10 Movies Like Interstellar – Space-Travel Sci-Fi Adventure

Sci-fi adventures have always had a special place throughout movie history, offering an outlet to explore the furthest reaches of the human imagination. From alien invasions to future dystopian kingdoms, the genre is a foray into our hopes and dreams for the world to come or our worst nightmares realized. Directed by movie maestro Christopher Nolan, Interstellar is set in a time when mankind’s survival is under threat after a crop blight has destroyed Earth’s capability for agriculture. Matthew McConaughey stars as an engineer and NASA pilot who is tasked to find a new planet for the human race. Leaving his family behind, he embarks on a mission to assess three planets reported to have shown promise as a habitable home for our species. Deftly interweaving elements of space and time travel, the film is an audacious visual and conceptual undertaking that packs an emotional punch. If you enjoyed the film, here are 10 more Movies Like Interstellar to indulge your appetite for time and space travel.

Movies Like Interstellar

MOVIES LIKE INTERSTELLAR

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Sunshine (2007)

Starring Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh

The year is 2057 and the sun is dying, leaving Earth and its inhabitants freezing to their deaths. A small crew is sent on a last-ditch mission to reignite the sun with a nuclear device. As they hurtle through space on the most crucial space endeavor ever attempted, eight men and women find themselves fighting for their own survival even as they hold the key to the survival of all of mankind.

Why you should watch it:

Sunshine shines as a science-fiction adventure wrapped within a gripping psychological thriller. The stunning visuals, which landed the film Best Technical Achievement at the 2007 British Independent Film Awards, are a treat to behold. If you enjoyed the premise of a space mission launched to save humanity, give Sunshine a go on our list of Movies Like Interstellar.

IMDB: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%

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Moon (2009)

Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey and Kaya Scodelario

The British sci-fi flick follows the journey of Sam Bell, an astronaut miner whose job it is to extract an alternative fuel from the moon in order to aid Earth’s energy crisis. As he nears the end of his solitary three-year stint, Sam looks forward to returning to his wife and young daughter. However, he begins to experience inexplicable hallucinations and discovers a dark secret in the vaults of the lunar facility.

Why you should watch it:

Created on a modest budget of just $5mil (in comparison to Interstellar’s $165mil), Moon impresses as an effective and compelling work of science fiction. The directorial debut of Duncan Jones, who later went on to make the critically acclaimed Source Code, the film is a tightly woven masterpiece bolstered by lead actor Sam Rockwell’s intensely riveting performance. While this may not have the big-money visual effects of Interstellar, it’s more than worth a watch in our list of Movies Like Interstellar.

IMDB: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

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Europa Report (2013)

Starring Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist and Daniel Wu

The film features six astronauts sent by a space exploration company on a privately funded mission to one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, to investigate the possibility of alien life in the ocean hidden beneath Europa’s icy surface. The crew contends with a series of dangerous crises after a solar storm hits the ship and knocks out all communication with mission control.

Why you should watch it:

Another relatively low-budget production on our list of Movies Like Interstellar, Europa Report is an elegantly understated drama expertly recounted in the style of found-footage. A strong international cast fleshes out the characters and develops them to feel as real as the glimpses of alien life they encounter. Unlike many movies in the genre, Europa Report displays a respect for the science of the matter and has been praised by critics in the scientific community.

IMDB: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

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The Martian (2015)

Starring Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña and Kate Mara

The film opens on day 18 of a 31-day crewed mission to Mars. When a fierce dust storm forces the astronauts to abort their mission, they evacuate, leaving behind crew-member Mark Watney, whom they believe to be dead. Played by Matt Damon, Mark awakens to find himself injured and stranded on the planet. Even if he manages to communicate his survival in a message to Earth, his only chance of rescue is at least four years away.

Why you should watch it:

If you love the big-budget effects of Movies Like Interstellar, The Martian will satisfy your appetite for a sci-fi epic. Mark Damon does not disappoint in the challenging role in which much of his onscreen time is played alone. He manages to expertly draw the viewer into the nightmare of the situation while being surprisingly funny. Well-paced and visually thrilling, the film exceeds expectations in its tale of one man’s survival against all odds.

IMDB: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes:  92%

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Gravity (2013)

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Sandra Bullock plays Dr Ryan Stone, a biomedical engineer on her first mission into space under the command of veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney, who is on his final voyage. On a routine spacewalk, disaster strikes when a cloud of debris destroys the space shuttle and leaves the two stranded in the cold darkness of space. Their communications link to Earth is lost along with all hope of rescue.

Why you should watch it:

Arguably one of the best films of the millenium so far, Gravity is a heart-pounding ride that will leave you breathless and trembling on the edge of your seat for the film’s entire 91 minute runtime. The special effects are resplendent and sumptuous, carrying you deep into the terrifying darkness of outer space. Bullock is phenomenal in her portrayal of the character’s emotional journey as she summons the will to push forth in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. If there is one film you absolutely must watch in this list of Movies Like Interstellar, this is the one.

IMDB: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

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Contact (1997)

Starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey

Almost two decades before making Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey starred in another sci-fi space adventure opposite Jodie Foster who plays Ellie, a scientist searching for extraterrestrial life. Listening to radio emissions from space, she discovers a signal of numbers transmitting from a star system 26 light-years away and discovers that they contain the schematics for a machine that could enable its occupant to make contact with aliens.

Why you should watch it:

If you can’t get enough of Matthew McConaughey and space travel, Contact is a great pick on this list of Movies Like Interstellar. Cinematic and thought-provoking, Contact is a rare Hollywood blockbuster that manages to also be a serious science fiction drama of space discovery as it explores the forces of science and religion.

IMDB: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

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The Right Stuff (1983)

Starring Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid and Barbara Hershey

An epic historical drama set in the mid-20th century, the film details the lives of the American test pilots who were involved in aeronautical research as well as the seven military pilots who were selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury – the first manned spaceflight by the United States. Spanning 15 years, the movie explores the emotional journey and personal lives of the men. 

Why you should watch it:

Interstellar director Christopher Nolan revealed in an interview the influence this film had on him in the making of Interstellar, even going so far as to screen it for his crew. Interestingly, critics have also drawn comparisons between the visual effects in Interstellar and certain scenes in the 1983 classic. Decades after it was made, The Right Stuff remains an iconic motion picture about mankind’s desire to explore the invisible heavens beyond our world. If Movies Like Interstellar has piqued your interest in space travel, The Right Stuff is a good starting point to learn more.

IMDB: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood

Millions of years ago, a tribe of ape-men in an African desert discovers a large black monolith that inexplicably guides them in their evolutionary journey. In present day, mankind discovers an identical artifact on the moon and a team of astronauts, guided by their space shuttle’s built-in artificial intelligence system, race towards the discovery.

Why you should watch it:

Director Stanley Kubrick’s landmark movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is largely regarded as the benchmark against which all space travel sci-fi films of today are measured. A mind-bending masterpiece of inspired cinematography, the film offers audiences a powerfully moving, awe-inspiring experience. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress, 2001: A Space Odyssey was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

IMDB: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

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Apollo 13 (1995)

Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris

A docudrama based on the 1970 aborted space mission, Apollo 13 depicts the events that unfolded for the astronauts in the doomed space shuttle. Three days into the mission to the moon, an oxygen tank on board explodes, depriving the spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power. Flight controllers at NASA are forced to terminate the mission as they desperately try to bring the men back home safely.

Why you should watch it:

If you enjoy the suspense on board the shuttle of Movies Like Interstellar, Apollo 13 will be right up your alley. The drama that unfolds in the film feel particularly harrowing because you know it actually happened. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, the movie has been lauded by critics and viewers alike especially for its effort at technical accuracy.

IMDB: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

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Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

A short Japanese original video animation (OVA), Voices of a Distant Star tells the story of the heartbreaking relationship between two high school sweethearts Mikako and Noboru. Set in the future, Mikako is recruited into the UN Space Army to fight in an extraterrestrial war against a group of evil aliens. The pair maintains communication via emails but as Mikako travels deeper into space her messages take increasingly longer to transmit back to earth until the lag-time of each correspondence eventually spans years.

Why you should watch it:

Certainly there are many differences between the other Movies Like Interstellar and this recommendation but the heart of the animation circles around a similar concept of messages passing through space and time as Noboru ages while Mikako remains frozen as a 16-year-old schoolgirl. If the relationship in Interstellar between McConaughey’s character, Cooper, and his daughter, Murph, tugged at your heartstrings, Voices of a Distant Star is sure to bring on the waterworks.

IMDB: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (Audience Score)

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