Entertainment
149 voters

The Best Recent Survival Shows & Movies

Updated August 28, 2020 1.5k votes 149 voters 14.3k views43 items

List RulesVote up the most entertaining newer films & TV series about people trying to survive. No reality series.

Survival shows and movies are often prime examples of exactly what we don't want to happen in life—like washing up on a deserted island. For most of us, running into a dangerous and potentially deadly situation isn't something we would normally consider. Fortunately, there are other people who do that on the regular we can watch on television! Granted, there are dozens of reality TV shows about survival, but this list focuses on the newer movies and TV shows about survival that aren't presented in a competitive format vis-à-vis CBS's Survivor. This list is for those of us who watch a zombie movie or TV show and run through the ways we would escape from/fortify our homes and make it through the outbreak. If you watch the survivor genre and do this, rest assured there are plenty of movies and TV shows to watch.

Whether you enjoy shows like AMC's The Walking Dead because you know how you would survive or you prefer to see how Les Stroud makes it from one day to the next in Survivorman or any of his other amazing series, you will definitely find some new and amazing recommendations on this list. Of course, you can find top survival films as well, such as the ever-stressful 127 Hours, among many others.

Which recent movies and shows about survival deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and adding any good movies or shows if they're missing from the list.

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  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    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 in the South Pacific. The film depicts his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Hanks was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards for his performance....  more
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  • Photo: The Revenant / 20th Century Fox
    The Revenant is a 2015 American semi-biographical epic western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. A frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left by members of his own hunting team....  more
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  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five writers, with Clive Owen making uncredited contributions. The film takes place in 2027, where two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse. Immigrants seek sanctuary in the United Kingdom, where the last functioning government imposes oppressive immigration laws on refugees. Owen plays civil servant Theo Faron, who must help a refugee escape the chaos. Children of Men also stars Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Charlie Hunnam. A...  more
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  • Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures / I Am Legend/Warner Bros.
    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 1954 novel of the same name, following 1964's The Last Man on Earth and 1971's The Omega Man. Smith plays virologist Robert Neville, who is immune to a man-made virus originally created to cure cancer. He works to create a remedy while defending himself against mutants created by the virus. Warner Bros. began developing I Am Legend in 1994, and various actors and directors were attached to the project, though production was delayed due to budgetary concerns related to the script. Production began in...  more
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