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The 15 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix in 2021

15 Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix to Watch in May 2021

There are an overwhelming number of movies on Netflix to choose from these days, and even more Netflix shows to dig through. Narrowing your search down by genre can only get you so far, and it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. Luckily, we spend our time picking out the best possible sci-fi movies to stream so you don’t have to waste your time looking for them. So if you’re looking for the best sci-fi and fantasy movies on Netflix for 2021, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking for something longer than a movie, you can also check out our list of the best sci-fi series on Netflix right now.

Prospect (2018)

Full of suspense and desperation, Prospect is an original film that delves deep into the concepts of family, trust, and deception. When a father and daughter searching for mining work in space finally get a job, they must face unknown threats on an alien moon to mine for a very valuable material sought by many. This film is a bit slow and driven by character development, but when considering the limitations set by a relatively low budget (less than $4 million), respect for the acting and storyline must be paid. 

Director(s): Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Main Cast: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal
Runtime: 100 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.3

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A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Characteristic of Kubrick’s films, this is one that you may only want to watch once. Shocking and visceral, A Clockwork Orange details the happenings of a gang in the future who are led by a sociopathic madman. When the leader, Alex (Malcolm McDowell), gets imprisoned for one of his many terrible acts, he goes through experimental therapy to accelerate his release, What he doesn’t realize is how this method will affect him after the fact.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Main Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Runtime: 136 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.3

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The Old Guard (2020)

From the Netflix sci-fi collection of original movies, The Old Guard is an action movie on Netflix worth streaming in 2021. The story follows a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron) and her covert group of immortal mercenaries who have been protecting the mortal world for centuries.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Main Cast
: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts
: 165 minutes
IMDb Rating
: 6.7

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Mad Max (1979)

In a dismal near-future, a small and broken police force in muscle cars is the only law, but they are challenged by a wandering biker gang of maniacs who think they own the world. With little semblance of society left at all, it’s up to these leather-clad stunt drivers to keep people in line, but evil runs amuck in a future with no system. This film is definitely one to catch if you like the apocalypse genre, beautifully encapsulating the battle between a desire for peace and the harsh reality of their world.

Director: George Miller
Main Cast: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne
Runtime: 88 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.9

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What Happened to Monday (2017)

Jumping forward to the future: What Happened to Monday is set in a society with a strict one-child policy, which is enforced by an armed and dangerous federation army. A group of identical septuplets (Noomi Rapace) attempt to live a single life as one, all assigned to and named after a day of the week. When Monday suddenly goes missing, it’s up to the rest of the family to find her and stay alive.

Director: Tommy Wirkola
Main Cast: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe
Runtime: 123 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.9

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Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Stranger Than Fiction is one of Will Ferrell‘s more serious roles, but it still works as a comedy. The story follows I.R.S. auditor Harold Crick as he goes about his life, only to be suddenly afflicted by narration only he can hear. Life only gets worse for him as the narration begins to affect his work, love life, and potential death.

Director: Marc Foster
Main Cast: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5

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Stardust (2007)

If you find yourself in need of some fantastic fantasy action and romance, Stardust delivers all that and more. The plot follows Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox), a young man living in a small countryside bordering a mysteriously magical land. After professing his love for the village’s beauty, he sets out on a quest into the magical kingdom to retrieve a fallen star for her. But when he finds out the fallen star isn’t just some lump of rock, things get complicated. It’s a sci-fi adventure worth watching if you haven’t already.

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Main Cast
: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Mark Strong, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer
: 132 minutes
IMDb Rating
: 8.2

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Total Recall (1990)

If you’re looking to watch more of the classics, this early ’90s film is a great place to start. The story follows Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who has been having a recurring dream in which he journeys to Mars. To find out more about this dream, he purchases a holiday at a corporation that deals with memory implants. Naturally, Quaid remembers that he is actually a secret agent and must take down the evil Mars administration. You can also take a look at our list of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies for more like this.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Main Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5

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No Game No Life: Zero (2017)

Based on the novel series of the same name, No Game, No Life: Zero tells the story of humanity’s struggle through the great war. Despite being the only race without magic, humans must use the true power of intellect to survive. This movie is actually the prequel to a popular anime series on Netflix.

Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
Main Cast: Alexandra Bedford, Jessica Boone, Ricardo Contreras
Runtime: 110 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5

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Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry is one of the most intense and unique action movies you’ll ever experience. The plot is fairly straightforward, Henry is resurrected with no memory and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord. The movie is shot entirely in the first person, however. Meaning you get to see from the viewpoint of Henry throughout the film.

Director: Ilya Naishuller
Main Cast: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett
Runtime: 96 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

There aren’t many comedy movies on Netflix that also fit within the action and drama genre, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World isn’t your average every dayfilm. Faced with the prospect of new love, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must face his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes in battle in an effort to win her heart. If you like witty sci-fi comedies with a dash of action, then dive into the world of Scott Pilgrim.

Director: Edgar Wright
Main Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin
Runtime:112 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5

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Midnight Special (2016)

Touching and full of twists, Midnight Special is a sci-fi story helmed by the creative mind of Jeff Nichols, meaning that it might not gain critical acclaim, but it will receive deserved appreciation from a keen crowd. A father (Michael Shannon) takes his young son on the run, as government officials and religious radicals take extreme interest in the young boy’s supernatural abilities. With an incredible performance from the under-appreciated Michael Shannon, this film has much more to give than just a reliable director with an inspiring story. 

Director: Jeff Nichols
Main Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst
Runtime: 112 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.6

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The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

A strange addition to the Cloverfield film universe, The Cloverfield Paradox takes on a new setting when dimensions collide in a space station. When a space station circling Earth searches for a new source of energy to prevent global war, they happen upon an alternate reality that begins to crudely overlap with their own. This film isn’t a must-see by many standards but is a fun twist that further adds to the lore of the Cloverfield films before it, ending in a surprise that ties it all together.

Director: Julius Onah
Main Cast
: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl
: 102 minutes
IMDb Rating
: 5.5

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Real Steel (2011)

When Charlie Kenton’s (Hugh Jackman) life as a boxer is cut short by a change in the biz, he is forced to adapt and adopt his own prize-fighting robot, simultaneously rebuilding his fragmented relationship with his son. This robot fighting movie has all the action you need.

Director: Shawn Levy
Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo
Runtime: 127 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

If you’re looking for a new family sci-fi movie on Netflix, The Mitchells vs. The Machines. The plot follows a quirky and dysfunctional family with some generational communication issues between the father and now college-age daughter. When the father (Danny McBride) decides to take a road trip to reconnect with his daughter (Abbi Jacobson), they find themselves stuck in a car together as the only humans who can stop the sudden robot apocalypse. If you’re a fan of animated series, this is a great film to enjoy with the whole family.

Directors: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe
Main Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.8

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