Top Space Movies, Part 2

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) / Director: Stanley Kubrick / Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Humans find a mysterious object buried on the Moon and set off on a quest with the help of H.A.L. 9000, an intelligent computer with a will of its own. In four parts, the movie concerns a close encounter of the third kind and man’s evolution. Not a short movie at 2 hrs and 20 minutes, but widely considered a masterpiece.

WALL·E (2008) / Director: Andrew Stanton / Stars (voices): Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

A humble little robot that collects garbage embarks on a space journey that will decide the fate of mankind. Disney-Pixar’s animated contribution to space movies.

Galaxy Quest (1999) / Director: Dean Parisot / Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell

In a wickedly funny yet affectionate send-up of space nerds, the reluctant cast of a cult TV show have to play heroes in real life when a persecuted alien race call on them for help.

Apollo 13 (1995) / Director: Ron Howard / Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise

Three astronauts devise a strategy to return to Earth safely after their spacecraft suffers massive damage. Houston, we have a problem… but Tom Hanks can handle it. It’s a relatively long movie (2 hr., 20 min.) but to its credit, it doesn’t feel like it.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) / Director: Steven Spielberg

Elliott (Henry Thomas) is a lonely boy living with his single mom and siblings who comes to life when he encounters a lovable alien who just wants to go home. The film’s explores the confusion, fun, and sadness of childhood — and the thrill of putting on over on the adults (i.e., the Man, the Government, the System, conventional wisdom).