From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Arrival, here are seven movies like Interstellar every Nolan fan will love.
In a very short span of time, Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the most influential directors of our times. He redefined the superhero genre with The Dark Knight trilogy creating layered characters and action set pieces that didn’t rely on CGI to do the heavy lifting. In 2016, Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception appeared in BBC’s 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century list. Nolan’s essentially carved out a niche for himself and kept an alternate model of big-budget filmmaking alive in an era where blockbusters have become a computer-generated art form.
He turned his attention towards sci-fi and space travel with Interstellar. Set in a dystopian future where humanity is struggling to survive, the film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for mankind. Visually breathtaking and conceptually audacious, Interstellar was a spectacle that needed to be seen on the biggest screen. Despite the myriad of scientific concepts, I loved that the film had a strong emotional core. Its overriding message about love — a powerful force that cannot be quantified in scientific terms struck a chord with me.
So, if you liked Interstellar, here are 7 similar films you might like:
1) Ad Astra (2019)
James Gray’s 2019 psychological sci-fi film was the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s even been put to film. Like Interstellar, Ad Astra delves deeper into the fragile bond between a parent and child. Brad Pitt delivers an understated performance as an astronaut who ventures into space in search of his long-lost father. It’s a visually thrilling journey into the depths of space that’s sure to enthrall you with its jaw-dropping visuals.
2) Gravity (2013)
Gravity follows American astronauts stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their Space Shuttle, and their brave attempt to return to Earth. It won 7 Academy Awards including Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Like Interstellar, Gravity also explores themes of grief and emotional detachment while out in the cold depths of space. I still vividly remember being awe-struck by the visuals. It was a technically dazzling production that had me at the edge of my seat during the nail-biting final act.
Watch Gravity on Amazon Prime
3) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s 1951 short story, Stanley Kubrick’s space epic is regarded as the most influential film ever made. It opened up a market for big-budget science fiction films paving the way for hundreds of movies that followed suit. Advertised as an epic drama of adventure and exploration, it follows a voyage to Jupiter after the discovery of an alien monolith.
Both Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey expand on similar theoretical ideas and have a lot of visual similarities. Stunningly shot, the film still holds up to this day. It goes to show the kind of visionary that Kubrick was.
4) Sunshine (2007)
Danny Boyle’s sci-fi thriller featured a diverse cast of the likes of Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Benedict Wong, and Michelle Yeoh. They played the roles of a group of astronauts tasked with a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun. Like other movies on this list, this film also boasts eye-popping imagery. But, Boyle takes it a step further by marrying those visuals with intelligent action. It’s a surefire entertainer backed by solid performances from the cast.
Watch Sunshine on Amazon
5) Arrival (2016)
This was Denis Villeneuve’s first sci-fi film. It featured an excellent Amy Adams in the lead as a linguist enlisted by the Army to discover how to communicate with extraterrestrial aliens. Arrival received glowing reviews from critics upon release. American Film Institute selected it as one of the 10 Movies of the year in 2016. The mid-film revelation is a twist for the ages. It’s clever and made me sit up in anticipation as the realization hit. Arrival’s a grown-up sci-fi film that’s a treat not just for the eyes, but also for the soul.
Watch Arrival on Amazon
6) Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Based on a screenplay adapted from the 2004 Japanese light novel All You Need is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow is a smartly executed sci-fi film that uses the time loop narrative to great effect. Tom Cruise proves that he’s more than capable of bearing the weight of a blockbuster on his shoulders. He plays Major William Cage, a public relations officer who’s thrust onto the battlefield with no experience under his belt. Cage finds himself experiencing a time loop as he desperately tries to find a way to defeat the invaders.
7) The Martian (2015)
Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Wier’s best-selling novel is easily the most upbeat film on this list. It depicts an astronaut’s lone struggle to survive on Mars after being left behind and the mighty efforts of NASA to bring him back home. I would have liked to see a bit more character depth but Matt Damon’s goofy take on the character more than makes up for it. The Martian’s exhilarating, surprisingly funny, and a worthy addition to Scott’s impressive filmography.
Interstellar is one of those rare films that works as a stunning sci-film about space exploration as much as a mind-bending nail-biter that keeps you guessing until the last minute. Whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic or a thrill junkie, we believe this list is the answer to all your binge-watching needs. Also, Damien Chazelle’s biopic First Man and Rian Johnson’s mind-boggling Looper are a couple of honorable mentions that narrowly missed out on this list.
A self-proclaimed movie buff who swears he's funnier on the Internet than he is in real life. He also constantly makes sitcom references to make sense of a life that is slowly succumbing to entropy.