue that the finest Star Trek movie of them all would be ‘The Wrath of Khan.’ Where the first movie was all special effects and was a little boring, the second film was full of fantastic character development, a great plot and truly fantastic villains. With Captain Kirk, joining Spock and the crew to track down their old nemesis, Khan, and prevent him from harnessing a life generating device for evil, the series has never been better. Look out for the bugs in the ear scene. Truly gross!

A slick Sci-Fi thriller.
A slick Sci-Fi thriller.

Equilibrium (2002)

One of the most stylish, and certainly one of the best sci-fi movies available on Netflix Instant Stream is Equilibrium, which draws many comparisons to the more famous film, ‘The Matrix.’ There are a small following out there however, who claim that Equilibrium might be the better film. The story is about a future society where due to a third world war, a new ruler makes a law that states all citizens must take a drug which makes them feel no emotion. However, when an officer of the law in charge of enforcing this rule, called John Preston, played by Christian Bale, forgets to take his drug, he begins to feel again. He then goes on a mission to overthrow this dictatorship. Also starring Sean Bean, Taye Diggs and Emily Watson, the film is one of the coolest movies you’ll see on Netflix.

A true cult classic.
A true cult classic.

Highlander (1986)

One of the all-time classic Sci-Fi franchises is ‘Highlander’ which included some fantastic films and a long time television series. Starring Sci-Fi legend Christopher Lambert, alongside the great Sean Connery, the film garnered a massive cult following. It is centered on Lambert’s character, Connor MacLeod, who is a Scottish swordsman who just so happens to be immortal. He sets out with his mentor, played by Connery, to stop another immortal who is a brutal, merciless barbarian named The Kurgan, who is out to use his immortality for evil. Of course, the kicker is that the only way to kill an immortal is to chop off their head. This makes things a little difficult, and swordplay is the name of the game in this Sci-Fi classic.

Independent film making at its best
Independent film making at its best

Primer (2003)

Easily the lowest budgeted movie on this list, ‘Primer’ is the epitome of fantastic independent film making. The film is simple in its presentation, yet extremely complex in its plot. It follows a group of friends, led by Aaron, who is played by Shane Carruth who also directs the film. The friends are technical geniuses, creating error checking devices for their clients. In doing so they inadvertently create a machine that is able to manipulate time, and this leads two of them on a path where they attempt to harness this power for financial, and other gains. This does not go entirely as planned though, and their friendship is put to the test and they begin to sense the repercussions of their actions. Time travel movies can be difficult, and full of plot holes, but I like to argue that ‘Primer’ is the most perfect time travel movie ever created, and Carruth plugs plot holes with precision. Please check this one out!

Arnold at his best
Arnold at his best

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

This film could probably fit into multiple genres, and James Cameron’s masterpiece would probably be in the list of the best movies in any genre Netflix offers. Again starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the famous T-800, except this time he is the good guy. He is sent back in time to protect the teenage John Connor, and his mother Sarah Connor, who is currently in an insane asylum for her ramblings about the events from the first film. Arnie is protecting John and Sarah from the newer T-1000 model, played by Robert Patrick, who is able to liquefy himself and transform into anything he wants, which makes him practically invincible. This creates some amazing action opportunities, and they are brought to life in a fashion only James Cameron can create. The film is also very touching, and from top to bottom Terminator 2 is one of the most entertaining films ever and definitely one of the best Sci-Fi movies on Netflix.

Aliens are here...
Aliens are here...

Monsters (2010)

A personal favorite of mine, is this little independent film, directed by Gareth Edwards, the film takes place in a world where Aliens have ended up on earth years prior, but are confined to an ‘Infected Zone’ that makes up most of Mexico. We follow a journalist named Andrew, who accepts a request to find his Boss’ daughter, Sam, in Mexico, and transport her through the alien infested landscape and back to the US. What sounds like it would be a Sci-Fi horror film is actually far from it. The film does have some beautiful visuals, and some tense and scary moments, but where it excels is in its characters, and the relationship between our two antagonists. Their growing friendship and romance is truly charming, and stands out brilliantly against the unique backdrop story. One of my favorite films of 2010, and one of the best Sci-Fi’s on Netflix, I recommend ‘Monsters’ to anyone.

Super 8 is a movie about movies
Super 8 is a movie about movies

Super 8 (2011)

From one of the best new directors out there, J.J. Abrams, ‘Super 8’ is a modern monster movie that pays homage to the classic monster movie style of old. Following a group of young kids whose passion is for making movies with their old ‘Super 8’ camera, we immediately get the sense that there is some autobiographical themes being thrown in here. However, what these youngsters don’t realize is that they are about to get far more than they bargained for in their latest monster movie. While attempting to film a scene near the railroad, the group witness a horrific train crash which ends up releasing a deadly creature on their town. The group must band together with local law enforcement and citizens to combat the monster, and even avoid our own military, in what is a good, old fashioned adventure, that we all loved when growing up.

Outlaws in space
Outlaws in space

Serenity (2005)

After the Sci-Fi television show ‘Firefly’ was cancelled after only eleven weeks, it’s massive cult following were able to get a studio to create a motion picture that would be set directly after the final episode. This film, ‘Serenity,’ directed by Josh Whedon, ended up being a surprise critical success, even if it wasn’t a financial one. After a brutal civil war throughout space between ‘The Alliance’ and the rebellious ‘Independents,’ survivors from the losing ‘Independent’ side travel through space as stragglers and renegades. One ship containing a group of these renegades who travel around making money however they can, runs into trouble when they take on board a young psychic girl that they don’t know is being chased by ‘The Alliance.’ A Sci-Fi film, mixed with a little bit of Western styling, is a surprisingly entertaining and well-made film that has one of the bigger cult followings in the genre. Well worth a watch for Sci-Fi fans.


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    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks Jainismus! I post regularly about movies, feel free to check them all out!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      5 years ago from Pune, India

      Thanks for sharing... Would like to listen about more movies.

    • adecourv profile image

      Alex deCourville 

      5 years ago

      Yeah, those choices are still pretty tough to beat.

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks for reading jimmy, I would be inclined to agree with you!

    • jimmyglaughlin profile image

      Jim Laughlin 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Great list. the weakest film on the list is Super 8, yet it was still a good movie. Love them all!

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks Vlorsutes, I appreciate that! Glad you enjoyed those films. If you haven't seen any on this list and get a chance to check them out be sure to let me know what you think!

    • Vlorsutes profile image


      6 years ago from Ohio

      Pretty much anyone that recommends Wrath of Khan, Terminator 2, and Serenity for people to see know what they're talking about when it comes to science fiction movies.


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