32 Top Best Movies For Aspiring Pilots To Watch UPDATED 2023

1. Top Gun (1986)

Director: Tony Scott

Stars: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer

Follow the intense training and thrilling dogfights of a group of naval aviators at the elite fighter weapons school known as “Top Gun.”

Get ready to soar through the skies with “Top Gun.” This high-flying action movie takes you on a thrilling adventure with brave fighter pilots. Feel the adrenaline as they zoom through the air, performing daring stunts and facing intense challenges. With heart-pounding scenes and a dose of rivalry, “Top Gun” is an epic ride that’ll make you want to join the elite pilots’ club.

2. Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Stars: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer

The long-awaited sequel to Top Gun, where Pete “Maverick” Mitchell returns to train a new generation of fighter pilots, pushing their limits and his own.

The sky’s the limit in “Top Gun Maverick.” Join Maverick as he returns to the cockpit, proving that age is just a number when it comes to flying high. With mind-blowing aerial maneuvers and breathtaking visuals, this sequel takes your excitement to new heights. Hold on tight as Maverick takes you on an electrifying journey through the world of modern fighter jets.

3. Hot Shots! (1991)

Director: Jim Abrahams

Stars: Charlie Sheen, Valeria Golino, Cary Elwes

A hilarious spoof of Top Gun, Hot Shots! parodies the world of aviation with slapstick humor and witty gags.

Get ready for a hilarious and wacky ride in “Hot Shots.” This comedy pokes fun at action movies and fighter pilots in the most hilarious way. With slapstick humor and outrageous antics, you’ll be laughing out loud as you follow a group of misfit pilots through their zany escapades. Get ready to bust a gut and take flight on a side-splitting adventure.

4. Non-Stop (2014)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore

A suspenseful thriller where a federal air marshal must thwart a series of threats aboard a transatlantic flight.

Fasten your seatbelt for an intense thrill ride in “Non-Stop.” Imagine being on a plane with a secret threat lurking onboard. As tension builds and suspense rises, you’ll be at the edge of your seat trying to figure out who’s behind it all. With unexpected twists and heart-pounding moments, “Non-Stop” will keep you guessing until the very end.

5. Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2016)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

The true story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who heroically landed a plane on the Hudson River, saving all passengers and crew.

Prepare to witness a true story of heroism and quick thinking in “Sully: Miracle on the Hudson.” Join Captain Sully as he pulls off a miraculous emergency landing on the Hudson River. This gripping film showcases the bravery of a pilot faced with an unprecedented crisis and the incredible teamwork that saved lives. Get ready to be inspired by this real-life aviation triumph.

6. Plane (2013)

Director: Klay Hall

An animated adventure where Dusty, a crop-dusting plane with dreams of racing, takes on the skies in a high-flying comedy.

Let your imagination take flight with the animated adventure “Plane.” Follow Dusty, a crop-dusting plane with dreams of becoming a racing champion. Join him on his journey as he soars through challenges, makes new friends, and learns to believe in himself. With stunning visuals and a heartwarming story, “Plane” is perfect for adventurers of all ages.

7. The Captain (2017)

Director: Robert Schwentke

Stars: Max Hubacher, Milan Peschel

Set during WWII, a German deserter disguises himself as a pilot and assumes the identity of a fallen officer, navigating a treacherous web of deception.

Step into the shoes of an imposter pilot in “The Captain.” Based on a true story, this gripping drama follows a German deserter who disguises himself as a pilot during World War II. Witness the tension and suspense as he navigates the dangerous world of warplanes and deception. Get ready for a nail-biting tale of survival and courage.

8. Flight (2012)

Director: Robert Zemeckis Stars: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle

A gripping drama about a pilot’s heroic efforts to save a doomed flight and its passengers, while facing personal struggles.

Strap in for a thought-provoking journey in “Flight.” This intense drama follows a skilled pilot who must confront his own demons after a harrowing plane crash. As the investigation unfolds, you’ll be taken on an emotional rollercoaster, exploring themes of addiction, responsibility, and redemption. With powerful performances and gripping storytelling, “Flight” will leave you pondering long after the credits roll.

9. The Aviator (2004)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett

A biographical drama portraying the life of Howard Hughes, a pioneering aviator, filmmaker, and eccentric entrepreneur. Take a trip back in time with “The Aviator.” This biographical drama follows the life of Howard Hughes, a pioneer in aviation and filmmaking. Experience his highs and lows, from building groundbreaking aircraft to battling personal demons. With a stellar cast and a captivating story, “The Aviator” offers a glimpse into the life of a true aviation legend.

10. Devotion (2022)

Director: J.D. Dillard

Stars: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell

Based on a true story, this film follows the friendship between U.S. Navy fighter pilots Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner during the Korean War.

Prepare for a tale of friendship and courage in “Devotion.” Based on a true story, this film follows two Navy fighter pilots as they navigate the challenges of the Korean War. Experience their unwavering bond and the sacrifices they make to protect their country. With action-packed aerial sequences and heartfelt moments, “Devotion” is a tribute to the brave men who took to the skies.

Get ready to embark on a cinematic journey through the skies with these captivating movies. Each film offers a unique perspective on the world of aviation, from heart-pounding action to inspiring true stories. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to soar with these thrilling tales of pilots, planes, and the skies above.

11. Airport ’77 (1977)

Director: Jerry Jameson

Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant

When a private plane crashes into the ocean and sinks to the ocean floor, passengers must find a way to survive and escape.

Dive into suspense with “Airport ’77.” This disaster film takes you on a thrilling ride as a luxury plane crashes into the Bermuda Triangle and sinks to the ocean floor. Join the passengers as they fight for survival against the odds, making this a gripping tale of resilience and teamwork. With edge-of-your-seat moments and unexpected twists, “Airport ’77” will keep you hooked from takeoff to underwater adventure.

12. Amelia (2009)

Director: Mira Nair

Stars: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere

A biographical drama centered around the life of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator who attempted to circumnavigate the globe.

Take a historical flight with “Amelia.” This biographical drama chronicles the life of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator who dared to challenge the limits of the skies. Witness her determination, courage, and groundbreaking achievements as she becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. With captivating storytelling and a strong lead performance, “Amelia” is a tribute to an aviation icon.

13. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks

Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, a young con artist who successfully impersonated a Pan Am pilot, among other identities.

Join a young con artist on a thrilling adventure in “Catch Me If You Can.” This true story follows Frank Abagnale Jr. as he poses as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer while evading the FBI. With humor, suspense, and a game of cat and mouse, this film offers a unique perspective on the world of forgery and deception. Get ready for a fast-paced ride with unexpected twists.

14. 7500 (2019)

Director: Patrick Vollrath

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar

A suspenseful thriller set in the cockpit of an airplane hijacked by terrorists, as the pilot struggles to save the passengers.

Prepare for a suspenseful flight in “7500.” This thriller unfolds entirely in the cockpit of a plane during a hijacking. Experience the tension and claustrophobia as the pilot fights to protect the passengers and regain control. With nail-biting moments and a focus on the human side of crisis, “7500” delivers a gripping narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

15. Flight Crew (2016)

Director: Nikolay Lebedev

Stars: Vladimir Mashkov, Danila Kozlovsky

A Russian action film about a group of highly skilled pilots who must rescue passengers from a damaged plane.

Embark on a high-stakes adventure in “Flight Crew.” Join a group of brave pilots as they tackle dangerous missions and challenges in the sky. With breathtaking aerial sequences and pulse-pounding action, this Russian film showcases the heroism of those who risk their lives to keep us safe. Get ready to witness epic feats of aviation in this adrenaline-pumping ride.

16. Up in the Air (2009)

Director: Jason Reitman

Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga

A drama-comedy that follows a corporate downsizer who spends most of his time on airplanes, exploring themes of connection and detachment.

Take flight with a corporate downsizer in “Up in the Air.” This dramedy follows Ryan Bingham as he travels the country, firing employees for a living. Join him on his journey of self-discovery and human connections as he navigates the challenges of life on the road. With witty humor and touching moments, “Up in the Air” offers a unique take on the world of work and travel.

17. Horizon Line (2020)

Director: Mikael Marcimain

Stars: Allison Williams, Alexander Dreymon

A thriller about a couple whose pilot friend dies mid-flight, leaving them stranded in a small plane over an expansive ocean.

Prepare for a pulse-pounding survival tale in “Horizon Line.” This thriller follows a couple who find themselves stranded on a small plane over the ocean after their pilot dies. With limited supplies and a desperate race against time, they must find a way to survive and navigate the treacherous waters below. Get ready for a suspenseful ride that will keep you hooked until the very end.

18. The Terminal (2004)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones

A comedy-drama about a man from a fictional Eastern European country who becomes stranded in a New York airport terminal.

Experience a heartwarming tale in “The Terminal.” This comedy-drama follows Viktor Navorski, a man from a fictional Eastern European country, who becomes stranded at a New York airport terminal due to political turmoil. Witness his adventures as he makes the terminal his temporary home and forms unexpected connections with the people around him. With humor and touching moments, “The Terminal” is a feel-good story of resilience and friendship.

19. Entebbe (2018)

Director: José Padilha

Stars: Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike

Based on the true story of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane and the daring rescue operation in Entebbe, Uganda.

Dive into a real-life rescue mission with “Entebbe.” Based on the true story of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane, this thriller follows the daring mission to rescue passengers held hostage at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport. With tense negotiations and high-stakes action, this film captures the courage and determination of those involved in the operation.

20. Cast Away (2000)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

While not centered around pilots, this survival drama tells the tale of a FedEx executive who must adapt to life on a deserted island after a plane crash.

Embark on a journey of survival and self-discovery with “Cast Away.” This gripping drama follows Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive who becomes stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash. Witness his struggle to adapt, survive, and find a way back to civilization. With Tom Hanks delivering a powerhouse performance, “Cast Away” is a poignant exploration of the human spirit’s resilience against all odds.

21. The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)

Director: William Wyler

Step back in time with this historic documentary, capturing the heroic journey of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 bomber and her crew during WWII. Follow their harrowing missions and personal stories that showcase the bravery of these young aviators.

22. Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash (2009)

Relive the dramatic events of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed a damaged plane on the Hudson River, saving all passengers. Through interviews and reenactments, this documentary provides an inside look at the incredible rescue.

23. Top Tens of Warfare S1E1 “Aircraft” (2016)

Embark on a riveting countdown of the top aircraft that shaped the history of warfare. This episode delves into the most iconic planes used in combat, shedding light on their technological advancements and impact on the battlefield.

24. On Board Air Force One (2009)

Director: Peter Schnall

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the highly classified Air Force One. Join this journey inside the presidential aircraft, exploring its technology, security measures, and the dedicated team that ensures the safety of the Commander-in-Chief.

25. Secrets of the Dead, S1E4 “What Happened to the Hindenburg?”

Director: Kirk Wolfinger

Investigate the tragic mystery of the Hindenburg disaster, a catastrophic event that changed the course of airship travel forever. Uncover new evidence and theories about the cause of the fiery crash and gain insights into the iconic airship’s final moments.

26. The B-2 Stealth Bomber: America’s Deadliest Weapon

Director: Tony Hirst

Take a captivating journey into the world of covert aviation technology with the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Learn about the innovation and engineering that make this aircraft virtually invisible to radar and how it has become a cornerstone of modern military strategy.

27. The Space Shuttle’s Last Flight (2011)

Director: James Van der Pool

Bid farewell to an era with this emotional documentary capturing the final flight of the Space Shuttle program. Experience the excitement, challenges, and poignant moments of the last shuttle mission, revealing the incredible achievements and lessons learned from decades of space exploration.

28. Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers’ Journey of Invention (2003)

Director: Gary Glassman

Travel back in time to witness the birth of aviation with the Wright Brothers. This documentary chronicles their relentless pursuit of flight, from their initial experiments to the historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, that changed the world forever.

29. 8 Days to the Moon and Back (2013) and Apollo 11 (2019)

Director: Anthony Philipson (8 Days), Todd Douglas Miller (Apollo 11)

Explore the awe-inspiring journey of Apollo 11 astronauts as they embarked on the historic mission to the moon. These documentaries combine rare footage, audio recordings, and interviews to immerse viewers in the monumental feat of human achievement.

30. Ice Pilots NWT (2009-2014)

Join the crew of Buffalo Airways in the Canadian North as they navigate treacherous conditions to deliver vital supplies. This reality series showcases the challenges of flying vintage aircraft in extreme weather, offering a unique glimpse into the life of modern bush pilots.

31. Jumbo: The Plane that Changed the World (2014)

Discover the fascinating evolution of the Boeing 747, a revolutionary aircraft that transformed global travel. Through archival footage and expert interviews, delve into the design, engineering, and cultural impact of the “Queen of the Skies.”

32. Airbus vs Boeing: The Jumbo Jet Race

Embark on a high-stakes rivalry between two aviation giants, Airbus and Boeing, as they compete to create the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Delve into the engineering marvels, economic challenges, and fierce battles that shape the future of aviation.

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