Science fiction, as a genre, is so versatile that it never ceases to amaze. Since the first Star Wars film created a rage among the masses in 1977, creators have put both feet on the gas pedal and churned out splendid sci-fi content. From dystopian worlds and virtual reality to time travel, futuristic technology and robot uprisings, the category has got it all. However, an abundance of content does not always mean a great experience. Ahead, we help you pick the greatest sci-fi films and shows from the lot.Ready Player One (2018)
Directed by Stephen Spielberg, the film is set in 2045. The world is a desolate place and humans use a virtual reality entertainment system to escape the misery of reality. A slum-dwelling teenage orphan, Wade Watts, comes across a piece of information about a secret virtual game which will grant the software, known as OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), to the winner. Wade joins forces with four others and tries his luck at winning the game before someone else can beat him to it.
Streaming on NetflixDark
In the fictional town of Winden in Germany, children mysteriously start to disappear. As the narrative unfolds, the past of the town is revealed in connection with four families that have been at loggerheads for a long time. As they look for the kids, they unravel a time-travelling conspiracy spread over multiple generations. The story has a mix of supernatural elements, dimensional travel and complex puzzles which binds all the characters together along with the town's sinister history. It is the first German series produced by Netflix.
Streaming on NetflixBlade Runner (1982)
In 1982, Harrison Ford played agent Rick Deckard, a washed-out ex-policeman, living in a dystopian Los Angeles, year 2019. He was formerly employed as a Blade Runner, officers responsible for hunting rogue humanoid androids known as replicants and eliminating them. Rick is informed by his superior that four replicants have escaped their position in a space colony and are on earth illegally. He reluctantly accepts to hunt them down and gets to work. However, during his mission, he experiences situations which make him question himself.
Streaming on NetflixStranger Things
In Hawkins Indiana, in the 1980s, a young Will Buyers vanishes without a trace. While authorities fear the worst, his mother launches a fierce search to find him. His best friends, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, carry out a separate investigation and discover a young girl, Eleven, who has telekinetic powers. The police chief of Hawkins, Jim Hopper, chances upon the experiments being conducted at the local Hawkins National Laboratory. The revelations point towards a connection between Eleven and a mysterious doorway to another dimension which harbours a creature that hunts humans. Stranger Things has had three seasons with a fourth one in the pipeline.
Streaming on NetflixI am Mother (2019)
The world faces a major extinction event which forces a secret bunker, designed to repopulate the earth, to activate. The bunker harbours a robot named Mother who artificially fertilises a human embryo. The human child grows up and is named Daughter. Mother cares for her, imparts ethical and moral lessons and always talks about an impending exam. However, Daughter becomes restless and yearns to know more about the world outside. Things take a turn when Daughter rescues a strange woman and lets her into the bunker against Mother's wishes. The woman holds information which hints that Mother may not be what it claims to be.
Streaming on NetflixThe Expanse
Hundreds of years in the future, humanity succeeds in inhabiting the solar system. Certain conflicts and strains put Mars and Earth in a state of war. During all this, a group of unlikely people come together to investigate the matter of a missing young woman. As they race across the stars to unearth the secrets, they come across a conspiracy that could seriously unsettle the cold war situation further and threaten humanity's existence.
Streaming on Amazon Prime VideoAlita: Battle Angel (2019)
It is the year 2563 and Earth has still not recovered from The Fall, a war that destroyed the planet 300 years ago. In this reformed yet dystopian planet, a scientist, Dr Ido, discovers a disassembled female cyborg in the Iron City scrapyard. He gives her a new life and names her Alita after his late daughter. Alita is fascinated by the world around her, but has no memory of her past. She befriends Hugo, a young boy who introduces her to the cyborg gladiator sport, Motorball. As Alita rediscovers the meaning of being alive, she also uncovers her past and a conspiracy threatening her and everyone around her.
Streaming on Disney+ HotstarMr Robot
Elliot Alderson is a young network engineer who works for a cybersecurity company, Allsafe; and grapples with social anxiety, depression and Dissociative Identity Disorder. He tries to link with people by hacking them at night after work and also acts as a vigilante. Owing to his skills, Elliot is hired by an unknown anarchist who goes by the name of Mr Robot. He joins his team of ‘hacktivists’ who call themselves ‘fsociety’. Things get tricky when they are tasked with targeting E Corp, a company which is Allsafe's most significant customer. The series stars Rami Malek in the lead.
Streaming on Amazon Prime VideoInterstellar (2014)
Matthew McConaughey plays Joseph Cooper, a NASA pilot-turned-farmer, in the year 2067. As disease and dust storms destroy crops, humanity's survival is threatened. Joseph chances upon the location of what remains of NASA, working in secret to look for viable planets for humans. He agrees to pilot the spacecraft through a wormhole near Saturn to travel into a distant galaxy and find a new home. Director Christopher Nolan used scientific equations to make sure that the film was as accurate as it could be, including the concepts of relative time and gravity near the wormholes.
Streaming on Amazon Prime VideoThe Mandalorian
The newest entry in the Star Wars universe, this live-action web series follows a gunfighter and bounty hunter named Din Djarin, functioning in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. His positioning allows him to work freely, away from the reaches of the New Republic. The story is set five years after the fall of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine's galactic empire. During his adventures, Din comes across Child, who is a toddler at 50 and belongs to Master Yoda's species. Even though the baby has a bounty on its head, Din decides to protect it from other hunters.
Streaming on Disney+ HotstarThe Matrix (1999)
A computer hacker, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), who goes by the alias Neo in the hacking community, discovers certain anomalies in the reality around him. He eventually learns that the world he is living in is a simulated reality called The Matrix, which has been created by machines. These machines harness human bioelectric power while keeping them in a false existence. Neo, with the help of rebels Trinity and Morpheus, joins the fight against them.
Streaming on NetflixAltered Carbon
In the year 2384, humans finally reverse-engineer an alien technology to create a disk for memories and consciousness known as cortical stacks. Human bodies are just vessels known as sleeves, which are fitted with stacks in the vertebrae behind the neck. This means people are virtually immortal, unless their stacks are damaged and have no backup. The stack belonging to Takeshi Kovacs, a former political operative, is in prison but is pulled out by a 300-year-old Meth Laurens Bancroft. Takeshi is tasked with solving a murder in exchange for freedom by Meth.
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