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The Best Sci-Fi Movies Of 2024 So Far

We expect quite a few films will blow audiences away in 2024, but from the looks of it, sci-fi is particularly promising this year. A slate of highly anticipated science fiction films is scheduled for release in 2024. Some grand space operas are in the lineup, as are haunting dystopian nightmares and hyped-up prequels. There's even an intriguing genre-bending entry from French cinema. 2024 is surely delivering fine entertainment to sci-fi fans everywhere.

Whether you prefer splashy, action-oriented sci-fi fare, more thoughtful, meditative films that ponder what it means to be human, or animated features that delight, this year should deliver a bit of everything. That includes new entries in existing franchises, as well as ambitious productions from veteran filmmakers that hopefully wow audiences.

A slew of film adaptations of novels, novellas, and graphic novels are dropping this year, as well as some independent sci-fi films that are on our radar. If you're at a loss about what movies to see, don't forget to check in quarterly with Xoop as we update you about all the sci-fi new releases that are blowing our minds and are totally worth your time.


The sci-fi genre hit the ground running this year with January's "ClearMind." The film blends horror with a subtle dose of sci-fi and centers around Nora (Rebecca Creskoff), a grieving mother studying the applications of virtual reality in trauma therapy. When Nora's ex-husband, Michael (Rob Benedict), accidentally tells her that their mutual friends, Tom (Kadeem Hardison) and Shannon (Toks Olagundoye), are hosting a party to get everyone from their extended friend group together, Nora gets angry because they haven't invited her.

Nora crashes the party and, with the use of virtual reality, exacts revenge on everyone she feels turned their back on her after the tragic death of her daughter at a pool party the previous year. The movie explores upsetting realities, like how friendships and marriages often dissolve after the death of a child, and how sometimes while grieving, people feel abandoned by fairweather friends who don't think they are fun to be around anymore.

Despite these intense story elements, the movie has a wicked streak of dark comedy offsetting the horror elements. "ClearMind" is an under-the-radar gem with a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes – although it might not be for everyone, as it does have lower audience scores. Cast with familiar faces, but no big names, this revenge tale is geared toward those with a twisted sense of humor and perfectly crafted for audiences who enjoy rooting for truly despicable characters to get what they deserve.

Dune: Part Two

The year's first quarter started strong, delivering an operatic blockbuster poised to garner Oscar nods next year. "Dune: Part Two" is an epic adaptation of Frank Herbert's book, and sure to become a sci-fi classic. The second film follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he learns the ways of the Arrakis desert, while fighting alongside the Fremen against the Harkonnen clan responsible for his father's death.

Paul's pregnant mother, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), moves into a position of power amongst the Fremen as their new Reverend Mother because of her training with the Bene Gesserit, and encourages Paul to take his place as the leader known as Lisan al Gaib. Although Paul is committed to fighting the Harkonnen forces with the Fremen, he resists becoming this messiah — who's prophesied to unite the Fremen in an uprising against their oppressors — as his visions suggest he would become a force of destruction.

"Dune: Part Two" highlights Herbert's anti-colonialism message and paints Paul in much darker tones than earlier film interpretations, while exploring the gravity of destiny. The second film in the purported trilogy has once again proven that Denis Villeneuve is an auteur filmmaker who can deliver breathtaking blockbusters that garner widespread appeal without sacrificing his creative vision. The spectacular ending of "Dune: Part Two" has left audiences waiting for the announcement of a third film to conclude the story.


Although "I.S.S." screened at three film festivals in 2023, the film's theatrical release wasn't until January 2024. The high-stakes story takes place on the International Space Station as nuclear warfare erupts below on Earth. The American astronauts, including newly-arrived rookie astronaut Dr. Kira Foster (Ariana DeBose), are pitted against the Russian cosmonauts when their respective governments order them to secure control of the space station at all costs, leading to betrayal and violence as the damaged craft slowly careens toward Earth's burning atmosphere.

"I.S.S." depicts these scientists as they struggle with their consciences while contemplating the orders they have received. Some fold under political pressure and loyalty to their country, while others succumb to panic. Dr. Foster maintains a cool head, relying upon her internal moral compass to tell her whom she can trust, rather than looking for an obvious enemy in the Russian scientists. "I.S.S" has a great cast, and this fraught story explores our more basic instincts for survival when resources become scarce.

"I.S.S." asks the audience to consider the most extreme outcome of our inherent tribalism as humans — nuclear annihilation. This film challenges us to look beyond politics and imaginary lines on a map to see each other's humanity instead of just our nationality.


"Parallel," written by brothers Aldis and Edwin Hodge with Jonathan Keasey, blurs the lines between horror and science fiction with a story about a married couple who have retreated to a remote lake house to grieve the first anniversary of their son's death. When Vanessa (Danielle Deadwyler) is attacked by an identical version of herself while hiking in the woods, she discovers a place connecting alternate realities and different versions of herself, her husband Alex (Aldis Hodge), and his brother Martel (Edwin Hodge).

The film is a metaphor for being lost in the depths of grief, and an illustration of the cyclical nature of grief's stages. "Parallel" shows how the path out of grief is not a straight line, because we revisit previous stages before we can move on to acceptance. It skillfully explores the horrors of the multiverse through the lens of family trauma, delivering excellent performances and a 78% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Through the different versions of life Vanessa sees during her ordeal, the film raises questions about free will versus destiny, showing how each choice creates a ripple effect even though some aspects rarely change. Despite the myriad of alternate lives Vanessa glimpses, she nearly loses hope that there is a reality where her son never died. The film suggests that despite being free to choose, our lives often follow a certain arc. A remake of Lei Zheng's award-winning film "Parallel Forest," "Parallel" proves that the Hodge brothers have a future as both writers and actors.


Based on the novel "Spaceman of Bohemia" by Jaroslav Kalfař, Netflix's "Spaceman" is a melancholy and meditative existential voyage to the edge of our galaxy, where Jakub (Adam Sandler) has been sent on a solo mission to collect samples from a purple space cloud that's appeared in Earth's night sky. As Jakub travels farther from Earth than any man has, he grapples with the disintegration of his marriage to Lenka (Carey Mulligan), whom he left pregnant back on Earth. 

Becoming despondent when his wife ceases communicating, Jakub encounters a spider-like alien hitching a ride in the spaceship. The astronaut is unsure if the creature is real or a hallucination from the mental pressure of being "the loneliest man in the world." Although Jakub is initially terrified, the alien, named Hanuš (voiced by Paul Dano), befriends the astronaut. They ease each other's loneliness as they travel through space, although it is never clear if Hanuš is real or a creation of Jakub's psyche.

"Spaceman" is a bizarrely beautiful exploration of loneliness and the necessity of community and connection, suggesting this need is universal. While it might not be a hit with audiences who prefer action-packed space operas, it will appeal to viewers who enjoy thoughtful stories that grapple with our tendency to self-isolate. Sandler turns in the most reserved performance of his career, while Dano's Hanuš wins our hearts with each utterance of "skinny human."