Set in the 1950s, Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’ is a sci-fi comedy-drama that follows a group of people who gather in the titular place for a convention. What starts as a fun convention with a chance for the children and their parents to indulge in science projects takes a turn for the worse when a world-changing event leads the government to quarantine the people until they figure out what’s going on and what to do with it.
Bearing all the trademarks of the director, ‘Asteroid City’ exhibits a stellar cast and takes the audience on an unforgettable joyride. If you enjoyed the movie, you might want to find more movies like this. We have compiled a great list for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘Asteroid City’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (2012)
The events in ‘Asteroid City’ are triggered by a world-changing event, due to which the people in the convention are forced to quarantine in one place. Trapped in one place with each other with no idea of what awaits them in the future leads to some unexpected friendships and romance. We see a similar arc in Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Seeking a Friend For the End of the World.’ Starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley, it follows a pair of two strangers who develop an unlikely friendship while an asteroid approaches the Earth to wipe out all life. It shares underlying themes with ‘Asteroid City,’ making it an excellent watch.
9. The Watch (2012)
Being a Wes Anderson film, ‘Asteroid City’ has an air of absurdity that makes it so fun to watch. Akiva Schaffer’s 2012 movie starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade, and Jonah Hill also tends to lean more towards absurd humor rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of the sci-fi genre. Its plot revolves around a group of friends who form a neighborhood watch after they suspect that aliens have infiltrated the Earth and walk amongst humans. At first, it appears to be just four deluded people who have nothing better to do, but then it turns out that there is a real alien conspiracy that could mean the end of the world.
8. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
If you missed Bill Murray, a regular of Wes Anderson movies in ‘Asteroid City,’ then go back to the director’s early days and watch this hidden gem in his filmography. ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ stars Murray as an oceanographer who holds a grudge against the shark who ate his best friend while they were on a research project. Like any other Anderson movie, this star-studded extravaganza takes the audience to the depths of the ocean while tapping into deeper human emotions. And it does so in the director’s trademarks, with a deadpan style and a color palette that has become an identifying marker of Anderson’s works.
7. Idiocracy (2006)
Mike Judge’s sci-fi comedy ‘Idiocracy’ has developed a cult following over the years, and the reason behind its popularity is that it seems to have correctly predicted the future on several fronts. Starring Luke Wilson in the lead role, it follows the story of “the most average individual” in the US Army who is chosen for a hibernation project. He was supposed to have hibernated for just one year but wakes up five hundred years later to discover that the world has changed completely, and now, he is the smartest person in the world because everyone else is stupid.
6. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
On the surface, Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’ and Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Synecdoche, New York’ might seem worlds apart. Still, a closer inspection of their themes and what they represent shows that they are more similar than what appears at first glance. ‘Asteroid City’ is told through a play within a play narrative and touches upon the themes of grief and death, among other things.
‘Synecdoche, New York’ takes the narrative of a play within a play to a completely different level while diving into the themes of life and death with such force that the audience can’t help but think about it for days after watching the movie. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a theatre director whose quest to attain realism in his new play leads to a blurring of the line between reality and fiction.
5. The World’s End (2013)
For a sci-fi movie that has deeper themes under its surface, ‘Asteroid City’ is also fun to watch with Anderson’s trademark humor. If you want to watch something that is not necessarily as subtle about its humor but just as much fun, then Edgar Wright’s ‘The World’s End’ should be your next watch. It follows the story of five friends who reunite after many years and return to their hometown to attempt the pub crawl they’d always vied for.
They aim to drink 12 pints from 12 pubs and complete the circuit they failed to accomplish as teenagers. This is an excellent way for the friends to bond with each other while addressing the issues that have bubbled between them all these years. They also have to deal with the fact that aliens might have invaded their hometown.
4. White Noise (2022)
Based on the book of the same name by Don DeLillo, Noah Baumbach’s ‘White Noise’ is the story of a family whose lives are turned upside down when an environmental disaster hits their hometown. With quirky characters that go on an unpredictable journey, ‘White Noise’ focuses on some grim issues under the guise of its absurdist humor. We see a similar approach in Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City,’ bringing these seemingly different stories into the same bracket.
3. Paul (2011)
‘Asteroid City’ uses a sci-fi premise to advance its plot, but its humor and themes turn the table and take it out of the genre, allowing it to be a completely different thing on its own. The same happens in Greg Mottola’s ‘Paul,’ written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. A parody of every sci-fi movie, ‘Paul’ touches every cliche in the genre as it follows two best friends who find an alien on their way to the San Diego Comic-Con. In this ET-esque premise, the story takes many twists and turns, making the movie a delight.
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams, Garth Jennings’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ is as absurd, smart, and entertaining as it gets in the sci-fi genre. Yes, the movie isn’t entirely up to the mark compared to its source material, but it’s good enough to stand on its own, warranting at least one watch. It follows the story of Arthur Dent, whose biggest worry is that his house is about to be demolished to construct a bypass. However, a few hours later, he discovers that the Earth will be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass. As the destruction ensues, he is saved by his best friend, who turns out to be an alien in disguise.
1. Bigbug (2022)
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this French sci-fi comedy is set in 2045, when humans have become utterly reliant on artificial intelligence. The story focuses on a robot uprising that starts with four domestic robots who turn against their human masters, whom they imprison under one roof. As the robots around the world start to take over the world, the neighbors held captive under one roof have to figure out how to get out. Apart from some thematic similarities, ‘Bigbug‘ also shares a similar aesthetic with ‘Asteroid City,’ making it an excellent movie to watch after seeing Anderson’s film.
Read More: Best Wes Anderson Movies