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Final Frontier: 15 Greatest Space Thrillers, Ranked

Hollywood and outer space thrillers are a match made in heaven. While there are way too many to put it on the list, we have carefully curated the best of the lot.

(P.S: We haven’t included Star Wars, Star Trek, the MCU or any other franchise movies on this list to try and keep it as original as possible.)

The Wandering Earth

The sun has died out and humanity has built literal thrusters into the planet to move it to another star system. It has been 2500 years since and humanity still fights for its survival in a harsher, unforgiving environment.

Moon

Astronaut Sam is the only employee working for a mega-corporation’s lunar mining facility. Along with his computer pal – GERTY, he is nearing the end of his 3 year work contract. After he gets injured right before he returns home, he unravels a deeper secret hiding right under his nose in the facility.

Europa Report

While most space thrillers focus on Mars, this one focuses on finding life in one of Jupiter’s moon – Europa, theorized to have a vast liquid ocean beneath its thick icy surface. A group of astronauts from across the globe are sent on a privately funded mission to search fro life on Europa. What they find is beyond their wildest imaginations.

Space Cowboys

Clint Eastwood in a space movie? Sounds ridiculous….ridiculously fun, we mean!! Eastwood plays retired astronaut Frank Corvin. He is contacted to help save a failing satellite. And he has an unusual demand – his equally old former team-mates must accompany him in this mission.

Mission To Mars

After the first ever manned mission to the Red Planet meets with a catastrophic failure, a second team is sent to complete the mission and try to rescue the survivors of the first one. Mission To Mars remains an all-time classic.

The Midnight Sky

Many consider this movie an abomination. The movie’s slow pace makes it hard to watch for people used to adrenaline pumping thrillers. The Midnight Sky is not your typical space thriller. It was purposefully made a slow-burn thriller. The story’s about a lone man trying to send a signal to a group of astronauts returning from another planet to turn back because Earth has lost its ability to support life. There’s an amazing twist at the end. The twist was what made us fall in love with this movie.

Stowaway

A 3 person crew on their way to Mars face a daunting task of keeping everyone alive when an unplanned passenger accidentally gets onboard. It has one of the most harrowing, nail-biting climax scenes we have ever seen.

First Man

The story of Neil Armstrong and his group of astronauts and space explorers as they train themselves to get ready for the first ever manned mission to the Moon. This movie gives us Ryan Gosling‘s career best as Neil Armstrong.

Space Sweepers

A very slept upon movie, Space sweepers is a Koran movie set in the far future. The earth is an infinite wasteland and the people who can afford it have taken to a utopia in the stars. The crew members of Spaceship Victory capture space debris and sell it to the highest bidder. During one of their hauls, they stumble upon a girl with mysterious abilities who has the power to save the world….or destroy it.

The Martian

Based on the best selling book by Andy Weir, The Martian is about an Astronaut named Mark Watney who is left behind after the rest of his crew abandons him while escaping a Martian super storm. Now Mark must “science the sh*t out of” whatever he has to find a way to survive on his own on the red planet.

Life

Astronauts aboard a space station in Earth’s orbit find the first true alien life-form from the surface of Mars. But little do they know this life-form is extremely hostile and could be the reason Mars no longer supports life.

Apollo 13

Astronauts Lowell, Swigert, and Haise of the infamous Apollo 13 mission find themselves stranded in deep space after their spacecraft malfunctions. It now becomes a race against time for the trio and the team of NASA scientists to bring them back against all odds.

Sunshine

The earth is dying. That is pretty much how every space thriller movie begins. Sunshine sees a group of astronauts sent on a mission to re-ignite the sun and rescue the first group of engineers and scientists sent for the same mission that have mysteriously disappeared.

Gravity

Who knew a woman floating through Earth’s orbit could end up making one hell of a story?!?! Gravity is perfect for people looking for that extra kick of adrenaline. It does have its flaws but more than makes up for it with the high stakes game Dr. Ryan Stone plays with imminent death.

Ad Astra

Like The Midnight Sky, Ad Astra has a lot of slow-burn symbolism. At times, the sluggish pace might debilitate viewers. But the ones who are brave enough to watch the movie that braves the void till the end, they meet with a pleasant surprise. An astronaut is tasked with finding his missing father and the root cause of the strange power surges happening across the solar system. Ad Astra will always be the greatest space thriller of all time.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

You do not wanna know. I could be a psychopath.