Amazon Prime Video has a ton of great movies in its library; there’s always something to watch, from drama to horror, comedy, or fantasy. Its sci-fi collection is also considerable, including several well-known and acclaimed classics already familiar to audiences.
Those looking for something to fit the current summer season are also in luck because there are more than a few worthy options on Prime to scratch the itch for a great summer blockbuster. Timeless classics and recent hits are necessary for a proper summer sci-fi marathon, so here are five incredible movies that are a must on movie night.
The Tomorrow War (2021)
Chris Pratt has become a leading figure in Prime Video’s catalog, scoring a major win with the 2021 sci-fi action film The Tomorrow War. The plot follows a group of time travelers sent into the present to tell humanity about a devastating war against an alien species that takes place 30 years into the future. Tasked with changing the course of the conflict, a group of present-day soldiers travels to fight the menace.
The Tomorrow War is far from perfect, but remains one of the best sci-fi movies on Prime Video. Pratt’s abilities as a leading man perform heavy duty in the film, keeping it afloat when it threatens to drown under the weight of its own ambitions. A committed supporting cast and impressive visual effects further help The Tomorrow War seem like the summer blockbuster it clearly aims to be.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Jake Gyllenhaal appeared in his breakthrough role in Richard Kelly’s 2001 psychological sci-fi thriller Donnie Darko. The twisting plot follows the titular character, a troubled teenager who escapes a fatal accident by sleepwalking. Haunted by visions of a giant rabbit warning about impending doom, Donnie must make sense of things and decide what’s real and what’s not.
Donnie Darko‘s high school angle and suburban setting provide a lighter approach that balances the otherwise demanding narrative. The film is confusing and foreboding, building up to an explosive climax that will leave audiences questioning what they just witnessed. Still, Donnie Darko is a modern cult classic and a film everyone should see at least once.
Jordan Peele’s Nope is the perfect combination of science fiction and horror. Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun star in the story about two ranch-owning siblings attempting to secure evidence of an unidentified flying object over their property.
Nope excels as a critique of the exploitative nature of the entertainment industry and a good, 0ld-fashioned thrill ride. Peele’s trademark approach and stellar performances from Kaluuya and Palmer further contribute to the film’s success. Nope is a thought-provoking summer adventure, blending horror and sci-fi — and even throwing in a bit of Western — to create a unique and ambitious blockbuster thanks ranks among the best movies of 2022.
Jurassic World Dominion (2022)
Jurassic World Dominion brings Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard together with Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. Set in a world where dinosaurs and humans struggle to coexist, the plot follows Pratt and Howard embarking on a rescue mission while Neill, Dern, and Goldblum attempt to expose corruption in a major company.
The Jurassic World trilogy had its ups and downs, but who can resist seeing the original Jurassic Park trio back in action? Pratt and especially Howard are great, and while the plot is absurd and the direction uninspired, the visual effects remain a bombastic feast for impressionable eyes. The Jurassic series has always been the epitome of summer entertainment, and Jurassic World Dominion is the perfect reminder of why.
Back to the Future (1985)
Robert Zemeckis’ timeless sci-fi masterpiece Back to the Future is among the all-time great summer blockbusters. Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, a teenager working with the eccentric, but genius scientist Emmet Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. When he gets accidentally sent back to the past, Marty must work with a younger Doc Brown to return to his original time.
Back to the Future is the perfect sci-fi movie, offering plenty of spectacle without sacrificing the narrative or heart. Fox and Lloyd make for one of cinema’s best duos, while a scene-stealing Crispin Glover will have audiences in awkward stitches. Back to the Future is pure, unadulterated summer entertainment, a film that only improves upon rewatching. If only all summer blockbusters were half as clever or charming as Back to the Future.