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50 best space movies of all time

  • #40. On the Silver Globe (1988)

    - Director: Andrzej Zulawski
    - Stacker score: 81
    - Metascore: 72
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Runtime: 166 minutes

    Based on the novel of the same title by Jerzy Żuławski, a Polish novelist famous for his “Lunar Trilogy,” of which “Silver Globe” is the first, this film sees a stranded group of astronauts start a new civilization on an alien planet. With detailed costumes and exquisite sets, this film confronts themes of religion and custom. In all, “Silver Globe” is an incredibly ambitious work, with stunning, visionary production.

  • #39. Moon (2009)

    - Director: Duncan Jones
    - Stacker score: 81.6
    - Metascore: 67
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 97 minutes

    Many sci-fi movies have grand sets, impressive special effects, and daring heroes; others use the context of sci-fi to explore the human condition. That’s the case with “Moon,” which sees Sam Rockwell as a lonely helium-3 miner on the far side of the moon, cut off from human contact for three years as he works. When he begins to suffer hallucinations, not even the viewer will be able to tell what’s real and what’s imagined.

  • #38. Ad Astra (2019)

    - Director: James Gray
    - Stacker score: 81.6
    - Metascore: 80
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 123 minutes

    In “Ad Astra,” James Gray set out to present a realistic depiction of space travel, coining the term “science future fact” to describe his vision of interplanetary travel rooted in science. The psychological drama, which tells the story of an astronaut (Brad Pitt) who sets out to discover the truth about his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones), does that and so much more. Contemplative and loaded with meaning, the movie also asks big questions about the existence and role of god.

  • #37. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

    - Director: J.J. Abrams
    - Stacker score: 83.2
    - Metascore: 72
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 132 minutes

    The sequel to Abrams’ warmly received 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, “Into Darkness,” sees the same crew headed by Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk in a new adventure, tracking a mysterious villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a sneering, intense performance. With all the thrills and twists of the original “Star Trek” television series with the blockbuster budget of a J.J. Abrams flick, “Into Darkness” is a solid entry in the space-opera canon.

  • #36. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

    - Director: Philip Kaufman
    - Stacker score: 83.2
    - Metascore: 75
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 115 minutes

    The fact that the oldest film on this list also makes the top ten is notable; many of the deep questions posed by old sci-fi movies seem dated to us (are “Star Trek’s” communicators any better than an iPhone?). However, the fear of someone you love seeming just a little off still raises goosebumps on the flesh of any viewer. The culprit: alien pods that, when they reach maturity, duplicate humans entirely, though the duplicates are devoid of any emotion.

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  • #35. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

    - Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
    - Stacker score: 84.9
    - Metascore: 68
    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Runtime: 149 minutes

    After 18 films and 10 years, the beginning of the final climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrived, along with Josh Brolin’s Thanos, the most terrifying villain our heroes have ever faced. With Thanos intent on tracking down the infinity stones, mystical objects capable of immense power, with the goal of eliminating half of all life in the universe, the Avengers set out across space to stop him.

  • #34. Hidden Figures (2016)

    - Director: Theodore Melfi
    - Stacker score: 84.9
    - Metascore: 74
    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Runtime: 127 minutes

    Everyone remembers where they were when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Fewer people remember—or ever knew about—the groundbreaking scientists and mathematicians that made that walk possible, many of them women of color, during a time when segregation was still enforced. Led by stirring performances from Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and others, “Hidden Figures” is a heartwarming story about overcoming obstacles both on the ground and in the air.

  • #33. Serenity (2005)

    - Director: Joss Whedon
    - Stacker score: 84.9
    - Metascore: 74
    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Runtime: 119 minutes

    Not to be confused with the astoundingly awful 2019 film by the same title, 2005’s Serenity is a final love letter to the series “Firefly,” which follows the crew of the spaceship Serenity. Though the television series failed with audiences, a passionate cult of Joss Whedon fans convinced Universal Studios to bankroll a film meant to wrap up unresolved threads, which fans were overall pleased with.

  • #32. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

    - Director: Taika Waititi
    - Stacker score: 85.5
    - Metascore: 74
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 130 minutes

    After “Thor: The Dark World,” received lukewarm reviews, Marvel brought in New Zealand director Taika Waititi to spice up the franchise. The result: a colorful, hilarious romp through space featuring Chris Hemsworth’s Thor facing off against Jeff Goldblum’s The Collector and Cate Blanchett’s Hela, along with (and sometimes opposed to) his brother Loki, played by an always-conniving Tom Hiddleston. Some old friends and foes make surprise appearances, and among fans of superhero movies, it’s a must-see.

  • #31. Apollo 13 (1995)

    - Director: Ron Howard
    - Stacker score: 85.5
    - Metascore: 77
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 140 minutes

    “Failure is not an option.” Those are the words uttered by NASA flight director Gene Kranz, played by Ed Harris, after an explosion disrupts a planned moon landing in this docudrama adapted from real events. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton as stranded astronauts, this heart-pounding thriller will have you at the edge of your seat, even if you know the outcome.

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