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Top 10 Moon Movies With Plots Revolving around the Earth's Moon

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

A Trip to the Moon

We Indians have a lot to celebrate with the Chandrayaan 3 mission being a success. Now that we have got the world thinking about the Moon and its possibilities, let's explore movies with the central theme of the Moon.

This pre-audio motion picture is beautifully made with the iconic Moon face that everyone will be familiar with. The plot of the moon movie is simple, these astronomers who observe the moon build a spaceship to reach the moon. After being captured by a subterranean Lunar race, the astronomers escape with one such Moon creature in captivity.

A Trip to the Moon Spaceship hitting the moon

What's interesting is that the absence of audio had orchestras at the time play appropriate instrumental music to augment the cinematic experience.

2. Epic Moon Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick's shining masterpiece which inspired countless writers, futurists, and scientists has aged incredibly well. The question of our existence, are we alone in the galaxy, and whether the fabric of time-space will ever be understood significantly are all covered in this movie.

The universe is too large to even consider the question of being the only sentient life form. Considering we haven't even come up with a universal definition of life, this movie will be relevant for ages to come.

Man finding a monolith on the Moon in 2001: A Space Odyssey

The Moon plays a pivotal role in this movie as aliens leave behind a Monolith both on the Earth and the moon. The monolith on the moon is meant to act as a beacon to another planet as soon as people are able to physically access it. This is where the story starts to get really good.

"Houston, we have a problem" - this famous line was uttered by the astronauts of the aborted Apollo 13 mission in 1970. This biographical movie tells the real-life tale of the Apollo 13 mission in which all the astronauts could not make it to the moon, yet returned safely back to Earth.

Houston we have a problem

Packed with a solid cast ranging from Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton playing the astronauts to Ed Harris playing ground control - this is a great movie. Apollo 13 is based on a book written by one of Apollo 13 Astronauts James Lovell.

A movie that you are probably better off not seeing, yet on topic - so here it is. A ridiculous spy spoof about the famous Austin Powers who takes on Dr. Evil as he holds the world hostage with his Moon-laser.

Dr. Evil in Austin Powers movie

The movie is really funny in places, like when time-traveled Dr. Evil asks for a million dollars instead of a billion dollars as ransom ignoring inflation. The moon base might be a played-out trope, but this is so silly that it just might make you laugh.

One of the better movies on this list, Moon is pretty on-theme and is executed well. Sam Rockwell plays a physically and emotionally exhausted astronaut worker on the moon at the end of his contract.

Snapshot of the Moon capsule in the movie Moon

With time, Sam begins to wonder where his hallucinations end and reality begins. The twist, even if slightly predictable is really good and handled well. This is a commentary on loneliness and extreme isolation and what it can do to a person.

6. Despicable Me (2010)

One of the most adorable animated movies about a heist involving the moon - Despicable Me sees the professional supervillain Gru trying to steal the Moon!

Mr. Gru shrinking the Moon with his Shrink Ray

Mr. Gru aims big when it comes to super-villainy and wants to be known as the best there in the biz. His plan? Develop a shrink ray that can shrink the moon so that our golden-hearted supervillain can steal and hold it for ransom.

This 2011 Michael Bay Big Rig, has its plot all wrapped up in the Moon quite literally. The robot races of Cybertron crash their ship "The Ark" on the Moon containing a weapon that could end the war between them. Cut to the moon landing and the first man on the moon finding the ship and its contents.

At first, the Decepticon baddies teleport from the Moon to Earth after eons in wait, then the Bay kicks it up a notch showing teleportation on a much bigger scale. The Autobots then step in to save the day.

So, picture this - the defeated Nazis in 1945 have formed a group and fled to the Moon using technology beyond their means. Using a base built on the Moon, the Nazi's plan to return to Earth and take over with their space fleet.

Nazi spaceship rising from the Moon's surface in the Iron Sky movie

I have a feeling that Tarantino could have done justice to this plotline as a footnote in Inglorious Bast@4ds or something. But anything more than a 10-minute feature film or a lengthy post-credit scene would have resulted in the same box office disaster it currently is.

9. Hidden Figures (2016)

NASA's first female African American engineer Katherine Goble Johnson played by Taraji P Henson is a recipe for guaranteed success. The movie is partially based on the book of the same name about three African-American Mathematicians. Segregation and racial discrimination are addressed in this movie.

Taraji P Henson playing Katherine Goble Johnson in Hidden Figures

The Moon connection here is that Katherine Goble Johnson calculated the trajectories for the Apollo 11 mission, which is pretty damn cool! She helped Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and others to set foot on the Moon.

One of the most entertaining movies I've watched in a long time, MIB 3 is a great mix of comedy, action, and sci-fi in just the right amounts. You get to see Josh Brolin as the comedic lead for the first time here, which is a treat. Will Smith does a great job of the disgruntled partner trying to save the world in a race against time.

The moon plays a pretty big role in this threequel as the lead antagonist is imprisoned there, on the earth's only natural satellite. The story kicks off from there and takes you to places that make you laugh, and thrilled and keep you entertained.



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