Pop-Ed: Top 10 Space Movies

Written by Mallory Delchamp


With Gravity, the latest movie from Alfonso Cuarón, opening this weekend. I only saw it fitting to compose a list of the top 10 greatest space movies.

10. SpaceBalls
This film has the word “space” in the title, so it obviously had to make the list. SpaceBalls, which is probably one of the most well known parodies of all time is the 1987 comedy from director, Mel Brooks. It tells the hilarious adventure of Lord Dark Helmet’s attempt to steal planet Druidia’s abundant supply of air in order to replenish planet SpaceBall’s. But, like any thrilling space adventure, conflict arises as Lone Starr steps in to save the day.


9. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Arguably one of the most popular space films of all time. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey tells the story of a space crew’s battle with an artificial life form found beneath the lunar service. With the aid of the intelligent (and rather creepy) computer, H.A.L 9000 the crew attempts to learn more about the life form. But, is it the unidentified alien that is evil or is it H.A.L 9000? A classic space thriller.


8. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Now this could be debatable seeing how most of the film actually takes place on Earth. But, it’s obviously a cinematic masterpiece so to leave it off the list would be a disgrace. Steven Spielberg’s classic sci-fi film recounts the adventures a young boy and his blossoming relationship with an alien from outer space. The film features John William’s unforgettable score and an adorable young Drew Barrymore.


7. Apollo 13
This 1995, Ron Howard film stars Tom Hanks and Kevin Beacon. The film, which is probably one of Howard’s most successful, recounts three astronauts’ struggle to return to Earth after their space ship is severely damaged while in orbit.


6. Alien
With one of the most disturbing scenes in film history (I’m sorry but there is nothing acceptable about an alien clawing its way through a human’s stomach), Alien is the 1979 film from Ridley Scot featuring a heroic Sigourney Weaver. The sci-fi staple tells the tale of the space vessel, Nostromo and its crew who set out to explore an alien planet. After a successful voyage to the un-charted territory Sigourney Weaver and her crew soon learn that a mysterious life form from the planet has joined them on board!


5. Cocoon
Okay, once again I am aware that this film takes place predominantly on Earth. But, there are aliens and there are alien cocoons. So, this Ron Howard classis counts, right?


4. Armageddon
The classic, ‘90s spaces flick. With a dashing cast including Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, and Bruce Willis. Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler aka Bruce Willis’ daughter, fall in love amidst the possible destruction of Earth. What’s not to like?


3. Wall-E
Wall-E is a unique film in the sense that it is presented as a harmless Pixar film but it could easy be considered a mild form of propaganda to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. Nevertheless, Wall-E is touching space adventure about a lovable robot’s journey in the far off future. Wall-E, a robot who is designed to collect trash, which covers the entirety of Earth’s surface, falls in love with Eve, a female robot with an alternative purpose. Wall-E and Eve then travel through space together and their journey makes for a heartwarming love story.


2. Star Trek
As many passionate trekkies, will argue (as there are several Star Trek films and even more Star Trek TV series), the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot may not be the “best” Star Trek film however it is the perfect film for the non-Star Trek-fan. This film excelled at introducing a new generation to the classic sci-fi series. With a great cast and beautiful special effects, Star Trek takes the cake for the second best space film.


1. Star Wars

You can’t have a list of the greatest space films without including Star Wars. Star Wars is the quintessential space film and rightfully so. (Aside from the pre-quells that were released in the late 90s and early 2000s, which we will pretend do not exist for the sake of this list) the original Star Wars trilogy has everything a space film should have: Jedis, aliens, spaceships, ice planets, carbonite, Harrison Ford, and a ruthless villain with asthma.


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