Top 70 Best Prison Movies Of All Time
Top 50 Best End of the World Movies [Apocalypse Movies To Watch]
Shivam-Updated Nov 16, 2021
With the ongoing pandemic crippling the world's social, political, and financial systems rapidly, almost all of us were forced into believing that the world is actually coming to an end.
Therefore, it is not surprising that several films have been released over the years that have pledged to bring many such grave issues to light.
These end-of-the-world feature films are so impactful that they can make the viewers sit back and create their own to-do list along with the characters that they see in these films.
Not only do these movies make one wonder as to what is it that they would do during an inevitable extinction event, but they also make one realize the importance of time, family, and, ultimately, life.
Therefore, motion pictures that try to project the end-of-the-world on the big screen have become a brand in their own right.
They amass a massive fan following the world over, courtesy of the fact that they integrate the adrenaline rush of disaster movies with the creeping panic of horror movies; both of which help them in keeping their suspense factor duly intact.
Having said that, there are no doubts about the fact that these world-ending movies are quite possibly the biggest reflection of civilization's biggest apprehensions.
No wonder then that, in order to come out of our own personal disasters, we often resort to watching these end-of-the-world movies; movies that sometimes make us relate to our circumstances in numerous ways.
These movies span decades and have become such an integral part of the cinematic universe that one can't help but wait for more such feature films to release.
Therefore, this list is an earnest endeavor to bring to light fifty of the finest feature films that revolve around end-of-the-world scenarios: primarily apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic worlds, alien and zombie invasions, and disaster events.
50. Legion (2010)
|Watch time||100 min|
|Cast||Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black|
|Music By||John Frizzell|
|Cinematography By||John Lindley|
|Costume By||Gabrielle Petrissans|
Written and directed by Scott Stewart, 'Legion' starred Paul Bettany as a fallen archangel who is trying to protect the savior of mankind from a host of supernatural enemies sent to slay him.
Even though the basic plot of the movie sounds heavy on the surface, it is not too deep or dramatic.
Also, there is enough room for action and shoot-outs that more than make up for its predictability factor.
The cast and the acting performances here are good, and they help in bringing some sense of enjoyment to the screenplay.
In addition, the set pieces and props were very detailed and worked like charm as the film progressed.
Not to forget that the film maintains its momentum and never becomes stagnant or boring, thus, ensuring that the viewers do not lose interest in it at any point.
This is a guilty pleasure end-of-the-world feature film that one can sit back and enjoy.
49. Retreat (2011)
Written and directed by Carl Tibbetts, 'Retreat' tracks the journey of a married couple, who, in order to reconnect, decide to go away for a holiday on a remote island off the coast of Scotland.
However, their holiday is soon intruded by a soldier who shows up at their doorstep and announces that the civilization has been demolished by an outbreak of airborne disease and that they must hide out jointly until it is safe to go into the outside world again.
The trio does its best to make this motion picture an intense psychological thriller. The movie contains one tone and one gear, which makes it come across as both steady and unrelenting at the same time.
Moreover, the twist towards the finale works and does encourage the viewers to think for themselves.
48. 2012 (2009)
Director Roland Emmerich's '2012' traces the journey of Jackson Curtis, a disgruntled writer, who fights all the odds to keep his family secure when a sequence of apocalyptic catastrophes threatens to annihilate humankind forever.
This motion picture is based on the “2012 phenomenon”, which talked about a range of eschatological assumptions that transformative events would occur in or around 21 December 2012.
An ultimate disaster film, 2012 showcases the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan so realistically that one cannot help but pause and contemplate.
That said, it delivers the right special effects and the right amount of noise that help it make the right impact on the minds of its viewers.
The only qualm one could have about the screenplay here is that it comes across as a bit too long for its concept.
47. Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Based on the original idea and directed by Matthias Hoene, 'Cockneys vs Zombies' talks about a gang of bank robbers who battle their way out of a zombie-infested London; an invasion that ultimately can threaten to destroy the civilization itself.
This one is an entertaining feature film that thrives on its solid production values and fast-paced screenplay.
The humor in this venture is good and it goes down well with the tension injected into the storytelling.
While the film carries an enthusiastic cast, the rocking soundtrack and chase sequences do not make one feel that the plot of this film orbits around an extinction event of sorts.
This lively zombie invasion title tries its best to overcome a very familiar plot that truly works in its favor as well.
46. Immortals (2011)
|Watch time||110 min|
|Cast||Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff|
|Music By||Trevor Morris|
|Cinematography By||Brendan Galvin|
|Costume By||Jille Azis|
Director Tarsem Singh's 'Immortals' features an ensemble cast headlined by actors like Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke among others.
The film tells the story of how Theseus, a mortal man, is selected by the gods to fight King Hyperion, a vicious dictator who is ripping Greece apart in his search for an otherworldly weapon called the Epirus Bow that has the potential to destroy mankind.
The basic premise of the movie is clear and straightforward, but it has been told in a disjointed manner.
Having said that, this motion picture is awe-inspiring to see, courtesy of its groundbreaking arrangement of colors, breathtaking imagery, and splendid battles; each of which does its very best to bring this Greek mythology to life on the screen.
45. Reign of Fire (2002)
|Title||Reign of Fire|
|Watch time||101 min|
|Cast||Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler|
|Music By||Edward Shearmur|
|Cinematography By||Adrian Biddle|
|Costume By||Simon Wakefield|
This Rob Bowman directorial venture showcases how a group of fire-breathing dragons wreak havoc on planet Earth, and how a group of survivors unite with the army to eliminate the beasts and protect the planet from its impending destruction.
That said, what one has to understand is the fact that this is a film about humans and not dragons.
The dragons hardly provide the reason for the devastation of the planet in the storytelling.
And even though stars like Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey feature in this film, it is the special effects that topple the human players in the screenplay.
This fairly entertaining post-apocalypse movie is a must-see for fans of the science fiction genre.
Also, what could be more fascinating than humans fighting dragons in the modern world!
44. Knowing (2009)
|Watch time||121 min|
|Cast||Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne, Lara Robinson|
|Writers||Ryne Douglas Pearson|
|Music By||Marco Beltrami|
|Cinematography By||Simon Duggan|
|Costume By||Steven Jones-Evans|
Directed by Alex Proyas, 'Knowing' talks about a professor (played by Nicolas Cage) who procures a code that was buried in an elementary school time capsule and assumes that he has cracked it.
However, the message that the code contains stirs him to the very core. It is a message that talks about the potential end of the world.
Racing against time, Nicolas Cage's John Koestler has to figure out if he is right, and if the approaching disasters can be avoided.
Even though many can complain about blatant clues placed in the first couple of scenes that can make the motion picture come across as predictable, it is still a decent enough nail-biter that comes with a fair amount of spook value infused in its screenplay.
Furthermore, Nicolas Cage does a fine job of portraying the role of concerned scientist and concerned single parent that adds to the overall goodness of this film.
43. The Rapture (1991)
|Watch time||100 min|
|Cast||Mimi Rogers, David Duchovny, Darwyn Carson, Patrick Bauchau|
|Music By||Thomas Newman|
|Cinematography By||Bojan Bazelli|
|Costume By||Robin Standefer|
David Duchovny and Mimi Rogers star in a movie about a woman who abandons her swinger lifestyle and turns towards religion when she starts to catch a glimpse of indications that make her believe that the Rapture is on its way.
'The Rapture' strives to tell this story with striking insights into the modern Christian perspective and what frightens the public about its projections.
This one is not a feeble movie, and it does little to shy away from a controversial discourse, but it is, more or less a rewarding picture that gets its viewers something to think about their lives and what they believe in.
Written and directed by Michael Tolkin, the film attempts to convey that the worst thing in life is knowing that people have become so timid that they are apprehensive of being honest about anything or asking any questions that they might not like to learn answer to.
42. Daybreakers (2009)
|Watch time||98 min|
|Directors||Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig|
|Cast||Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Harriet Minto-Day|
|Music By||Christopher Gordon|
|Cinematography By||Ben Nott|
|Costume By||George Liddle|
Written and directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, this motion picture throws light on how a plague transforms human beings into blood-thirsty vampires; to such an extent that there only remain a few humans left to feed off of.
That said, it is possible that a cure might be out there if anyone can stay alive long enough to circulate it. 'Daybreakers' is yet another entry into the endless parade of vampire films.
However, by creating an immersive and encompassing the world, it adds the angle of a possible threat to humanity which, in turn, makes this feature film make it to this list successfully.
Needless to say, an entertaining and thought-provoking film such as this always comes across as a welcome change amidst a sea of remakes, reboots, and rehashes that have become a Hollywood staple.
41. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
|Title||The Day After Tomorrow|
|Watch time||124 min|
|Cast||Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Dash Mihok|
|Music By||Harald Kloser|
|Cinematography By||Ueli Steiger|
|Costume By||Barry Chusid|
Written and directed by Roland Emmerich, this is one motion picture that encompasses the term climate crisis and attempts to showcase extreme weather conditions that break out across the country, and possibly even beyond.
The plot traces how a group of survivors gather in the New York Public Library and begin to work towards their rescue.
This one is a disaster movie that starts rather brilliantly, with an incredible idea for a story, and truly impressive special effects.
As a matter of fact, the whole movie is well worth watching for the special effects alone.
The performances in 'The Day After Tomorrow' are decent and the scientific approach that it promotes is open to speculation; something that adds to its overall charm and beauty.
40. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
|Title||A Boy and His Dog|
|Watch time||91 min|
|Cast||Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Susanne Benton, Tim McIntire|
|Music By||Tim McIntire|
|Cinematography By||John Arthur Morrill|
|Costume By||Wes Dawn|
Written and directed by L. Q. Jones, 'A Boy and His Dog' traces the journey of a young man and his telepathic dog who wander in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The storyline and the execution of this movie could be a difficult pill to swallow for the viewers, mainly because of its disturbing premise.
The underground sequences in this motion picture are good and they display greater imagination than the scenes filmed on the surface.
That said, even though this motion picture lacks the pace for a major part of its run time, it really doesn't compromise on its intrigue factor.
A Boy and His Dog is as shocking an effort that has ever come into this genre.
It is post-apocalyptic, it is satirical, and it is psychological all at once.
39. The Crazies (2010)
|Watch time||101 min|
|Cast||Radha Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson|
|Music By||Mark Isham|
|Cinematography By||Maxime Alexandre|
|Costume By||Andrew Menzies|
Director Breck Eisner's 'The Crazies' tracks the journey of Sheriff David Dutton and his wife, who, together with two other people, are the only ones left unaffected by a surprising spate of incidence whereby people have turned into violent killers, and are, therefore, threatening to destroy the very existence of mankind.
A remake of the 1973 film of the same name, the plot of this feature film is very well set up and builds momentum at a fine pace.
Overall, The Crazies is a well-acted, engaging, and thrilling roller coaster ride of a movie.
The screenplay in this one moves along at a fair speed and the run time is not so long to make the viewers feel that it has overstayed its welcome.
Also, the motion picture delivers a good number of jump scares to make an impact and to cement its well-deserved place on this list.
38. War of the Worlds (2005)
|Title||War of the Worlds|
|Watch time||116 min|
|Cast||Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto|
|Music By||John Williams|
|Cinematography By||Janusz Kaminski|
|Costume By||Rick Carter|
Director Steven Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds' stars Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in the lead and talks about an alien invasion that threatens to jeopardize the future of humanity.
This unfortunate nightmare is portrayed through the eyes of one American family fighting for survival.
Steven Spielberg directs his actors spectacularly in this motion picture and ascertains that everyone gives a remarkable performance.
What's vital to note here is the fact that he does not use the special effects to impress the viewers, but only as a tool to tell his story.
Also, the inimitable Tom Cruise anchors the feature film with his portrayal of a blue-collar America who wants nothing more than his family to survive.
Not to forget that this is a technically sound film that thrives on its exemplary visuals as well.
37. This Is the End (2013)
|Title||This Is the End|
|Watch time||107 min|
|Directors||Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen|
|Cast||James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel|
|Music By||Henry Jackman|
|Cinematography By||Brandon Trost|
|Costume By||Chris L. Spellman|
Directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg bring an end-of-the-world story to life with this feature film delightfully.
The screenplay traces how during James Franco's house party, which is being attended by celebrities, all hell breaks loose when a series of ravaging events begin to take place out of nowhere.
The film has something to say about certain issues, each of which is snappily placed in the screenplay so that they don't come across as being preachy.
That said, 'This Is The End' is an adventurous little cinematic gem that manages to be exceptionally funny, all while keeping its viewers guessing and on their very toes.
However, what truly works is the fact that the incredible star cast just keeps the comedy going, even in the middle of unexpected events.
36. These Final Hours (2013)
Written and directed by Zak Hilditch, 'These Final Hours' makes its intentions of wanting to grab the attention of its viewers clear right from its opening sequence which, albeit uncanny for a film on this list, does what it meant to do.
The film tracks how Earth is approaching a disaster that will be its absolute end.
There are some special characteristics in this end-of-the-world enactment that manage to create an impact, courtesy of its well-timed direction.
That being said, this one is not your average apocalypse drama, but one that stresses mainly the importance of relationships and things that matter the most; especially when one comes to realize that the world is nearing its untimely end.
The brilliant and compelling entertainment that this feature film provides is aided by decent performances by its cast members.
35. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
|Title||Seeking a Friend for the End of the World|
|Watch time||101 min|
|Cast||Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt|
|Music By||Jonathan Sadoff Rob Simonsen|
|Cinematography By||Tim Orr|
|Costume By||Chris L. Spellman|
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' stars Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley in the lead.
The film talks about an asteroid that is headed towards Earth, and how Dodge (Steve Carrell) and Penny (Keira Knightly) decide to try and reunite Dodge with a lost love before it hits and destroys the planet for good.
In addition, the story also traces how during their journey, the duo also meets others who are dealing with the impending doom in their own unique ways.
This motion picture does not necessarily portray a grim, realistic look at life; primarily because a good deal of humor is injected into the screenplay.
To add to the proceedings, Steve Carrell plays the role of a down and out loser to near perfection in this movie.
34. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
|Title||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|
|Watch time||109 min|
|Cast||Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel|
|Music By||Joby Talbot|
|Cinematography By||Igor Jadue-Lillo|
|Costume By||Joel Collins|
This Garth Jennings directorial venture talks about how one morning, Arthur's friend, who is actually an alien, notifies him of Earth's impending destruction and whisks him away in a spaceship.
Even though Arthur deals with his distress, he also has a great adventure and that is what forms the base of the film's storyline. 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' thrives on its sardonic sense of humor, and an underlying sense of the absurd and unpredictable; elements that it carries from its source material.
Visually, the feature film looks good as the creatures and special effects all work and grasp the tone of the vision pretty well.
That said, the screenplay throws in a bit of a surprise by injecting quirky and off-beat humor to please its viewers.
Also, the performances in this flick are neat and leave little to no margin for error.
33. The Quiet Earth (1985)
This Geoff Murphy directorial venture talks about Zac, a scientist, who wakes up from a failed suicide attempt to find himself alone on planet Earth.
Eventually, he finds two more survivors and once they begin to trust each other, they set out to find why they are the only ones left on the planet and what their purpose is.
The life and death idea in this feature film is incredible and well thought of.
For a New Zealand indie film that was produced in the mid-80s, this one is truly well made.
The low budget in this motion picture has been used to maximum effect and it truly shows on the screen.
Even though some of the viewers might be left dissatisfied or a bit bewildered by the surreal finale, they can't help but admire the ambiguity that tags along.
32. Contagion (2011)
|Watch time||106 min|
|Cast||Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow|
|Writers||Scott Z. Burns|
|Music By||Cliff Martinez|
|Cinematography By||Steven Soderbergh|
|Costume By||Howard Cummings|
This Steven Soderbergh directorial venture became one of the most-watched films online during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The story tracks how healthcare specialists, government officials, and the common man find themselves amid a pandemic as the Centers for Disease Control fights to thwart its unprecedented spread.
The feature film, which focuses on the symbol of human strength, desire, and endurance, thrives on its outstanding cast that includes actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Winslet in prominent roles.
In addition, Jude Law is seen in an unlikely role and his performance is better than expected.
Needless to mention, there have been a plethora of doomsday movies in the market, but this one here really "predicted" a virus that jolted humanity and brought it to its knees just years later.
31. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's '28 Weeks Later' tracks how six months after the Rage virus has turned half of Britain into zombies, the United States Army is helping secure London for the survivors after a carrier of the virus enters the city and the horror that threatens to destroy the civilization for good begins.
This motion picture is a fine piece of well-paced, atmospheric cinema, with more than enough junctures present to please not only the fans of the original but also of those who wish to watch movies that aim to depict a threat to humanity.
Needless to say, this one is a surprisingly good British horror film that not only adds to its predecessor but also leaves the door open for another sequel, courtesy of its well-timed ending.
This feature film is a series of scary set-pieces, each of which is more outlandish and dramatic than the other.
30. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
|Title||The Cabin in the Woods|
|Watch time||95 min|
|Cast||Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz|
|Music By||David Julyan|
|Cinematography By||Peter Deming|
|Costume By||Martin Whist|
Helmed by Drew Goddard, 'The Cabin in the Woods' tracks the journey of five friends who unknowingly summon a family of murderous zombies in the woods.
Unwillingly, they become involved in a ritual of human sacrifice that is carried to please the cruel belowground deities; something that threatens to not only wipe out their existence but also that of the planet.
The Cabin in the Woods is an unusual motion picture that cannot specifically claim to belong to one genre.
In fact, what it does is that it combines the clichés of several horror movies and strives to produce something entertaining and original.
That said, the final revelation in this movie is both bizarre and awesome at the same time.
However, what seems obvious is the fact that the end to this story does imply the destruction of the planet.
29. The Last Wave (1977)
Written and directed by Peter Weir, this motion picture stars Richard Chamberlain in the lead who plays the role of an Australian lawyer who takes a case of defending a local clan of Aborigines who have killed one of their own.
As Chamberlain's David Burton becomes more engaged with the tribe, he discovers more about their prophecies and becomes haunted with apocalyptic visions of water; a vision that makes him believe that "the last wave" can truly be the end of things for civilization.
Richard Chamberlain plays David Burton, who is drawn deeper into an extraordinary web of illusions where the line between that which is real and that which does not evaporate, with conviction.
Besides being a great film with a legal curve and a murder mystery angle to it, it is also a rather underappreciated one in this list.
In addition, 'The Last Wave' also tries to concentrate on different cultures.
28. Miracle Mile (1988)
|Watch time||87 min|
|Directors||Steve De Jarnatt|
|Cast||Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, John Agar, Lou Hancock|
|Writers||Steve De Jarnatt|
|Music By||Paul Haslinger Tangerine Dream|
|Cinematography By||Theo van de Sande|
|Costume By||Christopher Horner|
Written and directed by Steve De Jarnatt, 'Miracle Mile' features Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham as Harry and Julie, who endure a missed connection at the worst time possible - right before the breakout of a nuclear war between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The screenplay of this motion picture follows how Harry struggles to find Julie before the world meets its devastating end.
An underrated motion picture of its genre, it shows an apocalyptic vision of an entire city with visuals so potent that it can stir the viewers from within and make them fear for the world and their very lives.
The premise in this has a wonderfully urgent tone to it and the nail-biting moments are like a cherry on the top.
27. The Day After (1983)
This Nicholas Meyer-helmed feature film tracks the impact that a devastating nuclear holocaust has on small-town residents of eastern Kansas and then, ultimately, the repercussions that it can have on mankind.
One of the scariest non-horror movies one can ever come across, 'The Day After' tries to depict the reality of what could happen if there ever were a nuclear attack.
The screenplay can frighten the viewers while reflecting on the potential real-life horror that could occur if an event as disastrous as a nuclear war could take place.
The grim aftermath of the attack in the story shows how the characters are poisoned by radiation.
Having said that, even though the film can feel a bit dated for today's time and technology, its overall theme and message remain unchanged and even more relevant.
26. Jumanji (1995)
|Watch time||104 min|
|Cast||Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Hyde|
|Music By||James Horner|
|Cinematography By||Thomas E. Ackerman|
|Costume By||Jim Bissell|
The potential end of the world has never seemed as much fun as in this Joe Johnston directorial venture.
The film tracks the journey of two kids who find and start to play a mysterious board game.
Soon after, they release a man who has been trapped in it for decades. But the catch here is that they also unleash a host of other threats that can only be stopped by completing the game.
Jumanji is a great family feature film that is packed with some of the finest graphic materials of its time.
Even though the plot is a whole lot of fun and appeals to both the kids and adults alike, it still can turn out to be a bit too terrifying for young children.
This is because the screenplay shows hundreds of animals and other forces being unleashed as the game is played; each of which threatens to destroy the civilization altogether.
Add to that the fact that Robin Williams plays the role of Alan Parrish perfectly and is, therefore, a reason big enough for one to sit through this cult classic.
25. World War Z (2013)
|Title||World War Z|
|Watch time||116 min|
|Cast||Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale|
|Writers||Matthew Michael Carnahan|
|Music By||Marco Beltrami|
|Cinematography By||Ben Seresin|
|Costume By||Nigel Phelps|
Directed by Marc Forster, 'World War Z' traces the thrilling journey of a former United Nations employee, Gerry Lane (played by Brad Pitt), who travels the world in a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic that is overthrowing armies and governments and is threatening to destroy humanity forever.
This is a quick-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that is spearheaded by one of the finest yet underrated actors of this generation, Brad Pitt.
The film exhibits how civilization is on the brink of extinction and how only a handful of experts can attempt to save the planet from further doom.
Having said that, what World War Z does in the most effective way possible is that it promises to give us hope in the face of the potential end to the world.
24. The Mist (2007)
|Watch time||126 min|
|Cast||Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher|
|Music By||Mark Isham|
|Cinematography By||Rohn Schmidt|
|Costume By||Gregory S. Melton|
Helmed by Frank Darabont, the screenplay of 'The Mist' talks about how a monstrous storm unleashes a species of ferocious and bloodthirsty beasts on a small town, where several residents hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives and, potentially, for the civilization.
This feature film evaluates fear and its repercussions quite effectively and showcases that even though there is horror outside in the fog, there also are horrors inside the market as paranoia, impracticality, and religion all come into conflict with the pragmatic issues of survival.
The performances in this movie are good, but it is the cinematography, editing, and direction that come together wonderfully to make it a must-watch film on this list.
23. The Road (2009)
|Watch time||111 min|
|Cast||Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall|
|Music By||Nick Cave Warren Ellis|
|Cinematography By||Javier Aguirresarobe|
|Costume By||Chris Kennedy|
Based on the book by Cormac McCarthy, this John Hillcoat directorial venture follows a man and his son who are striving to prevail in a post-apocalyptic world.
They do their best to evade brutal scavengers and other evil forces as they make their way down "the road," trying to move towards the coast where the situation might be warmer and safer.
Starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron in significant roles, 'The Road' revolves more around the destruction of both civility and civilization.
Furthermore, the action sequences in this end-of-the-world motion picture are very well handled and are packed with enough anxiety to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.
22. On the Beach (1959)
|Title||On the Beach|
|Watch time||134 min|
|Cast||Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins|
|Music By||Ernest Gold|
|Cinematography By||Giuseppe Rotunno|
|Costume By||Fernando Carrere|
Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Fred Astaire headline this feature film, which takes place after a nuclear war has wiped out all but a few.
However, when it becomes apparent that the radiation clouds threaten to finish off the rest, the survivors have to adapt to the tragic news in their own specific ways.
Director Stanley Kramer's effort is a grim apocalyptic film that attempts to cast light on the worldwide nuclear contamination as a result of an all-out nuclear war; supposedly between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
However, it has never been overtly mentioned. This motion picture is a compelling reminder of how serious and deadly a nuclear war could turn out to be for humanity.
21. Melancholia (2011)
Directed by Lars von Trier, 'Melancholia' tracks the lives of sisters Justine and Claire who get entangled when they uncover that Earth is about to collide with an enormous planet called Melancholia - an event which threatens to destroy mankind for good.
This motion picture features some solid acting and great directing from a person who carefully identifies with and understands human interaction.
It is one of the most thought-provoking and heart-touching movies to make it to this coveted list of films that threaten to end the world, in one way or another.
In a time where the world of cinema is missing out on original stories, it is good to see the makers of this feature film trying to make something daring and challenging.
20. Sunshine (2007)
|Watch time||107 min|
|Cast||Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis|
|Music By||John Murphy|
|Cinematography By||Alwin H. Küchler|
|Costume By||Mark Tildesley|
Director Danny Boyle makes it to this list once again with 'Sunshine'. The film tracks the story of a squad of astronauts that is assigned the enormous duty of saving the sun.
Things, however, take a terrible turn when an unseen accident occurs and the lives of the crew members, and those living on planet Earth, are endangered.
This feature film thrives on its stunning visuals and cinematography; the likes of which have not been seen before or after the release of this movie.
Add to that the breathtaking usage of light and shadow and monochrome colors that capture the spirit of this motion picture in the most outstanding way possible.
19. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
|Title||In the Mouth of Madness|
|Watch time||95 min|
|Cast||Sam Neill, JÃ¼rgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner|
|Writers||Michael De Luca|
|Music By||John Carpenter Jim Lang|
|Cinematography By||Gary B. Kibbe|
|Costume By||Peter Grundy|
Director John Carpenter's 'In the Mouth of Madness' talks about how an insurance investigator (played by Sam Neill) starts to discover that the influence a horror author's stories have on his fans is more than just inspirational.
One of the most ambitious slasher horror feature films ever produced, 'In the Mouth of Madness' tries to bring in the true nature of reality; a reality that could mean doomsday for the protagonists in the screenplay.
Even though this motion picture can and does have a polarizing stand among cinema enthusiasts, John Carpenter can take pride in his smart piece of mind-bending, nightmarish insanity.
Overall, one feels that the story tries to convey that nothing is real and, therefore, there is nothing solid to hold on to in the real world.
18. Dogma (1999)
|Watch time||130 min|
|Cast||Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Bud Cort|
|Music By||Howard Shore|
|Cinematography By||Robert D. Yeoman|
|Costume By||Elise G. Viola|
Written and directed by Kevin Smith, 'Dogma' traces the journey of an abortion clinic worker with a special heritage who is called upon to save the existence of humanity from being negated by two renegade angels who are trying to exploit a loophole and re-enter heaven.
As different as the storyline sounds, it is as good and is backed by sharp comedy and a splendid star cast that delivers strong performances to make this movie connect with its core audience.
Often considered to be a motion picture that talks about the importance of faith and religion, Dogma is a unique piece of filmmaking that has managed to find a spot on this list.
It is a great piece of comedy from Kevin Smith and is truly one of his finest movies.
17. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
|Title||Dawn of the Dead|
|Watch time||101 min|
|Cast||Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer, Jake Weber|
|Writers||George A. Romero|
|Music By||Tyler Bates|
|Cinematography By||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Costume By||Andrew Neskoromny|
Popular director Zack Snyder brings a remake of one of the finest horror movies of all time.
The story, as known, sheds light on how survivors of an epidemic are infected and are, therefore, turned into flesh-eating zombies who threaten to destroy the human species.
Given the fact that this one is a remake, the screenplay here unfolds in the shopping mall as well.
That said, even though this one is a remake of a classic film, both the movies carry a different attitude, although with the same name and similar premises.
The fact that this was produced more than two decades after the original also helped it take full advantage of the advancement in technology.
Needless to say, Dawn of the Dead is a solid feature film that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
16. Take Shelter (2011)
|Watch time||120 min|
|Cast||Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart|
|Music By||David Wingo|
|Cinematography By||Adam Stone|
|Costume By||Chad Keith|
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain in the lead, 'Take Shelter' talks about a man who is haunted by a series of apocalyptic visions.
Being a young husband and father, he starts to question whether to shelter his family from himself or from a coming storm that could destroy humanity altogether.
Michael Shannon plays Curtis LaForche beautifully and his portrayal of a man who has a premonition of what is to come is simply astounding.
His character projection makes the viewer contemplate how one would try to save their respective families if they knew that the world is actually coming to an end.
This feature film is a work of art and thrives on its fantastic performances, hard-hitting dialogues, catchy cinematography, but most importantly, a nerve-wracking subject matter.
15. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
|Title||Invasion of the Body Snatchers|
|Watch time||80 min|
|Cast||Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan|
|Music By||Carmen Dragon|
|Cinematography By||Ellsworth Fredericks|
|Costume By||Joseph Kish|
The storyline of this Don Siegel directorial venture revolves around an extraterrestrial invasion that begins in the fictional California town of Santa Mira.
It is safe to say that as far as classic science fiction movies of the said era are concerned, it does not get much better than 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'.
The screenplay retains its repeat value even today, courtesy of the paranoia and horror that it manages to induce in the minds of its awestruck viewers.
Kevin McCarthy is brilliant in this, and the execution of the script is simple and yet very effective.
It is not surprising then that this feature film has been remade multiple times, and that it continues to be revisited by its ardent viewers even today.
14. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)
|Title||Rise of the Planet of the Apes|
|Watch time||105 min|
|Cast||James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, Karin Konoval|
|Music By||Patrick Doyle|
|Cinematography By||Andrew Lesnie|
|Costume By||Claude Paré|
Directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco in the lead, 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' tells the story of Caesar, a chimpanzee, who has been with James Franco's Will Rodman ever since he was born.
However, a new drug helps him think and react like humans, and when Caesar finds himself subjected to mistreatment, he decides to rebel against humanity.
The CGI apes in this motion picture work really well and the action sequences and set pieces are all too good.
Furthermore, the characters here are mostly engaging, even though it is evident that the ape roles come across as far more interesting than the human characters.
It is not surprising then that Caesar is the most spellbinding character in this feature film that strives to show a threat to the human species.
13. Zombieland (2009)
|Watch time||88 min|
|Cast||Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin|
|Music By||David Sardy|
|Cinematography By||Michael Bonvillain|
|Costume By||Maher Ahmad|
Director Ruben Fleischer's 'Zombieland' tracks the journey of Columbus, a college student, who joins forces with three unusual strangers to overcome a zombie apocalypse and travel through the south-western USA to a haven.
The most dramatic aspect of Zombieland is the fact that it has a lot of heart.
The characters in the screenplay feel comfortable and active, and the drama here feels incredibly sincere.
No wonder then that the viewer feels invested in the storyline and the characters; two of the most important things in any feature film of any genre.
Besides the ruthless zombie killing, the motion picture also includes a nice little story on human bonding which works in the right way possible.
12. 28 Days Later (2002)
This Danny Boyle directorial venture talks about how a mysterious and incurable virus that has wreaked havoc in the United Kingdom pushes a team of survivors to cope with the aftermath of the disaster and find security for themselves.
The screenplay strives to cast a new light on the survival impulse of human beings that can scare the viewers to the very core, even if not in the traditional sense of the word.
This motion picture is an immersive cinematic experience that thrives on its exciting pace, action-packed screenplay, and eerie atmosphere to strike a chord with its audience.
In addition to all this, the abandoned cityscape has been shot excellently and makes this venture even more shocking to the human eyes.
11. The Birds (1963)
|Watch time||119 min|
|Cast||Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette|
|Writers||Daphne Du Maurier|
|Music By||Robert Burks|
|Cinematography By||George Tomasini|
|Costume By||Virginia Darcy|
Alfred Hitchcock is such a revered director for his innovative genius that his name itself can be used as a premier adjective to define innovative cinema.
In ‘The Birds', he allows his viewers to follow Melanie, a rich socialite, who pursues Mitch, an attorney, to his home in Bodega Bay to play a practical joke on him.
However, things take a shocking turn when the birds in the region begin to attack the people there and threaten to destroy the civilization altogether.
What makes The Birds a storytelling and directorial triumph is the fact that Alfred Hitchcock uses terror-inducing and atmospheric background score and the sounds of the birds to create the most unique feature film that tries to depict the potential end of civilization.
The usage of both mechanical and real birds, which threaten the existence of the human species, creates a grave sense of impending horror, especially in the last quarter of this motion picture.
Moreover, the final haunting image of the landscape, in stark contrast to the beautiful landscape that had earlier been portrayed, is an attempt by the filmmaker to warn his viewers of the uncertainty of life and about the unpredictability of disasters.
10. The Fifth Element (1997)
|Title||The Fifth Element|
|Watch time||126 min|
|Cast||Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm|
|Music By||Éric Serra|
|Cinematography By||Thierry Arbogast|
|Costume By||Dan Weil|
Helmed by Luc Besson, 'The Fifth Element' stars Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman in prominent roles and is primarily set in the 23rd century.
The motion picture's central plot revolves around the survival of planet Earth, the responsibility of which is bestowed upon Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), a taxicab driver and former special forces major, after a young woman named Leeloo (Mills Jovovich) drops into his cab.
Thriving on its beautiful setting and fantastic visual effects, this feature film has a lot of ingredients that make it a fabulous watch of the science fiction genre.
Those who have a knack for sci-fi films or are willing to watch something truly unconventional would like this movie even more.
While Luc Besson's direction is excellent here, Eric Serra's atmospheric background score, and the fun and charismatic characters help in making this venture come across as artistic and wonderful in equal measure.
That said, the beauty of the film lies in the fact that while some viewers may find it complex and pretentious, others would consider it rather simple.
9. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
|Title||Dawn of the Dead|
|Watch time||127 min|
|Directors||George A. Romero|
|Cast||David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross|
|Writers||George A. Romero|
|Music By||Dario Argento Goblin|
|Cinematography By||Michael Gornick|
|Costume By||Josie Caruso Barbara Lifsher|
Written and directed by George A. Romero, 'Dawn of the Dead' is undoubtedly one of the greatest horror films of all time.
There is something about being the only people left alive and breathing in a shopping mall that appeals to the film buff in all of us.
Another zombie feature film in the list that underscores the potential end to mankind, this one thrives on its excellent zombie creations.
The movie works on so many levels that one can't help but get caught up in all the drama each time they sit to go through it, which isn't something that can be said about too many pictures within the genre.
Furthermore, many of the filmmaker's own views on feminism, civilization, and consumerism can also be deciphered in the screenplay.
Thankfully, it does not divert the story from making the viewers fear the end of the world.
8. Children of Men (2006)
|Title||Children of Men|
|Watch time||109 min|
|Cast||Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine|
|Music By||John Tavener|
|Cinematography By||Emmanuel Lubezki|
|Costume By||Jim Clay Geoffrey Kirkland|
Director Alfonso Cuarón's 'Children of Men' stars Julianne Moore and Clive Owen in significant roles and attempts to tell a possible "end" story of civilization.
It traces how mankind is breathing its last after a deadly pandemic has somehow caused a widespread infertility crisis.
However, when a woman is learned to be pregnant, a former activist takes the onus on himself to safely transport her to a team of scientists who are working on a cure without her secret being spilled out.
The screenplay, which tries to showcase the imminent extinction of the species, thrives on its incredible cinematography and innovative story idea to make an impact.
Even though this motion picture projects a gut-wrenching look at the future, it does so banking on its heart-stopping drama, stunning musical score, and flawless performances; each of which helps in making this feature film a visionary piece of cinematic art.
7. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
|Title||Night of the Living Dead|
|Watch time||96 min|
|Directors||George A. Romero|
|Cast||Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman|
|Writers||John A. Russo|
|Music By||George A. Romero|
|Cinematography By||George A. Romero|
|Costume By||Charles O'Dato|
This George A. Romero directorial venture is credited with first unleashing the starving walking dead onto our screens and into the consciousness of the average cinema goer.
Even though zombies have become commonplace in the cinematic universe, courtesy of the great advancement in special effects and technology that have helped bring them to life on-screen, rarely have they been as authentically shown as in 'Night of the Living Dead'.
Moreover, this film has something significant to say about race as well. The screenplay tracks how the surviving group in the farmhouse accepts Ben (Duane Jones), an African American man, as a leader for his smart persona and sharp thinking.
This portrayal of an African American as protagonist and problem-solver, especially in a feature film that depicts a threat to humanity and the world, was also unique to movies that hit the screens more than forty years ago.
Having said that, one has to appreciate the clever script, good special effects gave the budget and time in which the project was put together, and the decent direction; each of which helped in scaring the viewers out of their wits and making them contemplate if mankind could truly be in danger in the near future.
6. Planet of the Apes (1968)
|Title||Planet of the Apes|
|Watch time||112 min|
|Directors||Franklin J. Schaffner|
|Cast||Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans|
|Music By||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Cinematography By||Leon Shamroy|
|Costume By||Norman Rockett|
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, 'Planet of the Apes' is a science fiction drama film that talks about the possible changes that mankind reluctantly has to undergo after an astronaut crew crash-lands on a strange planet in the distant future.
Even though the realm appears desolate at first, the surviving crew partners encounter a civilization in which apes have advanced into creatures with human-like understanding and speech.
However, what is astonishing is the fact that the apes have come to assume the part of the dominant species, and human beings are reduced into being mute creatures who are forced to don animal skins.
This is a definitive science fiction feature film with transcendental significance that also attempts to talk a lot about the origin of human beings by showing them as non-dominant species who are under threat.
That said, the screenplay also packs a whole lot of action, exploration, intrigue, and entertainment; each of which makes this motion picture one of the finest on this list.
5. 12 Monkeys (1995)
|Watch time||129 min|
|Cast||Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito|
|Music By||Paul Buckmaster|
|Cinematography By||Roger Pratt|
|Costume By||Jeffrey Beecroft|
This Terry Gilliam directorial venture traces how a deadly virus wipes out the world, causing only a few survivors to go subsurface.
Bruce Willis's James Cole is charged with traveling back in time to find the source of the epidemic with the hope that it could be overturned, and that is exactly when the real adventures begin.
Even though Bruce Willis is the star of this feature film, it is Brad Pitt who steals the show as Jeffrey Goines; a charismatic but mentally ill conspiracy theorist who may hold the secret to preventing the destructive plague.
The story is tight, logical, and engrossing and it continues to get better with repeated viewing.
The performances here are excellent and the treatment and overall execution of the theme are both interesting, to say the least.
That said, the detailed screenplay also showcases a nice understanding of the future, thus, making this film a refreshingly intelligent slice of science fiction cinema.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The dystopian future has never been more stimulating than it is in this wonderfully shot action film by George Miller.
Set in a desert wasteland where survivors are coerced into battling for water and gasoline in enormous custom-made vehicles, 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is not only the best installment of the Mad Max franchise, but it is also one of the better end-of-the-world feature films.
The movie features a towering performance by both Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy and thrives on its sequence of mesmerizing set pieces.
Even though the story in this motion picture is simple, George Miller's imaginative eyes make this one of the most stunning action pictures in recent history.
In addition, the heart-pounding action sequences and the loud explosions really make the viewers' jaw hit the floor.
That said, what truly makes this venture work is the fact that it simply strives to do what it set out to do without worrying too much about whether it will work or not.
3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
This Stanley Kubrick-directed masterpiece takes place on the brink of nuclear war and emphasizes the government agencies dispatched to stop it.
What is special about this film is that even though it is a subtle and sophisticated "end-of-the-world" classic, there is more to it than what meets the eye.
There is an underlining political commentary under every personality, every line, and every government manifestation in the screenplay.
Dr. Strangelove himself represents the scientific community of that period; a community that labored tirelessly to build a better bomb to bring the world to an absolute standstill.
One has to take their hat off to director Stanley Kubrick for making this great piece of cinema that can be enjoyed by anyone who has a decent grip on world events and history.
No wonder then that 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Peter Sellers at the time.
2. Wall-E (2008)
The ninth animated feature film from Pixar, Wall-E is an ambitious project that took big risks to create the impact that it did upon its release.
Helmed by Andrew Stanton, the compelling screenplay banked less on its dialogues and more on other elements like the lighting, the performances, the music, and the camerawork to come up with the desired result.
The film traces the journey of a robot who is responsible for cleaning a waste-covered Earth, and who meets another robot and falls in love with her.
Jointly, they set out on a voyage that promises to change the destiny of humanity.
The incredible animation makes the whole film fabulous to look at. Having said that, a feature film that deals with stories of alien invasion or the possible destruction or abandoning of mankind needs to look visually appealing.
Not surprisingly then, the bright colors and sublime setting are a delight to the eyes in 'Wall-E'.
In addition, the music here is remarkable and some highly imaginative sequences such as the zero-gravity dance and the ride through space are worth watching.
1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
|Title||Terminator 2: Judgment Day|
|Watch time||137 min|
|Cast||Arnold Schwarz, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick|
|Music By||Brad Fiedel|
|Cinematography By||Adam Greenberg|
|Costume By||Joseph C. Nemec III|
James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Linda Hamilton joined forces in the early 90s to create possibly the most admired sequel in the history of Hollywood.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as The Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. The film talks about how a terminator is sent on a mission to kill Sarah's son, John Connor.
However, what is interesting is that another cyborg, who was once after Sarah's life, has now been assigned to protect him and, ultimately, mankind.
This motion picture is photographed slickly and wonderfully and tries to retain the dark and audacious tone of the first film; a tone that hints towards the possible end to mankind if the titular character does not do his best to save the day.
While the set pieces and lighting may not exactly come across as nightmarish due to the film's massive budget, they are every bit as inventive and atmospheric as technically possible.
The superb direction by James Cameron and the haunting background score also ensure that this marvelous movie perfectly stands the test of time and continues to be lauded as one of the greatest of its type.