Mental Floss

The 8 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now

Jake Rossen
Jamie Foxx stars in Netflix's Project Power (2020).
Jamie Foxx stars in Netflix's Project Power (2020). / Netflix © 2020

If you’re in the mood for some speculative fiction and have exhausted your trusty pile of Arthur C. Clarke books, you might want to consider tuning into Netflix. The streaming service is regularly acquiring new sci-fi and fantasy movies that should satisfy most fans of alternative futures. Here are 8 of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now.

1. Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)

Ridley Scott directs Harrison Ford in what is arguably one of the great sci-fi films of all time. In 2019 Los Angeles, Rick Deckard (Ford) hunts Replicants, synthetic humans who have fled from servitude to cause havoc in the streets. The Final Cut is Scott's preferred version.

2. Hollow Man (2000)

Kevin Bacon and director Paul Verhoeven put a new spin on the classic tale of H.G. Wells's Invisible Man with this dark thriller about a scientist (Bacon) who finds that not being seen is revealing more of him than ever before. Despite believing he wouldn't often be needed on set when his character was invisible, Bacon had to be present for effects work and for actors to be able to react off of him.

3. The Book of Eli (2010)

Denzel Washington stars as a man sworn to protect a book in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that comes with a climactic twist worthy of The Twilight Zone. Washington said he didn't wear any underwear while in character because the low-on-resources Eli would have worn them out.

4. Spectral (2016)

James Badge Dale and Bruce Greenwood are the last line of defense against an unseen and malevolent force in this military vs. paranormal action thriller. To achieve the movie's war-ravaged European setting, the film was shot in Budapest, Hungary.

5. Beyond Skyline (2017)

Frank Grillo stars in this agreeably pulpy sci-fi tale of aggressive aliens who have arrived on Earth looking for a fight. Grillo is all too eager to give it to them. The busy actor only had a small window where he could shoot the film, hich just happened to be before all the creature suits had been completed. As a result, some had to be added in with CGI later.

6. Bird Box (2018)

Sandra Bullock navigates a world in which the presence of mysterious creatures have forced humanity to avert their gaze, lest they go insane. With her two children, Bullock has to take action and make a dangerous trek to have any hope for survival. Though Trent Reznor scored the film, he was reportedly unhappy with the low mix of the music and dubbed the job a "f***ing waste of time."

7. Project Power (2020)

Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt try to navigate a world in which a pill grants unpredictable superpowers for a finite period of time. The film was originally going to be shot in Portland, but directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost ultimately settled on New Orleans instead.

8. Synchronic (2020)

A new street drug is keeping paramedics Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan busy. But the real truth of the epidemic takes a surprising turn. See if you can spot the scene where the two actors are walking and talking down a street at night. It's in front of a house belonging to the late Anne Rice, author of Interview With the Vampire.

A version of this story ran in 2019; it has been updated for 2022.