We’ve seen so many films that let us imagine, that beyond the starry skies, there is a whole universe just waiting to be explored. The sci-fi genre has been able to share these stories of companionship, love, survival, and most of all, science, through the film medium. And with Ad Astra set to release tomorrow (Sep 20th), it’s only fitting that we countdown the Top 5 Space Travel Films.
- First Man (2018)
Director Damien Chazelle made his presence known with the films Whiplash and La La Land, but has never made one that didn’t have a musical element to it. At least, not until First Man, that is. Chazelle, along with actor Ryan Gosling, puts together the story of Neil Armstrong and his trip to the moon in 1969. The performances are superb, not to mention a stellar story that shows the emotional toll the moon landing took on Armstrong, as well as the other astronauts, and their families.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This film is one of the greats. And although we can go on and on about what every symbol means in the film, I believe 2001 is about the experience, and not about finding the meaning to every little detail. Director Stanley Kubrick took four years to finally put this film together, with the help of co-writer Arthur C. Clarke, Pan-Am, and NASA. Even if this film may try your patience with its non-linear storytelling, it’s still one of those must-see films.
- Moon (2009)
Sam Rockwell most known for his “comedic dancing” throughout his array of films, takes on a more subdued roll as, Sam Bell, an astronaut whose job stations him on the moon working for the company, Lunar Industries. With no one to talk to except for the computer GERTY, Bell goes crazy, as the secrets that envelop him, begin to unravel. Writer and director, Duncan Jones, makes a brilliant and severely overlooked film. And if you’re a fan of Rockwell’s comedic dancing, don’t worry. Rockwell has at least one dance scene in the film that should satisfy that need.
- Interstellar (2014)
These are the types of stories director Christopher Nolan was born to tell. With the help and research of theoretical physicist, Kip Thorne, Interstellar takes a massive subject, and is able to blend it with a dramatic narrative. Not to mention, capturing the story of a father and daughter’s loving relationship. With every sequence you can see Nolan’s inspiration from an array of different space movies, especially 2001: A Space Odyssey. The story, along with Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score, makes this not only a film, but a piece of art.
- Gravity (2013)
Alfonso Cuarón’s seamless direction, along with Sandra Bullock’s talented acting, brings about one of the most brilliant and compelling films of space travel, and some of the best 3D ever displayed on the big screen. Bullock, most known for her comedic roles, is a stunner as she plays astronaut Ryan Stone, who’s fighting through the different elements in order to make it back to earth. You can’t tear your eyes off Bullock, as the film rests purely on her shoulders. With drama, space travel, survival, and not many places for the audiences to take a breath, Gravity establishes itself as a film that will continue to have its place in history.