hosts a huge range of sci-fi stories, including the indie sci-fi The Vast of Night and , widely considered one of sci-fi’s best hidden gems. Then there are the blockbusters, including Arrival, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Tomorrow War.
Scroll down for our top picks foron Prime Video, you can stream right now.
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There’s not much to say about the first in the Terminator franchise. Seemingly born out of a fever dream, James Cameron’s story introduces us to a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to save humanity from the robotic apocalypse.
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Before Dune, Denis Villeneuve directed another huge sci-fi classic. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a linguist who suffered a personal tragedy in the past. When mysterious alien spacecraft fly overhead, she is recruited to come into contact with completely unexpected, life-changing results. Arrival is a complete package, with performances, cinematography and writing that are…out of this world.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The second Star Trek movie in the rebooted franchise features a terrific adventure with a memorable villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. The USS Enterprise gang travels to the forbidden zone of space to save an endangered species. Although a bit dated – a gratuitous underwear scene and a change of ethnicity for Khan – Into Darkness is an exuberant journey.
The Fifth Element isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for an unbridled space adventure, it’ll bring all the blue alien opera performances you could want. Follow Korben Dallas, a taxi driver who has set off in pursuit of a mysterious fifth element capable of defeating a cosmic evil force.
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Oh look, it’s another Roland Emmerich movie! This one follows Earth’s resistance troopers making one last stand against an alien attack, an event they log into the calendar for the 4th of July.
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Sci-fi comedy isn’t always a hit, and this Douglas Adams adaptation will either be weird in a good way, if you know the source material, or weird in an unfunny, confusing way. My 13 year old self loved it.
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It’s hard to leave The Tomorrow War off this list, as it’s about Prime Video’s sci-fi big starring Chris Pratt. It follows a teacher who is drafted into a war with aliens – in the future. An easy to digest movie that you can watch while looking at your phone.
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The vivarium is interesting. It might frustrate a lot of viewers with its surreal aspects, but it’s still a compelling film. A young couple find themselves trapped in a labyrinthine suburban neighborhood of identical homes. As they attempt to escape, they find themselves caring for a mysterious baby.
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Emile Hirsch stars in this sci-fi horror about a father who keeps his 7-year-old daughter locked in their house all her life. Chloe inevitably seeks out the great outdoors, which leads to unexplainable events and a run-in with a government department. Impressive work with a father-daughter relationship at its heart.
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Remember Dane DeHaan from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starred in that found sci-fi sequence? He plays a friendless teenager who develops telekinetic abilities. What starts out as a way to have fun and prank ends up in an act that goes too far. With a twist of superhero origin story, Chronicle is a smart, documentary-style sci-fi taker.
The sci-fi actor who put director Neill Blomkamp on the map. The hybrid found-footage film takes you straight into the intense action of an alternate 1982, when an alien spacecraft appears above Johannesburg, Africa. A unique, exciting and slightly political classic.
Yes, it’s a prequel movie. Yes, it’s the fifth in the Alien franchise. Yes, it’s awe-inspiring and its plot doesn’t do justice to its stunning visuals. But Prometheus introduced us to the brilliantly creepy and unnerving android David, played by Michael Fassbender. Its plot may ultimately make no sense, but nothing takes away from the entertainment value of this sci-fi horror.
This low-budget indie film has surprisingly high production values, impressive performances and inventive camerawork to help tell the story of two teenagers in 1950s New Mexico. The resourceful duo track down potentially extraterrestrial origins of a mysterious audio frequency.
City of Lost Children (1995)
Before Amélie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet brought his flair and visual styling to fantastic science fiction (co-directed by Marc Caro). The City of Lost Children follows an evil scientist who kidnaps children, believing their dreams are the key to preventing aging.
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For those missing out on Black Mirror, this will go some way to filling that gap. Black Box follows a father who tries to put his life back together after a car accident. He agrees to an experimental procedure that takes him to the darkest recesses of his mind.
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Coherence doesn’t need an avatar-sized budget to create a compelling story. The low-budget indie film follows friends at a dinner party who begin to notice bizarre happenings after a comet passes by. Even more unsettling due to its grounded setting, Coherence nails the case for a true indie gem.
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Intriguing premise? To verify. Small budget? To verify. Twist at the end? To verify. This indie sci-fi mystery from Travis Milloy cements its place in Google’s search for “best indie sci-fi gems.” The complex story of Infinity Chamber centers on a man held in an automated detention center. He must fight superior technology to escape, an extremely tricky feat.
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For well-made, thoughtful sci-fi that makes sure it doesn’t let its meditations exceed entertainment value, Archive is a loud cry. Gavin Rothery’s UK film debut stars Theo James as a scientist working to make an AI as human as possible. His reasons are hidden, personal and sure to put a spanner in the works. Drawing comparisons to Ex Machina, Archive is guaranteed to tell a story with a clever focus on character.
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