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The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

Updated July 14, 2020 95.8k votes 8.3k voters 466.6k views404 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 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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  • 1
    The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    Twister is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,908
    730

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

    Directed byJan de Bont

    Twister is a 1996 American disaster drama film starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as storm... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 3
    Deep Impact is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,583
    625

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

    Directed byMimi Leder

    Deep Impact is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film directed by Mimi Leder, written... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 4
    Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,084
    403

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    2,159
    876

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 6
    Dante's Peak is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,341
    637

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

    Directed byRoger Donaldson

    Dante's Peak is a 1997 American epic disaster adventure film directed by Roger Donaldson, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 7
    I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,250
    584

    ActorsWill Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith, Alice Braga

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Contagion is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    577
    223

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

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Contagion is a 2011 medical thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film features an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    2012 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,799
    974

    2012

    2009

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

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    2012 is a 2009 American science fiction disaster adventure film directed and co-written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,728
    988

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

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 11
    The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,117
    579

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

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Titanic is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,610
    909

    ActorsLeonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, James Cameron, Bill Paxton

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    441
    196

    ActorsCharlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell

    Directed byJohn Milius

    Red Dawn is a 1984 American film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Backdraft is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    350
    172

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

    Directed byRon Howard

    Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    The Poseidon Adventure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

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

    Directed byIrwin Allen, Ronald Neame

    The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Volcano is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    958
    559

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

    Directed byMick Jackson

    Volcano is a 1997 disaster film directed by Mick Jackson and produced by Andrew Z. Davis, Neal... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    1,271
    777

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

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    191
    52

    ActorsEd Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott, Michael Biehn, J. C. Quinn

    Directed byJames Cameron

    The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    The Towering Inferno is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

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

    Directed byIrwin Allen, John Guillermin

    The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American action drama disaster film produced by Irwin Allen... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Air Force One is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    369
    188

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    Speed is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    230
    78

    Speed

    1994

    ActorsSandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton

    Directed byJan de Bont

    Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    490
    82

    ActorsSamuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern, Sam Neill

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    295
    62

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

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 24
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    318
    75

    Jaws

    1975

    ActorsSteven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, John Searle

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    The Core is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time
    656
    491

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

    Directed byJon Amiel

    The Core is a 2003 American science fiction disaster film. It concerns a team that has to... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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