Film, TV + Theatre

11 Movies to watch in celebration of the moon landing’s 50th anniversary


By Tammy Chan

11 Movies to watch in celebration of the moon landing’s 50th anniversary

Can you believe it’s been 50 years since NASA decided to go on a moon voyage?! On 20 July 1969, Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first humans to ever step foot onto the lunar surface. They took a “giant leap for mankind” with an estimated number of 600 million people around the world watching it happen live back home.

Since then, there have been no shortage of realistic space travel movies to fuel our imagination. Here are 11 of our favourite ones for your viewing pleasure on this moon day.

Apollo 13

Release date: 30 June 1995

Starring: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris

Plot: A docudrama film based on the real-life events of the aborted Apollo 13 mission that happened after an oxygen tank explodes.


Release date: 30 July 1998

Starring: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler and Owen Wilson

Plot: After New York City was damaged by hundreds of small meteorites, NASA sends a group of deep-core drillers to stop an asteroid the size of Texas from impacting Earth.

October Sky

Release date: 19 February 1999

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen and Laura Dern

Plot: This biographical drama film tells the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son, who becomes interested in rocket science after witnessing the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, going into orbit. Despite his father’s disapproval, he eventually became a NASA engineer.

Mission to Mars

Release date: 4 May 2000

Starring: Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen and Jerry O’Connell

Plot: This sci-fi movie is set in the year 2020 and is about a rescue team being dispatched to save a manned mission gone wrong that killed three of the four crew members on board.

Space Cowboys

Release date: 14 September 2000

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, Donald Sutherland, James Cromwell and Marcia Gay Harden

Plot: An adventure film about a group of retired Air Force test pilots reuniting to repair an old Russian satellite in space.


Release date: 3 October 2013

Starring: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Plot: The Oscar winning film follows Dr. Ryan Stone, a first-time space traveller who finds herself marooned in orbit during a trip to repair the Hubble telescope.


Release date: 6 November 2014

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine

Plot: Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster begins in a future where the planet is suffering from an environmental disaster and a team of NASA scientists, engineers and pilots is given the task to find a new habitable planet.

The Martian

Release date: 1 October 2015

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels and Sebastian Stan

Plot: Following an unanticipated storm, an astronaut is left stranded on Mars when his crew was forced to evacuate their landing site after they presumes him dead.

400 Days

Release date: 12 January 2016

Starring: Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Ben Feldman and Dane Cook

Plot: This psychological sci-fi movie centers around four astronauts who have been sent on a 400-day long simulated mission to test the psychological effects of deep space travel.

Hidden Figures

Release date: 25 December 2016

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons

Plot: This highly-acclaimed film is set in the 60s and is based on a non-fiction book of the same title. It tells the incredible story of three African American female mathematicians working at NASA who were the brains behind launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

First Man

Release date: 25 December 2016

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll and Christopher Abbott.

Plot: Saving the best for last, this biographical drama film gives viewers an inside look at Neil Armstrong’s life and his journey to become the first man to walk on the moon.

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