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3.1k voters

The Very Best Survival Movies

Updated January 6, 2021 18.8k votes 3.1k voters 299.2k 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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  • Cast Away1
    799
    161

    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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  • Saving Private Ryan2
    351
    96

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film directed by Steven Spielberg. Set...  more
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  • Apollo 133
    319
    81

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

    Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars...  more
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  • I Am Legend4
    323
    105

    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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  • The Road5
    228
    64

    The Road

    Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Hillcoat

    The Road is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic drama film directed by John Hillcoat from a...  more
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  • Alive6
    305
    122

    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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  • The Edge7
    246
    77

    The Edge

    Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1997

    Directed byLee Tamahori

    The Edge is a 1997 American survival drama film directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Anthony...  more
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  • Lone Survivor8
    192
    62

    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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  • Aliens9
    182
    57

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James...  more
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  • The Day After Tomorrow10
    232
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    The Day After Tomorrow

    Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2004

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed,...  more
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  • 127 Hours11
    377
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    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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  • Into the Wild12
    274
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    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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  • The Perfect Storm13
    217
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    The Perfect Storm

    George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2000

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang...  more
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  • Deliverance14
    159
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    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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  • The Revenant15
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    50

    The Revenant

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2015

    Directed byAlejandro González Iñárritu

    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)
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  • The Grey16
    364
    185

    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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  • Papillon17
    125
    47

    Papillon

    Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen

    Released1973

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Papillon is a 1973 prison film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the best-selling...  more
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  • The Book of Eli18
    295
    168

    The Book of Eli

    Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis

    Released2010

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by...  more
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  • 28 Days Later19
    136
    43

    28 Days Later

    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2002

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The...  more
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  • Rabbit-Proof Fence20
    100
    35

    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
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  • The Pianist21
    206
    116

    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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  • The WAY BACK22
    141
    63

    The WAY BACK

    Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell

    Released2010

    Directed byP. Weir

    The Way Back is a 2010 epic drama film directed by Peter Weir, from a screenplay by Weir and...  more
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  • Titanic23
    170
    69

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A...  more
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  • First Blood24
    202
    130

    First Blood

    Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy

    Released1982

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted...  more
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  • Behind Enemy Lines25
    94
    31

    Behind Enemy Lines

    Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman

    Released2001

    Directed byJohn Moore

    Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 action film directed by John Moore in his directorial debut, and...  more
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