Humans have come a long way from where their story began. In our evolution, we have understood the ways of nature and created our own devices out of it. Curiosity has been the constant driving force that kept pushing us further. But, there are still a lot of things that we don’t fully understand yet. Most things are still out of our reach, and only God knows what it is out there that we are not even aware of. This ignorance doesn’t mean that we lack any imagination. We are talking about the world of science fiction. Surely, filmmakers love the unknown. That’s why sci-fi still happens to be one of the most popular genres. In case, you are one of the sci-fi fans, today’s article is for you.
With the advent of online streaming services, movie lovers don’t have to venture out to catch up with a movie. Most are nowadays preferring to watching movies sitting in the comforts of their home. Netflix, of course, has the lion share of eyeballs, but Amazon Prime is not far behind. So, if you are planning to watch a sci-fi movie with a bunch of your friends, you can just invite them to you house and watch it on TV or a laptop. Here’s the list of top science fiction movies on Amazon Prime that are our recommendations for you and your friends.
17. Evolution (2001)
When a meteor strikes the Earth, a group of scientists is called upon to test the things that it has brought with itself from the outer space. The scientists discover that the meteor is home to an extra-terrestrial form of life which is rapidly evolving in the nitrogen-based environment. This new form of life gives rise to monstrous beings who wreak havoc in the world. To stop this life form from evolving further and taking control of the human race, scientists have to race against time to find a solution. This film is as much a comedy as it is a sci-fi film. So, you can learn something while having a good laugh.
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16. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Life has not been easy for Adam, Nick and Lou. Each one of them is depressed with the way things are and wants things to change. They all come together when Lou is hospitalized. To cheer him up, and themselves, they decide to revisit the ski resort where they used to go when they were young. They are joined by Adam’s nephew Jacob who doesn’t have any friends and has nothing better to do with his time. They spend the night drinking and partying and drink a Russian energy drink. When they wake up in the morning, they realize, through a series of encounters, that has traveled back in time to 1986. Also, if they change anything, it will have ripple effects and change everything as they know it. So, they have to go through those painful memories again.
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15. The Time Machine (2002)
Love is a very powerful driving force. It is what drives Dr. Alexander Hartdegen to build a time machine when his fiancée dies. When he succeeds and travels back in time, he discovers that no matter how hard he tries to save her, she will meet death in one way or another. Distraught by this discovery, he decides to travel further in time, believing that in the future this paradox must have been resolved. However, what he finds in the future turns his whole perspective, and his life, around.
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14. Carriers (2009)
When an infectious virus takes over, the human casualties pile up. A group of people tries to find a place where they can safely ride out the pandemic. All they have to do is not allow themselves to be infected. This proves to be a difficult task when more than most people are infected and you can be infected just through breathing. ‘Carriers’ focuses on how different people act when they are faced with the choice of surviving alone or helping others.
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13. Zoe (2018)
Love is a complicated thing, yet if every emotion is a chemical reaction inside our brains, then there must be a way to explain love, too. There must be a way to understand and study love. This is what happens in ‘Zoe’. Starring Ewan McGregor, Lea Seydoux and Theo James, this film tells the story of a scientist who tries to find a perfect match for the synthetics, i.e., robots designed by himself. Lea Seydoux plays the role of Zoe, the lead synthetic who becomes central to the research. She goes through a line of questioning that helps in determining the perfect match for her. The film delves deep into the psychology of people regarding love and how the modern dating system has affected the way people perceive relationships.
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12. The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
This film shows the story of a scientist who was obsessed with enhancing the range of human eyesight. A typical case of “careful what you wish for”, this film shows its protagonist first experiencing the pros of his situation and then finding out why certain limitations should not be broken. Xavier succeeds in coming up with an eyedrop that helps one see beyond the visible spectrum. Because he can’t find anyone for human experimentation, he decides to use it on himself. The effects turn out to be disastrous.
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11. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
Based on George Orwell’s classic novel of the same name, this film follows the story of a low-ranking officer in a post-apocalyptic world. The film focuses heavily on themes like individuality, privacy and government interference. Winston Smith works for the government on one simple task. He has to rewrite history the way it suits the people in charge of the regime. In a world where private thought is not allowed, Smith maintains a diary in which he puts down all that he thinks about the world and how he wishes it was different. When he falls in love with Julia, he has to maintain their relationship as a secret from the Thought Police and Big Brother who watch over everything.
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10. The Stepford Wives (1975)
The world that we live in is not perfect. But, it is becoming better because people are breaking off the shackles that the oppressive sections have put on them. For long, the society told people how to live and what to be. Women have lived, and continue to live in some parts of the world, in this manner. Be a perfect wife, don’t be ambitious, why do you need a job, why don’t you want children, and on and on and on. ‘The Stepford Wives’ is the film that brings out all these issues in a very clear and clever manner. When Joanna Eberhart moves to the suburbs of Stepford, she discovers that women there are obsessed with being the perfect wives. There is no hint of intellect and self-worth in them. Soon, Joanna finds out why.
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9. A Trip To The Moon (1902)
Watch this film because of its historical importance more than anything else. Directed by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ is probably the first science fiction film in history. The story of the film centers around a group of astronauts who land on the moon in a capsule-shaped spacecraft and begin exploring the surface of the moon. They soon discover that a group of lunar beings called Selenites live on the moon and are furious with the fact that earthlings have encroached upon their living area. Now, the astronauts have to escape the wrath of the Selenites in any way possible. The extensive set designs of the film are bound to awe you considering the fact that Méliès had no reference on which to base his ideas.
8.12 Monkeys (1995)
Terry Gilliam, the former member of the iconic comedy group Monty Python, is a filmmaker with a rather unique vision of his own. His films have always been eccentric in nature, and this 1995 neo-noir science fiction film is no exception. The central character of this film is a convict called James Cole (Bruce Willis) who goes back in time in order to figure out what brought about civilization’s destruction in the first place. This is when he comes across a secret organization called the Army of Twelve Monkeys led by Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), who he thinks is responsible for this disaster. Further investigation, however, utterly confuses Cole as a number of dark secrets of his past, some of which he doesn’t remember, start spilling out. The performances by Pitt and Willis are simply brilliant, with Pitt even winning a Golden Globe Award for the same. The film’s depiction of a bleak future and the way it deals with the concept of time travel are rather fresh takes, unlike anything we have ever seen.
7. Coherence (2013)
If you are of the opinion that making a science fiction film requires a large amount of money, the 2013 film ‘Coherence‘ is about to change your perception completely. Made on a shoestring budget of $50,000, this film is as intense and engrossing as some of the best science fiction films ever made. The story of ‘Coherence’ centers around eight friends who meet together for a dinner party. Things go on smoothly despite some inner turmoil between some of them. As the dinner party goes on, a comet passes over the earth. Unknown to these friends, this comet’s passing sets forth a chain of dangerous events that are about to alter their lives forever. The fine blend which writer-director James Ward Byrkit achieves in making this film science fiction, as well as an intense relationship drama, is truly splendid. The performances by the cast also do justice to the dialog-heavy screenplay.
6. Mirage (2018)
A Spanish science fiction film, ‘Mirage’ begins with the story of a boy called Nico who is about to be killed by his neighbor Mr. Prieto, who Nico believes has murdered his wife. However, a glitch occurs in the space-time continuum which allows a woman from the future to witness this incident. However, she fails to save Nico who dies after a car hits him while he is trying to escape from Mr. Prieto. This woman, Vera, then wakes up in another reality the next morning where nothing or nobody is like what she remembers. However, she is determined to teach Mr. Prieto a lesson for causing Nico’s death. Although the plot of the film is quite complex, it does not have much depth, to be honest. Moreover, the film is far too long than necessary.
5. The Man From Earth (2007)
There is nothing more certain in life than death. It goes without saying that if you are born, you will die at some point in time. But if we come to know of a person who has been alive for thousands of years, it is bound to put our beliefs in science, spirituality, reason, and logic into question. This is exactly what happens to a group of experts in various fields in this 2007 film when a scientist called Professor John Oldman calls them to a cabin and tells them that he is actually 14,000 years old. Fascinated by what he says, each one of these guests starts quizzing him on various aspects of history, science, art, and culture from all the parts of the world he claims to have lived in all these years. A brilliant film which will make you question a number of things you have always taken for granted, ‘The Man From Earth’ is a must-watch for people who are interested in the workings of the universe and how the world has evolved over the years.
4. High Life (2018)
‘High Life’ is the debut English feature film of acclaimed French filmmaker Claire Denis. The central character of this film is a convict called Monte (Robert Pattinson), whom we see in a spacecraft along with his little daughter, as they are heading towards a black hole. We learn that there have been other passengers on the spacecraft as well, but this father-daughter duo was the only survivor. As they try to look after each other while the spacecraft flies towards uncertainty, we come to know what has actually happened. Monte, along with other prisoners, was being taken to the black hole, and they were accompanied by a doctor (Juliette Binoche). What happened to the ship that led to the death of all the other inmates is what the film is about. Denis deals with some philosophically complex ideas in this film like the true meaning of human life, what it takes to be human in the first place, and how we, as a race, perceive the ideas of love and life. A rich film with an interesting story and a lot of ideas. this is a film you shouldn’t miss out on.
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3. Explorers (1985)
Most of the science fiction films on this list are about adults and are rather serious films. Thus, to bring in a fresh perspective, this entry is for children and stars two actors who would grow to be huge stars in their own right. The film begins with the story of Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke), who loves science fiction films to such an extent that he even begins dreaming about technology at one point. Ben has a friend called Wolfgang Muller (River Phoenix), who is such a genius that he manages to make a spaceship all on his own. They take another friend called Darren Woods (Jason Presson) along with them and set out on an exploration of space. While the plot of the film is somewhat weak and takes a lot of things for granted, it is the performance of the three leading actors which makes us care for them and the journey they undertake.
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2. Testament (1983)
More than being a science fiction film talking about technology that does not exist, this film shows us the horrors of the technology that is around us. The film is set in a small town called Hamlin located on the outskirts of San Francisco. One fine day, news breaks that the United States has gotten involved in a nuclear war, and California is one of the main targets. The radiation that spreads because of this war naturally causes a lot of deaths and diseases in Hamlin. Notably, the film is told from the perspective of a poor woman who is having a hard time taking care of her family. After the bombs drop, the town is cut off from the outside world and any chance of communication ceases. It is now upon the townsfolk to take care of themselves. A powerful film by Lynne Littman, ‘Testament’ is a science fiction movie that talks about the darkest consequences of using science irresponsibly.
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1. Starfish (2018)
A brilliant science fiction-horror film, ‘Starfish’ is the story of a woman called Aubrey Parker who finds herself inside the apartment of her best friend who has passed away. Meanwhile, a mysterious signal has predicted that the world is about to end quite soon. Inside the apartment, Aubrey has a mixtape on which is written: “this mixtape will save the world”. It is now her job to figure out how this is possible. A thought-provoking film which is quite experimental in its own way, ‘Starfish’ is a project we should all check out.
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