Disasters Times New York Was Destroyed on Film  

Coy Jandreau
157 votes 60 voters 2.9k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the most epic New York destruction, not the best films

As a culture, we really love to see the city of New York destroyed in blockbuster movies. Sure, the city looks great on camera, with its sprawling streets, mighty skyscrapers, and iconic landmarks. We all have some attachment to the city and sees its strength as well as its beauty. So why all the destruction porn around New York? Why are there so many movies where New York gets destroyed?

This city is shellacked on film more than any other. It's like NYC is a built-in spoiler: if the film you're watching is set in New York and isn't a romantic comedy (Sex in the City 2 is a different kind of disaster film), then by the third act there will be massive destruction! Whether it's flooding, alien invasion, riots, monster rampages, or whatever else might be wrong that day, it's going to end in massive damage to the Big Apple.

We decided to take a look at our 20 favorite times the city was used as a cinematic disaster playground with this list of times New York was destroyed in films. Vote up your favorite examples of Manhattan madness below!
1 14 VOTES

Alien Flame Ray, Independence Day

Alien Flame Ray, Independence ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Times New York Was Destroyed on Film
Photo: via Imgur
Aliens came down and took out some serious American landmarks. We all remember what they did to Washington DC... oh the poor White House. But they also demolish huge portions of NYC too. The Empire State Building is completely laser-sploded and so many cars get flown through the air like giant building bullets.
13 1
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Asteroid Fragments, Armageddon

Asteroid Fragments, Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Times New York Was Destroyed on Film
Photo: via Wikimedia
Huge shards of an asteroid make their way through our atmosphere and begin ripping the city apart in giant plumes of fire and explosions in the style that only Michael Bay can provide. Thanks to Bruce Willis and a motley crew of oil drillers/astronauts, the full asteroid never makes its way to our doorstep, so we avoid global destruction, but New York still takes a licking.
7 0
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3 20 VOTES

Mother Nature, The Day After Tomorrow

Mother Nature, The Day After T... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Times New York Was Destroyed on Film
Photo: via Twitter
Even the combined might of young Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid can't save NYC from mother nature. The city is first flooded (global warming y'all, but seriously..  it's a problem) and then frozen over with the onset of a new ice age. If you're a tourist, bring a sweater and be prepared to flee from CGI wolves.
17 3
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4 16 VOTES

Alien Invasion, The Avengers

Alien Invasion, The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Times New York Was Destroyed on Film
Photo: via Reddit
A portal in space opens up above the Big Apple and NYC gets trashed during the melee between alien invaders and superheroes. Midtown, where a lot of the heavy hitting takes place, is especially devestated. Earth's Mightiest Heroes do end up saving the city from a nuclear attack from our own side and total annihilation from the Chitauri, but a sizable amount of damage ($160 billion according to Hollywood Reporter) stacks up along the way.
14 2
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