6 Movies For Space Fans On the 4th Of July

2nd Jul 2024
6 Movies For Space Fans On the 4th Of July

U.S. Independence Day is more than just a day for Americans to BBQ and watch fireworks. It is a moment when peoples’ visions of what ‘America’ is comes out, and across the political spectrum, “explorers” would be a key word. So, today, we bring to your attention six movies about space that are perfect for watching on this day, especially if your fireworks get rained out!

Films about space are not just an enjoyable leisure activity, they are an opportunity to look into history, and learn about technological achievements and scientific research, space missions and the very human people who realized them, and dream of making incredible adventures real.

Ready to be inspired? Let’s begin our cinematic journey to stardom.

“The Right Stuff”

Year of release: 1983  

Directed by: Philip Kauffman  

Main characters: Scott Glenn (Alan Shepard), Ed Harris (John Glenn), Dennis Quaid (Gordon Cooper).

The Plot: 

Based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name and based on true events, the film focuses on the story of the first American Mercury astronauts, their training, tests, flights, and the physical and emotional challenges faced by the main characters. The film covers the period from the selection of the program’s first seven astronauts to the first space flight.

What inspires

The film is not only about technical achievements but also shows the heroism and dedication of the astronauts who risked everything for science, progress, and new heights in space exploration.

This is an inspiring story about how true greatness depends on the courage to strive for new horizons, even if it requires great sacrifice.

“Independence Day” 

Year of release: 1996  

Directed by: Roland Emmerich  

Main characters: Will Smith (Captain Steven Hiller), Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (President Thomas Whitmore).

The Plot: At the heart of this epic story is the alien invasion of Earth and the struggle of a united humanity against a powerful enemy. The film is full of memorable moments and scenes, such as President Whitmore’s famous speech calling for unity and the fight for freedom.

What it inspires

The film shows how people of all backgrounds and nationalities unite in the face of a common threat. The heroism of characters such as Captain Stephen Hiller and President Whitmore is full of selflessness and willingness to defend their homeland. The director’s main message is that in the most difficult moments, we can unite and overcome any obstacle.

“Apollo 13”

Year of release: 1995

Directed by: Ron Howard

Main characters: Tom Hanks (Jim Lovell), Kevin Bacon (Jack Swygert), Bill Paxton (Fred Hayes).

The Plot: It is a story of resilience, courage, and incredible human spirit. The film is about a real NASA Apollo mission in 1970 when three astronauts on a mission to the Moon found themselves in a critical situation after an explosion aboard their spaceship. The protagonists had to use all their experience and ingenuity to get back home.

What inspires

The film reminds us that despite any challenges, we can achieve the impossible if we work together. It celebrates courage, ingenuity, perseverance, and team spirit.

The story is full of dramatic moments, but it is also filled with optimism and faith in human possibilities. It teaches us that even in the most difficult situations, you should not lose hope but use all your strength and knowledge to find a way out.

One of the film’s most powerful moments is the famous phrase, “Houston, we have a problem”, which has become synonymous with difficult situations that require instant solutions. Also, the scenes where the Houston Mission Control team, along with the astronauts on board, work non-stop to bring the crew home symbolize the unity and cohesion of the entire nation in the face of crisis.

“First Man” 

Year of release: 2018  

Directed by: Damien Chazelle  

Main characters: Ryan Gosling (Neil Armstrong), Claire Foy (Janet Shirley)

The Plot: The film follows the life and career of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon. It covers the period from 1961, when Armstrong became a NASA astronaut, to the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The viewer explores the personal sacrifices, trials, and tribulations faced by the astronauts and their families as they prepared for and executed the historic flight.

What Inspires

Neil Armstrong took “a small step for man, but a huge leap for mankind.” This moment has become a symbol of patriotism and scientific achievement.

The film inspires viewers with its in-depth look at Armstrong’s personal story and his contribution to the US space program, highlighting his role in the history of science and exploration, and reminds us that nothing is impossible if we have a goal and the will to achieve it. 

This is a dramatic story of the human experience, of love and loss, of risk and sacrifice.

“Hidden Figures” 

Year of release: 2016  

Directed by: Theodore Melfi  

Main characters: Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughn), Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson)

The Plot: The story of three African-American women mathematicians who worked at NASA in the 1960s and played a key role in launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson overcame racial and gender bias to contribute to one of the greatest space missions in history.

What Inspires

The film highlights that America’s greatness lies in its diversity and ability to unite for a common goal. The stories of these women are a symbol of the strength, perseverance, and intellectual potential that exists in every person, regardless of their background.

The example of the female protagonists is inspiring, showing how personal determination and collective effort can overcome barriers and achieve greatness. The film reminds us of the importance of fairness, equality, and the pursuit of knowledge and that behind every meaningful achievement are people whose hard work and talent can go unnoticed. It teaches us that everyone, regardless of color or gender, can contribute to society.

“Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” 

Year of release: 2021  

Directed by: Richard Linklater  

Main characters: Jack Black (Main Character), Glenn Powell (The Doctor)

The Plot: This is a unique animated drama based on the childhood of director Richard Linklater. The film is not a documentary chronology of the mission but rather a story of growing up against the backdrop of the space race. We follow Stan, a young boy living in Houston during the summer of 1969. Stan’s world is filled with the excitement of the moon landing, backyard rocket experiments, and the everyday adventures of childhood. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he is recruited for a secret mission to become the first child astronaut and test a miniature lunar module!

What Inspires

The film captures the wonder and excitement surrounding the Apollo missions, reminding us of a time when mankind dared to reach for the stars.

The viewer is given a window into the past, showing how the space age and space achievements inspired and shaped the next generation of Americans striving for new horizons.

The film illustrates the American optimism and faith in the future that characterized the time of the ‘space race’ and encourages us not to give up on our dreams, no matter how big or small, just like Stan’s childhood ambition to become an astronaut.


In this publication, we’ve told you about historical space flight dramas and nostalgic animated films that span different genres and eras. But they have one thing in common: they celebrate human resilience, determination, and a thirst for learning.

The seven films in this review are not only about space and its exploration—they show the viewer examples of true patriotism and heroism. The most interesting thing is that these qualities are demonstrated not by fantastic superheroes but by ordinary people, with their personal dramas, flaws, and weaknesses. What they have in common is perseverance and the ability to band together to overcome adversity when the stakes are high.

We hope that watching these films inspires you to keep exploring, dreaming, and striving for new heights—on earth and beyond.

What films about space exploration and American history do you love? Share your impressions in the comments!

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