8 Best Sci-Fi Movies Like Avatar

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movies like Avatar

If you are a fan of sci-fi and adventure films like me, you won’t forget how excited we were when we watched the classic sci-fi film Avatar in 2009. It follows paraplegic ex-Marine Jake Sully, who controls an avatar to explore the lush moon Pandora and falls in love with Neytiri. After a devastating attack, Jake rallies the Na’vi clans, leading them in an epic battle against the invaders. With the help of the Na’vi deity Eywa, they repel the humans, and Jake’s consciousness is permanently transferred to his avatar body, fully integrating him into the Na’vi world. If you enjoyed the epic story and wanted more excellent films to stream with friends, 8 similar movies like Avatar in the following list will give you the same experiences and different inspirations.

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Like Avatar

  1. Stargate
  2. Pacific Rim
  3. John Carter
  4. Avatar: The Way of Water
  5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy
  7. Alita: Battle Angel
  8. Ender’s Game

Stargate (1994)

What it’s about: In “Stargate,” Dr. Daniel Jackson, an Egyptologist, deciphers the symbols on an ancient device called the Stargate, allowing for travel to a distant planet, Abydos. He and a military team, led by Colonel Jack O’Neil, journey through the Stargate and discover a society resembling ancient Egypt, ruled by the alien Ra. Jackson learns the language and culture of the Abydans and, along with O’Neil, helps them rebel against Ra’s oppressive rule. In a climactic battle, they defeat Ra and destroy his ship. Jackson chooses to stay on Abydos, while O’Neil and the team return to Earth through the Stargate.

Why it’s similar: The two films depict two distant alien worlds—Pandora in “Avatar” and Abydos in “Stargate”—where they encounter indigenous populations, the Na’vi and the descendants of ancient Egyptians, respectively. Each protagonist, Jake Sully in “Avatar” and Dr. Daniel Jackson in “Stargate,” integrates with these cultures and leads rebellions against powerful oppressors: corporate and military forces in “Avatar” and the alien god Ra in “Stargate.” In addition, both movies feature advanced technology, such as avatars and the Stargate device, and explore themes of liberation and the ethical impact of human intervention on alien worlds.

Pacific Rim (2013)

What it’s about: In “Pacific Rim,” humanity battles giant sea monsters called Kaiju using massive robots known as Jaegers, piloted by pairs linked through a neural bridge. After the Jaeger program is nearly shut down due to mounting losses, former pilot Raleigh Becket is recruited by Stacker Pentecost to join a last stand against the Kaiju, paired with Mako Mori, Raleigh pilots the Jaeger Gipsy Danger. They discover the Kaiju are bioweapons sent by aliens. In a final mission, they deliver a nuclear bomb to the Kaiju’s dimensional Breach, closing it and saving Earth from invasion.

Why it’s similar: “Pacific Rim” and “Avatar” depict humanity’s struggle against formidable foes: monstrous sea creatures in “Pacific Rim” and corporate exploitation threatening an alien world in “Avatar.” They emphasize the importance of collaboration, whether it’s the synchronized efforts of Jaeger pilots or the deep bonds formed between Jake Sully and the Na’vi. Moreover, these films feature epic battles and explore themes of unity and sacrifice.

John Carter (2012)

What it’s about: “John Carter” follows ex-Confederate captain John Carter, who was transported to Mars, known as Barsoom. He discovers superhuman abilities and allies with Thark warrior Tars Tarkas and Princess Dejah Thoris there. Barsoom is embroiled in a war between Helium and Zodanga, manipulated by the Therns, led by Matai Shang. Carter and Dejah seek to end the conflict with an ancient Thern device, facing adversity and embracing heroism. Through courage and sacrifice, they restore peace to Barsoom, and Carter chooses to remain, embracing his new destiny.

Why it’s similar: “John Carter” and “Avatar” echo each other profoundly. Both whisk protagonists into alien realms and forge alliances with indigenous societies against human encroachment. Themes of environmental harmony and personal transformation permeate both stories as the protagonists evolve from outsiders to pivotal figures in their struggles. Most importantly, these films showcase humanity’s capacity for adaptation and the enduring power of unity in confronting challenges across the cosmos.

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

What it’s about: After the events of Avatar (2009), which changed his life, warrior princess Neytiri and previously paraplegic Marine veteran Jake Sully live a prosperous and peaceful life. However, bliss is fleeting. Sixteen years after the full-scale Assault on the Tree of Souls, the human Toruk Makto and the Na’vi will have to fight back as the hideous ghosts of Sully’s past reappear. Jake and the Omatikaya clan must resume where they left to protect their home. Will Sully’s mindless retaliation ruin everything that matters to him in the impending conflict against the indomitable Sky People? You can find the answer in movies like Avatar The Way of Water.

Why it’s similar: The two films are set in the mesmerizing world of Pandora, known for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems. They explore themes of environmentalism and the clash between human greed and the indigenous Na’vi culture as corporations seek to exploit Pandora’s resources. The protagonists, Jake Sully and Neytiri, are central to both narratives, with “The Way of Water” continuing their journey. Both films promise immersive experiences that transport viewers to Pandora’s lush and vibrant world.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

What it’s about: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” follows Major Valerian and Sergeant Laureline, special operatives for the government of the human territories, who are tasked with maintaining order throughout the universe. When a dark force threatens Alpha, the ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe converge to share knowledge, Valerian and Laureline must embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind the menace and safeguard the universe’s future. Along the way, they encounter strange beings, navigate complex alliances, and confront the mysteries of a universe filled with wonder and danger.

Why it’s similar: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and “Avatar” focus on imaginative worlds and epic adventures. Both transport viewers to richly detailed fictional realms: “Avatar” to the lush moon of Pandora and “Valerian” to the expansive metropolis of Alpha. They feature diverse alien cultures and environmental themes, depicting the consequences of human exploitation and the need for preservation. Heroic protagonists navigate perilous environments and confront formidable foes, showcasing themes of exploration and heroism. With groundbreaking visual effects, both films offer thrilling cinematic experiences and captivate audiences with their imaginative worlds and epic storytelling.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

movies like the avatar-Guardians of the Galaxy-2014

What it’s about: As a popular one in movies like the Avatar, “Guardians of the Galaxy” follows Peter Quill, a charismatic rogue who steals a mysterious orb desired by Ronan the Accuser, a powerful villain. In his quest to sell the orb, Quill encounters Gamora, an assassin seeking redemption; Rocket, a genetically engineered raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; and Drax, the Destroyer, driven by vengeance. They form an unlikely alliance to evade Ronan and discover the orb’s true power, which could destroy the universe. As they bond, they become the Guardians of the Galaxy, protecting the orb and opposing Ronan’s genocidal ambitions, ultimately saving the galaxy from destruction.

Why it’s similar: “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Avatar” showcase imaginative sci-fi universes filled with diverse alien species and advanced technology. They explore environmental themes, with “Guardians” touching on the destructive effects of war and exploitation of planets, while “Avatar” focuses heavily on the battle between human colonizers seeking resources and the indigenous Na’vi who live harmoniously with nature. Themes of unity and diversity are central, as “Guardians” follows a group of misfits who become a heroic team, and “Avatar” shows a human learning to integrate and fight alongside the Na’vi. Strong character development is key in both films, with characters like Peter Quill and Rocket in “Guardians” and Jake Sully in “Avatar” undergoing significant personal growth. Both movies are known for their iconic soundtracks, with “Guardians” featuring nostalgic pop hits and “Avatar” featuring a dynamic orchestral score. They showcase groundbreaking visual effects to create immersive worlds and highlight resistance against oppression—be it the Guardians fighting tyrannical forces or the Na’vi resisting human exploitation. Redemption arcs also play a critical role, with characters moving from selfishness to heroism.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

movies like avatar the way of water-Alita: Battle Angel-2019

What it’s about: “Alita: Battle Angel” is set in a post-apocalyptic future where cyborg technology thrives. Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a cyborg core amidst the scrapyard and rebuilds her, naming her Alita. With no memory of her past, Alita embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the harsh city of Iron City. She befriends Hugo, who introduces her to Motorball, a dangerous sport. As Alita uncovers fragments of her past and extraordinary combat skills, she becomes entangled in the city’s underworld and discovers her true identity as a powerful warrior. Alita fights against corruption and oppression, striving for justice and redemption.

Why it’s similar: Both films are known for groundbreaking work in visual effects and are celebrated for their innovative use of facial motion capture and CGI to craft rich, immersive worlds and lifelike characters. In “Alita: Battle Angel,” we follow Alita, a cyborg with no memory of her past, who discovers her combat skills in a dystopian society. Meanwhile, “Avatar” centers on Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-Marine who assumes a new body and identity among the indigenous Na’vi on the lush moon Pandora. Both films dive deep into themes of identity, transformation, and self-discovery as their protagonists face powerful enemies and oppressive systems—Alita contending with corrupt figures and bounty hunters and Jake leading a rebellion against a corporate threat to Pandora’s ecosystem. Romantic subplots also play a vital role, with Alita’s relationship with Hugo and Jake’s bond with Neytiri driving key character developments. Both films are visually stunning, featuring epic action sequences and richly detailed settings that captivate audiences.

Ender’s Game (2013)

movies like avatar 2-Ender's Game-2013

What it’s about: “Ender’s Game” is set in a future where Earth trains gifted children to combat an alien threat. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a young prodigy, excels in strategic simulations at Battle School. Despite facing challenges and doubts about morality, Ender leads his team to victory. His final test, a simulated battle, turns out to be real, and he unknowingly annihilates the alien Formic homeworld. Devastated by the truth, Ender questions the cost of victory and seeks redemption.

Why it’s similar: “Ender’s Game” (2013) and “Avatar” (2009) share several thematic and narrative similarities that make them comparable. Both films feature protagonists with unique abilities: in “Ender’s Game,” Ender Wiggin is a child prodigy with exceptional strategic thinking. At the same time, in “Avatar,” Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-Marine, uses an avatar to engage with the alien world of Pandora. Secondly, both films delve into moral and ethical dilemmas: Ender is haunted by the realization that he was manipulated into committing genocide. Jake struggles with his role in exploiting Pandora and ultimately joins the Na’vi. Technologically, both films leverage advanced CGI, with “Avatar” particularly noted for its groundbreaking visual effects. Lastly, leadership and sacrifice are central themes, as both Ender and Jake emerge as leaders who make significant personal sacrifices for the greater good. These shared elements make “Ender’s Game” one of the classic movies like Avatar.

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