Total Nerd The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel  

Ranker Film
1.6k votes 354 voters 9.5k views 23 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.

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Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Apollo 13 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

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The Martian is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
The Martian 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 dead, and must ...more

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Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Interstellar 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

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2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
2001: A Space Odyssey 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

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The Right Stuff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
The Right Stuff 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

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Contact is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Contact 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

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Moon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Moon 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

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First Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
First Man 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

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Space Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Space Cowboys 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

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Gravity is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Gravity 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

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Passengers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
abarton added Passengers 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

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Mission to Mars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Mission To Mars 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

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Europa Report is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Europa Report 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

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Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Sunshine 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

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Hidden Figures is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Hidden Figures 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

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Solaris is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Solaris 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

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The Astronaut Farmer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
David Wilkins added The Astronaut Farmer 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

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Event Horizon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Event Horizon 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

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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

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Marooned is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Marooned 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

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400 Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
400 Days Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Tom Cavanagh

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Red Planet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
Red Planet 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

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The Last Days on Mars is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Astronauts & Realistic Space Travel
The Last Days On Mars 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