We could have made today's discussion topic a Top Three installment, but everyone probably would have just said 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and one of the Star Wars movies, right? But what if you can only pick just one? Which of those three is your first choice?
Or, hey, there are plenty others to choose. Outer space might be infinite, and the number of movies set there seems to be infinite as well. There are the regular sci-fi titles, and then don't forget that eventually every franchise ends up leaving Earth. James Bond went to space. Jason Voorhees went to space. I'm pretty certain that after Jurassic World, the next sequel to Jurassic Park can only logically send dinosaurs into space. (Sure, you can choose a hypothetical film, why not?)
There are great documentaries set in space (almost anything on Toni Myers' IMDb page), great animated features set in space (none so wonderful as Wall-E) and great comedies set in space (but is the best Spaceballs or Galaxy Quest or Abbot and Costello Go to Mars?). We have a brilliant Russian film (Solaris) and a brilliant silent classic (A Trip to the Moon) and a brilliantly bad movie about truckers in space (Space Truckers).
Let's limit ourselves a bit, though. There's no more need to include movies entirely or almost entirely set on another planet in this bunch any more than we need to include movies set on Earth. Because if you think about it, all movies are set in space if John Carter, Avatar and Mom and Dad Save the World are to count, too.
Then again, if we count movies set inside of spaceships, what's the difference? Maybe Gravity is suddenly one of the greatest qualifiers. But I still prefer the real deal, so I'm going with the 1989 Oscar-nominated documentary about the Apollo missions: For All Mankind.
What is the best movie set in space?
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