On July 20, 1969, U.S. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the Moon. Down here on Earth, roughly 500 million people watched the broadcast of the landing, a moment that would inspire dozens of fictional stories and factual recreations in the world of film and television for years to come.
In 2019, we’re just as mesmerized by the awe-inspiring moment. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, we’ve selected 9 of the best astronaut and sci-fi flicks (ranked in no particular order) to help you celebrate that big step for mankind, all of which are streaming now. Enjoy!
9. Interstellar (2014)
Directed by the always mind-bending Christopher Nolan, Interstellar imagines a world in which humans have been forced to seek out a new home, a dangerous task that will send a former NASA pilot through a wormhole.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Cain, this touching sci-fi exploration captures both the wonder and fear of space travel, not to mention its necessity.
Interstellar (2014) is available to stream with Cinemax.
8. Wall-E (2008)
The kid-friendliest option on this list, Wall-E is one Pixar classic with a lot to say about our planet and its place in the universe.
Jam-packed with cute robots and incredible music, this ride aboard the Axiom will give adults plenty to think over and younger viewers more than enough to giggle at.
Wall-E (2008) is available to rent or purchase with Amazon Prime Video.
7. Alien (1979)
The first step in a multimillion dollar franchise, Ridley Scott’s Alien is a sci-fi classic for a reason.
Starring genre icon Sigourney Weaver, this nightmarish tale of a spaceship on a mission — with one terrifying and uninvited crew member — set the bar for future extraterrestrial terror and more than holds up 40 years later. Sit back, relax, and hold on to your chest cavity.
Alien (1979) is available to rent or purchase with Amazon Prime Video.
6. Hidden Figures (2016)
Based on the true stories of black women in the mathematics department at NASA during the Space Race, Hidden Figures is a must-watch for anyone wondering how the Moon landing was achieved.
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, this biographical drama will give you a newfound appreciation for the behind-the-scenes heroes that made it all possible.
Hidden Figures (2016) is available for purchase with Amazon Prime Video.
5. The Martian (2015)
Based on Andy Weir’s fictional book of the same name, Ridley Scott’s The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney as he races against the clock to solve the most complex problem of his career: getting off Mars by himself.
Rich with tense detail and feeling, The Martian was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including a Best Actor nod for star Matt Damon.
The Martian (2015) is available to stream through FX Networks.
4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
What Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon did for space exploration, George Lucas did for sprawling sci-fiscapes everywhere.
One of our personal favorite chapters in the Skywalker saga, The Last Jedi continued to expand the world of Star Wars in a wide array of directions (arguably, some good and some bad), proving once again that this epic outer space drama knows no limits.
Stars Wars: The Last Jedi is available to stream on Netflix.
3. Apollo 13 (1995)
A masterful combination of character creation and technical accuracy, Ron Howard’s self-described “docudrama” is for many the pinnacle of NASA-set films.
Heart-wrenching yet beautiful, the story of one crew’s failed attempt at a lunar landing elegantly displays the painful limits of human capability.
Apollo 13 (1995) is available to stream with STARZ.
2. Apollo 11 (2019)
Produced and directed by Todd Douglas Miller, this stunning documentary tells the story of humankind’s mission to the Moon exclusively using archival footage, some of which is making its first debut to the public.
A factual and unadulterated portrayal of that historic summer day, Apollo 11 is easily the best way you can honor the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.
Apollo 11 (2019) is available to stream on Hulu.
1. First Man (2018)
Directed by Damien Chazelle, this epic biographical drama chronicles the emotional journey of Neil Armstrong as he comes to terms with being the first human to walk on the Moon.
Ryan Gosling and Corey Stoll shine as Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but the real star of the film is its sound design. Winning Best Original Score at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, First Man‘s jarring audio will make you feel like you were right next to Armstrong on that fateful day.
First Man (2018) is available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.