How will 'Gravity' measure up against these classics?
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Director: Ridley Scott
Why: Space films usually attempt to put us in awe, to leave us breathless at the shiny technology and the vast, starry expanses. But "Alien" looks at the dark underbelly. We begin on the Nostromo, a mammoth corporate vessel returning from a near-endless voyage that left the crew grumpy, weary and frustrated at their employers. Sure, space travel would be all about slack-jawed awe and wonderment for a bit, but eventually, it would be about isolation and claustrophobia and exhaustion and irritation. Throw into that mix a freaky alien creature with acid for blood that deposits chest-bursting baby aliens that grow quickly and attack without mercy? Then you have a recipe for what is one of the most terrifying, but also evocative, movies ever made. When it comes to space movies, both real and fantastical, idealism reigns. But when it comes to the movies in the "Alien" franchise, there's a terrifying pragmatism, the concern that just as on Earth, space travel will become just another opportunity and location for the indifferent wealthy (and H. R. Giger monsters) to crush the Everyman. Or Everyone.