Amazon Video Spotlight: Astronaut Movies

May 30, 2016
By

Blast off to space with these astronaut movies, some based on the history of the U.S. Space Program, others imagining a near-future world of space travel and exploration.

Interstellar (PG-13, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $7.99 to own in SD / $9.99 in HD)

In the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan.

A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown.

Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.
– Written by Warren D’Souza

 

The Martian (PG-13, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $4.99 to rent in SD / $5.99 in HD, $14.99 to own in SD or HD)

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet.

With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission.

As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.
– Written by 20th Century Fox

 

Gravity (PG-13, 3.5/5 stars, currently priced at $9.99 to own in SD / $12.99 in HD)

Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Director!

The veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski is in charge of the Shuttle Explorer’s STS-157 mission to repair of the Hubble Telescope by the rookie specialist Ryan Stone. Out of the blue, Houston control aborts the mission warning that a Russian missile hit a satellite, causing a chain reaction and now there is a storm of debris coming upon them.

Soon they lose communication with the Mission Control in Houston.

The debris strike the Explorer and Ryan is released from the shuttle and Kowalski is forced to bring her back to the shuttle. However, the Explorer is completely damaged and now their only chance to return to Earth is to reach another space station. But they are short of oxygen and fuel.
– Written by Claudio Carvalho

 

Apollo 13 (PG, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $9.99 to own in SD / $7.99 in HD)

A movie based on what was to be the third lunar-landing mission.

This film shows the trials and tribulations of the Apollo 13 crew, mission control, and families after a near-fatal accident cripples the space vehicle. A mission that couldn’t get TV airtime because space flights had become routine to the American public suddenly grabbed the national spotlight.

This is a tale of averted tragedy, heroism and shows a testament to the creativity of the scientists who ran the early space missions.
– Written by FMJ_Joker

 

Silent Running (G, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $9.99 to own in SD / $13.99 in HD)

In this sci-fi classic, a botanist (Bruce Dern) who has spent years aboard a space freighter receives orders to destroy his project and return home, but instead rebels and hijacks the vessel.

Freeman Lowell looks after plants in giant space greenhouses. Back on Earth, all the trees have long vanished, so Lowell puts a lot of heart into his work.

When orders from Earth are received to destroy the greenhouses, Lowell can’t go through with it, and cannot persuade his three colleagues to help him save the plants, so he makes other “arrangements”.
– Written by Rob Hartill

 

The Right Stuff (PG, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $9.99 to own in SD / $12.99 in HD)

From Chuck Yaeger — the first man to break the sound barrier — to the seven Mercury astronauts, it’s the story of the birth of the U.S. Space Program.

Tom Wolfe’s book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality.

It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it.

Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.
– Written by John Vogel

 

2001: A Space Odyssey (G, 4/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $9.99 to own in SD / $12.99 in HD)

This movie is concerned with intelligence as the division between animal and human, then asks a question: what is the next division?

Technology is treated as irrelevant to the quest–literally serving as mere vehicles for the human crew and as a shell for the immature HAL entity.

Story told as a montage of impressions, music, and impressive and careful attention to subliminal detail.

A very influential film and still a class act, even after 25 years.
– Written by Robin Kenny

 

Moon (R, 4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $2.99 to rent in SD / $3.99 in HD, $9.99 to own in SD / $12.99 in HD)

Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the end of his three year contract of harvesting Helium-3, a precious energy source, from the far side of the moon.

Since his only communication with earth is through the use of pre-recorded messages, and his only assistant a computer named GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), isolation begins to take an alarming toll on his mind, mere weeks before he is to return home.

This sets into motion a series of events which reveals the terrible truth behind his mission.
– Written by Anonymous

 

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