Last month, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. That, combined with the current race to put humans on the surface of Mars, has sparked a rekindled interest in space exploration. For Hollywood, that interest is nothing new. There’s a long list of great movies about space exploration. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Right Stuff
The ’60s marked an important time for space exploration, but it all started with the Mercury Program. 1983’s The Right Stuff covers the story of the seven astronauts who were part of the Mercury Program and helped launch America into the Space Race. If the subject material isn’t entertaining enough for you, rest assured that it’s a damn good movie in its own right, taking home four Academy Awards.
Speaking of Academy Awards, Arrival managed to rack up 8 nominations. It’s hard to simply think of this one as an ‘alien flick,’ even though that’s all it really is, on the surface. It’s what lies deeper that makes it such a compelling film, though. After watching this one, you’ll have a hard time not questioning our place in the universe and the way we treat each other.
If you’re more a fan of thrillers than historical representations in film, check out Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Once again, the film is more than just a space movie. It takes an interesting look at things like loneliness and fear. It also racked up 7 Oscar nominations.
If you’re into flicks that seriously blow your mind, 2014’s Interstellar will fit the bill. Matthew McConaughey stars as an astronaut tasked with the order of finding a new planet for humans to love on because Earth is drying up. What follows is a thrilling series of time warps, black holes, and astrophysical scenarios that will keep even the most scientific-minded viewers entertained.
It might strike some as strange to include a movie about a failed space mission, but some would also argue that Apollo 13 represents one of the greatest achievements in NASA’s space program. The 1995 film starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton is one of the best movies about space ever made. It depicts the true story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and the incredible efforts made by the team on the ground, as well as the astronauts themselves to get the men back to Earth safely when disaster struck.