This past week I saw both Interstellar and Theory of Everything. One was really good and the other reminded me of all the bad space movies I’ve ever seen.
Here are 40 of them, ranked worst to best.
40. Avatar – I think I would have loved this movie if it came out when I was like, five years old. But do you know what else I loved at that age? Eating my own boogers. This movie is like a giant bucket of snot.
39. District 9 – I’d rather contract a triple case of chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea than watch this movie again. Sorry not sorry.
38. Elysium – Did nobody ever think to explain the white savior complex to Matt Damon? No?
37. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Jar Jar Binks was barely in this movie, which is about the only good thing I can say about it. Mostly, I think about the intense regret I would have had if I’d ever gotten that Star Wars tattoo I wanted as a kid. Like, if I had one and saw this movie, I’d immediately cut that skin from my body with a dull, rusty butter knife. Wouldn’t even wait to exit the theater.
36. Gravity – I don’t understand how Sandra Bullock’s character (a medical doctor!) was allowed up into space to service the Hubble. And if she’d received any astronaut training from NASA, I highly doubt she’d be flailing about waiting for George Clooney to save her.
35. The Chronicles of Riddick series – Watching this movie is like watching a clown ride a too-small bicycle through an obstacle course in the middle of rush hour traffic, cars whizzing by on all sides. The clown weaves in and out of the course precariously, spinning his wheels, dripping sweat, and it’s just like… why?
34. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – Watching this movie in the theater was like going trick or treating as a kid and realizing that all the adults in the neighborhood had conspired to only hand out raisins and toothbrushes that year.
33. The Day the Earth Stood Still – It’s a classic, but also, I fell asleep during this movie. So it can’t be that good.
32. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – The only good thing about this movie was Natalie Portman’s hair when they were being romantic in that field.
31. Men in Black II – I thought this would be better, considering MIB I. Overall, I feel like Dark Willow on this: bored now.
29. Aliens vs. Predator 2 – Almost so bad it was good. Almost.
28. Sunshine – I was totally with this one for a while, but then it unexpectedly veered off into the worst possible direction. I think I read somewhere that the two directors were fighting over what the movie should be about, and from the looks of the plot, they never really resolved that.
27. Star Trek Into Darkness – Such lens flare! Many explode!
26. Independence Day – Ehhh, I wish the aliens won.
25. Armageddon – God, Liv Taylor is such a babe. Too bad she’s the only woman on planet Earth.
24. Space Jam – They just don’t make movies like this anymore, you know? (Possibly for a reason.) (That reason possibly being that nobody makes good movies anymore.)
23. Men In Black – Will Smith was in his prime here, and that ending with the galaxy on the cat’s collar charm was deep. At the time.
22. Interstellar – Maybe I would have liked this movie if it were gender flipped, and like, it was a woman making the difficult decision to leave her children behind while she saved the Earth, and a man arguing on behalf of love before science. But it wasn’t. Matt Damon was entirely unnecessary in this movie, and I just don’t think Chris Nolan is as clever as he thinks he is. Also, if they were trying to repopulate a new world, why would they send four dudes and one woman?? IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL WOMEN. #MATRIARCHY
21. Spaceballs – This is excellent at being exactly what it is. But really, how hard is it to parody Star Wars? Not very.
20. Ender’s Game – I’m not going to lie; I cried during this movie. Takeaway: humanity is awful.
19. Serenity – Still upset over what happened to Firefly. GET IT TOGETHER, WORLD. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
18. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – The movie didn’t meet the expectations I had based on the book series, but I suspect that may be an impossibly high standard to meet. Solid effort, though.
17. Galaxy Quest – How awesome is Sigourney Weaver? Let’s all take some time to quietly reflect on that together.
16. 2001: A Space Odyssey – I enjoyed this, but I probably would have enjoyed it way more if I’d been high.
15. The Theory of Everything – Kudos to the casting director for finding the most charismatic, adorable actors on the planet.
14. Contact – Carl Sagan. Jodie Foster. Angela Bassett. An interesting plot, star studded cast and compelling female characters. What more could you ask for? (Maybe less Matthew McConaughey? Or maybe I’m just still annoyed that there were hardly any women in True Detective.)
13. Star Wars: A New Hope – Incredible movie, but there are literally two female characters. Only one of them has lines. Sorry, but that’s completely unacceptable. Even if I can recite every scene of this film by heart.
12. Apollo 13 – That scene where they’re laying out all the items to figure out what Tom Hanks can build up in space is one of the best movie engineering scenes of all time.
11. Alien Vs. Predator – This movie is like someone wrote a fanfiction crossover by playing Mad Libs with the History Channel. An absurd, jumbled, paranoid mess. Also: hilarious.
10. WALL-E – Proof that Pixar can turn any situation into a heartwrenching cinematic masterpiece. (Two garbage-collecting robots who don’t speak for 104 minutes? Shockingly good.)
9. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – This movie is so good! It’s full of mystery and suspense, but not in a cheap way — do you know what I mean?
8. Total Recall – It’s like Blade Runner, kiiiind of, but you can actually see what’s going on. And I do love me some protagonists questioning the construct of reality and their own identities.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy – The comedic timing in this movie is just perfection. And the music! And everything else!
6. Aliens – Totally stuck the landing. Just as good as the first one, and they accomplished it in a different way. I appreciate and respect that.
5. Alien – Have you enjoyed your time quietly reflecting on how awesome Sigourney Weaver is? Well now it’s time to loudly reflect. Alien was groundbreaking. FUCK YEAH, SIGOURNEY WEAVER!
4. Moon – Oh gosh, this was fascinating. Has anyone else here listened to The Mountain Goat’s concept album about a guy who was sent up to mine things on the moon and he goes crazy from the isolation and starts eating bodies? This movie is not that, but I felt just as delighted watching what this movie actually is unfold. (There are multiple twists. Don’t read up on it if you think you might watch it. Which you should.)
3. The Empire Strikes Back – Sometimes movies do incredible, groundbreaking things and then everyone copies them and then when you go back and see the original it’s like, well this is a dumb cliche, so many other people have done it better. But that actually isn’t the case with this one! I can still watch the original and be blown away. That’s got to count for something.
2. Return of the Jedi – Objectively, I know that the “right” answer is that Empire is a better movie than Jedi. But in my heart of hearts, I just don’t believe it. I freaking love this movie. Even the ewoks. Especially the ewoks.
1. The Fifth Element – Evidence of this movie’s ultimate greatness, Exhibit A:
Evidence of this movie’s ultimate greatness, Exhibit B: