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8.5k voters

The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

Updated April 7, 2021 76.9k votes 8.5k voters 472.8k views318 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 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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  • 1

    ActorsEmmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Sela Ward, Ian Holm

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    More The Day After Tomorrow 

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  • 2
    1,896
    715

    ActorsHelen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Paxton, Alexa Vega, Jami Gertz

    Directed byJan de Bont

    More Twister 

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  • 3
    1,572
    614

    ActorsMorgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Téa Leoni, Vanessa Redgrave

    Directed byMimi Leder

    More Deep Impact 

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  • 4
    2,115
    834

    ActorsWill Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, Harry Connick

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    More Independence Day 

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  • 5
    1,073
    413

    ActorsMorgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Patrick Dempsey

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    More Outbreak 

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  • 6
    1,315
    629

    ActorsPierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith, Peter Jason, Grant Heslov

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

    More Dante's Peak 

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  • 7
    1,771
    952

    2012

    2009

    ActorsAmanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, John Cusack, Danny Glover

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 8
    1,682
    955

    ActorsBen Affleck, Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson

    Directed byMichael Bay

    More Armageddon 

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  • 9
    607
    232

    ActorsGwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    More Contagion 

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  • 10
    1,087
    574

    ActorsGeorge Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John C. Reilly, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    More The Perfect Storm 

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  • 11

    ActorsGene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen, Shelley Winters

    Directed byIrwin Allen, Ronald Neame

    More The Poseidon Adventure 

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  • 12
    945
    544

    ActorsTommy Lee Jones, Don Cheadle, Anne Heche, Keith David, Jillian Barberie

    Directed byMick Jackson

    More Volcano 

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  • 13
    354
    180

    ActorsRobert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Donald Sutherland, Rebecca De Mornay

    Directed byRon Howard

    More Backdraft 

    #95 of 197 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time#144 of 165 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • 14
    1,237
    755

    ActorsTom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    More War of the Worlds 

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  • 15

    ActorsO. J. Simpson, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, Steve McQueen, William Holden

    Directed byIrwin Allen, John Guillermin

    More The Towering Inferno 

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  • 16
    315
    76

    ActorsCillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Luke Mably

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    More 28 Days Later 

    #36 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#12 of 20 Horror Movies That Originally Had Much Darker Endings

  • 17
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    479

    ActorsHilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Eckhart, Alfre Woodard, Richard Jenkins

    Directed byJon Amiel

    More The Core 

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  • 18

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

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    More Planet of the Apes 

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  • 19
    840
    693

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

    Directed byMatt Reeves

    More Cloverfield 

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  • 20
    462
    249

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

    Directed byMick Garris

    More The Stand 

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  • 21
    216
    72

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

    Directed byRon Underwood

    More Tremors 

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  • 22

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

    Directed byRobert Wise

    More The Andromeda Strain 

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  • 23
    262
    186

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

    Directed byRob Bowman

    More Reign of Fire 

    #61 of 100 The 95+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies#59 of 65 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies

  • 24

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

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    More Night of the Living Dead 

    #2 of 144 The Best Zombie Movies Of All Time#27 of 88 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

  • 25
    486
    448

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

    Directed byMark Robson

    More Earthquake 

    #261 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies#48 of 125 The Best '70s Action Movies