The sci-fi selections on Hulu range from action to drama to comedy, including recent releases and renowned classics. Here are 10 of the best sci-fi movies to stream on Hulu.
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Amy Adams faces a different kind of alien invasion in Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral sci-fi movie Arrival, based on a short story by acclaimed author Ted Chiang. Linguist Louise Banks (Adams) is part of a team attempting to communicate with aliens who’ve landed on Earth, and her ability to understand them might mean the difference between peace and war.
Through learning the aliens’ language, Louise herself is changed, coming to a greater understanding of time and space as well as her own emotional development and place in the universe.
An examination of addiction, self-loathing, and toxic masculinity, plus giant monster attacks, Colossal is a unique take on the kaiju subgenre. Anne Hathaway plays an aimless woman who moves back to her hometown after losing her job and her boyfriend.
She reconnects with an old pal (Jason Sudeikis) while working at a local bar, and she also discovers that she’s somehow psychically connected to a massive Godzilla-like monster in Korea. It’s a strange premise that somehow works both as an affecting drama and as a goofy showcase for monster battles.
Before winning multiple Oscars for Parasite, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho directed sci-fi genre-bender The Host. A monster movie with elements of goofy comedy, social commentary, and family drama, The Host follows a father as he attempts to rescue his daughter from the clutches of a creature living in the Han River. Bong stages a large-scale disaster movie on a relatively small budget, anchoring the story in one family’s tireless efforts to reunite.
Brad Bird’s animated fable The Iron Giant was a box-office failure on its initial release but has since become a beloved family classic. Based on Ted Hughes’ novel, it tells the story of a young boy named Hogarth who befriends a deceptively gentle robot from outer space.
Set in 1957, it pays homage to Cold War-era sci-fi movies while also telling a sensitive story about a boy mourning the loss of his father. There’s suspense and action as government agents close in, but the core of the movie is the heartwarming central relationship between Hogarth and the robot.
The end of the world is just another depressive episode for Justine (Kirsten Dunst) in Lars von Trier’s moody sci-fi drama Melancholia. A stray planet might be on a path to collide with Earth and destroy all life, and Justine can barely muster the energy to care.
Von Trier uses the impending end of human civilization as a metaphor for the languor of depression when events both terrible and joyous (like Justine’s own wedding) carry no emotional weight. Dunst captures Justine’s mental state hauntingly, and von Trier matches her with gorgeously melancholy imagery.
A highlight of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1980s action-movie heyday, Predator is an intense, violent jungle-set thriller with a dangerous alien antagonist. A team of mercenaries led by Schwarzenegger’s Dutch head into the Central American wilderness to rescue a kidnapped diplomat, only to find themselves stalked by an alien that hunts humans for sport.
With a supporting cast of macho all-stars (including Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers), Predator is a muscular action movie filled with memorable lines. It also delivers one of cinema’s all-time iconic aliens, who went on to menace humans (and other aliens) in numerous sequels and spin-offs.
Frank Langella stars as the human title character in the low-key sci-fi dramedy Robot & Frank. Frank is a retired jewel thief whose son buys him a robot caretaker to help him as he’s suffering from memory loss. Frank at first resents the robot, but then enlists it to help him plan a final heist. Langella is great as the onetime criminal mastermind trying to hold onto his glory days, and the movie uses its sci-fi concept to examine themes of aging, legacy, and regret.
A pair of millennial hipsters nearly miss the apocalypse in deadpan sci-fi comedy Save Yourselves! Brooklyn couple Jack (John Reynolds) and Su (Sunita Mani) decide to spend a week at a remote cabin reconnecting with each other and unplugged from their constant online addiction.
Meanwhile, Earth is invaded by aliens, which Jack and Su don’t even notice until it’s too late to escape. The movie balances its witty relationship humor with the absurdity of the cutest deadly alien invaders ever depicted onscreen.
Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water is an unlikely sci-fi romance between a mute woman and an undersea creature. Janitor Elisa (Sally Hawkins) mostly goes unnoticed at the secret government facility where she works, which allows her to get close to the fish-man being held captive there.
It’s an unexpected story that del Toro tells with deliberate care, making the love between the two characters feel genuine. He pays homage to classic creature features, while treating the material with grace and wonder.
The final movie featuring the original Star Trek TV cast, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country sends them out on a high note. It’s one of the most layered portrayals of warlike Star Trek alien race the Klingons, as they engage in peace talks with the United Federation of Planets.
Of course, Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew are right in the middle of things, facing off against a Klingon military commander (Christopher Plummer). Plummer brings gravitas to the villain role, and the movie is both smart and suspenseful, in the best Star Trek tradition.