Five stellar samples of cinema

The five movies every stargazer needs to see

It’s one thing to simply admire the stars on a clear summer night, but the astronomy minor is for those who truly love space and the stars. For all those who have committed their education to the stars, here are five space-themed movies that are worth a watch.

Gravity (2013)
Gravity has a prime spot on this list as nearly the entire film takes place in space. The film features Sandra Bullock as an astronaut who becomes untethered in space after the space shuttle she was working on is destroyed. The story is simple enough and the film makes for a short but intense watch.

Apollo 13 (1995)
Based on real-life events, Apollo 13 charts the mechanical failures of the Apollo 13 mission and what those in the shuttle and back on the ground had to do in order to bring the astronauts back home in one piece. It’s an emotional film, perhaps even more so than Gravity, and it might be even more uplifting, too.

Alien (1979)
While Alien probably makes more commentary on pregnancy and motherhood than space, it’s still got a solid place on this list as an unforgettable space-related movie. And, let’s be real here, Sigourney Weaver is amazing. In space, there’s nobody to hear you scream, and Alien plays on this as the crew of the spaceship Nostromo is picked off one by one by a vicious alien. If this sort of movie satisfies your space-related interests, then you’re in luck since the sequel, Aliens, is just as good.

Interstellar (2014)
The plot to Interstellar has its fair share of holes but the music is amazing and so are the visuals. The film takes place in a not too distant future where Earth is dying. In hopes of finding a new planet to inhabit, several astronauts (including Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway) set off into space. The film is about as realistic as Alien, but it still makes for a good watch.

Muppets from Space (1999)
If Aliens is too dark and you’re not feeling Gravity or Interstellar, then Muppets from Space is a good choice for you. You can’t go wrong with the Muppets, especially when talking food is involved, and this Muppets flick is a fun watch as the Great Gonzo realizes that he may have ties to space and maybe even family members amongst the stars.

Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Ryan Wick

Marysa Storm

Marysa is a senior mass media student at MSU and proof that you truly can survive on just Scooby-Doo fruit snacks. You can find her on Twitter (@MarysaStorm) or email her at

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