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The Best Space Adventure Films

List RulesCharacters must embark on an epic journey through space, both sci-fi and non sci-fi films welcome.

The greatest space adventure films provide audiences with a sense of wonder. They take us to new worlds that offer thrills and excitement, but also occasionally laughter. For that reason, they tend to be incredibly popular at the box office. The top space adventure films rank among the biggest blockbusters ever. Of course, Star Wars is the most notable example. 2001: A Space Odyssey has similarly earned itself a spot as an all-time classic. There are plenty more big hits, including the recent Guardians of the Galaxy adventures.

Vote up the best space adventure films below. Don't see your favorite on the list? Add it, then check back to see how other users are ranking it. 

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  • 1
    Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford
    40
    21

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke  ...more
  • 2
    36
    18

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) face attack by the Imperial  ...more
  • 3
    Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis
    28
    15

    Released1997

    Directed byLuc Besson

    The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the 23rd  ...more
  • 4
    Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver
    32
    20

    Released1999

    Directed byDean Parisot

    The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show - now scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions - are beamed aboard an alien spacecraft. Believing the cast's heroic on-screen dramas are historical  ...more
  • 5
    Tim Schild addedSigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn
    29
    18

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team. Upon arriving at LV-426, the marines find only one survivor, a nine year old girl  ...more
  • 6
    Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin
    30
    19

    Released2005

    Directed byJoss Whedon

    Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the same  ...more
  • 7
    Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver
    32
    22

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

    In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The  ...more
  • 8
    Kurt Russell, James Spader
    24
    12

    Released1994

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    In modern-day Egypt, professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader) teams up with retired Army Col. Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell) to unlock the code of an interstellar gateway to an ancient Egypt-like world.  ...more
  • 9
    Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton
    28
    20

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

    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
  • 10
    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
    28
    21

    Released2014

    Directed byJames Gunn

    Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced  ...more
  • 11
    Lance Guest, Robert Preston
    26
    19

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

    After finally achieving the high score on Starfighter, his favorite arcade game, everyday teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) meets the game's designer, Centauri (Robert Preston) -- who reveals that he  ...more
  • 12
    Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis
    25
    18

    Released1956

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    In this sci-fi classic, a spacecraft travels to the distant planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a group of scientists sent there decades earlier. When Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen)  ...more
  • 13
    Tim Schild addedMark Hamill, Harrison Ford
    23
    16

    Released1983

    Directed byRichard Marquand

    Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and  ...more
  • 14
    Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey
    28
    23

    Released2014

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    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 features a  ...more
  • 15
    Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
    28
    23

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    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
  • 16
    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain
    31
    28

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

    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
  • 17
    Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey
    20
    18

    Released2005

    Directed byGarth Jennings

    Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) whisks him into outer space. It turns out Ford is an alien who has just saved  ...more
  • 18
    Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins
    19
    16

    Released2000

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    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
  • 19
    Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins
    19
    17

    Released1979

    Directed byGary Nelson

    In the future, a spaceship dubbed the USS Palomino is on its way back to Earth when it discovers another ship that had been assumed missing, the USS Cygnus. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux), a scientist  ...more
  • 20
    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
    21
    20

    Released2017

    Directed byJames Gunn

    Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they  ...more
  • 21
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson
    19
    16

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn Musker, Ron Clements

    The legendary "loot of a thousand worlds" inspires an intergalactic treasure hunt when 15-year-old Jim Hawkins stumbles upon a map to the greatest pirate trove in the universe in Walt Disney  ...more
  • 22
    Sam Jones, Melody Anderson
    22
    22

    Released1980

    Directed byMike Hodges

    Although NASA scientists are claiming the unexpected eclipse and strange "hot hail" are nothing to worry about, Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) knows better, and takes football star Flash Gordon (Sam Jones)  ...more
  • 23
    Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
    24
    25

    Released2009

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni  ...more
  • 24
    starwarssuperfan addedFelicity Jones, Diego Luna
    20
    20

    Released2016

    Directed byGareth Edwards

    Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many  ...more
  • 25
    Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill
    21
    27

    Released2015

    Directed byJ.J. Abrams

    Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert  ...more