The 25 Best Space Movies of All Time

Is the sky the limit? No way! Today we go beyond the cinematic limits of the earthly sky and travel with you to the infinite expanses of our galaxy. Enjoy the 25 best space movies of all time!

1st place: Interstellar (2014)

In the “Interstellar” frame, humanity is on the verge of extinction. The earthlings have managed to eradicate their blue home planet to such an extent that it can no longer provide a basis for the survival of our species. So a new planet must be found which will serve as a safe place for mankind in the future.

For this reason, a small team of explorers is sent on a daring mission into the galaxy to search for potentially habitable planets in the vastness of space. Meanwhile, the journey’s destination is a mysterious wormhole, which could be the gateway to a new solar system.

“Interstellar” goes beyond the limits of your imagination. The film, in which Matthew McConaughey plays one of the main roles, takes us to unique worlds. In addition, the film knows how to touch deeply in many places due to its emotional makeup and pursues a visionary approach within its finale, which you simply have to have seen.

2nd place: Alien (1979)

The space horror classic from the pen of Ridley Scott shows us what can happen when we mess with the wrong species. The crew of the spaceship Nostromo is lured to a remote planet by a distress call. Once there, a mysterious organism attaches itself to one of the team members and, within a very short time, develops into a monstrous monster that wipes out the crew of the space freighter one by one. In this hopeless situation, officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) decides to declare war on the gruesome beast.

“Alien” has a pervasive horror atmosphere that still works splendidly today and provides the viewer with rapid shock moments again and again.

3rd place: Ad Astra (2019)

Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) earns his living as a space engineer. In this way, the protagonist of the film “Ad Astra” remains true to an old family tradition; after all, Roy’s father, Clifford, also regularly traveled to the gigantic expanses of our solar system. For about 20 years, however, every trace of McBride Senior has been missing. That’s why son Roy sets out to search for his missing father in the region around Neptune. In the process, however, our title character encounters phenomena far exceeding his previous imagination.

The film manages to create a fascinating mood, which is created without many words. Brad Pitt’s masterful, minimalist performance leaves plenty of room for interpretation, while the film’s visually stunning scenes leave us with our jaws dropped.

4th place: Gravity (2013)

The space experts Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) are tasked with making some repairs to the Hubble space telescope. During their mission, however, the astronaut and the scientist are confronted with an unforeseen accident. The telescope and the shuttle of the two protagonists are destroyed. Without a connection to the Earth, the title characters float helplessly through the vastness of space. The duo’s only hope is to reach the ISS under their own power somehow.

“Gravity” thrives on its upbeat thrill factor and the thrilling suspense that arises from the main characters’ hopeless situation. The production, which was honored with seven Oscars, gives the audience an intense film experience in an extraordinary setting.

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5th place: The Martian (2015)

The situation in which the titular astronaut Mark Watney finds himself in the film “The Martian” could hardly be more precarious. The space traveler, played by Matt Damon, is falsely declared dead in the course of a Mars mission and consequently left alone on the Red Planet. Left to his own devices, the protagonist tries to make contact with his blue home planet and survive as long as possible.

The film comes with some refreshing, humorous elements, which noticeably loosen up the dramatic events around the stranded title character. At the same time, the main character’s fight for survival is staged in a coherent and detailed manner, making the 144 minutes of the film fly by.

6th place: WALL-E (2008)

The Animated film “WALL-E” from Pixar tells us the heartwarming story of a brave household robot that piles up the garbage on Earth that mankind left behind in huge quantities on its home planet some 700 years ago. While the earthlings have long since left for the galaxy, the cute WALL-E ekes out a lonely existence on the completely neglected planet. When the android Eve appears completely unexpectedly on the deserted screen, the life world of the tinny title hero turns 180 degrees.

The lovingly staged animation masterpiece is already a classic of modern film history. The production, packed with heart, humor, and suspense, gets right under your skin.

7th place: Departure to the Moon (2018)

While many offshoots of the space genre take artistic license to set their space flicks in a fantastical, at times supernatural setting, the biopic “Going to the Moon” is about those stirring events that actually kept the world on edge during the late 1960s. In detail, we mean the life of Neil Armstrong, the famous astronaut who was the first representative of mankind to set foot on the moon.

Played by Ryan Gosling, we accompany Armstrong mainly through the long lead time that preceded the later world-famous moon landing. Due to its documentary character, “Going to the Moon” has a high degree of lived authenticity. According to this, the film, based on the biography “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen, has hitherto unknown insights into the soul life of the probably most famous astronaut of all time.

8th place: Solaris (2002)

In “Solaris,” we accompany George Clooney in the role of a space scientist who follows a call for help to the mysterious planet Solaris. When the protagonist arrives at the remote research station, he finds a crew teetering on the edge of insanity. The stress the crew members are under seems to be directly related to exploring the enigmatic planet here.

The film, which was released in 2002 and had its roots in a novel of the same name, impresses with its opulent images, which convey the dense storyline excellently.

9th place: Spaceballs (1987)

Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” takes the legendary “Star Wars” universe and turns it on its ear with every trick in the book. This parody of George Lucas’ space fairy tale is a humorous feast for all fans of the satirized original and is bursting with hilarious moments. Whether it’s Darth Vader as the giant-headed Lord Helmet or the proud Chewbacca as a chubby street mutt: In “Spaceballs,” really every character of the world-famous franchise gets his fat.

We follow space cowboy Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) as he sets off in his flying RV to rescue kidnapped princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) from the clutches of her tormentors. The story, however, is more of an ornament and serves the sole purpose of providing a suitable platform for the film’s successful jokes and side blows.

10th place: Sunshine (2007)

Within the storyline of “Sunshine,” the sun in our planetary system is slowly but surely running out of juice. In order to breathe new life into the fireball, which is essential for our survival, the crew of the Icarus II embarks on a daring mission in the course of which a bomb is to be shot at the fixed star of our solar system. The team members unexpectedly came across a distress signal from the crew that had already set out for the same destination in the sun’s direction and then disappeared without a trace.

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“Sunshine” knows how to convince both in terms of content and visuals fully. The visually stunning production underlines the gripping story in an inimitable way.

Rank 11: Moon (2009)

The life of astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is characterized by great loneliness. As a worker on a remote lunar station, the protagonist of the film leads a very monotonous life that lacks the company of other people. The seclusion drives the hero out of his mind, and he begins to hallucinate. When Sam seems doomed to certain death in the wake of an accident on the lunar surface, he is mysteriously saved by a perfect replica of himself. The two identical space travelers then devote themselves to the task of deciphering their puzzling situation.

The flick puts Sam Rockwell fully in the center of attention. Thus, the film offers the U.S. actor the opportunity to demonstrate his entire acting range – an undertaking that the actor knows how to accomplish impressively.

12th place: Apollo 13 (1995)

The Apollo 13 mission to the moon was to continue the glorious legacy of the successful Apollo 11, in which Neil Armstrong reached the moon. However, during the renewed moon landing, everything goes wrong, which can only go wrong somehow. While already the start of the rocket is accompanied by innumerable complications, it comes during the journey to the earth satellite and finally to the super disaster.

After the oxygen tank of the spaceship explodes, the crew gradually runs out of air to breathe. At the same time, the vehicle does not have enough thrust to return to Earth under its own power. NASA decides to rescue the helpless crew in the course of a daring mission.

The machination, which is based on true events, was dramaturgically realized in a captivating way. Thus, “Apollo 13” has an omnipresent sense of thrill that easily withstands the test of time.

Rank 13: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

“2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick is generally considered the classic film par excellence within the space genre. This 1968 film is about the space mission of five scientists who set out on a journey to the planet Jupiter. The background of the venture is the discovery of a mysterious black monolith, which seems to be directly connected with the evolution of mankind.

“2001” knew at that time particularly for its outstanding Tricktechnik to inspiring. While some of the effects are naturally a bit outdated, we still enjoy the unorthodox approach of the film, which combines technical progress and occult myths in a captivating way.

Rank 14: Star Wars (1977-2019)

The “Star Wars” franchise has been thrilling the masses for over 40 years now. What began with the story of a simple farm boy who, accompanied by his mentor, set out into the galaxy to help a princess in need has since become one of the most famous and financially powerful film franchises of all time. While Episodes 1 through 3 and the latest trilogy, including parts 7 through 9, sparked great controversy within the fan world, the first three films in the “Star Wars” series are the undisputed favorites of devotees.

The original trilogy comes with a fairy-tale character and takes us viewers on a unique space adventure, which is characterized by a lot of heart, deep friendship, faith in fate, and a good dose of courage. But even if the parts around the budding Jedi knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the chief villain Darth Vader (with the legendary voice of James Earl Jones) represent the nonplus ultra within the franchise, the other offshoots of the series have their right to exist.

The prequel trilogy, which was released between 1999 and 2005, tells the story of how the blameless Anakin Skywalker became the masked incarnation of evil that would terrify the entire galaxy. The latest parts, produced under the care of Disney, again present us with the events that occurred sometime after the Empire’s defeat. “Star Wars” shines with its multifaceted settings, the funniest characters, and plenty of action, making it one of the most important film series in history.

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15th place: Independence Day (1996)

“Independence Day,” or “America is going it alone against an alien threat.” It may be true that the 1996 film is brimming with US patriotism. After all, the entire world is trying to defend itself under the care of Uncle Sam against annihilation by nasty alien critters. Nevertheless, the film by director Roland Emmerich is an impressive testimony of the 90s cinema, which set new standards at the time in terms of its visual staging.

The battle between humanity and a seemingly invincible enemy that blows up entire cities like New Year’s Eve firecrackers is still a lot of fun today because of its high show value. With the pink retro glasses on the nose, we forgive “Independence Day” and then also some logic holes and simply enjoy the coherent performance of the young Will Smith.

16th place: Armageddon – The Last Judgement (1998)

When a film already bears the name “Armageddon,” we viewers can guess where the cinematic journey will take us early. In detail, a gigantic asteroid races directly towards the Earth and threatens to blow up our blue home planet into its parts. In order to avert the downfall of mankind, NASA sends a team of specialists to the threatening asteroid in order to destroy it with the help of various nuclear warheads.

The story around the protagonist Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, and Ben Affleck sometimes seems a little trashy. Still, it offers entertaining entertainment for whimsical evenings in front of the boob tube.

17th place: Contact (1997)

Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway (Jodie Foster) is firmly convinced of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. When the amateur radio operator receives an encrypted signal from a distant star system one day, Ellie attempts to contact the intergalactic sender of the message. The acting performances of the cast and the harmonious visuals of the film make “Contact” a safe bet for all friends of the genre.

Rank 18: Galaxy Quest (1999)

What “Spaceballs” is to the “Star Wars” films, “Galaxy Quest” is to the “Star Trek” universe: a highly entertaining parody of the franchise that doesn’t mince words. As we can expect from a coherent persiflage, “Galaxy Quest” serves all imaginable clichés and is truly not stingy with humorous cross-references.

Rank 19: The Right Stuff (1983)

In 1957, the United States of America and the Soviet Union were bound by a deep enmity, which is commonly referred to as the “Cold War” due to a lack of military action. The two superpowers try to outdo each other in all respects. The competition is by no means limited to our blue home planet. The fight for space is also one of the points of contention between the two opposing ideologies.

When the Soviet Union succeeded in being the first nation to launch a satellite into orbit, the inhabitants of the USA felt humiliated in the face of this technical milestone. The national space agency reacted immediately and gathered a team of prestigious military pilots to travel into space before the Soviets.

The portrayal of the protagonists, who are idolized like national heroes, is convincing due to its complexity of content, which allows us, viewers, to credibly follow the soul life as well as the motives of the main characters. The film, which won four Oscars, shines with a mixture of teasing irony and sincere appreciation and is consequently one of the best of the year absolute cinema pearls of the early 80s.

Ranked #20: Hidden Figures – Unknown Heroines (2017)

“Hidden Figures” offers a broad stage to those personalities who, despite their great merits in the field of space travel, sometimes lead an existence on the sidelines. As the U.S. and the Soviet Union engage in a space race during the Cold War, African-American mathematicians Katherine (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy (Octavia Spencer), and Mary (Janelle Monáe) pull the theoretical strings in the background that make a successful space mission possible in the first place.

However, due to the harsh racial segregation that is the order of the day in the U.S. during the 1950s and 60s, the world public learns nothing of the groundbreaking achievements of African-American women.

“Hidden Figures” puts its finger in the wound of social injustice and contrasts the technical progress of mankind with its outdated role and racial images. A film that makes you think.

Rank 21: Prometheus (2012)

#22: LIFE (2017)

23rd place: Passengers (2016)

Rank 24: Avatar (2009)

25th place: Arrival (2016)

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