The Nerd’s Watch: The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Streaming in April

One of the best zombie movies you haven’t seen is coming to Netflix in April.

One of the best zombie movies you haven’t seen is coming to Netflix in April.Photo: Warner Bros.

The Nerd’s Watch is a little more meaningful this month. With many people staying at home due to the covid-19 pandemic, we find ourselves bored and in desperate need of good shit to watch. Thankfully, io9 is here to provide you with a plethora of film and television options.

In our long-running monthly column, we take those large “Here’s What’s Coming to…” lists you see on other sites and trim the fat. All that’s left are the very best, or at least the most noteworthy, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and genre movies coming to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+ in April 2020.

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Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

Tom Cruise in Minority Report.Photo: Fox

Netflix

Available April 1

Bloodsport – We could all use a little Jean Claude Van Damme ass-kicking in our lives right now, and Bloodsport, one of the great fighting films ever, is happy to oblige.

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Community: Seasons 1-6 – Normally, we don’t put TV or comedy on this list but NBC’s Community is filled with so many great pop culture references, plus it’s an amazing binge, we thought you’d want to know it’s coming to Netflix.

Deep Impact – The other killer asteroid movie to come out in 1998, Mimi Leder’s star-studded film doesn’t have the scope of Armageddon, but it’s got plenty of its own heart and action—plus, Morgan Freeman plays the president.

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space – It’s all right there in the title. A campy cult classic about circus performances from out in the stars who murder people.

Minority Report – One of Steven Spielberg’s rare underrated films stars Tom Cruise as a detective in a society where crime is stopped before it happens. Not only is the film entertaining, but it’s also a fascinating window into our modern world.

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Mortal Kombat – You have two options here. You can watch this kind of OK adaptation of the popular video game in full. Or you can just watch the opening minute or so where it screams “Mortal Kombat!” and dives into a bass-thumping beat over and over and over and…

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Road to Perdition – Before 1917 racked up multiple Oscars, director Sam Mendes first tested his hand at period action with this excellent graphic novel adaptation that stars not just Tom Hanks, but future Bond collaborator Daniel Craig, as well as Paul Newman and Jude Law.

Salt – It’s not a great movie, no, but if you’re sitting around the house and are like “I’d like to watch Angelina Jolie as a kick-ass spy tonight” then pepper in some Salt.

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Sherlock Holmes – Yes, we all love Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. But his performance as Sherlock Holmes, through the lens of director Guy Ritchie, is right up there in terms of pure entertainment. This movie is a goddamned delight and it’s time for a rewatch.

The Girl with All the Gifts – This, right, here, is the highlight of this entire article. I’d bet good money most of you haven’t seen The Girl With All the Gifts. And if you haven’t, you have to see it. Based on a novel of the same name, this film stars Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, and Gemma Arterton in one of the best, most impactful and smart zombie movies in recent memory. Seriously, it is fucking awesome and you need to watch it.

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The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions – One all-time masterpiece of modern cinema followed by two sequels with diminishing returns make for a pretty interesting binge.

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Available April 2

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – I’m breaking all the io9 rules here to alert you to a Western coming to Netflix that has nothing to do with sci-fi…unless you think of how Sergio Leone’s stone-cold cinema classic has impacted every genre film that came after it, sci-fi included. And now it’s streaming! Sick.

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Available April 5

The Killing of a Sacred Deer – I’m a huge huge fan of the often weird, but never boring films, of Yorgos Lanthimos: Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Favourite, just amazing stuff. However, I missed this film, described as a “psychological thriller” starring Colin Farrell. Now I have a chance to catch up.

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Available April 10

The Main Event – In this Netflix original movie, an 11-year-old boy discovers a mask that turns him into a WWE wrestler. It’s fully endorsed by the WWE and co-stars many of its stars—and if I was still an 11-year-old, I can’t imagine a cooler idea for a movie.

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Available April 16

Despicable Me – Look, I hate the Minions as much as the next person over the age of six, but their first movie, Despicable Me, is actually very good. It’s funny, exciting, and heartwarming. Odds are you’ve seen it already, but just in case, here it is.

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Jem and the HologramsJem and the Holograms is one of those films that was so bad it went away very quickly. We think, though, it has real “so bad it’s good” cult potential, and with the film coming to Netflix, now is the chance.

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Available April 18

The Green Hornet – Seth Rogen and Jay Chou star as the Green Hornet and Kato in this surprisingly solid, certainly underrated, comic book action movie directed by none other than Michel “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Gondry.

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Available April 24

Extraction – Breaking my io9 sci-fi movie rule again to alert you to this Netflix original action thriller starring Chris Hemsworth and produced by the Russo Brothers. What else do you need to know?

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Available April 27

Battle: Los Angeles – I’m not gonna sugarcoat this. Battle: Los Angeles is bad. But, anytime a big budget, alien invasion movie comes on Netflix, I just have to mention it because even when they’re bad, these movies can be a great escape.

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Black and white Batman, aka The Lighthouse, comes to Amazon.

Black and white Batman, aka The Lighthouse, comes to Amazon.Photo: A24

Amazon

Available April 1

A View to a Kill, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day, Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia with Love, Goldeneye, Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Never Say Never Again, Octopussy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Living Daylights, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, The World is Not Enough, Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, You Only Live Twice – The 25th Bond film, No Time to Die, may be delayed until November, but you can soon watch most of the original films on Amazon. All remastered in 4K no less.

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Hotel Artemis – Don’t sleep on this 2018 thriller by Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce about criminals who seek sanctuary by staying in a high-end hotel. Self-quarantining! Nice! It stars Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, and others. It’s good!

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I Am Legend – Are you serious, Amazon? Come on now. You’re really going to choose now to put on this movie about Will Smith being the last person on Earth (or so he thinks)? Actually…well-played.

Mark Of Zorro – Up your classic adventure IQ with this 1920 classic starring Douglas Fairbanks as Zorro.

The Brothers Grimm – Terry Gilliam directed this thriller about two con men (played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger) who find themselves in a scary fairy tale that may inspire a few tales of their own. The pedigree is better than the product but it’s not a bad watch.

The Lost World – The good one! Not the Spielberg one! This is the 1925 dinosaur film based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s dated, obviously, but still fascinating to see how a film with this scope was done almost 100 years ago.

The New Adventures Of Tarzan – What better streaming service for a classic film about a man from the jungle than Amazon? Get it? Because that’s also a jungle. Anyway, this 1935 film stars Bruce Bennett as the titular character.

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Available April 3

Tales from the Loop – One of our most highly anticipated shows of the year, Tales from the Loop tells the story of a town that’s on top of a magic place called “The Loop,” that makes the impossible possible. It’s based on the art of Simon Stålenhag.

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Available April 16

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The Lighthouse – If you missed one of 2019’s most intense, weird-ass movies, now’s your chance to stream it. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star as two men stranded together at a lighthouse. In extreme isolation they realize…wait a minute. That’s all too real as well!

Sean Connery’s last film, so far, was The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

Sean Connery’s last film, so far, was The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.Photo: Fox

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Hulu

Available April 1

The Book Of Eli A blind man with a penchant for kicking ass works his way through a post-apocalyptic America to deliver a very special book in this exciting sci-fi action film starring Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, and Gary Oldman.

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Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who We hear parents are desperate for any kind of new content right? Well…here you go.

Get Smart – I refuse to believe this 2008 adaptation of the classic TV show starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway is as disappointing as I remember it being. It can’t be. All those things are so good!

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Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2 These two films make a killer double feature of excellent Quentin Tarantino movies. Or, if you stop the first one before the last scene and then watch them back to back, you can almost replicate what they’d be like if they were cut together to be one movie.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – A terrible adaptation of an excellent comic book gets mentioned here only because, well, its source material by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is excellent. Plus, somehow, this was the last movie Sean Connery starred in before retirement. Sad really.

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Let Me In – While the original Swedish film, Let the Right One In, is better, Batman director Matt Reeves’ English language adaptation of this chilling vampire movie starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz is still scary and creepy, and absolutely worth your time.

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – The sequel to the original Madagascar, which itself has multiple sequels. That’s a good sign, generally.

Misery – Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her portrayal of a Star Wars fan who captures Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and tortures…wait, no. That’s not it. Something like that though, with less Star Wars and more Stephen King.

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Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile – I remember loving these high adventure romance films starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a kid but I haven’t seen them since. Now I have no excuse.

Spider-Man This 2002 Sam Raimi movie basically started it all. Oh sure there had been big comic book movies before, but this was the one that really made Hollywood notice, which then brought us Batman Begins, Iron Man, and on and on to Avengers: Endgame, Aquaman, and beyond.

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The X-Files: I Want to Believe Having never seen The X-Files (I know, I know), all I really know about this 2008 film is that fans didn’t like it that much, right? Either way, how am I not going put an X-Files movie on this list.

Zombieland – Zombieland has it all. Humor, action, gore, Bill Murray being murdered, it’s truly a great movie that was very much ahead of its time in 2009.

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Available April 8

Parasite – No, Parasite is not a sci-fi film. It’s not an io9 film. But you’re inside for a few more weeks and if you didn’t see this year’s winner for Best Picture (among many other awards), on April 8th you can—and it’s worth the wait.

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Available April 20

Paranormal Activity 3 – Why Paranormal Activity 3? Why not one or two? I couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you that Paranormal Activity 3, like most of the series’ other entries, is pretty damn good and scary and worth watching. (Also on Amazon.)

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Available April 24

Abominable – Though I missed it in theaters, this 2019 film about a yeti who befriends a girl and adventures back to his home mountain got fairly decent buzz but not a lot of box office love. Now’s a chance for families to give it a shot.

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The National Treasure crew finally comes to D+ this month.

The National Treasure crew finally comes to D+ this month.Photo: Disney

Disney+

Available April 1

Dr. Dolittle Not the recent Robert Downey. Jr version, and not the Rex Harrison version your parents probably grew up with, this is the 1998 Eddie Murphy film that spawned a sequel and generally delighted audiences young and old. Unlike, you know, the Downey one.

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Available April 3

Onward – The second big surprise title to come to Disney+ due to the covid-19 pandemic is this recently released (on March 6!!!!!) Pixar film about two brothers who have to find a magic gem in order to bring their dead dad back to life. It’s a very solid film that, if you missed in theaters or on-demand, you can now watch here. And you certainly should.

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Available April 30

National Treasure The wait is over. Ever since the release of Disney+ fans have been waiting to go on this adventure with Nicolas Cage, and at the end of April, they can finally do so.

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