Total Nerd The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel  

Ranker Film
2.3k votes 482 voters 13.7k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest realistic films about exploring the cosmos.

Space travel movies can be fantastical, but the top films about the galaxy feature realistic stories about astronauts. The best astronaut movies spotlight characters confronting unknown elements in the outer reaches of space. This is a list of the greatest realistic space movies including everything from Apollo 13 to Gravity to The Right Stuff.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about astronauts? 2001: A Space Odyssey is known for its hyper-realistic depiction of space, so it's hard to believe that this Stanley Kubrick-directed film was released back in 1968. The dangers of relying on technology and encountering extraterrestrial life were among the themes of this classic movie. Contact is another one of the best realistic space movies. Hidden Figures tells the real-life story of three African-American mathematicians who assisted NASA's space program. Other good movies featured on this list include Europa Report, Space Cowboys, and The Martian.

Do you have a favorite realistic space movie? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any good movies that are missing.

list ordered by

1
148 43
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

2
161 56
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. An astronaut (Matt Damon) becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him gone, and must ...more

3
170 70
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon
Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more

4
103 38
The Right Stuff is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid
The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in ...more

5
105 45
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

6
100 43
Contact is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno
Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

7
57 17
First Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll
First Man is a 2018 American historical biographical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle. A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), and the legendary space mission ...more

8
64 33
Moon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario
Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year ...more

9
99 62
Gravity is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in ...more

10
58 37
Passengers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
abarton added
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 ...more

11
56 41
Space Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Clint Eastwood, Jon Hamm, Jay Leno
Space Cowboys is a 2000 American space adventure film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. It stars Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner as four older "ex-test ...more

12
68 53
Hidden Figures is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi, based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The story of a team of female African-American ...more

13
37 29
Europa Report is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo
Europa Report is a 2013 science fiction film directed by Sebastián Cordero, and starring Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra, and Sharlto ...more

14
43 39
Mission to Mars is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Gary Sinise
Mission to Mars is a 2000 science fiction film directed by Brian De Palma from an original screenplay written by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, and Graham Yost. In 2020, a manned Mars exploration ...more

15
37 34
Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Mark Strong
Sunshine is a 2007 British science fiction thriller film directed by Danny Boyle. The film was adapted from a screenplay written by Alex Garland about the crew of a spacecraft on a dangerous ...more

16
1 0
Apollo 11 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Apollo 11 is a 2019 American documentary film edited, produced, and directed by Todd Douglas Miller. It focuses on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first spaceflight to land people on the moon.

17
29 34
Event Horizon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Laurence Fishburne, Jason Isaacs, Sam Neill
Event Horizon is a 1997 British-American science fiction horror film. The screenplay was written by Philip Eisner and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Laurence Fishburne and Sam ...more

18
23 28
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet
Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction art film adaptation of Polish author Stanisław Lem's novel Solaris. The film was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative ...more

19
19 25
Approaching The Unknown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Approaching The Unknown Mark Strong, Luke Wilson, Sanaa Lathan

20
8 13
The Astronaut Farmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
David Wilkins added Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, J.K. Simmons
The Astronaut Farmer is a 2006 American drama film directed by Michael Polish, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Mark. The story focuses on a Texas rancher who constructs a rocket in ...more

21
12 20
Marooned is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Gene Hackman, Gregory Peck, Lee Grant
Marooned is a 1969 Eastmancolor American film directed by John Sturges and starring Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, and Gene Hackman. It was based on the 1964 ...more

22
17 31
400 Days is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
400 Days Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Tom Cavanagh

23
15 33
Red Planet is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Simon Baker
Red Planet is a 2000 science fiction thriller film directed by Antony Hoffman, starring Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tom Sizemore. Released on November 10, 2000, it was a critical and ...more

24
12 43
The Last Days on Mars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, Romola Garai
The Last Days on Mars is a 2013 science fiction-horror film directed by Ruairí Robinson with a screenplay by Clive Dawson, based on the short story "The Animators" by Sydney J. ...more