The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now

Jonathan Olley, Lucasfilm Ltd
Jonathan Olley, Lucasfilm Ltd

If you’re in the mood for some speculative fiction and your pile of Arthur C. Clarke books has been exhausted, you could do worse than to tune into Netflix. The streaming service is constantly acquiring new films in the sci-fi and fantasy genres that should satisfy most fans of alternative futures. Here are 10 of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now.

1. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Heavily maligned for booting original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller in favor of Ron Howard, Solo doesn't break any new ground for the storied Star Wars franchise. What it does do is manage to navigate its well-publicized production troubles to deliver a generally satisfying and entertaining origin story of reluctant hero pilot Han Solo, played with sufficient swagger by Alden Ehrenreich. His space scoundrel charm doesn't come as easily as it did for Harrison Ford, but the production design and pulp novel-paced narrative makes for a movie that might be the most light on its feet of the Disney-era Star Wars chapters to date.

2. Ex Machina (2015)

Alex Garland's quiet—and quietly subversive—robot parable didn't arrive with all the hype of a major studio sci-fi release but still manages to outdo most big-budget android tales. As the enigmatic CEO of a robotics company, Oscar Isaac uses an underling (Domhnall Gleeson) to test his eerily lifelike AI (Alicia Vikander). But Gleeson may be the one who's really being tested.

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Soon we'll have a movie for every single major or minor incident ever depicted in the Star Wars universe. For now, we'll have to settle for this one-off that explains how the Rebel Alliance got their hands on the plans for the Death Star.

4. District 9 (2009)

The allegory may be obvious, but director Neill Blomkamp still manages to squeeze a lot of potency from the story of a weakened alien race who finds that Earth is all too ready to consider them second-class refugee citizens. Their plight becomes better understood when an agent (Sharlto Copley) seeks their assistance after he contracts an alien virus. The film earned a nomination for Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards, earning a spot alongside the significantly more expensive Avatar. (Ultimately, they both lost out to Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker.)

5. Her (2013)

The perils of falling in love with artificial intelligence is at the core of Her, which features a terrific performance by Joaquin Phoenix as a rumpled office worker who finds his soulmate in something without a soul: An Alexa-esque disembodied voice (Scarlett Johansson).

6. Moon (2009)

Sam Rockwell stars in this low-key potboiler from director Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son) about a man coming to the end of a solitary assignment on the moon who begins to see and hear things he shouldn't. Apparently, space madness is a thing.

7. Anon (2018)

Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried appear in this Netflix original about a future in which privacy has been rendered obsolete. While there wouldn't appear to be any possible downside, a killer who manages to avoid being detected by widespread surveillance turns into a problem for Owen.

8. King Kong (2005)

Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) set his considerable sights on a remake of the 1933 classic, with the title gorilla pestered and exploited by opportunistic humans.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Marvel's tale of a misfit band of space jockeys was a surprise hit in 2014. The sequel offers more Groot, more Rocket Raccoon, and the addition of Kurt Russell as a human manifestation of an entire sentient planet.

10. Stardust (2007)

Director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel features Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro as supporting players in the tale of a man (a pre-Daredevil Charlie Cox) in search of a fallen star to gift to his love.

11 Game of Thrones Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Game of Thrones is famous for dropping clues of things to come—and subtle nods to George R.R. Martin’s books—in casual bits of dialogue or unassuming props. As fans prepare to say goodbye to the beloved HBO series, we've rounded up 11 Easter eggs you might have missed the first time around, from the debut season all the way up to "Winterfell," the first episode in season 8. Be sure to watch and listen carefully for future references as the final episodes unfold.

1. Ser Davos Seaworth said Jon Snow’s real name in season 3.

Liam Cunningham in 'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan, HBO

In season 7, the popular R+L=J theory was finally confirmed. Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Ned Stark, as nearly everyone in Westeros believes, but the legitimate son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen—and the heir to the Iron Throne. Ergo, his real name is Aegon Targaryen. So far, only a handful of characters on the show have figured it all out, but technically, Davos Seaworth called this a long time ago. When Princess Shireen Baratheon taught Davos to read in season 3, the first word Davos learned was Aegon, foreshadowing Jon Snow’s true lineage.

2. Sansa Starks’s wedding gown contained an embroidered story.

On Game of Thrones, even the clothes have hidden messages. According to the show’s costume designer Michele Clapton, the dress Sansa Stark wore when she married Tyrion Lannister was stitched with her life story. The golden gown featured a fish embroidered around the belly to honor her mother’s house sigil, as well as a Stark direwolf and a Lannister lion on the back.

3. Walder Frey’s death was outlined earlier in the show.

Arya Stark claimed long-awaited vengeance for her family in the season 6 finale, when she finally killed Walder Frey. Before she slit his throat, however, she served him a pie stuffed with the remains of his sons—Black Walder and Lothar. It’s a shocking and gruesome scheme, but it’s also one we’ve heard before. In season 3, Bran told Hodor and his companions the legend of the Rat King: According to this folklore, a cook in the Night’s Watch once killed the son of a visiting king. He chopped the body up and cooked it into a pie that he then served to the king, who loved it so much he asked for seconds. The gods punished the chef by turning him into a large rat who could only survive by eating his own children. As Bran explained, the gods were not offended by the murder or even the cannibalism—they couldn’t abide a man “kill[ing] a guest beneath his roof,” which is exactly what Walder Frey did to Catelyn, Robb, and Talisa Stark.

4. The furniture at King’s Landing reveals regime changes.

Squint hard at the wooden furniture in the Red Keep and you’ll notice a lot of dragons. The Game of Thrones production team intentionally included these pieces—which are most prominent in Tommen Lannister’s bedroom and the Small Council’s meeting room—to remind viewers of past power struggles at King’s Landing. The dragon furniture implies that the Baratheons and Lannisters kept the Targaryens' furnishings after they staged a coup, perhaps while they waited on some new bedframes with roaring lions.

5. Olenna Tyrell referenced family history in Dorne.

When Olenna Tyrell called a secret meeting with Ellaria Sand in Dorne, she admitted to being uneasy in the kingdom—and with good reason. "The last time a Tyrell came to Dorne, he was assassinated,” Lady Olenna told Ellaria. “A hundred red scorpions, was it?” This is a nod to Martin's novels, which detail the death of Lyonel Tyrell. The story goes that Lyonel liked to storm Dornish castles, then kick the lords out of their own bedrooms. One night, he wound up in a bed with a velvet canopy and matching sash, intended to summon women to his room. Except when he tugged the sash to do just that, 100 red scorpions fell from the canopy, killing Lyonel and freeing the Dornish from his tyranny.

6. The magic of Harry Potter is alive in Westeros.

Fandoms collided in season 7 when Samwell Tarly asked Archmaester Ebrose for help accessing “the restricted area of the library.” The phrase was a familiar one for Harry Potter fanatics; in the book series and subsequent movies, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has a restricted section of the library containing books on dark magic. Sam’s request felt like a wink to Harry Potter fans, especially since Archmaester Ebrose was played by Jim Broadbent, who played Horace Slughorn in the movies. But that’s not the only connection: Natalia Tena, who plays Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter universe, also appears in Game of Thrones as the wildling woman Osha. In her early scenes, she is seen making brooms.

7. The Meereenese love Monty Python.

The warriors on Game of Thrones aren’t above trash talking. According to David Peterson, the show's language creator, the Meereense fighter who challenged Daario Naharis in season 4 shouted some very silly insults in Low Valyrian. His words translated to the French guard’s speech from Monty Python and Holy Grail—the one that goes, “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”

8. The Iron Throne includes swords from other fantasy franchises.

The swords that form the Iron Throne further link Westeros to other fictional universes. If you look closely, you’ll spy Gandalf’s sword from The Lord of the Rings movies molded into the back of the throne, as well as the weapon Orlando Bloom wields in Kingdom of Heaven.

9. Ed Sheeran’s fate was revealed in a sex scene.

Ed Sheeran and Maisie Williams in 'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan, HBO

Fans were furious when pop star Ed Sheeran appeared in the season 7 premiere as a Lannister soldier Arya Stark encounters in the woods. The response was so negative that Sheeran later joked, “It was fun being in Game of Thrones, but I definitely think they should've killed me off in the episode.” Well, he almost got his wish. In the season 8 premiere, Bronn visits a brothel and hires three women who can’t stop talking about the Lannister men who perished in battle. They specifically reference a “ginger” named “Eddie” who “came back with his face burned off” and no eyelids. Ouch.

10. Euron Greyjoy’s fleet hides some famous faces.

Speaking of cameos: season 8 has already given us two more. When Theon Greyjoy storms his uncle Euron’s ship to free his sister Yara, his men take out the crew with arrows to the face—and, for one especially unfortunate sailor, the eye. That unfortunate sailor was none other than Rob McElhenney, co-creator and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Also aboard the ship? Martin Starr of Silicon Valley fame.

11. The show's co-creators are in the Hall of Faces.

Maisie Williams and Tom Wlaschiha 'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan, HBO

In a move straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s playbook, Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and David Weiss have cameoed on their own show—or at least, their faces have. The two men’s visages appeared in the Hall of Faces that Arya frequents with Jaqen H’ghar. See if you can spot them on your next rewatch.

Lena Headey Wasn't Sold on Cersei and Euron's Latest Development in Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

The debut episode of Game of Thrones's eighth and final season elicited a lot emotion from fans (and attracted a record-setting amount of viewers). Between the long-awaited reunions and Jon Snow finding out who his parents really were, season 8's first episode gave audiences a lot to talk about—including the shocking moment when it was revealed that Cersei Lannister slept with Euron Greyjoy. Many viewers were confused about why Cersei wold jump into bed with Euron so soon after she told him he had to earn her. Even Lena Headey, the actress behind the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, had to be sold on the idea.

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly about her character's new relationship with Euron, Headey admitted, "I kept saying, 'She wouldn't, she wouldn't, that she would keep fighting.' But [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they're doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do."

While Headey worried that the scene might seem too out of character for Cersei, Pilou Asbæk—the actor who plays Euron—thinks that it could be interesting to show the Queen in a new light.

"We had a lot of discussions," Asbæk told Entertainment Weekly. "Would it be out of character for her to be with Greyjoy for power? We discussed it so much that we almost ended up going, 'Maybe it's too much.' Then we decided to try it out and see if it works. Sometimes you have to show different sides of a character. You have to surprise yourself as an actor but you also have to surprise yourself as a character."

Eventually, Headey saw it as a way to prove where her character stands without her brother/lover, Jaime Lannister. "There's something to play in all of it," Headey said. "Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this. She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn't want to go, which makes it more powerful sad because of who she's not with."

Euron clearly has ulterior motives in getting close to Cersei, even telling her he wants to "put a prince in [her] belly." He's power-hungry and will do whatever it takes to succeed, but two can definitely play that game. As far as we know, Cersei is already pregnant with Jaime's baby, although many fans believe she's lying. In the scene with Euron in the season 8 premiere, she's even seen drinking wine (something she declined to do in season 7, after telling Jaime that she was with child). On the other hand, however, some theorize she slept with Euron simply so she can tell people her baby is his, not Jaime's.

We'll see exactly what Cersei has up her sleeve when Game of Thrones's second episode airs on Sunday night.

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