If movies were anything to go by, NASA would get no funding at all. Films about space feature a catalogue of failures, with shuttles breaking down left, right and centre. Luckily for us, this means explosive special effects and some heart-rending acting from the leading lights of Hollywood. Here are four of the best stranded-in-space movies to enjoy from your earthbound sofa.

Passengers

5,000 hibernation pods line up inside the spaceship Avalon, keeping colonists and crew in hibernation for their 120-year journey to Homestead II, a planet they’re destined to populate. When an asteroid damages the ship, a malfunction awakes passenger Jim Preston – 90 years too early. With only an android bartender (played by Michael Sheen) for company, Jim (Chris Pratt) can’t help but notice attractive Aurora Lane asleep in one of the other 4,999 pods and, after a struggle with his morals, he wakes her, too. Will Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) discover the truth about why she woke up? And what’s wrong with the ship? There’s only one way to find out…

Available to buy and own from 21 April and rent from 8 May from BT TV Store

The Martian

When astronaut Mark Watney is lost in a space storm on Mars, the rest of the crew think he’s dead and take off without him. Despite some epic CGI views of Mars and whizz-bang special space effects, this Ridley Scott-directed drama is really a character-driven tale of survival against all odds. Matt Damon is excellent as the stranded space botanist who struggles stubbornly to survive and finds black humour in his plight. The strong backing cast includes Jessica Chastain as the mission commander who blames herself and Sean Bean as the no-nonsense NASA director back on earth.

Available to buy and own now from BT TV Store

Gravity

It’s biomedical engineer Ryan Stone’s first space mission and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski’s last – you can already sense something is destined to go wrong, can’t you? Though George Clooney is memorable as Kowalski, Sandra Bullock shines, spending much of the screen time alone as her shuttle disintegrates and she fights to stay alive and return to Earth. She does share the screen with some out-of-this-world special effects, however – 80 of the film’s 91 minutes contain visual effects, and the movie picked up an Oscar for these, alongside six others, including Best Director and Best Cinematography.

Available to buy or rent now from BT TV Store

WALL-E

Pixar’s blockbusting tale of a waste-disposal robot stranded on abandoned, contaminated Earth is a triumph of animation, with WALL-E and fellow robot, EVE, communicating via body language and robotic sounds rather than dialogue. But it’s not just a captivatingly cute tale of robot love – the film criticises consumerism, waste management, and human environmental impact, as we discover Earth’s inhabitants have been forced to abandon the planet for a great cruise ship in the sky due to pollution. Can WALL-E and EVE save Earth despite humanity’s irresponsibility?

Available to buy or rent now from BT TV Store

Find all these movies and more on BT TV Store.