The Best Space Films for Your Next Movie Night

Whether a story unfolds in the past, the present, or the future   in our own galaxy or one far, far away,  space makes a great setting for a film. For one thing, it’s always trying to kill characters, which raises the storytelling stakes. Its scale, and the speed required to traverse it making outer space a natural special-effects showcase. So, keep reading to find out about the best space films for your next movie night.

Honorable Mention

Here are a few space films that didn’t quite make the cut, but could be a good back up.

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall is slick, sly and subversive, and if some of the special effects have aged somewhat, that only adds to the charm.

The Fifth Element (1997)

Even 20 years on, The Fifth Element hasn’t lost very much of its ability to thoroughly confound and dazzle.

Sunshine (2007)

Nothing anyone does in this space movie makes much sense, but the cinematography is gorgeous.

Spaceballs (1987)

Mel Brooks will do anything for a laugh. Unfortunately, what he does in Spaceballs, a misguided parody of the Star Wars adventures, is just so so funny.

Armageddon (1998)

The special effects are the best that $150 million can buy and the script plays like a near-afterthought.

Solo (2018)

Of all the Star Wars-themed movies, this one is the closest to a Saturday afternoon serial/western. Don’t expect more than that.

The Last Starfighter (1984)

Full of ’80s cheese, but for someone who grew up with this kind of stuff, it is the perfect escape film.

A.I. (2001)

Flawed, to be sure, but beautifully crafted, unimaginably complex, visually dazzling, rich with metaphor and deeply affecting.

Wall-E (2008)

Ultimately, WALL-E is about nothing less than one of the tenets of human existence: the need to find a partner with whom to share life’s experiences.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Even if you know how it all turned out (and you should), this amazing journey is harrowing and exhilarating.