Movies Like the Martian

Science fiction is one of the most popular movie genres today. You can find many movies with all sorts of stories regarding your favorite science subject. And astronomy is no exception. There are numerous space movies out there. Based on a true story or completely unrealistic? You can find both! There surely is something for everybody. What’s more, most of these movies are of very high quality, the acting is great, the visuals are amazing, and most importantly, the stories are so interesting, you’ll be seated in front of your little screen until the very last second. We present to you our list of top movies like The Martian.

The Martian is one of the best space movies out there, for sure. It’s adventurous but also has a little tense thriller vibe and shows the psychological burden the main character carries as he has to figure out how to survive on his own. You will find these similar characteristics in all of the movies below so if that’s what you like, you’ll surely find something to watch.

First Man (2018)

The first movie on our top 11 movies like the Martian list is for all the Ryan Gosling fans. First Man tells the story of the life of Neil Armstrong before and after his legendary journey to the Moon. The movie includes a lot of details from his personal life as well as all the achievements he accomplished.

The movie shows how this scientific wonder came to life in such a tense and interesting way that it seems like it wasn’t based on true events. It’ll keep you so engaged, you’ll keep wondering what’ll happen next even though you already know how the story ends. If you’re a fan of realistic scenes and good meaningful stories, you should check this one out.

Apollo 13 (1995)

After winning nine Oscars at the 1995 Academy Awards, Apollo 13 surely is one of the best movies out there. But besides being one of the best movies, it’s also very similar to The Martian and definitely worth watching. The movie is an adaptation of the 1994 book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 and tells the true story of the Apollo 13 mission.

Apollo 13 tells the story of Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) and his crew on their journey to the Moon. As something damages their ship, they start losing oxygen and electrical power. Once a Moon landing mission turned into a rescue mission to bring the three men back home safely.

The director Ron Howard went to such an extent that he hired NASA to give the cast actual astronaut and flight controller training. They also filmed some scenes on reduced gravity aircraft so the weightless state of astronauts in space would be more realistic. Considering all this, the movie did great and grossed over $355 million worldwide, and was nominated for numerous awards. It’s definitely worth giving it a look.

Interstellar (2014)

Another great space movie, similar to The Martian but with a little more fiction is Interstellar. This film follows an engineer (Matthew McConaughey) and his crew on a journey through the wormhole near Saturn to find a new habitable planet. The Earth is on the verge of destruction so the only way is to take a chance and get to a few planets that are possibly habitable for humans.

The film grossed over $677 million worldwide and was the tenth highest-grossing film of 2014. The movie visuals are amazing and the story won’t disappoint you either. You’ll get a mix of science, thriller, and romance all in one. The fiction vibe makes it a little different from the previous two movies but is surely very interesting and will keep you entertained. The tension is big and you’ll never expect the next thing that’s about to happen so make sure to check it out.

Movies like the Martian - space

Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine is another unique science fiction movie that tells a little different story. Imagine if our main source of warmth, the Sun disappeared. That’s exactly what’s happening here. A physicist Robert Capa (portrayed by amazing Cillian Murphy) and his crew go on a mission to save the dying Sun by using a nuclear bomb the size of Manhattan. The story takes turns when the crew faces many difficulties and needs to decide which one of them lives.

Alex Garland wrote and Danny Boyle directed this unique masterpiece. It surely is a lot more on the unrealistic side, but it is extremely entertaining and tense. It shows how psychologically hard a space mission is. Especially the one that should save the whole mankind. Besides Cillian Murphy, the cast also features Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, and other amazing actors.

Moon (2009)

Fifth in the line of movies like The Martian is Moon. Duncan Jones directed this spectacular movie which follows Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) as the end of his 3-year mission on the Moon comes to an end. He’s supposed to go home but after a turn of events, his physical condition gets worse and he is accompanied by a younger version of himself. This movie shows the psychological pressure and the hard state of the main character as he’s been isolated from the whole of mankind for three years and is now joined by a mysterious clone of himself.

Even though Moon isn’t a very large movie, it still is worth watching. The idea of the movie is great and the cast and crew managed to bring it to life flawlessly. It grossed only around $10 million but the critic reviews were pretty good. It won many critic and film festival awards, but most importantly the story is very entertaining. Therefore, make sure to check it out.

127 Hours (2010)

When it comes to amazing movies, we already know that there is nothing that Danny Boyle can’t do. This movie he directed, produced and was even a co-writer! 127 Hours is a survival movie based on a true story. The movie stars James Franco as canyoneering Aron Ralston on his canyoning journey as he gets stuck and no one knows where he is. He starts running short on his water supplies and has to find a way out of the situation on his own.

If you liked the surviving side of The Martian then this movie surely will keep your attention. They don’t say that there’s no force on Earth more powerful than the will to live, for no reason. This film justifies that saying. It’s incredibly tense and the fact that it has happened in real life makes an even bigger impact. The film grossed over $60 million worldwide and has won numerous awards. We recommend you watch this one.

Movies like the Martian - astronaut

Gravity (2013)

If you are a fan of thrillers and tense movies then look no further than this one. Gravity, directed, co-edited, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón is one of the tensest movies to watch. It tells the story of two astronauts starred by Sandra Bullock and  George Clooney who end up stranded in space after their space shuttle was destroyed. They try to get back home even though their situation seems completely hopeless.

The film was praised for its amazing visuals and direction. That’s no surprise since the visual effects company that they hired worked for 3 years on this movie. The film gross was over $723 million worldwide and has won numerous awards. You surely don’t want to miss this one out.

Event Horizon (1997)

Event Horizon is another amazing science fiction film but this one has a horror vibe to it. Paul W. S. Anderson and stars Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, and Sam Neill directed this amazing movie. It tells the story of a crew of astronauts who go after Event Horizon, a spaceship that suddenly appeared after it had been missing for a while. They started their rescue mission convinced that the ship is empty. But it turns out that there is something unknown but surely very evil riding in its corridors.

The production and editing of the film were rushed by the production studio which led to the movie ending up not as good as it was supposed to be. The critics were pretty bad and the movie grossed only $42 million on a $60 million production budget. Later it started selling well as DVDs so the production company contacted Anderson to start restoring the deleted footage but it ended up being either lost or destroyed. You can notice on your own that they rushed the production but the story is still very interesting. Therefore, think about checking this one out for yourself and decide whether you like it or not.

Everest (2015)

Baltasar Kormákur proved his exceptional producing and directing skills once again working on adventure film Everest. It has an incredible cast of  Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, John Hawkes, Michael Kelly, Martin Henderson Sam Worthington, and Emily Watson. It tells a true story of two expedition groups, one led by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal) and the other one by Rob Hall (Clarke). After a disaster on Mount Everest, the two groups try to survive in nearly impossible conditions.

The tension that comes along with them trying to survive against nature, separated from the human world, makes it similar to the story of The Martian. The movie quality is just great and the number of awards that it has won justifies it. The movie was a huge success and it grossed over $203 million worldwide over a $55 million budget. It may not be a space movie but the whole surviving part makes it suitable for our list of the movies like The Martian.

Oblivion (2013)

We know you are used to seeing Tom Cruise in action movies, always chasing the right thing and being your hero. However, this time they added a little bit of science fiction to this action movie. Jack is a veteran who is assigned to extract what is left of Earth’s remaining resources. This mission (not impossible!) makes him wonder if he is making the right choices.  Like always, Tom Cruise doesn’t disappoint with his flawless acting skills. Moreover, he is not the only great actor in this movie. Morgan Freeman plays an excellent role.

Like most science fiction movies, Oblivion is also full of unrealistic moments and scenes. However, that is what we are here for – trying to escape reality. That will definitely be the case with this movie. This is a movie about internal fights, love, and loss. If you also care about what kind of ambient music creates, don’t worry because Oblivion’s soundtrack is something that you will be listening to a long time after seeing the movie.

Solaris (1972)

This movie based on Stanisław Lem’s 1961 novel of the same name is a great choice for the lovers of older films. If you liked original Superman movies and don’t mind the visuals used at that time, you’ll probably like this one as well. The movie was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. It stars Donatas Banionis and Natalya Bondarchuk in the story of three crew members on a space station orbiting the fictional planet Solaris. After they fell into an emotional crisis, psychologist Kris Kelvin (Banionis) travels to the station but ends up in the same state as the crew members. They have to find out what caused this mysterious phenomenon.

This movie might be repelling to some because of the year it was made in. However, older movies can be incredibly good if you give them a try. Take into consideration how hard it was to make science fiction movie without all the special effects we have today. It received a lot of positive critics and some even say that it’s one of the greatest science fiction movies in the history of cinema.


Science fiction movies surely are a way to escape reality. Especially the ones about space. We all dreamed of becoming astronauts at some point in our childhood. Therefore, for most of us, good unrealistic trips to space never become boring. It is liberating to have somewhere to escape from our very realistic daily life. Nothing offers a better adventure to our childhood dreams than space movies. In addition, this wraps up our list of top movies like The Martian. Hopefully, you’ll find something that you like among these. If you are also looking for some great TV shows to watch, you should check out this list.

Author: Editorial team