Best Movie Genres The Very Best Survival Movies  

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List Rules Movies must feature the struggle to survive in some way.

A list of the best survival movies. All of the best survival films have been included, but if you feel we somehow missed one, feel free to add it to the list yourself. Survival films, above all else, are about one thing: staying alive.

What are the top survival movies? Whether it be monsters, an apocalypse, or the Earth itself, survival films are all about trying to outlast whatever it is that's trying to kill you. Perseverance is key, so as one can guess, many of these films could even be described as "inspirational" (some in their own perverse way). Enjoy!
list ordered by

1
858 162
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
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 crashes in ...more

2
428 199
127 Hours is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Randolph Strauss added 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

3
327 128
Alive is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
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 who ...more

4
307 73
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

5
422 203
The Grey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Pallknowing1 added 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

6
207 81
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which ...more

7
329 77
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

8
285 146
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
PeteBoyle added Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.

9
344 183
The Book of Eli is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Brettski added Mila Kunis, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, ...more

10
321 81
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added 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

11
245 126
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Randolph Strauss added 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

12
301 162
Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
fa_indrianto added 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

13
224 143
First Blood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Pallknowing1 added Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood veteran. ...more

14
296 134
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
wiabux added 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

15
134 56
The Way Back is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Lswood added Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, 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

16
227 58
The Road is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
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

17
166 108
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Pallknowing1 added James Badge Dale, Balthazar Getty, Bob Peck Lord of the Flies is a 1990 American survival film adapted from the classic novel Lord of the Flies written by William Golding. It is the second film adaptation of the book, after Lord of the ...more

18
159 45
Deliverance is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty Deliverance is a 1972 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman, and starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with the latter two making their ...more

19
278 88
The Edge is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins, Elle Macpherson The Edge is a 1997 American survival drama film directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. Bart the Bear, a trained Kodiak Bear known for appearances in several ...more

20
206 52
The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Ferry73 added Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, ...more

21
163 32
The Revenant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
realsurvival1970 added Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulte In the 19th century, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a fur trapper, is mauled by a bear while hunting. His companions (Hardy, Poulter, and Gleeson) rob him and leave him to die, but he survives and sets out to get revenge on the men who betrayed him. (Wikipedia) 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

22
160 48
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

23
182 47
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch Lone Survivor is a 2013 American war 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

24
161 96
Mad Max 2 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Bootsdad added Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

25
172 100
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Brettski added Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine 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 ...more

26
111 42
Papillon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Vic Tayback Papillon is a 1973 prison film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the best-selling autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière. The film stars Steve McQueen as Henri ...more

27
124 53
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

28
82 19
Behind Enemy Lines is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
realsurvival1970 added Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gabriel Macht Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 action war film directed by John Moore in his directorial debut, and starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. The film tells the story of Lieutenant Chris Burnett, an ...more

29
154 112
Gravity is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
BushWanker added 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

30
105 37
Jeremiah Johnson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker, Will Geer Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 western film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as the title character and Will Geer as "Bear Claw" Chris Lapp. The film has been said to ...more

31
96 45
The Poseidon Adventure is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens, Ernest Borgnine The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald Neame, produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. The film features ...more

32
180 117
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
willyboymcoy added Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore The Hunger Games is a 2012 action, adventure film written by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray and directed by Gary Ross.

33
109 29
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Ferry73 added 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

34
176 117
Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper Waterworld is a 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction action film directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It was based on Rader's original 1986 ...more

35
84 61
Open Water is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added 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

36
102 43
The Impossible is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
StephenLee-Burman added Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin The Impossible is a 2012 disaster drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and written by Sergio G. Sánchez. It is based on the experience of María Belón and her family in ...more

37
97 25
Mad Max is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Ferry73 added 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

38
89 38
The Flight of the Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine The Flight of the Phoenix is a 1965 American drama film starring James Stewart, produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, and based on the 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor. ...more

39
74 40
Reign of Fire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Ferry73 added Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic action fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and starring Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler. It takes place in the year 2020 in ...more

40
85 49
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Tropical Panther added Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more

41
97 44
Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The film stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Keith David. Dangerous criminal Richard B. ...more

42
117 19
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
realsurvival1970 added Matt Damon 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 dead, and must ...more

43
74 46
Robinson Crusoe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
wiabux added 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

44
76 47
All Is Lost is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Robert Redford All Is Lost is a 2013 survival drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film stars Robert Redford as a man lost at sea. Redford is the only cast member, and the film has very few ...more

45
82 55
The Snow Walker is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
wiabux added Michael Bublé, James Cromwell, Barry Pepper The Snow Walker is a 2003 Canadian adventure film written and directed by Charles Martin Smith and starring Barry Pepper. Based on the short story Walk Well, My Brother by Farley Mowat, the film ...more

46
44 22
Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht Das Boot is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus ...more

47
99 70
The Postman is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Bootsdad added Kevin Costner, Tom Petty, Mary Stuart Masterson The Postman is a 1997 American epic post-apocalyptic adventure film. It is directed by, produced by, and stars Kevin Costner, with the screenplay written by Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland, based ...more

48
84 59
The Blue Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
wiabux added 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

49
43 6
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Lswood added Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

50
88 65
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
PeteBoyle added Beat Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action thriller film adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the screenplay written by ...more