5 sci-fi movies on Netflix you need to watch in May 2024

A woman and man stand next to each other while holding guns.
Warner Bros.

May is a big month for sci-fi on Netflix thanks to the arrival of Atlas, Brad Peyton’s first directed film since 2018’s Rampage. The sci-fi action thriller stars Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd, an intelligent data analyst forced to make an uneasy alliance with AI to save humanity. Besides Lopez, Atlas’ ensemble includes Simu Liu, Sterling K. Brown, and Mark Strong.

Atlas comes to Netflix on May 24. Until then, many sci-fi films are in the streamer’s library, from thrillers and anime to action and dystopian. Below are five sci-fi movies available to stream this month, including the sequel to an original space opera, a brilliant satire, and an innovative action thriller.

Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

A woman points a gun and stares.
Clay Enos / Netflix

It’s been four long months, but it’s time to return to Veldt in Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver. When we last checked in with our heroes, Kora killed Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein), ending the attack on Veldt for their food supply. In the final moments of Part One: A Child of Fire, Noble was resurrected by the Imperium. In the sequel, Balisarius (Fra Fee) orders Noble and the dreadnought ship to attack Veldt.

With only days before their arrival, Kora, Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), and the remaining villagers prepare for battle, one they know could end their lives. The Scargiver is a Zack Snyder film, so expect his trademark style of slow-mo sequences and brutal fight scenes. Remember: Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire is also available to stream on Netflix.

Stream Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver on Netflix.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Johnny runs from a giant alien bug in Starship Troopers
TriStar Pictures / Sony Pictures

Upon its release, Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was severely underrated. Set in the distant future, Earth is at war with giant alien bugs. Humans are governed by a militaristic organization, and citizenship can only be achieved through federal service. Therefore, people are encouraged to join the military.

After graduating high school, teenager Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) enlists as a mobile infantryman. His girlfriend, Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards), becomes a starship pilot. Together, they set out on a path to defeat the space bugs. There are entertaining battle scenes that enhance the sci-fi spectacle. However, that’s not the main point of Starship Troopers. Verhoeven crafts a brilliant satire that depicts a fascist world on the back of the military-industrial complex. Fans of the recent video game smash Helldivers 2 will especially love this movie.

Stream Starship Troopers on Netflix.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, and Jennifer Lawrence as Peeta, Effie, and Katniss on stage in The Hunger Games Catching Fire.
Image via Lionsgate

In The Hunger Games, not only did Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) survive the 74th Hunger Games but she convinced the Gamemaker to make her and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) co-winners. In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta embark on a victory tour throughout the districts, which leads to more turmoil between the residents and the Capitol.

The tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland) knows Katniss’ defiance has sparked a rebellion that won’t stop unless she dies. Snow’s solution is to force previous winners into the 75th Hunger Games, meaning Katniss must represent District 12. With Peeta by her side, Katniss enters the arena and quickly learns that the rebellion is far from over, even on the inside.

Stream The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Netflix.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

A group of scientists stand around each other and look.
Netflix

Remember when The Cloverfield Paradox was the surprise movie that dropped after the Super Bowl? During Super Bowl LII, Netflix released a trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox, advertising that the film would be available to stream right after the game. Set in 2028, Paradox, the third film in the Cloverfield franchise, takes place in space at the Cloverfield Station. An energy crisis has ravaged Earth, forcing its residents to develop new resources or face extinction.

A group of scientists are humanity’s only hope thanks to the Shepard particle accelerator, which would provide Earth with infinite energy. However, the accelerator could open portals to alternate universes. The scientists have no idea who, or what, will come through those portals. Though weaker than the previous Cloverfield films, Paradox does have enough intrigue and suspense to keep the audience guessing.

Stream The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix.

The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Influential. Groundbreaking. Iconic. Use whatever positive adjective that comes to mind to describe The Matrixthe game-changing sci-fi action film. Computer programmer Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), aka Neo, is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who brings him into a mysterious underworld. Neo then meets Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) the rebel leader.

Morpheus opens Neo’s eyes to the truth about “the Matrix” and the ongoing battle between humanity and machines. Morpheus and his group hack into the Matrix to liberate the enslaved humans and convince them to join the cause. Neo reluctantly joins in the fight and slowly learns that he might be the one to save humanity. Backed by still-amazing special effects and elaborate action sequences, The Matrix was a landmark moment in cinematic history, and a movie that’s just as relevant now as it was 25 years ago.

Stream The Matrix on Netflix.

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