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The best sci-fi movies on Tubi TV

Tubi TV on various devices
(Image credit: Tubi TV)

Tubi, an ad-supported streaming service (AVOD), gives viewers free access to a vast library of movie and TV show titles. We’ve already covered the broad picture for what some of the best movies and best TV shows on Tubi are, so let’s take a closer look at specific genres.

In this case, what are the best sci-fi movies on Tubi right now. Take a look at our list below. 

Cloud Atlas (2012)

You can make the case that the Wachowski siblings’ most ambitious film is not any of The Matrix movies, but instead the sprawling, time-spanning Cloud Atlas. In fact, the duo had to expand to a trio for the film, bringing on Tom Tykwer to help write the script and direct.

Cloud Atlas, based on David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, takes place in the past, present and future with the same group of actors playing different roles in all three eras. The film attempts to portray the ripple effect that events have on each other and the connection that souls have throughout the ages.

Cloud Atlas is the type of film that just needs to be seen to fully understand what hey are going for.

The Congress (2013)

The Congress was an ambitious undertaking by director Ari Folman — which is saying something for the director of Waltz With Bashir. Almost featuring two entirely different films, The Congress is a tough balancing act, but Folman does a pretty good job keeping the thru line.

The film stars Robin Wright as a fictionalized version of herself, struggling to find work and offered the opportunity to sell her likeness so it can be used however the owners choose. The two stand-outs of the film are a fantastic monologue delivered by Harvey Keitel (not playing himself) and Wright’s emotional, wordless reaction to it, and the second half that takes almost entirely in an animated alternate reality of the future.

The Congress is a trip, but one worth checking out.

The Fountain (2006)

Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain is a hard film to explain. In the simplest terms, it’s about Hugh Jackman’s character trying to find a way to save his wife, played by Rachel Weisz. However, it gets complicated as the story plays out in three different timelines, including Spanish conquistadors, present day and an undetermined future.

Despite a tepid reception, The Fountain’s reputation has grown over the years as people rewatched it and garnered a better grasp of what Aronofsky was striving for.

So however daunting it may seem, The Fountain is worth a watch, and even a rewatch if you need it.

Hardcore Henry (2015) 

Video games have been incredibly difficult to adapt to the big screen  — remember the disappointing Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed movies? Hardcore Henry is not a video game, but it was shot like one with a POV camera putting the audience right into the story and, more importantly, the action.

Hardcore Henry sees our hero Henry resurrected and given cybernetic prosthetics, which come in handy as his wife is kidnapped by a telekinetic warlord looking to develop bio-engineered soldiers. Henry must fight to save this wife, which the audiences sees firsthand through the POV camera.

Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett and Tim Roth star in the film.

Highlander (1986)

The Highlander franchise should have stuck with its own mantra, “there can only be one!” The original Highlander is a sci-fi adventure story about a group of immortals in a tournament where they have to cut each other’s heads off in an attempt to win a grand, mystical prize. Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery and Clancy Brown star.

Highlander is goofy but fun film, especially with Connery sticking with his heavy Scottish accent for a character named Ramirez. But when you compare it to any of its sequels, it easily stands head and shoulders above the rest — no pun intended.

Monsters (2010)

Before director Gareth Edwards got to play in the massive worlds of Godzilla (the 2014 movie) and Star Wars (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), he got people’s attention with his low-budget — a reported $500,000 — film Monsters.

Starring Scoot McNairy, Monsters takes place six years after Earth was invaded by aliens. The plot revolves around a journalist agreeing to take an American tourist on a dangerous trek from Mexico to the U.S. border.

Monsters convinced studios to give Edwards the keys to two of the biggest franchises in entertainment. You can find out why for free on Tubi.

Piranha (1978) 

One of Roger Corman’s classic B-films, Piranha was the first screenplay from Oscar-nominated writer John Sayles and one of the first directorial efforts from Joe Dante.

It’s practically Jaws, but smaller, as the film’s plot revolves around a batch of the flesh-eating fish being accidentally released into a summer resort’s rivers. It’s silly and low-budget, but that’s the charm of nearly all of Corman’s films.

The Piranha franchise has a long and proud history, actually. James Cameron directed the sequel before he made The Terminator, and it even came back in with a pair of 3D movies (Piranha 3D and Piranha 3DD) in 2010 and 2012. But at least some credit must always be given to the original.

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957) 

Plan 9 From Outer Space is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made. It’s making was chronicled in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, a biopic on Plan 9’s director. But it’s the film’s infamy that makes it a must watch.

The story sees aliens come to Earth and enact “Plan 9,” which involves raising the dead to assist in their invasion efforts. Bela Lugosi, Maila Nurmi (better known as Vampira) and Tor Johnson star.

Many film fans love to watch so-bad-they-are-good movies, and Plan 9 From Outer Space may be the original example.

Signs (2002)

Signs came about when M. Night Shyamalan was still at the height of his powers. Telling the tale of a farmer (Mel Gibson) and his family (including Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin and Rory Culkin) when they discover crop circles appearing on their land. The film is all about the tension built awaiting whether alien life will or won’t come.

It’s of course not a Shyamalan movie without some kind of a twist, but unfortunately Signs isn’t one of his better ones. Still, the movie is well regarded despite the bit of a third-act letdown.

WarGames (1983) 

Matthew Broderick almost starts World War III when he finds a backdoor into a military computer and confuses it for a game. To put it in terms of today, imagine if a teenager caused an international incident by launching a mysterious level on Fortnite.

WarGames was one of Broderick’s first roles in Hollywood and got his career off to a fast start. Ally Sheedy, John Wood and Dabney Coleman also starred, while the script was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Michael Balderston
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.