There is something extremely appealing to us about the end of the world as we know it. You cannot dispute that being the last human on Earth would have its own advantages: you could do whatever the heck you want to do. But it certainly is a challenge when you have to be confined inside your own home since the world outside has all sorts of strange creatures prowling about and also the humans who are not quite people anymore. This could be seen a lot in our list of best post-apocalyptic movies.
Apocalyptic sci-fi movies may be about the end of the world. But as we all know, the end may come in a variety of various ways. Doomsday may involve an extraterrestrial or monster invasion, or it can signify nature turning against mankind. Whatever catastrophe befalls us, post-apocalyptic movies demonstrate how humanity can endure despite all odds – and what’s more exciting than that?
So, whether it’s an adrenaline-fueled car chase through the dystopian deserts of Mad Max, or tip-toeing cautiously over the sand pathways of A Quiet Place, allow me to take you through the best post-apocalyptic movies. Let’s see what are the best Post-apocalypse themed movies.
55. Doomsday (2008)
Doomsday written and directed by Neil Marshall, released in 2008 is the first movie on our list of the best post-apocalyptic movies. From the construction of Hadrian’s Wall to the development of the deep-fried Mars bar, Scotland has had its fair share of conflict throughout the years. Unfortunately, these events pale into insignificance in the face of The Reaper Virus, which results in Scotland’s complete isolation from the rest of mainland Britain.
When the virus resurfaces in England 27 years after the quarantine, the government dispatches an investigating team over the border — and within minutes of their arrival, they find themselves imprisoned in a Medieval castle.
Fun fact: if you’re a Fallout 4 lover, you can download Doomsday’s iconic face paint in high-resolution mode.
54. Into the Forest (2016)
Patricia Rozema directed Into the Forest, a Canadian post-apocalyptic horror film. This tale sends shivers down our spines due to its resemblance to our own world. Into the Forest is set in the near future and follows a family that lives alone in a home in the woods. They are, nevertheless, highly reliant on energy and technology for their survival, way of life, and safety.
Their problems begin when a continent-wide power outage lasts over a year, forcing them to learn to live on the barest necessities. Into the Forest continues to demonstrate that people are no longer a part of the natural environment and would be unable to live without this assistance.
53. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
If the prior flicks were too sad and ominous for you, it’s time to join the post-apocalyptic world of A Boy and His Dog directed by L.Q. Jones. The plot of A Boy and His Dog follows 18-year-old Vic and his psychic dog, Blood, hunting for sustenance amid America’s devastated wastelands.
When the pair comes upon an underground society, Vic realizes all too late that he’s been brought there for a single, sinister reason: sex. Vic decides to flee and rejoin his trusty psychic friend.
52. Waterworld (1995)
Waterworld, directed by Kevin Reynolds and staring Kevin Costner, brings us a different kind of post-apocalyptic tale. In the far future, the polar ice caps have melted. The human society collapsed and later got re-built in a form of different “factions” that roam the seas in search of hope and survival. Waterworld is a story about a human Mariner (Kevin Costner) and his tale of survival and tenacity. He got entrusted with the safety and survival of a single woman and a child while he’s on a run for his own life as well. You either love or hate Waterworld, I’ve still decided to put it on the list of the best post-apocalyptic movies of all time.
51. Embers (2015)
Ember is a short post-apocalyptic film directed by Claire Carré that has been touring film festivals but has not received theatrical distribution. It distinguishes itself from other, more mainstream post-apocalyptic flicks under its explosive concept and completely unique world-ending reason.
In Embers, the apocalypse is brought about by a neurological disease that often results in complete memory loss. Consider what would happen if everyone in the world attempted to live their lives in the same manner as Guy Pierce’s character did in Memento at the same moment. Unfortunately, Embers does not live up to its amazing concept, and the film’s vignette format means that certain sections are much less engaging than others, but it is still worth seeing.
50. Omega Man (1971)
Omega Man directed by Boris Sagal takes the same source material as Will Smith’s glossy, overly-polished version of Matheson’s novel and runs in a completely different way. Even though not without a few creative freedoms (the end of days is caused by bioweapons rather than a mysterious bacterial epidemic), the 1971 version’s underlying theme is considerably closer to the spirit of the novel, resulting in a narrative that is far more meaningful and thought-provoking than the 2007 adaptation.
49. Carriers (2009)
Carriers by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor feature a pre-fame Chris Pine at his most frightening as he teams up with other survivors to traverse desolate America. A highly infectious illness has killed off everyone in Carriers, creating an atmosphere of mistrust among Pine’s group that develops and swells to the point where it’s almost painful to witness.
Carriers is the ideal zombie film without zombies, which may explain why it disappointed so many. Carriers is fatally flawed and sometimes paced as if it forgets its audience is meant to enjoy it, but it’s still worth seeing if only to witness how fast friendships can disintegrate when every breath might be deadly.
48. Take Shelter (2011)
Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, is another deft entry into the subtle, intellectual apocalyptic sub-genre.
in Take Shelter, Curtis, a parent, and husband, has been having nightmares and hallucinations. Assuming he is suffering from mental illness, he seeks medical assistance and therapy. However, fearful of the worst-case scenario, he begins constructing an extensive and costly storm shelter in their garden. This storm shelter threatens to rip his family apart, to undermine his sanity and reputation in the town, yet he constructs it to preserve his family’s lives.
47. The Silence (2019)
The Silence, starring Stanley Tucci and Kiernan Shipka and directed by John R. Leonetti, is a criminally underappreciated Netflix original. The 2019 science fiction horror film follows a family as they attempt to live in a world overrun by creatures who hunt by sound. That may seem very similar to A Quiet Place, down to the presence of a Deaf character (played by Shipka).
The Silence is the tale of a family trying to live in a world terrified by a lethal, primitive species that developed in the pitch darkness of a huge subterranean cave system, hunting only with their keen hearing. As the family finds shelter in a secluded haven, they begin to question what sort of world will exist when they are ready to emerge.
46. #Alive (2020)
#Alive (2020), a South Korean zombie flick may very well be the most relatable quarantine film you’ll watch in 2020. ‘#Alive’ is the tale of Joon-woo, a video game live streamer, and how he escapes a zombie apocalypse in his apartment after being forced to live alone.
Not only the quarantining procedure makes this film more relevant, but also the widespread usage and reliance on social media and technology. This video will underline the critical nature of information sharing, which may even be life-saving. The film is based on Matt Naylor’s screenplay, ‘Alone,’ which he co-wrote with Cho Il-Hyung.
45. This is the End (2013)
Up next on our list of best post-apocalyptic movies is This is the End directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, If you like your post-apocalyptic flicks with a sense of humor, This is the End may be the film for you. It’s less “post” apocalyptic than the majority of the films on this list and more “mid” apocalyptic, or “rapturous” if you prefer. This comedy makes excellent use of the apocalyptic premise and is consistently amusing throughout.
Another amusing film from the same year and with a very similar title is Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. While it is arguably a much higher-quality film, it features the apocalypse in only a few brief moments near the end and thus does not quite qualify as a post-apocalyptic film, and thus This is the End takes this spot on the list of best post-apocalyptic movies
44. The Day (2011)
The Day by Douglas Aarniokoski merits credit for being a member of an exclusive club of WWE Studios films that aren’t completely awful.
The Day takes place on a planet devastated by cannibal mutants, the human Rick leads a gang formed by his school pals Adam and Henson and the ladies Shannon and Mary in search of a safe haven. Rick also carries seeds. They decide to remain at a decrepit farmhouse for the time being since Henson is very ill. They do, however, trigger a trap in the basement equipped with an alarm system, and soon find themselves under assault by a mutant horde. Additionally, they learn that Mary is a mutant. However, she recounts her past and joins the survivors in a hopeless struggle against the monsters.
43. Escape from L.A. (1996)
A box office disaster that demonstrated that sometimes people just do not recognize a good thing when they see one, John Carpenter’s Escape from L.A. is not as excellent as its predecessor, New York, but it is unquestionably more daring and theatrical.
In Escape from L.A. (1996) Los Angeles was severed from the rest of the nation in 2013 by a series of earthquakes, and, like its neighbor New York, has deteriorated from a beautiful metropolis to a corrupt jail. Additionally, the United States has developed into a more moral culture. Cuervo, a Cuban terrorist, has stolen a gadget that controls a unique orbiting EMP weapon system from the president’s daughter, Utopia.
The President has enlisted the services of the dubious mercenary Snake Plissken. To compel his participation, they placed a viral bomb within his body, which would infect him in 9 hours, forcing Snake to stop Cuervo, rescue Utopia, and reclaim the Weapon’s gadget.
42. Contagion (2011)
Contagion by Steven Soderbergh is a thriller that addresses global pandemics with an outstanding ensemble that includes Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The viral epidemic in Contagion claims life within days after infection, creating a suspenseful, compelling drama. Steven Soderbergh (well known for the Ocean films) directs as we see ordinary people cope with a catastrophe while medical experts race to discover a solution. Momentum builds and tensions remain high as Soderbergh explores how ordinary people might respond to an apocalyptic illness.
41. 3022 (2019)
While the majority of post-apocalyptic films are centered on Earth, 3022 shakes things up by taking place in space. 3022 is directed by John Suits and follows a four-person crew on Pangea, a space station that serves as a fuel station between Earth and the moon Europa. The team is immediately confronted with two enormous obstacles.
Their captain, Omar Epps, becomes sick and begins seeing hallucinations. Following that, a huge explosion happens, convincing the group that Earth has been destroyed for all time.
40. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Terry Gilliam’s brilliantly conceived films span the gamut of film genres and locations, and in Twelve Monkeys, he tackles both science fiction and post-apocalyptic themes. In Twelve Monkeys, the apocalyptic world was created after a virus created by humans killed off the overwhelming majority of human life on the planet.
The plot of Twelve Monkeys revolves around a previously unknown and deadly virus killed off five billion people. By 2035, just 1% of the population has survived and is forced to dwell underground. A prisoner, James Cole, unwillingly agrees to be transported back in time to 1996 to collect knowledge about the epidemic’s origins (which he is informed were spread by a mysterious “Army of the Twelve Monkeys”) and to find the virus before it mutates and becomes unusable by scientists.
Unfortunately, Cole is accidentally transported to 1990, six years sooner than anticipated, and is arrested and sent to a mental hospital, where he meets psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Railly and Jeffrey Goines, the crazy son of a renowned scientist and virus specialist.
39. What Happened to Monday (2017)
What Happened to Monday (2017) by Tommy Wirkola takes place in 2043, owing to overpopulation, there is a strict one-child policy, and all children save the firstborn are cryosleeped. To guarantee this, each person is monitored through an electronic wristband. A lady died during this period after giving birth to seven identical septuplet sisters.
They were carefully trained to pose as a single person while under the care of their grandpa, and communication was the key to that. If the government discovers more than one of them, they will be executed. However, when one of the sisters is arrested and her contact is cut off, chaos ensues. Is life given a chance when such a strict regulation is in place?
38. Cadaver / Kadaver (2020)
The Norwegian film by Jarand Herdal ‘Cadaver’ is set in a post-nuclear catastrophe metropolis where suffering is the norm. Without food in Cadaver people are hungry, violence increases, and witnessing rotting dead corpses on the street is a daily occurrence. In such a society, the only way to survive is to “stay together.” Leonora (Gitte Witt) and Jacob (Thomas Gullestad) are very protective of their only daughter, Alice (Tuva Olivia Remman).
Unexpectedly, Mathias Vinterberg (Thorborm Harr), a renowned theatrical director, offers a private performance, ‘The Hotel,’ with the promise of a delicious dinner. Seeing this as a chance to escape reality, they opt for the show. When reality and fantasy collide, pandemonium follows, exposing the truth about living in a society that operates on the premise of “eat or be devoured.”
37. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
You’re probably surprised to see the X-Men movie on this list. While X-Men Apocalypse does include a guy who causes the actual apocalypse, it is X-Men: Days of Future Past that is set in a post-apocalyptic world.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, mutants and the humans who aid them will be killed by Sentinels, strong robots. Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Magneto, Storm, Kitty Pryde, and her companions gather in a Chinese monastery, where Xavier reveals that the invincible Sentinels were developed using Mystique’s DNA, which was seized in 1973 during her attempt to kill their inventor Dr. Bolivar Trask. Xavier informs them that their only hope is to go back to 1973 and use Pryde’s abilities to join Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr to persuade Mystique to abandon her plan.
However, only Wolverine is immune to the effects of time travel. Will he be able to stop Mystique and the Sentinel Program in time to prevent the extinction of mutants and their human allies?
36. Akira (1988)
Here’s one animated movie on this list of best post-apocalyptic movies. Akira hailed as one of the greatest animated pictures of all time, requires immediate watching (or two, or three). With exquisite as well as hideous images and a narrative that is both lyrical and action-packed, it has deservedly earned its position as a masterpiece.
Akira revolves around Kaneda, a motorcycle gang boss whose close buddy Tetsuo becomes engaged in the government’s top-secret Akira project. Kaneda meets a gang of anti-government activists, selfish politicians, reckless scientists, and a strong military commander on his journey to rescue Tetsuo. The clash awakens Tetsuo’s superhuman abilities, resulting in bloodshed, a coup attempt, and the ultimate fight at the Tokyo Olympiad, where Akira’s secrets were buried 30 years ago.
35. Dredd (2017)
In Dredd by Pete Travis, the titular lawman restores order to the post-apocalyptic world of a crumbling Mega-City One. Dredd, based on the famous Judge Dredd comics, depicts a frightening future in which police officers have the authority to act as judge, jury, and executioner. In this appropriately vicious thrill-ride adaption, drug kingpin Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) presents a lethal danger, and Dredd tries to put a stop to her reign.
34. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2017)
10 Cloverfield Lane by Dan Trachtenberg is the only post-apocalyptic film on our list that will leave you wondering if it is, in fact, a post-apocalyptic film during your first viewing. 10 Cloverfield Lane’s method of withholding and carefully disseminating information keeps you wondering until the conclusion. Is John Goodman’s captor speaking the truth about the end of the world, or is it just a series of twisted lies? 10 Cloverfield Lane is the second installment in the highly successful Cloverfield franchise. I recommend you take a look at all Cloverfield movies.
33. Oblivion (2013)
Oblivion is a film about atonement. It chronicles the voyage of a security repairman who is sent to harvest Earth’s last resources in 2077. He begins to doubt the goal and many elements of his own life along the road. The film is visually stunning, courtesy of Joseph Kosinski’s creative mind, who previously helmed Tron: Legacy. This sci-fi picture, which also stars Morgan Freeman and Andrea Riseborough, will keep you on your toes for the duration of its length.
32. Arrival (2016)
Arrival by Denis Villeneuve has all the hallmarks of an apocalyptic blockbuster—aliens, military camps, and the danger of world conflict—but is firmly planted in the intellectual camp.
In Arrival, aliens have made 12 separate landings on Earth. Louise Banks, a language professor, joins a US army squad at one of the sites in Montana. Her mission is to attempt to learn the aliens’ language to facilitate conversation. She begins compiling a record of the aliens’ “language” – a sequence of drawn symbols – via frequent encounters with two of the aliens.
The critical issue is whether they are a friend or adversary. Other countries that have seen alien landings are beginning to regard them as a danger, creating a race against time as conflict with the aliens may erupt at any time.
31. The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)
The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) by Colm McCarthy is marked by a near future where the whole human race will be afflicted by a parasitic fungus spread through body fluids. Infected individuals become mindless zombies, with the only chance being a tiny number of second-generation offspring who consume flesh but maintain the capacity to think and justify. The story of The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) centers on a scientist, a teacher, and two soldiers who are battling for survival with a unique child named Melanie (Sennia Nanua).
30. Chaos Walking (2021)
Chaos Walking (2021) directed by Doug Liman takes place in the not-too-distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) meets Viola (Daisy Ridley), a strange girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have vanished and the males are plagued by “the Noise” – a force that displays all their thoughts. Viola’s life is endangered in this deadly environment – and while Todd swears to defend her, he will have to rediscover his own inner strength and unravel the planet’s terrible mysteries.
29. Rim of the World (2019)
Summer camp at Rim of the World has just started when four misfit adolescents – Alex, Zhen Zhen, Dariush, and Gabriel – discover they have more pressing concerns than learning to canoe and climb ropes when aliens attack the Earth. Alone in a once-hectic campsite, the children are suddenly presented with a key that has the power to halt the invasion. Without the guidance of adults or technology, it’s obvious what they must do: join together, overcome their anxieties, and rescue the planet.
28. 28 Days Later (2002)
While 28 Days Later (2002) directed by Danny Boyle, is often included on lists of zombie films, the beings afflicted by the fury virus are never referred to as zombies and do not drag their bodies around like George A. Romero’s iconic monsters. Cillian Murphy appears in this post-apocalyptic thriller as Jim, a patient who awakens in a hospital four weeks after the virus spreads.
In 28 Days Later the disappeared London civilization that begins the picture develops into a struggle for survival, where people remain as nasty as the tenacious creatures racing in all directions like crazy marathon runners on the search for blood.
27. Bird Box (2018)
Bird Box by Susanne Bier is a Netflix original film that has sparked plenty of debate and spawned more than a few memes since its release on the streaming service.
Bird Box takes place amid a nightmare new reality in which an invisible evil entity is purging the entire population, Malorie and her two children go on a perilous journey to locate the only safe refuge on Earth. However, in this perilous journey, one’s vision is the true adversary—and as the defenseless blinded guardian musters the strength to pursue a tiny glimmer of hope buried deep in a riverside shelter, darkness may be the only thing that may rescue them. Now, the survival rules have shifted. Will Malorie and her children make it to the end of the day?
26. Snowpiercer (2014)
As is the case with the graphic book on which it is based, Snowpiercer (2014) by Graeme and Manson Josh Friedman portrays a post-apocalyptic world in which everyone has died save for the occupants of one long and unusual train.
In the year 2031, the earth is completely frozen save for those onboard the Snowpiercer. For seventeen years, the survivors of the planet have been riding a train across the globe, establishing their own economy and class structure. A gang of lower-class people living in filth at the rear of the train, led by Curtis (Chris Evans), are determined to make their way to the front of the train and share the riches. Each segment of the train has a fresh surprise for the gang as they fight their way through. A revolution is taking place.
25. The Divide (2011)
Next up on our list of best post-apocalyptic movies is The Divide directed by Xavier Gens. In The Divide, an unlikely group of nuclear survivors seeks refuge in an apartment complex’s basement, and it isn’t long until they destroy what little is left of each other’s life. As the radiation takes hold, the gang fragments into groups with disparate mental states and views – by the time the credits roll, you may not recognize some of the people. The Divide is an incredibly terrible and moving film, so bring a bucket with you.
24. The Book of Eli (2010)
Denzel Washington’s cool-as-hell portrayal as the protagonist and Gary Oldman’s amusing villain performance lift The Book of Eli somewhat beyond being a run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic film.
The Book of Eli (2010) features a desolate environment that looks fantastic but also seems a bit too similar or uninspired, as do the narrative elements and numerous dangers encountered by the protagonist. It’s hardly distinguishable from generic, almost like the most appetizing form of the stock-standard post-apocalyptic clichés and stereotypes.
23. The Host (2006)
The Host directed by Bong Joon Ho chronicles the story of a Seoul family as a monster rises from the Han River and begins a killing spree. Director Bong once again creates a tale that is far larger than its protagonists via a genre-bending storyline that smoothly transitions from pure terror and dark humor.
The Host is a post-apocalyptic nightmare that confronts capitalism and unwelcome Western influence straight on, as American scientists tamper with substances they are not supposed to while the government is indifferent and unhelpful. Bong’s lasting political message pervades his whole body of work but is most apparent in the monsters of The Host.
22. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator directed by James Cameron is an outstanding action, science fiction, and slasher film. The Terminator franchise’s post-apocalyptic future is a lurking danger of what could happen if our heroes fail in their tasks, or what might be inevitable regardless of how you slice it if you follow the sequels’ reasoning.
Disguised as a human, a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent to safeguard Sarah and reveals the impending arrival of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system capable of sparking a nuclear catastrophe. Sarah is targeted by Skynet because they believe her pregnant child will lead the resistance against them. She and Kyle try to flee from the almost unstoppable Terminator.
21. It Comes at Night (2017)
It Comes at Night (2017) by Trey Edward Shults revolves around a holed-up family in their boarded-up home deep in the foreboding and deadly forest, Paul, Sarah, and their son, Travis, have imposed a tight self-quarantine after the emergence of a highly contagious and lethal illness. Under such conditions, contact with the outside world is minimal and only when absolutely essential; nevertheless, when a family in need of food and shelter moves into Paul’s home, the already precarious balance of things will be upended suddenly.
Gradually, as the uncomfortable cohabitation of the two families continues, distrust, and eventually paranoia, begin to dominate in a volatile atmosphere where the adversary might be anybody, including themselves. Can Paul and the other survivors defeat the creature that appears at night?
20. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Endgame is a sad yet optimistic film that deserves to be included on our list of best post-apocalyptic movies. After Thanos snatches away half of all life, the Avengers are left dispersed and divided. With a chance to undo the damage, the Avengers and their friends must reassemble and learn to set aside their differences to work together and make things right.
The Avengers learn along the road that sacrifices must be made as they prepare for the ultimate final confrontation with Thanos, which will pit them against the greatest struggle they have ever faced.
19. A Quiet Place (2018)
A Quiet Place directed by and staring John Krasinski distinguishes itself from previous post-apocalyptic films under its own monster and world laws. This is the first post-apocalyptic film in which the threat is entirely driven by sound. It’s an enticing hook, done extremely well technically but less so narratively.
A Quiet Place takes place on a shattered Earth overtaken by unstoppable predators of unknown origin, the Abbotts struggle for survival in the dismal urban jungle of New York City, characterized by a new age of complete quiet. Indeed, since this new kind of invader is drawn to noise, even the faintest sound may be lethal; nevertheless, it has been twelve months since the formidable creatures were first seen, and this tenacious family continues to thrive.
Naturally, mastering the laws of life in this muted dystopia is critical; yet, today, more than ever, an otherwise joyful occasion jeopardizes the already precarious equilibrium. And now, maybe more than ever, the Abbotts must remain silent. A quiet Place Part 2 released in 2021 wasn’t half bad either.
18. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Doctor Strangelove by Stanley Kubrick revolves around General Jack Ripper of the United States Air Force that goes totally insane and orders his bomber wing to attack the USSR. He accuses communists of plotting to contaminate the American people’s “precious bodily fluids.” The US president meets with his advisers, and the Soviet envoy informs him that if the USSR is attacked with nuclear weapons, a “Doomsday Machine” would be triggered, annihilating all plant and animal life on Earth.
Peter Sellers plays the three individuals who have the potential to prevent this disaster: British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, the only person with access to the insane Gen. Ripper; US President Merkin Muffley, whose best efforts to avert disaster relies on appeasing a drunken Soviet Premier; and Dr. Strangelove, the former Nazi genius who concludes that “such a device would not be a practical deterrent for reasons that must be all too obvious at the moment.” Will the bombers be apprehended before they destroy the globe, or will General Jack Ripper succeed in destroying the planet?
17. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) by Matt Reeves elevates the new Planet of the Apes trilogy to new heights. Andy Serkis, as Caesar, once again delivers a superb motion-capture portrayal. The film is packed with thrilling fights that have emotional weight since almost a decade of destruction has failed to bring the struggle between man and ape to a conclusion. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the ideal summer blockbuster while also serving as an unforgettable social satire.
16. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) by Don Siegel is a classic tale about civilization collapsing under the weight of humanity’s control when humans are replaced by identical duplicates. We might have chosen the original 1956 picture, which is strongly influenced by the era’s “Red Scare,” but the 1978 version is probably more entertaining and relies much more heavily on the world-ending implications of a planet taken over by an invisible extraterrestrial power.
15. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
This next movie on our list of best post-apocalyptic movies of all time you either love or hate. Despite widespread criticism at the time of its release, The Day After Tomorrow by Roland Emmerich has become a cult classic in its own way. With the Earth abruptly thrown into a second ice age, a cast of aristocratic specialists and commoners play their rather predictable roles.
In The Day After Tomorrow Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall arrives in Antarctica, he finds the shearing of a massive ice sheet. However, he is unaware that this occurrence would precipitate a major climatic change, affecting the whole world’s population. Meanwhile, his son Sam is in New York City with pals for an event.
They find that it has been pouring continuously for three days, and when a series of weather-related calamities occur across the globe, everyone understands that the planet is going to enter a new Ice Age, and the global population starts evacuating to the warmer regions of the south. Jack undertakes a brave effort to rescue his kid and pals who are trapped in New York City and have survived not just a huge wave but also dangerously low temperatures.
14. I Am Legend (2007)
I Am Legend is based on Richard Matheson’s bestselling novel of the same name. The movie I Am Legend (2007) follows the last survivor on Earth after a vampire epidemic infects everyone. Although this film is not as successful as Matheson’s novelette due to its departure from the novelette’s amazing conclusion, Will Smith’s one-man performance as Robert Neville remains commendable.
It’s also disorienting to consider what New York City might look like without us to preserve it. For most of the film’s duration, it’s just Neville and his dog aimlessly wandering the deserted streets in search of some sign of human activity, enabling you to experience his loneliness. We’re going to get a sequel to this iconic movie, I Am Legend 2 since it has been confirmed that the movie is currently in development and once again staring Will Smith.
13. Day of the Dead (1985)
Day of the Dead is one of Romero’s most underrated masterpieces, which may have just been published at the wrong moment. When Day of the Dead was released in 1985, everyone, even their parents, had had almost enough zombies. It’s not flawless — the pace is wrong — but it’s one of the finest depictions of how hazy the aftermath of a catastrophe can be.
Except for a tiny group of scientists and military people who live in an underground bunker in Florida, zombies control the globe. The scientists are conducting horrific experiments on the undead, much to the disgust of the military. Finally, the military discovers that its soldiers have been exploited in the scientists’ experiments and exiles the scientists to the Living Dead caverns. Regrettably, the zombies from above have infiltrated the shelter.
12. Independence Day (1996)
Aliens! Fourth of July! Smith, Will! What more could a single blockbuster possibly provide?
In Independence day directed by Roland Emmerich, humans began receiving an unusual signal in early July, and it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. A huge spaceship approached Earth, and lesser spacecraft started engulfing whole towns worldwide. Suddenly, the amazement transforms into terror as the spacecraft uses energy beams to demolish the city.
When the Earth retaliated, the alien spacecraft became impervious to military weaponry. The President of the United States then chooses to go to Area 51 to devise a strategy for defeating the aliens. Now, the world’s destiny is in the hands of a few remaining people.
11. Children of Men (2006)
The concept is straightforward: people have become sterile for unknown reasons. However, the ensuing reality shown in Children of Men — based on the book of the same name — is horrific, as people continue to live in an increasingly torn society, knowing that there is little chance for the race’s future. Throughout this, Theo (Clive Owen) discovers a cause worth risking his life for, and the audience is invited along on the ride.
10. District 9 (2009)
District 9 by Neill Blomkamp is widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction films to come out of the 2000s. It is based on true events that occurred in Cape Town’s ‘District Six’ under apartheid. Four Academy Awards were presented to the picture, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. The film is a hybrid of discovered video and science fiction; the narrative of District 9 starts in 1982, with the sighting of an extraterrestrial spacecraft above Johannesburg.
The aliens discovered on Earth were famished, yet they were greeted with suspicion. They are contained by the South African government in a defined area known as District Nine. As the prison begins to feel more like a prison, an insurrection ensues, culminating in a battle between humans and these alien creatures.
9. Mad Max (1979)
The premise is of Mad Max is straightforward: an Australian police officer takes the law into his own hands after his family is murdered by a motorcycle gang. George Miller’s iconic picture, set in a desolate wasteland, Mad Max (1979) produced three sequels and inspired many post-apocalyptic films. The film’s cold-blooded conclusion also inspired a minor cult classic known as Saw.
Mad Max boosted Mel Gibson’s career and established George Miller as one of the most daring filmmakers in the world since he shot the majority of the stunt driving illegally. Not to add that it has one of cinema’s most recognizable automobiles: the black Interceptor.
8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
After all the imitators attempted to recreate the Mad Max movie, George Miller returned to demonstrate how it’s done. Mad Max: Fury Road is probably the greatest entry in the Mad Max franchise. This film, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron as Furiosa, is pure adrenaline on celluloid.
Each scene in the video is breathtakingly beautiful, portraying a wasteland burned by the sun and teeming with delinquents. The clothing and vehicle designs are gorgeous nightmares, and the feats are crazy. This video will not keep you on the edge of your seat; it will knock you out and make you giggle uncontrollably as you fall to your doom.
7. Stalker (1979)
Given his status as one of the generation’s great directors, it’s unsurprising that Andrei Tarkovsky’s venture into the post-apocalyptic genre would end up being one of the best. This long film successfully combines aspects of science fiction, horror, spirituality, and surrealism. Stalker seems completely unlike any of the other post-apocalyptic flicks on our list in terms of tone and is regarded as one of the best Soviet movies.
The Stalker takes place in a Zone, an alien territory surrounded by barbed wire and troops, is located near a drab and nameless metropolis. A father wakes early in the morning, against his wife’s wishes, and leaves her with his handicapped daughter to meet two men. He is a Stalker, one of a select few individuals who have the mental abilities (and are willing to face jail) to guide others into the Zone and into the Room, a location where one’s hidden wishes come true.
His customers include a burned-out popular writer who is cynical and doubtful of his abilities, as well as a quiet scientist who is more concerned with his rucksack than the trip. The approach to the Room must be indirect in the desolate Zone. As they get closer, the rules seem to alter, and the stalker finds himself in a pickle.
6. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is a post-apocalyptic film in its truest sense. As explained in The Animatrix, mankind was annihilated by robots in a one-sided conflict, with the surviving humans being utilized as Energizer batteries. The whole Matrix franchise is legendary.
In 1999, a guy called Thomas Anderson (affectionately known as Neo) leads an average existence. He stays alone at home by his monitor, waiting for a sign, a signal – from what or whom he does not know – until one night, a strange lady called Trinity seeks him out and introduces him to the faceless figure he has been waiting for: Morpheus. Morpheus, a kind of messiah, reveals the truth about his planet to Neo by shining light on the dark truths that have plagued him for so long.
5. The Road (2009)
The Road is the definitive work of post-apocalyptic literature. Cormac McCarthy’s work is the pinnacle of post-apocalyptic literature, and John Hillcoat’s 2009 film is an ideal adaptation.
In 2929 Productions’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s enthralling Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Road, a father (Viggo Mortensen) and son journey through the post-apocalyptic United States in search of civilization amid nomadic cannibal tribes. John Hillcoat (The Proposition) directs from Joe Penhall’s script. The Dimension Films release also stars Charlize Theron. It definitely deserves its spot on this list of best post-apocalyptic movies of all time.
4. Wall-E (2008)
Given how sad most of the entries for our greatest post-apocalyptic films have been, why not conclude with one of the most upbeat? WALL-E, from Pixar’s childish imaginations, is about as far removed from the murder and undead mentioned above.
WALL-E, an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the planet’s last robot. He spends his days removing trash from the earth one piece at a time. However, over 700 years, WALL-E has acquired a personality, and he is far from alone. Then he notices EVE, a sleek and shapely spacecraft on a scanning mission to Earth. When WALL-E pursues EVE across the cosmos, he embarks on his biggest journey yet.
3. Spectral (2016)
Spectral (2016) by Nic Mathieu brings us the story of raw survival and science fiction. The planet is in danger by supernatural creatures who are invisible to human sight and are capable of annihilating anybody who comes into contact with them. The film follows a special-ops squad as they fight mysterious creatures that might be war ghosts or the result of a botched government weapons experiment. Spectral has some excellent visual effects, an engaging storyline, and some competent acting. Spectral is not a great film, but it is enough for a single viewing.
2. The Postman (1997)
The Postman is one more movie on this list staring Kevin Costner but this time it was directed by him as well. The Postman takes place in post-apocalypse ravaged America. An unnamed character (Kevin Costner) finds a postman’s uniform. It might seem like a useless thing to own in post-apocalypse, but he actually managed to trick the entire town with it. He tricked the town into thinking that the US government is back in function, ever-grateful residents of a barely standing town decided to shelter him and feed him. The Postman just wanted a free meal and then accidentally became a symbol of hope.
1. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Our list of best post-apocalyptic movies ends with Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow. In Edge of Tomorrow, an extraterrestrial species has launched a relentless attack on Earth, unstoppable by any military force on the planet. Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat until he is sent into what amounts to a suicide mission.
After being killed within minutes, Cage is mysteriously sucked into a time loop, where he is forced to relive the same horrific battle again and over, fighting and dying again…and again. However, with each fight, Cage improves his ability to face opponents, working with Special Forces combatant Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Vrataski take on the invaders, each encounter brings them one step closer to victory!