Best Science Fiction Movies on Hulu
Editor's Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see what other excellent science fiction get added to Hulu.
Updated for August 2019.
Hulu gets science fiction. Science fiction is all about possibility. Will this event happen? Probably not. But could it? Maybe!
That sense of possibility and wonder imbues each and every film on this list of the best science fiction movies on Hulu. The list is relatively small as far as lists on our streaming guides go. But it's growing as the powers that be behind Hulu understand that having a healthy diet of content also means including some sci-fi roughage.
Check out the list gathered below and let us know what needs to be added.
John Dies at the End
John Dies at the End is not just a movie for spoilers-in-titles enthusiasts. It's also a deeply funny, wickedly creative science fiction flick. Even its origins are properly sci-fi. It began as a webserial from Cracked writer David Wong (real name Jason Pargin) and then made it's way to becoming a novel and finally was adapted into a 2012 film.
John Dies at the End crams a remarkable amount of sci-fi trappings into one film. There are designer drugs that cause the user to time travel, monsters, and alternate dimensions. It's a perfect distillation of the genre crafted by a fan.
Back in the late '90s and early 2000s, Alex Garland was an acclaimed novelist who penned the screenplay for the adaptation of his own book, The Beach. Now, some fifteen years later, Garland is suddenly one of our most exciting science fiction directors.
Annihilation is Garland's follow-up to 2014's psycho-robo-thriller Ex Machina, and it's great. Natalie Portman stars as cellular biology professor Lena, who along with her husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac) is studying a mysterious, glowing electromagnetic phenomena called The Shimmer. When a very ill Kane returns as the only survivor of an expedition into the Shimmer, Lena elects to make her own journey into the strange phenomenon.
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Repo! The Genetic Opera is evidence of what happens when you get some nerdy theater kids together and then let their minds wander with no supervision. It's...madness. Just absolute madness.
Repo! is a steampunk vision of the corporate future in which our culture is obsessed with cosmetic surgery and improved organs. Corporations who rent people those organs can decide to repossess them when consumers fall behind on payments. Naturally, this is all a musical featuring Paris Hilton.
Repo! The Genetic Operais similar to other sci-fi property Repo Men. Both are terrible movies but at least this one is fun about it.
Now a Syfy TV series of the same name, the original 12 Monkeys was a 1995 film from, let's say abstract thinker, Terry Gilliam.
Bruce Willis stars as James Cole, a prisoner in 2035 subterranean Philadelphia who is sent back in time by scientists to find and stop the Army of the Twelve Monkeys from releasing a virus that ravaged humanity. It doesn't take long for Cole to run into some of the issues of time travel, namely: most people will think you're crazy if you say you traveled back in time.
12 Monkeys is an important entrant into the time travel movie canon and highlights all the various paradoxes associated with temporal tampering.
District 9 is part sci-fi, part allegory to apartheid, and all awesome.
In 1982 an alien ship suddenly begins hovering over Johannesburg, South Africa. The ship contains thousands of impoverished aliens soon to be nicknamed "prawns." The prawns are brough down to the Earth's surface and housed in impoverished neighborhoods where they have second-class citizen status.
The film follows South African bureaucrat Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who is "infected" by a mysterious alien liquid while doing his job relocating prawns to a new camp. Wikus must then seek the help of the creatures whose life he has helped make very difficult.
1988's Akira was both a landmark for anime's expansion into the west and the cyberpunk sci-fi genre, itself. Akira is set in the distant future of...2019. Neo-Tokyo is a military industrial complex wasteland...though the atom bomb that the Japanese government dropped on the city to cover up its experiments with ESP on children certainly didn't help.
The story picks up with Shōtarō Kaneda, the leader of a local biker gang. Kaneda's childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, acquires telepathic abilities following a motorcycle incident and suddenly it is up to Kaneda to keep his friend safe from the military and government scientists and also maybe save the world in the process.
Species steps forward to ask the question that too many '90s movies were loathe to ask: what if alien but hot? The hot alien in question is Sil (Natasha Henstridge). Sil is created by devious scientists working off of a genetic code transmitted to them by aliens. They believe the aliens to be benevolent and they believe women to be more docile hosts to alien DNA. They are wrong on both fronts.
Species is kinda hokey but entirely fun. Featuring Henstridge's excellent physical performance and some H.R. Geiger monster creations, it's nothing if not eye candy.
God bless James Cameron's 1984 action-sci-fi epicThe Terminator for introducing us all to a German bodybuilder with a funny name. Oh, and the movie is pretty fantastic too.
After umpteenth sequels, you know the general gist of this. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is a mild-mannered career woman who unbeknownst to her will one day give birth to humanity's best hope in a future war against the machines. Those future machines, ever proactive, decide to send a humanoid appearing killing machine called a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to murder Sarah before John Connor can be born. The future humans counter with...some guy named Kyle.
The eponymous Terminator would become a hero in later films because the human mind is incapable of hating Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here though he makes for a fantastic, seemingly unstoppable villain.
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is so sci-fi it's almost like a parody of a sci-fi film. It's the kind of sci-fi film that would be playing in the background of a non-sci-fi movie so the characters could point to it and say "you like sci-fi, eh?"
In Luc Besson's 1997 sort-of classic, Bruce Willis stars as 23rd century taxi driver Korben Dallas. Korben is a no-nonsense kind of dude but through a series of wacky events, the impending destruction of Earth becomes his problem. Korben teams up with mysterious young woman Leelo (Milla Jovovich) to tack down four mystical stones to defend Earth and defeat the villainous Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman).
The Fifth Elementis a brightly colored splash of sci-fi joy. Ideally it should be watched on a grainy cable feed with a bag of microwave popcorn.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
AfterStar Trek the Motion Picture was received less than warmly, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan not only got the Star Trek film franchise back on track but forever established the brand as a science fiction mainstay.
The plot is beautiful in its simplicity. The high-minded thinking of the series and the first movie gives way to a pretty standard revenge plot. The key is how well Khan Noonien Singh and his titular "wrath" is depicted.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
The old popular adage says that the even-numbered Star Trek films are the best. With The Voyage Home being Star Trek's fourth feature film, that's hard to argue with.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Homeworks because of its specificity and weirdness. The crew of the USS Enterprise heads back to Earth to face trial for their crimes from The Search for Spock. Once they arrive, however, they find that Earth looks quite different from how they left it. Kirk and the gang must travel back in time to find the only creatures on the planet who can understand a mysterious alien species' message: humpback whales.