Entertainment The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 236 voters 9k views 41 items

Whether facing the apocalypse, zombies, or a vast open ocean, characters in the best survival drama movies all share an undying fight for life. The top survival films push lone characters to the limits as they face unimaginable threats. This is a list of great drama films about survival featuring everything from Life of Pi to The Road to Gladiator.

What films will you find on this list of the best survival dramas? Maybe you would vote the modern classic Life of Pi to the top. This Oscar-winning tale was as much a feast for the eyes as it was a thrilling story of survival. Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks, is another good survival movie featuring one man, a lot of water, and an unlikely friend. Based on the real-life experiences of Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor is a gripping tale of war and the brotherhood of soldiers. Other exciting and sad films featured on this top survival movies list include 127 Hours, Gravity, and The Road.

Which survival movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by
1
85 9
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
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
2
43 13
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. An astronaut (Matt Damon) becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him gone, and must ...more
3
50 21
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.
4
41 19
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson
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 ...more
5
31 12
Alive is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas
Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974 book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, which details the story of a Uruguayan rugby team. The ...more
6
37 18
127 Hours is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan
127 Hours is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and produced by Danny Boyle. The film stars James Franco as real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who ...more
7
36 20
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen
Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more
8
38 22
The Revenant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson
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 ...more
9
26 12
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch
Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 ...more
10
28 15
The Road is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
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
11
27 15
Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Raoul Trujillo, Gerardo Taracena, Israel Contreras
Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson. It was written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia. Set in pre-Columbian Petén, Guatemala, around the year ...more
12
27 15
Everest is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes
Everest is a 2015 biographical adventure film directed by Baltasar Kormákur, based on the memoir by Beck Weathers. The story of New Zealand's Robert "Rob" Edwin Hall (Jason ...more
13
30 18
The Grey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo
The Grey is a 2011 American survival thriller co-written, produced and directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo and Dermot Mulroney. It is based on the short story ...more
14
19 8
A Quiet Place is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
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
15
25 15
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris
28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, ...more
16
15 7
Homeward Bound: The Incredible... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Matt Barone added Sally Field, Michael J. Fox, Frank Welker
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Sheila Burnford. Directed ...more
17
24 16
Zombieland is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray
Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma ...more
18
31 23
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis
Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer based on ...more
19
25 18
Alien is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more
20
19 13
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox
The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more
21
22 16
Open Water is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis
Open Water is a 2003 drama psychological horror film loosely based on the true story of an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went out with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge ...more
22
22 17
Mad Max is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more
23
27 23
Gravity is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in ...more
24
15 11
Unbroken is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Jack O'Connell
Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, ...more
25
13 10
The Way Back is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival
Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Ed Harris
The Way Back is a 2010 epic drama film directed by Peter Weir, from a screenplay by Weir and Keith Clarke. The film is inspired by The Long Walk, the memoir by former Polish POW Sławomir Rawicz, ...more