What is the most scientifically accurate hard SF movie?

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Aug 18, 2015
Durban, South Africa
The criterion is a well-known movie in which the technology is completely convincing and no laws of physics are broken.

My own choice is Europa Report. I didn't come across anything that offended my overdeveloped sense of scientific realism. On a par with it is Apollo 13 though the latter does make the crew react in ways more excitable and emotional than their real-life counterparts did.

No other movie in my experience avoids committing at least one serious boo-boo. The Martian makes a Martian storm way too powerful and ignores the long-term effects of Solar Flares and Cosmic radiation. Gravity shows debris moving slow enough to be visible to the human eye and Kowalski cuts himself loose needlessly since he doesn't actually exert any weight on the parachute cord.

Does anyone have a different shortlist?
I guess the thing about hard SF movies is they can be a hard (no pun intended) sell. At its heart, every movie needs to be enjoyable, and really, although it suits a small percentage of viewers, your average one does not want to have to think too hard. After all, if all you want to see is the realities of space travel there are plenty of documentaries. I personally have no real problem with a little scientific reality being sacrificed for a story. In the end, would space battles be better received if they were conducted in absolute silence, as would happen in real space? Do we want people saying "that's not scientifically correct!" in the cinema, or do we just want to kick them out of the multiplex for ruining our enjoyment? Obviously, watching at home is another matter, but it still doesn't bother me if a sci fi movie takes a few liberties with the laws of science. It is, in the end, fiction, is it not?
Maximilian, maybe. Humans and their technology are inherently imperfect and destructive, as well as self-destructive. A black hole indeed.
Yes, but Apollo 13 is about something that went wrong. All those fake moon landings went perfectly according plan, from launch till landing till safely returning home. Totally unlikely and unbelievable in the real world!
2001: A Space Odyssey would always get my vote. Good shout on Europa Report, though.

I too am of the opinion that Apollo 13 is more historical than Science Fiction.
The human tech in 2001 is certainly plausible enough, but the alien tech is more in the order of magic:

1. Rewiring apes' brains so they are suddenly way smarter, just by the apes touching the slab.
2. the psychedelic wormhole that is faster than light since it takes Bowman to/past an alien planet.
3. Dave Bowman seeing older versions of himself and, apparently, ageing with lightning speed.
4. Bowman's final state. What is he exactly?