Mars Attacks! and the 5 best sci-fi space movies to watch right now

Since the Solar Eclipse happened this week, let's take a trip into outer space with these popular sci-fi movies.
"The World Of Tim Burton" Exhibition Press Conference
"The World Of Tim Burton" Exhibition Press Conference / Stefano Guidi/GettyImages

Aliens, technology, and discovering the mysterious vastness of space are what make a great sci-fi space movie. These elements entranced us because they offered us a glimpse of what could be out in the universe beyond our knowledge. Then, there's great entertainment, which seduces us to watch. You have the best of both worlds with sci-fi.

If you're craving a ride into the solar system to encounter other lifeforms but don't want to leave the comfort of your couch, then look no further than our suggestions. We've got you covered from aliens, intergalactic travel, and action, so there's something for everyone.

Six sci-fi space movies to watch right now

Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! (1996)

Tim Burton is a genius for creating productions outside the norm, and his 1996 film Mars Attacks! is one of them. Based and spoofed on the popular1960s trading cards and 1950s low-budget sci-fi movies, the film depicted grotesque and large-brained Martians violently taking over the Earth and wiping out as many humans as possible. It took a smart kid named Richie (Lukas Haas) and his grandmother (Sylvia Sidney) to beat the Martians at their own game by blasting Slim Whitman on a continuous loop, and with Welsh singer Tom Jones saving the good of humanity.

Richie's heroism comes after the US President (Jack Nicholson) and his team failed to conquer the Martians themselves despite offering peace and alliance deals with their leader.

While the movie didn't hit Box Office success, Mars Attacks! earned a place in pop culture history because it paid homage to Hollywood's early start in the sci-fi genre and its A-list cast. Additionally, composer Danny Elfman (who wrote The Simpsons' theme and others) created the mystifying soundtrack that made the film even more terrifying and weirdly entertaining. Where to stream: Mars Attacks! is currently on Tubi.

Sci-fi space movies
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. ..© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

The Star Wars franchise (1977-present)

In a time not so long ago, in 1977, filmmaker George Lucas developed Star Wars, and it became an overnight triumph. Fans couldn't get enough of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Yoda, Darth Vader, and other beloved characters on their fantastical adventures. Through the journeys, Luke discovers a few bombshells regarding his family and the importance of the Force.

Star Wars has spawned sequels, prequels, ainimation, stand-alone content, and merchandise and has had its material respectfully parodied in Family Guy, The Simpsons, and other entertainment. As the Star Wars franchise has unlimited story potential, it could stretch on for years, which isn't bad considering it started off as a small dream for Lucas.

Since its Disney acquisition in 2012, Star Wars gained a new legion of fans and the birth of Baby Grogu. Where to watch: The near-entire Star Wars lineup could be streamed on Disney+.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is inspired by the works of sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. It tells the story about a group of astronauts with a savvy computer named HAL on a mission through space. The flight's purpose is finding out the history of an buried ancient alien artifact. To do this, Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and his crew must go to Jupiter, when HAL turns against them, it's the ultimate fight for survival for Dr. Bowman.

At the end, there's hope for humanity through the eyes of a Star Child.

Infused with classical music and its transparent theme, 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered one of the greatest movies ever per Variety. Where to watch: 2001: A Space Odyssey can be streamed on Max.

best sci-fi space movies
Communities In The Path Of Totality Prepare For Monday's Solar Eclipse / Joe Raedle/GettyImages

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

A friendship forms between a young boy, Elliot (Henry Thomas), and an alien named E.T. in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. His species accidently leaves behind E.T. Elliot, and his siblings help him return to his home planet before anyone finds out about his existence. Unfortunately, both Elliot and E.T. fall dangerously ill, and then the government intervenes. To save E.T.'s life, Elliot rides across town with him to get him back to his spaceship. Although the two friends are departing, E.T. and Elliot ensure they'll have an eternal bond.

E.T. is one of the highest-grossing films of all time, even beating Star Wars in 1983. It continuously placed Spielberg on the map as Hollywood's leading director and is synonymous with the 1980s. Where to watch: Prime.

Men in Black (1997)

Another alien blockbuster, Men In Black, stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as government agents Agent J and Agent K, respectively, fighting against suspicious beings in America. As their MIB program is extremely secretive, no one outside the organization must know about their operations, and former agents' minds are erased. Towards the end, Agent J and Agent K successfully prevent an alien takeover and save the world.

Smith's comedic persona is the perfect complement to Jones' stoicism, and their antics are the core value of partnership. What's more, Danny Elfman composes the music, as he did for Mars Attacks! Due to MIB's success, two sequels were released, reuniting Smith and Jones. Where to watch: AMC and AMC+.

Best sci-fi movies to watch
Alien Ship Attacking The White House Scenes From Independence Day The New Thriller From 20T / Getty Images/GettyImages

Independence Day (1996)

Before he was Agent J in Men In Black, Will Smith portrayed Captain Steven Hiller, who's once again trying to save the world from an alien attack. Much like the plot of Mars Attacks!, which came out the same year, Independence Day relied on government officials to do the honorable deed, but unlike the former, they accomplished their mission.

Both films were parallels, but while Independance Day delivered seriousness, Mars Attacks! explored humor and cultural references. Independence Day became 1996's hit film and received praise for its stunning visuals, and music. Where to watch: Starz.

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