8.3k voters

The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

Updated November 19, 2020 78.0k votes 8.3k voters 467.6k 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.

  • 1
    The Day After Tomorrow

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 2

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

    Directed byJan de Bont

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  • 3
    Deep Impact

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

    Directed byMimi Leder

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  • 4

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 5
    Dante's Peak

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

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

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  • 6
    Independence Day

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 7



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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 8

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

    Directed byMichael Bay

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  • 9
    The Perfect Storm

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 10

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

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

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  • 11

    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

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 14

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

    Directed byMick Jackson

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    #542 of 723 The Greatest Action Movies Of All Time#8 of 30 The Best Natural Disaster Movies

  • 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

    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

    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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    #161 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#28 of 88 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

  • 20
    The Stand

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

    Directed byMick Garris

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  • 21

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

    Directed byMatt Reeves

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  • 22

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

    Directed byRon Underwood

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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

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

    Directed byRob Bowman

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  • 25

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

    Directed byRob Cohen

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