10 great free sci-fi movies you should stream right now

Teens look down in The Faculty.
Dimension Films / Dimension Films

Streaming prices continue to increase, but luckily for viewers, there’s a growing number of free streaming services out there. From Amazon Freevee to Tubi, Pluto TV, and even no-cost options on Peacock, there’s tons of free content to be enjoyed. In recent years, the free content has also gotten a lot better now that major companies are investing in free streaming services.

This is especially great news for sci-fi fans since lots of fantastic new and classic sci-fi films have made their way to these free streamers. Whether you want a big box office hit, an award-winning indie film, or a legendary cult classic, you can find them for free. Here are 10 of the best sci-fi movies you can stream right now without paying a dime.

The Fifth Element (1997)

Chris Tucker is a pop star in The Fifth Element
Pinewood Studios

The main plot of The Fifth Element is that an ancient evil has emerged once again, and humanity must stop it to save all life. Bruce Willis stars as a cab driver in a futuristic world who gets sucked into this cosmic adventure after a mysterious woman named Leeloo (Mia Jovovich) literally crashes into his life.

But the plot isn’t really what makes The Fifth Element so special. The movie’s biggest strength is its wacky, quirky, and somewhat neurotic characters, like Chris Tucker’s relatively brief, but downright iconic performance as Ruby Rhod. The movie is also loaded with color and a unique visual aesthetic that blends bondage, punk, and 1990s bubble pop together in an entertaining package.

Watch The Fifth Element for free on Tubi.

The Faculty (1998)

The alien queen emerges in The Faculty
Dimension Films

The Faculty came out during the horror renaissance of the late ’90s and was directed by Robert Rodriguez from a screenplay by Scream writer Kevin Williamson. The movie was heavily inspired by classic sci-fi hits like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Puppet Masters and depicts a small town high school in Ohio getting overrun by parasitic aliens. That still beats doing trig homework, though!

The film’s name comes from the fact that the aliens initially begin their invasion by infecting and impersonating the school’s faculty to gain a degree of influence and power over the students. The Faculty also has an ensemble cast filled with massive stars like Elijah Wood, Oppenheimer‘s Josh Hartnett, Selma Hayek, and even Jon Stewart.

Watch The Faculty for free on Pluto TV.

The Mist (2007)

A woman begs for help in The Mist
Dimension Films

In this modern Stephen King classic, a small town is suddenly consumed by a strange mist. As police cars rush down the street and alarms go off around the town, a group of residents hunker down inside a crowded grocery store. But things get even worse when they learn that giant monsters are lurking within the mist.

As the situation, becomes more dire the group struggles with conflicts. They wonder if they should stay or run, how long they might be trapped for, and how to ration supplies. But The Mist is most memorable for its traumatic and shocking finale that is both heartbreaking and brilliant. If you’ve never seen the movie, the ending is a giant gut punch that will sit with you long after the film ends.

Watch The Mist for free on Freevee.

Monsters (2010)

A woman wears a gasmask in the movie Monsters
Protagonist Pictures

Monsters premiered at the 2010 SXSW festival to rave reviews. In the movie, alien creatures begin taking over Mexico. The film follows an American man and woman who try to escape the country before the U.S. has time to fully construct a massive wall to try and stop the creatures and quarantine Mexico. Beneath the madness, the movie becomes a weird love story, which helps elevate it into something much larger than just a generic monster flick.

Monsters became a massive hit in the festival circuit and even earned a BAFTA nomination for then-first-time director Gareth Edwards, who later went on to direct box office hits like 2014’s Godzilla and 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Watch Monsters for free on Peacock

Pacific Rim (2013)

A giant Jeager in Pacific Rim
Warner Bros.

Pacific Rim is an excellent movie for anyone who loves a good monster flick. Sadly, it premiered at a weird time. It was both a little too late, while also being a little ahead of its time. When the film came out in 2013, superhero mania was kicking into high gear and monster movies were considered a bit passé. The 2008 film Cloverfield was the only real successful example around that period.

But Guillermo del Toro‘s monster flick is undeniably unique and fun. In Pacific Rim, giant kaijus are attacking the planet, and humanity fights back by building giant mechs to serve as Earth’s protectors. The movie was kind of like Godzilla meets Titanfall, and while it performed tepidly in America, it churned a good profit in Asia. However, the following year, Godzilla hit theaters, spawning the MonsterVerse and reigniting people’s love of monster movies. Considering the MonsterVerse’s continued success, could now be the perfect time to revive the Pacific Rim franchise?

Watch Pacific Rim for free on Tubi.  

Europa Report (2013)

The space crew in Europa Report
Wayfare Entertainment

In the indie sci-fi film Europa Report, a group of astronauts head to Jupiter’s moon to search for signs of extraterrestrial life. Before even arriving at Europa, problems arise that put the astronauts’ lives at risk, and once they land on the moon, the situation becomes even more dire.

Europa Report was praised by critics, and though it had a very limited theatrical release, it performed well on DVD and earned a cult following. The movie is noted for its gritty, realistic, and often brutal depiction of space exploration. Variety praised the film’s realistic vision, saying, “Without contriving any sort of overt threat, the film conveys the terror of deep space as a still, silent void, indifferent to human suffering or survival…” Instead of going for an alien-heavy splatterfest, the movie attempted to stay grounded in as much reality as possible, showing a near-future with technology similar to our own today.

Watch Europa Report for free on Peacock and The Roku Channel.

Cube (1997)

A victim is trapped in a cube in Cube
Cube Libre

In Cube, a group of strangers wake up in a giant cube made of smaller, ever-shifting cubes. The movie never fully explains who made the cube or why the group has been trapped in it. Instead, it focuses on the desperation and paranoia that arises as they try to escape. The group is also forced to deal with another dilemma: some of the cubes are rigged with traps, and the only way to know which rooms are trapped is by solving a secret code within each cube’s room numbers.

Cube was praised by critics and even won Best Canadian Feature Film at its Toronto Film Festival premiere. Many have also noted its similarities to Saw, calling it a spiritual precursor to that movie thanks to its gritty, confined spaces and morbid traps. Cube‘s popularity has also led to two sequels and a 2021 Japanese remake. In 2022, Bloody Disgusting reported that Lionsgate was also in the early stages of working on an American remake.

Watch Cube for free on Tubi, Pluto TV, and Freevee.

Stargate (1994)

The stargate is uncovered in Egypt

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you probably already know about the Stargate franchise. In the original film, archeologists uncover a mysterious circular structure in Egypt that’s revealed to be a portal to other worlds. After activating the stargate, a team travels through a wormhole and finds themselves on an alien planet with structures that resemble those found in ancient Egypt. They also discover the Egyptian god Ra is actually an alien with malicious intent.

Stargate became an unexpected hit, grossing more than $71 million in America and over $196 million globally. It also launched one of the most high-profile fandoms in sci-fi history and spawned the insanely popular spinoff series Stargate SG-1. If you love sci-fi, Stargate is a must-watch.

Watch Stargate for free on Freevee and The Roku Channel.

Arrival (2016)

Amy Adams makes contact in Arrival
Lava Bear Films

Amy Adams stars in 2016’s Arrival, a first-contact movie that flips all the tropes and stereotypes and presents the aliens as innocent and benevolent. But with all the preconceived notions humans have about aliens and our endless political conflicts amongst each other, it’s humans who risk destroying everything.

Its unique premise makes Arrival a great alien movie. It also feels much deeper than most alien films thanks to its questions about language and time, and its underlying message about grief. Arrival was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and Adams received a Golden Globe nomination for her role. If you want a smart and engrossing sci-fi movie that was both a blockbuster hit and a critical success, you need to check out Arrival.

Watch Arrival for free on Pluto TV.

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia collides into Earth
Zentropa Entertainment

Provocative auteur Lars Von Trier brought clinical depression to poetic life in 2011’s Melancholia. In the film, a young bride (Kirsten Dunst) becomes consumed by ennui on her wedding night. The situation becomes even more dire when it’s discovered that a rogue planet named Melancholia will likely become trapped in Earth’s orbit and eventually collide with our planet, destroying everything. Everyone deals with the news differently: some panic and commit suicide, others believe the events are somehow part of a cosmic destiny, and some solemnly accept their impending death.

Melancholia isn’t an easy film to watch. It leaves a haunting, empty feeling inside you, but it’s so incredibly gripping and well-made that you can’t look away. Dunst was even awarded Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival that year for her work, and she deserved it. It’s the best performance of her career (sorry, Bring It On fans), and one that deserves to be watched by the widest possible audience.

Watch Melancholia for free on Roku and Pluto TV.