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The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

Updated July 14, 2020 95.8k votes 8.3k voters 466.7k views404 items

List RulesOnly disaster movies should be here

These are the most entertaining, the most fun, the greatest disaster movies ever made, ranked by movie experts and film fans alike. There is a long history of these kinds of movies in cinema - never to be taken too seriously, always slightly histrionic - for moviegoers who love to watch cities leveled and populations run screaming for their lives. This list includes films that center around a natural disaster, like a storm, as well as other kinds of catastrophe that might cause an apocalypse.

This list of floods, fires, earthquakes and alien attacks is built from both your votes and those lists that Rankers have contributed. If you are a die-hard fan of disaster movies, if you know your F-5 Tornados from your 10.5 Earthquakes, make your own ranking of these to really impact the list order! And if you see a good film that should be amongst these greatest disaster movies of all time, please add it!

Be sure to check out Ranker's list of All Disaster Films.

Check out more great lists like the Best End of the World MoviesNew Disaster MoviesWorst Game of Thrones Characters, Best Horror Anime, and Celebrities With Allergies.

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  • 26
    Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsCharlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 27
    Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsGeorge A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman, Karl Hardman, Judith O'Dea

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 28
    Tremors is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    193
    60

    ActorsKevin Bacon, Reba McEntire, Fred Ward, Ariana Richards, Michael Gross

    Directed byRon Underwood

    Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film directed by Ron Underwood, written by Brent... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 29
    Final Destination is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsAli Larter, Seann William Scott, Devon Sawa, Tony Todd, Amanda Detmer

    Directed byJames Wong

    Final Destination is a 2000 American horror film directed by James Wong. It is the first... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 30
    Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    859
    713

    ActorsOdette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, Mike Vogel, T. J. Miller

    Directed byMatt Reeves

    Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 31
    Deep Blue Sea is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    126
    51

    ActorsSamuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Stellan Skarsgård

    Directed byRenny Harlin

    Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 science fiction horror film, starring Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, LL... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 32
    The Stand is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    466
    255

    ActorsStephen King, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, Shawnee Smith

    Directed byMick Garris

    The Stand (ABC, 1994) is an American horror miniseries directed by Mick Garris, and based on... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 33
    Reign of Fire is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    265
    181

    ActorsChristian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler, Izabella Scorupco, Alexander Siddig

    Directed byRob Bowman

    Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic action fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 34
    King Kong is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    217
    149

    ActorsFay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot, James Flavin, Frank Reicher

    Directed byMerian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

    King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 35
    The Andromeda Strain is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsPaula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill, Eric Christmas, James Olson

    Directed byRobert Wise

    The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science fiction film produced and directed by Robert... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #69 of 181 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#13 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

  • 36
    Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    405
    325

    ActorsKareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman, Peter Graves, Jonathan Banks

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #9 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#56 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 37
    Daylight is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    412
    380

    ActorsSylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Brenneman, Danielle Harris, Claire Bloom

    Directed byRob Cohen

    Daylight is a 1996 American disaster thriller film directed by Rob Cohen and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 38
    Alive is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    486
    452

    Alive

    1993

    ActorsJohn Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas, Illeana Douglas, Michael DeLorenzo

    Directed byFrank Marshall

    Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 39
    Jurassic Park III is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsTéa Leoni, William H. Macy, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Linda Park

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    Jurassic Park III is a 2001 American science fiction adventure monster film. It is the third... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #79 of 206 The Best Adventure Movies#171 of 225 The Worst Sequels Of All Time

  • 40
    Earthquake is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    502
    469

    ActorsCharlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal, George Kennedy, Walter Matthau

    Directed byMark Robson

    Earthquake is a 1974 American ensemble disaster film directed and produced by Mark Robson. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 41
    Poseidon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    523
    489

    ActorsEmmy Rossum, Fergie, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Lucas

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Poseidon is a 2006 disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 42
    The Book of Eli is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsDenzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman, Tom Waits, Malcolm McDowell

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #85 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#463 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 43
    The Mist is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    646
    302

    ActorsThomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Alexa Davalos, Toby Jones

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film directed by Frank Darabont, and based... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 44
    The Day After is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    474
    321

    ActorsJohn Lithgow, Steve Guttenberg, JoBeth Williams, Arthur Ashe, Jason Robards Jr.

    Directed byNicholas Meyer

    The original film about nuclear holocaust the Greenie Wienies ripped off and turned into a film about global warming.
    amazon buy button
  • 45
    San Andreas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,098
    428

    ActorsDwayne Johnson

    Directed byBrad Peyton

    San Andreas is a 2015 American disaster film directed by Brad Peyton. A Los Angeles Fire... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 46
    The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsPatricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier, Sam Jaffe, Hugh Marlowe

    Directed byRobert Wise

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 47
    Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

    ActorsMilla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs, James Purefoy, Eric Mabius

    Directed byPaul W. S. Anderson

    Resident Evil is a 2002 German-British-French science fiction horror film written and directed... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 48
    The Thing is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    132
    42

    ActorsKurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter, Adrienne Barbeau, Wilford Brimley

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 49
    Airport is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    393
    378

    ActorsJacqueline Bissett, Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Helen Hayes, George Kennedy

    Directed byHenry Hathaway, George Seaton

    Airport is a 1970 American drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, directed and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 50
    Lake Placid is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    148
    69

    ActorsBetty White, Mariska Hargitay, Bridget Fonda, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Platt

    Directed bySteve Miner

    Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror comedy film. The film was written by David E.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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