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15 Movies Like Avatar (2009) Full of Wonder and Splendour

movies like avatar

Movies like Avatar allow us to escape into a dazzling world of wonder and amazement. From the moment that James Cameron’s masterpiece first hit cinema screens nearly fourteen years ago, it became a roaring success. The phenomenal sci-fi film smashed records to quickly become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time earning a whopping $2,922,917,914 throughout its lifetime. The only film that ever came close to it was Avengers: Endgame, with $2,797,501,328. With a budget of $237,000,000, it is no wonder the movie’s stunning alien scenery and ground-breaking visuals was nothing short of amazing, leaving critics and viewers in awe! Winning three of its nine Oscar nominations.

Avatar tells the story of Jake Sully, a disabled former Marine who falls in love with Neytiri, a female Na’vi. Jake arrives on the alien planet of Pandora as a replacement for his twin brother, becoming part of a program to mine materials to help solve the Earth’s energy crisis. Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic to humans but the team is able to explore the planet and interact with the Na’vi using an artificially created Na’vi body that is operated by a person’s mind. As Jake becomes immersed in the world and ways of the Na’Vi people, his loyalty begins to waver as he sees the harm that his own people are causing.

Now with the sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water recently released, with other subsequent entries to the franchise in the works, we understand why you may be searching for some movies similar to Avatar that are equally futuristic, breath-taking and exciting. So here are 15 Movies like Avatar we guarantee are well worth your time.

List of Movies like Avatar

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

There can literally be nothing more similar to movies like Avatar than this. The much anticipated sequel has been a long time in the making. Set fifteen years after exploring Pandora and joining the Na’vi, Avatar: The Way of Water follows the journey of Jake Sully. Jake has since raised a family of five children with Neytiri and established himself as the head of the Omaticaya clan of the new world. 

Avatar: The Way of Water continues to deliver breath-taking visuals and state-of-the-art special effects and though the family is the center focus in this film, it is also an extension of the themes of environmentalism, indigenous rights, and the interconnectedness of all living things we have seen in the prequel. In the words of James Cameron “If you loved the first movie, you’re gonna love this!”

2. John Carter (2012)

John Carter is a 2012 science fiction movie that tells the story of a U.S. Civil War veteran John Carter, who gets transported to Barsoom, only to discover a seemingly barren planet inhabited by massive, 12-foot-tall barbarian natives. Carter must not only save himself, but also save Princess Dea Toris of Helium.

John Carter is worth watching for its stunning visuals and action-packed scenes. John Carter is similar to movies like Avatar in that it features a world where aliens are invading and humans drive to survive. Again, you just have to watch this.

3. Prometheus (2012)

Taking place in the same universe as the famous Ridley Scott’s Alien series, Prometheus actually acts as a prequel for the sci-fi film franchise. Prometheus takes you to a whole new world just like in movies like Avatar. In the year 2089, scientists deduce that they and all life on Earth were created by another race of beings which they called the Engineers. If you’ve already seen it, check out our list of films like Prometheus.

Finding ancient star maps among old cave paintings, archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw and her team are aboard the spaceship Prometheus charting their way to a distant planet known as LV-223. Unfortunately, soon upon arrival, things start to go badly for the crew bumping upon a forgotten species that could not only jeopardize their mission but also wipe out the entire earth.

4. Ready Player One (2018)

What makes this movie similar to movies like Avatar is the absolutely phenomenal plot and the jaw dropping visuals. In Avatar, humans have found a way to transfer their minds into an artificially created body of a Na’vi, a native being of the planet Pandora. In Ready Player One, they use a technology known as OASIS to transfer their minds into an entire virtual reality.

OASIS was created to help people to escape the horrors of the real world, but the technology is left for grabs after the creator of the software dies. However, when the creator passed away, a video was released that said technology is up for grabs. He states that whoever manages to obtain the easter egg hidden within the game will inherit his vast fortune and gain complete control over the OASIS.

5. Dune (2021)

A movie much similar to the films like Avatar, with worlds deadly to humans and conflicts over rare resources in the form of the spice melange and unobtainium, Dune is a powerful and captivating fantasy film with its brilliant visuals and thematic. The otherworldly landscapes in Dune are breathtakingly beautiful.

Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, a gifted young man with a great destiny, who embarks on a dangerous journey to the most deadly planet in the universe, fighting to ensure the future of his family and his people. Set in the distant future, Dune boasts of complex and captivating characters that viewers will find relatable in their struggles against impossible odds.

6. Interstellar (2014)

In Avatar, you find a whole new planet and species. Interstellar is similar to films like Avatar in that regard except that it tells of the journey of humans to find a new habitable planet for humanity. This becomes necessary when Earth is depleted of almost all of its natural resources, with huge dust storms and famines occurring frequently.

These astronauts journey to the other side of the galaxy, which in all probability will be a one-way trip, through a wormhole near Saturn that was created by unknown beings in the past. On the way they encounter many difficulties. Interstellar is a tale of human emotions and science bending together in a package of entertainment and thrill.

7. Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim is a sci-fi action adventure movie much similar to films like Avatar that is filled with action scenes and massive battles with creatures that dwell in the depths. When hordes of monsters known as Kaiju rose from the depths of the sea, humanity’s population was decimated to almost nothing in just a few years. To fight the aliens, a special weapon was created: huge robots called Jaegers, whose weapons are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are connected by a neural link.

However, the Jaegers cannot withstand the ruthless sea monsters. Not to suffer defeat, the defenders of humanity make the unwilling choice of turning to two highly questionable people for help, a former pilot and an inexperienced trainee. They team up to lead the once legendary but now old gamekeeper into battle. Together they prove to be humanity’s only hope, the last obstacle before the impending apocalypse.

8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

This movie will leave you just as awestruck as movies similar to Avatar, especially with its incredible visuals! Its very believable world is the reason that it is so beautiful! Plus, action sequences that are nothing short of entertaining. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets trails two agents named Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they fight to maintain peace throughout human-occupied territories.

The two partners are the last hope for Alpha, a vast metropolis home to species from over one thousand planets. A dark force threatens this immense city of light and life; though Valerian has faced countless dangers in his lifetime as an elite space agent, he knows that never before have they been so close to extinction and it’s up to him and Laureline to identify the force behind all these attacks.

9. Passengers (2016)

What will you do if you are left alone in the depths of space without any company? Passengers share a similar tone to films like Avatar as both films are about colonization efforts on other planets. In Avatar, humans are trying to mine a valuable mineral on the planet Pandora, while in Passengers, humans are trying to start a new life on a distant planet called Homestead II.

Jim Preston, played by Chris Pratt, is part of the 5000 passengers in cryogenic sleep pods aboard the Avalon on its way to a planet that will become their new home. Due to a system malfunction in Jim’s hibernation pod, he wakes up 90 years too early and finds himself alone making him a sitting duck in space. The lonely days where the closest he comes to human contact is an android, start taking their toll on him until he decides to wake up another passenger, Aurora.

10. Alita Battle Angel (2019)

Fans of movies like Avatar will totally enjoy Alita Battle Angel for the superb special effects, the star-studded cast, and the intense action scenes. Alita Battle Angel follows the story of the cyborg Alita after she is revived when she is found in a scrapyard. Alita wakes up to face the problem of having no recollection of her past or any knowledge of the world she has woken up in. Alita explores the hostile environment of Iron City with Dr. Ido, the man who revived her, attempts to shield her from the dangers of Iron City and of Alita’s past.

The movie successfully takes viewers to the futuristic environment of Iron City’s setting. With a bit of realism and an incredible dose of computer animation, the whole visual of the movie is a masterpiece. With top stars Rosa Salazar, Christof Waltz, and Jennifer Connely, Alita Battle Angel creates a memorable viewing experience.

11. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

In the not-too-distant future, the world is populated by humans and replicants created to do the hardest work. Police officer Kay’s job is to keep the replicants under control amid growing tensions. Check out our list of movies like Blade Runner 2049.

Until he accidentally becomes in possession of secret information that threatens the existence of all mankind. Wanting to find a clue, Kay decides to track down Rick Deckard, a former LAPD Special Branch officer who disappeared without a trace years ago.

12. The Fifth Element (1997)

Another film much like Avatar that features high-octane action scenes and a quest for special items. In Avatar it is a rare mineral called unobtanium while In The Fifth Element, the items are the four elemental stones that must be brought together to save the world.

The Fifth Element is set in the year 2263, and it follows a New York cab driver named Korben Dallas, played by Bruce Willis, who becomes involved in the quest to save the world. He teams up with a mysterious being named Leeloo, played by Milla Jovovich, together they must find four elemental stones and add to them the mysterious fifth element to put a stop to the impending evil that threatens to end all humanity.

13. Arrival (2016)

Arrival is a movie quite similar in premise to films like Avatar, as both movies see humans attempting to communicate and negotiate with alien species while the possibility of war breaking out hangs ahead. Much of the film focuses on the attempts of language specialist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) as she helps the U.S. Government decipher a way to communicate with the just arrived aliens, who they have no way to establish contact with.

However, while doing so, she starts speaking and even thinking in their strange language. With the clock ticking down to a possible confrontation between humanity and the otherworldly visitors, they must work fast to find a solution.

14. After Earth (2013)

After Earth is a film similar to Avatar with both movies touching on environmental themes. In Avatar, the Na’vi people live in harmony with their natural environment and fight against a corporation that seeks to exploit their world’s resources. In After Earth, humans have abandoned Earth due to environmental collapse, and the planet has evolved into a dangerous and deadly place.

One thousand years after cataclysmic events that forced humanity to leave Earth to a planet called Nova Prime. We follow General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith)  During an asteroid storm, the flying machine with dad and son aboard crashes on Earth, which has now evolved to become a deadly and hostile environment. With his father injured, 13-year-old Kitai must venture out into the dangerous wilderness to retrieve a rescue beacon and save them both.

15. Tron Legacy (2010)

Tron Legacy, like movies like Avatar, is known for their ground-breaking visual effects that bring their respective worlds to life. Avatar pioneered the use of motion capture technology, while Tron Legacy used extensive CGI and cutting-edge 3D effects. Sam Flynn, a 27-year old tech-savvy cyber warrior and son of Kevin Flynn goes on an adventure through the digital world to find his father.

Together, they embark on a dangerous journey to escape the Grid encountering Quorra, a powerful ally who holds the key to their escape. They embark on a life or death journey across this advanced technological universe that is full of fierce programs just waiting to kill them in their own games.

Honorable Mentions

Here are some movies like Avatar with stunning visuals that didn’t quite make the list but you can watch regardless:

  1. Ender’s Game (2013)
  2. Oblivion (2013)
  3. Jupiter Ascending (2015)
  4. Divergent (2014)
  5. Annihilation (2018)

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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