9 Mind-Numbing Movies Like 'Passengers'

Updated on July 3, 2019
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

What Films Are Like Passengers?

Passengers looks like just another movie floating in an endless ocean of sci-fi films, and it’s partially true. This Morten Tyldum-directed feature borrows some ideas from other movies of the same genre, but a familiar story is blended with some thought-provoking drama that makes it difficult to pick a side. It's safe to say you either loved or hated Jim, the lead male protagonist, depending upon your moral values and deeply ingrained beliefs. Passengers elicits different responses from everyone. This divisive experience is short, sweet, and to the point, wasting no time on fluffy dialogues or undue protracted setup.

So what should you watch after Passengers? Let's look at the list of similar movies to Passengers that'll take you on a rollercoaster ride.

Movies Similar To Passengers

  1. Interstellar
  2. Edge of Tomorrow
  3. Oblivion
  4. Sunshine
  5. Arrival
  6. The Martian
  7. Event Horizon
  8. Moon
  9. Groundhog Day

1. Interstellar

In the near future, Earth has become an inhabitable place. With a strong current of dusty winds, there is isn't a lot of time left before people start dying unless they migrate to a new home - somewhere far off here where life can sustain itself.

With that in mind, an ex-NASA pilot, along with his teammates, embarks upon a journey far beyond anyone has ever imagined. What they don't know, however, is that it's most likely a one-way ticket with no certainty of how to come back to Earth. It's something they'll have to figure out once they're en route to Earth. Things spiral out of control when they use a time-warping wormhole to travel to another side of the galaxy, making it a seemingly impossible task to come back home, at least not in time. Can Cooper and his team do it?

Interstellar is clearly the biggest and most ambitious project of Christopher Nolan. With a seemingly insurmountable task to blend two disparate aspects of a storyline into one cohesive mix, Nolan had his work cut out. His expert hands, however, keep this visual extravaganza from swaying wayward. The fact that a mixture of romance and sci-works converge together in such emphatic fashion is a testimony to some great work by everyone involved with Interstellar. If you somehow haven't watched this movie, get on it, now!

2. Edge of Tomorrow

William Cage, a major with no previous experience of even holding a gun, is dumped into an ongoing war between aliens and humans where he must single-handedly tip the scales in the favor of latter. The only thing on his side is the time loop which won't let him die permanently. His inexperience causes him agonizing deaths, more times than he can remember, but corks back stronger and more experienced each time, getting one step closer to push back the aliens and win the war.

Despite the presence of almost all the sci-fi tropes and frequent repetition of some scenes and dialogues, this Tom Cruise starrer keeps you on the edge of your seat till the credits roll.

There is some romance, but it thankfully never gets in the way of the action side of things. For better or worse, these two elements feel like two separate parts of the movie.

If you have a liking for movies like Passengers, Edge of Tomorrow should be right up your alley.

3. Oblivion

In the near future, Earth is ravaged by a war between aliens and humans. The last person inhabiting this war-torn planet is Jack Harper, a repairman, and scavenger, who is tasked to gather whatever is left of the Earth. When he comes across a woman, the sister reality finally dawns on him, leading him to question whatever he knows about Earth and the war. Are we humans even on the winning side? Who is he working for?

Oblivion is not your typical fast-paced sci-fi drama. Part of the reason is its attention to details and patience to build up the tension and suspense to the tipping point. Those looking for adrenaline-fueled action sequences will be a little disappointed with this slow-burn.

Though the story maintains enigma until the end, it often plays too coy, so much so it might dissuade some people to watch it till the end. You, however, must stick to this lean, mean feature. Be patient!

4. Sunshine

It's 2050, and apparently, Sun is already starting to flicker out. To prevent the impending doom, a bunch of people get suited up and loaded for some twisty space travel on a quest to reignite the Sun. Something on the ship, however, doesn't want them to succeed. More than the extraterrestrial danger, the internal strife between the group might cause this mission to fail.

In the day and age when the movie market is increasingly getting stuffed with teen-oriented sci-fi and fantasy flicks, the somberness of Sunshine feels like a welcome breath of fresh air - one that's ready to strangle you to submission.

Despite the story being a little far-fetched and acting being fleetingly rusty, Sunshine cements its place as a poignant thriller. If you're looking for some unique movies like Passengers, Sunshine should be a good bet.

5. Arrival

Aliens usually are a chaotic bunch who love to wreak havoc, just for the sake of it. Not here, though. 12 mysterious aircraft land on the different parts of the world, and they just stay there. As governments all around the world grow increasingly paranoid, the US government takes the first step towards resolving the matter, hiring a linguistic expert to help communicate with these burly aliens. As trigger heavy people inch ever so close to wage a war against aliens, the expert teams up with a mathematician to unravel the mystery before everything goes haywire.

She inches closer to understanding their visual language, starting back and forth communication with these beings with whatever means she can. The quest she's on will change everyone's life, including her own, in a way nobody could have imagined. Without spooking anything, there is some convoluted time-traveling involved in this whole alien-vs-humans mix - one that fits perfectly into the puzzle.

This Denis Villeneuve directed feature starts off as a personal journey of Louise Banks, the lead protagonist, but soon raises the stakes as other players are introduced later on. Despite its efforts to sell itself as a poignant personal drama, punctuated with some sci-fi, the former falls flat on its belly. Thanks to a transfixing science fiction plot, though, the boat keeps floating.

Don't mistake my nitpicking for a brash review of Arrival’s attempt to narrate a personal story. It's a brilliant masterpiece - one that'll be revered for a long time.

6. The Martian

The Martian is a story of Mark Watney, a middle-aged guy who gets left behind on Mars by his crew members as they presume him dead. Help is only 140 million miles away. With about a month worth of ration left, he must improvise to survive until the help arrives.

Despite the presence of all the sci-fi, this Ridley Scott directed film feels more like a heart-wrenching personal journey - one that's nerve-wracking and emotional at the same time. While not as bleak as Interstellar, The Martian has its own flair of going about the business, staying upbeat even in its most terrifying moments. Despite the disguise of a heavy-handed movie, this personal drama doesn't take itself too seriously. If you're in for some light-hearted drama, The Martian won't disappoint you.

Though the whole ensemble cast has performed out of their skins, Matt Demon's heartwarming portrayal of a stranded, left-for-dead botanist on the Red planet deserves a special mention. Being the pillar or this dystopian sci-fi flick, Matt had to carry the whole affair on his shoulders, and boy, has he succeeded at it! The audience is infused with a sense of dread at the beginning of this movie, but the uncanny serenity with which Matt's characters goes about his quest for survival works like a breather for everyone. Despite his gritty performance, The Martian can feel a little docile for the hardcore cinephiles.

If The Martian is too giddy for you, the next entry definitely will sap you emotionally.

7. Event Horizon

Fancy some blood-curdling space horror? Meet Paul W. S. Anderson directed Event Horizon, a movie with scares so well laid that it's traumatizing to go through them. We'll probably never know what happens when we mess with a black hole, at least not in our lifetime, but Event Horizon readily paints a bleak and despairing picture of it.

Event Horizon asks this question time and again; “Space is full of wonders, but are we ready to pay the cost of exploring everything?”. By the time credits roll, I am sure your answer will be a resounding ‘no’ unless of course, you're a masochist.

Part hypnosis part battering, the space crew deal with alien creatures as they venture further into the unknown. Just when you think you have ensured all the horror, it's cranked up a notch. Never before have I felt assaulted after watching a movie. Event Horizon, however, submitted me into a corner with its unflinching cruelty. As you scramble for a breather, you'll also be admiring its intricately layered storyline.

Ignore the negative ratings. It only makes a strong case for the incompetence of the majority of the crowd. People these days don't appreciate a grim movie, and that's why you'll never see a cruelly dark film like this again. Savor the nostalgia before the novelty wears off.

8. Moon

Sam Rockwell plays a lonely man stationed on Moon, sending valuable resources back to Earth while counting down the days when he'll finally get back to his family. To curb his depression and loneliness, he uses the one-way communication system to get in touch with everyone on Earth, updating them on his work. Near the end of his stint, however, he stumbles upon the insidious nature of his reality. Is he really who he thinks he is?

Made on a shoestring budget, this Rockwell starrer starts off slow but morph into an ordeal in the latter half. It's impressive how Sam Rockwell carries the whole taut pic upon this shoulders. He's convincing and authenticating in his role as a deluded man who's struggling to separate dreams from reality.

Not every sci-fi adventure has to be about saving the human race, and this Duncan Jones directed feature drives that plot home with aplomb. No extraterrestrial creatures invading earth; no saving Earth; just plain mind-bending drama - one that'll hook you instantly.

9. Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a loopy story of a humdrum weatherman who gets sent into a town for some work. Reluctantly he goes there for covering the same mundane news for the channel. This assignment, however, is anything but normal, as he wakes up the next day to find that he's going through the same day again. The cycle repeats itself. He must find a way out of the loop, even if he has to kill himself for that.

This sly feature unfolds with such precision, it's hard not to be mesmerized as it leaves you speechless with its minimalistic in-your-face approach. It's astounding how a plot so mundane is carried by Bill Murray with grace. I can't come up with many actors who could pull off a loopy story like this with such panache. He's effortless, yet so emotionally resonating as he desperately digs his way out of trouble.

Simple yet disarmingly poignant and cruelly mocking, this Bill Murray starrer will definitely make you think. Experience the plight and despair first-hand!

Despite my best efforts to collate a list of best movies like Passengers, it's quite possible I might have missed out on a few good entries. This is where you come into the picture. If you have any good suggestions, please let me know in the comments section. If I find any suggestions a right fit, I'll be sure to update the list.

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