Spooky season is over, and even if Netflix is already rolling out Holiday films like Elliot the Littlest Reindeer, it’s also a great month for top-notch science fiction with the reintroduction of the entire Matrix trilogy, District 9, and the original Zombieland. Speaking of zombies, with Death Stranding due out November 8 starring Norman Reedus, maybe we also ought to consider The Walking Dead, the apocalyptic show that made him famous in the first place.
The relatively new Living With Yourself starring Paul Rudd is definitely worth your time; It feels like a cross between Multiplicity and that one episode of Rick and Morty with the detox spa treatment. There’s also a heartwarming Italian movie about a man who’s born with the ability to float weightlessly in the air, but is it a gift or a curse in The Man Without Gravity?
Of course, I’ll never stop suggesting top-tier science fiction like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Her, and Ex Machina — unless they disappear fro Netflix — but we’ve some new streaming suggestions as well.
If you’re hankering for a taste of tomorrow this November, here are the 11 best pieces of science fiction on Netflix, with a focus on new, exciting, and original shows and movies.
Paul Rudd stars opposite Paul Rudd in Living With Yourself, a new series in which he lives with himself.
The trailer feels almost identical to the Rick and Morty episode “Rest and Ricklaxation.” Rudd plays Miles, a man who’s struggling through life until he undergoes a novel spa treatment that promises to make his life better. Instead, he’s replaced with a better version of himself that takes over his life. The science-fiction aspects of this are light, but the entertainment value is there in a touching story that’s equal parts hilarious and emotional.
Besides, is there any man more likable and watchable than Paul Rudd?
10. The Walking Dead
With Norman Reedus starring in Death Stranding (due out November 8), maybe it’s time to finally catch up on The Walking Dead?
All nine complete seasons of The Walking Dead are on Netflix, and they’ll probably remain until the end of time, bolstering the platform’s growing library of decent zombie content. Say what you will about lackluster ratings and dwindling quality, but nobody can dispute how crucial The Walking Dead is to the zombie genre. The series premiered just as zombie saturation peaked. Nevertheless, it’s continued to boast some of the best ratings on television.
Season 9 explores the aftermath of Season 8’s “All Out War” and most notably includes the departure of Andrew Lincoln from the show, who had played protagonist Rick Grimes since the very beginning. He’s supposedly getting some kind of spin-off movie series, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
One of the most famous and beloved anime of all time landed on Netflix in late June. For the first time since its debut in 1995, all 26 original Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes are now 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 philosophical and existential concepts in familiar mecha anime trappings: a group of high schoolers must pilot giant robots to fight monstrosities, but it takes an enormous toll on them mentally and emotionally. Neon Genesis Evangelion tweaks the mecha and slice-of-life genres to explore how religion influences culture, particularly in a society on the brink of apocalypse. Perhaps more importantly, this hugely influential sci-fi epic established tropes you’ll recognize from across anime and even live-action sci-fi.
Two companion films, The End of Evangelion and EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)², are also available on Netflix.
This new Italian film — which just hit Netflix on November 1 — sits at the cross-section of science fiction and fantasy in a story about a baby named Oscar born with the ability to float weightlessly. A modern day fairy tale, The Man Without Gravity grapples with predictable themes of fitting into regular human society when you have a supernatural ability.
His overprotective family keeps him hidden away, but an exciting romance in his young adulthood brings him out into the public spotlight where many people look to take advantage of him. Watching Oscar grow up in a small Italian village with this odd ability presents a strangely relatable coming of age story with more than enough charm to counter the film’s few shortcomings.
7. The Matrix Trilogy
… or maybe just the first Matrix film.
One of the earliest and perhaps all-time greatest creative ventures to come from the Wachowski siblings is The Matrix. The full trilogy just came back to Netflix as of November 1, and with a fourth film in development, there’s no better time to rewatch.
When the original was released in 1999, The Matrix changed the cinematic landscape for action movies, redefining the genre and inventing a new style of cinematography known as bullet time.
In The Matrix, a hacker called Neo discovers that he’s been living inside a simulation hundreds of years in the “future.” Robots with advanced A.I. rebelled against their creators and harvested human bodies as batteries, using the titular “matrix” simulation to keep them complacent. After learning the “truth,” Neo emerges in the “real world” and works with the human resistance to ultimately discover that he’s the hero that can save them all.
6. District 9
Neill Blomkamp’s debut film District 9 was a bonafide sci-fi action hit when it was released in 2009. A surprisingly poignant apartheid allegory, the film explores xenophobia and segregation when a large number of literal aliens wind up stranded on Earth. Blomkamp’s work since hasn’t resonated as well, but District 9 is a gripping piece of sci-fi world-building that’s you must see at least once in your lifetime.
District 9 hasn’t been on Netflix for quite some time, so it’s a welcome new addition this month.
- District 9 will be added to Netflix’s library on November 4, 2019.
Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin gave us the most raucous, hilarious zombie film of the early 2000s in the form of Zombieland. With Zombieland: Double Tap having only recently hit theaters, for the original to land on Netflix November 1 is a welcome surprise.
From the director of Venom and the writers of Deadpool long before they made mature but silly superhero movies, the original Zombieland is the pinnacle of the zombie horror satire, celebrating the ridiculous, gratuitous violence and gore that entertains while also delivering clever comedy and loads of sarcasm. In it, four unlikely strangers form a strange family in the zombie apocalypse, banding together to survive.
4. V for Vendetta
People didn’t talk enough about how the activist revolution of Joker felt reminiscent of V for Vendetta, one of the most important action films of the early 2000s. If Joker is an agent of chaos and madness seeking to destroy the world that tortured him for years, then V in V for Vendetta exemplifies how heroes rise above trauma to build a new world — villains just want to burn it all down.
In this dystopian political thriller fueled with sci-fi elements, a masked vigilante and anarchist freedom fighter seeks to undermine the neo-fascist totalitarian regime that has taken over the U.K. Though labeled a terrorist, his controversial — and yes, often terribly violent — actions inspire a much-needed revolution in an action-packed and thoughtful adventure based on the novel by Alan Moore.
We’ve gotten more Spider-Man movies in the last 20 years than any other superhero, yet somehow Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was able to do something surprising and totally fresh. Spider-Verse is an origin story for Miles Morales, a Black Hispanic teenager who’s bitten by a different kind of radioactive spider than the one that gave Peter Parker his powers.
A must-watch for all superhero fans, especially for its exploration of the science behind the multiverse, Into the Spider-Verse should move to the top of your queue if you haven’t seen it yet, especially because Sony started teasing a potential sequel on Halloween.
In Her, the always-excellent Joaquin Phoenix plays a man named Theodore who falls in love with his new A.I. called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Samantha learns at an exponential rate, and the way she evolves over the course of the film to fill the emotional void in Theodore’s life is fascinating.
Director Spike Jonze sells this weird premise with nothing short of delicate tenderness. Her won Best Original Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards, and with good reason. So, if you need a detox after seeing Joaquin Phoenix in Joker recently, this might be just the thing.
Her is worth watching for any fan of genuine good sci-fi at all times of the year.
1. Ex Machina
A programmer wins a contest to visit his company’s brilliant billionaire founder on a remote compound. As it turns out, that founder’s been developing an A.I. with a realistic synthetic body and needs someone else to help … test it. 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.
Anyone who enjoyed Alex Garland’s Annihilation will probably like this, his previous feature, even more. Ex Machina is a master class in cinematic pacing and tension, and it will never leave this list until the film leaves Netflix.