"To be eligible, a movie has to be at least partly set in space"
September 11, 2017 8:36 PM   Subscribe

The 25 Best Space Movies, Ranked

Total Recall (1990)
Sunshine
The Fifth Element
Hidden Figures
Interstellar
---
Galaxy Quest
Gattaca
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Martian
Contact
Wall-E
Space Jam
Star Trek (2009)
Independence Day
Predator
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Gravity
Spaceballs
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avatar
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Apollo 13
2001: A Space Odyssey
Aliens
The Right Stuff
Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi
Alien
Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope
posted by the man of twists and turns (310 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is a very safe list!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:36 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Wrong.
posted by Artw at 8:38 PM on September 11 [29 favorites]


such a bad list. I won't even start. Meh, meh meh.
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:40 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


No Solaris? What to heck?
posted by the duck by the oboe at 8:40 PM on September 11 [28 favorites]


I don't know how they expect to successfully bait any outrage clicks from a listicle like this. It's not as if "space movies" fans are especially opinionated.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:41 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Total Recall is at the top of the list. Good, good...

*reads article*
posted by Phssthpok at 8:42 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


"To be eligible, a movie has to be at least partly set in space"

Enough with the rules!
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:43 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


solaris, event horizon, moon, forbidden planet, Solaris, dune, silent running, dark star, dune, and others would require a little argument, a little context and some advocacy. That wouldn't be safe.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 PM on September 11 [17 favorites]


So, to be clear, does that zoom-in on the Universal Pictures globe that every movie seemed to do in the nineties count?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:44 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Yep this list is hot garbage.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:45 PM on September 11 [13 favorites]


moonraker, titan a.e., outland, treasure planet, the fountain, starship troopers
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:50 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I love these threads!
posted by rhizome at 8:52 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Oh, is that what we're going to do tonight? We're going to fight?

Rogue One and no Silent Running. Avatar and no Solaris. Predator isn't even set in space!

I need a drink.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 8:54 PM on September 11 [28 favorites]


We need a Listfilter that is just procedurally generated ranked lists of things for us to argue with.
posted by Artw at 8:54 PM on September 11 [45 favorites]


If you're going to put in Predator you might as well put in The Thing, which at least has a spaceship exterior. In space.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on September 11 [18 favorites]


*reads list*

*screams in outrage*

*sits there fuming so hard she is unable to articulate what is wrong with this very bad list*

As if we don't have enough to be outraged about in the world today, wtf person, we're supposed to be KINDER and NICER to each right now and you decide to unleash a list that is the equivalent of leftover gum on the sidewalk

I mean just just just

AVATAR?!!

I'm making a shiv, I'm making a shiv right now out of a Multipass and YOU'RE GONNA KNOW
posted by barchan at 8:56 PM on September 11 [61 favorites]


also Repo Man
posted by koeselitz at 8:56 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


It's a trap!
posted by orange ball at 8:57 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


also Repo Man

That's a time machine movie.
posted by Artw at 8:57 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

No, FUCK YOU, you don't get to be on the same planet as me if you think this piece of oversold, lying, piece of corporate shit belongs on any list except "What film would make the best toilet paper"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Solaris is the one universe-scale movie that dug deep into my sense of identity as a human being. (The Tree of Life and The Fountain are contenders.) Its omission is bad but not unexpected.
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:58 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Predator has a spaceship for about five seconds in the very beginning
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:58 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


No Solaris? What to heck?

Clooney was robbed!
posted by Artw at 8:58 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


The Thing has at least 5 seconds more then.
posted by Artw at 8:59 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I think Repo Man should be #5 on every single list of movies, regardless of topic, as a palate cleanser like the 5 Golden Rings in the 12 Days of Christmas. You get a bit of, "Wait - what?" before the author goes to drive home their point.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 8:59 PM on September 11 [45 favorites]


Ok, that last comment of mine was a bit over the top and bombastic.

But that shit was true, you know it
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Wall-E is a problematic choice - almost all of its best parts were on Earth, except for that magical dance.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:00 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Technically, the Earth is in space, so all movies are space movies.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 PM on September 11 [81 favorites]


Avatar?! *sets list on fire*
posted by liquorice at 9:02 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Garbage Pail Kids or GTFO
posted by Sys Rq at 9:03 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


They'll have to adjust the list to make room for it's five sequels.
posted by Artw at 9:04 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


solaris, event horizon, moon, forbidden planet, Solaris, dune, silent running, dark star, dune...

You said Solaris twice.
posted by traveler_ at 9:04 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


It's been a long time since I watched Gattaca, but are there actually any scenes set in space? A shot of a space station or satellite doesn't count.

On preview, yes, Earth is in space.
posted by runcibleshaw at 9:04 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Never really thought about it before but The Thing And Predator have REALLY similar openings.

As do list contenders Critters and Lilo and Stitch.
posted by Artw at 9:05 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Both of 'em.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:06 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


it is missing prometheus and predators and AvP

fight me mefi
posted by poffin boffin at 9:07 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Okay, I'll admit that I like The Right Stuff on this list. How did it keep a twelve year old occupied for its entire running time, including the intermission? By being excellent.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:07 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


They'll have to adjust the list to make room for it's five sequels.

They made five sequels of It?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:07 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Battle Beyond the Stars and all that recycle it.
posted by Artw at 9:08 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


If an article is one joint or limb on the body of knowledge, then a listicle is a display of outstretched, numbered fingers encouraging the hope that whatever is out there, no matter how messy or complicated, we might be able to grasp the whole thing in our hands at once. Would you prefer to grasp this whole thing at once? I’ll conclude by offering these compact versions of this very article for your comfort:
List of reasons why people like restricted forms: world overwhelming A lady assembled a listicle To give interesting facts a receptacle. Lists make the world neater For many a reader (But this is a limerick so … testicle). Eight fun facts about the listicle 1. A listicle is an article in the form of a list. 2. It is kind of like a haiku or a limerick. 3. It has comforting structure. 4. It makes pieces. 5. It puts them in an order. 6. Language does that too. 7. Sometimes with great difficulty. 8. Lists make it look easier.
posted by runcifex at 9:09 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


IT is not a space movie as you never see the creature's spaceship.
posted by Artw at 9:09 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin IN 3D

Is a space movie.
posted by hippybear at 9:09 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


I think we've found peak nerd thunderdome.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:10 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


Earth Girls are Easy
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla
Flash Gordon (1980)

And how about anything from before Planet of the Apes? like I dunno Forbidden Planet?
posted by thecjm at 9:11 PM on September 11 [18 favorites]


Frankly, I think "The Force Awakens" is the worst of the Star Wars movies, and yes I am including the prequels. A lot of people have noticed how closely it mimics "A New Hope", but I think it is most closely resembles the Star Wars Christmas Special - a bunch of the actors from the first movie are there for no real reason and appear to be confused and/or on drugs.
posted by 445supermag at 9:12 PM on September 11 [14 favorites]


i hate everything right now
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:13 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


In the very beginning of Mac and Me an interplanetary probe kidnaps an alien child
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:13 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Wait, there's an alien with a spaceship that appears in UHF.

That's the obvious winner of all lists.
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Beyond is the best of the NuTreks.
posted by Artw at 9:14 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope

Where the ships go ZOOM and the 'splosions go BOOM! In space! The airless, careless vacuum of space!
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:15 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


STARCHASER?

The animated Star Wars ripoff where not-Luke's lightsaber is invisible and not-Han Solo wants to fuck Ms 3P0? Yes that one IS better than a few films on this list.
posted by thecjm at 9:16 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


ITT: people with no movie selection algorithm of their own other than subjective personal preference; no meaningful criticisms of the algorithm used to arrive at this list; and edgy opinions about Star Wars movies that have received universal acclaim for four decades because *fringe flip* I'm kinda an outsider *drag on clove cigarette*
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:17 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


The thing about the Star Wars series is that the planets aren't actually different planets, they're just different settings. And so Space being actual Space actually only matters in the first couple of movies when programming hyperspace are important plot points to keep the heroes in danger. Everything else, it's just "here's a different setting, yeah it's a planet but you got here super fast anyway". It's similar to how Season 7 of Game Of Thrones plays out. You need a different setting, you go there.
posted by hippybear at 9:17 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


thecjm: if you read carefully you'll see I didn't suggest it belonged on any lists. Other than the list of Space Films.
posted by hippybear at 9:18 PM on September 11


The best Star Wars movie is Empire and space travel times make fuck all sense in that.
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


We'll, the kids at The Ringer weren't watching a lot of movies before, say, 1990, it's pretty clear. Like Forbidden Planet, Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, This Island Earth, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Mouse on the Moon, Countdown, Marooned, Silent Running ...
posted by stargell at 9:18 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Space!
posted by Artw at 9:19 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


26: The Writer Strapped To Rocket And Partly Set In Space.
posted by adept256 at 9:20 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


So happy that solaris, dark dtar and silent running have been brought up already


DARK STAR IS IMPORTANT
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 9:20 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


DARK STAR IS IMPORTANT

Legions of Deadheads agree with you.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Dark Star is the film I immediately think of when I read aobut n best science fiction films.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash fans would also agree Dark Star is important.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 9:25 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Bringing up the dead? That bear does not want a happy ship
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 9:25 PM on September 11


I guess E.T. must be more of a suburbia movie oh crap, they address that, delete my comment, how embarrassing not to have read this article
posted by scrowdid at 9:25 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


In this list's defense, they DID list Spaceballs.

That said,
Michael Rennie was ill the day the earth stood still
But he told us where we stand
And Flash Gordon was there in silver underwear...

90 minutes later...

"lost in time, and lost in space... and meaning."
posted by mikelieman at 9:25 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Oh Oh!

I wish to submit Rock and Rule (trailer,) in which Cheap Trick saves the universe from Lou Reed with the power of Rock. Kind of.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 9:27 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Oh hell yeah, Starship Troopers belongs there and so does Sunshine.

Help me out, I don't remember much in Contact or Independence Day happening in space and for fuck's sake Planet of the Apes is not at all about space regardless of how you snuck it in there because "astronauts."

But really, Sunshine, Gravity, 2001, The Martian, and Apollo 13 are the only ones where Space is one of the "characters" moving the plot along. Everything else on this list has more in common with Fantasy and Adventure.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:30 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Is a space movie.
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on September 11 [22 favorites]


The only thing in Contact that happens actually in space (as far as we understand it) is the opening sequence showing our radio waves traveling outward from Earth.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Krull is a space movie.
posted by Artw at 9:34 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


I oddly saw Krull 3 times the week it came out. Also saw Starchaser 3 times. And Munchausen 5 times (it was only playing for a week).

Movies were a lot cheaper back then.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Barbarella! The Reluctant Astronaut! Abbott and Costello Go to Mars!

And also, Pitch Black.
posted by stargell at 9:37 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Flight of the Navigator goes into space and travels through time. AND there's puppets.
posted by carsonb at 9:37 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Never really thought about it before but The Thing And Predator have REALLY similar openings.

You want to see a Predator movie similar to The Thing, see Alien Vs. Predator. Just kidding. Don't. It's godawful. But it does steal the whole "alien spacecraft found beneath Antarctica" thing pretty blatantly. The rest it stole from Stargåte and...uh...the unwatchable crap store, I guess?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Ok, that last comment of mine was a bit over the top and bombastic.

But that shit was true, you know it
posted by Brandon Blatcher
I mean, say what you will, but at worst Rogue One was only the fourth-worst Star Wars prequel
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:37 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


There's a link to the list of 55 at the bottom of the article, a Google Docs link

Some treats on it: lilo and stitch, the last straighter, dark star, both solaris...es
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:38 PM on September 11


Putting Space Jam on a list of best space movies is like that moron who put Team America on a list of best comedies in last week's thread. Some people you just can't take seriously.

Also, if Predator counts as a space movie then Life of Brian should be on this list.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:38 PM on September 11 [18 favorites]


If we're going there, we need Starman, Enemy Mine, The Last Starfighter, Dune, and Battle Beyond The Stars.
posted by Cobalt at 9:38 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


I liked Avatar, but again, does not take place in space. Neither does Predator.

The Martian gets a pass because it's all about how hard it is to survive and get rescued in a totally hostile to life environment where basic communications with Earth take an hour to get delivered. And then there was the whole launching a rocket to grab onto a passing spaceship.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:39 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


[And Munchausen was only playing because the local movie theater had a "coming soon" poster up for it for months and then it didn't bring the movie to town and I called the owner of the chain and asked why he didn't bring it and he yelled into the phone "why don't you shove it mister you don't have any right to tell me how to run my business" and it appeared the next Friday and I went 5 times and then didn't go back to that theater chain and instead drove 40 miles to the nearest other theater chain and sent him a post card every time I did that to let him know that I was going to see movies someplace other than his chain which still has a monopoly over that city. *deep inhale* I still have never been back to a movie in a theater owned by that man.]
posted by hippybear at 9:39 PM on September 11 [18 favorites]


AND there's puppets.

OMG Muppets In Space!

(which actually is one of the lesser Muppet movies, but still! Space Movie!)
posted by hippybear at 9:40 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Apparently I haven't seen about half of the best space movies ever and I love space movies! I'd never even heard of two of them - Gattaca and Sunshine.

Explorers should top this list, followed by Space Camp.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:41 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


hippybear: "Technically, the Earth is in space, so all movies are space movies."

Yes, Annie Hall is the best space movie.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 PM on September 11 [14 favorites]


Oh! Seriously this time: Life of Brian, definitely. Also, Meaning of Life.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:42 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I was going for Casablanca, but yeah.
posted by hippybear at 9:43 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


no meaningful criticisms of the algorithm used to arrive at this list


They think they have popularity, longevity and well-knownness metrics, but what they really have are three popularity metrics.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:43 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


There's a link to the list of 55 at the bottom of the article, a Google Docs link

Does that list have Jupiter Ascending? It's got everything space should have - a wolf angel that fucks bees and Sean Bean and shirtless whispers in space and Mila Kunis toilet space princess

I may have been high when I saw it, this review better captures why it should be included for consideration
posted by barchan at 9:44 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


I guess The Orville doesn't make the cut because it's a TV show?
posted by notyou at 9:45 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Oh! Oh! Oh! InnerSpace!

No, wait....
posted by hippybear at 9:45 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing The Orville didn't make the cut because it's reported to be completely awful.
posted by hippybear at 9:46 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Also yes, no TV shows.
posted by hippybear at 9:46 PM on September 11


Forbidden Planet is a really, really good movie, with an amazing score.

I don't personally care for Star Wars, but I also don't really have anything against it. 5 out of 25 seems a little excessive, but hey, I don't have an algorithm *chokes on clove cigarette like an asshole*

I think my only real complaint with this list, besides the omission of some older movies, is that there are movies that aren't actually set in space (as other people have already noted).
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:46 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Also, I'm sorry, but I really, really, really hate Spaceballs, and I don't think it belongs within a million space-miles of any "best of" lists.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:48 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Oh! Oh! Oh! InnerSpace!

Do they explore Uranus?
posted by Artw at 9:49 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


came in to drop life of brian. i see it's already here. well done. carry on.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:50 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Jaws was never my scene
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:53 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I can't believe no one has mentioned Space Mutiny.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:53 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


So, I'll just say this... square pigs.
posted by Artw at 9:56 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Ok, here's one: Superman, the Christopher Reeve one, technically a space movie. And a better film than Fifth Element, Space Jam, Predator, and Planet of the Apes.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:56 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm sorry, but I really, really, really hate Spaceballs, and I don't think it belongs within a million space-miles of any "best of" lists.

My feeling exactly, but I've just learned to accept that there are good people who feel differently. What can you do?

Incidentally, this is exactly the same situation I have with Bob Dylan and Woody Allen.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:58 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Since I've got you all here, does anybody know where I could get an actual anaglyph 3D copy of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone?

It's for... uh... research. I need it for research.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 10:02 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Dark City was a city IN SPACE, Mr Hand!
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:04 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Also, I'm sorry, but I really, really, really hate Spaceballs, and I don't think it belongs within a million space-miles of any "best of" lists.

But don't you see - they actually "combed the desert".
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:05 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Ctrl+f "Mars Attacks": 0 results

Metafilter, how could you.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:06 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "No, FUCK YOU, you don't get to be on the same planet as me if you think this piece of oversold, lying, piece of corporate shit belongs on any list except "What film would make the best toilet paper""

God, sometimes MetaFilter is the most tiresome of places. I thought this was a perfectly fine list, except for the inclusion of Avatar, which obviously sucks.

runcibleshaw: "It's been a long time since I watched Gattaca, but are there actually any scenes set in space? A shot of a space station or satellite doesn't count."

The final scene shows [spoiler alert]

Ethan Hawke's character rocketing off into space.

Lotta people fighting with the article's premise here, but it's laid out very clearly at the top:
To be eligible, a movie has to be at least partly set in space. Some of the movies below entirely take place in space, while in others, space makes more of a cameo.
If you don't like the inclusion of "space makes a cameo" films, make a fresh list!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:07 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


As an expert* on two of the movies mentioned here I can announce they are not space movies. I've spent a lot of time looking at and pondering the Predator props and those are just not space movie props. Also half the extras in Starship Troopers are people I know and possible kissed and watching people I've slapped some tongue with get killed by alien bugs in Hell's Half Acre just outside of Casper, WY, kind of ruined the movie for me, so also not a space movie. Space movies don't get ruined.

*I'm not an expert. I'm joking. It's jokes. About as big a joke as this list.

Also if it includes movies set in space, then it should include Cube, which is ENTIRELY and literally set in three dimensional space.
posted by barchan at 10:08 PM on September 11 [18 favorites]


I think two of the Austin Powers movies are technically space movies. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 10:10 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


What this list needed was Highlander II in the top ten just to really keep everybody guessing.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:13 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Barchan, I am now forever impressed.
posted by Artw at 10:13 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


A Trip to the Moon, surely.
posted by surlyben at 10:13 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Ice Pirates, surely.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:15 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


There are a bunch of MST3K experiments with more space in them than some of these entries. First Spaceship on Venus,, 12 to the Moon, Starcrash, and Santa Claus vs the Martians, to name but four.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:16 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Lotta people fighting with the article's premise here

Because it's a dumb premise. It waded into a on-going argument with small intentions and even smaller results. And to wrangle the data they had to state that they're not really looking at space films, just films that people we polled down the pub like, and some of them don't have space in them really, and much like this comment, we're going to pad out this as much as possible to ensure maximum outrage and click revenue.

When someone claims that they can work backwards from an algorithm they created to get the results they want it defies the point of the whole exercise.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:17 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


This list is so bad it's almost hilarious.
posted by fleacircus at 10:23 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Lotta people fighting with the article's premise here, but it's laid out very clearly at the top

Yeah, that's not how it works. Talking about doing something stupid does not immunize you from criticism because you've followed through and done something stupid. I could claim a romantic comedy as any movie in which there is at least one smile and at least one kiss but if I did I hope anyone who paid attention would tell me I was unclear on the concept.

To be clear though, their conception of "best" offends me far more than their conception of "space movie."
posted by mark k at 10:23 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


I can't believe no one has mentioned Space Mutiny.

My faith in Blast Hardcheese has never shaken.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 10:32 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


The only thing in Contact that happens actually in space (as far as we understand it) is the opening sequence showing our radio waves traveling outward from Earth.

There's the scene where John Hurt's character is aboard the Mir space station, if that counts.
posted by peeedro at 10:39 PM on September 11


When someone claims that they can work backwards from an algorithm they created to get the results they want it defies the point of the whole exercise.

I have a standard rant about these algorithm generated lists, that points out when there's no objective measure you are basically fiddling with it until it sort-of matches your subjective intuition. (So you reject things that would leave of Star Wars and make Space Jam #1.) Then having done this 100% subjective scoring you pretend the exact output is objective and point to the counterintuitive stuff that is left behind as if they are insightful discoveries.

I hadn't thought about this rant in a while until, coincidentally, on the drive home I was listening to a 99% Invisible interview with the Weapons of Math Destruction person (Cathy O'Neill.) So just a couple hours ago I swear I was thinking I haven't had to rant about these stupid computer generated lists like most influential person in history or best novel of all time in a while and I felt a little wistful, then this shows up! Thank you universe!

This is such a simple formula and bad list they probably didn't do much tuning. To better match my opinions I would start by raising the "years since release" to a power of 1.5 or so to get more old movies, then penalize things with recent sequels (since they guarantee more google news hits) until the 2009 Star Trek fell off the list.
posted by mark k at 10:39 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


"Partly set in space" is not a great criterion. I think for a movie to be considered a space movie, it should have at least two named characters in space who talk to each other about something other than Earth.

For instance, "It's a Wonderful Life" is partly set in space, but the stars only talk about George Bailey.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:49 PM on September 11 [30 favorites]


Total Recall is at the top of the list. Good, good...

*reads article*


whut?

Actually reads article and discovers it's at the top because it's the first of five that "just missed the cut" before it gets to the actual list of 25. But its inclusion still rankles. Total Recall has a lot going for it in terms of director's vision, source material, production values etc, but nothing can solve the problem of a lead actor who cannot play any part convincingly except a cyborg (and even that, he gets the accent wrong).
posted by philip-random at 10:54 PM on September 11


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

No, FUCK YOU, you don't get to be on the same planet as me if you think this piece of oversold, lying, piece of corporate shit belongs on any list except "What film would make the best toilet paper"


Compared to what? I watched all the original Star Wars in preparation for the latest set of movies. What I learned was that the original Star Wars aren't that great and that any of the newer ones are at least as good. The originals are fun but they're cheesy as all get out, weirdly paced, written in stilted dialog, have slow action, and a lot of the effects look laughable. They're also (after the first one) huge corporate toy commercials and money grabs.

It doesn't change the fact that this list was written by someone who doesn't know what "space" or "movie" mean.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:03 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Yay, listicle fight!

I'm not sure it's OK to say this already, but I think the Star Wars franchise as a whole ages comically badly, is an oversold, underproduced, cartoonish and barely watchable trite for children.

Total Recall might be different without Arnold, but he makes it the perfect comedy. And throughout the whole list I was hoping for Aliens to take the top spot, but nooo.

Also, Gattaca totally sucked for me but I cannot remember why and won't be bothered to remember.
posted by Laotic at 11:05 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Mutant Chronicles has at least as much space in it as some of these movies, and is better than a few, too.
And it's awful.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:14 PM on September 11


I'll watch any Ron Perlman movie once. They're not always good, but they're always something. Memorable, I guess.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 11:19 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


I liked Dune cos space was no object to the navigators. It was in fact a void.
posted by vbfg at 11:23 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


I'm going to go this guy one better and build a neural net to select the best space movie of all time. It'll be easy. I just need to tweak the inputs until it selects 2001 with 5 nines reliability. That's how Machine Learning works, right?
posted by turbowombat at 11:23 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Another list of 5 Comedy Sci-Fi Movies that are better than The Orville.
Of course Galaxy Quest and Spaceballs top the list, but Mars Attacks! is also deserving of at least an honorable mention on the big list. Maybe not Flesh Gordon - which raises the question: where's Barbarella? (And the one Superhero movie on the list should be swapped out with Mystery Men, but I digress)

I'm strongly of the opinion that Silent Running is the missing link between 2001 and Star Wars, the only good 'tree hugger' sci-fi movie and Bruce Dern's best performance. Three points in its favor.

And The Last Starfighter is a hoot.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:25 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


OH JEEZ I FORGOT BOTH THE LAST STARFIGHTER AND STARMAN

HBO ca. 1985 ftw
posted by Caxton1476 at 11:27 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Man, that is a janky, unimaginative, and poorly-justified equation. Also, ugh, Space Jam. That's just there because of people's fondness for their childhood, right?

In sum, they put in garbage and got out garbage.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 11:28 PM on September 11


Approximately 99.9999999% of the human body is empty space. Some, even more so.
posted by pracowity at 11:28 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Space Jam!

And no Frau im Mond?

Gott in himmel! /perlenklutchsen
posted by mwhybark at 11:29 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Many machines on Ix.
posted by Artw at 11:31 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Wasn't one of the Sharknado sequels at least partially set in space? An unforgivable omission from the list.

Also, Police Academy 8: Fucking Around In Zero Gravity should be on there.
posted by Wordshore at 11:33 PM on September 11


Oh my god, why is Jason X not on this list?

I mean, seriously.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:34 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


What about that one Hellraiser where the entire space station is a Lament configuration? I mean, it's shit, obviously, but points for a new twist.
posted by Artw at 11:35 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


I was in the 6th grade when Space Jam came out, and was highly susceptible to marketing at the time. My options are a) emotionally address the fact that I owned Gecko pants and wore them in public or b) furiously maintain that Space Jam is fantastic.

I choose B until such time as I can afford a therapist.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 11:38 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I'll watch any Ron Perlman movie once. They're not always good, but they're always something.

I left out the part where I love Mutant Chronicles anyway.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:39 PM on September 11


The Little Prince, History of the World Part I, The Signal (uh, spoiler), ..
posted by fleacircus at 11:46 PM on September 11


Men In Black
The Chronicles of Riddick
Screamers
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:53 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Pandorum
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:01 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


OH JEEZ I FORGOT BOTH THE LAST STARFIGHTER AND STARMAN
HBO ca. 1985 ftw


Shit, I remember seeing those in the theater.
posted by mikelieman at 12:02 AM on September 12


I was holding back on Last Starfighter until I knew the thread was going to go that way. One of Robert Preston's last roles!

Are we doing Powder and that Travolta Jesus movie too?
posted by rhizome at 12:12 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


John Carter
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:13 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


The Last Starfighter ain't on that list? No Forbidden Planet? Rocketship X-M? Angry Red Planet ("I hereby declare this planet in the name of Brooklyn.")?

Goddamned kids and their stupid fucking lists.
posted by dbiedny at 12:29 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Supermen I, II, and IV; III if you count when we're watching the satellites. The Brandon Routh one, too. I haven't seen the reboots, so I don't know.

Armageddon.

Every government paranoia movie since the 80s involves an ominous shot of satellites spinning past the Earth. So, now Enemy of the State is a space movie?

All of the Transformers movies. Including Transformers: The Movie.

The entry criterion is crap.
posted by aureliobuendia at 12:32 AM on September 12


Killer Klowns from Outer Space
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 AM on September 12 [10 favorites]


with a stalk of jacaranda
posted by mwhybark at 12:53 AM on September 12


It was Hellraiser: Bloodlines, and Minos Station was actually more of an anti-Lament Configuration, Art.

Yeah, seen ALL the Hellraiser films more than once.

Not judging on that one. I just showed up for the mayhem and spilled blood.
posted by Samizdata at 12:54 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


La Planète Sauvage

and more importantly why the hell isn't Moon on this list.
posted by no mind at 12:59 AM on September 12 [7 favorites]


and more importantly why the hell isn't Moon on this list.

And, fuck, you HAD to drag me in, didn't you? I tried to get out...
posted by Samizdata at 1:01 AM on September 12


The original list of 55 contenders is here. Silent Running and Forbidden Planet (among others) at least made that list. the final results are definitely biased towards newer films.

Also, by their criteria History of the World, Part 1 should be eligible; I would put it near the top.
posted by TedW at 1:48 AM on September 12


Wait, what part of Total Recall happens in space? Are there a few seconds of Quade's interplanetary journey* in there that I'm forgetting? Or is this listicle so silly that it counts inhabited Mars as "space"?

*if he left Earth at all
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:03 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


No Barbarella?
posted by Chitownfats at 2:20 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Everyone with discerning taste knows that Stargate is both the best space movie and space TV series.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:55 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Europa Report should be on here.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:55 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


A best space movies list without the thrilling Message From Space is no list at all.

Thankfully you're all in luck 'cause the whole movie is available free on youtube!

Oh, and don't worry, no hard to follow headache inducing subtitles here to distract you from the visual wonder. It's presented in its glorious dubbed version, just like when I saw it in the theaters!
posted by gusottertrout at 2:56 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


"To be eligible, a movie has to be at least partly set in space"
technically, at a certain scale, all films are set in space
posted by tomp at 3:19 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


technically all films are time travel films
posted by logicpunk at 3:27 AM on September 12 [12 favorites]


I think Android is a space movie worth your time.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:36 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I'm so pleased to see all the love for the correct best space movies in this thread, such as Dune and Dark Star. In making my own list, I would have also been sure to include Fire in the Sky, The Black Hole, and Outland.

I feel compelled to point out that if Predator has enough space to put it on this list then so does Bad Taste.
posted by heatvision at 3:41 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Technically all films are made for TV movies.
posted by ardgedee at 3:49 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Sam Bell is still stuck on the Moon, and nobody compiling this list cares because they are clone-racists. Clone-racists are all the same.
posted by Construction Concern at 3:51 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


This list was written by someone in their early to mid twenties who has no personal memory of any film before 1995, and doesn't see 'art' films. This explains most of the choices here.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:04 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Does that list have Jupiter Ascending? It's got everything space should have - a wolf angel that fucks bees and Sean Bean and shirtless whispers in space and Mila Kunis toilet space princess

Truly I tell you I would watch another hundred movies about Captain Tsing of the Aegis.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:13 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Technically all DreamWorks movies are space movies.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:16 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Oh! Oh! Oh! InnerSpace!

Do they explore Uranus?
"

Yes, with a probe.
posted by chavenet at 4:55 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


If I had more free time then I think there's genuine money to made in running a website that every week just publishes a super scientific "Top 25 films according to criteria x" only it never actually tells you the criteria and the films are more or less chosen randomly.
There would also be prizes for guessing (and explaining) the criteria, so the week after you just publish whichever guess looks the most plausible as the correct criteria and pretend that's what it was all along.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:12 AM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Moon

Sticking with the Duncan Jones theme, doesn't Source Code actually spend more time apparently in space? Let's put them both on the list!

Pandorum
Ooh. This continues the fun line of discussion from Source Code of "what actually counts as being in space, and can we include any film that shows jellyfish?"
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:18 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Silent Running mentioned more than once in comments while not at all in the list makes this one deeply flawed.
posted by filtergik at 5:19 AM on September 12


Space Jam gets a place on the list just because of 'Hit 'Em High.'

It's a classic LL verse, Method Man and B-Real are kinda edgy choices for a movie that costars Bugs Bunny, and, as always, Busta Rhymes approaches a posse cut like it had just murdered his mother. (And Coolio... he's like a small forward, a role player--by which I mean that the kids recognized him from Kenan & Kel.)

(Note: I have never seen the movie.)
posted by box at 5:28 AM on September 12


Space Camp!
posted by warriorqueen at 5:29 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


A Trip to the Moon is yet another omission.
posted by TedW at 5:33 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Aren't they all pretty much space camp? I thought that was part of the criteria.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:33 AM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Idk, having movies by Joe Pytka and Roland Emmerich right next to Stanley Kubrick makes it confusing and I can't even get mad at the list properly because there's absolutely no criteria based on which to argue or get angry or ... it's just silly. Yeah, maybe that's the point.
posted by sapagan at 5:39 AM on September 12


I just need to tweak the inputs until it selects 2001 with 5 nines reliability. That's how Machine Learning works, right?

Nonononono that is not how machine learning works at all. You'll never effectively overfit that way.

You tweak the training (meta)parameters until you get the results you want.
posted by PMdixon at 6:02 AM on September 12


Since I've got you all here, does anybody know where I could get an actual anaglyph 3D copy of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone?

Glad I'm not the only one speaking for Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. It's got Michael Ironside, of space movie Total Recall fame, and Molly Ringwald, and has space right in the title, and is also set in space.
posted by rodlymight at 6:03 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.

Overdog 4eva
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:13 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Amazon Women on the Moon. Check and mate MFs.
posted by 445supermag at 6:14 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Well, if the only criteria is that space has to make a cameo appearance, then Close Encounters of the Third Kind belongs on the list. All of the closing credits are shown over shots of the mother ship flying into space.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:15 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Given the loose definition of "set in space," I'll expand "movies" to include short films like Wanderers.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:30 AM on September 12


Le Voyage dans la Lune
posted by Thorzdad at 6:37 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


John Carter

Does space count if it's sleeping in a cave?
posted by Artw at 6:52 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that we've spent more time arguing about this than it took the underpaid freelancers to assemble this list.
posted by octothorpe at 6:52 AM on September 12 [7 favorites]


I am angry that I didn't get here soon enough to be the first to trumpet the injustice of not including Moon and Solaris for I have taste which is good!

But seriously there are not nearly enough films, in general, that deal with SPACE!!!!! MADNESS!!!! in a way that is dramatically engaging, disturbing and gorgeous.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:56 AM on September 12


I'm pretty sure that we've spent more time arguing about this than it took the underpaid freelancers to assemble this list.

Related Tweet from one of the The Toast founders:

@nicole_cliffe: This is the most financially lucrative post we ever ran:
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


No Captain Eo??

The third dimension was love.
posted by doctornecessiter at 6:59 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


You're all forgetting that in Smokey and the Bandit II, there's a car chase around the Universal logo at the beginning.
posted by condour75 at 7:04 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Artw: "No Solaris? What to heck?

Clooney was robbed!
"

I haven't seen the Soderbergh remake since it came out but I remember it being a fairly worthwhile adaptation. I just read the newer translation of the book and then rewatched the Tarkovsky version but want to re-visit Soderbergh's again too.
posted by octothorpe at 7:06 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


You know what's an underrated space movie? 2010. It's a verrrry different beast from 2001, but as a straightforward narrative it's pretty good! And it benefits from its age now, acting as a really interesting time capsule of the end of the cold war. And the cast is great: Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, and John Lithgow. Not saying it's the Best Space Movie ever, but it's better than half the stuff on this shitass list.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:13 AM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Maybe we'll get a 2060 someday.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I sat down with my daughter who wants to be an astronaut the week before she left for college and we watched 2001 which she had been curious about. Her reaction:

WHAT

"I thought it was going to be sort of like Apollo 13."
posted by straight at 7:17 AM on September 12 [7 favorites]


I haven't seen the Soderbergh remake since it came out but I remember it being a fairly worthwhile adaptation.

I sometimes say it's my favorite because I can stay awake through it. The other one, though undeniably a masterpiece, lulls me to sleep at some point every time, I don't think I've had a single uninterrupted conscious viewing.

And yes, book version is best. I recover snob points there.
posted by Artw at 7:20 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Ice Pirates needs to be on this list because it has space herpes Edit: gross and prolly nsfw
posted by mfu at 7:20 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Are there people who actually like Space Jam? I thought that Space Jam was just one of those things it was hip to reference because all the cool kids now barely remember watching it as children and because it has the dubious distinction of being a 90s-era movie whose website is still currently on the web for people to point and laugh at.
posted by Sequence at 7:23 AM on September 12


Ice Pirates needs to be on this list because it has space herpes

The 'space herpes' joke was in the trailer, and ten year old me knew it was supposed to be funny but was uncomfortable to actually laugh at the joke.

Another vote that Pitch Black is woefully missing from this list.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:24 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I am unsure if Pitch Black's ablative atmosphere entry technique would work in practice but it is undeniably very cool.
posted by Artw at 7:30 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Are there people who actually like Space Jam?

Zach Lavine loves Space Jam.

Maybe it would have been better to have made a list of movies set in "space" and just included Capricorn One, Futureworld, Operation Avalanche, Moonwalkers, and, maybe, Room 237 just for the completists sake.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:32 AM on September 12


The Usual Suspects.

It's set in Spacey.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:37 AM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Does Alphaville count? IIRC, all of the shots of cars driving on the Parisian streets at night are meant to abstractly portray a kind of interplanetary travel, between the various settings of the film.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:47 AM on September 12


I was okay with the top 10 though I would've put Aliens above Alien.

No Starship Troopers or Solaris but Spam Jam is there? Come on.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:54 AM on September 12


The Man Who Fell to Earth. and Brother From Another Planet were both outstanding films about space travel, and both were far more compelling than Avatar.

Seriously, Avatar?
posted by kinnakeet at 8:00 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Sadly there are no space scenes in Muppets From Space. Does it count if Space is in the title?
posted by gnuhavenpier at 8:04 AM on September 12


These lists are always about the committee of staffers and interns dragooned into writing the article.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:08 AM on September 12


...space makes more of a cameo.

Well then Moonstruck.
posted by sammyo at 8:10 AM on September 12


mark k: "Yeah, that's not how it works. Talking about doing something stupid does not immunize you from criticism because you've followed through and done something stupid."

That's not what "fighting with the premise" means. If you think the criteria are dumb, that's perfectly fine to say so, of course. But it's ridiculous to say that a movie doesn't meet the criteria of the authors when they lay them out clearly.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:23 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I would've put Aliens above Alien

Arguably it does more to flesh out the Aliens-space universe than Alien, despite being mostly set on a planet.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Your mom is a space movie.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:31 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


yay! finally a list where there's only one movie that made me go "how have I never heard of this?" (it's Sunshine, with Chris Evans, Rose Byrnes, and Cillian Murphy, people I actually like to see!)
posted by numaner at 8:33 AM on September 12


Oh.

Um.

It starts well.
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Arguably it does more to flesh out the Aliens-space universe than Alien, despite being mostly set on a planet.

Then you start noticing parallels and come to the horrifying realization that Avatar is set in the same universe.
posted by rodlymight at 8:39 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


When not hiding jugs of mutagen goo for unwarey archeologists to poke the Engineers love to kick back and relax by plugging in to a Banshee on the recreation planet.
posted by Artw at 8:50 AM on September 12


Why can't James Cameron take that billion dollars and make a Rendezvous with Rama trilogy instead of more Avatars? That might deserve to make the list.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:52 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


what about the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he said, before stuffing a handful of clove cigarettes in his mouth and eating them
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:00 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Why can't James Cameron take that billion dollars and make a Rendezvous with Rama trilogy instead of more Avatars? That might deserve to make the list.

You'd think with the crew of furry chimpanzee slaves he'd be all over it. (Arguably, The Abyss is James Cameron's Rama)
posted by rodlymight at 9:03 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Independence Day is one of the worst, stupidest movies ever. I went to see it with a fellow SF fan and we just could not stomach it at all. I mean Will Smith comically punches an alien. The terrible cheeseball patriotism speech. Ugh. It's basically 2012/Volcano/The Day After Tomorrow/etc. with aliens.

Good job, list: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:09 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I should point out that in the writeup of Avatar, they do acknowledge that Avatar did not age well and postulate on some reasons why it's so reviled now, but at the time, IIRC, everyone (including me) went gaga for the movie (I think I saw it in theaters twice).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

No, FUCK YOU,


who's hating on it so hard?

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 PM on September 11

Oh, right, let's retread that entire Fanfare thread right now.
posted by numaner at 9:19 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


And where the hell is Wallace and Gromit - A Grand Day Out?!?
posted by switcheroo at 9:21 AM on September 12 [10 favorites]


I feel compelled to point out that if Predator has enough space to put it on this list then so does Bad Taste.

YES and thank you, I went to sleep trying to remember the name of that movie.
posted by barchan at 9:28 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, right, let's retread that entire Fanfare thread right now.

*gets sleeping bag, packs supplies*

LET'S DO THIS!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:39 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I should also remind you that your opinions are invalid because you're a Valor.
posted by numaner at 9:44 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Are there people who actually like Space Jam?

I loved it as a kid because bugs bunny and basketball and I still watch youtube clips of it and will make my children watch it.
posted by numaner at 9:46 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


If Independence Day with its hostile aliens coming to earth qualifies, then ET and Close Encounters must too. Right? Right?

This whole thread is a classic MeFi Plate of Beans. SPACE BEANS!
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:48 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


All of the following utterly neglected gems belong somewhere on that list:

Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954)
I married a monster from outer space (1958)
Queen of outer space (1958)
Plan 9 from outer space (1959)
Andy Warhol's Space (1965)
The Smith system of space cushing driving (Ford Motor Co., 1968)
Meals from space : a meal system concept for the elderly (NASA, 1970)
Health, Germs and the space visitors (Britannica, 1971)
Josie and the Pussy Cats in outer space (1972)
Far Out Space Nuts (1975)
The Space between the teeth (Bill Viola, 1977)
The cat from outer space (Walt Disney, 1978)
Morons from outer space (1985)
Lust in space, contact is made (1985)
Dogs in space (1986)
Murder in space (1987) (Starring Wilford Brimley!)
Killer klowns from outer space (1988)
Space cowboys (2000)
Vegas in space (1995) ("the first all drag space musical.")
posted by octobersurprise at 9:48 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


LET'S DO THIS!

THE ANTENNA RESET IS OUT ON THAT WALKWAY BECAUSE ENGINEERS NEED TO PHYSICALLY SEE THE THING THEY'RE TRYING TO FIX
posted by numaner at 9:50 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


This list was written by someone in their early to mid twenties who has no personal memory of any film before 1995, and doesn't see 'art' films.

Like a good third of the films are from before 1995...
posted by numaner at 9:52 AM on September 12


What *is* space anyway?
posted by ardgedee at 9:53 AM on September 12


Why can't James Cameron take that billion dollars and make a Rendezvous with Rama trilogy

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY AND GIVE IT TO JAMES CAMERON

YOU ARE THE MIDDLEMAN IN THIS SITUATION

I KNOW IT IS INCONVENIENT BUT I AM HOPING YOU KNOW WHERE JAMES CAMERON LIVES OR AT LEAST BANKS
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:55 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


As much as I love Sunshine (and yeah, it does stupid things, but the atmosphere the movie creates somehow transcends that for me), it's fascinating how it's essentially a mirror image of Event Horizon along a long list of points. Including, not least, that they both could have been much, much better films, but got lost along the way. And that they both had an amazing sense of a believable story out of absurd premises.

But yeah, where's Event Horizon on this list?
posted by Ghidorah at 10:00 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Queen of outer space (1958)

Man I love mid-century sci-fi, and I really wanted to camp it up with Zsa Zsa, but I watched this pretty recently and I think I found my boundary on that one. Just... too much.

Since we're just listing off cool space movies now, check out The American Astronaut from 2001. The world was not ready for an industrialist space cowboy musical.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 10:04 AM on September 12


Just pop down to the Marianus Trench, he'll probably turn up there eventually.
posted by Artw at 10:32 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Why can't James Cameron take that billion dollars and make a Rendezvous with Rama trilogy instead of more Avatars?

David Fincher was initially going to make a Rendezvous with Rama film. It would likely have been interesting though different than a James Cameron version, which I'd envision as an Aliens meets Avatar sort of thing.

No love for Saturn 3? Metafilter, I am disappoint. It even inspired a Martin Amis novel!
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:59 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Saturn three has a such a great pedigree for such bad movie. Stanley Donen directing a Martin Amis script with a score by Elmer Bernstein? How could that go so wrong?
posted by octothorpe at 11:14 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


what about the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he said, before stuffing a handful of clove cigarettes in his mouth and eating them

*smashes bottle on the bar*

I prefer a straight up fight to all this sneaking around

*makes a come at me, bro gesture*
posted by nubs at 11:33 AM on September 12


What about Outland (1981)? it's set in space AND it's a western!

[Edit], screwed up my ctrl+F, I see it's been mentioned.
posted by Ber at 11:41 AM on September 12


While I have my smashed bottle ready to cut anyone, how the fuck is Moon not on this list? Huh? I'll fucking cut Avatar out and put Moon in, ok?

I should point out that in the writeup of Avatar, they do acknowledge that Avatar did not age well and postulate on some reasons why it's so reviled now, but at the time, IIRC, everyone (including me) went gaga for the movie (I think I saw it in theaters twice).

Not so much? I mean, I went to see it because it was the big movie that was supposed to make 3D a thing, but I recall being very unimpressed - the visuals were top notch, but the story was so predictable I was kind of bored waiting for it to get to the story beats that were apparent from the first five minutes.
posted by nubs at 11:49 AM on September 12


I should also remind you that your opinions are invalid because you're a Valor.

Yours are invalid because you're not level 40.

But yeah, disappointed that Moon isn't on the list, that was great. I wonder if the Martian will age well, it feels like a product of now, rather than timeless.

I wish 2010 was on the list. That one always resonated with me, especially the tension about HAL. That and the inability for humans to really understand aliens and grasp advance tech.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:05 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


TLDR:
We thought of 55 movies that have a space ship in them, and since expressing an opinion is time-consuming and risky, and you're going to click-and-fight regardless, we ranked them using this simple algorithm:

(popular x popular) x popular = Star Wars

Thank you for your time.
posted by team lowkey at 12:05 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Ice Pirates needs to be on this list because it has space herpes yt Edit: gross and prolly nsfw

And it's AWESOME!
posted by Samizdata at 12:44 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Given the looseness of the criteria, here are some of the films that I feel were unfairly omitted from the original list:

The Wonders
The Duellists
The Exterminating Angel
Paths of Glory
Mon Oncle
The Bad Sleep Well
Funny Face
Uncle Buck
A Night at the Opera
Wild Strawberries
Tokyo Story

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:52 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Oh man, Lifeforce is maybe not best of, but it at least deserves a mention.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:01 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Whoops! Meant That Thing You Do! instead of The Wonders.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:02 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


My personal list, tentatively ranked in order of preference (its hard to decide):

Contact (great character that tries to look at being human)
Moon (great mystery and character study)
2010 (seemingly realistic and a neat view of aliens i.e. we can barely understand them)
Sunshine (why did it descend into a fist fight, WHYYYYYY)
Arrival (beautiful look at understanding aliens and what that might to a human)
Gravity (captured the terror of space and growth of character, despite problematic plot)
Solaris (2002) (simply invocative and dreamy, though not very deep)
5th Element (so. much. fun.)
Empire Strikes Back (bad guys winning amidst great character growth!)
Guardians of the Galaxy (great storytelling and characters)
Space Cowboys (fun on the realistic end of the spectrum)
Apollo 13 (well done, but oddly not too engrossing, especially character wise)
Pitch Black (beautiful and has great character arc)
The Martian (the best of a Bro in space, humorous and has everyone working together)
Wrath of Khan (fuck yeah, bad guys winning for the most part)
Blade Runner (goddamn, it's BLADERUNNER, that alone should explain it)
Aliens (great adventure and character, moving beyond the dreary boringness of the Aliean)

I loathe District 9, Encladeus Report, and Rogue One with the heat of a thousand light sabers, movies I thought I would love. Go figure.

Definitely prefer the space films that are more character and narrative driven, as opposed to straight up action. The 5th Element lovingly smashes through that preference, because it's so beautiful and stylish, telling its simple story extraordinarily well.

Empire Strikes Back had the biggest impression/impact on me, simply because the idea of the bad guys winning was alien to my 9 year old self and it blew my mind. Still does. Plus the characters were spot on and that's when I decided I wanted to be Han and not Luke.

Still haven't watched Interstellar, 'cause the length of it seems ridiculous.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:10 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Given the looseness of the criteria, here are some of the films that I feel were unfairly omitted from the original list:

You forgot Man on the Moon.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:16 PM on September 12


Suprised that Encladeus Report elicits such a string reaction when it's so bland.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on September 12


Airplane 2
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:25 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


2010 (seemingly realistic and a neat view of aliens i.e. we can barely understand them)

Ugh. I hate that movie with the fire of 1000 ignited jupiters.
posted by octothorpe at 1:27 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Suprised that Encladeus Report elicits such a string reaction when it's so bland.

Because some people/critics heralded it as something more, so I watched it and was (AND CONTINUE TO BE) outraged by anything less than scorn of it. It's truly terrible, I did my PhD thesis on how awful it is and this imaginary paper was widely seen as THE TRUTH one of the universes in my head.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:27 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Encladeus Report is the best movie ever made. Just a notch above Rogue One.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:31 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


*I've never seen Encladeus Report
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:31 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


octothorpe: "Ugh. I hate that movie with the fire of 1000 ignited jupiters."

My god, it's full of stars! Roy Scheider, for example.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:32 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Jaws in space. This time, it's out-of-this-world personal!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:34 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


There's a scene in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers where they're out in space.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:42 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I should also remind you that your opinions are invalid because you're a Valor.

Yours are invalid because you're not level 40.


Joke's on you! I quit before summer started!


I can't find anything about Encladeus Report, do you mean Europa Report?
posted by numaner at 2:26 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Pedantry, but the moon of Saturn is spelled Enceladus.

Also, the mythological giant, I suppose.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:09 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


The Right Stuff
posted by mwhybark at 4:06 PM on September 12


Weirdly back in actual 2010 we were relatively friendly with Russia.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on September 12


Because some people/critics heralded it as something more, so I watched it and was (AND CONTINUE TO BE) outraged by anything less than scorn of it. It's truly terrible, I did my PhD thesis on how awful it is and this imaginary paper was widely seen as THE TRUTH one of the universes in my head.\

I'd be really interested in reading the abstract for this dissertation.
posted by straight at 4:13 PM on September 12


Sunshine (why did it descend into a fist fight, WHYYYYYY)

Is there any consensus about where exactly is the point in this movie you should just shut it off and just tell people, "And then X, Y (I DON'T KNOW WHY), and Z happened, the end"?
posted by straight at 4:15 PM on September 12


So, I haven't seen all the movies on this list and I'm just doing a quick eyeball test, but I count what, four or five movies that actually approximate zero gravity on this list? CErtainly way less than half, maybe even less than a quarter. Weird how outer space and most planets have exactly the same gravity as Earth and yet are counted as space movies.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:30 PM on September 12


Not good enough to be a contender against a lot of the missing entries suggested here, but certainly against the OP list itself, The Space Between Us was surprisingly good, despite being a teen romantic comedy. Had great realistic depictions of the future of Totally Not Elon Musk's Mars project and his company, Totally Not SpaceX secretly raising a child on Mars, who comes to Earth as an adolescent to find it a rather amazing place. Other than ignoring the speed of light for communications (yeah, I know) it was otherwise much more realistic than most space movies, and full of cool and cute little touches.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:04 PM on September 12


Is there any consensus about where exactly is the point in this movie [Sunshine] you should just shut it off and just tell people, "And then X, Y (I DON'T KNOW WHY), and Z happened, the end"?

For me it was the part where a mystery blob the size of Manhattan is supposed to somehow restart a star a million times the size of the entire Earth, whose internal functions are pretty well understood and which is in no danger of needing a fusion reboot anyway for a few billion years.

Actually the human plot and performances were surprisingly good, but suspension of disbelief was a problem the whole way through.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:10 PM on September 12


Pedantry, but the moon of Saturn is spelled Enceladus.

Not only that, the actual movie was Europa Report, about the moon of Jupiter, not the moon of Saturn.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:12 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


The only thing in Contact that happens actually in space (as far as we understand it) is the opening sequence showing our radio waves traveling outward from Earth.

Jodie Foster travels an unknown but obviously very great distance through an alien wormhole network in order to meet Totally Not her Dad.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:14 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


And at several points she floats in space looking at cool CGI galaxies. If they had that ride, you might actually get me to go to Disneyland.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:16 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Captain Eo
posted by mwhybark at 5:41 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Not only that, the actual movie was Europa Report, about the moon of Jupiter, not the moon of Saturn.

Chalking that mistake up to Irma stress and it being such a bad movie I wanted to place the setting near a completely different planet in hopes of improving it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


If they had that ride, you might actually get me to go to Disneyland.

THE WAIT TO SEE THIS RIDE IS APPROXIMATELY 370,482,981 EARTH YEARS. To reduce the wait, consider buying Galactic ExpressPassTM for only 922 current Earth GDP.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:13 PM on September 12


It's one of the worst "best of" movie list I've ever read.

What about

Starman?
Close Encounters?
Forbidden Planet?

I could go on, but whatever.
posted by Beholder at 7:17 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


John Carpenter gave us Starman, but lo, he also gave us Ghosts of Mars. A time to be born, a time to die...
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:11 PM on September 12


I could go on, but whatever.

Blade Runner
The Man Who Fell to Earth
posted by Meatbomb at 11:12 PM on September 12


ok but alien: covenant though
posted by poffin boffin at 1:01 AM on September 13


What about the 1946 movie that begins with a slow pan across stars and galaxies as a narrator declares:

"This is the universe. Big, isn't it?

"Thousands of suns, millions of stars, separated by immense distances and by thin floating clouds of gas. The starlight makes the gas transparent. Where there are no stars it appears as dark, obscuring clouds... like that great black cone over there.

"Hello, there's a nova. A whole solar system exploded. Someone must've been messing about|with the uranium atom. No, it's not our solar system, I'm glad to say.

"Ah, those are called a globular cluster of stars. Rather fine. Down here in the right-hand corner, see that little chap rather like a boy scout's badge? It's a mass of gas expanding at thousands of cubic miles a minute.

"Ah, here we are, we're getting nearer home. The moon, our moon, in the first quarter... and here's the Earth, our Earth, moving around in its place, part of the pattern, part of the universe. Reassuring, isn't it?"

A space movie, obviously. The rest of it is set in south-east England and heaven.
posted by Hogshead at 2:32 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


No, Encladeus Report is the prequel to Europa Report -- it's about a mission to Encladeus, in which nothing went wrong, there was no romantic subplot, no quirky or funny astronauts were assigned to the project, it was not learned halfway through the trip that there was a secret government/corporate angle to the reason they were going, nobody turns out to be a robot/clone/alien/alien robot/clone robot, none of the astronauts stared into the abyss and went insane, and, really, nearly every scene is the astronauts filling out electronic forms documenting the 250 scientific experiments scheduled to be performed during the 40-month trip. When they arrived, they found a lifeless icy rock, performed another 250 scientific experiments, and gravity-slingshotted around Saturn successfully back to Earth.
There's a reason you haven't heard of it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:02 AM on September 13


Sunshine...Sunshine...Sunshine...

Yeah. We're good. I'm fine with this list. And Aliens? Yeah, it's fine.
posted by Aquifer at 6:27 AM on September 13


I wish that I could have seen Sunshine on a big screen but it was never actually released to theaters in my city after having bombed so badly in limited release. The third act is a mess and frankly the whole premise is pretty dumb but it did look amazing.
posted by octothorpe at 7:12 AM on September 13


No, Encladeus Report is the prequel to Europa Report -- it's about a mission to Encladeus

ENCELADUS
posted by Chrysostom at 7:29 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Phobos the Space Potato: Since I've got you all here, does anybody know where I could get an actual anaglyph 3D copy of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone?

I was curious so I had a look around but no sadly it is not available legitimately in 3D only in flat, poorly presented 2D releases. I believe I have seen it listed in "alternative" sources as being available in 3D.

FWIW I think Europa Report works fine as a Found footage film (better than most). It certainly works better then some of the others on the list. Its no Robinson Crusoe on Mars or Star Crash or Shape of Things to Come but still fun.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:36 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Are they fucking shitting us with Interstellar?

There's one good thing about it: the idea of a family torn apart by relativity/the time bending of space travel. The worst part is literally everything else. Including how they develop the previous idea.

Some random thoughts/complaints:
-"Sure, we're stuck in a place where time slips due to a black hole and we lose seven years per hour, but lemme go ahead and comb through this wreckage in case for data, because MAYBE WE SHOULD CONSIDER LIVING ON LANDLESS ANGRY TSUNAMI WORLD."
-"I'm one of the world's finest scientists. My life's work (like my father's life's work) is no less than a plan to save humanity from extinction. But can we, like, back burner that a bit and go pick up my boyfriend? I *totes* miss him."
-Also, most of the world is abandoned because they can't grow crops in the dust but no one tried hydroponic in some of the presumably myriad abandoned buildings?
-also, let's interrupt our would-be 2001 thinkpiece with a spaceship chase
-"I have to do whatever it takes to get back to my daughter!" "What about your son?" "Who?"
-What kind of post-apocalypse has parent-teacher conferences? Are we sure they're not just in hell?
-"This planet experiences so much gravity that it literally warps time, but I'm sure it's entirely safe on its ocean surface. Oh that?Tide goes in, tides goes out; you can't explain that."
-"One hour on the surface is SEVEN YEARS to us. But don't worry, we sent a scientist there two years ago and her data has been good ever since. What do you mean, she's been there for fifteen minutes?"
-"It's a tundra with ammonia air up here, but it's super nice on the surface." ANYONE WITH A SINGLE WORKING NEURON: "Then why the fuck do you live HERE?"
-"I've been without human contact for 23 years. It was a slight bummer and my hair is gone and/or graying, but otherwise, I'm fine. I mean, most people have PTSD if they spend six months alone, but I'm good."

If you bought Interstellar on blu-ray and filed it next to 2001, I swear to god, Jar Jar would appear in that movie. WEESA GON SEE SOME MONOLITH?

BY OSMOSIS OF SUCKING.

DAMN.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:48 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Are they fucking shitting us with Interstellar?

There's one good thing about it: the idea of a family torn apart by relativity/the time bending of space travel. The worst part is literally everything else. Including how they develop the previous idea.

And yet, sadly, it's still probably Nolan's best movie. (Which should say all that need be said about what I think of his films.)

Admittedly, I've yet to see Dunkirk, needless to say there isn't much sense of urgency to rectify that slight.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:06 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


The worst part is literally everything else

Worse yet, when I went with friends to see Interstellar, I got there and discovered it was showing in an IMAX theater and tickets were, like, 16 bucks. I paid 16 bucks to see Interstellar! And then the only available seats were on the end of the front row, so I paid 16 bucks to spend the entire movie staring up at it from the side like I was the one orbiting a black hole.

It's true—three hours did seem like 23 years.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:13 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Y'all, this is not encouraging me to watch Interstellar.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:22 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I don't disagree with anything DoT wrote about Interstellar but I still like it.
posted by octothorpe at 8:28 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Because I think he has interesting things to say, even if I don't always agree with him:

Movies With Mikey (ones that involve space):
Moon
Interstellar
Serenity
Guardians of the Galaxy
Arrival
The Fifth Element
Sunshine
The Force Awakens
Galaxy Quest
posted by nubs at 8:42 AM on September 13


What's unfortunate about Interstellar is that much of it is compelling, thrilling, beautiful, and thought-provoking, but none of it becomes more than the sum of its parts.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I'm still vaguely annoyed that Interstellar goes from proper rockets with boosters and stuff to everyone hoping in a Star Trek shuttle and zooming back and forth from planets. Pick one, dammit!

Oh yeah, and the dumb wannabe 2001 overarching plot.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I don't disagree with anything DoT wrote about Interstellar but I still like it.

Same, but actually for the most part those reasons are why I loved it, because it showed scientists (and people) just being super fucking human and making mistakes - there's SO MANY MISTAKES - and being myopic and fucking up their families and all that stuff like having powerful egos, and hubris, as well as emotion versus reason, or perception vs. observation, and things like love that screws up acting how we think we should act, and the power of hope, instead of scientist genius heroes that can do ANYthing and EVERYthing RIGHT à la The Martian which might as well have been called SURVIVALIST'S WET DREAM. . . IN SPAAAAACE.

So despite some of the awful science I thought it was actually pretty realistic for those reasons. Well, most of them, there's a few that were listed that bother me and a few not listed as well (the AI seemed to take the role of scientist genius hero that can do anything for one) but yeah. I completely see why one wouldn't like it and could come up with 10 arguments to counter what I just said - hell, I can do it myself - but I just like movies that portray scientists as the humans they are, mistake makin' machines. It's one of the reasons why Jurassic Park is so great IMHO. *shrug*
posted by barchan at 9:27 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why Gattaca even makes this list, since they talk about launches of people going into space, and talk about Vincent's goal of going into space, and end with Vincent boarding a spaceship and a shot of the rocket climbing up from the launchpad, but no actual part of the movie takes place in space.

And any list that includes Star Wars in the top 10 is going to be garbage. None of those movies are objectively great. Entertaining and iconic, sure, but if the same thing can be attributed to Space Jam then why bother?

Close Encounters didn't count because the aliens come to earth, and none of the movie is in space. You know what, though, talk about a movie that's aged well.

It also strains reason that multiple Star Wars movies would make the list, but only two Star Trek movies, one of which was the 2009 reboot. Now, I really like the reboot, but Star Trek IV should have made the list.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:44 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


THE CARBON BASED UNITS THAT INFEST THIS LIST MUST BE REMOVED SO THAT V'GER MAY BE #1 WITH THE CREATOR.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


Even with my personal feelings aside, the Star Wars franchise is fuckin' weird. One hugely influential film everyone saw, a second movie that people say is better, but seems to really just make bunch of promises the third movie largely fails to deliver on and that one is likely the least mentioned film of bunch save for the Ewoks, the prequels are largely mocked and the reboots seem to find favor more for not being the prequels than on their own merit.

So it's basically one huge success, exciting promise and mediocrity, and yet they still are treated as being of major importance and make money willy nilly in hopes the next one will finally recapture something people felt for the first. It's bizarre from the movie side, but I suppose the investment on the imagination and maybe other pop culture areas make up for it somehow. It just makes no sense to me, but obviously people love it.

But, hey, what do I know, I liked Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (That was added on preview thanks to Artw's timely reminder)
posted by gusottertrout at 11:03 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


None of those movies are objectively great. Entertaining and iconic, sure, but if the same thing can be attributed to Space Jam then why bother?

I always assume it's to preemptively deflect the shrieking outrage of Star Wars fans who would tantrum wildly all over the comments if they weren't included.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:45 AM on September 13


Can you imagine the disturbance in the Force if Star Wars didn't make the list? As if millions of nerd voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced all their lives.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:51 AM on September 13


Chrysostom: ENCELADUS

In the movie Encladeus Report they changed it because they couldn't get the rights to "Enceladus". It's like Pet Sematary.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:21 PM on September 13


But, hey, what do I know, I liked Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (That was added on preview thanks to Artw's timely reminder)

I don't love ST:TMP but it's an interesting movie and has some great sections especially once they fly into VGer.
posted by octothorpe at 12:52 PM on September 13


None of those movies are objectively great.

How does one define "objectively great" for what is a subjective experience?

Isn't that like saying the number 5 is objectively better than the number 7? Sounds possible, but upon further it's just a rubbish statement.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Star Wars is like the Beatles in that they should just be assumed to be included. Instead of using up X number of a top 10, just have one line for "1. [whichever Star Wars you like]."
posted by rhizome at 2:27 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Isn't that like saying the number 5 is objectively fnord better than the number 7? Sounds possible, but upon further it's just a rubbish statement.

I'm invoking The Law of Fives on this one.
posted by carsonb at 4:23 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Star Wars is like the Beatles in that they should just be assumed to be included.

except unlike Star Wars, the Beatles really are as great as everyone says they are ...

ducks back into bunker, puts on hard hat
posted by philip-random at 4:28 PM on September 13


I have to admit, it is kind of nice to hear from other people who don't like Star Wars. It's one of those things that you can't even say you don't like. People will act like you're just trying to be cool, or something, because obviously everyone likes Star Wars, even people who say they don't.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:02 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Interstellar is a flawed movie but it has some amazing moments.

As a parent there was one scene in particular that fucking destroyed me. It's been a while since I've seen anything as viscerally thrilling as the uh, less controlled docking scene. It also brings home the dangerous and inhospitable nature of space travel (made more real by, as barchan noted, the very human treatment of the characters) in a way that made me grateful for Earth.
posted by Jpfed at 7:08 PM on September 13


Also the robots are great.
posted by Jpfed at 7:12 PM on September 13


I have to admit, it is kind of nice to hear from other people who don't like Star Wars.

it's not that I don't like it, I just don't think it's essential, amazing or even very, very good. It certainly would never occur to me to liken it to the Beatles in terms of quality -- more akin to the Monkees really, who aren't really that bad at all.
posted by philip-random at 8:15 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


The Beatles comparison is not about quality, it's about pervasiveness, impact, and influence, though I guess those are kinds of quality. They both rewrote their respective books for an entire generation (GET AT ME).
posted by rhizome at 9:06 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Oh, I don't hate the original Star Wars either. I used to, but realized that was more about its overwhelming cultural ubiquity than the movie itself. I don't like any of the other movies in the franchise, but Star Wars does have some, to me, undeniable strengths, mostly in all the subsidiary elements of the film rather than the plot and characters. It sounds amazing, has a really memorable and effective (and heavily "borrowed") score, impressive effects and a strong clean look with interesting geometries that is still rather singular.

I imagine I might find it an even better movie if I didn't speak English and couldn't understand what the actors were saying but as it is there is enough there for me to accept its place as an important cultural landmark without chafing over its perceived lacks anymore. I hold it in more or less the same esteem as The Wizard of Oz and some others of their like.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:41 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


5e7en
posted by mwhybark at 11:47 PM on September 13


Interstellar did not work for me. I had a good laugh at Dan Harmon's mocking description of what's wrong with the writing--I think it's 100% accurate. I know a lot of people here don't like him, but I consider him to be an excellent writer and especially an excellent writer of twisty, genre-defying things, so I consider his derision to be earned. Spoilers and NSFW language in that video, obviously.
posted by heatvision at 4:43 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Now that we've splattered the concept of "space movie" open like a rotted enchilada, I humbly nominate Éric Rohmer's 1970 classic Claire's Knee. See, there's lots of space in between us all, between lines of dialog, between desire and action, and ... ahh,screw it.
posted by Chitownfats at 6:16 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, the "'Paris, Texas' is my favorite space movie" angle!
posted by rhizome at 10:40 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Adding to the list of movies at least partly set in space that are as good or better than some on this list:
* Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
* Mission to Mars
* Men In Black
posted by ElGuapo at 2:32 PM on September 14


No, Encladeus Report is the prequel to Europa Report... There's a reason you haven't heard of it.

To be fair, the scene where the number 8 thruster doesn't fire so they have to compensate with numbers six and fourteen was pretty gripping. Also, the fart-in-a-spacesuit running gag was sort of okay.
posted by suetanvil at 2:37 PM on September 14


Are they fucking shitting us with Interstellar?

* Unlike machines, people are afraid of death, so we'll send people instead of the advanced robots we have, on a mission where they will either tell us the planet is inhabitable or they'll die but we'll be surprised that some of them might be tempted to lie about that.

I saw Interstellar on Netflix not long ago, and it's a beautifully made film. If only the script weren't so profoundly, breathtakingly dumb.
posted by suetanvil at 2:50 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Also, my wife asserts that Stingray Sam belongs on this list.

It's certainly the best musical space western serial ever made. (Part one is on YouTube.)
posted by suetanvil at 4:00 PM on September 14


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