These are, in my opinion, the 50 best survival movies (that I’ve seen). They are in alphabetical order. If I missed any, let me know in the comments section.
1. 28 Days Later – After waking up from a coma, a man finds London has been overrun by hordes of rabid zombies.
2. 30 Days of Night – Brilliant adaptation of the terrifying graphic novel. A small town in Alaska is under siege as a group of vampires attack the townspeople.
3. 2012 – The story is pretty weak, but the special effects and ridiculously suspenseful escapes are fun to watch.
4. A Boy And His Dog – A boy and his telepathic dog survive in the wilderness after WWIV has turned the country into a desert-like wasteland.
5. A Cry in the Wild – The story of a young man’s survival in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes.
6. Aftershock: Earthquake in New York – After New York City is rocked by a massive earthquake, two men face uncertainty as their own family members lie buried in the toppled buildings.
7. Alive – A team of tough rugby players resort to drastic methods in order to survive after their plane crashes in the snow-covered Andes.
8. Behind Enemy Lines – After his plane gets shot down in Bosnia, Burnett is alone and trying to outrun a pursuing army.
9. Book of Eli – Frightening look at America after a nuclear war. Eli is on a mission to deliver an important book.
10. Carriers – Four kids attempt to outrun a viral pandemic that threatens to wipe out the entire population.
11. Cast Away – Amazing story of survival on a desert island after a man’s plane crashes. One of Tom Hanks’ most impressive performances.
12. Children of Men – For years, no one has been able to have children and the world faces the potential end of the human race. But when I man meets a pregnant girl, he has to get her to safety.
13. City of Ember – A secret city has been built to save mankind from a worldwide disaster, but the city’s days are numbered.
14. Cloverfield – A group of friends struggle to survive in New York City as a gigantic monster ravages the city.
15. Dances With Wolves – A lone soldier makes friends with and eventually joins a tribe of Native Americans.
16. Dante’s Peak – Great depiction of how an unexpected volcano eruption could devastate a small town.
17. Dawn Of The Dead – After a virus turns most of the population into blood-thirsty zombies, a group of survivors make their last stand on the roof of a mall.
18. Deep Impact – A teenager discovers a comet that turns out to be headed toward Earth. People struggle to reach safety before it’s too late.
19. Defiance – True story of the Bielski brothers, simple farmers who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters.
20. Doomsday – To save humanity from an epidemic, an elite fighting unit must battle to find a cure in a post-apocalyptic zone controlled by a society of murderous renegades.
21. Empire of the Sun – A young British boy’s noble spirit allows him to survive the hardships of a Japanese prison camp in China during World War II.
22. Enemy at the Gates – WWII epic about a Russian and a German soldier.
23. Escape from New York – In the near future, crime is everywhere and New York City is a maximum security prison.
24. Farewell to the King – During WWII, an American soldier escapes his Japanese captors and flees into the jungles of Borneo.
25. I Am Legend – The story of a lone human survivor in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by genetically-mutated humans.
26. Into the Wild – The true story of Christopher McCandless who gave up his money and possessions and went in search of adventure.
27. Iron Will – Based on a true-life story, a young man and his team of sled dogs embark on a grueling and treacherous cross-country marathon, in hopes of winning a $10,000 prize.
28. Jeremiah Johnson – One man’s effort to shed the burden of civilization and learn to survive in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.
29. Lord Of The Flies – A group of children from a military academy are stranded on an island. Eventually they turn savage and start to kill each other.
30. Miracle Mile – When a man finds out about an imminent nuclear holocaust, he and his friend attempt to escape the city before it’s too late.
31. Panic in Year Zero – A post-nuke survival story of a father who fights to protect his family from looters, rapists and murderers.
32. Red Dawn – A group of teenagers fight back after Russians and Cubans invade America.
33. Schindler’s List – The story of a man who saved hundreds of Jews from the concentration camps.
34. Six Days, Seven Nights – A pilot and his passenger struggle for survival after crashing on a deserted island.
35. Swiss Family Robinson – After being shipwrecked on a deserted island, the Robinson family overcome the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a community.
36. Terminator Salvation – Humans battle against machines in a post-apocalyptic world.
37. Testament – An unexpected nuclear strike has occurred and no one knows who did it or why it happened.
38. The Crazies – A mysterious virus is put into the water supply of a small Iowa town turning the towns people crazy.
39. The Day After – The inhabitants of a small town in Kansas learn along with the rest of America that they have fewer than 30 minutes before 300 Soviet warheads begin to appear overhead.
40. The Edge – Two men up against a giant Kodiak bear, and their own inner demons, when lost together in the Alaskan wilderness.
41. The Flight of the Phoenix – Robert Aldrich’s tense, 1965 drama about a plane crash in the Sahara is a unique psychological study of men in desperate circumstances.
42. The Patriot – Not the one starring Mel Gibson. A small town is infected with lethal virus by an extremist group.
43. The Postman – A drifter leads the resistance against a military tyrant after a collapse.
44. The Quiet Earth – A government research scientist wakes up to discover that he may be the last man on earth.
45. The Road – A father and his son search for food and supplies in a nuclear winter.
46. The Road Warrior – In a post-nuclear war world, Gibson plays Max, a lone adventurer who drives the roads of outback Australia in an endless search for gasoline.
47. The Snow Walker – The story of an Alaskan bush pilot and young Eskimo girl who survived a plane crash in the Alaskan outback.
48. The Stand – A government-spawned superflu wipes out more than 99 percent of the world’s population.
49. War of The Worlds – The new version has some great special effects, but overall the original is better.
50. Zombieland – Survivors have to learn to trust each other after the world is overrun with zombies. This is a really fun movie!
What to read next: 50 MORE of the Best Survival Movies