Best space movies are arguably the ones that feature life outside Earth with the closest possible scientific practice. But some might also argue it could be the movies that are about aliens or other lives in space, or on Earth, in general. It closely relates to the sci-fi genre.
Since I have no intention of you leaving this page whether you agree with above or not, this piece will have the best space movies for all tastes.
While Interstellar and Avatar are two different movies, both are considered to be top space movies in their own way, and in their own way, those are the best space movies of the previous decade, well if you add another year to the previous decade😂.
This article will feature movies like Interstellar and more, and surely only the best space movies.
Let us get going.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Stars: Mathew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Movies like Interstellar probably ignited the thirst and the want to watch more space movies. However as the best space movie, the Interstellar, apart from inspiring more people to watch space travel movies, it inspired more moviemakers to make more space travel movies.
One of the best performances of McConaughey coupled with one of the best directors in this field, Interstellar makes up for one of a kind space movies of our time.
Although the science behind it can get a bit hard to understand or a bit wonky, the visual effects of the movie have captured the hearts of millions and, of course, those at the Academy of motion pictures, and won an Oscar for it.
There would be no top space movies list without this movie, which is why this movie starts off the list as one of the best space movies.
Director: Alfonso Cuaro’n
Writers: Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George CLooney, Ed Harris
Movies like Interstellar are hard to come by, however outer space movies like gravity is almost impossible to find especially with everything that went into this movie.
This is not the first time George Clooney is playing in a space movie, he had some features in old space movies before. However this new space movie, well new-ish compared to other space movies of the previous decade, has the best visual effects, sound mixing and editing and sure one of the best acting that he was in.
The two movies alone make me think that 2014 was a great year for space travel movies, or astronaut movies as Gravity won the best picture in that year.
One of the things I loved in this movie apart from everything else in the movie was that when the camera points to Earth it shows the map so clearly and detailed that you understand how much attention and love went into it.
Incredible acting from Sandra Bullock, unique and realistic movie scenes – Gravity certainly is the best space movie of 2014.
2001 Space Odyssey (1968)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick (creenplay), Arthur C. Clarke (crreenplay)
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
This movie certainly does not have the visual effects of Interstellar or Gravity, nor the design or any of the modern components of new space movies.
But it is engaging yet boring, simple but sophisticated, and long but seemingly short, it is not a space travel movie, but journeys through space, it is not a time-travel movie but traveled through time to today’s audience to bring us the truest blueprint in making the best space movie ever.
For a movie that was made in the 1960s this movie simply defies your understanding of how movies were made back then.
It has the kind of visual effects that are hard to achieve still today, it has the music, and the sounds that are to awe, and best of all, it has the dialogue the best space movie can only dream of having.
The Martian (2015)
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Drew Goddard (screenplay by), Andy Weir (based on the novel by)
Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
If you watch this movie, after watching some spy movies, you would think the same way as I thought, which was that it is doubtful that governments would spend so much money to bring back one astronaut from Mars. A new space movie with a new -old concept that worked.
The debate on this subject went on for a long time and visits some of the conversations of the views, which can only mean that the movie is of the top space movies.
What gives off the best space movie vibe is of course a bunch of its awards, but also the sheer quality and the money it made on Box Office.
Sometimes it even gives off the vibe as if it is a space movie for kids, because they simplify the science behind everything which they stay so true to. You do not see many space movies where science and fiction come together and make sense. Martian, however, does.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Jim Lovell (book), Jeffrey Kluger (book)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon
Space movies like Apollo 13 are based on the real truth which already means it is a good one to watch. It is one of those movies about space that is really about space.
The premise of the movie might seem similar to Martian, or perhaps the Martian premise to Apollo 13 which was the older space movie of the two top space movies.
One of the best space movies, Apollo 13 has won multiple awards, including academy award for sound mixing and film editing. It is a visually brilliant movie that is easily one of the top space movies of the 90s.
Apart from all the acclaim, the movie is certainly a must-watch, for it has one of the best cast, an incredible producer and pretty much everything else the best space movie needs.
Close Encounter with the third kind (1977)
If winning the academy award for a space movie does not make it one of the best space movies ever made, then I don’t know what would. Because this space movie did just that, won the best cinematography award way back in 1977.
It is not only impressive but also an excellent example of brilliant moviemaking. Steven Spielberg might be one of the most popular producers now, but he kinda got it through his hard work over the decades of making those top space movies along with all other kinds of brilliant movies.
This movie could be in a sense called the beginning of how space movies were made, as in the early 70s and 80s the people were quite interested in aliens and UFOs. For that time, space movies were movies about those occurrences.
Spielberg did an excellent job and made another one of the best space movies ever made.
Star Wars (1977-2019)
I don’t think there needs to be much said about star wars. Of course one thing is that it might be hard to call it the example of a top space movie.
However the space it featured years and decades ago became a whole new universe where multiple other outer space movies and series were made. Thus not only it is on top of space movie charts and one of them but also one of the best space movies.
If we were to consider its success according to wards it would be the best space movie ever made. If we were, however, to consider its success based on its financial reports then, it could in fact be not only the best space movie ever made, but also one of most successful movie franchises ever to exist.
I can go on and on but you get the point, it is the best space movie franchise, if you want to get started, start from the original trilogy. It will get you hooked like no drug can.
Director: Duncan Jones
Writers: Duncan Jones (story), Nathan Parker
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott |
Researching about this space movie, I was shocked to see that this movie was made on a $5 million budget. Don’t get me wrong it is not a small amount of money, but for a top space movie of this size and actors and everything it had, it is a tiny bit of money.
However, the movie’s success probably does not rely on your regular blockbuster movie logic of blasting everything off, and including a crap ton of action. It is simply the writing that makes it exceptional, and one of the best space movies.
Old space movie that still feels like it was made yesteryear, freshened by a brilliant performance by Rockwell, it is a great movie and the best space movie of 2009.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Writers: Andrew Stanton (original story by), Pete Docter (original story by) |
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Look, I was not going to include an animated space movie in the list, but if anyone could do any exceptions it would be with Wall-e.
It is not simply the best space movie for kids, but also among the top space movies that ever existed especially because of its comedic approach and storytelling. It is an artful movie that Hollywood needs to make more of.
It is the only movie which is so entertaining and engaging while simultaneously being thought provocative.
It is one of those rare animated space movies for kids that everyone can watch. As a space movie for kids in fact it is a bit too profound which is something I only approve of like our kids today are smarter than ever before.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper |
This space movie could be for kids, just kidding, actually no not quite, because it is in fact rated PG13. Regardless how its rating is, it is still loved by all ages of people, this you could understand just by looking at the sales of its toys.
But the things that I personally like and think you might as well are its comedic style into a superhero movie, likable and zany characters, action, and of course Groot.
Top space movies should learn a bit from this one and add that comedic style. Ohh wait, they did with Thor, but after the success of Guardians of the galaxy. So in a sense guardians of the galaxy might not be the exemplary top space movie but sure as hell, it could be the first comedic one to cause a whole trend in superhero movies.
Star Trek (1966-1969)
When it comes to talking about space movies, Star Trek should be one of the best space movies of the 19th century.
It literally is about space exploration and the relationship between different races. What more could be said about a movie before it is considered to be a space movie.
In the list of top space movies star trek does not always take its proper place, for there are hundreds if not more space movies out there today.
But this one was one of the early adapters in this scene and ones that kind of created the space movie genre. And one that early into the movies about the space genre first.
Of course, Star Trek is not alone, and for quite some time, I used to think it was based on the Star Wars universe, as it turns out, it was its own franchise.
Fifth Element (1997)
Director: Luc Besson
Writers: Luc Besson (screenplay by), Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay by)
Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman
The fifth Element is one of the best space movies because of one reason only and that it is entertaining and fun.
It is not one of those space movies like Interstellar where you are provoked to think and contemplate on the choices of the main characters and stuff.
Even years later, it still gets quite a bit of press and is talked a lot about it being either the best space movie ever, or the worst, sometimes both topics being discussed at the same time simultaneously.
Regardless of which side of the discussion you end up on, you can’t help but enjoy the movie.
Ad Astra (2019)
Director: James Gray
Writers: James Gray, Ethan Gross
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga
Among the astronaut movies, Ad Astra stands out because it is the main theme of this space movie. A space exploration mission ends up being a self-discovery mission for our main protagonist, an astronaut whose father was an astronaut as well.
Incredible performances all across, and surely from Brad Pitt too, great graphic design and visual effects, and of course sound mixing.
You see a lot of space movies that have fantastical elements and actions and lately of course with gist of comedy too, but rarely ever you see a psychological drama based on space.
Ad Astra is one of the top space movies not just because it is a psychological drama, but happens to be one of the best psychological dramas on its own.
Add the space element, you easily get the best space movies recipe to follow through.
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
When Avatar hit theaters it was just around the time when 3D was becoming popularized. I remember watching it in the movie theater and coming out with such an impression that only the best space movies can deliver.
Avatar was that space movie that delivered and not only it did but it exceeded that I had to watch a few more times to get every bit of enjoyment and fascination out of this movie.
It was like licking the stick of your ice-cream after you ate the whole ice-cream, you do that because you enjoyed the ice-cream too much.
Not calling Avatar the best space movie would be like breaking the ten commandments for it, breaking all the records in top space movie categories and every possible measurement to consider its success.
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
We have talked about sci-fi fantasy, action, adventure and comedy plus pretty much every category sci-fi can add-on. Life is a space movie which includes horror aspects but does not dive too deep into the horror category as it does not end up like Alien.
As a fan of Ryan Reynolds, I would have watched this movie no matter what however, adding Jake Gyllenhaal was like the topping of the ice-cream which made this movie one of the best space movies ever made.
However, upon watching this new space movie “Life” I was convinced that it truly was one of the best space movies of the last few years.
The best space movies feature extraterrestrial life on Earth or outside, perhaps a whole new species like in Star Wars take us to a fantastical realm outside our Solar system to places like that of Avatar.
Whatever is the location they base the movie on, at the end of the day they are still movies. You could give a space movie all kinds of descriptions, but if they don’t awe you or entertain you, you hesitate to call them even a movie.
Top space movies listed in this article about the best space movies are here for one reason only and that they are good movies to watch in the first place.