5 sci-fi movies on Paramount+ that are perfect to watch in the summer
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5 sci-fi movies on Paramount+ that are perfect to watch in the summer

Just a few years after rebranding CBS All Access into Paramount+, the streamer has become one of the largest in the country, now holding over 60 million subscribers. With tons of original programming, a large collection of Paramount movies, and even an option to bundle in Showtime, the streaming service has lots to love.

It should also come as no surprise that Paramount+ has tons of excellent sci-fi movies since the streamer is probably best known for its massive collection of Star Trek shows and movies, including tons of originals. If you’re looking for some great sci-fi movies to watch this summer, here are five you definitely need to check out.

Interstellar (2014)

The team lands on a shallow ocean planet in Interstellar.Paramount Pictures

Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar turned into a downright phenomenon after it was released. The movie centered around humanity trying to escape a dying Earth and the story was heavily influenced by the concept of time dilation. To be completely honest, it’s a lot. With how complicated the story and physics are behind Interstellar, tons could have gone wrong with the movie. It could have been too complicated and confusing for audiences to understand, or so dumbed down that it felt boring and stale.

Nolan was able to perfectly walk this tightrope by consulting with scientists and engineers before filming, ensuring that the movie was rooted in sound science. Most notable among the scientists involved was Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Kip Thorne, as well as physicist Lisa Randall and even Steven Spielberg’s dad, Arnold Spielberg, who was an esteemed engineer.

Helping bring the story to life were Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and even a very young Timothée Chalamet. The film went on to gross over $773 million at the box office and is perfect for anyone in the mood for a big-budget, high-minded blockbuster hit.

Star Trek (2009)

Kirk and Spock have a conversation on the EnterpriseParamount Pictures

With all the Star Trek content on Paramount+, it would be hard for any sci-fi fan not to watch some of it.  The 2009 reboot film is a great place to start because, not only is it a more modernized retelling, but it’s also an important piece of Star Trek history.  During the 2000s, Star Trek hit a lull. The franchises felt stuck in the 80s, and audiences grew bored. From 1987-2005, there had always been a Star Trek series or movie in active production.

However, by the time the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise aired in 2005, hardly anyone was watching. Airing on the UPN network (which by that point had become a sad joke on the brink of collapse), Enterprise wasn’t in the Nielsen Top 10. Or the Top 50. or even the Top 100. Instead, it ranked as the 150th series of the 2005 season, airing virtually unnoticed by the general public.

2009’s Star Trek brought in some much-needed fresh blood. Directed by J.J. Abrams and starring a new, younger cast including Chris Pine, Zoe Saldaña, and Zachary Quinto, the movie proved to be a hit, becoming the highest-grossing Star Trek movie ever, being surpassed only by its sequels.

Galaxy Quest (1999)

The Galaxy Quest crew stand in the desert.Dreamworks

Another great movie for Trekkies (or anyone who loves a good laugh) is Galaxy Quest. It’s a smart parody of Star Trek that centers around the cast of the fictitious sci-fi series Galaxy Quest. As the cast goes from convention to convention speaking to fans, they end up accidentally being mistaken for actual intergalactic heroes by a group of real aliens who are under attack.

Serving as both a hilarious parody and an honorable nod to Star Trek, the movie is incredibly funny and full of heart. Helping bring the story to life is its fantastic cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Sam Rockwell, Missi Pyle, and the late Alan Rickman. Trekkies and Star Trek alums have spoken about how hilarious Galaxy Quest is, with George Takei jokingly calling the film “a chillingly realistic documentary.”

Fans of the film have a lot to look forward to as well. Originally, the movie was supposed to receive an Amazon Prime sequel series which went into pre-production in 2015. However, Rickman’s death in 2016 put the series on pause. But in the spring of 2023, Paramount+ announced that it had begun pre-production on its own Galaxy Quest series, so fans can hopefully see more in the coming years.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

A victim is covered in vines from the alien parasite in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.Solofilm

When a race of parasitic aliens arrives on Earth, they begin to take the shape of humans with the hopes of colonizing the planet after sucking all the resources out of their homeworld. The movie was adapted from the classic 1955 novel The Body Snatchers and starred Donald Sutherland, a young Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Nancy Cartwright, who would go on to star in Alien the following year.

The film was so successful because it blended elements of horror and psychological thriller, forcing the audience to constantly question who is real and trustworthy, and who is just an alien decoy. The film is also somewhat iconic thanks to its often-parodied and memed scream scene.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers received rave reviews, ranking higher than the original Body Snatchers film from 1956, and currently holds a highly-respectable 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It went on to be a box office hit and spawned a little-known but just as good 1993 remake and a slew of reboots and films inspired by the premise, like Invasion from 2007.

The Faculty (1998)

Elijah Wood gets cornered by a giant alien in The Faculty.Dimension Films

Another great body-snatching movie is Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 cult classic, The Faculty. Blending concepts from The Body Snatchers with a similar story called Puppet Masters (and injected with a massive dose of ’90s cool thanks to a script by Scream writer Kevin Williamson), The Faculty was a unique movie that combined sci-fi and horror. In the film, the faculty at a small-town high school in Ohio become infected by a parasitic alien. Using their influence and power over the students, they try to infect the entire student body and their families.

The only ones who can stop them are a ragtag group of teens played by then-newcomers Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, and Clea DuVall, among others. On top of the young cast, the movie was loaded with even more famous faces, including everyone from Jon Stewart and Selma Hayek to Bebe Neuwirth, Piper Laurie, and Famke Janssen.

Despite never achieving the box office glory of other ’90s horror hits like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Rodriguez’s The Faculty has developed a massive cult following and received numerous retrospectives. It’s also had a number of special screenings throughout the years. Later in 2023, it’s even going to screen at the Texas high school where it was filmed.

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