Top 10 Modern Space Movies
Trivia Top 10 Modern Space Movies



Top 10 Modern Space Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Alex Slade

Movies from recent years that see characters travelling through the stars and into outer space. WatchMojo present the top 10 space movies that have come out in the 21st century. But what will take the top spot on our list? The Martian, Interstellar, or Gravity? Watch to find out!

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Big thanks to Ostin Power for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Modern+Space+Movies
You can’t beat this view. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Space Movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the smartest and most thrilling 21st century movies where space plays a crucial role. But, we’ve excluded movies that primarily take place on Earth. So although “District 9” and “Arrival” are fantastic, they don’t qualify.

#10: “Serenity” (2005)

Browncoats everywhere were cheering when this movie was announced. After the amazing “Firefly” had been canceled prematurely, the crew of Serenity didn’t get the closure they deserved. Fortunately, this movie came to the rescue, and proved to be a highly enjoyable experience. All the characters were back and better than ever for a space adventure that provided a more satisfactory conclusion to the story than the TV series did. Although exciting and full of fun moments, there were times of sadness and heartbreak, which made us realize just how attached to these characters we really were.

#9: “Star Trek” (2009)

Though fans were cautious following the announcement of this film, it was bolstered by J.J. Abrams’ kinetic directorial energy, not to mention some great special effects. 2009’s “Star Trek” references the quirkiness of the franchise’s past, but never pokes fun, and you can see there’s respect there. The performances are solid, the cinematography is fantastic, and the makeup brought the series its first Academy Award. Nostalgic but also bringing something fresh to the table, “Star Trek” is a reboot that appeased longtime fans while drawing in a new crowd that can look back at the original movies and shows with a new appreciation.

#8: “Sunshine” (2007)

This movie is slow, eerie, and tense, but never dull. In fact, these qualities propel “Sunshine” to greatness, and the way it combines multiple sub-genres makes it stand out from the crowd. There’s a large ensemble of characters, and each brings something different to the mission—the mission being to re-ignite the dying sun. As you’d imagine, that isn’t exactly an easy feat. So the varied crew personalities and skills work together to create a satisfying journey of discovery and problem solving, with a killer final act.

#7: “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)

After a lengthy hiatus, “Star Wars” returned full force in 2015, with a film directed magnificently by J.J. Abrams. “Episode VII” took what people loved about the original trilogy and injected it with a modern style. While the previous movie, “Revenge of the Sith,” had a more spectacle-oriented goal with a flair for fight choreography, “The Force Awakens” harkened back to what made the originals so great in the first place: memorable characters, rich themes, and a grand sense of adventure. Full of exciting action, the film captured the battle between the dark and light beautifully.

#6: “Moon” (2009)

This film stars Sam Rockwell, a robot Kevin Spacey, and Sam Rockwell… Hold on, we can explain. Astronaut Sam Bell is stationed on the moon and has mere weeks left before he gets to go home, but when another Sam Bell turns up who looks and sounds just like him, things get weird. With an intriguing mystery at its core, and fantastic special effects considering its relatively small budget, the film achieves greatness with a mesmerizing performance from Rockwell, as well as the support of Spacey as the voice of GERTY.

#5: “Avatar” (2009)

A film that earned almost three billion dollars worldwide at the box office alone has to be good. Although the action is mind-blowing and James Cameron’s direction is nothing short of stellar, “Avatar” also makes room for some surprisingly strong character development. With protagonists who grow into the role of hero, rather than starting there, there’s a sense of realism to their actions as they come across new information and experiences on a moon located in the Alpha Centauri star system, Pandora. Also featuring some of the best visuals ever put onscreen, while also serving as an allegory for imperialism, “Avatar” is truly something special.

#4: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

Easily one of the best Marvel movies to date, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a feel-good space adventure with a quirky band of characters you can’t help but love. The superhero film is surprisingly down to earth, given its setting, and is not bogged down by dense explanations or plotlines; it moves at the perfect pace and doesn’t stop. There’s never a dull moment, and it offers insight into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s not really been explored before, with shared knowledge of the infinity stones and a closer look at Thanos. Plus, it redefined Chris Pratt as an action star.

#3: “Gravity” (2013)

A marvelous spectacle, “Gravity” is a non-stop thrill ride with one amazing backdrop. Stranded in space, two astronauts must find their way back to Earth after their shuttle gets demolished by debris. Its outstanding visuals really push the boundaries of what CGI can do, so the viewer can become fully immersed in the story and struggle of the astronauts. In fact, the way it’s filmed makes us think we’re really there. Most of cuts in the film are masked, giving the impression it’s one continuous, uninterrupted shot. That works to wondrous effect since we feel like there’s no time to rest, mimicking what the characters are feeling.

#2: “The Martian” (2015)

Based on Andy Weir’s acclaimed sci-fi novel, “The Martian” is a smart, funny, and exciting story about an astronaut who’s stranded on Mars, and trying to find a way to let Earth know he’s still up there. Survival stories are always interesting, but one set on Mars, talking about science in a way viewers can understand, makes it that much more fun. As entertaining and lighthearted as Ridley Scott’s film is, there are moments when we truly feel for Mark Watney, and are reminded us just how dire his situation is. This is a testament to the abilities of both the writer and the director.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a couple of honorable mentions.
- “Prometheus” (2012)
- “WALL·E” (2008)

#1: “Interstellar” (2014)

Here’s a movie you can watch over and over again, and pick up something new every time, while never getting bored or losing appreciation for what it is. More of a thinking person’s movie, this Christopher Nolan tale still has exciting and tense moments that’ll have your eyes wide and holding your breath. The characters feel incredibly real, and their sacrifices will hit you hard, as it highlights the importance of family. Following an astronaut crew that’s seeking planets for humanity to inhabit because of the Earth’s current state, it’s an amazingly constructed character drama with large stakes that’ll have your eyes glued to the screen to see how it all pans out.