Love robots or rampaging AI? Do you have a thing for mechs or androids with hearts of gold? Netflix certainly does.
Here are some of the best robot TV shows, series, and movies that you should definitely watch on Netflix if you haven’t already. We don’t get many robots, so take advantage of these!
1. Next Gen
Next Gen is an excellent animated sci-fi movie. When a robot called 7723 and a girl named Mai Su meet each other after an accident, they must work together to end a dangerous challenge in the form of corporate control.
Mystery Science Theatre was one of those cult shows you followed religiously or had absolutely no idea about. Created by Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theatre (or MST3K for short) ran with a simple premise.
Each episode Joel would be forced to watch B-movies onboard a space station as part of a scientist’s evil plot. To help him sit through these movies he would be joined by three robots: Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy.
Together the four of them would rip into these B-movies with ongoing commentary. Each episode was two hours long. Watch this show if you’re a fan of YouTube-styled commentary!
Gurren Lagaan is one of my favorite shows from the early 2000s and something I watched in my early days of university.
A mecha anime set sometime in the distant future, Earth has been taken over by a malevolent entity. This entity has forced everyone to live underground, but our protagonists—Kamina and Simon—are unhappy with this predicament.
They make their way to the surface and use giant robots known as “lagaan” to defeat their enemy. This show is bright, colorful, and crazy. Watch it if you like mecha!
Better Than Us is the first Russian-language Netflix Original to hit the platform, and what a powerful entry to start things off.
This series takes place in a near-future society where robots serve humans in various capacities, including one robot that’s engineered to be a wife and mother—and programmed to protect her family at all costs.
But things go wrong for this robot, who ends up killing a man who tries to sexually abuse her and must escape to survive.
There’s been a few different Lost in Space adaptations by now, but the one we’re recommending is Netflix’s 2018 series based upon the 1965 original. This one does things a bit better.
After a disaster on Earth, the Robinson family is sent into deep space to colonize the Alpha Centauri System.
When they crash land they must come to terms with themselves and their interpersonal conflicts, all while being helped by a robot.
We’ve talked about this show before in our recent review of Love, Death & Robots. The whole thing is literally about sentient AI, so if you’re still looking to watch it here’s your chance.
The series is an animated anthology with eighteen episodes. Each episode is self-contained, and the overall series was inspired by 1981’s Heavy Metal.
7. Code 8
Code 8 started off as a short film in 2016, but drew so much interest that it was turned into a full-feature film in 2019. And that’s great news for us who get to watch it!
The story takes place in an alternate history where some humans developed superpowers in the early 20th century. By the turn of the millenium, these superhumans are ostacized as second-class citizens as mechanization takes over.
So much so that advanced police drones, called Guardians, are deployed to combat and suppress superhuman criminals. Coincidentally, the protagonist has powers and does criminal stuff to provide for his sick mother.
Transformers: Prime is a three-season animated series that ran from 2010 to 2013—but unlike the Transformers movie franchise, Prime successfully executes on the premise.
The series involves the brand’s main trio (Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Bumblebee) along with many other Autobots and Decepticons showing face throughout the story.
Fun fact: If you’re a fan of the sci-fi TV series Fringe, you’ll be happy to know that Transformers: Prime was developed by the pair who created that show: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci!
9. I Am Mother
I Am Mother is a thrilling post-apocalyptic movie that centers on Daughter, a girl living in a desolate world after an extiction event wiped out most humans and being raised by a robot named Mother who’s trying to repopulate the Earth.
While it’s definitely flawed, I Am Mother is great because of how ambitious it is with its storytelling and how masterful it is as maintaining suspense and tension throughout. With its smartly written script, it’s close to a must-watch.
10. Real Steel
In the near future, human boxers are replaced by robot boxers. If that premise doesn’t hook you already, this may not be for you.
Real Steel, which is based on a short story by the same brilliant mind who wrote I Am Legend, is essentially a sports drama with robots. A futuristic Rocky, if you will.
It has realized characters and lots of fun action. If you go into it with low expectations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Plus, it’s led by Hugh Jackman. Who doesn’t love Hugh?!