Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Having the mindset of a prepper or survivalist can be difficult to turn off, but when it’s time to kick back and relax you can still indulge in survival-related things. We’ve put together a list of Netflix movies that we think have some educational or just pure entertainment value for the person who strives to always be prepared.
Like most movies, entertainment is the main concern but if you pay attention there are a few informational nuggets that can be taken away having to do with survival situations, tactics, and different ways to prepare for the unexpected. The following movies are available to watch on Netflix as of May 29, 2023. Enjoy!
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This is a 2018 movie starring Mads Mikklesen in which the main character’s plane has crashed for reasons unknown, in one of the harshest environments on Earth, the Arctic. Everyone on the plane has died, leaving him to survive alone using the plane as shelter and the minimal gear on board. Just when he thinks he is going to be rescued, things go horribly and realistically wrong.
The Arctic is not an edge-of-your-seat fast-paced survival movie that keeps you engaged with nonstop action. It’s more of a documentary in that it shows the methodical actions taken to overcome the painful patience and will to survive needed in a survival situation.
By the way, you don’t have to worry about a bunch of annoying dialogue getting in the way of the true content of the movie as there is very little speaking in the entire film.
Against The Ice
This 2022 Netflix Film stars Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau, Joe Cole, and Heida Reed as they embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Greenland’s ruggedly beautiful and harsh environment. Against the Ice is based on the true story of Denmark’s 1909 polar expedition that set out to disprove a claim by the United States that Greenland was broken up into two pieces.
Through the movie, you see a crew of adventurers dealing with limited supplies, extreme environments and weather, dangerous wildlife, and the fear of never getting home. Adventure stories are often glamorized and romanticized but Against The Ice will put you in the passenger seat to see what most explorers truly have to experience.
This 2020 movie starring Guillaume Laurin, Marie-Evelyne Lessard, and Patrice Laliberte is the only movie on the list that specifically has to do with “preppers” and “survivalists.”
A group of people travels to a remote location that is set up as a survivalist training camp. While there, the group learns everything they need to know about survival skills, important preps, and even how to defend themselves.
What they don’t learn is what to do when the group becomes dangerously divided over a fatal accident at the camp. Will they be able to come together and work through the problem or let panic drive them to dangerous ends?
How It Ends
What would you do if someone you loved was on the other side of the country when all hell breaks loose? This is the basic premise of the 2018 Netflix Film How It Ends starring Theo James, Kat Graham, and Nancy Sorel.
Will Younger (played by Theo James) is visiting his wife’s parents when apocalyptic events start unfolding. The last phone call Will has with his pregnant wife suddenly ends leaving him wondering what to do about his scared spouse who could be in danger.
The problem? She is on the other side of the country. Solution? Will and his father-in-law jump into the car to rescue the women they both love.
Be forewarned that this movie got quite a few bad reviews because the title of the movie shouldn’t have been “How It Ends,” but “How It Ends?”
Dawn Of The Dead
If you are looking to shut your brain off and enjoy a bunch of grizzly action then look no further than Dawn of The Dead.
In this 2004 movie, an outbreak of zombies overtakes the world, causing the uninfected to survive by any means necessary, which in this case includes a group of survivors taking refuge inside of a mall where everything seems to be okay and even fun at times because they can easily go shopping for what they need.
However, circumstances arise that force the group to rethink the relative safety of the mall and plans are put into place to find somewhere better if such a place exists.
World War Z
This 2013 movie starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, and Daniella Kertesz continues with a trope that has been beaten to death, quite literally, zombies. However, World War Z inserts a slight twist to the zombie pandemic that makes it more interesting to watch.
Brad Pitt plays a UN investigator that is called back into action when an infection starts making people go stark raving mad and attacking the uninfected. The world is quickly thrown into chaos and Pitt’s character must get his family to safety before he hunts down the cause and hopefully a cure to this new apocalyptic world.
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a 2018 movie starring Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, and Jeff Kober. It features a father and daughter living in the woods of a park and isolating themselves away from the everyday life of the modern world.
Their world is turned upside down when authorities arrest them for illegally living on public land and they are thrust back back into the systems they were trying to escape. This movie does a great job of showing what it takes to live away from an increasingly complicated system as well as trying to live within it, the bond between a father and daughter, and the question we all need to ask ourselves…how do we want to live?
Cargo is a 2017 Netflix Film starring Simone Landers, Martin Freeman, and Marlee Jane McPherson-Dobbins. On the wild continent of Australia, an epidemic spreads like wildfire that basically turns people into zombies.
Battling rugged terrain, the elements, and the dangers of everyone he encounters, a father searches for a safe haven for his young daughter. Even though this is a “zombie” movie it felt different than most others I have watched.
Maybe it was from the beautiful scenery, the cinematography, or that it was more about the struggles of a father trying to protect his family than having the screen constantly filled with bloodthirsty monsters. In any case, if you haven’t seen Cargo, I would recommend it as one of the better zombie movies around.
Solo is a 2018 Netflix Film starring Alain Hernandez, Aura Garrido, and Ben Temple. It’s based on the true story of a man who sets out to go surfing off the coast of the Canary Islands but soon finds himself in a life or death situation when he falls off a cliff.
Stuck in a situation that he can’t get out of, the main character starts to do what most people do in such a scenario, he looks back on his life and begins to question it.
What’s great about this movie is that it reinforces the fact that bad things can happen no matter how normal the planned activity may seem and that a person needs to be as prepared as possible and self-reflect every single day.
Missing is a 2023 film starring Storm Reid, Nia Long, and Megan Suri. A teenager’s mom and her new boyfriend leave her at home to go on a trip to Columbia. Being left alone at home sounds like every teenager’s dream, that is until the mom and her boyfriend go missing and don’t return from their trip.
After receiving very little help from the authorities, the young girl takes it upon herself to conduct her own online investigation. However, what she starts to find out only raises more questions and amplifies her fears.
True Spirit is a 2023 Netflix Film starring Teagan Croft, Cliff Curtis, and Anna Paquin. Based on a true story this movie follows young Jessica Watson who dreams of becoming the youngest person to solo sail around the world. Living on the coast of Australia, Watson has spent her whole life on the water, and at the incredible age of just sixteen, she sets out to sail, non-stop, around the world.
While this is not your typical survival movie, there are certainly dangerous aspects to such a journey that must be prepared for and overcome. One aspect of survival situations that often gets overlooked is the mental toll taken, especially as it relates to being utterly alone, and it’s hard to get more alone than being on a rather small boat for hundreds of days on the ocean.
Even though this isn’t an apocalyptic, sci-fi, end-of-the-world movie, there are plenty of lessons to be learned and True Spirit is both an uplifting tale and one that can be enjoyed with the whole family.
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