The Best Desert Island Movies  

Ranker Film
566 votes 224 voters 21.1k views 17 items

This list may not be marooned on far away shores, but it does have lots of awesome desert island movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best desert island movies offer adventure as they showcase the lead characters' will to survive. Desert island films often feature one man's journey, but some of the best shipwrecked movies include star-studded casts. A few of the best stranded films are even based on true stories.

What films will you find on this best desert island movies list? All you need to make a great movie is Tom Hanks, as proven by the 2000 survival movie, Cast Away. After getting stranded on a desert island, Chuck Noland (Hanks) befriends a volleyball named Wilson and does whatever it takes to make it back home. The Blue Lagoon is another one of the best desert island movies.

Animal instincts quickly come to the surface in the classic film Lord of the Flies, which is based on William Golding's 1954 novel of the same name. Other good movies that are featured on this top desert island films list include Swept Away, The Beach, and Life of Pi.

How will we ever determine which movie deserves the top spot on this list? Help us decide by giving the best films a thumbs up and add any other deserted island films you love that aren't already listed.

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Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth
Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident ...more

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#259 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #150 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #38 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

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John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk
Swiss Family Robinson is a 1960 British-American family film starring John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro and Tommy Kirk in a tale of a shipwrecked family building an ...more

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#20 of 139 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #56 of 173 The Best Movies for Families #20 of 58 The Best Movies for Boys to Watch

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Harrison Ford, Anne Heche, David Schwimmer
Six Days Seven Nights is a 1998 adventure-comedy film, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. The screenplay was written by Michael Browning. It was filmed on ...more

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#258 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #809 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #9 of 24 Great Movies Set on the Beach

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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

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#124 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #132 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #277 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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Dan O'Herlihy, Jaime Fernández, José Chávez
Robinson Crusoe is a 1954 Mexican film by director Luis Buñuel, based on the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Both English and Spanish versions were produced. Lead actor Dan ...more
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Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
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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#178 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #30 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #419 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle
The Beach is a 2000 adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland, which was adapted for the film by John Hodge. The film stars ...more

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#203 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #76 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #8 of 24 Great Movies Set on the Beach

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Nicholas Hammond, James Aubrey, Kent Fletcher
Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British film adaptation of William Golding's novel of the same name. It was directed by Peter Brook and produced by Lewis M. Allen. The film was in production for ...more

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#186 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #8 of 42 The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys #28 of 45 The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival

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Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin
Nim's Island is a 2008 American-Australian adventure-fantasy film directed by Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin and starring Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, and Gerard Butler. The story is based ...more

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#278 of 312 The Best Movies for Kids #44 of 77 The Greatest Supernatural & Paranormal Teen Films #32 of 32 The Best Fantasy Movie Posters

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Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 children's novel written by Scott O'Dell. The story of a young girl stranded for years on an island off the California coast. It is based on the true story ...more

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#177 of 1,302 The Best Novels Ever Written #243 of 837 Books That Changed Your Lifelisted on Children's Books: Teachers' Top 100 Books For Children

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manjo_ds added Jung Ryeo-won, Jung Jae-young, Mi-kyeong Yang
"Accomplished and original, Castaway on the Moon is a fascinating love story by one of South Korea's most promising young filmmakers. Lee Hey-jun made his debut in 2006 as co-director of ...more
Prey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Desert Island Movies
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
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Paradise Lagoon
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Madonna, Elizabeth Banks, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Swept Away is a 2002 romantic comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Madonna, Adriano Giannini, and Bruce Greenwood. It was released by Screen Gems and produced by Matthew Vaughn. The ...more

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#596 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #32 of 41 The Best Movies That Won Razzies #11 of 24 The Best Madonna Movies

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Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, Ron Perlman
The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1996 American science fiction horror film, the third major film adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, about a scientist who attempts to ...more

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#579 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #2 of 15 15 Movies With Great Ideas Ruined By Terrible Executionfeaturing The Making Of The Island Of Dr. Moreau Was A Disastrous Nightmare

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RobLein added Oliver Reed, Amanda Donohoe, John Sessions
Castaway is a 1986 film starring Amanda Donohoe and Oliver Reed, and directed by Nicolas Roeg. It was adapted from its namesake 1984 book by Lucy Irvine, telling of her experiences of staying ...more

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#90 of 140 The Most Awkward Movies to Watch with Your Parents #52 of 202 The Best Romance Movies Rated R #39 of 203 The Best R-Rated Adventure Movies

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Alexander D'Arcy, Barbara Valentin, Rainer Brandt
Horrors of Spider Island is a 1960 West German horror film directed by Fritz Böttger. The film stars Alexander D'Arcy as Gary the talent agent who invites several girls to a club in ...more

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#179 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s #36 of 36 The Best Horror Movies of 1960