Netflix June 2019: The 11 Best Sci-Fi Movies and Shows to Watch
Science fiction on Netflix gets a complete overhaul in June 2019 with a staggering number of original new releases like Black Mirror Season 5 and the movie I Am Mother, but the platforms also borrows some excellent animated films from Disney and Sony, namely Ralph Breaks the Internet and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The best thing May had going for it was the onslaught of The CW’s programming, and we prefer this so much more.
On June 6, Netflix says goodbye to Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, a grim reminder that Disney+ looms in the not-so-distant future to reclaim every Marvel Studios film. Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp remain for now..
Thankfully, Netflix has more than enough to whet the appetite with sci-fi series and movies. If you’re hankering for a taste of tomorrow this June, here are the 11 best pieces of science fiction on Netflix with a focus on the new, exciting, and original — but more importantly, we’ll always have the very best recommendations.
Though it dips into the realm of horror and satire, Black Mirror consistently focuses on exploring what impact technology can have when taken to extremes. Some episodes of Netflix’s beloved sci-fi anthology series have more to do with social media or YouTube obsessions, but others dive deep into the implications of many hard sci-fi concepts, including the cyberization of the human mind, technological surveillance, and human-like A.I. machines. It’s provocative and exciting at its best and downright disturbing at its worst — but even then, it’s still high-quality science fiction.
Netflix released a Black Mirror Season 5 trailer on May 15 featuring actors like Topher Grace, Anthony Mackie, and Miley Cyrus. There’s even what looks like a Street Fighter-inspired episode starring a former Power Ranger.
Black Mirror Season 5 hits Netflix on June 5, 2019.
10. Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
Legends of Tomorrow got off to a rocky start with its middling first season, sticking a handful of the Arrowverse’s supporting cast together on a time-traveling spaceship to explore history. But by Season 4 — which hit Netflix in late May — the show is The CW super-heroics at its most fun and lovable.
Season 4 upgraded Matt Ryan’s John Constantine to a series regular for a story increasingly focused on demonic threats, but the show remained firmly rooted in its sci-fi premise and earned great praise from critics.
9. Neon Genesis Evangelion
One of the most famous and beloved anime of all time is about to take Netflix by storm. For the first time ever since its debut in 1995, all 26 original Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes will be available to stream in one place, along with The End of Evangelion film and the bonus extended episode EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)². Altogether, the series is a must-watch for any anime fan.
This complex sci-fi universe grapples with heady concepts like existential uncertainty in familiar mecha anime trappings: Humans pilot giant robots to fight monstrosities. Neon Genesis Evangelion uses this familiar premise as a vehicle to explore how religion influences culture, particular one on the brink of apocalypse.
Two companion films, The End of Evangelion and EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)² arrive on Netflix on June 21, 2019.
8. 3% Season 3
This Brazilian dystopian thriller is a curious YA-style mixture of The Hunger Games with the likes of The Giver or Divergent. Much of the world lives in abject poverty, but three percent of the top-scoring 20-year-olds — hence 3% — get to go to the Offshore, where the brightest that society has to offer get to live in luxury. The show follows the young students going through the battery of testing, struggling to make it to an island paradise. The pressure and stakes are insurmountable, with the alternatives just as horrifying.
The previous two seasons focused on the binary of the Inland and Offshore, but Season 3 introduces “the new world of The Shell.” What will this dystopia look like as it explores more of the moral grey areas as society breaks down?
3% Season 3 will be released on Netflix June 7, 2019.
7. Dark Season 2
Stranger Things has a totally grim German cousin on Netflix, and it’s called Dark. In a small German town, the disappearance of two children exposes the double-lives and dirty secrets among four families, ultimately revealing that a wormhole connects at least three separate points in time.
In Season 2, Jonas is trapped in the future while his friends further explore the conspiracy at the heart of Dark.
Dark Season 2 descends upon Netflix on June 21, 2019.
6. Stranger Things
Netflix’s pride and joy, Stranger Things was a surprise sensation when Season 1 debuted in July 2016. The dark sci-fi series explores the interdimensional horrors unleashed by experiments conducted at a lab outside the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The disappearance of a young boy into the bizarre “Upside Down” coincides with the appearance of a girl with psychic powers, all while monsters begin to invade the real world.
Season 2 further explored the otherworldly threats of the Upside Down and increased the stakes drastically. With Season 3 due out July 4, there’s no better time to catch up on the series by rewatching Season 1 and 2.
5. I Am Mother
Netflix’s next big original sci-fi film is I Am Mother, a haunting story about a teenager raised by “Mother,” an A.I. robot tasked with a repopulating the Earth humankind goes extinct … except that was all a lie.
With the arrival of a living human outsider to Mother and Daughter’s fallout shelter comes the revelation that the outside world isn’t what Mother said, and what unfolds is a tense thriller that one reviewer called “James Cameron crossbred with Ridley Scott.” Based on reactions coming out of Sundance, I Am Mother might become Netflix’s most critically successful sci-fi movie to date.
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Every Spider-Man story already leans heavily into science fiction thanks to the superhero’s basic origin story: A radioactive spider bites the teenaged Peter Parker, he acquires an amazing array of superpowers as a result, and in many instances somehow builds his own web-shooting gadgets to complete the outfit. But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is something else.
In a year chock full of superhero movies, 2018’s best was probably Into the Spider-Verse. It’s a Spider-Man story that leans heavily on heady sci-fi concepts, namely the multiverse. Several versions of Spider-Man from a handful of alternate realities team up to stop Kingpin from destroying every reality, but our protagonist and hero is Miles Morales, an emerging Spider-Man replacement in his home universe after Peter Parker dies.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings onto Netflix June 26, 2019.
3. Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet
Imagine an old arcade game character invading the internet, and you have barely grasped the delightful, colorful insanity of Ralph Breaks the Internet, the direct sequel to Wreck-It Ralph that examines the internet through a kaleidoscope from very far away. The distorted picture is saccharine sweet and lacks any kind of critical analysis, but at least it’s cute and fun, right?
This Ralph-verse is all about video game characters coming to life via their arcade machines (sort of like Toy Story), but after Wreck-It Ralph breaks his best friends’ machine, the pair wind up connecting to local wifi and exploring the internet instead. The whole idea is weird and wild, but also a lot of fun, especially if you adore an overwhelming amount of Disney cameos.
Ralph Breaks the Internet will wreck Netflix on June 11, 2019.
2. Small Soldiers (1998)
Critics have panned Small Soldiers for more than two decades, but its an under-appreciated masterpiece mainly due to an outrageous premise that makes for an incredibly fun watch as long as you don’t take it that seriously. This movie is essentially a dark and gritty live-action Toy Story alternative where the toys aren’t afraid to interact with humans (and worse).
The premise? Commando Elite action figures and their Gorgonite enemies are accidentally upgraded with military-grade microprocessors, ostensibly giving them free will. The Commando Elites immediately try wiping out the innocent Gorgonites, who team up with some human kids. It only gets weirder from there.
Small Soldiers invades Netflix on June 1, 2019.
1. Ex Machina
I didn’t know what “edge of your seat” really meant in terms of thrillers until I saw Ex Machina in the theater. Anyone who enjoyed Alex Garland’s Annihilation will probably like his previous feature even more.
A programmer from a massive tech company wins a contest and gets to visit the company’s brilliant billionaire founder. But that founder’s been developing an A.I. with a realistic synthetic body on his remote compound, and he wants someone to help … test them. Ex Machina goes from quirky to strange, to creepy to horrifying with enough cerebral tension to make you question whether you’re a human yourself.