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11 Best Sci-Fi Shows and Movies on Netflix in January 2021

The new year is upon us, and with it comes a new crop of shows and movies on Netflix, along with some we’re saying goodbye to.

When you need a break from fulfilling your new year’s resolutions, here are some of the best sci-fi shows and movies on Netflix in January 2021.

Swiss Army Man

As bleak and uncomfortable as it is thoughtful and hilarious, Swiss Army Man has one of the strangest premises of all time. After being stranded on a deserted island, Hank (Paul Dano) teams up with the farting corpse of Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) to find his way home.

The Midnight Sky

Described by star George Clooney as a mix of Gravity and The Revenant, The Midnight Sky tells the story of a scientist desperately trying to warn astronauts returning to Earth after a long voyage that the planet has become nearly uninhabitable in their time away.


From Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer centers on a city-sized train endlessly traversing a post-apocalyptic Earth. The tale of survival and class war is as grim as it sounds, but also loaded with its director’s signature black humor.

Bird Box

Bird Box is a more horror-tinged apocalypse film about mysterious creatures that infest the Earth, driving anyone who looks at them insane. Bird Box’s exploration of tragedy and resilience doesn’t entirely stick the landing, but its interesting premise may win it some fans.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs arrived on Netflix on January 1, with all of its charm and imagination still holding up. An inventor creates a device that accidentally causes meatballs (and all manner of other food) to rain from the sky and has to find a way to reverse it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Coming to Netflix on January 5, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a dark, intense adaptation of a Swedish crime thriller. While not strictly a sci-fi film, Lisbeth Salander’s preternatural hacking skills nonetheless make this murder mystery worth a watch for fans of dark sci-fi.

Jurassic Park

What is there left to say about Jurassic Park? This all-time classic of scientific ambition gone way too far stomped back onto Netflix in December. While it’s here, it’s worth a watch, whether it’s your first viewing or you’ve seen it too many times to count.

The Magicians

The Magicians uses its fantasy premise to explore sci-fi staples like time travel and alternate dimensions, making it worth a watch even if its magical trappings aren’t your usual thing. The show’s final season comes to Netflix on January 13.

Alien Worlds

A sort of speculative nature documentary, Alien Worlds applies solid science to imaginative interpretations of how life might work on other planets. If nothing else, it’s worth watching this Avatar meets Planet Earth series for its stunning visuals and thought-provoking ideas.

Lost in Space

A reboot of the ‘60s sci-fi classic, Lost in Space puts a darker, more action-oriented spin on the marooned Robinson family. With two seasons to binge so far and a third on the way, Lost in Space can occupy a few cold January nights without requiring too much of a commitment.

Stargate SG-1

Running from 1997 to 2007, Stargate SG-1 is a planet-hopping adventure based on the 1994 Stargate film. Blending sci-fi with mythology, it’s a fascinating and wholly original take on intergalactic exploration.

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