Movies to Watch Instead of 'Interstellar'

Interstellar was disappointing. I'm not one to eagerly watch trailers or get hyped up by others' opinions. Yet, Intersteller was disappointing. After The Dark Knight and Inception, Christopher Nolan had built up the reputation that he could do no wrong. The Dark Knight Rises and Intersteller are signs that his magic is fading.

Intersteller is not a bad movie, in fact it is much better than the explosion montages that Hollywood loves so much. Its main issue is that it is too complex for the average movie-goer and too simplistic for serious sci-fi fans.

Interstellar is difficult to beat as a visual and audio experience. However, there are other movies that have explored the concepts of outer space and extraterrestrial communication far better.

#1 Contact (1997)

contact 1997 movie poster jodie foster matthew mconcaughey

Based on Carl Sagan's novel of the same name, Contact is a story of mankind's first attempt at interacting with extraterrestrial life. The subject matter is handled very maturely and with great scientific accuracy; which is a given considering that Carl Sagan himself was an astronomer. It has a few things common with Interstellar, such as cryptic communication, space travel, wormholes and Matthew McConaughey (albeit in a far smaller role).

#2 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001 space odyssey poster stanley kubrick

If Interstellar is confusing, 2001: A Space Odyssey is dizzying. 2001 might not sound like the distant future to us, but it makes sense once you know that the movie was released in 1968, a year before the first moon landing. It is impossible to imagine that a sci-fi movie that's almost 50 years old can be relevant even today. The reason it still stands strong is the number of themes it covers and the subtlety with which it does it. It covers mankind's ascension from apes, our domination of technology, technology's domination of us and our possible ascension to a higher form. There are pages upon pages on the internet dedicated to analyzing this movie, many of the theories so compelling that it makes you wonder whether it's overanalyzation or if Stanley Kubrick is an unfathomable genius.

Word of advice, if a scene feels too long, don't hesitate to skip ahead.

#3 Alien (1979) & Aliens (1976)

alien movie sigourney weaver

Who would have thought that outer space could be claustrophobic? The Alien series is a departure from the "friendly aliens" genre and explores the theme of aliens as hostile predators. A strong female lead in Sigourney Weaver, developed side characters, an efficient predator lurking in the shadows and an intense air of confinement all make Alien and Aliens must-watch movies.