Sorry, Interstellar, But This $355 Million Film is the Most Accurate Sci-Fi Ever Made

Sorry, Interstellar, But This $355 Million Film is the Most Accurate Sci-Fi Ever Made
Image credit: Prime Video

Science fiction encompasses a broad range of themes, from philosophical musings on humanity's future to fantastical space adventures like Star Wars and Dune.

While these are more space fantasy than true sci-fi, the genre's core purpose is to offer commentary on our present and possible future. Films like Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Christopher Nolan 's Interstellar, and Ridley Scott 's The Martian are exemplary in their scientific fidelity. However, one film stands out for its unparalleled accuracy: Ron Howard's Apollo 13.

The Story of the Failed, Yet Heroic Flight to the Moon

"Apollo 13" is not your typical sci-fi movie but rather a science space drama with fictional elements, dramatizing the perilous events of the April 1970 space mission. Directed by Ron Howard, known for films like Willow, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code, and written by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, the movie meticulously recreates the dangerous mission.

The film's all-star cast, including Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris, delivers stellar performances that bring the real-life experiences of the astronauts to life.

Based on the non-fiction book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and journalist Jeffrey Kluge, the story chronicles the ill-fated mission's crew and their struggle to survive. It also highlights the tireless efforts of NASA ground personnel who worked around the clock to ensure the astronauts' safe return to Earth.

A Triumph in Accuracy and Box Office Success

Sorry, Interstellar, But This $355 Million Film is the Most Accurate Sci-Fi Ever Made - image 1

Despite a budget of $52 million, "Apollo 13" was a massive commercial success, grossing $355.2 million worldwide. Its commitment to scientific and historical accuracy won the admiration of critics and audiences alike.

Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield praised the film in 2020, stating, "Apollo 13 tells the story of an explosion that actually happened on the way to the moon. Really good movie. Maybe the most realistic of all the space movies."

The film's acclaim stems not only from its narrative but also from its meticulous attention to detail. The filmmakers' dedication to authenticity extends to every aspect, from the script to the set design, ensuring a realistic portrayal of the historic mission.

Where to Watch Apollo 13

  • MGM+ Subscription for US-based viewers (also Amazon Prime with premium package subscription)
  • Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, DirecTV, Microsoft, YouTube, Google Play: HD rentals are priced at $3.99, with 4K options available on Apple, Amazon, and Vudu. Purchases cost $14.99.
  • UK: Viewers can rent or buy the movie through the same services as in the US.
  • Australia: In addition to rental and purchase options, the film is available for streaming on Foxtel Now, Stan, or Prime with a Paramount+ subscription.
  • Canada: Residents can stream "Apollo 13" via Prime or Crave, alongside rental and purchase options.