When it comes to captivating audiences with tales of space exploration and the courage of astronauts venturing into the unknown, cinema has never failed to deliver stellar experiences. From heart-pounding thrillers to thought-provoking dramas, movies about astronauts have a way of transporting viewers to distant galaxies and challenging the boundaries of human imagination.

Here, we delve into the cosmos of cinematic excellence and rank the 12 best movies about astronauts:

12The Right Stuff (1983)

Photo: The Right Stuff (1983) – Directed by Philip Kaufman and also Starring Sam Shepard,Scott Glenn,Ed Harris/The Ladd Company – Filmdb.co.uk

Based on Tom Wolfe’s book, this epic drama explores the early days of the U.S. space program and the test pilots who became America’s first astronauts.

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11Ad Astra (2019)

Photo: Ad Astra (2019) – Directed by James Gray and also Starring Brad Pitt,Tommy Lee Jones,Ruth Negga/New Regency Productions – Filmdb.co.uk

Brad Pitt stars in this visually stunning film about an astronaut searching for his missing father in the outer reaches of the solar system, confronting existential questions along the way.

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10Hidden Figures (2016)

Photo: Hidden Figures (2016) – Directed by Theodore Melfi and also Starring Taraji P. Henson,Octavia Spencer,Janelle Monáe/Filmdb.co.uk

This inspiring historical drama tells the untold story of the African-American female mathematicians who played crucial roles at NASA during the early years of the space race.

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9Sunshine (2007)

Photo: Sunshine (2007) – Directed by Danny Boyle and also Starring Cillian Murphy,Rose Byrne,Chris Evans/Fox Searchlight Pictures – Filmdb.co.uk

Directed by Danny Boyle, this sci-fi thriller follows a crew of astronauts on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying sun and save Earth from freezing to death.

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8Contact (1997)

Photo: Contact (1997) – Directed by Robert Zemeckis and also Starring Jodie Foster,Matthew McConaughey,Tom Skerritt/Warner Bros. – Filmdb.co.uk

Directed by Robert Zemeckis and based on Carl Sagan’s novel, this film follows scientist Ellie Arroway (played by Jodie Foster) as she makes first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

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7First Man (2018)

Photo: First Man (2018) – Directed by Damien Chazelle and also Starring Ryan Gosling,Claire Foy,Jason Clarke/Warner Bros. – Filmdb.co.uk

Damien Chazelle’s biographical drama chronicles the life of Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) and the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

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6Moon (2009)

Photo: Moon (2009) – Directed by Duncan Jones and also Starring Sam Rockwell,Kevin Spacey,Dominique McElligott/Sony Pictures Classics – Filmdb.co.uk

Duncan Jones’ thought-provoking film explores the psychological toll of isolation on a lunar mining base, where astronaut Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) begins to question reality.

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5The Martian (2015)

Photo: The Martian (2015) – Directed by Ridley Scott and also Starring Matt Damon,Jessica Chastain,Kristen Wiig/20th Century Fox – Filmdb.co.uk

Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel follows astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) as he fights for survival on Mars after being left behind by his crew.

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4Gravity (2013)

Photo: Gravity (2013) – Directed by Alfonso Cuarón and also Starring Sandra Bullock,George Clooney,Ed Harris/Warner Bros. – Filmdb.co.uk

Alfonso Cuarón’s visually stunning thriller stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed, testing their will to survive against all odds.

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3Apollo 13 (1995)

Photo: Apollo 13 (1995) – Directed by Ron Howard and also Starring Tom Hanks,Bill Paxton,Kevin Bacon/Universal Pictures – Filmdb.co.uk

Based on the true story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, Ron Howard’s gripping film showcases the resilience and ingenuity of NASA astronauts as they face life-threatening challenges in space.

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22001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Photo: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Directed by Stanley Kubrick/Filmdb.co.uk

Stanley Kubrick’s visionary adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” takes viewers on a mind-bending journey from the dawn of mankind to encounters with enigmatic monoliths in space.

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1Interstellar (2014)

Photo: Interstellar (2014) – Directed by Christopher Nolan/Filmdb.co.uk

Directed by Christopher Nolan, this epic sci-fi masterpiece follows a group of astronauts who embark on a daring mission through a wormhole near Saturn in search of a new habitable planet for humanity.

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Each of these films offers a unique perspective on the triumphs, challenges, and mysteries of space exploration, reminding us of the boundless human spirit that drives us to reach for the stars. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction thrillers or historical dramas, the 12 best movies about astronauts are sure to inspire and captivate audiences for generations to come.