Netflix categories are always a mixed bag, and 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy' is no exception. Ranging from genre classics to lowest-common-denominator trash, the section comprises a huge selection of titles, from the early days of cinema right up to the present. Choosing a Netflix film to watch is a laborious process at the best of times, and the task is made harder when the category at hand is so vast - and harder still when the category is sci-fi, which more so than any other appears to produce the biggest amount of jetsam.
Such is the popularity of science fiction, though, which is next to horror as probably the most popular film genre of all time (though probably both are behind comic book films at present). Luckily, this article compiles a list of 20 of the very best diamonds in the Netflix rough - with the only criteria being that they need to appear in the 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy' section of the site, and that they not be obvious classics (so no 2001, no Terminator 2) - and here they are for your enjoyment.
Note: This list adheres to the US version of Netflix.
Former software engineer Shane Carruth's debut film as both an actor and director, Primer is a dense, complex, original contraption, clocking in at just over an hour and made for next to nothing (est. $7,000). The plot, which concerns four budding entrepreneur friends at war over their stumbled upon means of time travel, makes no concessions to the audience, and Carruth refuses to reduce the plot into simpler, more viewer friendly terms. This makes for that rare sci-fi film which prizes intelligence and ideals over story and spectacle.
The film, a true indie in every sense of the word, was directed, written, produced, edited and scored by Carruth, and has gained a sizeable cult following since its release in 2004 (along with its director, who will appear again later on in this list).