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6 Movies like Moon: Isolated in Space

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Hannah Nwoko itcherIt’s always interesting to watching how a sense of isolation or being trapped is translated into on screen visuals. If you enjoyed ‘Moon’, you’ll enjoy this list of similar movies, which include ‘Sunshine’, ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Gravity’. ~ Hannah Nwoko

Thoughtful and Compelling Science-Fiction

Living on the far side of the moon for three years with just a robot/machine for a companion can be pretty lonely. It’s made even lonelier by a broken satellite, which means there are no live communications back to Earth at all. 

Not only is ‘Moon’ about loneliness, isolation and missing home, it’s also about trickery, deceit and lies. A host of dishonesties and confusion unravel itself creating confusion for the protagonist and us as an audience.

Don’t expect any frills or dazzling special effects from this film – it’s low budget – but it does a fantastic job of storytelling and presenting twists and turns. You’ll need to pay careful attention to understand everything that’s happening as it will really challenge you.

If you’re interested in movies similar to this, keep reading.


Movies Similar to ‘Moon’…

‘Sunshine’ (Danny Boyle, 2007)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched ‘Sunshine’ – it’s one of those movies that never gets old for me.

The movie is has elements of isolation and being trapped in space, but it’s definitely not the focal point in the film as there’s a whole crew of astronauts together.

The film centres on the crew as they attempt to revive the sun as humankind’s last hope after a previous mission failed. What ensues on the trip through space is carnage, death, self-sacrifice and discovery.

It’s a great flick with beautiful visuals filled with perilous scenarios that will keep you gripped.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘Sunshine’ involves far more characters than ‘Moon’ however both narratives unravel a series of unknown elements in a fantastic way while honouring the trapped in space theme.

‘Event Horizon’ (Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997)

It’s clear some elements of ‘Event Horizon’ were used as inspiration ‘Sunshine’ – a group of astronauts are sent to investigate a missing spaceship but end up uncovering something far more unexpected and perilous.

The tagline for this movie is “Infinite Space – Infinite Terror”, and rightly so! The movie evokes a feeling of dread throughout with lingering creepiness and suspense.

Similarity Match: 80%
This movie is far spookier than ‘Moon’ but like ‘Moon’ it nails the isolation angle incredibly well.

‘Silent Running’ (Douglas Trumbull, 1972)

In this movie, humans and the Earth have relinquished their connection – there are no growing plants and all the mountains have leveled. This lack of botanical life means that green life is grown and maintained in large greenhouses on a spacecraft.

While ‘Silent Running’ is all about keeping the greenhouse alive to preserve plants for future generations, there is an evident sense of loneliness about the spacecraft.

The film was a big influence on ‘Moon’.

Similarity Match: 70%
While this movie is about isolation in space like ‘Moon’, it differs because it has more of an ecological standpoint.

‘Gravity’ (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)

What’s darker, lonelier and more isolating than being lost in space? Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in this visual feat about an accident on a space station that leads to two astronauts being stranded in deep space with no link to Earth.

It’s an unimaginable and unquestionably frightening thought but somehow that was translated into a marvelously exciting narrative for a piece of cinema.

Don’t forget to also have a look at these other films like ‘Gravity’.

Similarity Match: 70%
‘Gravity’ conveys isolation/ being trapped in space far more frighteningly than ‘Moon’ plus it has more standout visuals, however, the storytelling is more intricate in ‘Moon’.


If You Like ‘Moon’, You Will Like…

Are you looking for movie with a strong sense of isolation or where characters are trapped somewhere but maybe you’re not after movies about space?

The next couple of recommendations of films like ‘Moon’ include narratives about characters being trapped at sea or underwater!

‘The Abyss’ (James Cameron, 1989)

With great visual effects (especially for the 80s) and a different take on alien encounters, this movie is about an investigation mission to find out what caused a submarine to crash.

The discovery is far deeper and stranger than they anticipated. It’s about an underwater adventure but with strong elements of being trapped while dealing with the alien contact theme.

It’s heartwarming and somewhat emotional but most importantly, it presents a different concept – aliens underwater.

This movie takes place primarily underwater, compared to ‘Moon’ which takes place in space, however both have the trapped theme as well as revelations presenting itself through further investigation.

‘Crimson Tide’ (Tony Scott, 1995)

Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman and Viggo Mortensen star in this submarine movie in which a ship becomes damaged and decisions have to be made regarding the best course of action to take.

As fractions form and tensions mount, it’s clear there is a sense of being trapped at sea and being isolated within the ship. Although it’s more about a showdown between the two lead characters, ‘Crimson Tide’ is still fantastically intense with its share of submarine-related disasters.

‘Moon’ has a much greater sense of isolation than ‘Crimson Tide’, however both movies provide a sense of being trapped.


Isolation, Mystery and Elements of Horror

The movies similar to ‘Moon’ on this list present themselves with problems and disaster in a horrifyingly isolated context that shouldn’t be missed.

If you know of any other similar movies, please let us know!

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