Brittney Griner Back in US Blur Your Home on Google Maps Gift Picks From CNET Editors 17 Superb Gift Ideas Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' 'Harry & Meghan' on Netflix Prepping for 'Avatar 2' Lensa AI Selfies
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept
Why You Can Trust CNET
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

The Best Netflix Sci-Fi Movies to Watch in December 2022

Check out the best sci-fi flicks currently available on Netflix.

On Netflix? Keen to watch sci-fi? You came to the right place.

We wanted to highlight a few of the best sci-fi movies on the service -- like Synchronic -- alongside established classics like Men in Black and Starship Troopers. There are also a few newer movies in here like Spiderhead.

All up, there's a decent amount to watch if you're a sci-fi fan. Get stuck in.

Read more: The Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix

Universal

Oblivion

Before Tom Cruise and Joseph Kosinski teamed up on Top Gun: Maverick, there was Oblivion. 

Oblivion is an underrated, and now mostly forgotten, post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick where everything isn't quite what it seems. It's ambitious and incredibly beautiful. You may have missed Oblivion at the theater, but there's never been a better time to give it a chance. 

Sony

Elysium

Underrated? I think so. Elysium could never compete with Neill Blomkamp's legendary debut feature, District 9, but Elysium was -- at the very least -- extremely cool. 

Blomkamp himself has talked about the movie's problems -- the script essentially -- but it still looks fantastic and the action scenes are incredible. A fun, dumb watch. Can't argue with that.

Paramount

Star Trek

Say what you like about J.J. Abrams, but he absolutely nailed this one. The Star Trek reboot was a straight-up banger when it was first released in 2009. It's this movie, I suspect, that got him The Force Awakens gig. It also kickstarted the career of the one true Chris, Chris Pine. Still holds up today.

MGM

The Mist (2007)

The Mist is great. A sci-fi horror movie based on a Stephen King story that's got some brilliantly executed horror elements. Just be aware, it has an ending that will suck the oxygen out of your lungs. Don't say you weren't warned.

Netflix

Spiderhead (2022)

Spiderhead is the latest movie from Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski, and also stars Miles Teller, who features in that same movie. 

Spiderhead isn't quite on the same level as the superlative Top Gun: Maverick, but it's still worth watching. Based on a dystopian short story published in The New Yorker, Spiderhead takes place in a state-of-the-art prison, where drug-induced experiments are taking place with the inmates. 

Netflix

The Platform (2019)

The Platform is a Spanish sci-fi horror flick with a gruesome high concept. Prisoners in a correctional facility are fed in a very unique way: Folks at the top floor get fed a ludicrous amount of food, folks below get their leftovers. Chaos ensues. 

It's not perfect, but still well worth watching.

Netflix

The Colony (2021)

I just watched The Colony recently. It's surprisingly good!

It follows a very familiar trope: Rich people returning to Earth years after abandoning it, to find it overrun by new, unknown threats. The Colony subverts some of these cliches, however, and has some surprisingly powerful things to say about the ways in which we dehumanize one another. Well worth giving a chance. 

Columbia Pictures

Men In Black (1997)

Men in Black is currently on Netflix. You know this movie, everyone has seen this movie. It's good. You should watch it.

Netflix

I Am Mother (2019)

An Australian-made sci-fi thriller starring Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne, I Am Mother tells the post-apocalyptic tale of Daughter, a character raised by Mother, a robot tasked with helping repopulate the Earth. Very tense, very strange, very good.

Netflix

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of the smartest, most accessible kids movies of the last few years. It's the sort of movie kids and parents can watch together and both have a blast.

I should know, my kids have made me watch this... eight times so far? Sweet.

Netflix

Synchronic (2019)

At CNET, we love Synchronic so much we wrote an entire article just telling people they should watch it. We called it the most underrated sci-fi flick on Netflix, and we stand by it. 

It's annoying, inconsistent and often makes zero sense, but it's also really great.

Netflix

The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project isn't a perfect movie, but it is perfect for those seeking out an easy watch for a family movie night. Ryan Reynolds does his Ryan Reynolds thing as a time-traveling pilot working with his 12-year-old self on a mission to save the future.

Look, it's a crowd pleaser! 

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Don't Look Up (2021)

Is this sci-fi? I think it's sci-fi. 

It's sci-fi. End of discussion.

Don't Look Up is far from a perfect movie. It reeks of Hollywood faux-activism and it's too long and way too on the nose. But it still feels important and also... quite funny? 

I think regardless of its flaws, Don't Look Up is a movie that has had a net positive on the world and it's worth watching.

Netflix

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Childhood (2022)

Apollo 11 1/2 is loosely based on director Richard Linklater's childhood. An animated tale set around the time of the Apollo moon landing it stars  Glen Powell, Jack Black, Zachary Levi and Josh Wiggins and features a beautiful animated aesthetic. 

It's a beautifully made movie you can't afford to miss.