Although set in the niche and polarising genre of science fiction space opera, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was a smashing success. This list of 15 top movies like Interstellar are waiting for you. All thanks to its satisfying and emotionally engaging adventure and exploration of enormously complex theoretical ideas.
Since then, the film’s many fans have speculated about whether or not one would ever make a sequel. The several significant new movies have similarly high standards, as well as several classics that played a massive role in shaping its plot and overall feel, that one can enjoy right now. In the spirit of Interstellar, some of the best other space movies are out there.
It’s no surprise that interest in Christopher Nolan’s hugely successful space opera continues to rise, as it is one of the highest-rated sci-fi movies of all time among film fans.
One must update this count in proportion to the ever-increasing size of its devoted following. If you enjoyed Nolan’s work and want to see more like Interstellar, you should check out these other films.
Table of Contents
A Space Odyssey 2001
Although it’s fair to say that Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey had a significant impact on every science fiction film that came out after it, it’s especially fitting to compare it to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
While the theoretical ideas explored in both films are similar, the visual similarities are striking throughout movies like Interstellar, and the operatic tone of 2001 is palpable in the story’s bones.
Though very different from Andrei Tarkovsky’s perhaps more well-known adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s novel, Steven Soderbergh’s film still brims with enveloping drama and profound philosophical questions.
Solaris’ eerie visual beauty is helped by the film’s ambiguity, much more significant than in a straightforward man-on-a-mission film like Interstellar.
2. Ad Astra
James Gray’s sci-fi thriller is one of the few recent science-fiction films arguably more intense than Christopher Nolan’s impending apocalypse. It bears many similarities to the Oscar-winning movies like Interstellar in terms of its direct and linear plot.
In this film, Brad Pitt portrays the apathetic offspring of a missing astronaut who embarks on a quest to learn the truth about his father’s disappearance.
4. First Man
Damien Chazelle’s biographical drama of Neil Armstrong’s pioneering journey to the Moon focused much more on the famous astronaut’s state of mind throughout the mission. This was a common theme in the high-pedigree space movies of the era, which included Interstellar.
First Man, which shares a dedication to practical effects and techniques that makes it feel more tangible with movies like Interstellar, is elevated beyond being a simple re-enactment by focusing on Armstrong’s coping—or lack thereof—with the tragic death of his young daughter.
Alfonso Cuarón’s space survival film is the fastest-paced entry on this list. Still, it never forgets to add emotional weight to its tense action sequences, continuing the theme of grief and emotional detachment out in the cold depths of space.
Although the plot is relatively straightforward—Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut stranded in space who must deal with a storm of debris floating around Earth’s orbit—the film manages to pull off as many impressive visual effects as more complex movies like interstellar.
6. The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff, based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name, offers a slightly more optimistic take on biographical aeronautical history with its more objective but no less strikingly well-made approach.
The Right Stuff is as essential to the history of space movies as grand fantasies like 2001 are because they inspired Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of ace pilot Joseph “Coop” Cooper.
7. Apollo 13
Despite being constrained by the reality of spaceflight in the early 1970s, the film Apollo 13 is just as thrilling and majestic as these movies like interstellar.
Ron Howard’s tense drama about NASA’s seventh Lunar mission, which was more dangerous than usual, is, like The Right Stuff, a rich and engaging picture of a moment in time composed of so many tiny and realistic details that it feels as epic as Star Wars.
Unlike the preceding entries on this list, Danny Boyle’s sci-fi thriller is much more fantastical and in the spirit of Jules Verne. It is much more in line with movies like Interstellar and more outlandish theoretical concepts.
In Sunshine, we follow an astronaut crew preparing to drop a bomb into Earth’s dying sun in a last-ditch effort to save humanity. However, the immense stakes of their mission have varying effects on the crew members, leading to unexpected complications that could have catastrophic consequences.
9. The Black Hole
This tale of a lost spaceship discovered sitting on the edge of the titular region in spacetime is one of Disney’s earliest — and still one of their most influential — bizarre and beloved science fiction cult classics. Inside are a crazed scientist and his army of mechanical monsters.
The Black Hole can hold against all of Interstellar’s bizarre, dark, and horrifying moments, including the unforgettable demonic robot “Maximillian,” who out-psycho-s the actual psycho from the film Psycho, Anthony Perkins.
Its vein of adventure is very much in the spirit of Star Wars and Jules Verne, and it shares the desire to view movies like Interstellar which works wonders to the entertainers.
10. Mission to Mars
This adaptation of the Disneyland attraction of the same name was directed by the legendary master of dark and violent thrillers, Brian De Palma, and offers a radically different take on the plot of the next film on our list, which is also a Disney sci-fi film.
Movies like interstellar for the themes are also present in this film, which follows a daring rescue mission to the red planet. Several Mission to Mars visual effects hold up and are still stunning even today, even though the film’s tonal inconsistency makes it a bumpy ride in spots. Its depiction of the first meeting between humanity and extraterrestrials drew more criticism than Interstellar’s.
11. The Martian
Ridley Scott adapted Andy Weir’s best-selling novel into one of the most optimistic science fiction survival movies ever made, despite using many of the same visual elements as his much darker and more disturbing later Alien films. That’s saying a lot because it could be the most.
The film follows Matt Damon’s character, a botanist who is accidentally stranded on Mars and thought dead. Despite his dire circumstances, Damon’s character exudes an optimistic attitude that is contagious and ultimately uplifting part of these fascinating movies like interstellar.
12. Deep Impact
Mimi Leder’s giant asteroid film shares several distinctive qualities with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Still, it was almost wholly overshadowed at the time by Michael Bay’s massive disaster movie Armageddon, which has ostensibly the same plot and was released just under two months later.
The more dramatic elements, typical of Hollywood blockbusters at the time, are elevated by the film’s exploration of themes like parental abandonment and hopelessness in the face of human extinction, making for a profoundly moving sci-fi experience.
Duncan Jones’s feature film debut was an instant cult in the classic movies like interstellar. Thanks to smartly simple designs and a stunning lead performance from the always-compelling Sam Rockwell. This sci-fi film is a stark contrast to the operatic style of Interstellar, but it’s just as thought-provoking despite its solitary and confining nature.
In Moon, we tag along as Rockwell’s lone lunar worker learns a shocking truth about their job that has profound philosophical implications. Fans of the genre impressed by Interstellar’s vision of a convincingly-not-too-distant future will enjoy this film, which is both chilling and funny in equal measure.
14. The Year We Make Contact
The long-delayed follow-up to Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey isn’t as well-regarded as the original, but it’s also not notoriously reviled by genre purists or 2001: A Space Odyssey diehards.
In contrast to 2001’s lack of A-listers, 2010’s nearly all-star cast is hardly a detriment to the film. Similarly, many of the mysteries from 2001: A Space Odyssey are resolved in retrospect in The Year We Make Contact, which prioritizes providing answers over leaving anything to the imagination.
A lot of the tension from the first movies like Interstellar are carried over and syncs even better with the big set pieces and intense debates in Interstellar, but it may never quite live up to the atmosphere of the first film.
Contact, adapted from Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, really delves into its huge scientific questions in as thorough a manner as it can without forgetting the fiction part of the equation.
One of the most important stepping stones on the road that would ultimately lead to Interstellar, and a must-see for fans of sci-fi in general, Robert Zemeckis’ film about a mysterious alien signal from space also stars Matthew McConaughey.
Let’s Wrap Now….
You can enjoy these captivating movies like Interstellar with your friends and travel space in your comfy seats at home.