15 Groundbreaking Space Movies of All Time

Last Updated on October 25, 2021

From time immemorial, humans have been fascinated by outer space and the universe at large. We’ve always wondered what lies beyond the horizons and if those distant celestial bodies actually support life. Questions as to whether we’re alone in this universe continue to boggle our minds.

Before the advent of major technological inventions in space exploration, our views of the universe were mostly shaped by myths and theories passed down through generations. However, all that changed when cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human to make a successful trip into space on April 12, 1961.

Yuri’s daring space expedition, which included orbiting the earth, inspired many aspiring astronauts of his generation. On July 20, 1969, the world witnessed yet another groundbreaking milestone in space exploration when Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon.

These, and many subsequent space adventures, have been immortalized in novels, movies, and television documentaries. This article looks at the 15 best space movies of all time.

15. Aliens (1986)

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Aliens is the second installment in the ‘Alien’ sci-fi action film franchise. The movie stars Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as the only survivor of her space shuttle.

After spending 57 years in space, Lieutenant Ripley loses contact with a human colony on the moon where her crew first encountered aliens. She travels to the planet LV-426 in a bid to establish communication with the colony, along with a troop of colonial marines.

Once there, Ripley and her fellow marines discover that the colony has been run down by hundreds of aliens who they must now fight to stay alive.

14. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

2001: A Space Odyssey is centered on mankind’s quest to uncover the origin of a mysterious artifact discovered buried beneath the lunar surface.

A group of astronauts, including Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea), is sent on mysterious space exploration. While on the mission, their ship’s supercomputers pick up disturbing behavior. The crew eventually discovers a black monolith that could hold the key between the past and the future.

Two themes flow throughout this movie. On one hand, the film highlights the limitless possibilities that technological innovations present. While on the other hand, it explores the potential risks of inventing machines that humans have no full control over.

13. Arrival (2016)

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Arrival follows the struggles of a linguistic professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) who joins the United States Army with one sole mission – to help the government discover how to communicate with aliens who’ve just arrived on earth.

Fear and anxiety grip the world as the aliens continue to touch down. Professor Banks must move with speed to establish communication with these extraterrestrial beings and avert a possible global war.

Determined to succeed in her quest, Banks takes a chance whose outcome could threaten her own life and that of the entire mankind.

12. First Man (2018)

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

First Man is a biological drama based on James R. Hansen’s book published in 2005, titled First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.

The movie attempts to reenact the behind-the-scenes intrigues that lead up to Neil Armstrong’s historic mission to the moon in 1969. It majorly focuses on NASA’s seemingly overambitious plans to explore the moon by the end of the decade.

Those ambitions cause the agency to embark on a raft of potentially perilous experiments, many of which involve engineer Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling).

11. Apollo 13 (1995)

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

Apollo 13 features an ensemble of Hollywood A-listers, including Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell, Bill Paxton as Fred Haise, and Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert. The film is based on the untold stories of the Apollo 13 lunar mission.

Three astronauts successfully leave the earth’s orbit and are headed for the moon. Suddenly, their spacecraft malfunctions following the explosion of an oxygen tank.

This forces the crew to call off their scheduled moon landing. They now have a new and urgent mission at hand – to fight for their survival and safe return to earth.

10. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

IMDB Rating: 6.5/10

This space film is set in the distant future. It follows two special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) in their quests to protect the city of Alpha from dark forces that threaten life in this otherwise peaceful metropolis.

It’s a race against time as the patriotic operatives must identify the evil forces and vanquish them before the city and the entire humanity faces destruction.

The fears of an imminent Armageddon become more real with every minute that passes.

9. Star Trek (2009)

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Star Trek attempts to reinforce the notion that humans and aliens may coexist if they only agreed on a few issues. In fact, we can possibly achieve much more if there was a way to synergize our knowledge and skills.

A crew sets out on its maiden space exploration aboard the highly-sophisticated USS Enterprise. Along the way, they encounter Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan on a mission to destroy multiple planets.

The only way to stop Nero is for an errant young officer named James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) to team up with an alien named Spock (Zachary Quinto).

8. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

The original film in the Star Wars franchise was not only a major breakthrough for film director George Lucas.

It was also among the first few space films to bring into focus the theme of rebellion from an intergalactic point of view.

The movie tells the story of the capture of the rebellious Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) by the cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) and the ensuing intrigues as the Princess’ loyalists attempt to free her. The rescue missions are led by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Despite the thematic similarities between Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s interesting to note that these space films take place in separate universes.

Guardians of the Galaxy is centered on a brash adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who escapes from the planet Morag after stealing a valuable orb coveted by the dreaded villain, Ronan the Accuser. Ronan rounds up a group of bounty hunters who go after Peter, determined to recover the mysterious orb at all cost.

The plot thickens when Peter discovers the orb’s mystic powers. He rallies a group of four disparate misfits in a mission to save the universe.

6. Sunshine (2007)

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

It’s only human nature to take things for granted. As the saying goes, we never appreciate the valuable things in our life until we lose them. That inherent human trait is aptly captured in this psychological thriller film.

Set in the not-too-distant future, the movie follows a group of astronauts on a perilous mission to reignite the dying sun and save the earth.

However, things take an ugly turn when an accident occurs, leaving the crew members scampering for their own safety.

5. Gravity (2013)

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Gravity is another captivating space film that underscores the possibilities of disasters striking at the least expected moments during space voyages.

The movie stars Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) as a medical engineer student on her maiden shuttle mission and her commander, veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), who’s on his final flight before retirement.

But while exploring outer space, the pair’s shuttle is hit by high-velocity space debris. Stone and Matt are left stranded in space fighting to stay alive and make it back to earth safe and sound.

4. Solaris (2002)

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

Solaris is based on the classic sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem of the same name. It’s another critically-acclaimed film starring George Clooney.

Psychologist Kris Kelvin (George Clooney) is sent to investigate the weird behaviors of scientists living on a space station orbiting the planet of Solaris. Unknown to him, Solaris is a mind-reading planet that controls the thoughts and actions of its dwellers.

When Kelvin arrives there, the planet immediately starts to mine his unconscious desires and memories.

3. Moon (2009)

IMDB Rating: IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Astronaut Sam Bell’s (Sam Rockwell) is the sole employee at a lunar station. His three-year stint at the station is coming to an end and he’s eager to return home.

Suddenly, Sam’s mental health starts to deteriorate. He suffers painful headaches and is plagued by hallucinations he can’t place.

Then he encounters what appears to be a younger version of himself. Determined to get back to his family, Sam must solve this mystery fast.

2. The Martian (2015)

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

A raging storm sweeps across planet Mars where a group of astronauts is exploring.

Later after the storm, the astronauts blast off leaving Mark Watney (Matt Damon) behind after he’s presumed dead from the storm.

With his resources fast dwindling, Mark must figure out how to survive on the hostile planet. Back on earth, a team of NASA scientists is working tirelessly to bring him back home.

1. Interstellar (2014)

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Interstellar is a space film that explores the themes of loneliness and isolation, especially in terms of how they influence our ability to think rationally.

The film is set in a dystopian future when the earth becomes uninhabitable due to a global crop blight that causes dust storms.

Faced with threats of extinction of the human race, ex-NASA pilot Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is tasked to head a team of space explorers whose sole mission is finding an alternative planet.

Wrap Up

There goes our definitive collection of the most spellbinding space films of all time. Each movie addresses specific themes and challenges faced by astronauts in their questions to uncover what lies beyond planet Earth.

Tags: 1960 sci fi movies 1960s sci fi movies 1977 film 1982 movies list 1986 movies list 1986 sci fi movies 1995 movies list 1997 sci fi movies 2001 a space odyssey budget 2001 a space odyssey remake 2005 films 2005 movies list 2009 movies list 2012 movies list 2019 alien movies 2019 space movies 2020 space movies 80s space movies 90s alien movies 90s sci fi movies 90s space movies a space adventure a space station movie with matt damon action space movies ad astra imdb adventure time sequel alien based movies alien chronological order alien earth movie alien movie spaceship alien movies 2013 alien movies 2014 alien movies 2015 alien movies 2018 alien movies in chronological order alien movies to watch alien planet movie alien robot movie alien sci fi movies alien themed movies alien type movies aliens from outer space movie all about space all in film animated space movies another life imdb apollo 12 movie apollo 13 movie rating astra lost in space television show astronaut film astronaut movie astronaut movies on netflix astronomy movies awesome movies awesome sci fi movies awesome space pictures battle beyond the stars ship name beautiful outer space benedict point treasure map best 2020 sci fi movies best 80s sci fi movies best alien documentaries best alien movies best alien movies 2020 best alien movies of all time best alien sci fi movies best alien shows best astronaut movies best cinematic movies best classic sci fi movies best end of the world movies best exploration movies best extraterrestrial movies best fiction movies best futuristic movies best hollywood adventure movies 2013 best mars movies best modern sci fi movies best movie sagas best movies 2001 best movies last five years best movies of 1983 best movies of 1986 best movies of 1993 best movies of 1995 best movies of 1999 best movies of 2009 best movies of 20th century best new alien movies best new sci fi movies best old sci fi movies best outer space movies best recent sci fi movies best sci fi films best sci fi films of all time best sci fi movie 2019 best sci fi movie 2020 best sci fi movies best sci fi movies 2016 best sci fi movies 2018 best sci fi movies 2021 best sci fi movies ever best sci fi movies last 10 years best sci fi movies of 2019 best sci fi movies of 2020 best sci fi movies of all time best sci fi movies of the decade best sci fi movies to watch best sci fi of all time best sci fi thriller movies best sci fiction movies best science fiction films best science fiction movies best science fiction movies of all time best scifi best scifi movies ever best scifi movies of 2019 best space animation best space documentaries best space exploration game best space exploration movies best space fleet games best space horror movies best space movies best space movies 2020 best space movies imdb best space movies of all time best space sci fi movies best space shows best space travel movies best space tv shows best space video games best syfy movies best trippy movies best ufo movies best visual movies black and white sci fi movies black sci fi movies blue alien movie blue people movie board game movie in space board game space movie british sci fi movies cast of outer space charming imdb classic alien movies classic sci fi movies classic science fiction movies classic space movies cool sci fi movies cool space images cool space movies cool space pictures cool space ships cool space videos cool space words cosmos movie crazy space pictures daisy ridley imdb dark space movie deep space film deep space movie dennis quaid alien movie dennis quaid sci fi movie dennis quaid space movie disney movie in space disney space movies disney time travel movie does space ever end eddie murphy space movie english movie names epic movies to watch epic sci fi movies exotic movies list explorers movie alien extraterrestrial life movies famous alien movies famous sci fi movies famous space movies famous spaceships fiction movies fictional space stations first man in space movie first sci fi movie first space movie fmovies solar for all time movie free alien movies free sci fi movies free space movies from the earth to the moon movie funny space movies funny space pictures futuristic astronaut futuristic films futuristic planet futuristic space futuristic space city futuristic space ships futuristic space shuttle galaxy movie good alien movies good alien movies to watch good movies 2013 good movies last 5 years good new sci fi movies good sci fi good sci fi action movies good sci fi movies good sci fi movies to watch good sci fi space movies good scifi movies good space movies gravity cinematographer great sci fi great sci fi movies great science fiction movies great space movies greatest sci fi movies of all time hard sci fi movies hollywood ice movies list hollywood sci fi movies hollywood superhit movies name list how did they film howard in space how long is the movie interstellar how many after movies will there be how many taken movies are there how to watch hidden figures imdb arrival imdb space movies intergalactic movie interplanetary movie interplanetary movies interstellar 2 release date interstellar actors interstellar budget interstellar filming locations interstellar full movie interstellar imdb interstellar movie interstellar movie cast interstellar movie watch interstellar setting interstellar space movies interstellar space station interstellar space suit interstellar space travel interstellar spaceship interstellar time interstellar vehicle interstellar watch is interstellar based on a true story is interstellar good jake gyllenhaal space movie kevin costner space movie life alien movie life movie alien life movie sequel life on other planets 2017 life sci fi movie life space movie list of films low budget sci fi movies man in space movie mars alien movie mars attacks imdb mars movie list matt damon sci fi movie matt damon space station movie matthew mcconaughey astronaut movie matthew mcconaughey space matthew mcconaughey space movie moon film series most emotional movies most popular sci fi movies movie a movie about board game in space movie like jumanji but in space movie like jumanji in space movie space movie with board game in space movie with moving cities movies 12 movies about hollywood movies about other dimensions movies about saving the environment movies beginning with e movies beginning with k movies beginning with p movies from movies like 2012 movies like alien movies like arrival movies like blow movies like gravity movies like hidden figures movies like in time movies like interstellar movies like jupiter ascending movies like martian movies like moon movies like october sky movies like office space movies like species movies like star wars movies like sunshine movies like the martian movies like zathura movies released in 2005 movies set in space movies set in the future movies similar to hidden figures movies similar to interstellar movies that came out in 1999 movies that start with b movies that start with p movies that start with the letter b movies that start with the letter e movies that start with the letter i movies that start with the letter k movies that start with the letter o movies that start with the letter p movies that start with the letter s movies that start with the letter t movies with american in the title movies with p moving cities movie must see sci fi movies must watch sci fi movies name of space movie made in 1992 nasa movie with kevin costner new alien movie 2021 new astronaut movie new english movies new release sci fi movies new sci fi movies new science fiction movies new space movies new space movies 2020 new space tv shows old alien movies old movies name old sci fi movies old science fiction movies old space movies one and the same movie other planet movies other space star wars out of space movies outer space documentary movies outer space movies outer space show outer space themed team names outer space tv shows p movie list planet spac popular alien movies popular movies 2003 popular movies 2013 popular movies 2015 popular movies 2017 popular sci fi movies popular science fiction movies popular space movies real alien movies real cool space pictures realistic movies recent alien movies recent robot movies recent sci fi movies recent science fiction movies recent space movies robot movies list robots imdb sandra bullock space movie saturn 5 movie scary space movies sci fi 2020 movies sci fi astronaut sci fi comedy movies 2015 sci fi films sci fi last names sci fi moon sci fi movies sci fi movies 2009 sci fi movies 2011 sci fi movies 2013 sci fi movies 2014 sci fi movies 2015 sci fi movies 2016 sci fi movies 2021 sci fi movies list sci fi movies to watch sci fi new releases sci fi planet sci fi space sci fi space adventure sci fi space movies sci fi space ship sci fi space station sci fi spacecraft science fiction film science fiction filmer science fiction movies science fiction movies 2016 science fiction movies 2021 science fiction movies list science fiction space movies scientific movies scientist movies scifi films scifi planet scifi space sf movie times solar system movie space adventure movies space alien movies space battle movies space board game movie space cartoon movie space comedy movies space disaster movies space exploration movies space figures space films space game movie space guy space movie 1993 space movie 1999 space movie 2020 space movie came out in 1992 space movie from 1992 space movie made in 1992 space movies space movies 1992 space movies 2013 space movies 2014 space movies 2015 space movies 2016 space movies 2017 space movies 2018 space movies 2019 space movies com space movies for kids space movies from 1992 space movies list space movies on space movies online space movies youtube space names for girls space quest movie space race movie space related movies space related names space shuttle movies space station movie space station movie with matt damon space themed movies space thing movie space thriller movies space thrillers space time movie space travel movies space tv shows space vampire movie space war movies spacemovie spacemovies com spaceship movie spice world aliens star wars planets list star wars races list star wars species list strange fiction movie syfy movies 2019 the astronauts movie the best space movies the martian and interstellar the other world movie the space movie thriller sci fi movies tim allen space movie titan ae aliens tom hanks sci fi movie tom hanks space movie top 10 sci fi movies top 10 science fiction movies top 10 space movies top 50 sci fi movies top alien movies top movies 2001 top movies 2009 top movies last 5 years top movies of 1986 top movies of 1995 top movies of 1997 top movies of 1999 top movies of 2005 top rated sci fi movies top sci fi top sci fi movies top sci fi movies 2020 top sci fi movies of all time top science fiction movies top space movies top ten sci fi movies treasure related movies list trilogy movies list trippy outer space underrated survival movies upcoming space movies visually trippy movies voyage of despair planets wali movie war of the worlds imdb warship movie watch 2012 film weird alien movie what can i watch interstellar on what is interstellar what is interstellar about what is interstellar on what is the movie interstellar about what space film came out in 1992 what space film was made in 1992 what space movie came out in 1982 what space movie was filmed in 1992 what space movie was made in 1992 what space movie was released in 1992 what year does interstellar take place what year is hidden figures set in what year is interstellar set in when did interstellar come out where does interstellar take place who wrote interstellar will there be an interstellar 2

Leave a Comment