5 sci-fi movies on Netflix that need to be seen right now

Science fiction remains a tentpole genre in modern cinema, and Netflix has tons of sci-fi films for audiences to stream online.

With stories featuring robots, aliens, and everything in-between, there are plenty of enjoyable movies for sci-fi fans to beam themselves into on their next film night. However, these five Netflix movies should definitely be at the top of viewers’ watch lists.

The End of Evangelion (1997)

Shinji and Asuka in "The End of Evangelion."
Gainax / Gainax

Though many people hated the finale to Neon Genesis Evangelionthis film serves as an expanded (and arguably better) ending to the original anime. After spending most of the series protecting the Earth from the Angels, Shinji, Misato, and Asuka must fight off Gendo and Seele to prevent them from bringing about the apocalypse with the Human Instrumentality Project.

While it features an epic story with thrilling mecha action, this film is, first and foremost, a dark and profound exploration of its characters, human nature, and what it means to be truly alive. Simply put, The End of Evangelion is a hypnotic pendulum swinging between the realms of hope and terror, and it will surely change audiences the first time they watch it.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
TriStar Pictures / TriStar Pictures

Set 11 years after the original film, the sequel sees Sarah Connor having to team up with a reprogrammed Terminator to protect her son, John, from another android sent from the future to kill him.

Terminator 2 goes bigger and hits harder than its predecessor thanks to its heart-pounding action, superior special effects, and moving story. And with AI becoming frighteningly more advanced and widespread in society, including in the media industry, this film’s warning about machines becoming too powerful has only become more relevant.

Star Trek (2009)

Kirk and Spock look at each other in "Star Trek" (2009).
Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures

Rebooting the classic TV show for a new generation, 2009’s Star Trek presents the (alternate) origins of Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew as they band together to stop the time-traveling Nero as he wages war against the Federation.

Though it may not have the same feel as Gene Roddenberry’s original series, J. J. Abrams’s blockbuster revitalized the Star Trek franchise with its terrific cast, spectacular visuals, and thrilling narrative, making it the perfect gateway for newcomers to the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Casper Van Dien evades a Bug in "Starship Troopers."
TriStar Pictures / TriStar Pictures

Director Paul Verhoeven presented a unique kind of satire with this sci-fi war film. Set in a future where only veterans are granted citizenship, Starship Troopers follows a young man who enlists in the military to fight in an interstellar war against a race of insectoid aliens.

At first, the film was panned for allegedly promoting fascism and authoritarianism, but since its release, it has been reevaluated as a humorous critique of such oppressive governments, as well as American imperialism. With the government depicted in the film making people fight for their freedom while propagating war and hatred, the fact that many people missed the film’s message without any self-awareness only makes watching Starship Troopers all the more relevant and watchable today.

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from "Don't Look Up."
Netflix / Netflix

When two scientists discover a comet that will destroy the Earth in six months, the U.S. government and the general public deny their warnings and try to brush them aside until the crisis becomes too big to ignore. Though Don’t Look Up was a streaming hit for Netflix and was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, it still split audiences down the middle.

Many people considered this film too blunt or pretentious with its social commentary, but such discourse only seems to reflect the film’s message about how humanity tries to deny and sugarcoat disastrous problems threatening the planet.

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