film The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time  

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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 Worst Game of Thrones Characters, Best Horror Anime, and Celebrities With Allergies.
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Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox 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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Armageddon Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler 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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The Day After Tomorrow Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid 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

4
1,140 642
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2012 Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton 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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Twister Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Paxton 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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1,052 378
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Deep Impact Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood 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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The Poseidon Adventure Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine 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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Dante's Peak Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie RenĂ©e Smith 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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Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

10
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War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum 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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The Perfect Storm George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane 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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Volcano Tommy Lee Jones, Don Cheadle, Anne Heche 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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The Towering Inferno O. J. Simpson, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway 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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physcod added I Am Legend Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson 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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Outbreak Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman 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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Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas 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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Earthquake Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal 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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Alive John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas 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 who ...more

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kaylive added Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

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Poseidon Emmy Rossum, Fergie, Kurt Russell Poseidon is a 2006 disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the third film adaptation of Paul Gallico's novel The Poseidon Adventure, and a loose remake of the 1972 ...more

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The Andromeda Strain Paula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill 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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The Core Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Eckhart The Core is a 2003 American science fiction disaster film. It concerns a team that has to drill to the center of the Earth and set off a series of nuclear explosions in order to restart the ...more

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arpan_mukherjee93 added Knowing Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Liam Hemsworth In 1959, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl fills her sheet of ...more

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Daylight Sylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Brenneman Daylight is a 1996 American disaster thriller film directed by Rob Cohen and starring Sylvester Stallone, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Stan Shaw, Karen ...more

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Airport Jacqueline Bissett, Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster Airport is a 1970 American drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, directed and written by George Seaton, and based on Arthur Hailey's 1968 novel of the same name. It originated the ...more

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KatieDonovan added The Day After John Lithgow, Steve Guttenberg, JoBeth Williams The original film about nuclear holocaust the Greenie Wienies ripped off and turned into a film about global warming.
The Day After is a 1983 American television film that aired on November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network. It was seen by more than 100 million people during its initial broadcast. It is ...more

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analise.dubner added San Andreas Dwayne Johnson San Andreas is an upcoming American disaster film directed by Brad Peyton and written by Allan Loeb, Carlton Cuse, Carey Hayes and Chad Hayes, based on the original script by Jeremy Passmore and ...more

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gamedemon24 added WALL-E Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

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The Omega Man Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 ...more

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gschwayze added Pacific Rim Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman Pacific Rim is a 2013 action sci-fi film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

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The Poseidon Adventure Steve Guttenberg, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell The Poseidon Adventure is a 2005 action and adventure made-for-TV film based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. It is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name.

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The China Syndrome Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, ...more

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wiabux added The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more

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Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

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jbeuscher01 added The Stand Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald The Stand is a 1994 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay, and has a cameo role in the series. It was directed by Mick ...more

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Hard Rain Morgan Freeman, Betty White, Minnie Driver Hard Rain is a 1998 American/British action thriller film, produced by Mark Gordon, written by Graham Yost and directed by former cinematographer turned director Mikael Salomon. It stars ...more

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Quarantine Dania Ramirez, Jennifer Carpenter, Doug Jones Quarantine is a 2008 American science fiction horror film directed by John Erick Dowdle and starring Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, ...more

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R20X added The Impossible Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin The Impossible is a 2012 disaster drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and written by Sergio G. Sánchez. It is based on the experience of María Belón and her family in ...more

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willyboymcoy added Airplane! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman 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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Contagion Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon 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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10.5 Kaley Cuoco, Kim Delaney, Beau Bridges 10.5 is a 2004 disaster film directed by John Lafia which aired as a television miniseries in the United States on May 2, 2004 and May 3, 2004. The plot focuses on a series of catastrophic ...more

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The Happening Zooey Deschanel, Mark Wahlberg, M. Night Shyamalan The Happening is a 2008 American supernatural thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan that follows a man, his wife, his best friend, and his friend's daughter as ...more

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The Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. The film stars Kristen ...more

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Daybreakers Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill Daybreakers is a 2009 science-fiction thriller film written and directed by Australian filmmakers Michael and Peter Spierig. The film takes place in a futuristic world overrun by vampires. A ...more

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Countermoon added Soylent Green Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson. The film ...more

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Meteor Christopher Lloyd, Stacy Keach, Ernie Hudson Meteor is a 2009 disaster television miniseries about the asteroid 114 Kassandra on a collision course with the Earth. Its surrounding meteorites crash into various locations worldwide, ...more

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Countermoon added Mad Max 2 Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

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Supervolcano Gary Lewis, Robert Wisden, Tom McBeath Supervolcano is a science docufiction disaster television film that originally aired on 13 March 2005 on BBC One, and released by the BBC on 10 April 2005 on the Discovery Channel. It is ...more

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Red Dawn Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson Red Dawn is a 1984 American war 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 ...more

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MattGreene1 added Gravity Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in ...more