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The Very Best Survival Movies

Updated January 6, 2021 18.9k votes 3.1k voters 298.7k views168 items

List RulesMovies 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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  • Pitch Black26
    98
    45

    Pitch Black

    Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell

    Released2000

    Directed byDavid Twohy

    Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Apocalypto27
    276
    146

    Apocalypto

    Raoul Trujillo, Gerardo Taracena

    Released2006

    Directed byMel Gibson

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  • The Pianist28
    210
    120

    The Pianist

    Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

    Released2002

    Directed byRoman Polanski

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  • Behind Enemy Lines29
    96
    32

    Behind Enemy Lines

    Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman

    Released2001

    Directed byJohn Moore

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  • Alien30
    82
    12

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • Speed31
    95
    46

    Speed

    Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves

    Released1994

    Directed byJan de Bont

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  • The Poseidon Adventure32
    101
    49

    The Poseidon Adventure

    Gene Hackman, Stella Stevens

    Released1972

    Directed byIrwin Allen, Ronald Neame

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  • The Shawshank Redemption33
    97
    18

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • Predator34
    82
    20

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • Children of Men35
    153
    94

    Children of Men

    Julianne Moore, Clive Owen

    Released2006

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

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  • The Flight of the Phoenix36
    90
    43

    The Flight of the Phoenix

    James Stewart, Richard Attenborough

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

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  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 137
    155
    110

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

    Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

    Released2014

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

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  • The Descent38
    67
    38

    The Descent

    Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza

    Released2005

    Directed byNeil Marshall

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  • Reign of Fire39
    77
    46

    Reign of Fire

    Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2002

    Directed byRob Bowman

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  • Lord of the Flies40
    144
    102

    Lord of the Flies

    James Badge Dale, Balthazar Getty

    Released1990

    Directed byHarry Hook

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  • Lifeboat41
    67
    35

    Lifeboat

    Tallulah Bankhead, Hume Cronyn

    Released1944

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

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  • The Martian42
    175
    28

    The Martian

    Matt Damon

    Released2015

    Directed byR. Scott

    The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • War of the Worlds43
    101
    61

    War of the Worlds

    Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman

    Released2005

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Impossible44
    102
    51

    The Impossible

    Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor

    Released2012

    Directed byJuan Antonio Bayona

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  • Gravity45
    161
    103

    Gravity

    Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

    Released2013

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

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  • All Is Lost46
    93
    57

    All Is Lost

    Robert Redford

    Released2013

    Directed byJ. C. Chandor

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  • Touching the Void47
    71
    42

    Touching the Void

    Nicholas Aaron, Brendan Mackey

    Released2003

    Directed byKevin Macdonald

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  • Man in the Wilderness48
    64
    28

    Man in the Wilderness

    Richard Harris, John Huston

    Released1971

    Directed byRichard C. Sarafian

    In the 19th century, Hugh Glass, a fur trapper, is mauled by a bear while hunting. His companions rob him and leave him to die, but he survives and sets out to get revenge on the men who betrayed him. It's the first movie, befor the Revanant (2015) to tell this story in an epic way.. Very good movie!
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  • The Postman49
    90
    64

    The Postman

    Kevin Costner, Tom Petty

    Released1997

    Directed byKevin Costner

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  • Das Boot50
    56
    30

    Das Boot

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer

    Released1981

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Das Boot is a 1981 German epic film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button