The turn of the calendar brings a fresh selection of movies to Netflix. Many of these films end up on Netflix’s 10 most popular movies shortly after their arrival. Sci-fi films, in particular, have done well on the service, with recent additions Dredd and Arrival occupying spots in the top 10.
Below, we curated a list of five sci-fi movies on Netflix to watch in October. The list includes Dune, the 2021 sci-fi epic from Denis Villeneuve; Bird Box, the 2018 dystopian thriller that became a global phenomenon; and War of the Worlds, the action thriller based on one of the most influential sci-fi novels.
Frank Herbert’s influential sci-fi novel was considered unadaptable, especially after David Lynch’s 1984 critical and commercial failure. However, Villeneuve proved Dune could be adapted for the big screen, creating a sci-fi masterpiece of substance and spectacle. Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, the brilliant son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Lady Jessica), and heir to House Atreides.
Leto is ordered to serve as the steward of Arrakis, a dangerous desert planet home to the most valuable resource in the universe, “spice.” Leto sees this as a chance to ally with the Fremens, the natives of Arrakis. However, House Harkonnen plans on overtaking Arrakis from House Atreides. With war inevitable, Paul is called to fulfill his destiny and bring peace to Arrakis.
Stream Dune on Netflix.
Two of the most influential figures in Hollywood – Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg – teamed up in 2005 to adapt War of the Worlds, based on the iconic 1898 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells. Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced Brooklyn dockworker struggling to maintain a relationship with his two children: teenage son Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and young daughter Rachel (Dakota Fanning).
After his ex-wife (Miranda Otto) drops the children off at his New Jersey house, Ray witnesses an electromagnetic storm wipe out the power. Originally thought to be a power outage, the lightning strike signals the beginning of an alien invasion as extraterrestrial creatures attack the planet. Amidst the battle of humanity, Ray travels to Boston to reunite his children with their mother, but the journey proves troublesome due to the alien invaders.
Stream War of the Worlds on Netflix.
Class warfare, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and capitalism are the core themes in Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi fairy tale Elysium. However, these topics are intertwined with pulse-pounding action and visceral thrills. In 2154, the wealthy live on an affluent space station called Elysium, while the less fortunate citizens are banished to live in poverty on Earth.
Max (Matt Damon) is one of the unlucky citizens living on Earth. While working at a factory, Max is exposed to deadly radiation, and the doctors give him five days to live. If Max can get to Elysium, he can use a Med-Bay to eliminate the radiation and save his life. Max cuts a deal with a smuggler named Spider (Wagner Moura) to steal classified information from a powerful employee in exchange for a ride to Elysium to use the Med-Bay. However, Defense Secretary Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) gets wind of Max’s objective and goes to great lengths to thwart the mission.
Stream Elysium on Netflix.
In 2018, Bird Box became the first Netflix original movie to dominate pop culture on its way to becoming the most popular English film in Netflix history, a title it held for nearly three years. In a post-apocalyptic world, mysterious entities force people to commit suicide. The only way to ensure survival is to not look at the entities, forcing survivors to stay inside. If they leave the house, they must wear blindfolds to cover their eyes.
Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) is one of the survivors. When she hears transmissions of a safe community hidden in the forest, Malorie and her two children – Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) – embark on a dangerous journey down the river. It’s a race against time as unblindfolded survivors are hellbent on stopping Malorie from reaching the sanctuary.
Stream Bird Box on Netflix.
In What Happened to Monday, famine and overpopulation have devastated the population in 2043, forcing the Child Allocation Bureau to institute a “One Child Policy.” The eldest children are allowed to live, while the rest are forced into cryosleep. Before her death, Karen Settman (Noomi Rapace) gave birth to identical septuplets.
Karen’s grandfather, Terrence (Inside‘s Willem Dafoe), raises all seven girls and names them after each day of the week. Terrence teaches them to live under one identity, using wigs and makeup to make the girls look like the same person. Each girl can leave the house on the day of their name. One day, Monday never comes home, forcing the sisters to find their missing sibling before Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close) of the Bureau can kill them.
Stream What Happened to Monday on Netflix.
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