Prime Video’s sci-fi offerings cover a surprisingly deep range of stories. Aside from the Arnie classics, you’ll find a handful of smaller, indie gems, such as, widely regarded as one of the best hidden sci-fi gems out there.
Scroll down for our top picks foron Prime Video you can stream right now.
The City of Lost Children (1995)
Before Amélie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet brought his flair and visual stylings to a sci-fi fantasy (co-directed by Marc Caro). The City of Lost Children follows an evil scientist who kidnaps children, thinking their dreams are the key to prevent aging.
The Vast of Night (2019)
Here’s another cool indie sci-fi to put on your radar. The Vast of Night ticks a lot of boxes for a film on a budget. Surprisingly high production values, impressive performances and inventive camerawork help tell the story of two teenagers in ’50s New Mexico who chase down the potentially extraterrestrial origins of a mysterious audio frequency.
Black Box (2020)
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For those missing Black Mirror, this will go some way to filling that gap. Black Box follows a father who tries to piece his life back together after a car accident. He agrees to an experimental procedure that leads him to the darkest recesses of his mind.
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Coherence doesn’t need an Avatar-size budget to craft a compelling story. The low-budget indie film follows friends at a dinner party who start noticing bizarre occurrences after a comet passes. Even more unsettling because of its grounded setting, Coherence nails the brief of true indie gem.
Alex Garland fans will be familiar with Judge Dredd. One of the earlier films that came from the sci-fi auteur’s pen (based on a comic), the sci-fi actioner follows the eponymous judge, who covers everything from jury to executioner. In a dystopic metropolis, Dredd and his apprentice attempt to bring down drug lord Ma-Ma, played by Lena Headey.
Infinity Chamber (2016)
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Intriguing premise? Check. Low budget? Check. Twist in the end? Check. This indie sci-fi mystery from Travis Milloy solidifies its place in the Google Search quest for “best indie sci-fi gems.” Infinity Chamber’s complex story focuses on a man held in an automated detention facility. He must fight superior technology to escape, an immensely tricky feat.
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For a well-made, thoughtful sci-fi that makes sure not to let its meditations overtake entertainment value, Archive is a great shout. The British directorial debut from Gavin Rothery stars Theo James as a scientist working on making an AI as human as possible. His reasons are hidden, personal and sure to put a spanner in the works. Drawing comparisons to Ex Machina, Archive is assured storytelling with an astute focus on character.
The Terminator (1984)
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Not much needs to be said about the first in the Terminator franchise. Apparently born of a fever dream, James Cameron’s story gives us a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to save mankind from the robot apocalypse.
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Haven’t seen RoboCop yet? The ’80s classic has been referenced in everything from Ready Player One to Community to Sailor Moon. It centers on a police officer who’s brutally murdered, only to come back as a cyborg on a crime-stopping rampage.
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It seems movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger are a feature on this list. A classic action flick, Predator follows an elite paramilitary rescue team stalked by a technologically advanced alien.
The Fly (1986)
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You could go on an ’80s classics binge with the amount of iconic movies on Prime Video. Perhaps surprisingly, The Fly is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name, just with added gore and Jeff Goldblum. The David Cronenberg film has become a classic in its own right.
The Tomorrow War (2021)
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It’s hard to leave The Tomorrow War off this list, because it’s Prime Video’s big sci-fi actioner starring Chris Pratt. It follows a schoolteacher who’s drafted into a war with aliens — in the future. An easily digestible flick that you can watch while looking at your phone.
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Vivarium is an interesting one. It might frustrate a lot of viewers with its surreal aspects, but it’s still a compelling film. A young couple becomes trapped in a labyrinthine suburban neighborhood of identical houses. While trying to escape, they find themselves taking care of a mysterious baby.