Best Movies About Space Travel

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Best Movies About Space Travel

So many directors have talked about Best Movies About Space Travel. We assembled 25 of our favorites.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Irvin Kershner, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams
Rated PG

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 science fantasy film directed by Irvin Kershner. The movie follows the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Galactic Empire as they are pursued by Darth Vader and the Empire's forces. The main characters, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, are separated and must find a way to reunite and defeat the Empire. Along the way, Luke is trained in the ways of the Jedi by the mysterious Yoda while Han and Leia are pursued by the Empire and must find a way to escape. Meanwhile, Vader is determined to find Luke and turn him to the dark side. As the Rebels face their most powerful enemy yet and time runs out, they must find a way to survive and save the galaxy.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From George Lucas, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
Rated PG

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is a 1977 science fiction movie directed by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm. The movie follows the story of Luke Skywalker, a young farm boy from Tatooine, as he joins forces with Rebel Alliance to help restore freedom in the galaxy by fighting against the Galactic Empire. Alongside his newfound allies, Luke embarks on an epic adventure that will take him across the galaxy and introduce him to a mentor, a legendary swordsman and a powerful and mysterious warrior known as Obi-Wan Kenobi. With the help of his friends, Luke must confront Darth Vader and the evil Galactic Emperor in order to bring balance to the Force and restore freedom to the galaxy.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
Rated PG-13

"Interstellar" is a space epic directed by Christopher Nolan that follows a group of explorers as they travel through a newly discovered wormhole in search of a planet that can sustain human life. The group, led by former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), is desperate to save humanity from an ecological disaster on Earth. Along their journey, they must confront the unknown, challenging their physical and mental limits, as well as their relationships with each other. As they face time and space-warping obstacles, Cooper and his team must work together to find a way to save the future of humanity.

Alien (1979)

Alien
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright
Rated R

"Alien" is a science fiction horror classic directed by Ridley Scott. The movie follows the crew of the commercial spaceship Nostromo, who are on their way back home to Earth when they are diverted to investigate a mysterious distress call from an alien planet. They come across an alien life form, an aggressive creature with no mercy that kills the crew one by one. The lone survivor, Ellen Ripley, is forced to battle with the alien in a desperate attempt to save the human race. With its intense atmosphere, groundbreaking special effects, and classic horror elements, "Alien" is one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time.

WALL·E (2008)

WALL·E
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Andrew Stanton, starring Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard
Rated G

WALL·E is an animated science fiction film released in 2008, directed by Andrew Stanton. The story follows a trash-compacting robot named Wall·E who lives alone on a deserted, garbage-filled Earth. Wall·E has been working tirelessly to clean up the planet, compacting all the trash into neat, cubical piles. One day, Wall·E comes across a plant growing in the trash, and decides to keep it safe. When a spaceship lands, bringing a sleek new robot called EVE, Wall·E falls in love and follows her back aboard the ship. The two robots then embark on an extraordinary journey that changes the fate of humanity and the future of the planet. The film received critical acclaim for its story, animation, and themes of environmental responsibility.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From James Cameron, starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser
Rated R

Aliens is a science fiction action-horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver. Set decades after the events of the first film, Aliens follows Ellen Ripley (Weaver) as she returns to the planet LV-426 where she had previously encountered the alien species. Ripley is accompanied by a group of Colonial Marines and an android, Bishop, on a mission to investigate the disappearances of colonists on the planet. As they investigate, they come face to face with the aliens and must fight to survive their onslaught. With the help of an alien queen and a juvenile alien, Ripley and the marines attempt to escape the planet and defeat the alien species. Aliens is a thrilling and intense story of survival and heroism, and it remains one of the best science fiction films ever made.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter
Rated G

2001: A Space Odyssey is an epic science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1968. It follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of an alien monolith affecting human evolution. The story is based in part on Arthur C. Clarke's short story “The Sentinel” and is a contemplation on the meaning of human existence. The film follows a series of alien encounters, dealing with themes of existentialism, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. The visuals, music, and special effects are widely considered to be some of the greatest ever created for a film. It gained critical acclaim for its fascinating visuals, unique use of classical music, and its compelling portrayal of space exploration. The film spawned a number of sequels and imitators, and is considered one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Richard Marquand, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams
Rated PG

The Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire comes to a climactic conclusion in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Directed by Richard Marquand, the film follows Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo as they continue their fight against the Empire led by Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Luke travels to the Empire's forest moon of Endor to destroy the new Death Star, while Leia and Han attempt to free their friend Chewbacca from a prison barge. Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian leads an attack on the Death Star from his ship, the Millennium Falcon. In a final epic battle, the Rebel forces defeat the Empire, while Luke confronts Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel and learns the truth of his father. In the end, the Rebel Alliance triumphs, peace is restored to the galaxy, and the Jedi Order is reborn.

The Martian (2015)

The Martian
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
Rated PG-13

The Martian is a 2015 science-fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and based on a novel of the same name by Andy Weir. The film follows a team of astronauts as they attempt to rescue an astronaut, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who has been left behind on Mars and presumed dead. After Watney wakes up and finds himself alone, he must find ways to survive on the hostile planet until he can find a way to get back home. With the help of his colleagues on Earth, he finds a way to communicate with them and begins his struggle to stay alive on Mars. Along the way, he overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to make it back home, bringing the world together in the process.

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans
Rated G

Planet of the Apes is a science fiction film released in 1968 and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. The film follows astronaut George Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) who becomes stranded on a strange planet where apes rule over humans. Taylor attempts to escape, but is eventually captured and put on trial. In the end, it is revealed that the planet is actually a post-apocalyptic Earth. He escapes with a female companion, and the two witness a horrifying sight of the Statue of Liberty submerged in the sand. This reveals that the planet is Earth hundreds of years in the future. The film is widely considered a classic, and has spawned a franchise of sequels, prequels, and remakes.

Solaris (1972)

Solaris
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy
Rated PG

Solaris is a 1972 Soviet science fiction film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The plot is based on the novel of the same name by Stanisław Lem. The film follows the story of Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis), a psychologist sent to investigate strange events on a space station orbiting the mysterious planet Solaris. At the space station, Kelvin discovers a group of scientists trying to understand the powerful alien life force of Solaris. As Kelvin spends more time on the space station, strange hallucinations begin to appear that force him to confront his past and the secrets of Solaris. Through his journey, Kelvin discovers a deeper understanding of himself and the powerful forces of the universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
Rated PG-13

Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Lee Pace. In the film, a group of intergalactic criminals must team up to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe. Along the way, the ragtag team encounters a mysterious and powerful relic, the Infinity Stone. With the power of the Infinity Stone, the team must battle their way through an army of cosmic forces in an effort to save the universe from destruction.

Arrival (2016)

Arrival
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Denis Villeneuve, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg
Rated PG-13

Arrival is a 2016 science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. The film follows a linguist (Adams) and a theoretical physicist (Renner) as they attempt to communicate with alien visitors who have suddenly appeared on Earth in giant, mysterious spacecrafts. As the two scientists strive to discover why the aliens have arrived and what message they are trying to convey to humanity, they must also navigate a looming threat of global war. Along the way, the two discover that the aliens may not only be trying to share a message, but also a technology that could change the course of humanity. In the end, Arrival is a thought-provoking exploration of communication, time and language, and the power of human connection in the face of adversity.

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From J.J. Abrams, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy
Rated PG-13

Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction action adventure film directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the 11th film based on the Star Trek franchise and stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Leonard Nimoy. Set in an alternate timeline, the film follows James T. Kirk and Spock as they work together to prevent a Romulan from destroying the planet Vulcan. Along the way, they must also find a way to unite a divided Starfleet against Nero, a vengeful Romulan. As they face impossible odds, they discover that the only way to save the Federation is to make an ultimate, selfless sacrifice.

The Right Stuff (1983)

The Right Stuff
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Philip Kaufman, starring Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid
Rated PG

The Right Stuff is a 1983 American epic historical drama film written and directed by Philip Kaufman and loosely based on Tom Wolfe's 1979 book of the same name. It tells the story of the Original Seven astronauts and their macho, risk-taking attitudes on their journey to be the first Americans in space. It also chronicles the stories of the Mercury Seven astronauts and their families, as well as the rivalries, tensions, and media pressures that accompanied their mission. The film stars Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, and Barbara Hershey. It also features Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright, Scott Wilson, and Jeff Goldblum. The film follows the astronauts as they prepare for launch, undergo rigorous training, and face danger and death in the pursuit of what President Kennedy designated as "the right stuff." The themes of courage, dedication, and heroism are explored throughout the film as the astronauts struggle to not only meet the physical and mental challenges of space travel, but also to prove that they have the courage and strength to risk their lives for their country.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From J.J. Abrams, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson
Rated PG-13

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is set thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi. It follows the journey of Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, who meets Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, and BB-8, a droid who holds a map to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi. As Rey, Finn, and BB-8 search for Luke, they are pursued by the First Order, led by Kylo Ren, a powerful dark side warrior, and the scavenger's story intertwines with the familiar saga of the Skywalker family. Along the way, Rey and her newfound allies battle the First Order, discover the power of the Force, and face their destiny.

Avatar (2009)

Avatar
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Rated PG-13

Avatar is a 2009 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. Set in 2154, the story follows a paraplegic marine named Jake Sully who is sent to the planet Pandora on a mission to help the human race mine a valuable resource known as unobtanium. Once there, he is injected with a special serum that allows him to inhabit an avatar, a Na'vi, an alien species native to the planet. As Jake learns more about Pandora and the Na'vi, he begins to sympathize with their plight and ultimately finds himself torn between the military forces of Earth and the Na'vi's struggle for survival. With the help of a strong female Na'vi and his newfound love for Pandora, Jake must decide which side he will ultimately stand with and fight for.

Moon (2009)

Moon
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Duncan Jones, starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw
Rated R

Moon is a science fiction drama set in the near future that follows Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), a solitary astronaut who is nearing the end of a three-year contract working alone at a lunar mining facility. As his time in isolation starts to take its toll on him, he begins to experience strange visions and hallucinations. When a malfunctioning robot clone of himself appears at the facility, Sam is forced to confront his true identity and the secrets of the facility. Along the way, he discovers a mysterious conspiracy that could have far-reaching effects on the future of humanity.

Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Theodore Melfi, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner
Rated PG

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder. It is based on the true story of three African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The three women, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), were brilliant mathematicians and engineers who faced discrimination and sexism yet still persevered to help make history. They were instrumental in getting the United States back in the space race against the Soviet Union and ultimately helping to win the Cold War. The film highlights the power of teamwork, friendship, and determination in the face of adversity.

October Sky (1999)

October Sky
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen
Rated PG

October Sky is a 1999 American biographical drama film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son in Coalwood, West Virginia, who is inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes. With the help of some friends, Hickam eventually overcomes his hardships and establishes himself as a successful rocket scientist. The film explores themes of ambition and imagination, as well as the difficult relationship between a father and son. Ultimately, Hickam's efforts prove to be successful, as his rockets help the town of Coalwood gain recognition. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Gareth Edwards, starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen
Rated PG-13

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a 2016 American space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards. The story takes place shortly before the events of A New Hope and follows a group of rebels on a mission to steal the plans of the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon. The rebels are led by Jyn Erso, a fugitive Imperial pilot-turned-Rebel, and assisted by Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial cargo pilot. The team must face off against both Imperial forces and powerful Force-sensitive warriors in order to successfully complete their mission. Along the way, they acquire the support of the Rebellion, including a young pilot named Cassian Andor, along with his droid K-2SO. In the end, the team is able to steal the plans and transmit them to the Rebels, allowing them to destroy the Death Star and ultimately win the war. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, and Riz Ahmed.

Serenity (2005)

Serenity
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joss Whedon, starring Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk
Rated PG-13

Serenity is a 2005 science-fiction action film written and directed by cult filmmaker Joss Whedon. Set 500 years in the future, the film focuses on the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity, captained by Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), who is a former soldier of the losing side of a civil war. He is joined by a hardened core of loyal crewmates, including his first mate Zoe (Gina Torres), pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk), mechanic Kaylee (Jewel Staite), mercenary Jayne (Adam Baldwin), and Shepherd Book (Ron Glass). The crew of Serenity take on various jobs in order to make ends meet and stay ahead of their adversaries. When they are hired by a mysterious passenger (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to transport a young woman (Summer Glau) with a dangerous secret, they find themselves in the midst of a deadly battle with the ruthless Alliance and the mysterious, relentless Reavers. The stakes are high, and the crew must rely on each other and their incredible abilities to survive and save the day.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Ron Howard, starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise
Rated PG

Apollo 13 is a 1995 American space docudrama directed by Ron Howard and based on the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. It stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan. The film follows the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 space mission and its crew's struggles to survive while stranded in space. After a routine maintenance check, the crew discovers a serious malfunction aboard the spacecraft. With their oxygen, power, and water dwindling, the crew must work together to return to Earth safely, despite numerous obstacles and the risk of running out of supplies. The film earned nine Academy Award nominations and won two for Best Editing and Best Sound. It was also nominated for numerous other awards and was a box office success, grossing over $355 million worldwide.

Gravity (2013)

Gravity
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alfonso Cuarón, starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen
Rated PG-13

Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller directed by Alfonso Cuarón that follows the story of two astronauts, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), as they attempt to return to Earth after their space shuttle is destroyed by debris from a Russian missile. During the course of their journey, they face numerous challenges as they fight to survive the hostile environment of space. With no one else to rely on, the two astronauts must rely on each other to find a way back to Earth. Along the way, they experience breathtaking visuals, thrilling action sequences, and an inspiring story of resilience and hope.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From J.J. Abrams, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
Rated PG-13

Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 science fiction action film and the twelfth installment in the Star Trek film franchise. Directed by J. J. Abrams, the film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The film follows the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they respond to a terrorist attack on Starfleet headquarters. Led by a mysterious villain known as John Harrison, the crew must find a way to stop the attack and protect the Federation from the threat of total destruction. Along the way, they must confront their own personal doubts and fears while dealing with the moral and ethical implications of their actions. The film culminates in a thrilling battle between the Enterprise crew and John Harrison, with the fate of the Federation hanging in the balance.

 



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