Christopher Nolan has long been declared a genius — which, very well he is. Though, what separates him other genius directors is that he is more interested in the art of movie-making than story-telling. He tirelessly tries to bring his ambitious and far-reaching visions to screen, and mostly succeeds. With ‘Interstellar’, his effort was to combine the best of both worlds; and that’s why ‘Interstellar’ is simultaneously an extraordinarily ambitious tale of space and time voyage and a humanistic tale of father trying to re-unite with his daughter.
Since there are many who love ‘Interstellar’, we thought of putting together a list of movies that are similar in their scope and ambition — if not the same in their science. You can watch some of these movies like Interstellar on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. Solaris (2002)
A remake of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 classic and one of the few remakes that manages to retain the greatness of the original while approaching the story with a unique new perspective. Starring George Clooney, the film is the story of a troubled psychologist who is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet. Mysterious, beautiful and affecting, ‘Solaris’ is about how cruel memories sometimes can be. Even though the film flopped when it released, it is well respected in sci-fi fan communities and among critics.
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6. Moon (2009)
‘Moon’ is a story of an astronaut, Sam Bell, who has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems. It is a movie that slowly and mysteriously builds to a great climax leaving you plenty to ponder upon. An unusually brilliant film.
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5. The Right Stuff (1983)
Here’s a film that did everything right (no pun intended), but still failed at the box office. Its commercial failure notwithstanding, ‘The Right Stuff’ is still one of the greatest stories about space travel ever created for cinema. Based on the book by Tom Wolfe the film covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.
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4. Gravity (2013)
You don’t watch ‘Gravity’, you experience it. In one shattering calamity after the other, film rarely gives you space and time to breathe a sigh of relief, and even if does, you are grabbed by another even more precariously poised situation the next moment. It’s tense and it’s relentless, but even within all the chaos, the visuals and the images would never fail to induce gasps and a sense of wonderment. Alfonso Cuaron, with ‘Gravity’ changed the way we will look at space based films.. forever. ‘Gravity’ and ‘Interstellar’ are very different films. I agree. But a lot of what you see in ‘Interstellar’ — or rather the way you see it — is inspired by ‘Gravity’. For e.g. ‘Gravity’ was the first movie to not use sound for scenes in space; ‘Interstellar’ did that too (and so did ‘The Martian’).
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3. Apollo 13 (1995)
Ron Howard took a true story to which the entire world knows the outcome and turned it into one of the most intense and tension filled films ever made. Based on the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon, it is the story of astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert who are scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It’s 1970, and America have already achieved their lunar landing goal, so there’s little interest in this “routine” flight.. until that is, things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade. Easily, the best film Ron Howard has ever made.
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2. Solaris (1972)
One of the most unique achievements of global cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Russian masterpiece ‘Solaris’ is a calm and contemplative movie that strives to comprehend the significance of human subsistence. Principally harping on the concept of identity and self-discovery, the movie chronicles the story of a psychologist who goes on a trip to the space in order to find out what happened to the crew of a spaceship, who seem to have gone crazy.
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1. 2001: Space Odyssey (1967)
Undoubtedly one of the most authoritarian piece of cinema ever made, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ could aptly be described as the ultimate exploration of “the unknown”. With themes ranging from existentialism to evolution, the film has acquired a cult status over the years. Inspired by a short story named ‘The Sentinel’ written by Arthur C. Clarke, who co-scripted the screenplay along with Kubrick; the movie chronicles the journey of a crew of scientists to Jupiter along with the sentient computer HAL 9000. The movie went on to become one of the biggest influences on future science fiction projects and is easily the best space movie ever made. Nolan himself has revealed that he was heavily inspired by ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ when he was making ‘Interstellar’.
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