People love watching movies. In fact, there is a great number of people who love watching sci-fi or science fiction movies based on the theme of space and science like Star Wars and Star Trek franchise which although isn’t accurately a scientific movie but it is all around the top charts when asked to any sci-fi nerds out there. According to a BBC interview were NASA’s women scientists were asked to rate their likeness towards space-themed movies and the debate has caused a stir on the internet since the interview and the movies debated in it have received a lot of buzz as of now. When asked about which movies did NASA’s women scientists thing were the best and then, which science-themed movies were the worst, here is an epic compilation of the movies listed during the interview.
Just a synopsis about the interview, movies such as The Martian, The Hidden Figures, Star Trek, Apollo 13 and few others received praises while movies like Gravity, Planet of the Pes, Red Planet and Mission to Mars received thumbs-down for being not accurate at all in terms of science.
The 2013 blockbuster movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney received huge acclaims and accolades from millions of people who loved the movie. It also received the title of Best movie of 2013 by Time magazine. But not for the women at NASA, the U.S. space agency, where the movie received a negative response for depicting so many things going wrong. According to Tori Wills, heat shield analyst at NASA, the movie showcased that everything went wrong that could actually go wrong thus showing the space journey into a negative light.
She pointed out how Ryan Stone, the astronaut protagonist played by Sandra Bullock would jump from orbits to orbits without any hassle and how the latter half of the movie shows her breathing heavily into the microphone when she is trying to get back to the Earth. She also pointed out towards the ending sequence where she lands on the ocean and when she comes out of the capsule, she is simply dressed in inner wears inside her space suit to which, she responded: “Where’s the diaper?”.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Another movie that went down the list of worst movies according to the scientists at NASA is 2011 released Planet of the Apes whereas the name suggests, the planet is ruled by Apes. The lead character of the movie who is stuck on the planet tries to escape it and get back to Earth. The movie received grave responses by NASA for being too inaccurate scientifically. Gioia Massa, the manager at NASA’s Veggie Lab asserted that the movie is biologically inaccurate. In the first scenes quoted under being biologically inaccurate, the names of DNA base pairs are summoned incorrectly. In a different scene, the actors call a giant grasshopper-like creature as a tiny worm.
Similar to the Planet of the Apes, Armageddon received the least point for being less scientifically accurate compared to the movie Deep Impact released the same year. The plot of the movie is about NASA which sends a team to stop an asteroid which is en route to collide with the Earth. The ensemble of the movie is huge including Ben Affleck, William Fichtner, Liv Tyler, Bruce Willis, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Patton, Owen Wilson, Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Buscemi. Although the movie did far more box office collection than Deep Impact which was termed as a good scientifically accurate movie, Armageddon later became the highest grossing movie of 1998.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 – 1994)
It has been more than two decades but Star Trek franchise has remained the favorite movie of all science enthusiast and even scientists. Misty Snopkowski who is the launch site integrator at NASA states that this is a move which she used to watch all the time while she was in school.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Apollo 13 received a more than a fair share of positive response from women scientists at NASA as it has been associated with one of the best science-themed movies which include the bigwigs like The Martian. Based on the true story, the movie is accurate and as said by Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space who spread a lot of time on ISS that the movie depicts exactly how astronauts fly in space and more. The movie is an adaptation of the book ‘Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage’ which was based on real-life Apollo 13, America’s third mission to the Moon in which, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert, and Jim Lovell were the astronauts.
The Martian (2015)
The Matt Damon starrer The Martian which released in 2015 received the title for the best space film by NASA’s women. The movie shows how a man lives on the red planet after a hurricane forces other crew members to launch off without him assuming that he died. The movie shows how Matt Damon’s character continues to live for months and shows the struggle in living in another planet as well as how planets can be grown in the space which indeed made scientists at NASA intriguing and excited since the lead actor is actually a botanist in the film.
The James Cameron directed movie Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway which was made with proper calculations done by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne saw the praises when the researchers at NASA were asked about it. The list includes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Hidden Figures, and Star Wars too as added by Regina Spellman, NASA’s launchpad project manager.