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Greetings, Polygon readers! We’re officially halfway through April, the fourth month of the futuristic-sounding year of 2023. This month, we’re widening the playing field of our best sci-fi movies on streaming, reaching out beyond the terrestrial bounds of Netflix to explore previously uncharted corners (and streaming platforms) of the universe.
Our April selections include contemporary fare and eccentric cult classics, from the 2014 time-loop sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt to David Lynch’s unfairly maligned 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Read on to get the lowdown on the very best sci-fi movies on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max (soon to be renamed “Max”), and more.
Let’s get into it!
Run time: 2h 28m
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page
Whether you think Inception is overrated or whether you think Christopher Nolan’s intricately plotted, painstakingly rendered dream-inside-dream heist flick is the bee’s knees, you can agree on one thing: Inception is among his most influential films, if only for being the reason every trailer now has to go BWAAAAAAHHH.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, and Tom Hardy play thieves who steal secrets from the dreams of their targets, hired by Ken Watanabe’s businessman to do the opposite: implant an idea in a rival’s mind without him ever realizing that he didn’t come up with it in the first place. Someone’s past (literally) comes back to haunt their dreams, and complications ensue. —Susana Polo
Inception is available to stream on Netflix.
Run time: 2h 17m
Director: David Lynch
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis
Of all the so-called unfilmable classics of science fiction and fantasy, Frank Herbert’s Dune might be the most tantalizing. But it wouldn’t be half so intriguing of a challenge if not for David Lynch’s Dune — a fascinating, masterful absolute disaster.
The experience of watching Dune is the experience of ping-ponging between some of the weirdest things you’ve ever seen compellingly rendered on screen and some of the most baffling choices you’ve ever seen outside of experimental film — sometimes from scene to scene. And yet you must watch Dune, starring Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Brad Dourif, Dean Stockwell, and many other actors absolutely committing themselves to the work. If only so you can see the movie that turned Lynch off from Hollywood forever. —SP
Dune is available to stream on Criterion Channel.
Edge of Tomorrow
Run time: 1h 53m
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Tom Cruise stars in this time-loop sci-fi action movie as Maj. William “Bill” Cage, a public affairs officer who is arrested and subsequently conscripted to fight on the front lines against the Mimics, a invasive race of amorphous extraterrestrials vying to destroy human civilization. With no prior combat experience, Bill dons a high-powered mech and gets killed — only to find himself miraculously resurrected back to the day he first arrived to cover the war effort.
Working alongside Sgt. Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a decorated soldier with a similar affliction, Bill must live, fight, die, and repeatedly come back from the dead again and again in order to devise a plan of defeating the Mimics once and for all. Here’s the elevator pitch: Aliens meets Top Gun meets Groundhog Day. Doesn’t that sound cool— Hey, what’s up? What do you mean you want me to explain the premise of Edge of Tomorrow? You don’t already know? OK, stop me if you’ve heard this one before... —Toussaint Egan
Edge of Tomorrow is available to stream on HBO Max.
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Cast: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro
Dan Trachtenberg’s 2022 prequel to the Predator franchise is not just one of the best films to come out of the series since... well, 1987’s Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, but also one of the best movies of 2022 full-stop.
Set over 200 years before the events of the original film, Prey follows the story of Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche woman who aspires to earn her place among the warriors of her tribe. While undertaking her rite of passage, Naru crosses paths with an otherworldly warrior from another world, one who has journeyed across the vast gulf of space to hunt the planet’s apex species (i.e., humans) for sport. To save her people, Naru must fight alongside her brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers), to find a way of killing this mysterious creature once and for all. Light on dialogue and heavy on gorgeous imagery and gory violence, Prey delivers on the potential of the Predator franchise like no other. —TE
Prey is available to stream on Hulu.
Run time: 1h 36m
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Beef, the new Netflix drama about two lonely, sad people who get in a road rage incident and set out to ruin each other’s lives. The only reason it isn’t in our list of the best shows of 2023 is that I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m sure it will be soon. Steven Yeun and Ali Wong are fantastic as the two leads, but Justin H. Min also excels as Edwin, a local church leader who comes into contact with Yeun’s Danny.
Many people may know Min from his role as Ben on Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, but he also starred in one of the best movies of 2022: After Yang. After Yang and Prey couldn’t be more different, as far as 2022 sci-fi fare goes, but they both excel at their respective aims.
In After Yang, director Kogonada weaves together a moving and beautiful portrait of a family of four: father Jake (Colin Farrell), mother Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith), daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), and AI helper/older brother figure Yang (Min). When Yang’s system fails and the family has to bid an unexpected early farewell to him, they grieve their loss and reflect on the impact he had on their family unit. While it’s a quiet and thoughtful movie, don’t mistake it for a downer — the opening dance number is fun and rousing, and the beauty of Kogonada’s images and of the actors’ performances helps make After Yang an absolute delight. —Pete Volk
After Yang is available to stream on FuboTV, or for digital rental or purchase on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Run time: 1h 48m
Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst
Written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Michel Gondry’s quirky sci-fi romantic drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a dysfunctional couple who arrange to have all memories of each other erased following a messy breakup. Despite this, they inadvertently meet each other again, blissfully unaware of their shared past.
When they’re confronted with this revelation, they are forced to face not only the question of what they mean to one another, but also whether it is better to love and know heartache or never to have known such a love in the first place. With a beautiful score composed by Jon Brion, Eternal Sunshine is a whimsical, surreal, and moving ode to the persistence of love in the absence of memory and presence of grief. —TE
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is available to stream on Peacock.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Run time: 2h 16m
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen
Based on the long-running French pulp sci-fi comic Valérian et Laureline, Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is really just an excuse for the director to create a science fiction future even lusher and more surprising than his own cult hit The Fifth Element. Is kind of wondrous? Yeah! Is it good? Ehhhhhhhhhh.
It’s a movie of contrasts. On the one hand, there are some alien cannibals that definitely skirt the bounds of good taste. But there’s also a hedgehog that poops spaceship fuel, and Rihanna, and an all-time use of “Space Oddity” in the opening sequence. —SP
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is available to stream on Prime Video.
The 7 best sci-fi movies to watch on Netflix and other streaming services this April? ›
Among the major streamers, Amazon Prime seems to be the most interested in the genre as it produces shows like The Peripheral, The Expanse, Paper Girls, and Night Sky on the regular.Is there any good sci-fi on Netflix? ›
- The Colony.
- Hardcore Henry.
- Green Snake.
- The Wandering Earth.
- The Yin Yang Master.
- Freaks – You're One of Us.
Among the major streamers, Amazon Prime seems to be the most interested in the genre as it produces shows like The Peripheral, The Expanse, Paper Girls, and Night Sky on the regular.What is the Netflix code 1492? ›
So for example, if you'd like to see the overall Sci-Fi & Fantasy section on Netflix you add the number 1492, making the full URL www.netflix.com/browse/genre/1492. And as you see when you click through this offers you a filtered selection of content within that genre.What movie should I watch today Netflix? ›
- Athena (2022) ...
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) ...
- All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) ...
- Don't Look Up (2021) new. ...
- Mank (2020) ...
- Extraction (2020) ...
- The Mitchells vs.
- The Last of Us (2023– ) TV-MA | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Drama. ...
- The Mandalorian (2019– ) ...
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) ...
- Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) ...
- Star Trek: Picard (2020–2023) ...
- M3GAN (2022) ...
- Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) ...
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
- The Vampire Diaries.
- Stranger Things.
- The 100.
- Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous.
Arthur C Clarke at 100: still the king of science fiction | Arthur C Clarke | The Guardian.What is considered to best science fiction? ›
- Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. ...
- Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) ...
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (1962) ...
- Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818) ...
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. ...
- Hyperion by Dan Simmons (1989)
To explore these collections — ordering off the secret menu, if you will — all you need to do is fire up your web browser, type in “netflix.com/browse/genre/” and then add your ID code of choice to the end of the URL.
How do I access hidden Netflix? ›
There are two ways to access the secret menu: If using a computer, open your web browser, type netflix.com/browse/genre/ as the start of the URL and end it with the code representing the genre you want to browse. On a TV, you simply type the code into the search bar.What are some Netflix secret codes? ›
- Action Comedies – 43040.
- Action Thrillers – 43048.
- Adventures – 7442.
- Classic Action & Adventure – 46576.
- Comic Book and Superhero Movies – 10118.
- Crime Action & Adventure – 9584.
- Martial Arts Movies – 8985.
- Military Action & Adventure – 2125.
- The Birds. watch on netflix.
- Born on the Fourth of July. watch on netflix.
- Call Me by Your Name. watch on netflix.
- If Beale Street Could Talk. Watch on Netflix.
- The Power of the Dog. Watch on Netflix.
- Road to Perdition. watch on netflix.
- Inception. watch on netflix.
- Inside Man. watch on netflix.
Global Top 10.
|Films (English)||Murder Mystery 2|
|Weeks in Top 10||2|
- #1. The Power of the Dog. 94% #1. ...
- #2. CODA. 94% #2. ...
- #3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines. 97% ...
- #4. The Velvet Underground. 98% #4. ...
- #5. Luca. 91% #5. ...
- #6. Coded Bias. 100% #6. ...
- #7. Mayor. 100% #7. ...
- #8. Changing the Game. 100% #8.
For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction. Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel.What is the biggest sci-fi? ›
Highest-grossing sci-fi film franchises and film series
Star Wars sits top with a total gross of $10.3B, while Avatar has the best average of any science fiction series at $2.6B.
Doctor Who is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time.What is the sci-fi show on Netflix 2023? ›
- The Last of Us: Season 1.
- Daisy Jones & the Six: Season 1.
- You: Season 4.
- The Mandalorian: Season 3.
- Rain Dogs: Season 1.
1. “Demons” and “Terra Prime” (Season 4, Episodes 20 and 21)
What is the new space drama on Netflix? ›
Commander Emma Green leaves behind her husband and daughter to lead an international crew of astronauts on a perilous three-year mission to Mars. Watch all you want. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank stars with Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") in this gripping interstellar drama.What is considered the first sci-fi movie? ›
Widely regarded as the first piece of science fiction cinema, Georges Méliès' Le Voyage dans la Lune (The Trip to the Moon) (1902), set the precedent of the science fiction film genre and continues to be one of the most influential films in history.Who is the father of scifi? ›
Jules Verne (1828-1905) is conventionally regarded as the father of science fiction.Who is the mother of sci-fi? ›
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is widely regarded as the 'mother of science fiction' for her authorship of Frankenstein, first published anonymously in 1818.1 At first glance this is a formidable title.What is the highest selling sci-fi book of all time? ›
1984 is the rare book that is both commonly assigned to students and still a pleasure to read. Written over 50 years ago, Dune is the world's best-selling science fiction novel.Who is the number one science fiction star of the world? ›
|1||William Shakespeare||2 billion – 4 billion|
|2||Agatha Christie||2 billion – 4 billion|
|3||Danielle Steel||900 million+|
|4||Harold Robbins||750 million – 750 million|
First, what kind of people in general read science fiction? One writer-conducted market survey found that science fiction readers account for about 20% of the US population, are wealthier than the average, are about 57 percent male and tend to reduce their reading volume between the ages of 45-65.Who is the greatest science fiction writer? ›
Regarded as the undisputed father of the genre, Asimov penned many hundreds of books, with many ranging across all aspects of science fiction. It's probably best to start with his stellar Foundation epic space empire series, but Asimov's 'Robot' series is also incredible, starting with I, Robot.
Science-fiction enthusiasts all know who Isaac Asimov is. A legend of the genre, Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and hundreds of short stories.
Can you be tracked through Netflix? ›
Like most big tech companies, Netflix gathers and tracks information about you as you use its service. Getting to know your viewing habits helps improve your viewing experience by showing you more of what you like, but the data gathering goes further than that.What is the code 9875 on Netflix? ›
It turns out though that there is a series of codes you can enter into Netflix, which correspond to categories. For instance, if you type in '9875' to Netflix it will present you with a section dedicated to true crime programmes and films.Is there an Adults Only Netflix? ›
But 2022 will see the streaming service provide its first ever movie that is intended for adults only. Blonde has been rated NC-17 in the States - the equivalent to an 18s certificate in Ireland - for its sexual content, making it the first ever Netflix movie to receive that certification.How do I find new movies on Netflix? ›
- Phones or tablets: Opt in to push notifications. You'll get the latest on newly added TV shows and movies and personalized suggestions.
- Set a reminder for an upcoming TV show or movie so you never miss out.
- The Netflix app on many devices has personalized in-app notifications for new and upcoming titles.
There are two ways to access the secret collections. You can do it from any desktop by typing 'netflix.com/browse/genre/' into the URL and adding a unique ID code. Alternatively, if you use Netflix on a TV, you can simply type in the code to the 'search' bar. It does not work on mobile or tablets.What is the secret movie on Netflix? ›
An assembly of writers, philosophers and scientists share The Secret, a principle that reputedly brought success to Plato, da Vinci and other greats and that can empower viewers to attain success in their own careers, relationships and health.What is Netflix 100 code? ›
Netflix says 'Sorry we could not reach the Netflix service (-100). ' It typically points to information stored on your device that needs to be refreshed.What are the hottest movies in Netflix? ›
- 365 Days.
- Lady Chatterley's Lover.
- Magic Mike XXL.
- The Next 365 Days.
- 365 Days: This Day.
- Deadly Illusions.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Film. Science fiction. ...
- The Godfather (1972) Film. Thrillers. ...
- Citizen Kane (1941) Film. ...
- Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) Film. ...
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Film. ...
- La Dolce Vita (1960) Film. ...
- Seven Samurai (1954) Film. ...
- In the Mood for Love (2000) Film.
Most Watched English Language Series of All Time
Ginny & Georgia (Season 2) – 504,780,000 hours watched. 13 Reasons Why (Season 2) – 496,120,000 hours watched. Ozark (Season 4) – 491,090,000 hours watched.
What is the #2 movie on Netflix all time? ›
Don't Look Up is the #2 Netflix Movie of All Time.What is the most viewed film ever? ›
- Titanic (1997) ...
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ...
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
- Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) ...
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) ...
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) ...
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ...
- The Lion King (1994)
|1.||Love Is Blind||+7,834|
|4.||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||+1,058|
|5.||Marvel Cinematic Universe||+739|
- John Wick: Chapter 4. A. English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu. John Wick: Chapter 4.
- Yaaran Da Rutbaa. UA. Punjabi. Yaaran Da Rutbaa.
- The Super Mario Bros. Movie. U. English, Hindi. The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
- Gumraah. UA. Hindi. Gumraah.
Code 1964512: Fight the future with titles like Altered Carbon, Black Mirror and Love, Death + Robots — or look through Dystopian Futures (2299461) for even more sci-fi options.Which sci-fi is most realistic? ›
- 1 'The Martian' (2015)
- 2 'Interstellar' (2014) ...
- 3 'Arrival' (2016) ...
- 4 'Gattaca' (1997) ...
- 5 '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968) ...
- 6 'Minority Report' (2002) ...
- 7 'Contact' (1997) ...
- 8 'Ant-Man' (2015) ...
All the sci-fi streaming in January 2023: 'The Last of Us', 'The Bad Batch', 'Poker Face', 'Wolf Pack' & more. Kick off the new year with spore-infested freaks, clone troopers, a Rian Johnson murder mystery… and Sarah Michelle Gellar!How do you unlock hidden content on Netflix? ›
How Do You Unlock the Secret Menu on Netflix? Netflix has category codes you can add at the end of a special URL and browse through all the titles in that category. Simply choose a category, copy the code and add it to the end of this URL: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/.How do you get hidden Netflix? ›
- Action & Adventure: 1365.
- Action Comedies: 43040.
- Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 1568.
- Action Thrillers: 43048.
- Adult Animation: 11881.
- Adventures: 7442.
- African Movies: 3761.
- Alien Sci-Fi: 3327.
Arthur C Clarke at 100: still the king of science fiction.
What is the most realistic movie? ›
- 8 Haywire.
- 7 Atomic Blonde.
- 6 007: Casino Royale.
- 5 A History of Violence.
- 4 Eastern Promises.
- 3 The Bourne Trilogy.
- 2 Heat.
- 1 Black Hawk Down.
The World's Most Extraordinary Homes is a British documentary miniseries presented by Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin and is broadcast on BBC Two. The series was also picked up by Netflix between March 2018 and July 2022.What Netflix shows are banned in US? ›
- Rick and Morty (9.2) ...
- Cowboy Bebop (8.9) ...
- Fargo (8.9) ...
- The Office (8.9) ...
- Only Fools and Horses (8.8) ...
- Das Boot (8.8) ...
- Friends (8.8) ...
- Twin Peaks (8.8)
Debris is an American science fiction television series that premiered on March 1, 2021 on NBC.What new movies will be streaming this month? ›
- Shotgun Wedding. r 2022.
- The King's Speech. r 2010.
- You People. r 2023.
- Begin Again. r 2013.
- One Way. r 2022.
- True Things. r 2022.
The Witcher: Blood Origin - Dec 25, 2022. Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Season 2) - Jan 4, 2023. Star Trek: Picard (Season 3) - Feb 16, 2023. The Mandalorian S3 - Feb 2023.