Space movies are fun; we go in for an exploratory journey and the characters into the unknown. These are are the best space movies get our hearts throbbing and nerves engaged with breathtaking visuals and brainstorming ideas in an epic locale.
Best Space Movies
To get you started, we’ve listed the 12 best space movies that require you to plunge into an infinite stretch of the nebula. Here are our top picks:
Christopher Nolan at it again. A farmer and an ex-scientist, Joseph Cooper (Mathew McConaughey), along with a team of researchers, is assigned to find another liveable planet for humans. In his peculiar style, Nolan renders this stellar intergalactic journey from airborne clouds of exotic ice to Gargantua: a spinning black hole. Interstellar is also about Cooper and his grown-up daughter, played by Jessica Chastain, haunted by her father’s ghost bringing out the Humane conventions of the plot. With Stephen Hawking attending its premiere, Interstellar, with its outstanding visuals, celebrates astronomical ends and imaginations.
2001: a Space Odyssey (1968)
Stanley Kubrick attempts to battle out some unanswered questions about human evolution and existence in this sci-fi drama where the Discovery One and its revolutionary supercomputer set out to unravel its mysterious origin. This movie was groundbreaking in all shapes and forms, with its visuals, iconic soundtrack, and cinematography wins over cinema buffs each decade following its release. In this masterpiece, Kubrick, a savant filmmaker and scholar of human nature, explores the dawn of man, the space race, artificial intelligence, space exploration, and trans-dimensional travel. Remember, we’re talking 1970s here. This movie laid brick stones for many space movies to come from Hollywood.
With an uncanny premise, a debutant director and all-weird Sam Rockwell, Duncan Jones adapt this psychologically engaging movie from Robert Zubrin’s book ‘Entering Space’. With its relatable protagonist, this comparatively low-budget space movie might get your neurons for a duel. However, we can also draw parallels with one of Dostoevsky’s works, ‘the double’. A loner astronaut Sam at a lunar station with his computer, GERTY, awaits the end of his three-year contract when he meets with a fatal situation, his younger self and indecisive hallucinations.
Proxima is summed up in its credits, where female astronauts are presented with their children in an all-powerful rendition to capture human relations and physical proximity. In a very different attempt in her career, Eva Green plays a mother being trained for a moon mission in Russia while struggling with an inevitable separation from her daughter. This Alice Winocour directorial is more about life-affirming emotions and boldness than science fiction, but it does enhance the preparation that professional astronauts go through.
While people might differ on what they’re doing right now with the alien franchise, we can all settle upon the fact that this Ridley Scott outing changed the perception of viewers on these grovelling outer space creatures and, more extensively, science-fiction itself. Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, encounters an alien who later invades their ship and wrecks degradation. Alien quite horridly displays extraterrestrial wilderness and human helplessness against these evolutionary species. The unknowable biology of outer space might hurt us and at least these guys weren’t prepared for it.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Tom Hanks in space! We’re sold already. Apollo 13 incredibly defines the space adventure genre where you’re caught up stranded along with these astronauts in a tiny capsule in space. The anxiety, the sweating, oxygen running out and the moments of disturbed tranquillity are enough to keep you hooked. Although predictable, commander Jim Lovell, command module pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module pilot Fred Haise make sure that the audience take a little errand in outer space in a doubtful situation.
First Man (2018)
Recognised by academy awards for its visuals, there’s much more to the first man. A taciturn Ryan Gosling is playing American hero Neil Armstrong in this biographical drama. Unhinged by the hauntings of the death of a family member and distant from her loving wife and children, a sad trek to embed the historical footprints on the moon, Ryan Gosling is more accurate than space itself. We know it’s not a go-to space adventure fun ride. But you get to measure and feel the silhouette of an aeronautical engineer and university professor who returns from a space drive from the moon itself mentally in his ‘worst’ times. Now, what’s your excuse? The score had to be good; it’s Damien Chazelle presenting a motion picture after Whiplash and La La Land.
Right Stuff (1983)
Loosely adapted from Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name, this inspirational and exciting film showcases the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager, played by Sam Shepard, centred around a critical account of US attempts to send astronauts into space. With elements of bravery, heroism and gallantry adaptations shaping history, this is a heart-filtering tale with interesting ‘factual’ revelations. Perhaps not a great embodiment of its ilk of contemporary documentaries, this space race packs a punch.
The Martian (2015)
This is Ridley Scott’s second entry on the list; we do have a favourite here. This Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain starrer is a visual spectacle of a desolated Martian surviving due to a change of events followed by a storm. The central theme that The Martian exquisitely pulls off is the psychological state of a lonesome astronaut on a familiar alien planet Mars. He only holds to his sanity through his video log, where he reports to the log and his viewers about his thoughts and planning. Meanwhile, people at NASA try to get the unfortunate back. The Martian is clever, appealing, often rigorous and surprisingly funny. This movie is a love poem to science.
This Sandra Bullock and George Clooney starrer cinematic bojjanga is an unforgettable experience above all. Watching it with your 3-D glasses on the giant screen possible is irrefutably worthwhile. The mind-boggling CGI and camera technique will surely make you fall in love with its existence. Though I could sum up the entire plot in a sentence, that won’t do justice to occurrences that thrill you in this space movie. With inconsistent air supply and a reoccurring fate, Ryan Stone (Sandra) awaits when she’s separated from her space vehicle after an event with unhewn space ruins. This is a popcorn entertainer that promises an accurate description of a survival situation in mid-space.
Warning: You might find yourself floating weightless in zero gravity.
October Sky (1999)
Primarily a family drama, this docudrama is prominently an underrated biopic. However, it misses majorly in the extravagance of space. It does capture the dream of a coal miner’s son of building rockets when he hears about the first artificial satellite, sputnik, being launched into space. The story unfolds as he faces resistance from his father. Although a juvenile Jake Gyllenhal plays the protagonist with required ingenuity, the story is based on Homer Hickman Jr. and his fellow rocket boys. Chris Cooper plays the cold-hearted father secluded from the Soviet achievement, unknowably forcing his son to join the coal mines. A genuinely inspirational biopic about people in rags that aims at space stitching the gap with their beliefs.
Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden figures is about racial and gender segregation of women in this historical allegory of three brave women battling against extant injustices. Three black female mathematicians in NASA’s Langley research centre in 1961: Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), ignored mainly through their colleagues with their struggles deciphering methods to send men into space, are presented with a less objective approach. However, their excitement, love for their work and stubbornness will motivate you to break all shackles without blaming your situations. The actual applications of mathematics and calculus in aeronautical space science are also interesting. One thing is for sure; you’ll be introduced to some historically great women that designed NASA’s alignment and America’s stance in history.