Before Tom Cruise goes to the International Space Station (ISS) to shoot the next installment of his Mission Impossible franchise in space, thousands of movies have tried to imitate life in the outer space.

Many have tried, but only a few have succeeded in recreating life in space. Here are five movies that received a thumbs-up from three real-life astronauts - Chris Hadfield, Nicole Stott, and Garrett Reisman, all retired astronauts and engineers.

Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space, and he served as ISS commander. Reisman was Expedition 15's backup crew member before he joined Expedition 16 and Expedition 17. On the other hand, Stott served as a flight engineer on ISS Expedition 20 and 21 as well as STS-128 and STS-133's mission specialist.

Check out the list, and perhaps you can set a space movie marathon by the weekend:

Read also: Mission Impossible 7: Tom Cruise Rents $700K Ship to Continue Shooting Film Amid Pandemic

5. Passengers (2016)

The swimming pool scene is a great visual depiction of what would happen to the water when the centrifugal force was gone after the ship stopped spinning. While Hadfield said, it is not likely to happen because it would require a great external force to halt a huge space vehicle from spinning. More importantly, the force is unlikely to reappear and crash everything down, as shown in the film. Similarly, it would take considerable time and effort to make such a huge structure spin again.

Meanwhile, Stott said the film's portrayal of water that formed a blob is very realistic as it occurs in the ISS, even in tears.

4. First Man (2018)

The film showed Neil Armstrong as a test pilot before he became an astronaut. He was seen flying an X-15, but Hadfield found lapses in the aircraft's representation as its vibrations would seem unnoticeable.

Also, the sky, as seen in the aircraft's window, turns sky blue to light blue and then turns to black. In actual flight, the sky gets darker as the aircraft goes higher the aircraft goes.

More importantly, Hadfield disliked the gloomy atmosphere around the mission. While all astronauts are aware of the seriousness of the mission, the flight remains a great adventure. They are also overjoyed at the mere possibility of going to outer space.

3. The Martian (2015)

The movie pretty accurately got the idea, except for Iron Man-like scene, that pricking the space suit's glove will make it propel like a jet pack.

Growing potatoes on Mars may be close to reality since Matt Damon's character Mark Watney only needs to have nutrient-rich soil, which he made using his own feces, water, heat, and oxygen. Every astronaut is trained in creating such using some space supplies and simple chemical reactions.

While Reisman gave the movie a 9 rating, Hadfield thinks some scientific misnomers, particularly with Watney's built, which would only be a third as he was seen in the movie since Mars' gravity is only about 38% of Earth's. There are also some problematic scenes in the movie since the Red Planet's atmosphere is incredibly thin.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

According to Hadfield and Reisman, life in space is portrayed quite realistically and incredibly artistically while they both love the movie.

This film was made even before man even landed on the moon and rotated the ISS to simulate gravity. It played around the idea of creating centrifugal force, but Reisman noted the movie even got the speed right.

After returning from his first space-walk, Hadfield cannot explain what he had seen to his wife, so he said, "it's exactly as they imagined in the movie."

1. Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 was about astronauts Lovell, Haise, and Swigert, who were stranded as their spacecraft gets damaged during a moon mission. Hadfield said he had used the famous line "Houston, we have a problem" on a few occasions.

Everyone who hears the sentence immediately stops what they are doing to what the commander is saying.

Hadfield had all praises about the docudrama. "Maybe the most realistic of all the space movies," he said. The film strikingly portrayed the problem-solving process during spaceflight and even used NASA's transcripts for the dialogue in intense scenes. Reisman even regards it as a documentary even without getting all equipment into outer space.

Read also: NASA and SpaceX Dragon Will Bring Tom Cruise, Doug Liman, a Pilot, and a 'Lucky' Tourist in the ISS for October 2021

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Written by CJ Robles

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