Our favourite moon landing inspired movies for the 50th Anniversary

Our favourite moon landing inspired movies for the 50th Anniversary


It has been half a century since astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of NASA’s Apollo 11, set foot on the moon and uttered those famous words that changed the course of history.

“One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

It’s reported that around 600 million people tuned in to watch the event live on national television in 1969.

The mesmerising footage brought one of the world’s most significant scientific feats directly into the homes of young and old, leaving a profound impact on the human psyche – the dream that anything is possible.

That’s why science on the big screen is so important – so that people can see and celebrate the achievements of very real superheroes and understand the impact science has on our daily lives.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on 20 July, we’ve put together our eleven favourite moon landing and space-themed movies.

  1. First Man (2018)

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” – were the immortal words of Neil Armstrong as he stepped foot on the moon. But how did the moon landing mission come to be? First Man looks at the life of legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong and the history of humankind’s race to walk on the moon.

  1. The Dish (2000)

The Dish in Parkes, NSW, Credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

This one is a must-see Australian film. Who were the heroes that broadcasted the moon landing to all of Australia? It was none-other than a group of Aussie technicians working on a satellite dish in the middle of a sheep farm, of course.

  1. Apollo 13 (1995)

Based on the riveting true story of the 13th Apollo mission headed for the moon, this film will have you on the edge of your seats.  Follow NASA as they try and rescue three astronauts who are stranded in space.

  1. From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

For those of us who prefer a good TV mini-series, this 12-episode docudrama dramatically recounts the Apollo space programs during the 1960s and 1970s, from the tragic fire on the failed Apollo 1 mission to the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

  1. Hidden Figures (2016)

Behind the glam and glory of the 1960s U.S. space program, a group of mathematicians – the hidden figures – are a team of African- American women who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes as the brains of NASA.

  1. Iron Sky (2012)

The conspiracy theorist in all of us loved this one! What if Neil Armstrong wasn’t really the first person to step foot on the moon? In Iron Sky, the Nazis have set up base on the moon’s dark side after WWII, where they plot their return to Earth and power…

  1. Gravity (2013)

Gravity, a classic tale of survival, yet in the horrible and beautiful vast blackness of space. It was a visual feast that made us feel like we were drifting out through the galaxy… right from the comfort of our couches!

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Science-fiction at its best, 2001: A Space Odyssey had to go on our list! Is there other life out in space? Perhaps a mysterious higher force that guides our evolution? And how much power should we give to artificial intelligence? This one left us scratching our heads for hours.

A still from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Credit: Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images


  1. Apollo 18 (2011)

In this alternate history film, we discover what would have happened if the cancelled Apollo 18 mission actually landed on the moon, only for the team to find they weren’t alone. This one had us hiding behind our pillows for most of the film!

  1. For all of Mankind (1989) (Documentary)

For those who want an authentic moon landing experience, For all of Mankind tells the moon landing story as it happened, with old footage and recordings from mission control and the astronauts themselves.

  1. The Martian (2015)

Now we know this one isn’t moon landing related…but Matt Damon landing on Mars needed to appear on this list somewhere. The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir’s hit novel tells a story of survival and makes us wonder what Mars will be like if or even when, humans can step foot on the red planet.

So, what are you waiting for? The 50th Anniversary is on Saturday, which gives you a few days to catch up before the historic moment is celebrated!

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Cover image: The classic shot of Neil Armstrong on the moon, Credit: NASA/AFP/Getty Images