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286 voters

The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival

Updated May 18, 2020 2.2k votes 286 voters 11.1k views46 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.

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  • Cast Away1
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    16

    Cast Away

    Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

    Released2000

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and...  more

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  • The Martian2
    55
    21

    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

    The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by...  more

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  • Alive3
    46
    15

    Alive

    John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke

    Released1993

    Directed byFrank Marshall

    Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974...  more

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  • Life of Pi4
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    30

    Life of Pi

    Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan

    Released2012

    Directed byAng Lee

    Life of Pi is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel of...  more

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  • I Am Legend5
    53
    29

    I Am Legend

    Will Smith, Emma Thompson

    Released2007

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by...  more

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  • 127 Hours6
    42
    19

    127 Hours

    James Franco, Kate Mara

    Released2010

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    127 Hours is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and...  more

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  • The Pianist7
    36
    13

    The Pianist

    Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

    Released2002

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski,...  more

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  • All Is Lost8
    44
    22

    All Is Lost

    Robert Redford

    Released2013

    Directed byJ. C. Chandor

    All Is Lost is a 2013 survival drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film...  more
  • Apocalypto9
    41
    20

    Apocalypto

    Raoul Trujillo, Gerardo Taracena

    Released2006

    Directed byMel Gibson

    Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson. It was...  more

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  • The Revenant10
    47
    31

    The Revenant

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2015

    Directed byAlejandro G. Iñárritu

    The Revenant is a 2015 American semi-biographical epic western film directed by Alejandro G....  more

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  • Alien11
    37
    21

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the...  more

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  • A Quiet Place12
    28
    14

    A Quiet Place

    John Krasinski, Emily Blunt

    Released2018

    Directed byJohn Krasinski

    A Quiet Place is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by John Krasinski. A family...  more

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  • Open Water13
    33
    22

    Open Water

    Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan

    Released2003

    Directed byChris Kentis

    Open Water is a 2003 drama psychological horror film loosely based on the true story of an...  more
  • Into the Wild14
    42
    32

    Into the Wild

    Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn

    Released2007

    Directed bySean Penn

    Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean...  more

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  • Gravity15
    39
    28

    Gravity

    Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

    Released2013

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso...  more

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  • The Grey16
    36
    26

    The Grey

    Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney

    Released2011

    Directed byJoe Carnahan

    The Grey is a 2011 American survival thriller co-written, produced and directed by Joe...  more

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  • Lone Survivor17
    27
    19

    Lone Survivor

    Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana

    Released2013

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark...  more

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  • Deliverance18
    27
    18

    Deliverance

    Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn Boorman

    Deliverance is a 1972 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman,...  more

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  • Children of Men19
    29
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    Children of Men

    Julianne Moore, Clive Owen

    Released2006

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso...  more

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  • Zombieland20
    31
    24

    Zombieland

    Emma Stone, Amber Heard

    Released2009

    Directed byRuben Fleischer

    Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay...  more

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  • Everest21
    30
    23

    Everest

    Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin

    Released2015

    Directed byDoug Liman

    Everest is a 2015 biographical adventure film directed by Baltasar Kormákur, based on the...  more
  • The Education of Little Tree22
    2
    4

    The Education of Little Tree

    James Cromwell, Graham Greene

    Released1997

    Directed byRichard Friedenberg

    The Education of Little Tree is a 1997 drama film directed by Richard Friedenberg....  more
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence23
    24
    16

    Rabbit-Proof Fence

    Kenneth Branagh, Jason Clarke

    Released2002

    Directed byPhillip Noyce

    Rabbit-Proof Fence is a 2002 Australian drama film directed by Phillip Noyce based on the book...  more
  • Unbroken24
    21
    14

    Unbroken

    Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson

    Released2014

    Directed byAngelina Jolie

    Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie,...  more

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  • Where the Spirit Lives25
    2
    4

    Where the Spirit Lives

    Graham Greene, David Hemblen

    Released1989

    Directed byBruce Pittman

    Where the Spirit Lives is a drama film about Aboriginal children in Canada being taken from...  more