Science Fiction in Space: 6 Movies to Watch in 2013
, SPACE.com Staff Writer | June 14, 2013 10:43am ET
Introduction: Summer and Fall Space Movies to Check Out
From the terrifying to the heroic, this summer and fall are full of space action on the big screen.<br /><br />
Here are six movies you should be on the lookout for during the hot summer months and brisk autumn ones. Take your pick and tell us about your favorites.
Return to Earth in the Future with "After Earth"
Humanity has abandoned Earth in the big-budget blockbuster "After Earth" starring Will Smith along side his son Jaden Smith. <br /><br />
The father-son pair (who also play dad and son in the movie) crash-land back on Earth after leaving their new home planet of Nova Prime. With dad injured, son Jaden needs to brave the surface of an Earth that has evolved to be inhospitable to mankind in search of help.<br /><br />
"After Earth" is now in theaters nationwide.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/20784-humans-abandoned-home-planet-in-after-earth-trailer.html">Watch the trailer</a>.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/20786-after-earth-film-will-smith.html">Read the full story here</a>.
Get Your Summer Superhero Fix with "Man of Steel"
It's a bird! It's a plane! No. It's an alien. <br /><br />
"Man of Steel" and any iteration of the Superman story might be the ultimate alien adventure story even though it takes place on Earth. <br /><br />
The newest take on the age-old story of Superman, "Man of Steel" looks like a dark and gritty tale about how the boy born Kal-El on the distant planet Krypton eventually became the savior of life on Earth.<br /><br />
"Man of Steel" is set for release on Friday (June 14).
Fly to a Moon of Jupiter in "Europa Report"
One of the most realistic depictions of deep spaceflight that we here at SPACE.com have ever seen, "Europa Report" could be a contender for best space film of the year.<br /><br />
The movie is shot documentary-style, with post-mortem interviews of people involved with the first mission to Europa leading the audience through the story. It's clear that something went wrong during the trip, but the filmmakers do a great job of keeping the suspense going throughout the entire show.<br /><br />
"Europa Report" is set for release through iTunes on June 27, but you can catch the action in theaters on Aug. 2 as well.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/21224-europa-report-dramatizes-human-mission-to-jupiter-s-moon-video-trailer.html">Watch the trailer</a>.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/21247-europa-report-scifi-film-trailer.html">Read the full story here</a>.
Travel to a Future Space Station with "Elysium"
The Earth is a wasteland in "Elysium." Rich people around the planet have decamped to the paradise of Elysium — a space station in orbit above Earth. <br /><br />
Matt Damon plays a man stuck on Earth who needs health care reserved for the well-to-do inhabitants of the station. Instead of taking his illness lying down, Damon's character does everything in his power to get the drugs he needs to save his life in the year 2154.<br /><br />
Directed and written by "District 9" mastermind Neill Blomkamp and costarring Jodie Foster, this movie is sure to impress.<br /><br />
"Elysium" is set for release on Aug. 9.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/20672-new-elysium-trailer-holds-bleak-future-for-earth-video.html">Watch the trailer</a>.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/20673-elysium-movie-trailer-release.html">Read the full story here</a>.
Get Lost in Space Without "Gravity"
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as astronauts in this tale of a spacewalk gone horribly, horribly awry. <br /><br />
The International Space Station is destroyed and the two astronauts are lost in space seemingly without communication to the ground.<br /><br />
"Gravity" is set for release on Oct. 4.<br /><br />
<a href="http://www.space.com/21062-gravity-film-teaser-trailer-video.html">Read the full story here<a/>.
Travel into a Bleak Future with "Ender's Game"
The movie version of a beloved book by Orson Scott Card, "Ender's Game" is set 70 years after an alien war and follows the life of a child sent to space military school to learn how to help protect mankind.<br /><br />
If the plot doesn't sell you, Han Solo himself (Harrison Ford) stars in this new take on a classic story.<br /><br />
"Ender's Game" is set for release on Nov. 1.
Miriam interned at Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Oak Ridge National Laboratory before coming to SPACE.com. She graduated with her degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee after working with the microbiology and anthropology departments. She received her master's in science, health and environmental reporting from New York University. To find out what her latest project is, you can follow Miriam on