Even though there are so many great space movies, we won’t be swayed by that. We have some that will keep you on the edge of your seat, while others will keep you hidden behind the couch.. Here are some of the best space movies ever made, in no particular order.
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1. Interstellar (2014)
The explorers arrive on a knee-deep water world. The tide of a planet-spanning kilometer-high killer wave is approaching them from afar. They manage to escape, only to be stranded on an airborne cloud of exotic ice a short time later by an unhinged astronaut.
It’s the best response to Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey that the 21st century has yet made, and it’s often silly and sometimes truly visionary. Matthew McConaughey portrays Joseph Cooper, a NASA pilot who is tasked with finding an Earth-like “Planet B” for us to relocate to, as the Earth’s food system is collapsing due to a lack of resources. He has a grown daughter who is haunted by the ghost of her father.
The set pieces are more important than the actors’ performances. As a result of physicist Kip Thorne’s laborious calculations and London effects studio Double Negative’s thorough rendering, Gargantua, the film’s climactic spinning black hole, was published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.
It had been a long time coming for Thorne and producer Lynda Obst to make a film on “the distorted side of the universe,” as Thorne described it in an interview with Science magazine. The Science of Interstellar by Thorne is a fun read about interstellar travel.
In the meantime, Nolan has continued to make films that are more and more difficult. He’s just released a film called Tenet, which he says is like Interstellar in that it explores time as well as space.
2. Moon (2009)
For three years, Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been the sole manager of a helium-3 mine on the moon. Duncan Jones was inspired by Robert Zubrin’s book Entering Space for the film’s industrial theme. Sam, on the other hand, is stranded among the mangled remains of a lunar mining conveyor. As Sam and Sam try to make sense of their strange encounter, they’re faced with an even more important problem: how many other Sams are there?
Initially reluctant to take on a low-budget British sci-fi film by a first-time director, Rockwell waited until the last minute to accept the opportunity. From the start, he gave everything he had. Drawing on recollections of his past performances, he insisted on differentiating the two Sams more through their demeanors than through their outfit changes. Because of the innovative use of effects (ranging from computer-generated imagery to model work to simple, clever editing), the final product is a gripping thriller that keeps the audience guessing the entire time. In spite of his future triumphs, Rockwell will always be recognized as the Moon guy (s).
3. Proxima (2019)
Although the film was shot at European Space Agency training facilities in Germany and Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow, Alice Winocour’s third movie, Proxima, never lifts off from the ground.
Georges Lechaptois, the film’s cinematographer, portrays these rarely seen settings in all their quirkiness, banality, and occasional dilapidation. In the wake of witnessing this, one can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be an astronaut; your beautiful career is largely carried out in stinky changing rooms.
In the role of Sarah Loreau, a single mother who gets an opportunity to fly to the International Space Station at the eleventh hour, Eva Green deserves special mention. Despite her desire to go to space, Sarah Green is torn between her desire to be with her daughter and her desire to not be apart from her. Although the answer is obvious, Green’s acting is heartbreaking as he struggles to find a way to implement it.
4. Alien (1979)
Sigourney Weaver is Ripley, a sensible and resourceful member of a space freight crew whose abilities will be of no help when they encounter a carnivorous, stowaway alien.
Alien was adored by critics, who predicted that movie would fundamentally alter our understanding of science fiction. Some of us who were exposed to it at a young age had a profound impact on our understanding of biology.
Ignoring the uniqueness of our position as an apex predator has become second nature to us. We are reminded of the reality of nature in the film Alien. As a result, we are placed in a middle-of-the-road position, with access to resources but not at the top of a food chain. Because it shows us how predatory biological processes are, it makes us realize how life is built on the exploitation of living things as a source of raw material.
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Arthur Clarke jumped at the chance to collaborate with Stanley Kubrick on a film project. He remarked, “The’really good’ sci-fi movie has been long overdue.”
Ultimately, the two couldn’t agree on which of their favorite movies to make. Is this a film about science and technology’s triumph? Or is it a movie about the eternal longings of the human soul?
It wasn’t until Clarke, a pioneer in satellite communications, came up with the “God notion” while Kubrick searched Japanese sci-fi films for visuals, that the two men collaborated.
David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and HAL (Keir Dullea), a computer that is driving Bowman’s ship to Jupiter, engage in a conflict that encompasses everything from the origin of man, artificial intelligence, space exploration and trans-dimensional travel in 2001. We like to think Clarke was responsible for the film’s awe-inspiring quality, while Kubrick was responsible for its suspense. Even in his 1960 novel, The Challenge of the Spaceship, Clarke is already aware of the difficulties faced by a “small, self-contained community floating in vacuum millions of miles from anywhere, maintained alive in a bubble of plastic and metal” with “absolutely nothing.”
Bowman and the ship’s weak, boxed-in AI suffer from ennui and incipient madness, which is the film’s main point: that we cannot live solely by reason. More is required.
6. Hidden Figures (2016)
In 1961, three Black female mathematicians, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia to help the agency launch white men into space by providing their considerable mathematical abilities. Many of their coworkers don’t seem to notice that the unit they work in is gender and race segregated. As a result of his disapproval, Al Harrison (a fictional character created by Kevin Costner) decides to de-segregate NASA on his own, using just his acid tongue and an iron bar.
Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s 2016 book, the film takes a less accurate approach to the story. Furthermore, Johnson’s groundbreaking work is delayed by a decade so that she and the other female cast members have a chance to bond.
Whether or not that matters is a personal preference. It’s a big deal that Johnson, Vaughn, and Jackson are now household names because to this movie.
7. Apollo 13 (1995)
Seventh crewed Apollo mission blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, 1970. Upon arrival, it would shed light on the earliest days of the moon’s and Earth’s history.
Astronauts returned to Earth on April 17 after a malfunction in the spacecraft’s service module led to a change in their flight route. Only plastic bags of their own urine to keep them company, they were dizzy from carbon dioxide levels in the air that they thought would kill them, soaking wet from the condensation, cold because power was now severely limited, and unable to jettison the bags of their own urine for fear this would alter their course. They were incredibly fortunate to be alive.
Actors Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton star in director Ron Howard’s script, which adds only one scene from the original Apollo 13 transcript. Tom Hanks portrays Lovell as a capable individual dealing with a catastrophe. There are no “aha!” moments. No one’s soul is being combed. This could be a bit of a downer for some people. That’s not to say that this meticulously authentic film (the sets contained parts of the Apollo 13 command module; even the actors’ pressure suits were airtight) is anything less than flawless.
8. First Man (2018)
Neil Armstrong had to spend the rest of his life explaining what it was like to the world’s media how it felt to set foot on the moon. Because of this, he became a recluse, which only increased the media’s interest in him.
Professor and aeronautical engineer Neil Armstrong preferred his alone. He kept to himself a strict schedule and kept to himself. In a desperate situation, he had no choice but to recite the same story over and over again. Those who were dissatisfied and unsatisfied by his performance derided him as uninteresting.
The director Damien Chazelle recast Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong two years after he cast him in his musical La La Land, promising to find the astronaut’s pulsating heart and deep emotional life. Because of this, First Man is an enormous success.
A true film actor, Gosling is able to convey complex emotions with a minimum of facial expressions. He isn’t hindered in the least by playing “buttoned up.”. And he’s got a lot of material to work with as well.. Josh Singer’s clever script provides Armstrong a profound and emotional purpose for wanting to reach the moon that does not conflict with the historical record or trivialize its iconic topic. When it comes to the actual landing on the moon, it was a significant moment in cinematic history. I guarantee you’ll believe that you were there, and you’ll wonder why anyone would ever go there in the first place!
9. The Right Stuff (1983)
Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager and Ed Harris as John Glenn anchor Kaufman’s three-and-a-half-hour epic, which is largely based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name and tells the story of the early US efforts to launch humans into space in a thrilling but critical manner.
That requires, of course, “the proper stuff”: a combination of skill, bravery, and a blood-curdling fearlessness in the face of death. As Chuck Yeager, Shepard’s performance as a test pilot who became the first person to break the sound barrier, these attributes shine through (and, incidentally, a consultant on the film).
Collaboration, organization, and even – heaven help us – publicity were all required for our departure from Earth. “Right stuff” has been shaved off Ed Harris’s “squeaky clean” Glenn by many classes, tests, magazine articles, and media appearances.
The historical accuracy of The Right Stuff isn’t great. Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Alan Shepard, all Mercury astronauts, were particularly critical of the film for its portrayal of their countryman Gus Grissom, who tragically died in the Apollo 1 tragedy.
Even yet, it’s an entertaining and thought-provoking film that perfectly captures the time when space flight became a real business.
10. The Martian (2015)
Although it relies on one major inaccuracy (a Martian storm could never generate enough energy to knock a spacecraft off its axis), The Martian tells the story of an astronaut (Matt Damon’s Mark Watney) who is abandoned on Mars’ surface and must survive for four years by eating potatoes grown from waste.
Scott’s picture, which is based on a book by Andy Weir, has an appealing, cobbled-together aspect that elegantly (and by the end, truly rather movingly) portrays Watney’s scramble for survival.
NASA-approved designs for a habitat, spacesuit, spaceship, and launch vehicle were all included in the design of the spacecraft and the launch vehicle. While Watney’s Martian base, the ship in which his crew mates are heading home, and the offices and control rooms in which everyone is feverishly attempting to do the right thing, their prospects of saving Watney decrease to a point.
The Martian, despite being an unabashed commercial for NASA’s Mars aspirations and a celebration of the crewed program’s rebirth following the Challenger accident in 1986, already feels a little old. However, the ingenuity and levity it embodies are eternal.
11. Gravity (2013)
Space Shuttle mission specialist Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are forced to make their way across gulfs of space on dwindling supplies of air and propellant to find a vehicle that will take them back to Earth; soon the debris cloud will return on its inevitable orbit.
Low-Earth orbit is so densely populated with hardware and abandoned garbage that even a single collision may set off the Kessler syndrome and destroy every satellite, which is as likely to scare people away from space careers as it is to motivate them to pursue one.
If you’re looking for a lecture in orbital physics, you won’t find it in Gravity. Rather, it’s a survival thriller (think Open Water or Touching the Void, both of which were released in 2003). Even if Gravity isn’t quite as ridiculous as 2019’s Ad Astra (in which Brad Pitt leaps through Saturn’s icy rings, using a hatch-cover as an umbrella), it’s no First Man, no 2001, no Apollo 13.
Truth, on the other hand, cannot be separated from accuracy. The director’s goal of making the first picture that actually appears to be weightless was achieved with Gravity, which conveys the environment and sensation of zero gravity more powerfully, immediately, and correctly than any other film maker has been able to do.
12. October Sky (1999)
Drama about a young man growing up in the dawn of the space race is inspired by NASA engineer Homer H. Hickam Jr.’s memoirs. Homer, a high school student in Coalwood, West Virginia, in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, is played by a 17-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal.
Homer and his fellow “rocket lads” are inspired by the Soviet feat and urged by his teacher (Laura Dern) to create their own homemade missiles. Chris Cooper relishes the thankless role of Homer’s father, scolding his son’s ambitions by asking, “What’s wrong with working in the local coal mine?” Chris Cooper plays the character of Homer’s father admirably.
Joe Johnston is well recognized for his more gung-ho approach to heroism and rocket flight. (The Rocketeer (1991) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) are two of the best superhero films ever made.)
Octobre Sky is a much more contained achievement: a poignant tale of imagination reawakened by rocketry, space exploration, and the possibility of life beyond Earth.