You can get comprehensive lists of everything coming to streaming services anywhere. But half of those titles you don’t care about, and the other half are terrible. Where’s the good stuff? io9 is here to help.
Below you’ll find what we deem to be the best sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV coming to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in September—especially Hulu, because it was especially hard to narrow down all the awesome it has coming this month.
Available September 1
300 Zack Snyder’s uber-faithful comic book adaptation took his career to another level. The film is visually stunning and super-entertaining...especially if you’re into the whole shirtless men killing each other in slow motion thing.
American Psycho Before he was Batman, Christian Bale played another super-rich murderer in director Mary Harron’s adaptation of the novel of the same name. It’s a creepy, weird movie that was ahead of its time tonally.
Dante’s Peak Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton co-star in this “small town versus giant volcano” action film, which is better than Volcano, the L.A.-set Tommy Lee Jones movie that came out the same year.
The Last Exorcism A creepy little found-footage hit about an evangelical minister who’s just about ready to pull the plug on his fake-exorcism racket, until he’s faced with what appears to be a very real case of possession. (Also on Hulu)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Two of the three films in Peter Jackson’s epic, award-winning fantasy trilogy. Though, oddly, the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, is nowhere to be found.
The Saint Val Kilmer plays an anti-hero thief, nicknamed the Saint, who meets his match when he tries to steal from the wrong people. Not a great movie, honestly, but anything featuring mid-1990s Val Kilmer is worth a watch.
Available September 2
Turbo An absolutely insane voice cast (Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson, etc.) help with this generally well-regarded animated film about a snail who competes in the Indy 500.
Available September 13
Head Count Honestly, I hadn’t previously heard anything about this 2018 movie, but when I looked it up, I found out it’s about a group of teenagers hanging in Joshua Tree who summon a supernatural being that takes human form. And I’m all about The Thing in a desert.
Available September 17
The Last Kids on Earth A new Netflix original animated series about a boy and his friends who team up to defeated a horde of zombies and monsters who invade their hometown. Sounds awesome.
Available September 26
The Grandmaster A 2013 martial arts true story starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang about the man who trained none other than Bruce Lee. We don’t get many martial arts true stories, so this sounds like it’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it before.
Available September 27
Rango No matter what your personal feelings are about Johnny Depp these days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better film of his this decade than the animated Rango. Directed by Gore Verbinski, it’s about a chameleon who is not so good at blending into a new town. (Also on Hulu)
Available September 30
Cloverfield So much has been written and said about this amazing movie and the incredible people who made it, I’m just going to leave this here.
Dreamcatcher This Stephen King adaptation, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, has an incredible cast and solid story (about evil aliens). And yet the movie is so bad it makes you want to revisit it to make sure nothing has changed since 2003.
Event Horizon One of the more underrated horror sci-fi films of the last few decades comes to streaming (on the heels of news of a possible series adaptation). What better way to dissect the madness in this weird, mind-bending film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
Face-Off John Woo. Nicolas Cage. John Travolta. Face-Off is one of the most bonkers, and beloved, action movies of the 1990s, and now you can watch it whenever you want.
Ghost Town Ricky Gervais stars in this dramedy about a dentist who recovers from a near-death experience and finds he has the ability to see ghosts. I loved the film when I saw it but haven’t rewatched it since. Now seems like a good time.
Ghost World Before comic-book adaptations were the lay of the land at the box office, Terry Zwigoff’s take on Daniel Clowes’ cult tale—starring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Buscemi—came and stole our hearts. Watch it again or for the first time.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Hard to go wrong with some old-school George Miller Mad Max movies, even if the star is a little problematic. These are classics no matter what though, and absolutely worth your time for the worldbuilding alone.
Stargate Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi franchise-starter isn’t quite as good as all of the different stories that followed, but it’s got Kurt Russell, James Spader, and gates that take you through the stars. All of which are very good.
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie This 1990 cult favorite has a ton of famous actors in it (Christian Slater, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, etc) and uses a cool wraparound device to tell three different horror stories. You could even watch one story, hit pause, and watch another later.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension We may never get a sequel but now you can revisit this Peter Weller sci-fi insanity again and again as it should be consumed.
Total Recall The good one. With Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.
What Lies Beneath Here’s one you may have missed and you should absolutely check out. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a couple who start to suspect there’s a ghost in their house. Very good. Very underrated.
Available September 1
The Amityville Horror The original 1979 horror classic about a family who moves into a Long Island house where some gruesome murders happened. What could possibly go wrong? How about several bad sequels and remakes?
Demolition Man There are few movies I love more than this 2003 film about a renegade cop (Sylvester Stallone) who is frozen in modern times, then thawed out in the future to battle his old nemesis (Wesley Snipes). Get some Taco Bell and enjoy the perfection.
Evil Dead and Evil Dead II Sam Raimi’s first two Evil Dead movies are, let’s face it, basically the same. But they’re both amazing, scary, gory, and star Bruce Campbell. I can think of few finer double features.
The Goonies If you grew up with The Goonies, it’s probably one of your all-time favorite movies. If you didn’t, you may feel differently, but with it now on Hulu, it’s a great chance for a whole new generation to meet Mikey, Sloth, Chunk, Data, Mouth, and the rest of the gang.
Hercules Hercules isn’t going to make many best-of lists when it comes to Disney animated films. And yet it has a few super catchy songs (“Zero to Hero,” “Go the Distance”) so you could do much, much worse if you’re looking for a solid animated film to watch with the family.
High-Rise Any Tom Hiddleston fans out there that haven’t seen this crazy, weird movie from director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire) are now in luck that it’s on Hulu. It’s excellent and features Hiddleston at his manic best.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers This 1978 version of Body Snatchers is maybe even more beloved than the original. Donald Sutherland leads a shockingly stacked cast in this scary, important social satire.
Liar, Liar When Jim Carrey was at his peak, there was no one bigger. And Liar, Liar was his peak. No, it’s not his best movie—but this story of a man fond of fibbing who’s forced to tell the truth is still incredibly funny, and even a little poignant.
The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions The original trilogy of Matrix movies, ranging from stone-cold masterpiece to super disappointing finale, are now on Hulu. Perfect timing too. The original just celebrated a birthday and there’s a fourth one on the way.
The Midnight Meat Train I’ve never seen this 2008 movie but I know it’s got a ton of fans; it stars future multi-Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as a photographer on the hunt of a brutal killer. Maybe it’s time I check it out.
The Monster Squad Full stop, one of my favorite movies of all-time. I could write thousands of words on how this movie is totally awesome but really, you should just watch it yourself. It’s about kids fighting the Universal Monsters, what’s better than that?
Pumpkinhead and Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings Have you had your fill of all the traditional horror franchises? If so, dive into Pumpkinhead, which has the same kind of flavor, but with a little grosser, supernatural kick. Plus, you get the sequel too.
Ravenous The tag line for this 1999 cult classic is “You are what you eat.” So yes, it’s a movie about cannibals starring Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle—and if you haven’t seen it, there’s no longer an excuse.
Sucker Punch Zack Snyder’s hyper-realistic tale about dealing with abuse had one of the best trailers ever. It just looked so good. Unfortunately, the movie never lived up to that, but streaming is a great chance to give it another shot, just enjoy the visuals, or act shocked when a young Oscar Isaac comes on screen.
Unbreakable Love, love, love, love, love, this realistic take on the superhero genre starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Too bad they never made a sequel. DID YOU HEAR ME IT NEVER HAPPENED.
Universal Soldier Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme star in maybe the most 1990s sci-fi action film of all-time. Totally dumb, totally fun, totally worth a watch.
Available September 14
Pocahontas You won’t have to go around the river bend now to watch this top-notch Disney animated film about the legendary romance between a Native American woman and an English explorer.
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