The Final Frontier: 12 Space Movies Without Supernatural Elements

Some Hollywood imaginings of outer space stray from the supernatural and instead focus on space exploration, evading black holes, and landing on other planets.
These films are proof that movies involving space can be grounded in reality.

1. HIGH LIFE (2018)

High Life Robert Pattinson and Jessie Ross
Image Credit: A24.
High Life is a dark sci-fi thriller about a powerful doctor who sends death-row inmates into deep space on a terrifying mission to extract energy from a black hole. But as the mission careens closer toward failure, it’s also on a direct path toward the center of a black hole.

2. MAROONED (1969)

Marooned Gregory Peck
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.
Stranded in space, a group of horrified astronauts has little power to change their harsh circumstances. They’re running out of oxygen and stuck in the planet’s orbit. But the director of NASA won’t stop until he brings the marooned crew back home safe.


Europa Report Karolina Wydra
Image Credit: Magnet Releasing.
Europa Report is a sci-fi film about a team of astronauts on a mission to discover life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. But each step of their mission sends hazards toward the crew that makes them think they may not make it home alive. What is more important to the crew: completing their mission or surviving in outer space?

4. GRAVITY (2013)

Gravity Sandra Bullock
Image Credit: Warner Bros.
When a medical engineer embarks on her first shuttle mission into space, she never could have imagined the horrors she and one astronaut were about to face. Dressed in spacesuits, the two performed a routine walk outside the shuttle when an accident blew it up. The medical engineer and the astronaut, stranded in space, must venture into the dark unknown of deep space for a chance to survive.

5. THE MARTIAN (2015)

The Martian Donald Glover
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
After a mission to Mars, astronauts blast off and head back to Earth. But they don’t know that the man they believed had died in a storm was alive and left behind on the unhospitable planet. Once the ground crew realizes their mistake, they do whatever they can to support the lone astronaut as he fights for his survival.

6. PITCH BLACK (2000)

Pitch Black Vin Diesel
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.
When a spaceship traveling through deep space crash lands on a hostile planet with not one but three suns, the survivors must come together to get back home. But the planet’s inhabitants aren’t keen on letting them leave without a fight.

7. APOLLO 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 Tom Hanks
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.
Based on a true story, Apollo 13 is a space drama about the terrifying oxygen tank explosion on the spaceship that prevented the Apollo 13 from landing on the moon. Instead, the astronauts on board enter a fight for survival and return home to their desperate families.

8. STOWAWAY (2021)

Stowaway Anna Kendrick
Image Credit: Netflix.
On a three-person mission to Mars, everything is going to plan until one astronaut discovers a ground-crew member accidentally on board when the rocket launched. But because the ship was designed for only three passengers, it doesn’t contain enough oxygen to keep all four people alive until they reach Mars. Can the crew come up with a solution before it’s too late?

9. ANIARA (2018)

Aniara (2018)
Image Credit: AB Svensk Filmindustri.
In an apocalyptic future, people abandoned Earth to live on Mars. To get to Mars, people board a luxury spacecraft designed to soothe passengers with images of Earth’s natural beauty from decades ago. But the passengers are stranded in space when the spaceship veers off course to avoid colliding with space debris.

10. AD ASTRA (2019)

Ad Astra Brad Pitt
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Ad Astra is a sci-fi adventure film about an astronaut on a mission to Neptune to uncover what happened to his father’s lost spaceship years ago. At the same time, the daring astronaut must save the universe from a terrible, mysterious force.

11. SUNSHINE (2007)

Sunshine Cliff Curtis
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.
Sunshine is a sci-fi film set in the future. As the sun begins to fade away, a team of astronauts blasts off into space with a device that could rekindle the sun’s flame. But on their way, the astronauts pick up a distress beacon from a ship that disappeared years ago. Will the team get sidetracked or stick to their mission?

12. THE BLACK HOLE (1979)

The Black Hole Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, and Yvette Mimieux
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.
When a spaceship on a return mission to Earth encounters a spacecraft that was presumed missing on its way, the crew boards the other ship. When they get on board, the staff realize the other ship’s captain plans to be the first ever to explore a black hole.

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