This coming weekend, Gravity tells an epic story with just Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. And it joins a long tradition of movies that rock, with just a few actors. And maybe a monkey. Here are the absolute best films featuring tiny casts, that bring enough talent for a small army.
Kevin Spacey may have leant his voice to the robot, and a few characters do pop up on screen here and there but the majority of Moon is all Sam Rockwell. All the time, playing himself, many times over.
The World, The Flesh, And The Devil (1959)
Based on the novel The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel and adapted by director Ranald MacDougall this Harry Belafonte-starring post apocalyptic movie takes place after Belafonte digs himself out of a coal mine only to find the rest of the world gone. The only other castmembers are the survivors, Inger Stevens and Mel Ferrer. Too bad they don't get along.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three kids, two video cameras... and a witch in the woods that is never photographed or filmed. One of the earliest forms of "found footage" horror, the video remains is all that's left of this three-man camera crew looking to make a documentary about a woodland creature called the Blair Witch.
The seven-person crew of the Nostromo is forced out of space slumber to retrieve an alien. Technically this is a 9-person cast, if you count the alien monster and the cat.
Seven strangers are trapped in a giant maze littered with deadly traps. Sidenote: Stargate's David Hewlett has a role in this film, and is excellent in it.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
The majority of this cast is a newly wed couple and the camera that the husband sets up in their bedroom, hoping to catch a ghost. And... they catch a demon instead.
The Divide (2011)
Seven apartment tenants trapped in the basement of their creepy superintendent after an attack nukes most of the country and buries the survivors inside one man's freaky doomsday fantasy. Things go exceptionally wild real fast, and human decency is replaced with a grotesque "lord of the basement" scenario.
The Last Woman On Earth (1960)
A woman, her husband and their lawyer go on vacation (as you do). On this trip to Puerto Rico the three of them decide to go scuba diving. While they're underwater, the world ends. And once again the apocalypse leads to a love triangle. Perhaps the best part of this is that when the trio surfaces they can't breathe the air — but thanks to their scuba gear they are saved. Only you Roger Corman.
Eight strangers competing for the same life-changing job are put in a room with an blank piece of paper. They are told it's an exam that they have to pass in order to get this sweet job. The papers are blank. It's mere minutes until the folks start turning on each other.
Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
The scifi retelling of Robinson Crusoe, on MARS! Directed by Byron Haskin, Astronatus Paul Mantee and Adam West crash land their escape pods on Mars (sadly, West doesn't make it). So then it's just Mantee and a monkey in fabulous flight suits alone on Mars... until they make a new friend.
The Descent (2005)
Ok this one might be a cop out because 10 of the cast members are Crawlers and they are a super important part of this film (and are totally and completely awesome monsters). But the crew of six (all girl) adventure-seekers carry the bulk of the plot. Especially when they start to turn on each other. And even though it doesn't "technically" fit the standard, it gets a shout-out.
UPDATE: ADDED ONE MORE BECAUSE YOU GUYS GOT ME!
Silent Running (1972)
Set in the future where plants are extinct and only a few bits of green remain in a giant greenhouse globes in orbit around Saturn. Bruce Dern is tasked with the cultivating the few remaining plants, until orders are sent from on high to destroy all the plant and animal life in the domes with a bomb. Instead Dern goes rogue, killing the few crewmen he encounters who try to stop him. But mostly it's just Dern and three service robots in a space jungle.