films 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!
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Cast Away 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

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Randolph Strauss added 127 Hours 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

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Pallknowing1 added The Grey 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

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Alive 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

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Apollo 13 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

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Brettski added The Book of Eli 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

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looksharp added Saving Private Ryan 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

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Randolph Strauss added The Pianist 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

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fa_indrianto added Apocalypto 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

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wiabux added Into the Wild 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

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The Edge 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

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The Road 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

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Charley Feldman added The Perfect Storm 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

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Charley Feldman added I Am Legend 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

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PeteBoyle added Life of Pi Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.

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Pallknowing1 added First Blood 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

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Pallknowing1 added Lord of the Flies 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

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looksharp added Deliverance 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

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looksharp added Aliens 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

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Bootsdad added Mad Max 2 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

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looksharp added Lone Survivor 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

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Ferry73 added The Day After Tomorrow 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

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Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Brettski added Children of Men 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

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looksharp added Papillon 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

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Jeremiah Johnson 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

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Charley Feldman added The Poseidon Adventure 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

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realsurvival1970 added The Revenant 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 an upcoming western thriller film produced and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The screenplay, adapted from Michael Punke's 2003 novel of the same ...more

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realsurvival1970 added The ШAЧ BACK Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris

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StephenLee-Burman added The Impossible 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

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Waterworld 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

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Ferry73 added Reign of Fire 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

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The Flight of the Phoenix 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

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realsurvival1970 added Behind Enemy Lines 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

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willyboymcoy added The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 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.

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All Is Lost 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

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wiabux added The Snow Walker 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

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wiabux added Robinson Crusoe 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

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BushWanker added Gravity 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

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Bootsdad added The Postman 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

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Charley Feldman added Touching the Void Nicholas Aaron, Brendan Mackey, Ollie Ryall Touching the Void is a 2003 documentary based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson's and Simon Yates' disastrous and near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande in the ...more

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Tropical Panther added War of the Worlds 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

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Charley Feldman added Open Water 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

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PeteBoyle added Battle Royale 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

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Kon-Tiki The Kon-Tiki expedition was a 1947 journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands, led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. The raft was named ...more

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Charley Feldman added Pitch Black 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

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28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Very Best Survival Movies
Ferry73 added 28 Days Later 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

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Ferry73 added Mad Max 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

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Charley Feldman added Rescue Dawn Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies Rescue Dawn is a 2006 American war drama film directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted screenplay written from his 1997 documentary film Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film stars ...more

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hbg1968 added Surviving The Game Ice-T, Gary Busey, Rutger Hauer Surviving the Game is a 1994 action thriller film directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, starring Ice-T, Rutger Hauer, and Gary Busey. It is loosely based on the short story "The Most Dangerous ...more

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Charley Feldman added Rabbit-Proof Fence Kenneth Branagh, Jason Clarke, Deborah Mailman Rabbit-Proof Fence is a 2002 Australian drama film directed by Phillip Noyce based on the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara. It is based on a true story concerning ...more