To mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, we've put together a selection of stellar movies for you to watch this weekend. From comedy to documentary, there's something here to (space) suit everyone.
Sinead Brennan picks... Despicable Me
Despicable Me is a fantastic family-friendly comedy and is full of laugh-out-loud moments countered with a whole heap of heart. A dark edge made it something really special when it was released in 2010. It spawned a franchise, but the original is unparalleled. The film's villain, Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, formulates a plot to steal the Moon and his Moon-heist becomes a major event in the film with shrink-rays, reverted werewolves and waveless surfers only a taste of the fun.
John Byrne picks... Moon
Directed by Duncan Jones (son of Space Oddity composer, David Bowie), this slow-building but hugely enjoyable sci-fi drama could be straight out of an episode of The Twilight Zone. Sam Rockwell is outstanding in the main role, and basically carries the film as Sam Bell, an astronaut extracting moon gas that it is hoped will solve the Earth's energy crisis. As he nears the end of his three-year contract in space, and after a long time working alone, he yearns for the journey back home to Earth. But when a routine extraction goes wrong, he realises that his employer hasn't been completely honest with him.
Alan Corr picks... Capricorn One
As US President Donald Trump recently declared, Mars is a part of the Moon, so if this superb thriller isn't strictly lunar-themed it does share the same vision of manifest destiny as the maiden Moon shot of 1969. However, in true Trumpian fashion, Capricorn One is also a dark tale of deceit and, well, fake news. A team of astronauts is blackmailed into staging a hoax landing on the Red Planet in a gripping conspiracy yarn, which sits alongside The Parallax View and All the President's Men as a must-see Seventies paranoid thriller.
Laura Delaney picks... Apollo 13
Houston, we don't have a problem with this movie! Astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) may have lost the Moon in April of 1970, but Universal Pictures' outing, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards - winning two - won over the universe with its harrowing and exhilarating space tale. When director Ron Howard got behind the lens to loosely retell the events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission, he knew that cinematic failure was not an option. Hailed by critics and audiences as a technical tour de force, the 1995 outing tells the incredible story of NASA's third Moon landing mission which was deemed a 'successful failure' after an explosion caused a critical systems malfunction, forcing Mission Control to abort the lunar landing. With oxygen and electrical supplies fading aboard the ailing spacecraft, Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and his team devise a desperate attempt to bring the three men back to Earth safely. Partially filmed in genuine weightless conditions to mimic astronauts, along with using NASA's technical assistance in astronaut and flight controller training for the cast, Howard's undeniably gripping film succeeded in being out of this world. It may not have won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1996, but Apollo 13 remains a masterpiece, and James Horner's epic score still shines to the Moon and back.
Harry Guerin picks... Solaris
Sure, we could have chosen Gravity, but George Clooney's other must-see space movie is still uncharted territory for most and all the more reason to choose it because of that. Reteaming with Out of Sight and Ocean's 11 director Steven Soderbergh, Clooney delivers one of his best performances opposite Natasha McElhone in this slow-burning drama about love and loss. He plays a clinical psychologist dispatched to an in-peril space station where he is reunited with his wife - who has been dead for years. A remake of the 1972 film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky - which was itself based on Polish author Stanisław Lem's 1961 book of the same name - Solaris is tense and thought-provoking, and offers viewers hope as the shadow on the wall in their own lives becomes larger. The soundtrack is great too.
Suzanne Keane picks... E.T.
Ok, so not strictly a movie about the Moon, but E.T.'s soaring flight on a bike in front of a giant full moon is one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time. In fact, it was named the most memorable scene from 100 years of movies made by the film company, Universal. Released in 1982, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial won four Academy Awards as well as the hearts of adults and children the world over. It tells the story of Elliott, who makes a new friend when he discovers a lost alien in his back garden. With the help of his big brother Michael and little sister Gertie, Elliott tries really hard to make E.T. feel like he is at home while keeping him a secret from grownups. However, E.T. is soon captured by government scientists and it is up to his friend to rescue him, and bring him to his space ship - on flying bicycles! A movie for all the family.
Paddy Kehoe picks... The Dish
Intelligent comedy, starring Sam Neill, which recreates the Apollo 11's dependence on the Parkes Radio Telescope observatory in New South Wales, Australia, which was located in the middle of a sheep farm. NASA had been utilising the tracking antennae at both Goldstone, California and Honeysuckle Creek, Canberra bases before deciding, after nine minutes - any port in a Moon broadcast storm - to take their signals from the Parkes station. Even thinking about it is funny, but the film resists cheap laughs, astutely maintaining that truth-is-stranger-than-fiction element with steady restraint.
Sarah McIntyre picks... The Farthest
What better way to mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing than to watch the epic, Emmy Award-winning Irish space documentary The Farthest. It celebrates another of mankind's colossal feats - Voyager 1 and 2 - the spacecrafts that NASA launched in 1977 on a "grand tour" of our solar system's remote planets. This warm, witty and frequently moving feature from Dublin-based director Emer Reynolds documents the launch of the twin space probes, which were sent on missions to capture images of remote planets in our solar system and send them back to earth. They also carry messages from our own planet, including a Golden Record containing audio recordings with greetings in various languages, as well as a wide variety of music from around the world, to hopefully introduce humankind to any alien life forms they might encounter on their travels. If you enjoy marvelling (or silently panicking) at the sheer endlessness of space, then this is the film for you. To infinity, and beyond...