Entertainment

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
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 accident ...more
2
Alive is listed (or ranked) 2 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. The ...more
3
127 Hours is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
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
The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
The Way Back is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
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
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
The Road is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Deliverance is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
The Revenant is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
The Edge is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
The Grey is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
looksharp added 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
19
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 19 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.
20
Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
The Book of Eli is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
First Blood is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Mad Max 2 is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Papillon is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Charley Feldman added Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more