5 sci-fi movies on Netflix you need to watch in September 1

One of the many benefits of Netflix is the endless streaming options for movies in genres, including action, horror, sports, comedy, and romance. One genre that continues to add to its expanding library is sci-fi. From thrillers, like Spiderhead and The Titanto action-adventures, like 65 and Star Trekthe sci-fi section on Netflix hosts multiple subgenres to satisfy all types of moviegoers.

For September, we curated a list of five sci-fi movies available on Netflix that should be seen this month. Some of our selections include a riveting tale from Denis Villeneuve, a political allegory from Bong Joon-ho, and a moral dilemma set in space.

Arrival (2016)

Amy Adams holds up a whiteboard sign in Arrival.
Paramount Pictures

Before entering the worlds of replicants and Bene Gesserit, Villeneuve tackled extraterrestrials on Earth in 2016’s Arrival. Written by Eric Heisserer and directed by Villeneuve, Arrival depicts the appearance of twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft hovering over the Earth in multiple locations, including Montana.

The United States military hires linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and a team of specialists to communicate with the aliens. Louise establishes a shared language, but tension rises throughout the rest of the world as nations prepare for war. Louise must figure out the purpose of the extraterrestrials’ missions before it leads to consequences of cataclysmic proportions.

Stream Arrival on Netflix.

Snowpiercer (2013)

Chris Evans and Ko Asung in Snowpiercer.
CJ Entertainment

In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity collapsed after an attempt to stop climate change backfired, resulting in a second Ice Age. The surviving humans are forced to live on Snowpiercer, a self-sustaining train that circumnavigates the world. However, not every passenger receives equal treatment. The wealthy live in the front, while the poor live in the caboose. Monitored by armed guards, the caboose is the equivalent of the slums of a city.

Fed up with their poor living conditions, Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) rallies the passengers in the back to join in a revolution against the guards. The passengers gain control of the caboose but soon turn their attention toward the wealthy, with the intention of taking control of the engine room. Directed by Bong Joon-ho from a script he co-wrote with Kelly Masterson, Snowpiercer is an action-packed adventure, and a criminally underrated sci-fi movie, with a fresh examination of class and climate change.

Stream Snowpiercer on Netflix.

Dune (1984)

The cast of David Lynch's Dune walk down the stairs.
Universal Pictures

Villeneuve’s Dune was not the first film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel. That distinction belongs to David Lynch, who released his adaptation of Dune in 1984. Lynch’s film stars Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides, the young nobleman of House Atreides. The Atreides are ordered to leave their home planet of Caladan for Arrakis, the sand planet home to the most powerful resource in the universe, spice.

House Atreides’ presence in Arrakis leads to a conflict with the planet’s previous overlords, House Harkonnen, the Atreides’ archenemies. Upon release, Dune was a box office flop and a critical failure, so much so that Lynch does not like talking about it. Dune has a lot of problems, but it’s a fascinating attempt to adapt a difficult source material. It’s worth your time as it laid the foundation for future Dune films.

Stream Dune on Netflix before it leaves the service on October 1.

Synchronic (2019)

Two paramedics stand next to each other in Synchronic.
Well Go USA Entertainment

2020 was a weird year for movies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many movies either pushed back their release dates or released in theaters at a time when people were staying at home. One of the most lost in the pandemic shuffles was Synchronica sci-fi mystery by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.

The thought-provoking horror follows two New Orleans paramedics –  Steve Denube (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis Dannelly (Jamie Dornan) – who investigate a string of deaths caused by a drug called Synchronic, which may have time-traveling powers. When Dennis’ young daughter goes missing, the duo race to track her down before she’s lost in the drug’s mind-altering reality.

Stream Synchronic on Netflix.

Stowaway (2021)

Anna Kendrick and Shamier Anderson in Stowaway

A three-person mission is threatened by the presence of a fourth in Stowaway. Marina Barnett (Toni Collette), David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim), and medical researcher Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) are on a mission to Mars when they discover Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson), an accidental stowaway on the ship.

This poses a problem and threat to their survival. There are enough resources on the ship for three people, not four. The crew is forced to make a difficult decision. Either they figure out how to produce more oxygen, an option with a low success rate, or sacrifice Michael and continue with the mission.

Stream Stowaway on Netflix.

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