The final frontier never gets old, maybe because it’s always expanding. That’s right folks, this is a space article – there’s something about the vast vicissitudes of the universe that are at once enamouring and terrifying, and there have been some great movies exploring that over the years. Beam me up, folks!
1. The Martian
Matt Damon plays a highly resourceful astronaut who’s accidentally left behind on Mars after his fellow mates assume he died in a fierce storm. With little to no supplies, he uses his wits, training and smarts to figure out how to survive on the red planet until help arrives.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play a couple of space-walkers whose ship is hit by some highly damaging debris. With rapidly worsening situations, a shortage of air, and little to no chances to survive, they must do everything it takes. This film has some truly poignant moments of reflection, and really brings to life what it might feel like if you were lost in space.
3. Ad Astra
Brad Pitt plays an ace astronaut in the near future, when spaceships have ventured beyond what we see today. While his skills are unmatched, his past demons and childhood experiences have left him loveless, and devoid of most emotion. However, when he finds out that his father might still be alive in the vestiges of deep space, he embarks on a journey.
This 1998 film played endlessly on TV, and starred a whole ensemble cast including Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. When an asteroid is dangerously close to hitting earth, NASA employs the unlikeliest people, from outlaws to oil drillers to go and blow that big rock up.
This 1979 classic stars Sigourney Weaver, and was the origin of the terrifying face-hugger that lays eggs in your stomach which later burst straight through. The movie follows a spaceship that’s investigating a distress signal, only to be attacked by the seminal alien.
Amy Adams plays a linguistics expert who must decode the language of mysterious aliens who have landed on Earth. Featuring a stunning performance by Adams, this movie transcends both space and time.
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey
This Kubrick classic from 1968 follows mankind’s search for an explanation to a mysterious artifact buried beneath the moon’s surface. They obtain help from the intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000. The rest, as they say, is history.
One of the best movies on this list, Moon stars Sam Rockwell as the lone employee working at a lunar station who’s fast approaching the end of his contract, and can’t wait to return home to his family. Unbeknownst to him though, there’s some truly life shattering secrets about his employers he isn’t aware of.
9. Europa Report
Searching for life in the cosmos is one of the most consistent missions of mankind, and this film follows a space exploration company that sends six of the best astronauts from around the world on a privately funded mission to search and confirm life on Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, Europa.
10. Hidden Figures
This critically acclaimed movie tells the story of 3 African-American mathematicians who were vital to astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit. However, they also had to deal with racial and gender discrimination at work, as it was the early years of the US space programs.
This hard-hitting film starring Matthew McConaughey was a game changer, but which of Nolan’s films aren’t? He plays a man chosen to find a different planet for humans to inhabit, as the Earth is slowly becoming impossible to sustain. That scene where he’s crying just broke everyone. If you know, you know.
Time to blast off!