Watchworthy
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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    The Day After Tomorrow

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Amazon buy button

    More The Day After Tomorrow 

    #296 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#50 of 165 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • 2
    Twister
    1,931
    733

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

    Directed byJan de Bont

    Amazon buy button

    More Twister 

    #21 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked#138 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 3
    Deep Impact
    1,603
    628

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

    Directed byMimi Leder

    Amazon buy button
  • 4
    Outbreak
    1,092
    408

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Amazon buy button

    More Outbreak 

    The Bubonic Plague Ravaged San Francisco In The 1900s—And The Government Tried A Massive Cover Up#75 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • 5
    Dante's Peak
    1,347
    641

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

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

    Amazon buy button
  • 6
    Independence Day
    2,175
    877

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Amazon buy button
  • 7
    2012
    1,817
    977

    2012

    2009

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Amazon buy button

    More 2012 

    #174 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies#63 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 8
    Armageddon
    1,739
    995

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

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Amazon buy button
  • 9
    The Perfect Storm
    1,127
    581

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Amazon buy button

    More The Perfect Storm 

    Tragic Facts About The Perfect Storm, The Shipwreck Story No One Lived To Tell#5 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

  • 10
    Contagion
    589
    226

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

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Amazon buy button
  • 11
    Backdraft
    356
    172

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

    Directed byRon Howard

    Amazon buy button
  • 12
    The Poseidon Adventure

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

    Directed byIrwin Allen, Ronald Neame

    Amazon buy button

    More The Poseidon Adventure 

    #677 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#33 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • 13
    War of the Worlds
    1,279
    782

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amazon buy button
  • 14
    Volcano
    968
    562

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

    Directed byMick Jackson

    Amazon buy button

    More Volcano 

    #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

    Amazon buy button
  • 16
    28 Days Later
    301
    64

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

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    Amazon buy button

    More 28 Days Later 

    14 Small But Fascinating Details Fans Noticed In '28 Days Later'#34 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 17
    Planet of the Apes

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

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Amazon buy button
  • 18
    The Core
    663
    494

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

    Directed byJon Amiel

    Amazon buy button

    More The Core 

    #42 of 49 The Very Best Movies About Hackers#3 of 14 The Most Ridiculous Movie Hacking Scenes, Ranked By Silliness

  • 19
    Night of the Living Dead

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

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    Amazon buy button

    More Night of the Living Dead 

    #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
    472
    257

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

    Directed byMick Garris

    Amazon buy button

    More The Stand 

    The Best Characters From The Stand Miniseries‘The Stand’ Mini-Series Is A Lot Cheesier Than We Remember

  • 21
    Cloverfield
    862
    716

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

    Directed byMatt Reeves

    Amazon buy button

    More Cloverfield 

    Small Details From The 'Cloverfield' Franchise That Fans Noticed#1380 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 22
    Tremors
    199
    61

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

    Directed byRon Underwood

    Amazon buy button

    More Tremors 

    #25 of 136 The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made#74 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 23
    The Andromeda Strain

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

    Directed byRobert Wise

    Amazon buy button

    More The Andromeda Strain 

    #63 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#13 of 105 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

  • 24
    Reign of Fire
    268
    183

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

    Directed byRob Bowman

    Amazon buy button

    More Reign of Fire 

    #62 of 94 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies#56 of 64 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies

  • 25
    Daylight
    415
    382

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

    Directed byRob Cohen

    Amazon buy button

    More Daylight 

    #11 of 15 Movies That Will Drive Anyone With Claustrophobia To The Edge#22 of 63 The Best Sylvester Stallone Movies