Amazon’s extensive library of science fiction movies includes everything from major blockbusters to low-budget curiosities, all involving favorite sci-fi tropes like futuristic visions, space travel, and alien visitors. Here are 10 good sci-fi movies to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Update, 11/4/22: We’ve reviewed our guide and replaced eight movies that had left Prime with fresh sc-fi recommendations. We’re confident these are the best science-fiction movies you’ll find on Amazon Prime.
Nearly three decades after the release of their last movie, affable dimwits Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) return for a third adventure through time in Bill & Ted Face the Music. After failing to save the world with their music as previously predicted, Bill and Ted face a final deadline to write a song that will repair space-time and avert the apocalypse. The movie captures the laid-back charm of the earlier Bill and Ted capers while also dealing with surprisingly mature themes about aging and regret.
Set in the far-flung future of 2010, French sci-fi action movie District B13 takes place in a lawless, walled-off Paris suburb that is home to millions. When a criminal kingpin threatens to set off a nuclear bomb, an undercover cop teams up with a local vigilante to save the district. The simple plot is mainly a framework for impressive stunts from star David Belle, one of the originators of parkour, and director Pierre Morel captures Belle’s energetic athleticism. It’s a fun, fast-paced movie that’s exciting to watch in any language.
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Jesse Eisenberg plays both title roles in The Double, Richard Ayoade’s deadpan sci-fi comedy loosely adapted from a classic Fyodor Dostoevsky novella. In an undefined future dystopia, Simon James (Eisenberg) works as a generic functionary at a generic corporation, where he’s quickly overshadowed by the arrival of his charismatic doppelganger James Simon (also Eisenberg). Ayoade creates a satire of corporate and governmental bureaucracy, with a pair of characters who are two sides of the same toxic, entitled persona.
Adapting Suzanne Collins’ bestselling novel, The Hunger Games has a simple and irresistible hook: In a dystopian future, children are forced to compete in a fight to the death, which serves as entertainment for the masses. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who rebels against the accepted rules of the Hunger Games and potentially ignites a social revolution.
Lawrence makes for a formidable hero, and the Hunger Games themselves provide for plenty of exciting action set pieces. Add in a love triangle for Katniss, and The Hunger Games has guaranteed appeal for a wide audience.
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The original 1956 adaptation of Jack Finney’s sci-fi novel is a classic, but the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers stands right alongside it. Each movie uses the concept of alien “pod people” replacing humans as an allegory for social issues of its time.
Donald Sutherland stars as a San Francisco health inspector who attempts to raise the alarm about the alien presence, but struggles to find anyone who will believe him. It’s a chilling story of authoritarian takeover, with one of the most memorable endings in cinema history.
The second movie in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek series, Star Trek Into Darkness brings in Benedict Cumberbatch as renowned franchise villain Khan Noonien Singh to battle Chris Pine’s Capt. Kirk and his crew. The Enterprise faces off against Khan, a genetically modified terrorist with a vendetta against Starfleet.
Abrams combines large-scale action sequences with Trek‘s signature philosophical questions, specifically about the justifications for warfare. This movie introduces new takes on classic Trek characters and concepts, while retaining Abrams’ focus on blockbuster spectacle.
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The low-budget sci-fi drama The Vast of Night gets a lot of mileage out of its characters for just talking about strange things happening. Director Andrew Patterson’s debut feature is framed as an episode of a Twilight Zone-style TV series and often plays out like a radio drama. The movie follows two teenagers in a small town in 1950s New Mexico over the course of one uncanny night.
Patterson uses long takes and elaborate tracking shots to place the audience right alongside the characters as they investigate mysterious phenomena.
Zach Galifianakis gives an unexpectedly subdued performance as a corporate drone in an absurdist retro-futuristic society in Visioneers. He plays George Washington Winsterhammerman, a “level three tunt” at the nonsensical Jeffers Corporation, who experiences growing discontent with his place in life. Visioneers is a dry, surreal comedy about the nightmare of corporate conformity, but it’s also a tender story about emotional connection, as George and his family, friends, and co-workers find small moments of happiness amid their warped environment.
A young couple discovers that moving to the suburbs can turn into a bizarre nightmare in sci-fi horror movie Vivarium. Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) just want to take a tour of a new housing development, but they’re left stranded in the seemingly endless and abandoned subdivision, with no means of escape. They eventually form a sort of pseudo-family with a mysterious, fast-aging child left in their care, even as their efforts to break free from their inexplicable predicament become more desperate and chaotic.
The first feature film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel of alien invasion, the 1953 version of The War of the Worlds moves the setting to contemporary Southern California, where a scientist desperately searches for a way to defeat the extraterrestrial invaders.
There are some admirably bleak sequences of humanity’s despair in the face of an unstoppable enemy, balanced out by plenty of hokey but charming character interactions. The pioneering special-effects work may look a bit cheesy at times, but most of the movie is still remarkably effective.
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