Interstellar is one of the most celebrated movies by Christopher Nolan by critics and fans alike. It’s a cerebrally challenging movie that plays with the concept of time while delivering a thrilling space-bound adventure that is both scientifically accurate and emotionally engaging. Interest in movies like Interstellar had something of a resurgence after its release in 2014, and that’s why we have made a list of 16 movies just like this masterpiece.
The ambitious science fiction film chronicles the journey of a team of astronauts as they venture through a wormhole to find a new home for humanity. With breathtaking visuals and audacious concepts, the movie is a true cinematic spectacle that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen available. However, what sets Interstellar apart is its profound emotional depth, which is particularly compelling. The film’s central message about the power of love, a force that cannot be explained by science, resonated deeply with every fan of the movie.
For all you fans of Christopher Nolan’s epic space odyssey, Interstellar, this is the article you’ve been waiting for. Today, we’ll be taking a look at 16 other movies that share similar themes of space exploration, science fiction, time travel, and mind-bending plot twists. These films like Interstellar are sure to captivate you and leave you thinking long after the credits have rolled.
List of Movies Like Interstellar
1. The Martian (2015)
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction movie based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name. Matt Damon is astronaut Mark Watney left on Mars by his crew due to unavoidable circumstances. The plot intensifies as he tries to survive alone on the red planet using some ingenious methods to produce food and oxygen.
Though the stakes in The Martian aren’t as high as seen in movies like Interstellar, both the films intensely explore the perils of space travel for humans. The Martian won critical acclaim and is greatly loved by audiences. It also won several awards, including Golden Globe, BAFTA, and several Oscar nominations. It is one of the most inspiring movies to arrive on the big screen.
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2. Don’t Look Up (2021)
Don’t Look Up is a saving-the-world movie that explores humanity’s reaction to an impending apocalypse. Two astronomers, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, discover a comet on a collision course for Earth and they race to warn the world of the approaching comet that’s capable of wiping all life from planet Earth. The science fiction satire focuses on their frantic efforts to warn humanity of the extinction-level event, and how they are met with apathy and disbelief from the public, politicians, and media.
As the comet grows closer and closer, tensions rise and the world descends into chaos. With a star-studded cast that includes Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, and Cate Blanchett, Don’t Look Up delivers biting satire and laugh-out-loud moments while commenting on society’s response to the end of the world. Having won over 19 awards out of 88 nominations, this is another highly-rated movie, so, if you enjoyed watching movies like Interstellar, then you’ll definitely enjoy watching this movie.
When we think of extraterrestrial beings, our thoughts often gravitate to the idea of an alien invasion. However, we sometimes can’t help but wonder about the existence of alien cultures or civilizations, and how we can approach them when their very notion terrifies us? Arrival is a movie adaptation of the short story, called Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. The movie revolves around a linguist enlisted by the United States Army to decipher a way to communicate with interstellar visitors.
Also watch: Movies like Shutter Island
3. Arrival (2016)
Contrary to the usual action you expect from sci-fi films, Arrival takes a relatively subdued approach at humanity’s contact with aliens. True to Villeneuve’s style, the movie Arrival is a cleverly written, thought provoking flick that makes your mind work a little to get it. Overall, Arrival is a beautifully nuanced film and will be a favorite for fans of films similar to Interstellar.
Fan of Arrival? Check out Movies like Arrival
4. Gravity (2013)
Gravity is a gripping science-fiction thriller movie about space survival, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, the plot takes place entirely in space and features exceptional visual effects. The film follows Dr. Ryan Stone and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski as they embark on a routine spacewalk to repair a satellite, but disaster strikes, leaving one of them stranded in space due to damage caused by space debris.
The movie highlights the real-world issue of space debris and its impact on satellite damage, ultimately causing us to lose access to space. Gravity shares similarities with films like Interstellar, which also portray humanity facing a threat in space. The film was critically acclaimed and won seven Academy Awards for its music, direction, and visual effects.
5. Sunshine (2007)
Sunshine is a science fiction psychological thriller movie taking place in the year 2057. Similar to movies like Interstellar, Sunshine follows a group of astronauts embarking on a do-or-die space journey to save humanity. Danny Boyle’s film boasts of excellent visual effects and intelligent action. Sunshine tackles a future where the Sun as we know it is dying out, and the Earth gradually dies by freezing.
To stop this destruction that could spell the end for mankind, a group of astronauts must be sent to outer space to reignite the dying sun using a nuclear bomb as mankind’s last hope. In Sunshine, we see how the team tackles their problems while trying to keep the mission alive. With a talented cast at the helm and a suffocating tension clinging to large parts of this movie, Sunshine is definitely a great sci-fi option to check out.
Also Read: Movies like Sunshine
6. Moonfall (2022)
Moonfall is quite similar to movies like Interstellar only that this time, instead of a drought, a group of scientists and astronauts must race against time to stop the moon from crashing into the Earth. The story follows an unlikely group of astronauts, including a former astronaut, a brilliant scientist and a conspiracy theorist, who are sent to the Moon to prevent it from colliding with the Earth after a mysterious force knocks it out of its orbit.
They soon discover a secret that has been kept from the public for decades: the Moon is not what it seems, and its collision with Earth is not an accident. With time running out, the team must work together to save humanity from destruction. Moonfall features a star-studded cast and delivers on Emmerich’s signature blend of high-stakes action and visual effects that will keep fans of films like Interstellar on the edge of their seats.
7. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Despite belonging to different ends of the same genre, Edge of Tomorrow shares some similarities to movies like Interstellar as it deals with protagonists who refuse to give up and find creative ways to survive and succeed. In Edge of Tomorrow, the world is invaded by alien creatures known as Mimics, and humanity is losing the war. Tom Cruise is William “Bill” Cage, an inexperienced soldier, is forced to fight on the front lines and is quickly killed.
He, however, wakes up the previous day and realizes that he is trapped in a time loop. He meets Rita Vrataski, a skilled soldier, who also once experienced the time loop phenomenon. Together, they work to find a way to defeat the Mimics and end the time loop. Cage uses his endless repetition of the day to become a better fighter and figure out how to defeat the aliens. As they work together to find a way to break the cycle and win the war, they begin to develop a closer bond.
Check out Movies like Edge Of Tomorrow
8. Moon (2009)
Moon is a science fiction film that tells the story of Sam Bell, a solitary worker stationed at a lunar mining facility. As his three-year mission to harvest helium-3 nears its end, Sam starts to experience strange visions and hallucinations. As he investigates a malfunctioning rover, Sam discovers that things are not what they seem and that he might not be alone on the moon.
With communication on Earth limited to pre-recorded messages, he enlists the help of his computer assistant GERTY, to uncover the startling truth about his mission and himself. Though similar to movies like Interstellar, Moon is a much more intimate story than one may expect from such an expansive premise. While small in scope, this film packs an emotional punch. With such excellent acting from Sam Rockwell, Moon is a must-see for fans of science fiction and mind-bending films like Interstellar.
9. Ad Astra (2019)
Ad Astra is a science fiction film about space travel like Interstellar. The film takes place in the near future, where space exploration has become a routine part of life. The movie stars Brad Pitt in the lead role, as astronaut Roy McBride, who ventures to space to find his father. The film begins with a series of flight accidents caused by mysterious power surges.
Tracing the cause to be an old mission called the “Lima Project” created to find intelligent life in the galaxy, Roy is sent to Neptune to investigate the strange electrical surges that threaten life on Earth and to solve the root problem by any means possible. Loved for Brad’s performance and the thrilling visuals, Ad Astra is thought-provoking exploration of the depths of human emotion, beautifully demonstrating parent-child relationship, making it one of the movies similar to Interstellar in many aspects.
10. Dune (2021)
Dune is a movie that is much similar to films like Interstellar, centering around space travel and the exploration of new worlds, along with the obstacles that accompany it. With stunning visuals and captivating themes, Dune is a mesmerizing and emotionally charged film. The extraterrestrial landscapes in Dune are truly stunning and awe-inspiring.
Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, a gifted young man with a great destiny, who embarks on an 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 to films like Interstellar, particularly in their struggles against impossible odds.
Fan of Dune Saga? Read: Books like Dune
11. Passengers (2016)
Morten Tyldum’s Passengers is a science fiction romance film, featuring A-list actors Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, partially based on the E.C. Comics story “50 Girls 50”. The story follows the two main characters, who find themselves on a spaceship transporting thousands of people to a new colony, Homestead II, located 60 light-years away via interstellar travel. The voyage was intended to last for 120 years, but Jim wakes up 90 years too early due to a malfunction in his hibernation pod.
Trapped alone on the ship, Jim decides to wake up Aurora, another passenger but he hides the truth from her. As the two start to fall in love, they must confront the fact that the ship is gradually falling apart, and should now live their life on the ship -working together to save the lives of the other passengers and crew. If you’re a fan of movies like Interstellar, you’ll love this.
12. Cargo (2009)
In a future where Earth is uninhabitable, those with money live on Rhea, while the rest reside in space stations. Laura Portmann works on the cargo ship Kassandra to earn money for a better life. During a flight mission, the crew discovers a young girl in suspended animation and a virtual reality connector in her spine.
They realize that their cargo is a collection of human clones intended to serve as slaves. As the crew questions the ethics of their mission, they must choose between completing their delivery, or helping the clones achieve freedom. This story follows the common theme of humanity facing a threat in space, as seen in films like Interstellar.
13. Elysium (2013)
Elysium is a dystopian science fiction action movie that shares multiple themes with movies like Interstellar. The year is 2154, and society is divided into two classes: the wealthy few living a luxurious life on the pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the impoverished masses struggling to survive in the decaying ruins of Earth. The protagonist of the movie, Max played by Matt Damon, begins a journey to bring equality to the people of Earth by disrupting the work on Elysium.
This work is one that Secretary Rhodes, played by Jodie Foster, a no-nonsense government official, is bent on seeing through by enforcing anti-immigration laws to maintain the exclusive status of Elysium‘s citizens. The movie has several concepts similar to movies like Interstellar, such as space immigration, apocalypse, the overall declining health of citizens, making a perfect addition to the watchlist for fans of Interstellar.
14. First Man (2018)
First Man is a biographical drama based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen. The film explores the years leading to the first human-crewed space mission, Apollo 11, and Neil Armstrong’s legendary space mission that catapulted him into the history books as the first man to walk on the moon.
The movie takes on a dramatic journey looking back at the psychological conditions of the astronauts doing something beyond imagination. Ryan Gosling puts on a stellar performance as Neil Armstrong in the pivotal moment in human history that is depicted brilliantly in the movie. Although it does not contain much suspense or action, the character-driven focus certainly makes for a compelling movie and certainly worth checking out if you enjoy films similar to Interstellar.
15. Prometheus (2012)
Prometheus, while different in tone, offers some similarities to films like Interstellar as they both center on exploration of the universe and on human extinction. Like Interstellar, Prometheus features breathtaking visual effects and stunning cinematography. The sci-fi horror film that takes place in the late 21st century trails a crew of scientists aboard a spaceship named Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the artifacts on the Earth from ancient cultures.
Upon their arrival at their destination, they discover a deadly threat that not only could jeopardize their mission, but also threaten the survival of all human species. Directed by Ridley Scott, Prometheus is the fifth installment and serves as a prequel to the Alien franchise and can also be considered a stand-alone movie.
Check out: Movies like Prometheus
16. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This epic science fiction film was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story The Sentinel. The movie revolves around when a mysterious prehistoric artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface is rediscovered by Archaeologists 4 Million years later when it sends a strong signal in space after being struck by sunlight. Determined to find out what this means, Humanity embarks on a mission towards Jupiter joined by sentient A.I. named H.AL. 9000 to know more about the artifact.
Of course, things take an ugly turn just as they are about to reach their destination. The movie is highly praised for its ahead-of-the-time visual effects and accurate depiction of how space flights might look. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the first films to show space travel with eye-pleasing visuals. The movie is an inspiration for many directors, paving the way for films like Interstellar.
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Here are some other movies like Interstellar that didn’t quite make the list but are worth watching regardless.
- Tenet (2020)
- Apollo 13 (1995)
- Europa Report (2013)