James Cameron said that Gravity is “the best film ever made about space”. As a comparison, here’s a list of movies in the same category (whose action takes place in most of the time in space) that most moviegoers have considered so far to be “the best”.
1. Star Wars
The show that paved the way for many of science fiction films on this list. With this trilogy, George Lucas has managed to reignite the interest for movies that take place in space. Aided by a number of talented actors, impressive visual effects, the inspired mythology of the Jedi and evil leaders, “A New Hope” stunned the cinema in 1977, fully exploiting the concepts of action, romance and mystery. The rest is history.
Steven Soderbergh wrote, directed and edited this “contemplative psychodrama” with George Clooney in the central role, interpreting a psychologist sent to investigate strange phenomena occurring on a space station orbiting the planet Solaris.
Before bringing giant robots from another planet to wreak Earth, Michael Bay sent a team of astronauts in space, with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck to break into two a giant asteroid that threatened life on Earth. Armageddon didn’t start from a very realistic premise, but managed to provide viewers images with Earth from space and spectacular special effects that have attracted Oscar nomination, suspense, romance, humor and adrenaline.
After the first mission failed for mysterious reasons, a second group of scientists was sent to reignite a dying sun with a powerful nuclear bomb. But when they run into the ship from the previous mission, they cannot help but investigate, which leads, of course, to the terrifying consequences. Sunshine is one of the films of prolific Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), a thriller with fascinating images, intelligent action and attractive distribution: Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne.
What Sandra Bullock did for Gravity was achieved before by Sam Rockwell in Moon, in the role of an engineer under the obligation of a three-year contract, on one of the space stations of the Moon. He has only one partner, the computer Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey). But after a while, inexplicable things start to happen. Are they hallucinations caused by loneliness? Or is it something more frightening? The film raised provocative questions about what it means to be human and it is perfectly orchestrated by the script and the flawless interpretation of Rockwell.
6. 2001: A Space Odissey
A film from the legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke – who published his novel at the same time with the release of the movie. Director Stanley Kubrick tested the patience of many, but his cinematic poem about space, the themes of human evolution and artificial intelligence combined with dark imagery, the rarely present dialogue, offer a bewildering experience.
7. WALL -E
An animated Pixar gem that successfully blends an original love story with one of the most revealing predictions about the future of the human race. In the film, Earth is simply flooded with rubbish, waste, forcing people into exile in space. The lesson here comes from a little robot who comes to collect garbage for us, literally and figuratively. His attempt to seduce EVE generated some of the most exciting animated adventures of travel and space.
Ridley Scott’s legendary Alien is certainly the most shocking and scary movies of all time that takes place in space. Sigourney Weaver owes her fame to this role, in which she remains the only person to withstand the terrifying alien creatures. Tension is built gradually over 45 minutes and increases to an unbearable point when everything explodes into a bloodbath.
9. Apollo 13
Apollo 13, inspired by reality, along with Gravity, is one of the most intense and exciting space films ever made. Sometimes true stories are fascinating and tougher than any result of imagination. It is the case of this film, which has consolidated the status of director Ron Howard. Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton play the roles of the three astronauts that NASA sends on the Moon, but after the launch, the mission is compromised, the astronauts remaining prisoners in space, with little chance to return.
10. Star Trek
JJ Abrams was able in 2009 to revive and revitalize the old Star Trek franchise, exceeding the expectations of many and making the new generation aware of the legendary science fiction series. The film stands out with the most intelligent solution to reboot given by the cinema: a so-called wormhole that creates a new timeline and allows writers to send characters in new adventures without claiming that the events in original series didn’t happen.