5 sci-fi movies worth watching on Netflix in January 2023

Polygon readers, welcome to the alarmingly futuristic 2023. There are many good sci-fi movies in the coming months, such as the mystery movie time travel action movie 65 starring Adam Driver, Brandon Cronenberg’s infinity poolby Denis Villeneuve Sand Dunes: Part Two, no mention of Gerard Johnstone’s debut M3GAN this week. However, if you’re looking for some brave new worlds to see right now, then relax in the comfort of your own home, relax — we’ve got you covered.

We took a look at Netflix’s library this month to bring the best sci-fi movies available to stream on the service. Let’s dive in!


Nora Arnezeder looks out over the gray, dejected ocean in The Colony

Photo: Movie Saban

Year: 2021
run time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Manager: Tim Fehlbaum
Cast: Actor: Nora ArnezederSarah-Sofie Boussnina Iain Glen

If you’re looking for a moody and melancholy sci-fi thriller that matches the tone of Alfonso Cuarón man’s child and the aesthetics of Joseph Kosinski Oblivion, Tim Fehlbaum’s 2021 movie is perfect for you. Also titled Tide, Colony follows a team of explorers from a human colony on a distant planet known as Kepler-209 that return to Earth to test whether the planet is potentially habitable. The inhabitants of Kepler-209 have been rendered infertile since leaving the planet, and so returning to Earth is now humanity’s last and best hope of survival.

As Roxana Hadadi wrote in her rating for polygon:

In its first scenes, Colony acts as a sad visual exploration of what survival will be like if we move on with our lives. destructive climate road: constant floods and whirlpools, mobile cities built on rickety ships, nomads wear costumes that protect them from the elements and allow for easy movement. Cinematographer Markus Förderer and production designer Julian R. Wagner create a world full of haunting, yet Colony sometimes too literal. Fehlbaum’s presentation of loneliness is chock full of obvious visuals (Blake alone on the beach, Blake alone in a tidal well), but its first 20 minutes or so are a worthwhile visualization. concern about loss.

Illang: Wolf Brigade

Gang Dong-won as Im Joong-kyung in armor holding a pistol in Illang: The Wolf Brigade.

Photo: Cho Won Jin/Netflix

Year: 2018
run time: 2 hours 19 minutes
Manager: Kim Jee-woon
Cast: Gang Dong-won, Han Hyo-joo, Jung Woo-sung

Live-action adaptation of the 1999 anime horror film by Hiroyuki Okiura and Mamoru Oshii Jin Roh, Kim Jee-woon’s 2018 film transforms the original’s alternate 1950s Japanese setting into a unified Korea circa 2024 while not losing the melancholy tone and dynamics of the previous installment. The film follows Im Joong-kyung, a member of a heavily armed police force, whose budding relationship with a suicide bomber’s sister shakes his resolve and forces he must question the morality of his actions. don’t think Illang: Wolf Brigade as an alternative to Jin Rohbut rather a companion work with its own nuances and dehumanizing effects of domestic militarism for the sake of apparent peace. —TE

Minority Report

Tom Cruise's John Anderton holds the leopard woman as they hug and look in different directions in Minority Report

Image: 20th century film studio

Year: 2002
run time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Manager: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Actor: Tom Cruise Colin Farrell Max von Sydow

Tom Cruise stars in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story as John Anderton, a 2054 police captain who serves as the commander of an experimental new show specializes in “Precrime” — predicting future instances of criminal activity and intervening before a crime is committed. When John himself is implicated in a murder, he will have to outwit and flee his colleagues to clear his name, and at the same time track down the culprit or perpetrators responsible for trapping him.

As a sci-fi action film about the dangers of institutional overreach and the power of human choice over predestination, the film’s production design has since inspired Inspire a similar generation of real-life innovation, including though not limited to ads and personalized gestures- based on motion-sensing user interface technology like Microsoft’s Kinect devices . —TE


A giant millipede with writhing tentacles trudged through the mist-covered landscape.

Photo: Weinstein Company

Year: 2007
run time: 2 hours and 6 minutes
Manager: Frank Darabont
Cast: Starring: Thomas JaneMarcia Gay HardenLaurie Holden

Frank Darabont is one of the masters of Stephen King’s successful adaptations, responsible for such popular films as The Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile. 2007 fogDarabont takes on King’s third and final film to date, following the Drayton family — David, Steff, and their young son, Billy — who are forced to seek shelter in the local supermarket with their neighbors after a mysterious incident. The storm bathes their small town in a mist of bloodthirsty creatures.

It’s not just the creatures they have to worry about, however, as the townspeople begin to worship idolatry and barbarism in a desperate desire to find safety in the face of fear. There are so many great elements to fogEqually important among them is its epilogue – a section that not only differs significantly from the original doc’s ending but has since received rave reviews from King himself. —TE

Belonging to the spectrum

Two soldiers in futuristic armor and gas masks crouch behind an elaborate rifle.

Image: Legend/Netflix

Year: 2016
run time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Manager: Nic Mathieu
Cast: James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer

If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie that cares less about epic thematic depth and more about the explosive urban battle against extraterrestrial ghosts and vampires, this is it. exactly what you are looking for. Belonging to the spectrum follows Mark Clyne (James Badge Dale), a DARPA engineer who is assigned to a special forces unit in Moldova to investigate a strange phenomenon discovered thanks to his invention: a line of glasses. experimental hyperspectral imaging. As it turns out, the soldiers themselves are not only discovered by some unknown glitch, but ghost-like creatures begin to attack the army for their own puzzling reasons. Admittedly, this isn’t a particularly clever or original movie, but if a four-legged drone robot projecting a giant flashlight cannon at a morphing cloud of smoke sounds good, then so be it. try it out. —TE


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