Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page and come back every month to see what other excellent science fiction get added to Hulu.
Updated for March 2020
Hulu gets science fiction. Science fiction is all about possibility. Will this event happen? Probably not. But could it? Maybe!
That sense of possibility and wonder imbues each and every film on this list of the best science fiction movies on Hulu. The list is relatively small as far as lists on our streaming guides go. But it’s growing as the powers that be behind Hulu understand that having a healthy diet of content also means including some sci-fi roughage.
Check out the list gathered below and let us know what needs to be added.
Back in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Alex Garland was an acclaimed novelist who penned the screenplay for the adaptation of his own book, The Beach. Now, some fifteen years later, Garland is suddenly one of our most exciting science fiction directors.
Annihilation is Garland’s follow-up to 2014’s psycho-robo-thriller Ex Machina, and it’s great. Natalie Portman stars as cellular biology professor Lena, who along with her husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac) is studying a mysterious, glowing electromagnetic phenomena called The Shimmer. When a very ill Kane returns as the only survivor of an expedition into the Shimmer, Lena elects to make her own journey into the strange phenomenon.
1988’s Akira was both a landmark for anime’s expansion into the west and the cyberpunk sci-fi genre, itself. Akira is set in the distant future of…2019. Neo-Tokyo is a military industrial complex wasteland…though the atom bomb that the Japanese government dropped on the city to cover up its experiments with ESP on children certainly didn’t help.
The story picks up with Shōtarō Kaneda, the leader of a local biker gang. Kaneda’s childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, acquires telepathic abilities following a motorcycle incident and suddenly it is up to Kaneda to keep his friend safe from the military and government scientists and also maybe save the world in the process.
28 Weeks Later
Danny Boyle’s successful zombie thriller 28 Days Later broke from zombie movie dogma when it did the unthinkable: it made the zombies fast. This sequel, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, picks up the story where Days left off and adds more fresh takes to the fast zombie paradigm.
It’s 28 weeks after the rage virus has infected the world. NATO has successfully created a safe zone within London but the safety of that quarantine is threatened when its discovered that some individuals can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. 28 Weeks Later catches up with its large cast as all hell breaks loose.
By 2018 planet Earth pretty much thought it was all set on new movies within the Transformers franchise. Little did planet Earth know that a fun little family sci-fi action film starring the cutest Transformer was precisely what they needed.
Bumblee takes things back to 1987 where the titular Transformer Bumblebee crash lands on Earth following a civil war on his planet. Bumblebee crosses paths with American teenager Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) and the two become fast friends and mutual protectors as the American government closes in on the “dangerous” yellow Transformer.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
After Star Trek the Motion Picture was received less than warmly, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan not only got the Star Trek film franchise back on track but forever established the brand as a science fiction mainstay.
The plot is beautiful in its simplicity. The high-minded thinking of the series and the first movie gives way to a pretty standard revenge plot. The key is how well Khan Noonien Singh and his titular “wrath” is depicted.
Back in 2009 when J.J. Abrams was tasked with rebooting the Star Trek franchise, he apparently had little knowledge or interest in said franchise. He did, however, have plenty of Star Wars knowledge. So he basically made what can be almost seen as a precursor to his own Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Star Trek doesn’t have a lot of the progressive politics or forward-thinking humanity that the original series and movies do. What it does instead is recast all the original iconic characters with pitch-perfect actors and sends them on a space adventure. Star Trek may not be pure Star Trek but it is pure blockbuster filmmaking.
Earth Girls Are Easy
Earth Girls are Easy seems like it exists just to see how many genres a movie can realistically fall into. It’s a romantic-comedy science fiction musical. It’s also a documentary if you choose to believe that Jim Carey, Jeff Goldblum, and Damon Wayans really look like furry aliens, which I do.
In Earth Girls are Easy, the three aforementioned aliens Mac, Wiploc, and Zeebo are fed up with their lonely lives in outer space, bereft of female companionship. They decide to head to a mythical land called Earth where the women are beautiful and don’t look like multi-colored fuzzballs. There they crash into the pool of California valley girl Valerie (Geena Davis) and intergalactic romance blossoms. Earth Girls are Easy is pure ’80s weirdness and occupies a silly, yet importance place in our Hulu sci-fi canon.
The Osiris Child
One thing you have to appreciate in any sci-fi action movie is confidence. And confidence is something you can’t accuse The Osiris Child of not having. How else would you explain the ambitious full title of the film – The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume 1. Sadly there is no Volume 2 as of yet, but this Australian film is still fun sci-fi.
The Osiris Child takes place in an unspecified future on a newly-colonized planet. When a pack of destructive monsters break free from their containment facility on the planet, former nurse Sy Lombrok (Kellan Lutz) and lieutenant Kane Sommerville (Daniel MacPherson) must do track down Kane’s daughter in the capital to keep her safe.