Got a quiet couple of days planned — a little bit of rest ‘n’ relaxation? Why not accompany that downtime with a good movie or two, or a sci-fi series? Netflix is jam-packed with enough space adventures and alien escapades to fill an entire weekend with fun.
Gizmodo’s weekly Netflix movie night is presented by the new HP Spectre x360. Any way you bend it, the Spectre x360 delivers. With four modes, lightning-fast performance, and impressive battery life, this convertible PC has the best of all worlds and the shortcomings of none.
Space and alien dramas not up your alley? Check out our other Netflix Movie Night suggestions.
And, yes, all of these movies are available on Netflix Australia. Enjoy!
Guardians Of The Galaxy is an absolute rollercoaster ride, and I’d say that it’s by and far the best comic book movie that Marvel Studios has made. Star-Lord (or, y’know, buff Chris Pratt) makes an unlikely team with not one but two notorious intergalactic killers, a super-smart raccoon and a giant anthropomorphic tree, on the run from the galaxy’s most dangerous and powerful warlord. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: On the run from intergalactic warlord Ronan, hotshot space pilot Peter Quill unites a ragtag band of oddballs to form a team of unlikely heroes.
IMDb: A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.
Falling Skies tells the story of a giant, planet-wide alien invasion of Earth, and the underground human resistance that follows it. It’s actually a pretty fun TV series once you get into it — and there are four full seasons on Netflix for you to binge on. Falling Skies is a bit like Battlestar Galactica on land, with the humans as the underdogs desperately fighting for survival in the face of crushingly superior odds. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: A professor uses his knowledge of military history to strike back against aliens who have devastated Earth, killed his wife and kidnapped his son.
IMDb: Survivors of an alien attack on earth gather together to fight for their lives and fight back.
Firefly is Joss Whedon’s The English Patient. It’s his Shawshank Redemption. It’s his National Treasure. A rag-tag band of outlaws live in a beaten-up Firefly-class spaceship in a wild west universe set 500 years in the future, and they get up to a whole lot of fun. It’s irreverent, it’s silly, it’s honest, it’s clearly made on a shoestring budget, but you can’t help but love Firefly. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Set almost 500 years in the future, this short-lived but much-loved series follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of the spaceship Serenity.
IMDb: Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
Serenity is the movie you should watch after you finish the Firefly TV series; it follows the same crew and continues the same story, bringing together a whole bunch of plot threads and stringing them together into a rollicking good adventure. It’s simultaneously light-hearted, and dark and gritty; it’s also Nathan Fillion at his absolute best as Captain Malcolm Reynolds captaining his taped-together ship and his family of crew members against the big bad guys. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Picking up where his cult show “Firefly” left off, Joss Whedon’s tale of galactic unrest follows Capt. Mal Reynolds and his scrappy but loyal crew.
IMDb: The crew of the ship Serenity tries to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their number who is telepathic.
Armageddon. I could stay awake just to hear you breathing, watch you smile while you are sleeping. While you’re far away and dreaming, I could spend my life in this sweet surrender. I could stay lost in this moment forever. Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: As a massive asteroid hurtles toward Earth, NASA’s head honcho hatches a plan to split the deadly rock in two before it annihilates the entire planet.
IMDb: After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, N.A.S.A. recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save the planet.
Gravity is a movie that you should watch on a big TV, in a dark room, late at night, with the lights off and the sound turned up. Because Gravity is just as much about the sound as it is the moving images on screen, which are beautifully crafted by director Alfonso Cuaron. If you suffer from claustrophobia, thalassophobia or any other phobias, take this movie slowly because it absolutely does not let up, even until the final second of the credits roll. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: When debris destroys their shuttle, a medical engineer and a seasoned astronaut find themselves floating through space, with no connection to Earth.
IMDb: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit.
Stargate Atlantis is every bit as good as any of the other Stargate TV series, with the amazing blue-sky concept of taking a promising and brilliant team of scientists working with alien technologies and a military support team, transporting them to another galaxy and stranding them away from the security of planet Earth. Plus the Wraith are one of the best and most devilish antagonists in any sci-fi TV series around. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Dr. Elizabeth Weir and Lt. Col. John Sheppard pilot their crew straight into the lost civilization of Atlantis to explore its long-hidden secrets.
IMDb: An international team of scientists and military personnel discover a Stargate network in the Pegasus Galaxy and come face-to-face with a new, powerful enemy, The Wraith.
Pacific Rim doesn’t deal with a lot of the potentially amazing sci-fi lore that make up its post-Kaiju-apocalypse world. It just dumps you straight into the movie’s 80-metre-tall missile-and-plasma-cannon-and-sword-equipped fighting robot world, and delivers a genuinely gripping rollercoaster ride of a story, with some memorable characters — Idris Elba’s Marshal Pentecost, Ron Perlman’s Hannibal Chau — and some genuinely stunning CGI. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: When the world’s defenses fail against the threat of alien sea creatures, the task of saving the planet falls to a former pilot and a raw trainee.
IMDb: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars centres around the events that occur between The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones. The Jedi fight the droid army of the Separatists, and all your favourites like Anakin and Obi-Wan and baddie Count Dooku are back for the ride. This is definitely one for the kids, too, so settle down and watch it with the entire family with a big bowl of popcorn. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Follow the animated adventures of the Jedi knights, including Anakin Skywalker and his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
IMDb: The Grand Army of the Republic, led by Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and other Jedi Knights, fights the New Droid Army of the Separatists.
Doctor Who‘s 2005 reboot brought back one of sci-fi’s most loved and most interesting characters, the titular Time Lord. This is a genuine adventure, and each episode stands on its own with excellent storylines and character writing. Netflix has a whole seven seasons of Doctor Who for you to choose from, too — my recommendation is to start at the start and Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: An updated incarnation of everybody’s favorite time-traveling Doctor sets about fighting nefarious aliens and other foes in this epic sci fi series.
IMDb: The further adventures of the time traveling alien adventurer and his companions.
Bend the Rules with the HP Spectre x360