Five Sci-Fi Movies to Stream Now

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Benjamin Cleary’s thought-provoking film takes place in a near future that feels within reach: People travel in sleek trains and driverless electric cars; they have cameras in their contact lenses. And while it hasn’t become widespread (yet), human cloning has become a reality. Because he has a terminal illness, Cameron (Mahershala Ali, easily brought the film) decides to secretly replace himself with a clone so that his wife (Naomie Harris) and their young son will be spared the grief of his death. Cameron elopes to a remote facility run by Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), where his consciousness is uploaded into a “molecularly regenerated” copy of his body. But then Cameron finds it hard to let go: Cameron 2 is himself—only one tiny mole sets them apart—and yet he isn’t, provoking complex feelings of fear, jealousy, and self-defense. One of the few people who understand her predicament is Kate (Awkwafina), a dying woman spending her last days in Dr Scott’s compound after being replaced in the outside world by a clone. Bathed in the cool palette and cool detail (the character listens to music on vinyl, of course) that is a must for this type of sci-fi arty, “Swan Song” does get a little mopey, but it’s also insightful about the difficulty of making big decisions. And that puts a situation that may not be too far off.

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Roland Emmerich’s latest film—a pleasure so guilty it deserves a life sentence—is the complete opposite of “Swan Song,” but it does share major plot elements that would be cruel to spoil. The bombastic disastrous auteur “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012” stays true to itself with a story in which the moon spinning out of its orbit wreaks havoc on Earth. A former astronaut (Patrick Wilson), a NASA man (Halle Berry) and a “fringe astronomer” (John Bradley, Samwell Tarly in “Game of Thrones”) work together to find out what happened and prevent the annihilation of our planet. Of course Emmerich also makes room for a messy father-daughter relationship that desperately needs repair. This film really takes off when it recycles a familiar crackpot conspiracy theory into hilarious effect – as it turns out, the moon isn’t made of cheese at all. Emmerich built it to an insane end even by his own standards. Madness (pun intended) is epic, and the best possible response is to accept it.

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Despite the name, the second entry in this month’s lunar doubleheader actually takes place on Mars, or is mostly on the way there. An interesting rom-com with YES leanings, the film pairs barista Walt (Cole Sprouse, from “Riverdale”) and high school student Sophie (Lana Condor, from the “To All the Boys” franchise) on a journey to the red planet, where they plan to meet their respective loved ones. The two leads have a comfortable chemistry, especially once you get used to Sprouse’s gravity-defying hair. The moral of “Moonshot,” which is set in 2049, is that going to Mars won’t fix what’s hurting you, which is a great lesson for young people in love as well as billionaires. Indeed, Christopher Winterbauer’s film has some sharp vibrancy beneath its ethereal exterior — Zach Braff perfectly plays a manipulative tech mogul like Elon Musk who loves slogans like “Together we can build a better world … in a different world.”

Stream on Netflix.

“Attack on Titan” is one of the most successful anime franchises of the last decade, so it’s worth noticing when one of its chief directors, Tetsuro Araki, gets into another project—and another vibe. While gigantic and ferocious creatures hunt humans in the dark “Titan,” Araki’s new feature “Bubble” takes on a slightly softer look. In it, Tokyo has been overrun, causing the remaining residents to compete against each other in parkour teams around the half-submerged city (the setting evokes friendlier versions of JG Ballard’s “The Drowned World” or Kim Stanley’s “New York 2140”. Robinson). . The plot fuses around the mysterious “battlekour” champion Hibiki and Uta, who draws it with the song. Their relationship resonates in Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” with a touch of “The Odyssey,” which isn’t the most feminist story ever. But this film, despite its haphazard moments, creates a compelling world, and Araki is a great director of video game-like action scenes — it’s so easy to go with the flow.

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Last month Amy Seimetz left the HBO series “The Idol,” which Weeknd stars and is directing. There’s the usual brouhaha about creative disparity and such, and you have to wonder if the powers-that-be have paid enough attention to the actress-director’s quirky film from 2020 before hiring her—they might just be a little more prepared for her style. “She Dies Tomorrow” uses a disturbing narrative method to tell the story of a fractured inner landscape, starting with one Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), who is suddenly shocked by the knowledge that she will perish the next day. As if this wasn’t bad enough, those around him began to think the same fate awaited them. “I feel like you put this idea of ​​death in my head,” Amy’s friend Jane (Jane Adams) tells her. It’s hard to tell whether we’re looking at social contagion, a shocking case of raging affect or a strong apocalyptic foreboding. This is the kind of film that would rather creep under your skin than offer an explanation, and it demands to be accepted on its own fractured terms.

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