Since the Big Bang, humanity has always shown a keen interest in knowing the great depths of dark and mysterious space. To ignite the spark of the space explorer inside you, we’ve crafted a list of the 8 best realistic space movies of all time.
Whether it’s for research work for space projects or you simply wish to enjoy the adventures that the astronauts go through in space, the movies shared in the list are both informative and engaging for every audience alike.
Read along to find out our list of 8 best realistic space movies of all time.
- Apollo 13
- First Man
- The Hidden Figures
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Ad Astra
Now that you’ve seen the list, follow through with the main content of the article to better understand the plot behind each of these marvelous space movies.
8 Most Realistic Space Movies
These movies share a common point of being scientifically accurate from the space flight take-offs to the calculations based on Einstein’s general relativity equations. Let’s get to know a little more about these amazing movies.
1. Apollo 13 (1995)
One of the best old-school yet realistic space movies of all time, Apollo 13 is based on America’s fifth crewed mission to the Moon. The movie follows real historical events of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.
The film portrays the struggle of astronauts Lovell, Haise, and Swigert after their spacecraft suffers an onboard explosion leaving the crew with a limited supply of oxygen. Witness the well-crafted storyline as the ground staff at NASA try to bring the astronauts back to Earth.
Runtime: 2h 20min
IMDB ratings: 7.6/10
Cast: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton
Director: Ron Howard
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2. Interstellar (2014)
The next on our list of best realistic space movies is Interstellar. One of the many masterpieces by director Christopher Nolan, this movie is set in a dystopian future as Earth struggles to harbor human life.
The plot of the movie follows a group of astronauts, who in search of a new home planet for mankind, travel through a wormhole near Saturn. Watch this magnificent space movie as the plots unfold events that will surely make your inner space enthusiast feel ALIVE!
Runtime: 2h 49min
IMDB ratings: 8.6/10
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Director: Christopher Nolan
3. Gravity (2013)
Gravity is a Sci-Fi thriller revolving around the lives of two astronauts, a first-time space traveler (Dr. Ryan Stone) and a veteran astronaut (Matt Kowalski). The duo is on a mission to upgrade hardware on the Hubble Space Telescope.
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The plot takes a turn of events as the Space Shuttle gets destroyed and the duo is left alone without any communication to mission control. Watch the film as the astronauts’ fight to survive out the harsh conditions of space in an attempt to return back to Earth.
Runtime: 1h 31min
IMDB ratings: 7.7/10
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
4. Martian (2015)
Martian is a Sci-Fi film adapted from the novel of the same name by Andy Weir. The movie centers around the life of an astronaut, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars as his team presumes him dead after a severe dust storm hits their planned expedition.
Dive into the mesmerizing visual effect screenplay of this amazing story as Mark tries to survive on a hostile planet all alone while trying to figure out a way to signal back to Earth that he is alive.
Runtime: 2h 24min
IMDB ratings: 8.0/10
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara
Director: Ridley Scott
5. First Man (2018)
First Man is a biographical drama film based on the book ‘First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong’ by James R. Hansen. The movie follows the life of Neil Armstrong, a legendary American astronaut.
The movie depicts the story leading up to the Apollo 11 space mission to the Moon in 1969 and Neil becoming the first-ever human to walk on the surface of the Moon. Take a look into the events of one of the most dangerous and successful missions in the history of space travel.
Runtime: 2h 21min
IMDB ratings: 7.3/10
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke
Director: Damien Chazelle
6. Hidden Figures (2016)
The next film on our list of best realistic space movies is yet another biopic – Hidden Figures. The movie is loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. As the name suggests, this movie focuses on the people working behind the spotlight to make the space missions a success.
The movie follows the story of three African-American mathematicians and engineers – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson working at NASA. Follow through their journey as they face racial segregation and overcome sexism in the early 1960s while proving their mantle by making a vital contribution to get astronaut John Glenn into space and back in one piece.
Runtime: 2h 07min
IMDB ratings: 8.0/10
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Director: Theodore Melfi
7. Contact (1997)
Contact is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Carl Sagan. The plot of the movie follows Dr. Eleanor Arroway, a SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) scientist, who is chosen to establish the first contact with extraterrestrial life forms after finding conclusive evidence of their existence.
Runtime: 2h 30min
IMDB ratings: 7.5/10
Cast: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey
Director: Robert Zemeckis
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
No list of realistic space movies is complete without including this absolute classic space movie of all time. The plot of ‘A Space Odyssey’ follows an epic space exploration to Jupiter when alien monoliths are discovered on both Earth and the surface of the Moon.
Witness the adventure of a lifetime as mankind sets off on a journey to find the origins of these mysterious artifacts along with the help of a sentient computer – HAL 9000.
Runtime: 2h 29min
IMDB ratings: 8.3/10
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
Director: Stanley Kubrick
9. Ad Astra (2019)
Ad Astra is an American Sci-Fi film revolving around the life of an astronaut, Roy McBride, who embarks on a journey in outer space to find his lost father. During his mission, he unravels a dangerous secret that will threaten the existence of humankind and challenge their survival in the universe.
Runtime: 2h 03min
IMDB ratings: 6.5/10
Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga
Director: James Gray
This brings us to the end of our journey on the best realistic space movies of all time. We hope your inner space explorer gets motivated and inspired by these amazingly directed space thrillers. Let us know your favorite space movie in the comment section below.
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