Ridley Scott’s seminal creature feature is a masterclass in tightly-contained thrills and claustrophobic horror (not to mention science fiction storytelling). With Sigourney Weaver in the leading role as Ripley, Alien never leaves its small-scale ship out in the middle of outer space.
The second entry in the Star Wars franchise, which seems to be expanding about as fast as outer space itself, The Empire Strikes Back is a space opera that’s impossible to beat. It’s one of the fullest and most captivating portrayals of the final frontier ever committed to celluloid.
Duncan Jones, son of inimitable rock star David Bowie, managed to deliver one of the best space movies to date back in 2009. Moon, which stars Sam Rockwell as an astronaut alone for three years with just a computer to keep him company, is a relatively grounded look at the horrors hidden in the wonders of space.
The precursor to The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars put all kinds of actors on the map and allowed George Lucas to show off just how unfathomable outer space really is. Aliens and advanced technology and beautiful scenery—it’s what these space movies are all about.
It’s no surprise that writer Alex Garland, the filmmaker responsible for recent hits like Ex Machina and Annihilation, conjured up a great space movie back in the late 2000s. Sunshine follows a group of astronauts from around the world as they set out to reignite the dying sun in the year 2057.