When executed well, few genres can produce movies quite as riveting as science fiction. These sci-fi films often envision a spectacular (or terrifying) future that simultaneously comments on the world’s present & very real state. They reflect the wider society’s fears, struggles, & hopes; while some films feel very much of their era, others have proven to be timeless sources of entertainment & discussion.
Streaming platforms such as Hulu make it simpler for fans of the genre to rewatch old favorites or discover new masterpieces. As the service’s library has quite a selection, it can help to know which are the best sci-fi moves on Hulu, especially for non-subscribers who are contemplating whether to take the plunge.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||80%|
An all-time great sci-fi movie, Predator has a charismatic cast of ’80s action stars, an iconic villain that has stood the test of time, & quotes for days. The premise is simple: a squad of humankind’s finest are dropped into a rainforest that happens to be home to an alien hunter. Suddenly, the burly heroes find themselves as prey to a stronger, faster, & better-equipped predator. The humans need more than muscles & guns to survive this trip to hell.
An action film with a sprinkle of horror, Predator is intense, endlessly rewatchable, & somehow timeless despite epitomizing the ’80s in many ways. Hulu also has Predator 2, Predators, & the Alien vs Predator movies, none of which Advance close to capturing the magic of the 1987 original; that said, the former two are fun enough.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||93%|
After decades of lackluster sequels, Predator finally produced an entry that lives up to the ’80s classic. A prequel set during the 18th century, Prey follows a Comanche woman, Naru, who yearns to become a hunter, a role typically left for the tribe’s men. When an alien menace arrives on Earth & wipes out most of her village, Naru heads to the jungle to take on a threat that is far beyond anything she could ever imagine.
Prey succeeds in feeling like a fresh take on an established property, something that is easier said than done when it comes to licenses that have been around for decades. The setting & time period are well-realized, & Naru is a likable & capable protagonist. As far as the iconic alien hunter is concerned, this movie’s Predator is as intimidating as anything else the franchise has produced.
Children Of Men (2006)
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||92%|
|Hulu Link||Children of Men|
Dystopian futures are a common trope in sci-fi, but what allows Children of Men to st& out is the familiarity of its world. Rather than being set in an almost alien society with culturally relevant subtext, this story presents an alternate Earth that is barely removed from the real one, albeit with one major change: humanity has become infertile. This condition has placed a timer on humanity’s existence, & people are starting to get desperate.
Children of Men works as an intense thriller, a fun action movie, & a study on hope. Alfonso Cuarón has directed some fantastic films over the years, & as great as Rome & Gravity are, Children of Men is arguably still his crowning achievement.
Crimes Of The Future (2022)
David Cronenberg is a master of horror, & the director has been known to dapple in sci-fi as well. Cronenberg’s The Fly & Videodrome are the perfect marriage of both genres, & while Crimes of the Future does not quite reach those lofty heights, the 2022 film is nevertheless an impressive project. Set in a future not too far removed from the present day, the movie envisions a world defined by decay & desperation, the latter represented through humanity’s grotesque attempts to distract themselves from reality.
Crimes of the Future highlights Cronenberg’s appreciation for body horror, to the point that this alternate future treats such acts as entertainment. Compared to some other sci-fi movies on Hulu, this film is relatively lethargic as the script gives the capable cast plenty of room to breathe. Obviously, viewers should have a strong stomach if they plan to watch this movie.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga & its two-part OVA series, Alita: Battle Angel ranks among the best live-action anime adaptations. Admittedly, that is not saying much, but Alita makes a positive account for itself even when it is compared to st&ard cyberpunk movies. Taking place more than 400 years in the future, Earth’s populace is divided into haves & have-nots. The former live in an airborne metropolis called Zalem, looking down over the masses as they fight for scraps in the Iron City.
One day, a scientist discovers a discarded cyborg & decides to piece her back together. Stripped of all her memories, Alita sets out into the human world in search of an identity; in the meantime, she will fight off bounty hunters, fall in love, & take part in a vicious competition. Alita: Battle Angel is an action-packed thrill ride with a lovable protagonist & great visuals.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein casts a wide shadow over the sci-fi genre. The novel has inspired dozens of adaptations over the years, including some all-time classics such as 1931’s Frankenstein & its sequel, 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein. Naturally, not every adaptation is regarded as a masterpiece, & 1994’s attempt tends to be among the most polarizing interpretations of Shelley’s influential book.
Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein is ambitious but unfocused. A star-studded cast echo the project’s aspirations of greatness, & they largely provide solid performances. The film is filled to the brim with brilliant scenes, even if they do not quite gel together in a way that results in a fully satisfying whole. All the movie’s flaws aside, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has enough positives to be worthy of a recommendation.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||90%|
An iconic anime movie, Akira is a l&mark release in sci-fi’s cyberpunk subgenre, particularly when it comes to film. Set in a dystopian future following a third world war, Neo-Tokyo is rife with crime, gang warfare, & public unrest. The leader of a biker gang, Shōtarō Kaneda, & his close friend, Tetsuo Shima, become involved with a secret government operation to develop powers such as telekinesis.
Akira is a violent & Furious film about abuse, human experimentation, & desperation. Precious few of this world’s characters are traditionally good, but most of them are products of their climates. Along with delivering a gripping storyline, Akira‘s animation is brilliant.
About Time (2013)
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||70%|
|Hulu Link||About Time|
About Time is a time-travel movie that is refreshingly low-key, at least compared to some other stories that use this mechanic. The Lake men have the ability to travel back in time, something Tim uses to tweak his love life for the better. Whether going back to arrange a meet-up with the woman he likes or help his sister, Tim realizes that most changes have consequences, even if the benefits might outweigh the butterfly effect.
About Time is sweet, charming, & well-acted. Domhnall Gleeson & Rachel McAdams have great chemistry & the rest of the cast more than hold their own whenever they are called upon. Sci-fi is a great vehicle for epic tales, but the genre has produced plenty of fantastic personal stories as well.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||93%|
Time travel is one of the cornerstones of sci-fi, & Looper offers a fascinating twist on this concept. In this universe, crime syndicates carry out executions by sending targets back in time to an era when the police could not easily track dead bodies. Loopers are then hired to kill them. Once they reach a certain point in time, loopers are sent back in time to be eliminated by their younger versions, something Joe learns first-h& when he comes face to face with his aged alternative.
Looper‘s sci-fi is borderline fantasy, but it has enough internal consistency to make sense. More importantly, the film is simply a lot of fun, delivering great action alongside strong performances by the likes of Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, & Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a beloved name in the sci-fi sphere. Douglas Adams’ radio comedy & subsequent novels are brilliant, & the story has inspired quite a few other adaptations The 2005 movie is not the definitive version of Hitchhiker’s Guide, but it is a worthy addition to this franchise.
Expertly cast & relentlessly charming, Hitchhiker’s Guide is whimsical, silly, & creative. The movie is packed with humor that caters to existing fans of the series, all the while still delivering enough material to entertain those who might not be familiar with Adams’ source material.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||94%|
When it comes to David & Br&on Cronenberg, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The latter’s Possessor is a haunting sci-fi horror film set in a world where technology permits people to transfer their consciousness into someone else’s body. As a hired killer, Tasya spends her days literally slipping into the skins of other people so that she can carry out assassinations. As capable as she is at her profession, Tasya starts to struggle to return to her own life.
Possessor is an uncomfortable sci-fi film that is brilliantly directed & acted. The movie does not try to soften its morally ambiguous characters, nor does it hold back during its many bursts of violence.
|Rotten Tomatoes Score||85%|
Hulu has quite a few superhero blockbusters, including Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy & 2000’s X-Men. Those films could easily rank among the best sci-fi movies on Hulu, but in order to avoid including too many similar projects, Chronicle is going to be used as a representative of all of these flicks on the service.
That said, “superhero” is not the right word to describe Josh Trank’s film since there are no heroes. Three high school students pick up powers, & while their actions start out fairly innocent, things take a turn when one of the characters begins to abuse his abilities (for underst&able reasons, at first). Chronicle is a character-driven piece that tries to present a realistic take on what would happen if three ordinary people suddenly gain access to godly powers. It tells a very human story.
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