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Here are the best sci-fi movies on HBO Max as of February 28th.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
A sci-fi murder mystery with comparisons to The Matrix, this underrated flick deserves attention. When the inventor of a virtual reality simulator is murdered in 1937 Los Angeles, his lover becomes the prime suspect. Notably, Vincent D’Onofrio is among the cast.
Roadside Movies / Youtube screenshot
After the world’s economic collapse, Australia becomes a dangerous Wild West in this post-apocalyptic drama from Animal Kingdom director David Michôd. Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce are formidable as the survivors band together on an action-packed cross-country mission.
Twentieth Century Studios / YouTube screenshot
For a cartoon with adorable robots, this sci-fi comedy totally delivers. The setting of Ron Gone Wrong satirizes device addiction: Barney begs his father to buy him a robot, just like all the other kids at school. These robots act as a phone and even a kind of beyblade. Of course, things eventually go wrong when Barney gets his wish. Jackie Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Olivia Colman and other impressive voice cast.
Two giants come together in this fun – yet forgotten – monster movie. Living up to its title, Godzilla vs. Kong reveals that there are several rounds going on between the two giants, while the humans are tinkering around to create a secret weapon. At least there is a good soundtrack. Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Sean Oguri, Eiza Gonzalez and Julian Dennison star.
This adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill is…everything you need in a sci-fi action. Tom Cruise. Emily Blunt. Plot with time travel. Smart text. Cruise plays Major William Cage, a public relations officer who finds himself at the forefront of a battle with an alien race. Unpredictable and ambitious, The Edge of Tomorrow is a home run.
More Tom Cruise. This is Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. And Dakota Fanning! This science fiction writer, based on HG Wells’ 1898 novel, follows a father who must protect his children and reunite with their mother when giant aliens invade Earth. Big action and heart make this everything you could want from a space movie.
Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi blockbuster is back on HBO Max. The epic based on the novel by Frank Herbert recently took home a host of Academy Awards, including Best Original Score and Cinematography. Witness the sprawling story of the Atreides family, who find themselves at war on the deadly planet Arrakis. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya and more make for an absolutely amazing group.
One of the best Alex Garland movies featuring one of the best robot dancing scenes.
C24 / YouTube
Prepare to be deeply disturbed and hooked with this unique sci-fi horror. Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who roams the streets of Scotland, feeding on unsuspecting men. With amateur actors, unscripted sequences shot with hidden cameras and a lens that captures the alien’s perspective, this charming flick is unique in more ways than one.
Les Films du Losange
If you’re in the mood for something different, this apocalyptic Lars von Trier drama is all about slots on the sci-fi shelf. As if weddings weren’t stressful enough, the bride learns that an evil planet named Melancholia will soon collide with Earth. Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters whose already strained relationship has been squeezed to a pulp. Dunst won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her phenomenal performance.
Nate Shyamalan stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Abigail Breslin. A priest stumbles upon a series of crop circles in his corn field, which were created by extraterrestrial life. It’s Not The Sixth Sense, it’s more of an exercise in suspense-building than delivering eureka-of-the-moment twist, but it’s still worth the dip if you’re after a sci-fi horror chill.
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A classic action movie starring Arnie, the Predator follows an elite paramilitary rescue team who are being hunted by a technologically advanced alien.
Invasion of the Body Thieves (1978)
Remakes are rarely better than the original, but sometimes there is a notable exception. The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers builds on the already great sci-fi horror of 1956, telling the story of a health inspector and his colleague who realize that the residents of San Francisco are slowly being replaced by drone replicas. Creating an atmosphere of dread and paranoia, with Donald Sutherland at the fore, Invasion of the Body Snatcher has been hailed as one of the best science fiction of all time.
Arnie stars in this science fiction thriller based on a short story by Philip K. rooster. A construction worker receives an implanted memory of an exhilarating adventure on Mars. Things get wild from there in this ambitious sci-fi classic.
Twentieth Century Fox
The cyberpunk thriller from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”). Strange Days stars Ralph Fiennes as a former LAPD officer who uses illegal technology involving memory to solve the murder of a prostitute. Some would say this is an underrated ’90s sci-fi gem. Now that he’s back on stream, give him a new try.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
Based on James Dashner’s dystopian sci-fi novel, The Maze Runner kicked off an entertaining film series. Dylan O’Brien plays Thomas, a 16-year-old who wakes up in the middle of a huge, intricate maze, joined only by a group of other boys. This intriguing setting provides a solid entertaining adventure – the best of the trilogy.
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If you haven’t seen The Matrix, and somehow don’t know the main story plot points, you’ve done well to avoid spoilers for 23 years. The Reloaded, Revolutions, and Resurrections sequels are also on HBO Max.
Voltage pictures / youtube / screenshot
Colossal may look like a romantic comedy on the surface, but it has surprisingly dark layers underneath. This dark comedy stars Anne Hathaway as an alcoholic, unemployed journalist who returns home to New Hampshire after being fired by her suave British boyfriend (Dan Stevens). What happens next is both highly unexpected and a huge metaphor: She discovers that she is related to a huge Kaiju monster ravaging Seoul, South Korea. Yes, Colossal has a lot of soul, a standout performance from Jason Sudeikis and a fantastical and sometimes exciting story.
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A classic from the ’80s, The Fly is a remake of the 1958 movie of the same name, only with the addition of Gore and Jeff Goldblum. David Cronenberg’s film has become a classic in its own right.
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
“Alexa, play 2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Warner Bros./YouTube/CNET Screenshot
This sci-fi mystery from one half of the duo that created Westworld (Lisa Joy) is pure mind-boggling, but the exciting ideas are worth the attention. Reminiscence follows Hugh Jackman’s Nick Bannister, who uses a machine that can see people’s memories.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Best Terminator movie? Make up your mind by watching the sequel to The Terminator.
Screenshot Katalyst / CNET
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
A fun B movie, The Butterfly Effect sees college student Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) messing with the past and discovering how each change affects the present.
The sci-fi filmmaker who put director Neil Blomkamp on the map. This found footage hybrid film takes you straight into the intense action of an alternate 1982, when an alien spacecraft appears over Johannesburg, Africa. A unique, sexy and somewhat political classic.
Gravity is the scary yet suspenseful space movie, featuring a total of zero aliens. It follows Dr. Ryan Stone, an astronaut who is stranded in space, on a seemingly impossible quest to return to Earth.
Mosfilm / YouTube / CNET screenshot
Make it through Stalker’s slow start and you’ll be able to say you’ve witnessed an existential masterpiece of Russian cinema.
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Before Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky had made huge leaps in sci-fi cinema, with his complex, character-driven take on astronauts experiencing wild hallucinations that may or may not be real. The 2002 American remake of Solaris is also on HBO Max, with the addition of George Clooney’s romance.
This low-budget sci-fi blockbuster starring Sam Rockwell has it all. She has Sam Rockwell. Score by Clint Mansell. Stifling retro set and groovy moody landscapes. Hard science fiction ideas. Basic premise: A man nearing the end of a three-year solitary period on the far side of the moon is experiencing a personal crisis. must be watching.
A warning to the horror-hating body before playing on this sci-fi thriller from David Cronenberg. The Scanners keep track of people with special abilities, including telepathic powers and telekinesis. Not the first on this list to become a cult classic after an initial lukewarm response, Scanners made a lasting impression, not least because of a memorable scene involving an explosion in the head.
Don’t Worry Baby (2022)
This temporary entry to the sci-fi movie list makes the cut because it includes elements of both science fiction and action thrillers. Set in a utopian corporate town in what appears to be the 1950s, a housewife (Florence Pugh) begins to suspect that the place’s founder (Chris Pine) is hiding a dark secret. It may not be a 10 out of 10 movie, but don’t worry, Darling is an absorbing mystery in more ways than one.
Rabbits have never been scarier. Donnie Darko is as dark as its title suggests, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular high school student who sees him sleepwalking inadvertently escape a fatal accident. Donnie has visions of Frank, a scary figure dressed as a rabbit who tells him the world will end in 28 days. Manipulated by Frank, Donnie begins committing crimes.
Robert Rodriguez isn’t the most popular among Star Wars fans right now, mainly for making a character do a pointless ballet dance in the divisive Boba Fett book finale. The college, directed by Rodriguez, isn’t great, but it’s not bad either, following teens investigating mysterious goings-on at their high school.
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Its sequel didn’t quite reach the same heights, so watch the first monster saga in the Pacific Rim franchise. 2013’s Pacific Rim was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, so expect a strong brush of visual art on top of the monster mayhem.
Roland Emmerich’s disaster flick bombed the box office with more force than the moon fell at its center. However, as a cheesy B-movie, Moonfall isn’t a total disaster. Astronauts, conspiracy theories, and moon landings are just some of what you can expect from a story that follows a mission to save humanity.
The light comedy starring Ryan Reynolds won’t always be spot on, but sometimes that’s just what you need for an evening out. Free Guy follows a bank teller named Guy who discovers he is a non-player character in an online multiplayer game.
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