Best Space Opera Films

by petiopi | created - 13 Jul 2015 | updated - 10 Aug 2018 | Public
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1. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 875,291 | Gross: $309.13M

2. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,069,167 | Gross: $290.48M

3. Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003)

Not Rated | 68 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A continuation of the story told in the Daft Punk music videos "One More Time," "Aerodynamic," "Digital Love," and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."

Directors: Daisuke Nishio, Hirotoshi Rissen, Kazuhisa Takenouchi, Leiji Matsumoto | Stars: Romanthony, Thomas Bangalter

Votes: 12,836

4. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,138,071 | Gross: $322.74M

5. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Defected stormtrooper Finn and the scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance's search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Votes: 794,651 | Gross: $936.66M

6. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

PG-13 | 149 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans

Votes: 708,535 | Gross: $678.82M

7. Galaxy Quest (1999)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.

Director: Dean Parisot | Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 139,198 | Gross: $71.58M

8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna

Votes: 144,594 | Gross: $41.19M

9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

PG | 109 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

63 Metascore

Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Director: Garth Jennings | Stars: Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel

Votes: 179,021 | Gross: $51.09M

10. Spaceballs (1987)

PG | 96 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

46 Metascore

A rogue star pilot and his trusty sidekick must come to the rescue of a Princess and save the galaxy from a ruthless race of beings known as Spaceballs.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman

Votes: 160,840 | Gross: $38.12M

11. Ender's Game (2013)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, an insectoid alien race who had previously tried to invade Earth and had inflicted heavy losses on humankind.

Director: Gavin Hood | Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 213,510 | Gross: $61.74M

12. Star Trek (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Votes: 559,899 | Gross: $257.73M

13. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

85 Metascore

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Votes: 475,720 | Gross: $620.18M

14. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

67 Metascore

The Guardians struggle to keep together as a team while dealing with their personal family issues, notably Star-Lord's encounter with his father the ambitious celestial being Ego.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel

Votes: 503,551 | Gross: $389.81M

15. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 448,485 | Gross: $228.78M

16. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela (Cate Blanchett).

Director: Taika Waititi | Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo

Votes: 509,018 | Gross: $315.06M

17. Man of Steel (2013)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure

55 Metascore

Clark Kent is an alien who as a child was evacuated from his dying world and came to Earth, living as a normal human. But when survivors of his alien home invade Earth, he must reveal himself to the world.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane

Votes: 655,129 | Gross: $291.05M

18. Flash Gordon (1980)

PG | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

58 Metascore

A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol

Votes: 46,569

19. Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance

Planet Express sees a hostile takeover and Bender falls into the hands of criminals where he is used to fulfill their schemes.

Director: Dwayne Carey-Hill | Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 31,892

20. Titan A.E. (2000)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

48 Metascore

A young man learns that he has to find a hidden Earth ship before an enemy alien species does in order to secure the survival of humanity.

Directors: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman | Stars: Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, Jim Breuer

Votes: 56,757 | Gross: $22.75M

21. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

76 Metascore

A group of intergalactic criminals must pull together to stop a fanatical warrior with plans to purge the universe.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 971,158 | Gross: $333.18M

22. Serenity (2005)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

The crew of the ship Serenity try to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their members who is telepathic.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk

Votes: 272,587 | Gross: $25.51M

23. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

83 Metascore

A paraplegic Marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 1,059,117 | Gross: $760.51M

24. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

68 Metascore

Three years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-Wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 649,935 | Gross: $380.26M

25. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

PG | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their old glory.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

Votes: 663,676 | Gross: $474.54M

26. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

R | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

38 Metascore

The wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton

Votes: 205,829 | Gross: $57.76M

27. Star Trek Beyond (2016)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

The crew of the USS Enterprise explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy, who puts them, and everything the Federation stands for, to the test.

Director: Justin Lin | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 212,957 | Gross: $158.85M

28. The Fifth Element (1997)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm

Votes: 408,397 | Gross: $63.54M

29. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

PG-13 | 106 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

49 Metascore

A scientist makes a last stand on Earth with the help of a ragtag team of soldiers against an invasion of alien phantoms.

Directors: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Ming-Na Wen, Ving Rhames

Votes: 78,301 | Gross: $32.13M

30. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

71 Metascore

The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton

Votes: 111,528 | Gross: $92.00M

31. John Carter (2012)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.

Director: Andrew Stanton | Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton

Votes: 244,213 | Gross: $73.08M

32. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

PG | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

54 Metascore

Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee

Votes: 583,809 | Gross: $310.68M

33. Arena (1989)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A human becomes an unlikely rising star in the biggest fighting tournament in the galaxy that's dominated by alien species.

Director: Peter Manoogian | Stars: Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Camp, Claudia Christian, Marc Alaimo

Votes: 1,927

34. Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)

PG | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

On a distant planet inhabited by mutants, two bounty-hunters race to rescue three Earth female captives from the clutches of an evil mutant warlord.

Director: Lamont Johnson | Stars: Peter Strauss, Molly Ringwald, Ernie Hudson, Andrea Marcovicci

Votes: 4,925 | Gross: $16.48M

35. Wing Commander (1999)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

21 Metascore

Blair, a fighter pilot, joins an interstellar war to fight the evil Kilrathi who are trying to destroy the universe.

Director: Chris Roberts | Stars: Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows, Tchéky Karyo

Votes: 15,745 | Gross: $11.58M

36. Lost in Space (1998)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Family

42 Metascore

The Robinson family was going into space to fight for a chance for humanity. Now they are fighting to live long enough to find a way home.

Director: Stephen Hopkins | Stars: Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 66,884 | Gross: $69.12M

37. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

The daughter of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the Death Star plans.

Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen

Votes: 488,752 | Gross: $532.18M

38. Harlock: Space Pirate (2013)

Not Rated | 115 min | Animation, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Mankind is dying. Only one man can do anything about it, Space Captain Harlock, but the Gaia Coalition will stop at nothing to end him.

Director: Shinji Aramaki | Stars: Yû Aoi, Jessica Boone, Ayano Fukuda, Arata Furuta

Votes: 10,968

39. Battle for Terra (2007)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

54 Metascore

A peaceful alien planet faces annihilation, as the homeless remainder of the human race sets its eyes on Terra. Mala, a rebellious Terrian teenager, will do everything she can to stop it.

Director: Aristomenis Tsirbas | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Luke Wilson, Justin Long, Chad Allen

Votes: 10,939 | Gross: $1.65M

40. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

The Enterprise is diverted to the Romulan homeworld Romulus, supposedly because they want to negotiate a peace treaty. Captain Picard and his crew discover a serious threat to the Federation once Praetor Shinzon plans to attack Earth.

Director: Stuart Baird | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton

Votes: 68,908 | Gross: $43.25M

41. Masters of the Universe (1987)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

35 Metascore

The heroic warrior He-Man battles against the evil lord Skeletor and his armies of darkness for control of Castle Grayskull.

Director: Gary Goddard | Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, Billy Barty

Votes: 34,391 | Gross: $17.34M

42. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

40 Metascore

A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean

Votes: 169,071 | Gross: $47.39M

43. Logan's Run (1976)

PG | 119 min | Action, Sci-Fi

53 Metascore

An idyllic science fiction future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of thirty.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 48,264 | Gross: $25.00M

44. Space Truckers (1996)

PG-13 | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

A space trucker and his cute fiancee are on their way from a space station to Earth with an unknown cargo. When space pirates hijack them, 5000 disintegrator robots are found in the cargo.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Tim Loane, Ian Beattie, Olwen Fouéré, Shane Rimmer

Votes: 6,242

45. Riddick (2013)

R | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 146,444 | Gross: $42.03M

46. Space Station 76 (2014)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

A 1970s version of the future, where personalities and asteroids collide.

Director: Jack Plotnick | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Marisa Coughlan, Matt Bomer

Votes: 7,348



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