The Best Science Fiction Movies and Shows on Netflix Right Now
Motherboard’s guide to binging good sci-fi stories.
Life is bleak and at the end of a long day, many of us just want to turn our brains off and watch some Netflix. But there’s so much stuff on the streaming service and sometimes you just end up scrolling aimlessly through titles, unable to pick anything because it all looks good. I know I have.
It’s even harder with science fiction stories because, let’s be honest, a lot of it is really bad. Don’t worry. Motherboard is here to help. This is all the best science fiction content streaming on Netflix right now.
Co-written by journalist Jon Ronson and directed by South Korean filmmaker
Bong Joon-ho—the guy who made Snowpiercer—Ojka is a family friendly sci-fi romp about a girl and her genetically engineered super pig. A mega corporation wants to slaughter Okja and feed the world, and young Mija wants to live with her swine in peace. Add the Animal Liberation Front and you’ve got surreal Netflix gold.
Battle Royale is a type of video game popularized by Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite . Battle Royale is the Japanese movie that inspired the trend. In a dystopian future where the old fear the young, Tokyo sends a random high school class to an island to fight to the death.
Before Duncan Jones brought World of Warcraft to the big screen, he directed one of the best science fiction movies of all time. Sam Rockwell has spent three years as a miner on Earth’s moon. That kind of isolation can get to a person, and as Rockwell begins to hallucinate, the secret behind his menial job unravels.
Teeth is a classic nuclear horror story with a modern twist. Years of living next to a nuclear power plant have given high-schooler Dawn vagina dentata. The seeming curse becomes a blessing as her condition gives her a special kind of defense against male aggression.
Viggo Mortensen and his son—called simply Man and Boy—wander the post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of a better life. This is the polar opposite of Fallout, where the cannibals aren’t charming and life is brutal and short.
Dark is like Stranger Things but German. Which means it’s stranger, more horrifying, and—well—darker. When children begin to go missing in the small town of Winden begin to disappear, the town’s past comes to life. It’s Twin Peaks with time travel.
Fuck you. I can feel you judging me for loving, unironically, a Michael Bay-directed action flick from 1998. I don’t give a shit. This movie is great. You know who agrees with me? Art house DVD publisher The Criterion Collection. Billy Bob Thornton is a NASA scientist. Steve Buscemi is a hilarious amoral psychopath who loves explosives. Bruce Willis saves the plant. What’s not to love?
Ovid’s c is a foundational text of Western mythology that chronicles the mythic history of the world from the creation of the universe to the ascension of Julius Caesar to godhood. The Metamorphoses on Netflix is a French retelling of the book set in the modern world where high school runaway Europa has encounters with gods and monsters.
A science fiction film disguised as a horror movie, The Similars starts off with eight strangers trapped in a bus station outside of Mexico City. It’s 1968 and there’s a hurricane ravaging the country and cops killing students in the street. As the strangers wait to flee the station, one of them turns out to have a sinister agenda. The Similars is an excellent spin on a classic science fiction film, but to tell you which would would be to spoil it’s surprises.
In the future, no one is allowed to have more than one kid. That’s a problem for the Settman sisters, a group of seven identical septuplets named after the days of the week. They’ve lived a long time posing as different people, but when Monday goes missing, the sisters risk exposure to find out what happened.
TurboKid has everything—a catchy synthwave soundtrack, practical gore effects that look like they came out of the 1980s, a naive robot girl, a Mega-Man inspired super-suit, and a gunslinger with a robot hand. It’s hard being a nerdy teeanger, but even harder when you live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but that’s nothing a super suit and a few comic books can’t help solve.
Not all scientific breakthroughs change the world for the better. Robert Redford plays a scientist who discovers irrefutable proof of the afterlife, a discovery that kicks off a rash of suicides. This is a heavy movie that deals with guilt, suffering, memory manipulation, and what a person can do when they get something so, terribly, terribly wrong.
As good and prescient now as it was during its initial release in 1927, director Fritz Lang’s classic science fiction movie Metropolis is a masterpiece from the silent era. In 2026, the rich live lives of opulence and the poor toil below ground. Workers start dying, buildings start exploding, the workers inch towards revolte, and robot doppelgangers abound.
Death is not the end in Netflix’s science fiction flagship. In the future, human consciousness is digitized and anyone come back to life provided they can pay for a new body. Takeshi Kovacs is an old soldier who’s been dead for 250 years. When a wealthy mogul on Earth is murdered, he pulls Kovacs out of storage to help him track down the killer.
Have you seen Black Mirror yet? If you haven't, you probably heard someone say that this or that story on Motherboard is just like an episode of Black Mirror. That's because it's a show about how technology can be just as terrifying as it is wonderful. To be fair, the most recent season is not the best, but there's a reason the name of this show immediately became a figure of speech.