The best space movies transport us to worlds beyond our wildest dreams, imagining inconceivable futures that inevitably affect our own technological advancements.
Best space movies or sci fi movies combines mind-blowing images with mind-blowing ideas, investigating everything from the human experience to humanity’s destiny. From rapid, humorous, colorful space adventures to gloomy dystopian tragedies set in the present, far future, or even a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s a genre with a lot to offer.
If you’re looking for a list of the best space movies or sci fi movies in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. The Team Empire hivemind has gathered in the cloud to compile a list of the most iconic space movies, ranging from modern classics to game-changing classics.
Starting with one of the subgenre’s most surprising real events, here are our best space movies and sci fi movies where to find them.
13 Best Space Movies | Sci Fi Movies
Here are our thirteen best space movies and sci fi movies, starting with one of the subgenre’s most surprising real-life happenings.
First Man (2018)
On the list of number one space movies first Man was released on the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, and it vividly depicted the perils that Neil Armstrong and his comrades faced. First Man, starring Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, begins with the early tests of what would later become the Apollo 11 mission, with astronauts fighting for selection and the honor of being the first to walk on the moon, as well as grappling with inconsistent test versions of the lunar lander. When the chosen three are launched into space, however, the landing sequence is riveting and quite stunning cinema.
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 epic is packed with enormously impactful moments that have set the tone for so many space movies and space cinema that has followed, from its famous opening to the increasing fear of HAL 9000. Kubrick collaborated on the idea with science fiction novelist Arthur C Clarke, and it revolves around a mission to Jupiter to explore a bizarre alien monolith that appears to have an impact on human evolution. The picture was nominated for four Academy Awards and pioneered a lot of visual effects.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Apollo 13 is an all-star rendition of the thrilling drama of a botched mission to the Moon in 1970 that was beloved by terrestrial television schedulers in the mid-2000s. Director Ron Howard went to great lengths to make Apollo 13 as authentic as possible, enlisting NASA’s help to train the cast and even filming onboard a reduced gravity aircraft to make weightlessness feel more realistic.
Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Gary Sinise brought the mass appeal, but the real charm is in the incredible attention to detail – director Ron Howard went to great lengths to make it as authentic as possible, enlisting NASA’s help to train the cast, and even filming on
Event Horizon (1997)
When the ship Event Horizon inexplicably vanishes on its way to Proxima Centauri, it is on a mission. It broadcasts a distress signal seven years later, which Captain Miller, played by Laurence Fishburne, and his crew investigates. When they arrive, the whole crew of the ship has died. The rescuers are soon targeted by the same forces that killed them, with ghostly apparitions from their past and an evil force overcoming them.
As survivors seek to flee and ensure that this force never reaches Earth, the crew members are taken off one by one. Despite the film’s blood, gore, and murder, it appears to be less graphic than intended, and fans are still pleading with filmmaker Paul W. S. Anderson to release the original cut.
This critically praised space movies range requires no explanation. It follows the crew of a commercial spaceship and the pandemonium that unfolds when they discover a scary extraterrestrial species unleashed on board — perhaps something Richard Branson might keep in mind when Virgin Galactic finally takes off. In a taut two-hour thriller replete with legendary moments and grisly prosthetics, Sigourney Weaver stars as Ripley. There have been a number of sequels, spin-offs, and crossovers based on it.
You thought the de-aging process in The Irishman was the most ambitious in cinema history? You’ve obviously forgotten about Looper. Doubts were raised when it was announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play Bruce Willis’ younger self. They had no resemblance to one another. It wouldn’t be so bad if the performers were separated by sepia-toned flashbacks, but Looper’s story demanded a lot of shared screen time.
So, how did Rian Johnson, the director, address the problem? Of course, by putting a prosthetic of Bruce Willis’ face on top of Joseph Gordon- Levitt’s! He had it all: artificial lips, artificial nose, and beguilingly lovely eyebrows. Even better, they got away with it! The make-up work was great enough that it didn’t detract from Johnson’s unexpectedly cerebral tale, a Terminator-style time jump that follows a hitman faced with killing his future self.
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón’s gripping, disorienting film about a first-time astronaut (Sandra Bullock) who becomes imprisoned in orbit after the space shuttle is hit by debris from an exploding satellite, took three years to complete the visual effects. The film, which also stars George Clooney as the shuttle team’s commander, is one of the most well-received films of all time, with critics applauding its cinematography and Bullock’s portrayal, which included long, lonely hours in a spinning rig.
As the intensity and profundity of Danny Boyle’s space survival slasher rise, the soundtrack becomes overwhelming. As visual flashes and distortions fly across the screen, the camera rotates and tilts. The score, composed by Welsh electronica band Underworld, builds and builds until it reaches a sudden pause.
Capa, played by Killian Murphy, touches the Sun at this point. It’s a reverent moment, almost religious in nature, and one of cinema’s most aesthetically captivating. Boyle focuses significantly on the connection between the Sun and God throughout the film, establishing a very vivid impression of the Sun’s overwhelming physical and spiritual presence. It’s this overwhelming power that drives the villain – and many of the film’s heroes – insane.
Humans leave the Earth after pollution renders it uninhabitable, leaving behind a small but determined trash-compacting robot. When a brand-new robot named Eve arrives on the planet to hunt for signs of life, Wall-E makes friends with her and shows her the world he has built for himself.
Wall-E is hauled away to the spacecraft that now houses humans when they discover a plant, where he encourages a robot rebellion to help humanity get back on track. Wall-E has all the markings of a space movie, but it’s presented in a pleasant, family-friendly fashion – albeit its picture of a lethargic human race adrift in the stars should be taken with a grain of salt.
Duncan Jones’ directorial debut is a heartfelt re-imagining of the trapped in space cliche. It follows Sam Bell, who is nearing the conclusion of a three-year tenure on the dark side of the moon mining helium when he begins hallucinating. It’s a dismal, sad film that, in terms of tone, stands out from many previous space movies; critics praised the cinematography and Sam Rockwell’s performance as protagonist Sam Bell.
In this remake of the 1972 film, George Clooney plays clinical psychologist Chris Kelvin, who is sent to a space station orbiting an extraterrestrial planet. He finds it mostly empty, bloodstained, and with two crew members dead when he arrives.
The remaining crew is tight-lipped about the issues they’ve faced, but Kelvin wakes up the next morning to discover a duplicate of his dead wife beside him. The team has been haunted by these doppelgängers of their loved ones, which reappeared after being eliminated. It’s all about determining what’s real and what isn’t. Are these people a boon or a hindrance?
The extensive, detailed internal conversation of the main character, Mark Watney, makes Andy Weir’s science-laden tale of an astronaut stuck on Mars work. It was a difficult task to adapt the novel for the big screen, where audiences are less forgiving of in-depth screeds on the problems of cultivating potatoes in low gravity, but director Ridley Scott succeeds. As a team on Earth scrambles to rescue Watney, The Martian combines the nail-biting tension of Gravity with the resourcefulness on display in Apollo 13.
The universe is enormous. And, more than any other film, Interstellar makes you feel it. Christopher Nolan has all of the necessary IMAX nobs and dials dialed up to eleven. The admirable technique here is for Nolan to use all of the cinematic tools at his disposal – and invent a few new ones – to depict the agonizing contrast between the vastness of the universe and the perilous insignificance of a small group of humanity.
And it’s this contrast that makes Interstellar grounded, even when the action shifts to the fanciful. This is a story about human survival, but it’s also a hymn to our grasp of the universe’s awe-inspiring, terrifying beauty.