10 Space Movies With Great Ideas That We Wish Were Better

Elysium, Blomkamp's class warfare and apartheid parable, after District 9. After intriguing worldbuilding, District 9 has dull gunfights. The film doesn't explore its premise or star Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.


1. Elysium (2013)

Paranormal Activity inspired many low-budget found-footage imitators; Apollo 18 adds sci-fi. Apollo 18 brave but unremarkable. 


2 Apollo 18 (2011)

Prospect breaks science fiction by setting stories in lush forests instead of dusty wastelands. Prospectors form an uneasy alliance in a bandit-filled land in Classic Western Prospect.


3. Prospect (2018)

Carrie, The Untouchables, and Scarface are De Palma's best. His horror sci-fi Mission to Mars was panned. Mission to Mars seems more interested in its premise than its characters due to generic sci-fi dialogue and hollow characters.


4. Mission To Mars (2000)

A franchise based on Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was never made. The film changed the book's appeal and struggled to convey Adams' absurdist humor.


5. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005)

Ad Astra is mostly visual with Brad Pitt floating through space. Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema's stunning work makes Ad Astra watchable without sound despite its dull plot.


6. Ad Astra (2019)

Gravity's beauty and Alfonso Cuarón's speed match its protagonist's pain. The story of an American astronaut stranded far above Earth uses visual metaphors, but like Dr. Stone, the audience must make incredible leaps. 


7. Gravity (2013)

Linklater's Apollo 10 1/2 rotoscope animation captures Stanley's childlike wonder. Stanley wants to go to space, so Apollo 10 1/2's sci-fi title is misleading. More balance was needed in 1960s love letters to American suburbia.


8. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (2022)

Jupiter Ascending may be like The Matrix, which perfected galactic "chosen one" sci-fi. Earth and its inhabitants being remotely monitored is more intriguing than Jupiter Ascending's jumbled CGI.


9. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Passengers looks like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Shining references continue. Bartender Martin Sheen enslaves Jim in the spaceship's empty halls. 


10. Passengers (2016)

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