Some of the galaxy's best space-related movies
by Beth Rowen and Mark Zurlo
Have you always wanted to explore outer space but don't quite have the required credentials? What better way to see the galaxy without the risk of heat-shield damage than with some of the galaxy's best space-related movies, a list of which can be found below.
Apollo 13 (1995)
In April 1970, the crew of Apollo 13 left Earth for a weeklong adventure that included a walk on the moon. Things went wrong, and the crew nearly died in space. Director Ron Howard loaded the movie with suspense—quite a feat, since we already know the outcome of the doomed mission.
Planet 51 (2009)
In this animated comedy about your average teenager, Lem deals with all the usual stuff—girls, his parents, and his job—nothing unusual except for the fact that he's an alien. When American astronaut Charles T. Baker lands on Lem's planet, he is received as an immediate threat, much in the way that humans would welcome an extraterrestrial. Unlike most space movies, the story is told from the alien's point of view. When Lem's fellow aliens panic due to the arrival of Baker on their planet, Baker must hide for safety in Lem's house. Now it's up to our alien friend to return the astronaut back to Earth before he is destroyed.
Man in the Moon (1961)
Recently fired from the Common Cold Research Center because he can't catch a cold, Kenneth More takes a job with the National Atomic Research Center, which wants to send him to the moon. He sees the lunar trip as an opportunity to earn enough money to marry his stripper girlfriend.
The Right Stuff (1983)
Based on Tom Wolfe's best-selling book, the 1983 film chronicles the formation of the space program, focusing on the personal and professional lives of the crew of Mercury. An offbeat, yet thrilling film, with outstanding performances and exhilarating action. Ed Harris plays John Glenn and Sam Shepard portrays Chuck Yeager.
Sergeant Deadhead (1965)
A bumbling Army sergeant unwittingly finds himself launched into space with a chimpanzee. He returns to Earth a changed man, though he's sent to prison for threatening to reveal the Air Force's blunder to the public.
The Sky's No Limit (1983)
So-so drama about three women training and competing with each other to become the first female astronaut.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Based on the screenplay and book by Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick's 1968 Academy Award-winning film dazzlingly depicts the future and the effect technology could have on it. After discovering a mysterious monolith on the Moon, astronauts travel to Jupiter to find its source, only to be hijacked by their highly intelligent computer system, HAL 9000. The film is considered "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and has been preserved in the National Film Registry.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
This 2005 film, an adaptation of Douglas Adams' comedic novel, follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, who is escorted from Earth just minutes before it is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. He travels the galaxy armed only with a small guidebook, and meets a colorful cast of the galaxy's most unusual inhabitants in his quest to restore Earth and find answers to the universe's most pressing questions.
Mission to Mars (2000)
When the first human visit to Mars ends in disaster, a rescue mission is sent to the planet to investigate what went wrong. The crew members find that the lone survivor of the original mission and discover that he is not the only one inhabiting the red planet. The astronauts make their way into a mysterious structure, and their ideas about the universe and its creation are forever changed.
Lost in Space (1998)
Based on the popular 1960's television series, the film follows the Robinson family on a mission into space to prepare the planet Alpha Prime for human colonization. Little do they know that a spy has stowed away on their ship in hopes of sabotaging their journey. When the craft ventures too close to the Sun, it is forced to escape to an unknown part of the galaxy, and the ship soon crash lands on a mysterious planet. The Robinsons must not only try to repair their ship, but also deal with the spy, who has mutated after being bitten by a spider. Can the Robinsons escape their enemies and find a way back to Earth, or will they become victims of another space disaster?