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Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive 

Ranker Film
Updated March 6, 2020 791 votes 192 voters 12k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite films about children fighting for survival against enemies or the elements.

 

Survival movies are full of riveting suspense sequences, but when a child is the lead character the stakes become even higher. The top movies about children surviving feature intelligent kids using all of their skills and resources to make it through another day. This is a list of the greatest movies about lost kids, including everything from Life of Pi to Red Dawn to The Blue Lagoon.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about kids surviving? The Hunger Games pushes the genre to the extreme, as a group of teens are pitted against each other in a televised fight to the death. Jennifer Lawrence stars as the fiery Katniss Everdeen in this successful franchise. Lord of the Flies is another good film about kids trying to survive. Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows a young boy who runs away in order to avoid being sent back to child welfare services. Other notable movies about kids surviving include Hanna, A Boy and His Dog, and How I Live Now.

Which movie about kids surviving is the best? Vote your personal picks up to the top of the list, and please add any great features that are missing.

 

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list ordered by
1
The Hunger Games Franchi... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
The Hunger Games Franchise
The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels, by the American author Suzanne Collins. Distributed by ...more

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2
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Beat Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki

Released: 2000

Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku

Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action thriller film adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the screenplay written by ...more

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3
The Boy in the Striped P... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend

Released: 2008

Directed by: Mark Herman

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (released as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) is a 2008 British historical-drama film directed by Mark Heyman, based on the novel by John Boyne. During World War ...more

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4
Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

Released: 1984

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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5
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ang Lee

Life of Pi is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel. Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), a young man who is cast away after a ...more

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6
Léon: The Profess... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno

Released: 1994

Directed by: Luc Besson

Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film debut of ...more

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7
The Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh, Danuel Pipoly

Released: 1990

Directed by: Vladimir Tyulkin

The Lord of the Flies is a 1990 film written and directed by Vladimir Tyulkin.
8
The Road is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Viggo Mortensen

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Hillcoat

The Road is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic drama film directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay written by Joe Penhall, which is in return based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel of ...more

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9
A Quiet Place is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe

Released: 2018

Directed by: John Krasinski

A Quiet Place is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by John Krasinski. A family living on a farm hides from a supernatural evil attracted to sound by avoiding making sound and ...more

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10
Hunt for the Wilderpeopl... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Hunt For The Wilderpeople Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Cohen Holloway

Released: 2016

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump.

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11
Harry Potter and the Dea... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 2010

Directed by: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is a 2010 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novel ...more

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12
The Blue Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Brooke Shields, William Daniels, Leo McKern

Released: 1980

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

The Blue Lagoon is a 1980 American romantic adventure film directed by Randal Kleiser. The screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart was based on the novel The Blue Lagoon by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. ...more

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13
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Wright

Hanna is a 2011 action thriller film that contains prominent fairy tale elements, directed by Joe Wright. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as the title character, a girl raised in the wilderness of ...more

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14
Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1995

Directed by: Kevin Costner, Kevin Reynolds

Waterworld is a 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction action film directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It was based on Rader's original 1986 ...more

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15
Beasts of No Nation is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Nico M. Reyes added Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese

Released: 2015

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Beasts of No Nation is a 2015 American drama film directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Recruited by a malicious Commandant (Idris Elba), a child soldier (Abraham Attah) is trained to fight in a West ...more
16
Light of My Life is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss

Released: 2019

Directed by: Casey Affleck

Light of My Life is a 2019 American drama film directed by Casey Affleck. A father (Casey Affleck) and his young daughter (Anna Pniowsky) find themselves trapped in the woods.
17
Resistance is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Jesse Eisenberg, Ed Harris, Édgar Ramírez

Released: 2020

Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz

Resistance is a 2019 biographical drama film directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. The story of how Marcel Marceau (Jesse Eisenberg) and a group of Jewish Boy Scouts worked with the French Resistance ...more
18
Monos is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Julianne Nicholson, Moisés Arias, Sofia Buenaventura

Released: 2019

Directed by: Alejandro Landes

Monos is a 2019 drama film directed by Alejandro Landes. In a remote mountaintop setting somewhere in Latin America, a rebel group of teenage commandos bearing noms de guerre like Rambo (Sofia ...more
19
Walkabout is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Jenny Agutter, John Meillon, David Gulpilil

Released: 1971

Directed by: Nicolas Roeg

Walkabout is a 1971 film set in Australia, directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and David Gulpilil. Edward Bond wrote the screenplay, which is loosely based on the novel ...more

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20
Prey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Logan Miller, Kristine Froseth, Jolene Anderson

Released: 2019

Directed by: Franck Khalfoun

Prey is a 2019 American horror film directed by Franck Khalfoun. Toby (Logan Miller), a highschool senior who is struggling with behavioral issues is put on a supposedly uninhabited island but ...more
21
Wendy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Shay Walker, Tommie Lynn Milazzo, Stephanie Lynn Wilson

Released: 2020

Directed by: Benh Zeitlin

Wendy is a 2020 American fantasy drama film directed by Behn Zeitlin based on J.M. Barrie's play, Peter Pan. A young girl is kidnapped and taken away from her home to an island where a ...more
22
Waiting for Anya is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Anjelica Huston, Sadie Frost, Jean Reno

Released: 2020

Directed by: Ben Cookson

Waiting for Anya is a 2020 British war film directed by Ben Cookson, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo. A young shepherd named Jo (Noah Schnapp) and a widow named Horcada (Anjelica Huston) ...more
23
How I Live Now is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Saoirse Ronan, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay

Released: 2013

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

How I Live Now is a 2013 British drama film based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Meg Rosoff, directed by Kevin Macdonald and script written by Tony Grisoni, Jeremy Brock and Penelope ...more
24
Radioflash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Brighton Sharbino, Dominic Monaghan, Will Patton

Released: 2019

Directed by: Ben McPherson

Radioflash is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Ben McPherson. After a nuclear device goes off and sends out an electromagnetic pulse, a teenage girl must lead her family to safety.
25
The Earthling is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Captain_Newt added William Holden, Ricky Schroder, Jack Thompson

Released: 1980

Directed by: Peter Collinson

The Earthling is a drama film starring William Holden and Ricky Schroder. It was filmed in 1979 in Australia, and released there in 1980. Peter Collinson directed this film and died of cancer ...more