30 best movies like interstellar

40 Best Movies Like Interstellar Worth Watching

Do you like watching sci-fi movies with a mind-bending plot? If yes, I am sure you have watched Christopher Nolan’s films. He has created numerous masterpieces like The Prestige, Inception, Memento, Tenet, and Interstellar over the past few years. His work contributes to the long list of best movies ever made. Now, if you are a fan of Nolan and Interstellar, you have come to the right place. Today, we will look at some movies like Interstellar that deal with space travel, sci-fi action, time travel, and serve a mind-bending plot. These movies will leave you with the satisfaction of watching a great film or will have you repeatedly think about the story or ending to understand it. In any case, you will love the list I have compiled for you. So, if you are ready to twist your thoughts, let’s begin.

Best Movies Like Interstellar in 2022

Interstellar is one of the most celebrated movies by Christopher Nolan. The movie has a few themes like a parent-child relationship, time travel, space exploration, and, most importantly, scientific accuracy. The films in this list have at least one of these elements in addition to their mind-bending plot.

Space Travel Movies like Interstellar

Gravity (2013)

  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/79%
  • Director: Alfonso Cuarón
  • Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Gravity is a science fiction thriller starring only two award-winning actors – Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The entire movie takes place in space and uses believable visual effects. The plot revolves around an astronaut stranded in space after their shuttle is damaged due to space debris. It then shows the struggles of trying to get back to Earth. 

This survival movie talks about a real-world problem. Excess space junk is orbiting Earth at the speed of bullets. It can cause a tremendous chain reaction, damaging satellites, which will render us unable to go to space for decades. Gravity won seven Academy Awards for music, direction, and visual effects. You can check out more such films in our list of best Award-winning movies.

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Ad Astra (2019)

  • IMDb: 6.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%/40%
  • Director: James Gray
  • Writer: James Gray, Ethan Gross
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Ad Astra (Latin for ‘To the Stars’) is a science fiction film about space travel like Interstellar. The movie stars Brad Pitt in the lead role, who plays an astronaut named Roy venturing to space to find his father. The movie begins with a series of flight accidents caused by mysterious power surges. The authorities backtracked the cause to be an old mission called the “Lima Project” created to find intelligent life in the galaxy. After several power surges, Roy goes out in search of the cause to solve the root problem by any means possible.

Ad Astra was a box-office bomb earning way less than expected. However, critics and the audience loved the movie for Brad’s performance and the thrilling visuals. The film beautifully demonstrates a parent-child relationship, making it similar to Interstellar in many aspects.

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Passengers (2016)

  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 30%/63%
  • Director: Morten Tyldum
  • Writer: Jon Spaihts
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence starrer Passengers is a science fiction romance movie based partially on the E.C. Comics story “50 Girls 50.” The story revolves around the two lead characters on their journey to a distant galaxy. They are on a ship that’s carrying thousands of humans to a new colony 60 light-years away via interstellar travel.

All the passengers are in the middle of a hibernation sleep of 120 years. However, Jim (Pratt) wakes up from his slumber early due to some technical problem. As he realizes the error, he wakes up another girl to have himself company but does not tell her the truth. Both of them should now live their life on the ship and take care of it for the safety of other passengers.

Critics highly appreciated the movie for its visuals, sound effects, and the breathtaking performance by both lead actors. However, viewers found scope for a better story and character arc given the interstellar travel idea.

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The Martian (2015)

  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/91%
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Writer: Drew Goddard
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 21 minutes

The Martian is a 2015 science fiction movie based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name. The movie follows Matt Damon, an astronaut left on Mars by his crew due to unavoidable circumstances. The plot intensifies as he tries to survive alone on the red planet using some ingenious methods to produce food and oxygen. Meanwhile, NASA is trying to communicate with him and help him get off the planet alive. 

The movie won critical acclaim and is greatly loved by audiences. It also won several awards, including Golden Globe, BAFTA, and several Oscar nominations. It is one of the most inspiring movies to arrive on the big screen, just like Interstellar, and you will love Damon for his noteworthy performance and witty character, which got him several best actor awards as well.

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Moon (2009)

  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90%/89%
  • Director: Duncan Jones
  • Writer: Nathan Parker
  • Cast: Sam Rockwell, Dominique McElligott, Kaya Scodelario, Benedict Wong, Matt Berry
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Adding to the list is another moderately budgeted science-fiction drama movie, Moon. Duncan Jones made his directorial debut with this film and released it at the Sundance Film Festival. The plot follows Sam Bell on his mission to mine Helium-3 from the moon’s far side. As he is nearing the end of his three-year stint, he begins to experience a personal crisis. 

Due to the low budget and limited release, the movie earned moderately at the box office. However, it is highly praised by the audience and critics. Meanwhile, it also won numerous accolades for its direction. The success led to a spiritual sequel to the film called Mute (2018) and a graphic novel titled Madi: Once Upon A Time in the Future. This is one of the psychological thriller movies like Interstellar.

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First Man (2018)

  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 87%/67%
  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Writer: Josh Singer
  • Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 21 minutes

First Man is a 2018 American biographical drama based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen. The film explores the years leading to the first human-crewed space mission, Apollo 11, and Neil Armstrong’s journey to becoming the first man on the moon.

The movie takes on a dramatic journey looking back at the psychological conditions of the astronauts doing something beyond imagination. The pivotal moment in human history is depicted brilliantly in the movie. Although it does not contain much suspense or action, it will hold you to your seats with fantastic performances.

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Sunshine (2007)

  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 76%/73%
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Writer: Alex Garland
  • Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Sunshine is a science fiction psychological thriller movie taking place in the year 2057. It shows a future where the sun is extinguishing, causing Earth to freeze out. A group of astronauts goes on the mission to jumpstart the dying sun using a stellar bomb. However, the team faces several unpredictable events causing panic.

Further, the movie’s plot discusses how they tackle their problems while trying to keep the mission alive, much like Interstellar. Sunshine received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Despite having an ensemble cast, the movie didn’t make much at the box office. However, it gained popularity after the DVD release and created a cult following.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/89%
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
  • Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel”. The movie takes place in a reality where a monolith is present that drives inspiration to prehistoric apes. A group of archeologists re-discover the monolith 4 million years later, and it sends a strong signal in space after being struck by sunlight. Humans then go on a mission towards Jupiter along with a sentient A.I. named HAL to know more about the monolith. However, things take an ugly turn just when they are about to reach their destination.

The movie is highly praised for its ahead-of-the-time visual effects and accurate depiction of how space flights might look. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the first films to show space travel with eye-pleasing visuals. The movie is an inspiration for many directors. In a way, Interstellar would not have been there without this film.

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Life (2017)

  • IMDb: 6.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 67%/54%
  • Director: Daniel Espinosa
  • Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Life is a science fiction horror film that revolves around finding extraterrestrials. The plot follows six astronauts on the International Space Station as they discover the first evidence of alien life on Mars. However, what they regard as a harmless microorganism turns out to be an extremely intelligent and hostile life form. The movie received mixed reviews from viewers, praising its acting, visuals, and screenplay, but disappointed by the predictable plot.

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The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

  • IMDb: 5.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 21%/42%
  • Director: Julius Onah
  • Writer: Oren Uziel, Doug Jung
  • Cast: Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu, Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

The Cloverfield Paradox is a science fiction horror film and the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise. Even though the first film, Cloverfield, is most liked by people, this one compellingly connects the franchise. The film follows a group of astronauts on a space station performing a particle accelerator experiment.

Their attempt to solve the Earth’s energy crisis takes a wrong turn, and the Earth seemingly vanishes from their view. The suspense about what might have happened and the thrilling discoveries will give you chills. The movie did not receive critical acclaim but is loved by most viewers, especially those who have seen the first two films in the series. Moreover, the film presents itself as a mix of various genres, which might be overwhelming at times. 

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Prometheus (2012)

  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 73%/68%
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Writer: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
  • Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Prometheus is a science fiction horror film talking about human extinction and takes place in the late 21st century. A crew with a spaceship named Prometheus follows a star map discovered among the artifacts on the Earth from ancient cultures. They believe the map can lead them to the origin of humanity. However, as they reach a distant planet, they discover unimaginable threats that can cause the extinction of the human species.

The movie is the fifth installment and serves as a prequel to the Alien franchise. A sequel to the movie titled Alien: Covenant was released in 2017. Overall, you can treat Prometheus as a stand-alone movie and a part of the franchise as well since the story completes itself.   

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Event Horizon (1997)

  • IMDb: 6.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 29%/61%
  • Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
  • Writer: Philip Eisner
  • Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Event Horizon is a 1997 science fiction horror film starring an award-winning cast. The movie follows a group of astronauts as they go to rescue a missing spaceship named Event Horizon. The ship appears spontaneously orbiting Neptune. However, when the crew appears near Neptune, they discover that Event Horizon was a testbed for an experimental engine. It had created a rift in the space-time continuum and left our universe vulnerable, so this is one of the best movies like Interstellar. The spaceship succumbed to an undefined malevolent force.

The movie performed lower than expected at the box office and bore a loss. However, the film soon gained a cult following once DVD and home release were available. The movie is often referenced in other popular films and is considered a pop-culture phenomenon.

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Solaris (1972)

  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/89%
  • Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Writer: Fridrikh Gorenshtein, Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Cast: Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 46 minutes

Solaris is a Soviet science fiction art film based on Stanisław Lem’s 1961 novel of the same name. The movie revolves around a space shuttle orbiting a fictional planet named Solaris. The scientific mission is stalled because three of the leading scientists fall into an emotional crisis.

When a psychologist travels to the space shuttle to evaluate the situation, he also feels a similar phenomenon as others. The film creates a mystery around the cause of the emotional crisis and showcases the emotional stress astronauts might go through. Solaris is a well-told story providing emotional depth to the overly-produced sci-fi movie genre. An eponymous remake of the movie was made in 2002 and received generally positive reviews. However, the audience prefers the original movie over the latter.

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Stowaway (2021)

  • IMDb: 5.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 76%/46%
  • Director: Joe Penna
  • Writer: Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison
  • Cast: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni Collette
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Stowaway is a science fiction thriller drama released directly on Netflix in limited countries. The plot follows a three-person crew on a Mars mission. They face an impossible choice when an unexpected passenger threatens the lives of everyone on the ship. The movie explores a few psychological themes like a moral dilemma, the choice between right and wrong, and more. The audience appreciated the acting performance but found the story slow-paced, which affected overall engagement.  

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Conceptual Movies Similar to Interstellar

Arrival (2016)

  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/82%
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Writer: Eric Heisserer
  • Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

When we think of extraterrestrial beings, we either think of a global attack beginning in the US or something like Star Wars. However, have you ever wondered if the aliens may have a culture or civilization? Are you curious about questions related to their anatomy, language, and more? Well, Arrival will provide a satisfactory answer to your queries.

The movie revolves around a linguist enlisted by the United States Army to discover how to communicate with extraterrestrial aliens who arrived on Earth in large pods. Otherwise, the tension might lead to war. Critics and viewers praise the movie for its concept of the exploration of communication with extraterrestrial intelligence. Actress Amy Adams won numerous awards for her breathtaking role in the film.

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Primer (2004)

  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 73%/79%
  • Director: Shane Carruth
  • Writer: Shane Carruth
  • Cast: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 17 minutes

Primer is an independently made psychological science fiction about inventing time travel accidentally. The movie focuses on two genius friends who work on entrepreneurial tech projects after their day jobs. The duo accidentally invents time travel in one such attempt and creates a stable machine to perform the experiments. They then use their newfound gadget to make some fortunes for themselves.

Primer is famous for its low-budget production. Most of it was crowdfunded and all the actors are writer-director Shane Carruth’s relatives. The movie looks realistic, depicting a ground-to-earth accidental invention. It does not use any special effects or digital sounds to introduce unnatural elements. Instead, the whole film looks like a fragment from real people’s lives, making it one of the best movies like Interstellar you can watch in 2022.

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Coherence (2013)

  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%/81%
  • Director: James Ward Byrkit
  • Writer: James Ward Byrkit
  • Cast: Emily Foxler, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Coherence is a surreal science fiction psychological thriller movie written and directed by James Ward Byrkit (directorial debut). The film takes place inside a house where a group of friends meets after a while. Meanwhile, people are asked not to leave their homes because of a comet passing nearby. The meeting goes fine for a time, but strange occurrences take place soon after, leading to panic and confusion.

Director James Byrkit created the movie without a proper script or dialogues. None of the actors knew each other before the movie and were only told the character’s personalities. It provides a charmingly raw feel to the film, making it an artistic masterpiece.

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Predestination (2014)

  • IMDb: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/75%
  • Director: The Spierig Brothers
  • Writer: The Spierig Brothers
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Are you aware of that mind-itching question, “What comes first, the egg or the chicken?” Predestination is a science fiction thriller film that tries to answer this question in a rather weird way. The movie focuses on a time-traveling agent equipped with the job of stopping a bomber in the past. They have successfully stopped some of their attacks but don’t know anything about them. The agent suffered burns on his face after unsuccessfully stopping one of the bombings and needed facial reconstruction. Then he goes into the past for another assignment and tries to stop the bomber again.

Predestination is ambitiously directed and is one of a kind. The movie has a linear narrative but feels confusing due to the time-traveling element and complex characters. If you want to watch a film similar to Interstellar with out-of-the-box ideation, Predestination will surely fulfill your hunger. 

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/85%
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writer: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, François Truffaut
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 13 minutes

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a science fiction film written and directed by one of the most celebrated creators of our time, Steven Spielberg. The movie follows Roy Neary, a common man working as an electrical lineman. His life turns exciting after an encounter with an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). Meanwhile, the government continually denies the existence of aliens, and Roy Neary is siphoned into controversy.

The movie is highly praised by audiences and critics and is considered a game-changer in the science fiction genre. Its success has won the movie numerous awards, including Academy Awards, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and more. In addition, the movie is kept for preservation in the National Film Registry. 

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Looper (2012)

  • IMDb: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/82%
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Writer: Rian Johnson
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Looper is a 2012 American science fiction action-thriller film about contract killers killing people from the future. The movie takes place in a reality where tracking systems are so advanced that killing someone and disposing of the body is impossible. Therefore, people from the future send back their enemies in the past to be killed by Loopers. The loopers get silver bricks as their payment. Every looper’s job ends when they close the loop by killing their future self and getting gold bars as payment. The story begins when a looper can not kill his future self, and well, chaos erupts. 

Looper has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and is also a box office hit. The movie presents an original idea when it comes to time travel movies and gives an old-style action theme to a futuristic film. 

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Oblivion (2013)

  • IMDb: 7.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 53%/61%
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Writer: Karl Gajdusek, Michael deBruyn
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure film based on director Kosinski’s unpublished graphic novel of the same name. The movie pays homage to the science fiction era of the 1970s. The movie takes place in 2077 after an alien invasion wiped out the planet. The humans are forced to relocate to Titan for survival.

We follow Jack Harper (Cruise), a technician sent back to Earth to repair a drone used in fighting the remaining extraterrestrials. However, things go unplanned when he finds a spacecraft and rescues a survivor. Soon after that, he is captured by the extraterrestrial being revealed to be humans, and together they must fight another evolving threat. 

The movie has mixed reviews and performed moderately well at the box office. It showcases the possibilities of an alien invasion from a unique perspective. So, if you like to watch action-packed sci-fi movies, Oblivion is a go-to option like Interstellar. In addition, watching Tom Cruise give one of his best performances is eye-pleasing altogether.

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The Midnight Sky (2020)

  • IMDb: 5.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 49%/26%
  • Director: George Clooney
  • Writer: Mark L. Smith
  • Cast: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

The Midnight Sky is a science fiction drama movie based on the 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. The film focuses on Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney), an aging scientist living alone in the arctic circle. The plot explores people trying to find habitable planets across the galaxy. However, the Earth is left inhabitable after a catastrophic event, and people have fled to rescue.

As the only member of the project left on Earth, Augustine must inform a spaceship named Aether not to enter Earth. He finds his antenna is weak to transmit the signal and begins a journey to use a more robust antenna near the arctic circle. Meanwhile, the crew from Aether thinks they have lost contact with Earth because of technical issues. 

The Midnight Sky has some stunning visual effects and musical scores. The movie got some mixed reviews from critics but is widely liked by audiences as a way to understand the dangers of interstellar exploration. It is an ambitious movie showing a dystopian future and how humans might deal with large-scale environmental accidents. There are a few shortcomings in the movie’s pace and plot. However, that is brilliantly covered by Clooney’s breathtaking performance.

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Elysium (2013)

  • IMDb: 6.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 65%/58%
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Writer: Neill Blomkamp
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Elysium is a dystopian science fiction action movie sharing multiple themes with Interstellar. The movie takes place in 2154, when Earth is damaged beyond repair. The rich live in Elysium, an artificial planet or an advanced space station based on an actual design by NASA. Meanwhile, all the others live on a ravaged Earth in poverty. The protagonist of the movie, Max (Damon) begins a journey to bring equality to the people of Earth by disrupting the work on Elysium.

Despite coming from an award-winning director and featuring an equally talented cast, Elysium didn’t perform well at the box office. It got positive reviews from critics but failed to garner attention from the general viewers, resulting in a delayed and limited success. The movie has several concepts similar to movies like Interstellar, such as space immigration, apocalypse, the overall declining health of citizens, and more. 

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The Tomorrow War (2021)

  • IMDb: 6.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 52%/76%
  • Director: Chris McKay
  • Writer: Zach Dean
  • Cast: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 18 minutes

As the name suggests, The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi movie that takes you to a battle in the future. The movie plot is unique, where soldiers from 2048 came back in time to 2021 to recruit everyone willing to go with them to save the future of humanity. Although it is an action movie, a secondary plot explores parents’ and children’s relationships while reminding us to respect the veterans.

Chris Pratt comes back to play a confident young family man willing to make the jump for a cause. Such roles suit him better than any other actor, I can imagine. Overall, if you love sci-fi adventure movies like Interstellar, you will enjoy The Tomorrow War. Besides showing direct action, the film also explores the deep emotional connection with family, making it a great family movie. 

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Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

  • IMDb: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/90%
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Writer: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi action-adventure movie adapted from a Japanese novel titled All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Europe where most of the world is occupied by an alien race. Major William Cage is a public relations officer forced to be a part of the battle regardless of his limited on-ground training. However, he finds himself stuck in a time loop, living the same day indefinitely.

Now, using this unusual power, he must find a way to defeat the enemy in order to be free. The movie has award-winning actors in the lead role, which makes watching it worth your time. In addition, you get to experience eye-pleasing visual effects. The film gained popularity for its promising story and great performances. 

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Proxima (2019)

  • IMDb: 6.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/NA
  • Director: Alice Winocour
  • Writer: Alice Winocour
  • Cast: Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Hüller
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Proxima is a French drama film exploring the parent-child relationship around space missions making the movie similar to Interstellar. The plot follows Sarah, an astronaut preparing for a year-long mission on the International Space Station. The story shows her struggle to convince her eight-year-old daughter Stella about leaving her.

Meanwhile, she also faces backlashes from her colleague about her abilities as an astronaut. The movie is praised for the stunning acting performance by the central character and criticized for losing the audience’s grasp on the theme. Overall, the movie is a great watch and explores the psychology before an astronaut sets out on space exploration.

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Transcendence (2014)

  • IMDb: 6.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 19%/37%
  • Director: Wally Pfister
  • Writer: Jack Paglen
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy
  • Runtime: 2 hours

Transcendence is a science fiction thriller movie having an ensemble cast involving award-winning actors. The film surrounds a team of scientists trying to create a sentient computer. They believe such a device will create a technological singularity and solve many problems. The lead of the project, Dr. Will, calls this transcendence and is dedicated to making the superior A.I. However, a group of anti-technology members shoots Will with a polonium-laced bullet. Still, Will’s consciousness is uploaded to a quantum computer, and it is exciting to see how he changes the world and how it changes him.

Despite having a fantastic cast, great cinematography, and visual details, the movie didn’t perform well at the box office. Due to the weak plot and dialogues, it earned less than its production budget. Still, the film takes the viewer on a visual journey of how things might look if we could upload human consciousness on a computer.

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Contact (1997)

  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 67%/78%
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writer: James V. Hart, Michael Goldenberg
  • Cast: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Contact is a science fiction drama film based on the eponymous 1985 novel by Carl Sagan. He is one of the most renowned astrophysicists of the last century. As for the story, it begins with Dr. Eleanor Arroway, a SETI scientist working on catching radio waves from outer space. She finds a signal directing towards the presence of extraterrestrial life. The international committee then chooses her to have the honor of making the first contact with these beings. It is interesting to see if the project succeeds and how the involved governments try their best to make it happen.

The movie garnered critical success for realistic storytelling and a convincing plot. It sheds light on intriguing questions like “Are we alone in this universe?”, “Where are the others and how to contact them?” etc. Contact is a bold and engaging movie written with thoughtful dialogues and carefully crafted visuals. It is one of the best movies like Interstellar coming from the genius of Carl Sagan. Contact is a definitive watch if you like scientific authenticity in your movies.

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Mind-Bending Movies like Interstellar

Fight Club (1999)

  • IMDb: 8.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 79%/96%
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Writer: Jim Uhls
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 19 minutes

Fight Club is a 1999 American film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The movie starts with the narrator describing his insomnia. He is discontented with his white-collar job and feels hopeless. Then, he meets Tyler Durden, a devil-may-care soap salesman, and together they form a fight club. 

The movie initially bombed at the box office but earned a cult following after its DVD release. It hosts some of the most intriguing ideas, like how we are slaves to the big corporates for making lifestyle choices based on advertisements. Besides mentioning mental illness, the film also has a great plot, fantastic acting, and thoughtful dialogues. It may not have space exploration like Interstellar, but it’s one of the most mind-bending movies you will ever watch.

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Tenet (2020)

  • IMDb: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 69%/76%
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth, Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine
  • Runtime: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Coming from the director of Interstellar, Tenet plays with time in unimaginable ways. The movie follows a CIA agent who has learned to reverse time flow for individuals or materials. He uses this ability to prevent an attack from the future, which might eradicate the present world.

The movie is by far the most confusing piece by Nolan. Besides, the working or reversed time has some plot holes which aren’t clarified yet. Tenet gained positive reviews from critics for visual effects, sound, Nolan’s ambition, and Debicki and Pattinson’s performances. It’s worth noting that Pattinson has improved enormously after the Twilight series. However, it also received negative reviews for its weak story and characters. 

Watch trailer here

Memento (2000)

  • IMDb: 8.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/94%
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir mystery thriller film starring Guy Pearce in the lead role. The movie revolves around an anterograde amnesia patient named Leonard Shelby. Due to his condition, he can not form new memories and has short-term memory loss. He is on a mission to find and kill the murderer of his wife, for which he uses polaroid photos and tattoos on his body. 

The movie is considered Nolan’s best work for its non-linear narrative and out-of-the-box concept. The film shows black and white clips as a linear story and colored clips for the lead’s memories depicting how it feels to be in Leonard’s shoes. Memento was a commercial success and kicked off Nolan’s career. The National Film Registry also preserves it for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

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Shutter Island (2010)

  • IMDb: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 68%/77%
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Writer: Laeta Kalogridis
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 19 minutes

Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological horror film based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role of Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels. He is investigating a missing person case in a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island. However, he soon finds out something unusual is going on on the island.

Mark Ruffalo plays his partner and fellow deputy marshal. The movie is very unsettling and will keep you on the edge of your seat thinking about what’s happening on the island. Shutter Island is renowned for its music score, which uses a mixture of classical and modern music. 

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Inception (2010)

  • IMDb: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 87%/91%
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 28 minutes

If your movie time is calling for a highly-rated science fiction action thriller, check out Inception. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a killer thief who excels in stealing sensitive information by infiltrating the subconscious of his enemies. He gets a single-time opportunity to erase his past crimes and accusations to be with his children. The mission requires a set of highly skilled people and the way the plot proceeds is mind-bending and thrilling.

Apart from DiCaprio, the sci-fi thriller also features Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy. Thanks to the exciting story along with the star power, Inception not only bagged an Oscar but also became the worldwide fourth-highest-grossing movie of 2010.

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The Matrix (1999)

  • IMDb: 8.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%/85%
  • Director: The Wachowskis
  • Writer: The Wachowskis
  • Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 16 minutes

One of the most loved and revered movies of our generation, The Matrix, asks you a tough question about your reality. This science-fiction cyberpunk action movie takes place in a dystopian future where humanity is trapped in a simulated reality. Neo, the movie’s protagonist, is aware that something isn’t right. Therefore, when he gets the chance to either know the truth or keep living a lie, he chooses to escape the simulation and return to the real world.

It is then that we discover that machines have overtaken the planet, and they harvest humans to create energy for themselves. Meanwhile, the consciousness of every human is rendered in a computer program called the Matrix that appears real to everyone. 

The Matrix was a massive success at the time of release and still feels fresh if you watch it for the first time. Keanu Reeves rose to success with the movie along with Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss. In addition, the commercial profits opened the doors for three more sequels that weren’t much liked by the audience. The latest and fourth installment, The Matrix Resurrection, was released recently in 2021. The Matrix is a revolutionary movie creating ripples in cinematography and superhero movies. So, I recommend you watch this film at least once in your lifetime.

Watch trailer here

Donnie Darko (2001)

  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/80%
  • Director: Richard Kelly
  • Writer: Richard Kelly
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duval
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Donnie Darko is a 2001 American science fiction psychological thriller film less known at the time of release since the plot contains a plane crash. It resulted in limited earnings at the box office even after receiving positive reviews from critics and the audience. However, the film gathered recognition after its DVD release and gained a massive cult following. The film follows a troubled teenager who narrowly escapes a fatal accident. He then starts seeing a mysterious man in a rabbit costume who convinces him that the world will end in 28 days. It results in Donnie committing several crimes. 

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Source Code (2011)

  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/82%
  • Director: Duncan Jones
  • Writer: Ben Ripley
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Source Code is a science fiction action thriller film starring Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. He plays the role of a US Army captain who is sent in an eight-minute loop of a real-life train incident. He is tasked with finding the bomber who exploded the train in those eight minutes. The movie appears confusing at first and stretches the underlying scientific concept behind the eight-minute model. 

The movie was made on a moderate budget and proved to be a huge success. The mind-bending plot and further revelations may require you to rewatch the film to understand it fully. Source Code asks some critical scientific questions, like if it’s possible to change the past or create a new one.

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12 Monkeys (1995)

  • IMDb: 8.0
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%/88%
  • Director: Terry Gilliam
  • Writer: David Peoples, Janet Peoples
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 9 minutes

12 Monkeys is a 1995 American mind-bending science fiction movie with a great story and brilliant acting performances. The movie follows a man from the future (Willis) who is sent back in time to collect a virus sample that might put an end to humanity. However, his time travel gets disturbed, and he ends up in the wrong year.

The whole movie feels like a confusing treat to viewers itching your brain on every point. In this case, we question the reality of the mission. 12 Monkeys has Brad Pitt’s one of the best performances, which won him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards.

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The Prestige (2006)

  • IMDb: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 76%/92%
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes

The Prestige is a mystery thriller film based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. The magical movie is about two rival magicians (Jackman and Bale) in late 19th century London. The grudge between them rises after an onstage fatal incident. It leads them to try and hurt each other in several ways. Their rivalry evolves when they try to create the best illusion ever and be better than the other.

The Prestige is a one-of-a-kind movie, and it will blow your mind on the first viewing. It also has references to real-life events and people from Nolan’s perspective. Lastly, the movie has a great plot, character arcs, and one of the most brilliant directions you can witness.

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Enemy (2013)

  • IMDb: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 71%/64%
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Writer: Javier Gullón
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Enemy is a Canadian psychological drama film loosely adapted from José Saramago’s 2002 novel “The Double”. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal in two roles of identical men with different personalities. One is a college professor named Aadam, and another is a D-list actor named Anthony. When they find out about each other, they become obsessed with their lives differently.

The movie’s unique storyline and unexplained elements make it a must-watch if you prefer mind-bending movies like Interstellar. The intense plot and psychological drama also make this film similar to Black Swan.

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Mr. Nobody (2009)

  • IMDb: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 68%/76%
  • Director: Jaco Van Dormael
  • Writer: Jaco Van Dormael
  • Cast: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 21 minutes

Mr. Nobody is a science fiction drama film often unnoticed by the audience. The movie stars Jared Leto in the lead role of Nemo Nobody. He is a 118-year-old man and the last mortal person after humanity has achieved anti-aging techniques. In the film, Nemo tells a doctor and a journalist the story of the three main loves in his life, his parent’s divorce, and the hardships he went through in life. While reminiscing, Nemo also imagines the paths that could have been if he had taken different life choices. The non-linear, continuously shifting narrative focuses on times when Nemo was nine, fifteen, and thirty-five years old. 

Mr. Nobody is one of the most confusing movies we have ever seen. The plot is weak for a science fiction drama, but the concept makes this movie a worthwhile watch. It will leave you scratching your head and thinking about how a single choice can ultimately lead to a completely different life. 

Watch trailer here

Watch Movies Similar to Interstellar Right Now!

Christopher Nolan, the director of Interstellar, is famous for playing with the concept of time. Therefore, most of the films mentioned in the list had a time-related theme, like Primer, 12 Monkeys, Edge of Tomorrow, and more. Meanwhile, some movies deal with space exploration like Ad Astra, Passengers, The Martian, etc. Lastly, each movie on this list has quite a unique and thoughtful concept that will leave your brain itching and have you yearning for more. I hope you find these movies like Interstellar exciting and that the list satisfied your need for more mind-bending sci-fi movies. If you know of more such movies that can make it to the list, feel free to comment below. Also, which of these movies are you planning to watch first? Do let us know!

2 Comments

  1. Watched half of them but never knew half of them…..saving all them in the bucket list. Nice article.!!! Thanks Beebom

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