It hosts a surprisingly large selection of science fiction stories, including the indie science fiction The Vast of Night and widely regarded as one of science fiction’s best hidden gems.
Scroll down for our top picks forOn Prime Video, you can stream now.
Image source: Jan Thijs
Before Dune, Denis Villeneuve directed other massive sci-fi classics. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a linguist who suffers from a personal tragedy in the past. When a mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft hovers above Earth, it is recruited to make contact – with totally unexpected life-altering results. Access is a complete package, with performances, cinematography, writing… out of this world.
Star Trek in the Dark (2013)
The second Star Trek movie in the rebooted series offers a thrilling adventure with an unforgettable villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. The gang travels aboard the USS Enterprise to the exclusion zone in space to rescue endangered species. While it’s a bit dated — an unexplained lingerie scene and a change in sweat for Khan — Into Darkness is a choppy ride.
The Fifth Element isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a nonchalant space adventure, it’ll bring you all the blue alien operas you could possibly want. Follow Corbin Dallas, a taxi driver drifted in pursuit of a mysterious fifth element who can defeat a cosmic evil force.
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Oh, look, it’s another Roland Emmerich movie! This follows the Earth Resistance Soldiers taking one last stand against an alien attack, an event they have recorded in the calendar for July 4th.
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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Sci-fi comedy doesn’t always work, and this Douglas Adams mod will either be weird in a good way, if you’re familiar with the source material, or weird in a way that’s not funny and confusing. I love my 13 year old self.
Amazon Prime Video
It’s hard to leave The Tomorrow War off this list, because it’s the big sci-fi star of Prime Video starring Chris Pratt. It follows a school teacher who is recruited into a war with aliens – in the future. An easy-to-digest click that you can watch while looking at your phone.
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Vivarium is an interesting one. It may disappoint many viewers with its surreal aspects, but it’s still a compelling movie. A young couple is trapped in a neighborhood of labyrinths of identical houses. While trying to escape, they find themselves taking care of a mysterious child.
Well Go USA / YouTube / CNET screenshot
Emile Hirsch stars in this fantasy horror film about a father who keeps his 7-year-old daughter confined to their home for the rest of her life. Chloe inevitably seeks the great outdoors, leading to inexplicable events and competing with a government department. Impressive work with a father-daughter relationship at its core.
20th Century Studios / YouTube / CNET screenshot
Remember that Dane DeHaan from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starred in this sci-fi movie? He plays an unfriendly teenager who develops telekinesis abilities. What starts out as a way to have fun and pull the pranks leads to action that goes far. With a dash of superhero origin story, Chronicle is a clever documentaries-style sci-fi movie man.
The science fiction filmmaker who put director Neil Blomkamp on the map. The found hybrid stills takes you straight into the intense action of 1982’s alternate, when an alien spacecraft appeared over Johannesburg, Africa. A unique, exciting and somewhat political classic.
Yes, this is a prequel movie. Yes, this is the fifth in the Alien franchise. Yes, it’s grandiose and its scheme doesn’t do the stunning visual justice. But Prometheus introduced us to the brilliantly frightening and disturbing robot David, played by Michael Fassbender. The plot of this movie may not make perfect sense, but the entertainment value of this sci-fi horror is irreplaceable.
This low-budget indie game has surprisingly high production values, impressive performance and innovative graphic work to help tell the story of two teens in 1950s New Mexico. A resourceful pair hunts down potentially extraterrestrial origins to the reverberation of a mysterious sound.
User Generated Content
City of Lost Children (1995)
Prior to Amélie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet brought his flair and visual design to science fiction fiction (co-directed by Marc Caro). City of Lost Children follows an evil scientist who kidnaps children, believing that 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. The Black Box follows a father trying to put his life back together after a car accident. He agrees to an experimental procedure that leads him to the darkest recesses of his mind.
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Cohesion doesn’t need an Avatar-sized budget to craft a compelling story. The low-budget indie film follows friends at a dinner party who begin to notice strange events after the passing of a comet. More disturbingly due to its core setting, the cohesion brief highlights a true indie gem.
Alameda Entertainment / YouTube / CNET screenshot
Interesting hypothesis? check. Low budget? check. Twist in the end? check. This indie sci-fi puzzle by Travis Milloy has cemented its place in a Google search for “Best Freelance Sci-Fi Gems.” Infinity Chamber’s complex story centers on a man who is held in a robotic detention facility. He must fight high-tech to escape, which is a very difficult feat.
Vertical Entertainment / YouTube / CNET screenshot
For a well-crafted, thoughtful sci-fi that’s guaranteed not to let musings outweigh the entertainment value, Archive is a great shout out. British director Gavin Rothery debuts Theo James as a scientist working to make artificial intelligence as human as possible. His reasons are hidden and personal and sure to put a wrench in the works. Drawing comparisons to Ex Machina, Archive is storytelling with a clever focus on character.
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There is no need to say much about the first in the Terminator franchise. The story of James Cameron Born from a Fever Dream seems to give us a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, whose son is set to save the human race from the robot apocalypse.
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