The 101 Greatest Survival Flicks of All Time!


Note: I’ve linked to each movie on so you can read the reviews there – but I don’t suggest you buy the movies. Buying movies is, in my opinion a waste of resources that could be put to better use. If there is a movie you would like to see try redbox or your local video store…

In no particular order…

1. Cast Away – Tom Hanks, classic man stranded on Island. Not the best movie, I’ve watched but not the worst either.

2. 28 Days Later – Man wakes up from a coma to find London deserted – until he runs into a mob of crazed plague victims.

Cast Away (Two-Disc Co... Best Price: $2.18 Buy New $8.00 (as of 03:55 UTC - Details)

3. 28 Weeks Later – Six months have passed since London was overrun by infectious, plague-ridden zombies. Now they are back.

4. Alive – A team of tough rugby players survive a plane crash deep in the desolate, snow-covered Andes.

5. Children of Men – The last baby was born in 2009 and the world has been torn apart by nuclear fallout, rampant terrorism, and political rebellion.

6. The Killing Fields – Survival in the ensuing madness of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide.

Alive (30th Anniversar... Best Price: $4.00 Buy New $4.71 (as of 08:30 UTC - Details)

7. Shackleton – When the expedition ship Endurance becomes locked in the Antarctic ice, Shackleton vows to bring every man home alive, and against virtually impossible odds, including a 700-mile journey in an open boat through some of the worst seas in the world, he did just that.

8. The Pianist – World War II epic.

9. 30 Days of Night – A mob of vampires overruns a remote Alaskan town. I’m not a big fan on vampire movies but this one was really good.

The Killing Fields Best Price: $1.95 Buy New $15.76 (as of 11:50 UTC - Details)

10. Black Hawk Down – Conveys raw and brutal battle through the streets of Mogadishu Somalia in 1993.

11. I Am Legend – A lone human survivor in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by vampires.

12. Terminator Salvation – One of the best in the Terminator series, great special effects.

13. A Boy and His Dog – The year is 2024 in Post-Apocalyptic America Vic and his telepathic dog Blood are happy scavengers in the desolate wilderness ravaged by World War Four, where survivors must battle for food, shelter, and sexual companionship in the desert-like wasteland.

14. A Cry in the Wild – A great movie (my opinion) set in the Canadian wilderness.

A Boy & His Dog Best Price: $5.00 Buy New $24.99 (as of 04:00 UTC - Details)

15. City of Ember – A secret city has been built to preserve mankind from worldwide disaster. But over time, the purpose of the city is lost – and the city gradually decays.

16. 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.

Never Cry Wolf Best Price: $5.45 Buy New $9.74 (as of 10:41 UTC - Details)

17. Escape from New York – In the future, crime is out of control and New York City is a maximum-security prison.

18. Rambo First Blood – The only Rambo movie worth watching.

19. Into the Wild – The true story of Christopher McCandless who walked out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of adventure.

20. Never Cry Wolf – An inexperienced biologist is deposited alone the desolate Arctic terrain. Once settled, he struggles to endure the forces of nature as he documents the mysterious habits of the wolves he has been sent to study.

21. The Edge – Two men up against a giant Kodiak bear, and their own inner demons, when lost together in the Alaskan wilderness.

Escape from New York Best Price: $1.55 Buy New $5.11 (as of 02:20 UTC - Details)

22. 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. There is a new version of the same title, however I prefer the first one.

23. The One That Got Away – Set in WWII escape from a prisoner-of-war camp. Good movie.

24. The Thin Red Line – Realistic view of military and moral chaos in the Pacific during World War II.

Flight Of The Phoenix ... Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $12.46 (as of 04:10 UTC - Details)

25. To End All Wars – Captured by the Japanese, a group of soldiers is forced to build the infamous "Railway of Death" between Thailand and Burma.

26. War of The Worlds – Aliens hell-bent on destroying humanity. Good movie but the little girls whining got on my nerves.

27. Waterworld – A lone man with gills and webbed feet who navigates the endless seas of Earth after the complete melting of the polar ice caps. I know it what you’re thinking, but it’s not all that bad.

28. The Postman – Drifter leads the resistance against a military tyrant after a collapse.

29. Enemy of the State – Depiction of high-tech surveillance.

Enemy Of The State Best Price: $1.40 Buy New $5.99 (as of 02:55 UTC - Details)

30. Six Days, Seven Nights – Charter pilot who must ferry New York fashion editor Robin Monroe from one island to another – a hop that falls flat when they fly into a mammoth storm that causes them to crash on a deserted island.

31. Braveheart – Epic based on the life of legendary thirteenth-century Scottish hero William Wallace.

32. The Missing – A woman raising two daughters in an isolated and lawless wilderness. When her oldest daughter is kidnapped by a psychopathic killer with mystical powers, she is forced to re-unite with her long estranged father to rescue her.

Lord of the Flies Best Price: $3.53 Buy New $28.00 (as of 03:10 UTC - Details)

33. Lord Of The Flies – A group of children from a military academy is stranded on an island. They turn savage and start to kill each other.

34. Touching the Void – Two British mountaineers attempt to climb the previously unconquered mountain Siula Grande.

35. Swiss Family Robinson – Shipwrecked on a deserted island the Robinson family overcome the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a "civilized" community.

36. Book of Eli – Eli walks west in post-apocalyptic America.

37. Stranded – Based on the October 13, 1972 crash of a rugby team called "The Old Christians" from Montevideo, Uruguay, who boarded a plane for a match in Chile. Also see number four Alive.

The Book of Eli Best Price: $0.99 Buy New Too low to display (as of 07:20 UTC - Details)

38. Jeremiah Johnson – One man’s effort to shed the burden of civilization and learn to survive in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. One of my favorite movies.

39. The Mosquito Coast – A modern man who takes his family into the jungle. Not the best movie I’ve watched, but not the worst either.

Mosquito Coast, The (DVD) Paul Theroux Best Price: $9.42 Buy New $14.97 (as of 10:10 UTC - Details)

40. Red Dawn – The invasion of the United States has begun! Time to defend the homeland.

41. 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.

42. The Tracker – Noble Adams, a legendary tracker, is coaxed out of retirement to hunt down crazed killer Red Jack Stilwell and his gang. Now it’s kill or be killed in a West so wild you can never turn your back on a stranger.

43. The Day After – Cold War tensions reach the ultimate boiling point, 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!

44. Day After Tomorrow – Global warming triggers the onset of a new Ice Age.

The Day After Best Price: $1.96 Buy New $15.76 (as of 09:10 UTC - Details)

45. Dawn Of The Dead – When a mysterious virus turns people into mindless, flesh-eating zombies, a handful of survivors wage a desperate, last-stand battle to stay alive…and human.

46. The Mountain Men – A fun movie!

47. Andromeda Strain – A team of scientists racing against time to destroy a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth.

The Andromeda Strain Best Price: $7.49 Buy New $9.94 (as of 04:50 UTC - Details)

48. Road Warrior – The last guardian of civilization and order in a devastated world reduced to chaos.

49. Poseidon Adventure – A priest who leads a small group of survivors to safety from the bowels of a capsized luxury liner.

50. Behind Enemy Lines – Downed pilot in war-torn Bosnia. Escape, evasion and survival.

51. Forest Gump – One man’s survival of life from the ’50s to the ’90s.

52. Magma: Volcanic Disaster – A team of scientists set out to gather the evidence needed to convince government officials that the end is near and devise a plan to potentially prevent Armageddon.

V for Vendetta (Widesc... David Lloyd Best Price: $1.40 Buy New $2.36 (as of 07:35 UTC - Details)

53. V for Vendetta – Anarchistic terrorism to overthrow a corrupt government and the blatant jabs at the U.S. political arena. I like it!

54. Apollo 13 – True story of how three astronauts, stranded 205,000 miles from the earth, fight a battle to survive while Mission Control works against time to bring them home.

55. The Hunted – FBI agent and a specialist in deep-woods tracking, team up to track and hunt down a trained assassin, who made a sport out of fatally shooting deer hunters in the forests outside Portland, Oregon. Great knife-fighting scenes.

Apollo 13 Best Price: $1.56 Buy New $3.19 (as of 10:15 UTC - Details)

56. 2012 – Who will be saved from disaster – not you or I but the politicians, bureaucrats and the rich. I was disappointed with this one, but your mileage may vary.

57. Aftershock – The two men face uncertainty as their own family members lie buried in the toppled infrastructure after a a massive earthquake rocks New York city.

58. Deep Impact – A high school Astronomy Club discovers a new comet that unfortunately is headed for Earth. While scientists build a cave to prevent the extinction of the human race, they estimate that only 800,000 people can be selected to survive.

59. Dante’s Peak – Volcano disaster movie – worth watching.

60. Tears of the Sun – A team of U.S. Special Ops commandos struggling to rescue innocent missionaries amidst the bloody horror of Nigerian ethnic cleansing.

Panic Room (Repackaged... Best Price: $0.68 Buy New $3.75 (as of 09:25 UTC - Details)

61. Cloverfield – Five New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city.

62. The Crazies – A mysterious virus is put into the water supply of a small Iowa town tuning the towns people – you guessed it, crazy.

63. The Road – A father and his son try to survive as they trek along through the sodden, sunless remnants of some awful disaster. What’s with that whining kid? Personally, I think this was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen…

12 Monkeys (Special Ed... Best Price: $1.47 Buy New $4.99 (as of 10:53 UTC - Details)

64. Panic Room – A relocated New York divorce and her daughter fight for their lives against a trio of tenacious burglars while hiding in a customized, impenetrable panic room.

65. Shooter – One of the best action-type movies I’ve seen in years.

67. Tremors – Nevada is infested with stinky subterranean man-eating worms.

68. 12 Monkeys – Wasteland of the year 2035, where a virulent plague has forced humans to live in squalid conditions.

69. Terminator 2 – Must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy – the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. The best of the Terminator series

70. Deliverance – Squeal like a pig – welcome to Appalachia.

Deliverance (Deluxe Ed... Best Price: $2.00 Buy New $3.79 (as of 11:38 UTC - Details)

71. I am Omega – Good Zombie movie.

72. Damnation Alley – A fun movie.

73. Snow Walker – The story of an Alaskan bush pilot and young Eskimo girl who survived a plane crash in the Alaskan outback.

74. Panic in Year Zero – A post-nuke survival story of a father who fights to protect his family from rapists and murderers.

Panic in Year Zero / T... Best Price: $3.09 Buy New $9.00 (as of 01:20 UTC - Details)

75. Carriers – Viral pandemic that threatens to wipe out the human race.

76. Jericho the series – Don’t forget to subscribe to The Survivalist Blog by email for a chance to win this set.

77. Kelly’s Heroes – American soldiers try to steal gold behind enemy lines in World War II. War and comedy.

78. A Bridge To Far – A daring but ultimately disastrous raid behind enemy lines in Holland during the Second World War.

79. Enemy at The Gates – World War II, an excellent movie.

80. Platoon – You’ve seen it – watch it again. I did.

81. Zombieland – There’s been a zombie apocalypse and you’re road-tripping alone though the wasteland.

Jericho - The Complete... Best Price: $11.00 Buy New $133.04 (as of 11:45 UTC - Details)

82. Full Metal Jacket – The story of an 18-year-old marine recruit named Private Joker – from his carnage-and-machismo boot camp to his climactic involvement in the heavy fighting in Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

83. The Stand – A government-spawned "superflu" wipes out more than 90 percent of the earth’s population.

84. Cabin Fever – The first one was worth watching, the second installment not so much.

Zombieland Best Price: $1.42 Buy New $2.00 (as of 06:15 UTC - Details)

85. Out Break – A race to save life on earth when an unstoppable killer virus hits our shores.

86. Miracle Mile – What do you do when you’re given the deadline for the end of the world?

89. Ghosts of Mars – While not survivalist related, I thought it a good flick, that most would enjoy.

90. Testament – An unexpected nuclear strike has occurred and no one knows who did it or why it happened.

91. Resident Evil: Extinction – Zombie horror/science fiction set in the Nevada desert.

Full Metal Jacket (Kub... Best Price: $1.15 Buy New $4.99 (as of 11:35 UTC - Details)

92. The Sum of all Fears – A CIA analyst uncovers a plot by terrorists to cause the US and Russia to fight a world war.

93. The Patriot – A rapidly spreading lethal biological agent is unleashed on a small Montana town!

Dances with Wolves (Fu... Best Price: $1.16 Buy New $2.94 (as of 11:50 UTC - Details)

94. The Island – Humans are cloned for spare parts, surrogate parenthood, and full-body replacements for the wealthy.

95. Proof of Life – A contractor is kidnapped in Latin American and held for ransom.

96. The Happening – A neurotoxin released by the surrounding vegetation causes people to kill themselves by any means at hand.

97. Doomsday – Post-apocalyptic action-thriller – great entertainment but nothing more.

98. Windtalkers – Navajo use code based on their language to fool the Japanese.

99. Dances With Wolves – A lone white soldier who singlehandedly mans a post in the 1870 Dakotas.

100. Farewell to the King – During World War II, an American POW escapes a Japanese firing squad. Hiding himself in the wilds of Borneo, he is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Nyak Indians, who consider him "divine" because of his elaborate tattoos.

101. The Quiet Earth – A government research scientist awakens to discover that he may be the last man on earth.

What is your favorite survival-related (or not) movie?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

June 21, 2010

M.D. Creekmore [send him mail], is a full-time blogger and preparedness consultant. He currently lives completely off-grid somewhere in the Appalachian mountains and is currently working on his upcoming book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat for Paladin Press. To connect with M.D. Creekmore please visit his Survival Blog.