Five Science Fiction Movies to Stream Now

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A post-apocalyptic future in which advanced technology has somehow vanished is a common nightmare — or perhaps, to a growing number of people, a fantasy. No more internet, no more electricity, no more cars: We are back to churning butter and reading well-worn classic novels.

We may also be forced to kill a beloved pet so we can eat it, as it happens to Sam (Belle Adams) and her pig in the first scene of Jordan Noel’s film. Sam’s mother (Carrie Walrond Hood) wants the sustenance, but also to teach her daughter to be tough enough to survive.

When the younger woman sets off to find antibiotics for an emergency, she runs into the 18-year-old Dart (Lau’rie Roach), who is on the equivalent of the Amish rumspringa, except he has to survive on his own for 30 days.

Dart lives in New Macedonia, a settlement with rather antiquated ideas about gender roles that clash with Sam’s quest for independence, leading to quietly intense conversations.

The film turns its minimal budget into an asset and applies a plain, quasi-vérité style to its exploration of religion vs. spirituality. It also suggests that the post-fall normal might be unforgiving to some but offer a new beginning to others. Aside from the occasional clumsy scene, “This World Alone” is quietly thought-provoking.

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If “This World Alone” took place “after the fall,” Drew Mylrea’s “Last Survivors” is set “after the wars,” with an almost identical, if reversed, premise. This time around, the family dyad is male, with the bookish younger one (he loves “The Swiss Family Robinson”) setting off on his own to find medicine and meeting an older woman instead of a boy.

Troy (Stephen Moyer, of “True Blood”) has raised his son, Jake (Drew Van Acker), in a secluded compound in the mountainous woods after technology was wiped out by what sounds like World War III. As usual with this kind of premise, the more vague the background, the better — especially since you also don’t have to pay for shots of large-scale destruction, or even bother with news footage of rolling tanks or atomic clouds.

Jake has been instructed to mistrust the outside world and to kill strangers. Fortunately, he does not follow these paternal orders when he wanders into the house of Henrietta (Alicia Silverstone). Their relationship is the heart of the story—well, that and a plot twist that any viewer with half a brain cell can see coming a mile away—and Silverstone’s affecting, unadorned performance drives the movie. If a fictional global conflict is what it took to make us rediscover this actress, then it was worth it.

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Speaking of telegraphed twists, there’s a doozy in Antaine Furlong’s “Rising Wolf,” but it’s semi-peripheral to the action as opposed to the foundational role it plays in “Last Survivors.” Just go along and pretend to be surprised.

This supernatural action movie centers on Aria Wolf (Charlotte Best), whom we first meet bound, blindfolded and gagged in a high-tech elevator servicing a Shanghai building still under construction. She quickly manages to free herself of her restrictions de ella, but her problems de ella are n’t over: Aria ca n’t get out and remains at the mercy of a mysterious presence that sends the elevator on a series of gravity-defying plunges and vertiginous climbs. Worse, the screen inside shows Aria’s father (Jonny Pasvolsky) being brutally tortured by Russian baddies in real time.

This is a pretty standard one-room-thriller premise, but it gets interesting when the movie (titled “Ascendant” in its native Australia) adds flashbacks to young Aria (Tahlia Sturzaker) and her twin Zara (Karelina Clarke), who appear to have special powers.

Don’t try to follow the plot too closely, because it seems that the screenwriters themselves (Furlong and Kieron Holland) did not. What matters is a terrific payoff and a sterling performance from Best, who deserves to emerge as a new heroine for the YA crowd.

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The nuttiest entry in this month’s selection of under-the-radar science fiction is this Brazilian movie in which a car becomes sentient. The director Renata Pinheiro manages to put a personal spin on an idea that has sustained films like “Christine,” “Crash” and “Titane” (which has just landed on Hulu).

Uno (Luciano Pedro Jr.) may have been born in his father’s taxi, but that does not mean he wants to join that faltering business. Instead, he decides to go study sustainable agriculture, adding environmental concerns to the film’s already overstuffed plate.

At the same time, Uno’s uncle, Zé (Matheus Nachtergaele), a brilliant mechanic, builds a gizmo that translates the sounds of a car’s engine, its purrs and revs, into speech. (Zé also loves to pole-dance, a detail that would be a stand out in any other film, but merely registers as quirky in the bonkers “King Car.”)

Eventually, the newly talkative vehicle, now going by King Car, starts lording it over everybody like a bossy revolutionary, or perhaps a cult leader: “I’m the luminous headlights of the universe!” It can be suave, too, like when it seduces the conceptual artist Mercedes (Jules Elting) in a rather memorable sex scene.

As you might have guessed by now, this movie works best when you surrender to its surreal universe.

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There’s a wonderful scene in this dryly charming German comedy in which Tom (Dan Stevens) orders a coffee in a sleek spot, then makes small talk with a stranger. That is pretty much all that happens, but the moment is entrancing: Tom, you see, is an android. He is precise and accommodating in his interactions with people, but also a little off.

Tom has been assigned to spend three weeks with Alma (Maren Eggert) in a live-in test of his abilities as a human, after which she will write an evaluation. “My algorithm is designed to make you happy,” he tells her. But is perfection such a great idea? Not necessarily for Alma, who, frustrated by Tom’s attentions de ella, rails “Ca n’t you stop doing everything right?”

The director Maria Schrader (also behind the excellent “Unorthodox” series, as well as an actress in the three “Deutschland” seasons) spins a delicate story around what we expect of our lovers and, more generally, life; in the process she deftly subverts the codes of romantic comedy.

And she could not have done it without the genuine chemistry between Stevens (speaking excellent German) and Eggert — the former confirming, after “Legion” and “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” that he has become one of our most daring actors. If you find yourself rooting for them as a couple, uncomfortable questions can’t help but arise.

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