7 Movies Like ‘Interstellar’ to Watch Next for More Philosophical Sci-Fi Adventures

When Christopher Nolan released Interstellar in 2014, it became one of his greatest and most impressive films ever. His ability to intrigue and mess with the viewer’s thoughts became a hard match to find. The psychological space drama adventure is set in a future where Earth becomes uninhabitable. A NASA physicist (Michael Caine) devises a way to send humans through a wormhole in search of a new planet they can make their home. The team is led by a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who leaves his family behind for his expedition, only so that his children can grow up in a better world. His mission as a scientist on one hand and his journey as a father on the other, Cooper explores a wide spectrum of experiences, making this movie more sentimental and touching.

With an ensemble cast including McConaughey, Caine, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon, among others, this Nolan creation is a true sensory delight. A movie made with deep scientific theories and intense human emotions at play, Interstellar remains a one-of-its-kind sci-fi story that takes you on a bizarrely beautiful adventure across time and space every time you sit through it. So yes, it is difficult to replicate that experience and find equally breathtaking stories. But at the same time, it would be wrong to say that there haven’t been other sci-fi flicks made with similar intentions and motivations.

If you watched Interstellar and loved it, then here are the seven best similar sci-fi adventure drama movies that are sure to twist your brain and take you on a journey far and beyond this humble planet. So strap yourself in and prepare for take-off!

RELATED: Christopher Nolan Films Ranked from Worst to Best



Image via Warner Bros.

Created by Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity is one of the most nerve-wracking movies of the 2010s. It follows two astronauts, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) on a routine mission when things go awry. Being stranded in the far reaches of space, they have minimal hope of getting back home to Earth, unless one of them sacrifices their life for the other to save resources.

Wrapped in grief contrasted with the need for emotional detachment in the cold nothingness of space, a solo astronaut must fight to stay alive. Visually brilliant and emotionally intense, Gravity is one of Bullock’s most awe-inspiring performances and a movie you cannot miss if you love space dramas.

The Martian

Matt Damon in a spacesuit on Mars in The Martian
Image via 20th Century Fox

Another example of Ridley Scott’s filmmaking brilliance, The Martian stars Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. Though both of them are also featured in Interstellar, this sci-fi flick is quite different. That said, it’s got equally stunning visuals and storytelling.

The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney (Damon), all alone on, well, Mars, after he gets left behind by his crew after a mission. As he struggles to survive on the red planet, Mark goes through a series of disturbing experiences, some of them funny and others not so much. From trying to grow food to contacting Earth, The Martian is essentially a very humane story of survival, blended with a lot of serious scientific concepts. There’s action, humor, and a lot of emotional moments that make this one great movie.

Ad Astra

Image via 20th Century Fox

Directed, co-written, and co-produced by James Gray, Ad Astra features Brad Pitt in the role of an astronaut. The story follows Roy McBride (Pitt) who sets out on a mission to find his father H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) who is presumed to be dead on a space station in Neptune’s orbit. Clifford has been in search of intelligent life in space, which becomes a threat to life on Earth and the entire solar system. Roy must make contact with him and save the world.

Besides Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones, the movie also stars Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, among others, in prominent roles. Though sci-fi at the core, with many similar elements of Interstellar, Ad Astra also explores an emotional father-son story and significant existential questions that are sure to rattle your brain a little. Watch it for the stunning visuals and, of course, Brad Pitt.


Image via Fox Searchlight Pictures

Released in 2007, you could compare this movie with Interstellar, at least in the conceptual theories that Interstellar also explored. Created by Alex Garland, of Ex Machina and Annihilation fame, Sunshine follows a crew of international astronauts on a mission to revive the dying Sun by dropping a nuclear charge into its core. But as is the case with such plans, things quickly go off the rails.

The movie features an ensemble cast including Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, and Chipo Chung. Directed by Danny Boyle, Sunshine is quite rich in the sci-fi aspects, unique visual effects, and very mature story. It’s not just about one man trying to save the world, but a team of people from around the world doing what they have to do. It’s pretty straightforward and promises a good watch.


Image via Sony Pictures

Moon is a movie that defies labels. Yes, it’s a space drama. But there are also elements of horror and psychological thriller, making this 2009 movie a cult classic. Most importantly, the narrative of this sci-fi flick is quite unusual. The story follows five or six characters but centers around two – Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), an astronaut, and his robot companion, GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Bell is an energy worker in near-future earth, where a large energy corporation is mining clean power from the Moon. On one of his routine drives in his lunar rover, Bell meets with a near-fatal accident. And when he recovers, things around him are not the same anymore.

More details of the plot would give away the thrill of watching the movie, so we won’t get into that. All we can say is that this story was the directorial debut of British filmmaker Duncan Jones, who is also known for other popular and intriguing titles like Source Code (2011), Warcraft (2016), and most recently, Mute (2018). This is definitely a must-watch if you loved Interstellar.


Image via Universal

If you loved Interstellar and you are a fan of ’70s sci-fi flicks, then Oblivion should be next on your list. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the movie is based on the director’s unpublished graphic novel of the same name and stars Tom Cruise in a leading role, along with Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, among others. The story is set in 2077, when the Earth has been destroyed by alien beings called Scavengers, forcing the human race to relocate to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

Jack Harper (Cruise), is a technician who is sent back to Earth to fix the drones that are used to fight the remaining Scavengers. Harper encounters a spacecraft crash and rescues a survivor, but is captured by the Scavengers, where he must fight for survival against a newly risen alien threat. Though it may not sound anything like Interstellar, Oblivion is also a vision of Earth’s future and the human race in far space, where they need to be saved. And that makes this movie one of our best recommendations for Interstellar fans.


Image Via Warner Bros.

The fact that Inception is yet another remarkable work by Christopher Nolan is a good enough reason for this sci-fi movie to be on this list. If you want more reasons, Inception features a star-studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine, to just name a few.

Set in a fictional world, the story follows Dominick “Dom” Cobb (DiCaprio), a professional thief who steals information from people by infiltrating their subconscious minds. One of his targets, a Japanese businessman, offers Cobb a chance to erase his criminal history in exchange for implanting someone else’s idea into another person’s mind through “inception”. Of course, this comes with a lot of unsettling consequences. It’s extremely cerebral, with impressive cinematography, innovative actions, and mesmerizing visuals – all that you can hope for in a great sci-fi movie!

KEEP READING: Why ‘Interstellar’ Is Christopher Nolan at His Most Emotional and Earnest

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