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3 great sci-fi action movies to watch if you like I.S.S.

The captain stares out the window at the sun in Sunshine.
DNA Films / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Movies set in space used to be a fairly rare occurrence, but in recent years, these kinds of movies have become much more common thanks in part to the advent of realistic CGI. I.S.S. is the latest space-set thriller gracing our screens. The movie is set on board the international space station and follows the crews for the U.S. and Russia as both crews are ordered to take control of the base after a conflict emerges on Earth.

If you’re intrigued by that premise or saw I.S.S. and enjoyed it, then we’ve selected some other great space movies that might give you that same thrill. These movies are all set in space, and while their premises aren’t all as realistic as the one in I.S.S., they are three of the most underseen space thrillers of recent years.

Ad Astra (2019)

Ad Astra | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

One of the more introspective space movies ever made, Ad Astra tells the story of a man who has to travel to the far reaches of the solar system to rescue his father, who left on a mission 30 years earlier and never returned. Although Ad Astra has moments featuring genuine thrills, it features one of the more grounded depictions of what it would be like to live in space, including an Applebee’s on the moon.

More than anything, though, Ad Astra is a beautiful character study of a single man that also features stunning cinematography and one of the best performances of Brad Pitt’s career. (And yes, it’s on par with his work in Quentin Tarantino‘s great movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.)

Ad Astra is streaming on Hulu.

Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine (2007) - Trailer

Danny Boyle’s wild, hugely entertaining, stunningly profound space epic Sunshine tells the story of a crew that has been sent toward the sun with a nuclear bomb in the hopes of basically turning the star that powers our solar system back on.

Featuring an all-star cast that includes Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Rose Byrne, and Chris Evans, Sunshine is one of the wilder movies to ever be set in space, in part because of a third act in which a deranged man obsessed with the sun joins their ship and starts picking off the crew. Sunshine really works because of the cast, though, and because of the great team director Danny Boyle assembled behind the camera.

Sunshine can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video and other digital vendors.

Moon (2009)

Moon | Official Trailer (2009)

One of the most small-scale space movies ever made, Moon tells the story of a man who is working alone in a lunar mine, and believes that his three-year shift is about to come to an end. When his health suddenly takes a turn for the worse, though, and he narrowly avoids a serious accident, he begins to wonder what he’s actually doing on the moon.

Featuring one of the best performances of Sam Rockwell’s career, and some incredible production design given its limited budget, Moon is one of the best underseen space thrillers out there.

Moon can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video and other digital vendors.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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