With so many new streaming service options available these days, it can be hard to figure out where your hard-earned money should go every month. With services like Netflix and Disney+ competing for your dollars, added benefits like Amazon Prime‘s fast shipping, deals, and extensive catalog of streaming titles will obviously stand out to fans trying to make their decision.
We want to help, so we’ll be highlighting some of the best science-fiction films available for members to watch on Prime Video right now. We’ve thrown in a mix of new and old to give you a good idea of some of the great films available in their sci-fi library.
Updated on July 13th 2020, by Richard Keller: Streaming sites offer a plethora of sci-fi movies to enjoy at any time. Thanks to the continuous rotation of material, one favorite might be replaced by another. Or, it may be a film you’ve never seen before. Here are a few more sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime that are considered the best.
15 SPACEBALLS (1987)
Spaceballs is certainly not a hard sci-fi movie. It skewers so many of the genre’s stereotypes that it can be considered sci-fi light. Still, the Mel Brooks film is a tour de force that fans still quote today.
It’s your typical space opera. Lone Starr, the pilot of a flying RV, and his trusty human-dog companion, Barf, rescue a princess from the clutches of Dark Helmet. Spaceballs not only skewers Star Wars but Wizard of Oz, Alien, and many more speculative fiction movies.
14 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
Dystopian movies are not a 21st-century idea. They’ve been around since the late 1970s. One of the most influential is John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. Set in the future of 1997, a U.S that has been overrun by crime converts Manhattan into a maximum-security prison. Unfortunately, Air Force One is hijacked and crashed into the island.
Former soldier and current federal prisoner Snake Plissken (Kurt Russel) is given 24 hours to rescue the President. As with many dystopian films of that time, there’s gunplay, deathmatches, and an antihero who does his part to restore sanity to the world.
13 STARGATE (1994)
Ironic that Kurt Russell also stars as a soldier in this successful film that launched several successful television shows. It’s where the first Stargate is discovered and the adventures of SG-1 begin.
James Spader originates the role of Daniel Jackson, an archeologist and linguist who helps translate the Stargate’s symbols. Russel portrays Jack O’Neil, a reactivated soldier recovering from his son’s suicide. Though reviews for the movie were lukewarm, it still set a record at the time for the largest-grossing film release in October. Stargate is a necessary view if you like the show but never knew how it began.
12 THE TERMINATOR (1984)
In a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton discussed how small the budget was for the first Terminator movie.
The budget didn’t matter, though, because the James Cameron-directed Terminator was still a box-office success and launched Schwarzenegger’s movie career. Here, he plays the antagonist — a cybernetic being from 2029 who returns to 1984 to kill Hamilton’s character, Sarah Connor. The reason: her unborn son leads an alliance against the robots who rule the future. Though low-tech sci-fi, The Terminator is an excellent thriller.
11 Futureworld (1976)
This sequel to the 1973 Westworld expands on the concept the Delos corporation created. Touting millions of dollars of security improvements, they reopen the park with four new lands. Two reporters — Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner — are sent to cover the opening. However, they discover something else.
Turns out, Delos is drugging guests, including political leaders, and cloning them. The end goal is to put these cloned robots in seats of power so they don’t interfere with the corporation’s plans. While the idea seems sound on paper, the company’s executives don’t count on Fonda’s and Danner’s characters exposing everything.
10 HIGH LIFE (2018)
Director Claire Denis’ English film debut was 2018’s High Life, which shone a light on the darker path of humanity’s exploration into space. The film stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and more as it tells the story of a man and a child on the edges of the universe.
Of course, the film explores so much more than that as viewers witness the effects of isolation and the darkness within humanity that can lead to madness, but also love. It is a chillingly beautiful mindbender full of shocking performances that will leave your jaw on the floor, and it’s available to stream for free with your Prime membership.
9 LOOPER (2012)
Rian Johnson’s Looper is an incredibly unique time travel story that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who starred in Johnson’s equally amazing Brick) and Bruce Willis as Joe, a contract killer hired by corporations from the future to eliminate problems in the past.
However, when young Joe meets old Joe, they are forced to face off against each other while their shared future hangs in the balance. Looper manages to create not one but two intriguing futuristic worlds while also using a cast full of great actors in this too-often-missed sci-fi gem.
8 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
There have been quite a few adaptations of Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers novel, but our favorite will always be 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, directed by Philip Kaufman. Thankfully this is also the version that is available free to stream with an Amazon Prime membership.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers features an incredible cast of actors that includes Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright, and Jeff Goldblum, to name a few. This version of the film set the bar for all other adaptations of the source material and remains one of the creepiest and most frightening alien invasion stories ever seen in theaters.
7 THE RUNNING MAN (1987)
Science fiction can come in many forms, whether that’s dealing with futuristic robots, alien species, or dystopian societies. Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) explored a dystopian society that was fixated on entertainment above all else in The Running Man, which was loosely adapted into the 1987 action sci-fi film of the same name starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The film focuses on a society under control by a totalitarian government that uses TV entertainment as a tool to not only distract the populace but also eliminate potential threats by forcing criminals, rebels, and political opponents to run through a gauntlet filled with colorful killers. The Running Man is worth the watch for the one-liners alone.
6 MEN IN BLACK (1997)
Fans of the franchise may have been disappointed with the latest Men In Black: International chapter in the film series, but thankfully, Amazon Prime gives members access to the entire original trilogy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
While the first Men in Black is arguably the best, the ability to marathon the original trilogy without having to switch between various streaming services or physical media is a huge selling point. Now, fans can go back to the beginning to enjoy one of the best sci-fi odd couples we’ve ever seen.
5 STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997)
Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is another novel to get a very loose cinematic adaptation of the same name, though Paul Verhoeven’s version is quite different in the tone and overall message of the book. Starship Troopers managed to satirize its futuristic fascist society by essentially telling a sci-fi story using military propaganda.
Now, if all of that is a bit too heavy for movie night, rest assured. Starship Troopers is still full of great characters at war with deadly bug aliens, piloting huge fleets of battleships while space infantry blows them up with localized nukes and Casper van Dien’s jawline. You definitely won’t regret adding Starship Troopers to your Prime Video watchlist.
4 GALAXY QUEST (1999)
Comedy and science fiction don’t always blend as well together as some other genre mashups like sci-fi/horror or sci-fi/action, but there are a few shining success stories that have continued to create new fans over the years. Galaxy Quest is a great example, as it both plays on our love of sci-fi TV culture, but also manages to still tell a heartfelt story with a great cast of characters.
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalhoub, and Justin Long are just a few of the names that appear in the film, which follows the washed-up cast of a formerly successful Star Trek-like series as they make hilarious first contact with extraterrestrial fans.
3 THE FOURTH KIND (2009)
We previously mentioned a few great genres that science fiction blends with, and horror is one of the best, as we saw with 2009’s The Fourth Kind, starring Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, and Will Patton. While the film released alongside other “found footage” style horrors and got a bit lost in the fold, it is definitely worth another viewing on Prime Video.
The Fourth Kind explores the phenomenon of alien abductions by mixing “real” interview footage with recorded encounters, hypnosis sessions, and cinematic scenes to tell a truly haunting experience about a community as they deal with the threat of alien abduction in the city of Nome, Alaska.
2 MINORITY REPORT (2002)
Tom Cruise starred in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, a loose adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story that took place in a future where crime is detected before it occurs. Speilberg’s vision of this unique future included advanced weaponry, vehicles, and technology that has even gone on to influence present-day designs.
Minority Report deals with several interesting themes and issues as Cruise is forced to question his society’s use of precognitive crime detection when his character is accused of a crime he has yet to commit. The film is a great addition to Prime’s sci-fi library based on the futuristic aesthetic alone, but it’s also the type of film that may leave you with a few questions when it’s over.
1 STAR TREK (2009)
Prime Video offers a few ways to enjoy Star Trek while streaming, including the classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: insurrection, or a more modern selection, J. J. Abrams Star Trek reboot that introduced fans to the Kelvin timeline.
Abrams reimagined the Trek universe in a unique way that didn’t erase what came before and allowed the characters to move forward in exciting new directions. The reboot featured stellar performances from Bruce Greenwood Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, and even Leonard Nimoy.
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