What do you get when you film a sci-fi movie with two of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars? One of the year's most anticipated movies, that's what! #JenniferLawrence and #ChrisPratt star in #Passengers, a thriller set on a spaceship making a 120-year voyage to a colony planet. The roughly 5,000 passengers on board are in hibernation chambers for the length of the journey, but two chambers malfunction, causing their inhabitants to wake up early...90 years early, to be exact.
Aurora (Lawrence) and Jim (Pratt) find themselves stuck alone on the vessel and things start to go downhill from there in terms of the ship's ability to operate as planned. Being stuck in space all alone could result in two possibilities; they will get so sick of each other or they will fall for each other. Let's safely assume on the latter.
Passengers also stars Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia, and hits theaters on December 21, 2016.
If you feel as though you can't possibly wait any longer for the movie to come out, try out some of the films below. The list includes sci-fi thrillers and tales, many involving space travel and futuristic technology, plus being stuck in confined spaces and how it affects human relationships and internal psychological struggle. The first half of the list deals more with worlds in peril while the bottom half represents the human (or robot) relationships resulting from being stuck in odd situations.
1. 'Sunshine' (2007)
- Director: Danny Boyle
- Cast: Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Cillian Murphy
The year is 2057 and the sun is dying, so a small space crew take on a dangerous mission to use a nuclear bomb to jumpstart the sun. On the journey, the crew gets a distress signal from the first ship that attempted this mission, which presumably disappeared. With the threat of surviving the mission diminishing, a few members of the crew start to suffer psychologically, putting them all at increased risk.
2. 'Moon' (2009)
- Director: Duncan Jones
- Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Kaya Scodelario, Benedict Wong
An oil crisis in the year 2035 results in using moon rocks from a lunar facility as a source for alternative fuel. The facility only requires one human to operate and oversee the extraction of the new source of energy. The current worker (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the end of his three-year stint at the facility, which cannot come soon enough considering his communication with earth has been disabled and his closest connection to outside life is an AI named GERTY. Losing his sanity, he begins to hallucinate, putting his return back to Earth in danger.
The film has received a lot of praise, including many award nominations and wins, including a BAFTA in 2010.
3. 'Snowpiercer' (2013)
- Director: Bong Joon-ho
- Cast: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris
Taking place solely on a train, Snowpiercer follows the last of the living after a plan to end global warming goes horribly wrong and causes a new ice age. The train, which circles the earth, is split into different sections based on class. A passenger from the lower-class section (Chris Evans) has had enough and plans a rebellion against the elite passengers who occupy the front of the train.
The sci-fi thriller had a limited release, but due to word of mouth and streaming services, the film became a must-see in 2013. With a world in ruin and a group of passengers stuck on a train with no hope in sight, there is no surprise a few of them would lose their minds.
4. 'Europa Report' (2013)
- Director: Sebastian Cordero
- Cast: Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra
A crew of six astronauts travel to Jupiter’s moon Europa on a mission to find potential sources of life. Before they land on Europa, the ship loses all communication with Mission Control and unfortunate events start to spiral from there. Despite being on their own with no help from Earth, they are determined to continue their mission — but when they land, they may have found more than they are prepared for.
To make the events seem more authentic, the film is shot in "found footage" style. The icy setting for Europa was accurately based on data from NASA regarding the moon's surface.
5. 'Air' (2015)
- Director: Christian Cantamessa
- Cast: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt
The world has been destroyed due to chemical warfare and the air is now unbreathable. There are not many survivors, except for a few scientists that are put in underground bunkers kept in cryogenic sleep until toxicity of the air clears. To make sure everything runs smoothly in the bunkers, two maintenance workers (Reedus and Hounsou) wake up every six months for two hours for inspections. All is well until an issue arises with the sleeping chambers within the facility.
What we think is a simple post-apocalyptic survival situation turns out to be more complicated with an issue of betrayal and struggling with reality.
6. 'Logan's Run' (1976)
- Director: Michael Anderson
- Cast: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov
The year is 2274 and all that is left of civilization lives under sealed domes run by a computer. The utopian government believes that in order to maintain resources and contain the population, people who reach the age of 30 must be killed off during a ritual called "Carrousel." Any resident who runs or tries to escape the rebirthing process will be sought after by a group of police known as "Sandmen."
One of these Sandmen learns that there is a secret society of "runners," but then finds himself on the other side of the chase after his life-clock suddenly adds a few years and exceeds 30. With the help of a female companion, they try to outrun the Sandmen and renew their chance at life.
7. 'Solaris' (2002)
- Director: Steven Soderbergh
- Cast: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone
Adapted from a book by author Stanislaw Lem of the same name, the story follows a man who travels on a solo mission to a space station orbiting the fictional planet Solaris in the hopes of helping the crew aboard return home. When he arrives, he finds much of the crew dead and the rest unwilling to leave for reasons they will not explain. To make matters even stranger, his dead wife appears on board, which questions how Solaris is involved in these occurrences.
Director Andrei Tarkovsky first adapted the book in 1972, gaining critical acclaim for his film. Soderbergh’s version is said to be closer to the book. Taking place primarily on the space station, the film uses flashbacks and memories to give viewers an idea of the personal struggles within the characters.
8. 'WALL-E' (2008)
- Director: Andrew Stanton
- Voice Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver
The animated Pixar hit follows a robot named WALL-E who happens to be the last of his kind. Earth has been abandoned and robots were left to clean up the planet and being the only one left, WALL-E has developed sentience. He then discovers a growing plant, seemingly impossible on an abandoned planet filled with garbage. When another robot, EVE, is sent to scan the planet, WALL-E shows her the plant and she takes it, so he follows her aboard her ship. The hope for a future on earth is restored — but the revelation takes WALL-E on a journey with EVE being a huge part of his motivation.
Arguably one of the best love stories of modern times, WALL-E solidifies the fact that Pixar dominates the world of animation. Heartfelt and meaningful, the sci-fi tale will bring out some emotions for viewers of any age.
9. 'ARQ' (2016)
- Director: Tony Elliot
- Cast: Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Shaun Benson, Gray Powell, Jacob Neayem, Adam Butcher
The Netflix original film follows an engineer stuck in his home with a device that he created but also stole from his previous employer. The device, called the ARQ, is supposed to be a generator but somehow causes time to loop, replaying the same set of hours over and over. The loop replays a home invasion by a group of mercenaries threatening to harm him and his former lover, who is staying at the home. Each loop presents more details and a clearer picture of the intentions of the group.
The film can be described as a mix of Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow with a more confined setting, in this case, mainly a garage. Time-looping plots are risky but even though this project had limited resources, they make it work.
10. 'Equals' (2016)
- Director: Drake Doremus
- Cast: Nicholas Holt, Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver
Part science-fiction, part romantic drama, this film tells the tale of a dystopian society where emotions no longer exist. Then a new illness starts to spread which causes people to regain their emotional ability. Having the disease will make the infected outcasts, so many try to keep it hidden. A couple who have hidden their romance struggle with the secret — especially when there are talks of a cure. Banding together with other members of the infected might be the best option, but also a dangerous one.
Passengers opens on December 21, 2016.