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9 Spectacular Space Movies like Contact That Are Sure To Leave You Speechless

movies like contact

Inspiring, evocative and ultimately so very human; Fans regard Contact as one of the best science fiction of all time. This multidimensional sci-fi has far surpassed its generic frontiers through its imagery and captivating performances. If you are a film enthusiast who wishes to see illusionistic movies like Contact, we have curated a list that should fit well with your taste. Adapted from Astronomer Carl Sagen’s novel of the same name, Contact is a sci-fi movie directed by Robert Zemeckis. A radio astronomer played by Jodie Foster called Dr Ellie Arroway, loses her research funding after not achieving much success in gaining any important data from an extraterrestrial programme. When the programme is about to end, she discovers a binary message from the Vega star system. After she is able to prove first contact with the Extraterrestrial intelligent species, due to the sensitive nature of the programme, she has to deal with high-pressure National security. The film involves a wormhole time exploration of Ellie’s childhood and discoveries that challenge human faith.

List of Movies Like Contact

  1. Arrival
  2. Ad Astra
  3. Interstellar
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey 
  5. Sunshine
  6. Annihilation
  7. Gravity
  8. Moon
  9. The Day the Earth Stood Still

1. Arrival (2016)

Arrival is a creation of the brilliant director Denis Villeneuve and is considered one of the best science-fiction movies of all time.  Arrival perfects everything any Sci-fi movie hopes to deliver. The movie is based on a short story called ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang which primarily deals with searching for the reason the alien crafts have arrived and what they want from Earth. 

Arrival incorporates skilful non-linear elements of story-telling with a soundtrack and visuals that speak a deeper truth of human communication and how bound by the time our memories tend to be. Amy Adams’ performance is quite stunning here. If you’re following this list of films and wan to watch movies like Contact, I’m sure you’ll love Arrival. Check it out. 

2. Ad Astra (2019)

Directed by James Gray, Ad Astra is set in a future where space travel is far more advanced and frequent than today. It follows the story of astronaut Roy McBride. He has been appointed on a top secret journey to fix a problem known as ‘The Surge’ which knocks electronics all across the galaxy.

The pulses of the said problem are believed to be coming from the Lima Project which was a space expedition led by Roy’s father Clifford McBride, where he went missing. Hence, Roy’s mission becomes a journey of revelations about the advancement of space travel, a search for his father and also a search for something divine, like a God. Calm, stunning, and frightening, the movie gives a distinctly modern answer to man’s search for the divine. If you want to watch similar movies like Contact that feature beautiful futuristic visuals of space, this one is for you. 

3. Interstellar (2014)

When Nolan’s Interstellar came out in 2014, people were mesmerised. The beautiful story, the stunning visual effects, the emotional acting performance, and – most noteworthy, Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack made Interstellar a masterpiece of wonder and amazement. 

Here, in the story – Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future. A farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper (McConaughey), is tasked to pilot a spacecraft with a team of researchers to find a new planet for humans. Thematically, the intensity of time, love, sacrifice and the mere idea of exploring the vast universe is transcendent beyond words. Interstellar is easily at the top of my recommendations for movies like Contact. 

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968 )

2001: A Space Odyssey is a true sci-fi cinematic classic. The director of this film, Stanley Kubrick, was an exceptional visionary. There are few movies that can match up to the greatness of this one. This 1986 film touches on the themes of artificial intelligence vs. mankind. It makes us wonder if artificial intelligence could also have feelings or if it is just programmed to simulate them. 

The movie is an abstract visual, innovative, and poetic masterpiece. Especially the opening dawn of man sequence, which is honestly unforgettable. For me, this is not only Kubrick’s best movie but also a milestone in the genre. It is pretty long, at around 2h 29m, and it is slow, which I agree with. But it is never dull. The use of classical musical pieces like Beautiful Blue Danube beautifully reflects the grand existence of humanity. If you want to see movies similar to Contact, 2001: A Space Odyssey, without a doubt, should be on your watchlist. 

5. Sunshine (2007)

A team of international students are sent on a dangerous mission called Icarus II in hopes of reigniting the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb. Set in 2057, Sunshine sets a scenario where due to the dying sun, life on earth is also dying. Whether the crew succeeds in attempting to revive the star is to be seen. Many unexpected challenges will control what the journey entails. 

Following the success of the small-budget film 28 Days Later, the director Danny Boyle, Screenwriter Alex Garland and Actor Cillian Murphy teamed up again. Sunshine with a larger budget, created grand sequences of space exploration and colonisation. Sunshine’s dialogues have an everlasting effect. Viewers are mesmerised by the endurance of humanity’s faith in this movie. Sunshine is a great underrated option for sci-fi films like Contact.

6. Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation directed by Alex Garland is another movie adaptation on this list. A Sci-fi movie with psychological horror elements, this story follows a group of explorers. Jena, a biologist and a former soldier joins a mission so that she can find out what happened to her husband in a mysterious place called ‘The Shimmer’ and save him. She discovers jarring truths about this ecological and genetic blending zone. 

This movie is about more than just a woman exploring an inexplicable bubble to save her loved one. For many reasons, it reflects humanity’s collective impulse of destroying the environment leading towards self-destruction. Annihilation’s simple motivation and terrorising reality is worth a watch if you are looking for similar films like Contact

7. Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity is a Sci-fi thriller starring exceptionally talented actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with the veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky ( George Clooney). On one of their routine spacewalks things go wrong and their space shuttle is destroyed. Ryan and Matt are stranded in space. 

In this survival story, humanity’s resilience even in the most improbable catastrophes is inspiring. Sandra’s heartfelt performance is worth every praise. The movie brings a simple element of love as the strongest motivation for humans when Dr Ryan and Matt talk about their family and Children. Gravity’s quiet and impressive cinematography reinforces our compassion for the protagonist. There are few movies that can translate such emotions and Gravity is one of them, which is why if you want to see movies similar to Contact, this has to be on your list. 

8. Moon (2009)

The Sci-fi Drama Moon follows an Astronaut called Sam Bell as he has a life-threatening encounter at the end of his three-year stint on the far side of the Moon. Initially, he works there alongside his computer, GERTY and sends back Earth packages of resources that help people on our planet diminish the power problems that they have been facing.

The film positions the challenges a human can face to survive in the vastness of the universe. The unprecedented situations are magnificent, Moon is surely the most underrated movie in this list. The claustrophobic, suspenseful and chilling story is sure to leave you spellbound. If you enjoy movies like Contact, then surely check out Moon.

9. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

A remake of the 1951 movie of the same name, The Day the Earth Stood Still stars Keanu Reeves as Klaatu and Jennifer Connelly as Dr Helen Benson. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the Sci-fi Drama is about an alien humanoid visitor, Klaatu and a giant Robot counterpart who visit earth. Klaatu and other such alien humanoids determine whether human civilization with destructive habits deserves to live. Dr Benson and her stepson soon discover that the seemingly threatening outer space being Klaatu is actually a friend of humanity and try to convince him to stop their extinction.

While many think Keanu’s portrayal of the character felt cold, dedicated fans defend his choices to be true to the nature of a foreign intelligent life. The movie’s message of peace and desire is portrayed decently. Though a fairly unpopular movie, it is a good choice if you want to watch movies like Contact

If you’re interested, you can also check out the original The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) after watching this film.

Honourable Mentions

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

  1. The Martian
  2. K- Pax
  3. Independence Day
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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.

Lost

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

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