Fans of everything sci-fi will be pleased with Amazon Prime’s catalog of science fiction movies. There’s a wide variety of cult classics to feast your eyes on, from box-office favorites to those acclaimed by critics and viewers alike. So if you’re feeling extra geeky today, get on Amazon Prime right now and check out their impressive collection of sci-fi movies you can watch instantly.
Minority Report (2002)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Scott Frank, Jon Cohen
Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin, Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow
In the future, the murder rate is zero percent. This is attributed to a type of technology that makes foreknowledge possible, allowing authorities to stop crimes before they’re committed. John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, is the captain of PreCrime, the specialized police department tasked in the apprehension of “suspects”.
When the psychics called Precogs predict that Anderton himself will murder someone in 36 hours, the police captain must go to great lengths to prove his innocence. Featuring a great display of aesthetics and action scenes, compelling story, and characters that are worth caring about, Minority Report is a fun mix of sci-fi and action and one that justifiably deserves your utmost attention.
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Cast: Summer Glau, Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres
A continuation of the short-lived Fox series Firefly, Serenity picks up where the show’s final episode left off. It follows the spaceship Serenity, whose crew consists of rebels. After taking in two siblings who are seeking refuge, Serenity must once again face the wrath of the Alliance, the supergovernment controlling the central planets. Serenity is adventurous and funny enough to warrant dedication among true sci-fi fans. The dialogues are a delight with entertainingly absurd characters to deliver them.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Cast: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton
When an alien is left behind on Earth, a boy named Elliot befriends him and helps hide him in the house he shares with his mother, Mary, older brother, Michael, and younger sister, Gertie. The siblings name the alien E.T., later bonding with him and assisting him in finding a way to return to his planet.
An alien-themed movie doesn’t get as tender as this. The friendship established in this film is so unique and precious, strongly generating feelings of warmth. That’s why this Steven Spielberg classic will always remain to be one.
In Time (2011)
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer
In Time presents an intriguing vision of a world where time is money, set against heart-thumping sci-fi elements. The movie tells the story of a future where people will stop ageing from the age of 25. There’s a catch: in order to continue living, they need to literally buy time. While the wealthy have unlimited resources to not cease to exist, the poor struggle to do the same. That’s why Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) takes a hostage in his desperate attempt to survive.
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, Analeigh Tipton
Lucy, an American studying in Taiwan, is tricked by her new boyfriend to become a drug mule for a South Korean drug lord. After a bag of drug forcibly sewn into her stomach breaks, most of it is released into her system, which significantly enhances her physical and mental capacities. This also renders her able to perform telepathy and mental time travel, as well as having insensitivity to pain.
From being an unwilling participant in the drug smuggling trade to becoming an unstoppable heroine, Lucy is intense and Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of the titular character even more so. The scientific aspects of the movie may have made it a little bit all over the place, but still wildly fun nonetheless.
The Man from Earth (2007)
Director: Richard Schenkman
Writer: Jerome Bixby
Cast: David Lee Smith, William Katt, John Billingsley, Ellen Crawford, Annika Peterson
A supposedly impromptu farewell party for a professor moving to a new home turns into an intense series of questions and intellectual arguments when he reveals to his colleagues that he has been living on Earth for thousands of years. If you’re in the mood for something thought-provoking, The Man from Earth will give you exactly that and then some.
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson
In Jumper, Hayden Christensen plays David Rice, a young man capable of teleporting. His special skills come in handy when he finds out that he’s haunted by the Paladins, a secret society of religious extremists bent on eliminating jumpers like him. Jumper’s premise is appealing enough to want to get into it on a Friday night when you just want something fun and interesting, but without giving you much complexities or a headache, for that matter.
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Karl Gajdusek, Michael deBruyn
Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo
The world to which Oblivion is set is one that’s staged to impress. Director Joseph Kosinski clearly made sure of that. The visual journey alone is satisfying to a certain extent and with a few tricks on its sleeve. In Oblivion, Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a drone technician assigned to return to Earth after the planet has been destroyed by war with extraterrestrials. His job is to service drones to fight against remaining enemies. But the threat brought about by aliens is far from over as Harper learns of the ultimate truth.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Cast: Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho
The sequel to 2009’s Star Trek is as adrenaline-pumping as its predecessor with the addition of multi-layered characters, which is always enjoyable because it makes any story less predictable. Into Darkness follows Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of USS Enterprise as they search for former Starfleet commander-turned terrorist John Harrison. But such lethal betrayal doesn’t stop on Harrison as more sinister plans are revealed, threatening to destroy Starfleet.
The Fountain (2006)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn
Featuring three storylines, The Fountain tells the story of a man and a woman, bonded by love and fate across space and time. All storylines share the same yearning for immortality and seeking answers about life and death. Darren Aronofsky, known for his thematic works in such movies as Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, and mother! incites another form of wonder and awe in The Fountain, and he effectively does so by combining elements of history, fantasy, science fiction, and spirituality, all of which touch every fiber of our being,
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Writers: Peter Rader, David Twohy
Cast: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tina Majorino, Michael Jeter
In the distant future, the polar ice caps have melted, bringing forth the rise of the sea level over 25,000 feet and covering most of the land. Kevin Costner plays The Mariner, a drifter who sails the Earth. Striving to survive, he’s content in his isolation until he comes across a woman and a young girl. Unwilling at first, he sets out to help them find dry land.
Upon its release, Waterworld was lambasted quite heavily. It was either misunderstood at the time or people just didn’t like Costner with that haircut, who knows? Reviews have gotten friendlier over the years with critics finally recognizing its potential and value as an exceptional sci-fi adventure.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
Director: Robert Lieberman
Writer: Tracy Tormé
Cast: D. B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, James Garner
Fire in the Sky is based on Travis Walton’s book, The Walton Experience, which recounts an alleged alien abduction. It begins in 1975, when Walton investigates a mysterious light while on his way home with his co-workers, only to be sucked up by a flying saucer. While there are witnesses to this occurrence, the authorities are suspicious. Even when he returns five days later, nobody’s willing to take his experience seriously.
Instead of overdoing the extraterrestrial element of the story, Fire in the Sky effectively focuses on the emotional aspects of the harrowing encounter and how this affected the main character’s relationships with the people around him. Nonetheless, the ultimate revelation of what had really transpired is absolutely terrifying.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Cast: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson
When apocalyptic events set out to wipe out all of mankind, Jackson Curtis must utilize his wits and whatever hope left in him to save his family. The world coming to an end is not a matter of if, but a matter of when, and 2012 captures the horrors of it all with a likeable family in its midst.
2012 is a sci-fi disaster flick in its core, so you can’t expect any character development or a screenplay so nuanced everything becomes poignant. You’re not going to find anything of that sort here, but if you’re after impressive special effects of highways cracking into pieces and mountains succumbing to the wrath of nature, then dig in.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)
Directors: Chris Miller, Phil Lord
Writers: Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Rob Greenberg
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris
Flint Lockwood is an aspiring inventor who lives in Swallow Falls, a small island with sardines as the people’s primary source of livelihood. While he mostly invents things that don’t serve any purpose, he puts his knack for creation to use when the sardines cannery goes bankrupt.
Based on Judi and Ron Barrett’s children’s book of the same name, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is basically an ultimate snack galore fantasy with bits of laughs and silliness that kids and adults alike can enjoy. Warning: May intensify your appetite for all the good stuff.
Escape from New York (1981)
Director: John Carpenter
Writers: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton
After the United States suffers from a staggering increase in its crime rate, Manhattan becomes a massive maximum-security prison. When Air Force One is hijacked by terrorists and leaves the president stranded in New York, a soldier-turned convict is tasked with rescuing him in exchange for absolute pardon. Kurt Russell’s character as Snake Pliskken is one of cinema’s most iconic hands down and watching him portray it can tickle anyone’s fancy for badass. Set in a dystopian future, it’s worth taking this wild trip that is Escape from New York.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin
Cast: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors
In Stargate, James Spader plays professor Daniel Jackson and Kurt Russell stars as retired soldier Jack O’Neil. Together, they work in unlocking the code of an interstellar doorway, which brings them into a world that resembles ancient Egypt. If the theories that extraterrestrial beings have influenced the way human civilization has been shaped, Stargate is bound to attract your undivided attention. The mystery, the thrill, and the intriguing possibilities that make you gape in awe are embedded into the movie’s enigmatic atmosphere.
The Terminator (1984)
Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield
James Cameron’s The Terminator is the sci-fi action classic that it is thanks to the director’s propensity for outstanding filmmaking. It follows a cyborg assassin, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, a waitress whose future son will lead a resistance against an army of machines. From the brilliant performances to the riveting story and the striking action-plot devices, you’ll reach another level of tech-noir appreciation with this one.
High Life (2018)
Director: Claire Denis
Writers: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Agata Buzek
In High Life, a group of criminals on death row are sent on a space mission to extract energy from a black hole, while also being simultaneously experimented on. There is so much on High Life that’s open for scrutiny: however, there’s also twistedness in the film’s science-fiction fantasies to activate one’s curiosity. While sometimes baffling, High Life progresses into being a cinematic piece that gratifyingly touches on questions of what it’s like to explore humanity at its most savage core.
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Looper delivers the thrill and intensity of old-fashioned action merged with a fresh formula of science fiction. In the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a “looper” named Joe, a contract killer hired by syndicates to kill targets by sending them back in time. To close the loop, a looper’s final job will be his or her future retired self. Bruce Willis plays the older version of him, refusing to die and intent on changing history to save his wife. With their objectives not aligned, Joe and his older self battle it out while also being tracked down by the crime syndicate they used to work.
Men in Black (1997)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ed Solomon
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn
Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) are agents working for a secret organization called Men in Black. MIB oversees aliens living on Earth under the guise of humans. When an intergalactic catastrophe threatens the planet, the two agents must use their wit, their grit, their moxie, and their super cool weapons to stop it from happening.
You really get what you expect from Men in Black – sci-fi, action, and comedy. As a bonus, it’s not very often that you see onscreen chemistry as amusing and slick as the one between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Amazon Prime offers a diverse selection of science fiction movies containing all the elements that make a sci-fi feature exhilarating. If you’re looking for something to watch on your downtime, the streaming platform has lots of great titles you can stream instantly. From movies with intriguing futuristic premises to old-time favorites featuring iconic characters, you’ll find it all here on Amazon Prime.