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 - though according to NASA, its fellow 1997 release Gattaca is even more plausible. 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 vote up and please add any good movies that are missing. Then, check out our list of the best animated space movies.
- This Hollywood drama is based on the events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission, astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) find everything going according ...more
- This adaptation of the non-fiction novel by Tom Wolfe chronicles the first 15 years of America's space program. By focusing on the lives of the Mercury astronauts, including John Glenn (Ed Harris) ...more
- When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must ...more
Check out more shows and movies like Interstellar!In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save ...more
- An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir ...more
- Hoping to reach the moon by the end of the decade, NASA plans a series of extremely dangerous, unprecedented missions in the early 1960s. Engineer Neil Armstrong joins the space program, spending ...more
- In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message originating from the Vega star system. Once first contact with an ...more
- Astronaut Sam Bell's (Sam Rockwell) three-year shift at a lunar mine is finally coming to an end, and he's looking forward to his reunion with his wife (Dominique McElligott) and young daughter. ...more
- Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), helming his last flight before retirement. Then, ...more
- Brave explorers are headed for the far reaches of the galaxy in the continuation of the story that began with "2001: A Space Odyssey." Their destination is Jupiter, where the Russian and American ...more
- Three brilliant African American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut ...more
- On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim and Aurora face living the rest ...more
- Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner star as a group of pilots whose time has come to serve their country and fulfill their dream of going to space. In 1958, the ...more
- In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet, a crew of eight men and women ventures into space with a device that could ...more
- When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean and single-celled life exists on one of Jupiter's moons, six astronauts embark on an ill-fated exploratory mission.
- Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from again. Now his son -- a fearless astronaut -- must embark on a daring mission to Neptune ...more
- When an asteroid threatens to collide with Earth, NASA honcho Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) determines the only way to stop it is to drill into its surface and detonate a nuclear bomb. This leads ...more
- When the Event Horizon, a spacecraft that vanished years earlier, suddenly reappears, a team is dispatched to investigate the ship. Accompanied by the Event Horizon's creator, William Weir (Sam ...more
- After the end of all botanical life on Earth, ecologist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) maintains a greenhouse on a space station in order to preserve various plants for future generations. Assisted by ...more
- The first manned mission to Mars in 2020 ends in disaster when three of the crew are seemingly killed and the fourth, Luke Graham (Don Cheadle), is stranded with no way to contact Earth. Jim ...more
- American astronauts Buzz (Gene Hackman), Jim (Richard Crenna) and Clayton (James Franciscus) are stranded in space on their return journey from a new space station when malfunctioning rocket boosters ...more
- 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
- Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton), a rancher who once trained to be an astronaut, decides to fulfill a lifelong dream: He builds a rocket in his barn and plans to pilot it into space. Though he ...more
- Mission Commander Kate Bowman is the pilot and commander of the most important mission of the 21st century: saving the human race. It's 2050, earth is dying, and colonizing Mars is the only ...more
- When astronaut Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp) returns to Earth after a mission that nearly cost him his life, he decides to take a desk job in order to see his beautiful wife, Jillian (Charlize ...more