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The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated July 14, 2020 102.7k votes 8.2k voters 463.9k views 405 items

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 cities leveled and populations run screaming for their lives. This list includes films 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 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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list ordered by
1
The Day After Tomorrow ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2004

Actors: Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Sela Ward, Ian Holm, + more

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, ...more

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#223 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #210 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #58 of 154 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

2
Deep Impact is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1998

Actors: Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Téa Leoni, Vanessa Redgrave, + more

Directed by: Mimi Leder

Deep Impact is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film directed by Mimi Leder, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin, and starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, ...more

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#752 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #197 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #156 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

3
Twister is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1996

Actors: Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Paxton, Alexa Vega, Jami Gertz, + more

Directed by: Jan de Bont

Twister is a 1996 American disaster drama film starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as storm chasers researching tornadoes. It was directed by Jan de Bont from a screenplay by Michael Crichton ...more

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#793 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #160 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

4
Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1998

Actors: Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson, + more

Directed by: Michael Bay

Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows a group of ...more

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#96 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #134 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

5
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1996

Actors: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, Harry Connick, + more

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

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13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movie #32 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Dante's Peak is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1997

Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith, Peter Jason, Grant Heslov, + more

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Dante's Peak is a 1997 American epic disaster adventure film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan, Elizabeth Hoffman, Jamie Renée ...more

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#306 of 718 The Greatest Action Movies of All Time #6 of 30 The Best Natural Disaster Movies #10 of 33 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Disaster Movies

7
2012 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2009

Actors: Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, John Cusack, Danny Glover, + more

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

2012 is a 2009 American science fiction disaster adventure film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. It stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, ...more

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#572 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #22 of 32 Blockbusters With No Cultural Impact Whatsoever, Ranked #205 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

8
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
physcod added 2007

Actors: Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith, Alice Braga, + more

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's ...more

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#83 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #158 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #163 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

9
Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1995

Actors: Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Patrick Dempsey, + more

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on Richard Preston's non-fiction book The Hot Zone. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and ...more

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The Bubonic Plague Ravaged San Francisco In The 1900s—And The Government Tried A Massive Cover Up #512 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #3 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

10
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1997

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, James Cameron, Bill Paxton, + more

Directed by: James Cameron

Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more

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11
The Poseidon Adventure ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1972

Actors: Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen, Shelley Winters, + more

Directed by: Irwin Allen, Ronald Neame

The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald Neame, produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. The film features ...more

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#614 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #276 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2005

Actors: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, + more

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more

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#145 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #954 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #248 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

13
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2000

Actors: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John C. Reilly, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, + more

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which ...more

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Tragic Facts About The Perfect Storm, The Shipwreck Story No One Lived To Tell #426 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #100 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

14
Volcano is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1997

Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Don Cheadle, Anne Heche, Keith David, Jillian Barberie, + more

Directed by: Mick Jackson

Volcano is a 1997 disaster film directed by Mick Jackson and produced by Andrew Z. Davis, Neal H. Moritz and Lauren Shuler Donner. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Jerome ...more

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#453 of 718 The Greatest Action Movies of All Time #7 of 30 The Best Natural Disaster Movies #33 of 71 The Top 20+ Best Tommy Lee Jones Movies of All Time, Ranked

15
The Towering Inferno is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1974

Actors: O. J. Simpson, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, Steve McQueen, William Holden, + more

Directed by: Irwin Allen, John Guillermin

The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American action drama disaster film produced by Irwin Allen featuring an all-star cast led by Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. The picture was directed by John ...more

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#211 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #1,365 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Contagion is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2011

Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, + more

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Contagion is a 2011 medical thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, ...more

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It Was Overlooked At The Time, But 'Contagion' Is One Of The Most Realistically Scary Modern Films #627 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #699 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

17
Ranker Video
1984

Actors: Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, + more

Directed by: John Milius

Red Dawn is a 1984 American film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. ...more

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#53 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #324 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #105 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

18
The Core is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2003

Actors: Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Eckhart, Alfre Woodard, Richard Jenkins, + more

Directed by: Jon Amiel

The Core is a 2003 American science fiction disaster film. It concerns a team that has to drill to the center of the Earth in order to restart the rotation of the Earth's core. The film was ...more

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19
Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
2008

Actors: Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, Mike Vogel, T. J. Miller, + more

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams & Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an ...more

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'Cloverfield' Theories To Read Up On Before Streaming 'The Cloverfield Paradox' #148 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,347 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
Backdraft is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1991

Actors: Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Donald Sutherland, Rebecca De Mornay, + more

Directed by: Ron Howard

Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. The film stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, ...more

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#386 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #109 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #93 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

21
Ranker Video
1997

Actors: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell, + more

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

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#217 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #134 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

22
Ranker Video
1974

Actors: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal, George Kennedy, Walter Matthau, + more

Directed by: Mark Robson

Earthquake is a 1974 American ensemble disaster film directed and produced by Mark Robson. The plot concerns the struggle for survival after a catastrophic earthquake destroys most of the city ...more

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#442 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #157 of 554 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Ranker Video
willyboymcoy added 1980

Actors: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman, Peter Graves, Jonathan Banks, + more

Directed by: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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24
The Andromeda Strain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1971

Actors: Paula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill, Eric Christmas, James Olson, + more

Directed by: Robert Wise

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science fiction film produced and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton's 1969 novel of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film ...more

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25
Alive is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
1993

Actors: John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas, Illeana Douglas, Michael DeLorenzo, + more

Directed by: Frank Marshall

Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974 book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, which details the story of a Uruguayan rugby team. The ...more

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