Last week, we tackled our favorite aviation films of all time and got a lot of great feedback. So, we asked ourselves, what next? Well, in our industry we are fortunate enough to participate in some truly exciting programs in Civil Aerospace, Space Exploration, Military & Defense, IoT, and industrial applications. It just so happens, there are great movies that exist in all of these.
So, this week we are going to tackle our top 20 favorite SPACE FILMS. We are counting down this week our top 20-11 picks in this article and then invite you back tomorrow to find out which flick took the top spot. Without further ado, here are Our Top 20 Favorite Space Films of All Time.
20. PASSENGERS (2016)
Passengers is a 2016 romantic science fiction thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts. It stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as two people who awake, 90 years too soon, from an induced hibernation on board a spaceship bound for a new planet. The film was released in the United States on December 21, 2016, by Columbia Pictures. Alot was made about the pairing of the two-most marketable leads in Hollywood at the time, but the movie was almost universally panned by critics.
19. LIFE (2017)
Few people saw this space gem, and it’s a true shame that it stayed so far off the radar. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, Life is about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars and now threatens all life on Earth.
18. MISSION TO MARS (2000)
Mission to Mars is a 2000 American science fiction adventure film directed by Brian De Palma from an original screenplay written by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, and Graham Yost. The film was based, in part, on the defunct Mission to Mars attraction at Disney theme parks. In 2020, the first manned Mars exploration mission goes awry. American astronaut Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise) helps to coordinate a rescue mission for a colleague. Principal support actors were Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O’Connell, and Kim Delaney.
17. AD ASTRA (2019)
2019 marked the triumphant return to the big screen with the one-two punch of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and the space epic Ad Astra. One was almost universally loved by all, the other (Ad Astra)…not so much. Ad Astra is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. It follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System.
16. MOON (2009)
Sam Rockwell stars in Moon, a film about a miner in the future who is sent to bring alternative fuel home to Earth. But as he’s about to come home, his health takes a serious turn for the worse. Things get even stranger when he runs into a younger version of himself, and he’s tasked along with his clone with figuring out what the hell is going on before they both pay the price of being discovered. This quiet, incredible sci-fi thriller marked a stunning debut for director Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s son.
15. STAR TREK (2009)
This is where I admit that I had never seen an episode of the original series, nor did I have much of a concept for it beyond character names and the fact that it involved space. However, by the bar fight scene, I was intrigued, and once the stoic Spock is forced to admit that he was emotionally compromised by the death of his mother, I was feeling a bit emotionally compromised myself.
This is a movie about happenings in space, sure (and there are definitely a lot of CGI renderings, strange species, and shots of the wide vastness of space to prove it). But it’s also a film about emotion and family and the things that link people (and Vulcans) to one another. It’s raw in some places and not-so-great in others, but as my introduction to the Star Trek universe, it was memorable.
14. WALL-E (2008)
Hanging out on Earth to literally clean up humanity’s mess, Wall-E finds another robot on a scanning mission who was sent to what remains of the third rock from the sun. Together, the two go on a universe-spanning adventure that will warm your heart, unlike any other space story. Wall-E remains one of Pixar’s greatest accomplishments thanks to its stunning visuals and an ever more important environmental message.
Our only animated film on this list of space epics, Wall-E was a frighteningly all-too-real look at the possible outcome of the over-commercialized world we currently live in. (You hear that Alexa!)
13. FIRST MAN (2018)
When it comes to accuracy, First Man stayed true to the elements of the real Apollo 11 mission. One major factor that helped keep the movie realistic? It was likely aided by the actual footage from the mission, something that Elphic said is fascinating to watch side-by-side.
“One of the cool things about First Man is that you can actually go and find on YouTube, landing footage of Apollo 11, and compare it to what they show in the movie and I think it’s pretty accurate,” he says. “I don’t think they tried to be overly dramatic with that and they tried to represent what it was really like and they did that really well.”
12. CONTACT (1997)
This Jodie Foster film is a special kind of space beast. Playing Dr. Arroway, she is contacted by a something off in the far reaches of the universe and must race to figure out exactly who is contacting Earth. Sure, there’s not much actual space until the brilliant closing scenes, but it had to be on this list for being a patient, intelligent sci-fi movie that involves the unknown of what’s beyond our little planet.
11. INTERSTELLAR (2014)
Christopher Nolan’s visually-stunning space epic follows Matthew McConaughey as a pilot tasked with finding a new home for the human species. His character sets off into the unknown leaving his family on a dust-filled Earth that’s rapidly becoming unable to support life. Prepare to bend your brain trying to understand the concept of relativity as McConaughey races against the clock in an extremely sci-fi way.
And there you have the first part of list ladies and gentlemen. What do you think about our pics regarding the final frontier? Leave us a comment below if we missed one of yours. Tune in tomorrow to see the second part of the list and find out what we picked as our favorite space film of all time!