9 must-watch movies about space travel and the universe

9 must-watch movies about space travel and the universe

The vast universe seems to be unreachable, but advanced science and technology have opened many paths for people to con...

The vast universe seems to be unreachable, but advanced science and technology have opened many paths for people to conquer the impossible. Along with that, the advanced editing techniques also helped movies about space travel thrive with masterpieces such as the 9 movies below.

Apollo 13 (1995)


"Houston, we have a problem." This is a very simple line but has become so popular in American culture that so many people, many movies have used it when faced with an extreme situation. It was uttered from the character Lovell played by Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, a detailed and realistic movie depicting the accident of the Apollo 13 ship and the crew's efforts as well as the Mission Operations Control Room below. The film shows that, if Apollo 11 was the most glorious mission which sent people to the Moon successfully, then Apollo 13 is a true miracle for NASA.

The Martian (2015)

Waking up with the first task being growing potatoes with your own feces will definitely be awful even if you're on Earth, let alone Mars. But that is what happened to astronaut Mark Whatney (Matt Damon) in The Martian, after a huge sandstorm forced the crew to abandon him on Mars.


Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, Watney chose science as a stepping stone to help himself survive both physically and mentally while waiting to be rescued. The film has been praised by many for its engaging storytelling and acting, as well as logical scientific details. The Martian has been nominated for 7 Oscars and is listed as one of the 10 best films in 2015 by American Film Institute.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The work is an epic movie that famous director Stanley Kubrick took years to develop - everything from the origins of mankind in Africa to a child of the star at the end of the film. The film is considered to be ahead of its time as it created images of rotating space stations, lunar bases, missions to Jupiter as well as a mysterious black block and an evil artificial intelligence.


The work of course also leaves a lot to reflect on: the existence of humans, the meaning of the universe, and countless other philosophers that viewers can draw on themselves despite the age of the film - over 50 years.

The Right Stuff (1983)

This 1983 film is based on the book of the same name by Tom Wolfe. The Right Stuff shows the stressful medical and physical tests that the Mercury Seven astronaut team has to endure to be deemed eligible to fly into space. At the same time, the film also highlights the dangers they face in the early days of space science.


The film has been criticized by some real-life Mercury Seven astronauts for its historical inaccuracies but praised by film critics. The Right Stuff has been nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture and has won four golden statues for Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound.

Interstellar (2014)

This extraordinary, brain-hacking movie among the best movies about space travel was created by renowned director Christopher Nolan. It stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut who participates in a quest to find a new homeland for humanity, as the Earth is gradually becoming unsuitable. The film takes on a series of very new cosmic theories and turns them into beautiful visuals thanks to state-of-the-art techniques and carefully arranged camera angles, bringing a very unique experience.


This sci-fi work won an Oscar in the category of Best Visual Effects and was praised by renowned scientist Neil de Grasse Tyson for its accurate scientific descriptions of wormhole travel, black holes and relativity.

First Man (2018)

Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in this film based on James R. Hansen's First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. The film won an Oscar in the category of Best Visual Effects. It tells the story of Armstrong and his journey from his time as a pilot of a 1961 test flight of the X-15 spacecraft to the end of the Apollo 11 mission.


The film not only focuses on Armstrong's space career but also depicts the grief of the astronaut after the death of his two-year-old daughter Karen and close friends Elliot See and Ed White after a failed test. First Man also exploits the dangers, pressures that astronauts suffer.

Contact (1997)

For decades, astronomers swept through nooks and crannies in the sky to find radio signals from other civilizations. What happens if something truly responds? That's the story of Contact starring Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway, a radio astronomer who followed her childhood dreams to look for signals from the alien world, even when others said that she was wasting her promising scientific career.


Gravity (2013)

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney became two astronauts on a space mission in this movie. However, their ship suffered serious damage due to the debris created during a Russian anti-satellite missile test. Although the physics and science of the film are sometimes silly, the film's cinematography was good enough to make scientists, critics and audiences enjoy and hold their breath while watching.


The film paints a beautiful image of a small, fragile human in a vast and dangerous universe. This is one of the best movies about space travel as it won 7 Oscars, the most out of all the films nominated in 2013.

Ad Astra (2019)

The film is a fictional story about the astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) and the journey to the edge of the Solar System to find his missing father. Here, Roy discovered something that threatens the survival of humanity. The new work of director James Gray is compelling thanks to the fascinating storyline and the participation of actor Brad Pitt in the main role. It is considered by many to be the modern version of 2001: A Space Odyssey.


In addition, the film also brings overwhelming visual experience - being handled by Hoyte Van Hoytema, the image director behind Interstellar.