Amazon Prime Video is rightly praised for SF series such as Star Trek: Picard and The Expanse, but its catalogue is also full of great movies – and if you like your SF to be a bit more interesting than juddering shakycam footage of giant CG robots knocking lumps out of each other, there are some real gems in there.
For March 2022 we've chosen three great sci-fi movies that are streaming right now on Amazon Prime Video.
About to cancel Amazon Prime Video? Watch these 3 unmissable TV shows first.
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy
If Douglas Adams were still alive he’d be 70 today, so what better way to remember him than to watch the movie adaptation of his wonderful sci-fi satire? Don’t panic: while the reviews for the movie were mixed, there’s still lots to love here including some brilliant slapstick and a distinctly un-Hollywood vibe.
Martin Freeman makes a great Arthur Dent and Yasiin Bey and Zooey Deschanel are lots of fun as Ford Prefect and Trillian respectively, and if none of that makes any sense whatsoever you’re in for a treat. In Adams’ universe, aliens are just as crap as humans and we’re only the smartest species because the dolphins have headed off to space.
Jake Gyllenhall and Michelle Monaghan are superb in this fast and furious time-travel thriller that’s effectively Groundhog Day with exploding trains. Moon director Duncan Jones has lots of fun with this tale of a soldier trapped in a time loop who gets to die again and again and again until he can figure out who the bomber is and how to stop them.
One of my favourite reviews said it had a real Hitchcock vibe to it, and I think that’s true: in lesser hands this would have been an absolute mess but Jones keeps it just on the right side of silly and the camerawork constantly finds new ways to reframe the same few minutes in such a way that you never get bored.
I was trying to decide between this and Robocop: both are stellar dystopian satires that not everybody understood, and both are tremendously fun popcorn movies.
I’m going to go for Paul Verhoeven’s space-marine epic partly because the alien bugs are brilliant and mainly because the buff, white-toothed space soldiers are recruited via propaganda that feels awfully timely right now. The acting is hilariously (and deliberately) wooden, the battle scenes are frenetic and kinetic and the whole thing is a big cheesy cartoon. The sequels are all terrible but the original is tons of fun.