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The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

Updated November 19, 2020 78.3k votes 8.4k voters 468.0k views313 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
    The Day After Tomorrow

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 2
    Twister
    1,937
    735

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

    Directed byJan de Bont

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  • 3
    Deep Impact
    1,607
    629

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

    Directed byMimi Leder

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  • 4
    Outbreak
    1,094
    409

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 5
    Dante's Peak
    1,348
    643

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

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

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  • 6
    Independence Day
    2,176
    877

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 7
    2012
    1,818
    980

    2012

    2009

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 8
    Armageddon
    1,745
    995

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

    Directed byMichael Bay

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  • 9
    The Perfect Storm
    1,130
    582

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 10
    Contagion
    590
    228

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

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

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  • 11
    Backdraft
    357
    172

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

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 12
    The Poseidon Adventure

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

    Directed byIrwin Allen, Ronald Neame

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  • 13
    War of the Worlds
    1,284
    782

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 14
    Volcano
    969
    562

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

    Directed byMick Jackson

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  • 15
    The Towering Inferno

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

    Directed byIrwin Allen, John Guillermin

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  • 16
    28 Days Later
    302
    64

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

    Directed byDanny Boyle

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  • 17
    Planet of the Apes

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

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

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  • 18
    The Core
    666
    494

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

    Directed byJon Amiel

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  • 19
    Night of the Living Dead

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

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

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  • 20
    The Stand
    475
    257

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

    Directed byMick Garris

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  • 21
    Tremors
    201
    63

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

    Directed byRon Underwood

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  • 22
    Cloverfield
    866
    716

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

    Directed byMatt Reeves

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  • 23
    The Andromeda Strain

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

    Directed byRobert Wise

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  • 24
    Reign of Fire
    271
    183

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

    Directed byRob Bowman

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  • 25
    Daylight
    416
    382

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

    Directed byRob Cohen

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