The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

List Rules
Only 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 action disaster movies that level cities and have populations run screaming for their lives. This list includes thrillers 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 extreme weather such as 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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  • Pandemic
    176
    159 votes
    • Actors: Tiffani Thiessen, Faye Dunaway, Eric Roberts, French Stewart, Bruce Boxleitner
    • Directed by: Armand Mastroianni
    Pandemic is a 2007 Hallmark Channel original mini-series with an ensemble cast. It premiered on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 8:00 PM as part of Hallmark Channel's "Uncharted Adventures" weekend. It is ...more
  • Panic in Year Zero!
    177
    • Actors: Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon, Mary Mitchel, Joan Freeman
    • Directed by: Ray Milland
    As the Baldwin family heads on vacation, their hometown of Los Angeles falls victim to a nuclear attack. Harry (Ray Milland), his wife, Ann (Jean Hagen), and their two teens head to their fishing ...more

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  • The Stars Look Down
    178
    • Actors: Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Emlyn Williams, Nancy Price, Allan Jeayes
    • Directed by: Carol Reed
    Based on the novel of the same name by A.J. Cronin, this British drama presents the hardships faced by a coal-mining village. Local boy Davey Fenwick (Michael Redgrave) goes off to attend university, ...more
  • When Time Ran Out
    179
    86 votes
    • Actors: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden, Edward Albert, Red Buttons
    • Directed by: James Goldstone
    An oil driller (Paul Newman) leads a dash for high ground when time runs out on a resort island's dormant volcano.

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  • The Devil at 4 O'Clock
    180
    • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Kerwin Mathews, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Gregoire Aslan
    • Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
    Prisoners Harry (Frank Sinatra), Marcel (Gregoire Aslan) and Charlie (Bernie Hamilton) are flown to a small tropical island to serve the elderly Father Doonan (Spencer Tracy), who makes them work ...more
  • Frogs
    181
    1972
    47 votes
    • Actors: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace
    • Directed by: George McCowan
    Unsurprisingly, grumpy Southern chemical baron Jason Crockett (Ray Milland) is not terribly concerned with the environment. When Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott), a wildlife photographer in the area, ...more

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  • The Deadly Mantis
    182
    66 votes
    • Actors: Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Pat Conway, John Close, Tom Greenway
    • Directed by: Nathan H. Juran
    The Deadly Mantis is a 1957 science fiction film produced by William Alland for Universal-International. It was directed by Nathan Juran from a screenplay by Martin Berkeley, and starred Craig ...more
  • Left Behind: The Movie
    183
    • Actors: Kirk Cameron, Chelsea Noble, Daniel Pilon, Colin Fox, Neil Crone
    • Directed by: Vic Sarin
    Left Behind is a Christian-based film released in 2000 and starring Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Gordon Currie and Clarence Gilyard. It was directed by Vic Sarin. Left Behind was proclaimed by its ...more
  • The Rains Came
    184
    53 votes
    • Actors: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent, Brenda Joyce, Nigel Bruce
    • Directed by: Clarence Brown
    In 1938, Lady Edwina Esketh (Myrna Loy) is a British aristocrat living in India with her crude husband, Lord Esketh (Nigel Bruce). At a lavish party, Edwina is reunited with the womanizing Tom ...more

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    • Actors: Alexandra Paul, Michael Ironside, Costas Mandylor, Pascale Hutton, Kaj-Erik Eriksen
    • Directed by: Robert Zemeckis, Robert Lee
    Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York is a 2006 American television disaster film directed by Robert Lee. It stars Costas Mandylor, Alexandra Paul, and Michael Ironside. It was produced by Front Street ...more
    • Actors: Ed Begley, Jr., Joanna Kerns, Richard Masur, Dan Lauria
    • Directed by: Larry Elikann
    The Great Los Angeles Earthquake is a 1990 television film about a massive earthquake that strikes Los Angeles, California. The movie stars Joanna Kerns in the movie's lead role, seismologist Clare ...more
  • Threads
    187
    127 votes
    • Actors: Reece Dinsdale, Karen Meagher, Rita May, David Brierly, Nicholas Lane
    • Directed by: Mick Jackson
    Young lovers Ruth (Karen Meagher) and Jimmy (Reece Dinsdale) decide to get married after Ruth unexpectedly gets pregnant. But their quiet lives in Sheffield, England, are threatened when the Soviet ...more

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  • Two-Minute Warning
    188
    82 votes
    • Actors: Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Beau Bridges, Marilyn Hassett, David Janssen
    • Directed by: Larry Peerce
    The Los Angeles Police Department, led by Capt. Peter Holly (Charlton Heston), learns that a madman is planning to open fire on football fans in a packed Los Angeles Coliseum. Holly finds himself at ...more

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  • The Last Voyage
    189
    48 votes
    • Actors: Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, George Sanders, Edmond O'Brien, Woody Strode
    • Directed by: Andrew L. Stone
    Cliff (Robert Stack) and Laurie Henderson (Dorothy Malone) are vacationing on an cruise ship with their young daughter when disaster strikes in the form of a massive breach in the boat's hull. The ...more

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  • The Tower
    190
    48 votes
    • Actors: Son Ye-jin, Ahn Sung-ki, Cha In-pyo, Sol Kyung-gu, Park Chul-min
    • Directed by: Kim Ji-hoon
    The Tower is a 2012 South Korean disaster thriller film directed by Kim Ji-hoon. Lee Dae-ho, a single father who runs a landmark building, falls in love with a restaurant manager, and as he is about ...more

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  • Absolute Zero
    191
    48 votes
    • Actors: Erika Eleniak, Jeff Fahey, Jessica Amlee, Britt Irvin, Matthew Walker
    • Directed by: Robert Lee
    Absolute Zero is a 2006 disaster film, directed by Robert Lee, and written by Sarah Watson. It stars Jeff Fahey and Erika Eleniak. The film is about polar shift, which brings a new ice age in ...more
  • Skyjacked
    192
    59 votes
    • Actors: Charlton Heston, Susan Dey, James Brolin, Yvette Mimieux, Jeanne Crain
    • Directed by: John Guillermin
    Skyjacked is a 1972 disaster film, directed by John Guillermin. The film stars Charlton Heston, James Brolin, and Yvette Mimieux, along with an all-star cast primarily playing the roles of passengers ...more

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  • Kingdom of the Spiders
    193
    • Actors: William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode, Lieux Dressler, Altovise Davis
    • Directed by: John Cardos
    Arizona farmer Walter Colby (Woody Strode) and his wife, Birch (Altovise Davis), have a problem on their hands: One of their cows was just killed by a creature, but they have no idea what the beast ...more

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  • The Rains of Ranchipur
    194
    • Actors: Lana Turner, Richard Burton, Fred MacMurray, Joan Caulfield, Michael Rennie
    • Directed by: Jean Negulesco
    Lady Edwina (Lana Turner) and Lord Albert Esketh (Michael Rennie) share a passionless and unhappy marriage. When they travel to India to purchase horses, Esketh declares his intention to divorce ...more

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  • Damnation Alley
    195
    121 votes
    • Actors: Jackie Earle Haley, George Peppard, Jan-Michael Vincent, Paul Winfield, Dominique Sanda
    • Directed by: Jack Smight
    Damnation Alley is a 1977 post-apocalyptic film, directed by Jack Smight, loosely based on the novel of the same name by Roger Zelazny. The original music score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and ...more

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  • Back from Eternity
    196
    43 votes
    • Actors: Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg, Rod Steiger, Phyllis Kirk, Keith Andes
    • Directed by: John Farrow
    On a plane bound for South America, the son of a mobster travels under the protection of henchmen who learn in-flight that their boss is dead. Also on the flight are weary war pilot Bill Lonagan ...more

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    • Actors: Michael Gross, Sara Botsford, John Dixon, Billy Drago, Lydia Look
    • Directed by: S.S. Wilson
    Prim East Coast dandy Hiram Gummer (Michael Gross) arrives in the town of Rejection, Nev., to investigate a series of strange deaths at the silver mine he owns. He receives help from local innkeeper ...more

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    • Actors: Randy Quaid, Brian Dennehy, Dianne Wiest, Thomas Gibson, Chandra West
    • Directed by: Dick Lowry
    Category 6: Day of Destruction is a 2004 four-hour miniseries that was broadcast in the United States on CBS in two parts, with the first part aired on November 14 and the second on November 17. It ...more
  • Ground Zero
    199
    68 votes
    • Actors: Reginald VelJohnson, Jack Scalia, Janet Gunn, Christopher Neame, Vladimir Kulich
    • Directed by: Richard Friedman
    Ground Zero is a 2000 American action film, directed by Richard Friedman.
    • Actors: William Shatner, Yvette Mimieux, Raymond Burr, Lloyd Bridges, Pat Hingle
    • Directed by: Richard C. Sarafian
    Disaster on the Coastliner is 1979 television film about a disgruntled railroad employee who attempts to cause a collision between two passenger trains. It was directed by Richard C. Sarafian and ...more