The best sci-fi movies to watch on Netflix this June

A man aboard a small motorized, wooden boat speed away from the mouth of a colossal spiky creature swimming after him in Godzilla Minus One.
Image: Toho

The Oscar-winning kaiju thriller stands tall as one of this month’s best sci-fi films

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes an exciting new slate of upcoming releases to look forward to! With Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga now in our rearview, the next big sci-fi tentpoles on the horizon are Deadpool & Wolverine, Eli Roth’s adaptation of the popular looter-shooter series Borderlands, and Alien: Romulus, the latest entry in the long-running sci-fi horror franchise, this time from Evil Dead director Fede Álvarez!

If you’re looking for a great sci-fi flick to watch at home immediately, though, don’t sweat it; we’ve got you. This month’s roundup of the best sci-fi movies streaming on Netflix includes an Oscar-winning take on the king of kaiju, a divisive yet sublime legacy sequel to the most defining cyberpunk franchises of the late ’90s and early 2000s, and a baffling yet bombastic Bollywood thriller.

Let’s see what this month has to offer!

Editor’s pick: Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla destroys a city in Godzilla Minus One. Image: Toho

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada

When I first saw Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla back in 2016, I didn’t think I would ever see another Godzilla film — let alone any kaiju movie, period — that would meet the lofty standard it set. Takashi Yamazaki proved me wrong. Not only is Godzilla Minus One an inspired reinvention of Toho’s nuclear, fire-breathing avatar of destruction, it is a movie that easily stands shoulder to shoulder with Anno and Higuchi’s aforementioned masterpiece.

Set in 1945 in the waning weeks of World War II, the film follows the story of Kōichi Shikishima, a kamikaze pilot who abandons his duty, knowing that his sacrifice would do nothing to change the outcome of the war. After surviving a chance encounter with Godzilla, Kōichi returns home to Tokyo to rebuild his life while dealing with his PTSD and survivor’s guilt. When Godzilla reappears several years later, Kōichi must rise up alongside an army of volunteers to save their city and put an end to the creature once and for all. If you were someone, like me, who was disappointed about how long it took for Godzilla to show up in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 movie, put your fears to rest now; it doesn’t take much longer than 10 minutes before Godzilla Minus One gets around to showing the King of Monsters fucking shit up in the most spectacular and horrifying way imaginable.

Apart from that, however, the film is also a profoundly moving human drama about a man’s quest to redeem his conscience and of a nation’s attempt to surmount a terrifying obstacle in the hopes of a better future. It’s moving, brilliant, and a must-see tribute to one of cinema’s most iconic characters. —Toussaint Egan

The Matrix Resurrections

Neo and Trinity stand in front of burning wreckage in The Matrix Resurrections. Photo: Murray Close/Warner Bros. Pictures

Director: Lana Wachowski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

As I assume was the case with many other fans of the Matrix trilogy, I was hesitant when I first heard that Lana Wachowski was returning to the series nearly two decades later to direct a new film. Even with the news that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss would be returning to reprise their roles, I was still cautious. All that doubt was dispelled the exact moment the score kicked in and the green digital rain of the Matrix washed across the screen, pulling me back into a universe I loved, but seen from a different point of view.

The Matrix Resurrections is not The Matrix. It is not a retread of the hero’s journey or of Neo’s heroic act of self-sacrifice to broker peace between humanity and the machines in the face of a common existential threat. It is, quite simply, a love story. A love story that morphs into a funhouse-mirror reflection of the original film’s opening moments, into an explosive rescue operation, and then into a post-human heist movie, all in service of reuniting two lost lovers who — despite everything they fought for — never quite got their happy ending. Don’t watch The Matrix Resurrections expecting it to be The Matrix but more. Instead, treat it like the epilogue to one of the greatest sci-fi action series of all time, and a film from a director who will never be satisfied with repeating herself. —TE

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

Tiger Shroff flexes his bicep, resting on Akshay Kumar’s shoulder, in front of a helicopter in Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. Kumar folds his arms. Image: Yash Raj Films

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Prithviraj Sukumaran

First, to get some disclaimers out of the way: 2024’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan isn’t exactly a good movie. The script is inconsistent and often baffling (including a bizarre in-character ad read for the Indian mobile game FAU-G by brand ambassador Akshay Kumar); it’s sci-fi in the way Marvel movies are (so, barely); and it is very jingoistic in the way blockbuster action movies can be. But it is a fun, stupid, big-budget time. It’s just hard not to have a good time watching a Bollywood version of a Bad Boys-type movie with Tiger Shroff and Akshay Kumar. That may be because I think Tiger Shroff is one of the most endlessly watchable movie stars in the world. Basically, your mileage may vary.

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, which translates roughly to “Big Mister Little Mister,” shares a name with a 1994 Bollywood movie directly inspired by Bad Boys. That movie makes an appearance in this one, but besides that and the shared affinity for Bad Boys, the two have little else in common. While that movie is about two petty thieves who look exactly like two cops and get up to hijinks, this version is about two super soldiers sent to save India from a catastrophic attack by a masked villain intent on destroying the country… with science!

One of the most expensive blockbusters in Bollywood history, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was a historic flop at the Indian box office this year and was largely panned by critics. But if, like me, you’re interested in the state of global blockbusters and the idea of a Tiger Shroff-led Bad Boys-like movie appeals to you, consider checking this one out. Just don’t have high expectations. —Pete Volk

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