Survival

Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive  

Ranker Film
752 votes 179 voters 10.4k views 26 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.

 

list ordered by
1
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Beat Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki
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
2
The Hunger Games Franchise is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
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
3
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
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
4
Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson
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
5
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.
6
Harry Potter and the Deathly H... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter
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
7
A Quiet Place is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe
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
8
Léon: The Professional is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno
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
9
The Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh, Danuel Pipoly
The Lord of the Flies is a 1990 film written and directed by Vladimir Tyulkin.
10
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Cohen Holloway
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.
11
The Road is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Viggo Mortensen
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
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
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
13
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan
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
14
Walkabout is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Jenny Agutter, John Meillon, David Gulpilil
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
15
Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper
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
16
How I Live Now is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Saoirse Ronan, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay
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
17
A Boy and His Dog is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Susanne Benton
A Boy and His Dog is a cycle of narratives by author Harlan Ellison. The cycle tells the story of a boy and his telepathic dog, who work together as a team to survive in the post-apocalyptic ...more
18
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
DeborahTragasz added Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane
The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more
19
Beasts of No Nation is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Nico M. Reyes added Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese
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
20
Light of My Life is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss
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.
21
Monos is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Julianne Nicholson, Moisés Arias, Sofia Buenaventura
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
22
Prey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Logan Miller, Kristine Froseth, Jolene Anderson
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
23
Lost in the Barrens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Graham Greene, Evan Adams, Lee J. Campbell
Lost in the Barrens is a 1990 film written by Keith Ross Leckie and directed by Michael J.F. Scott.
24
The Earthling is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Captain_Newt added William Holden, Ricky Schroder, Jack Thompson
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
25
Seven Alone is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Kids Trying to Survive
Aldo Ray, James Griffith, Dean Smith
Dreams of a better life inspired the early pioneers to face the rigors of the western frontier. Caught up in the westward migration, the Sager family left their Missouri home in 1843 for the ...more