The 35 Best Disaster Movies of All Time

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1

2012 (2009)

If you were one of the people who *lowkey* believed the conspiracy that the world would end in 2012, this movie is for you! When the Earth’s prophesied expiration date comes, world leaders begin secret preparations for the survival of select members of the world, and it’s up to failed writer Jackson Curtis to lead his family to safety.

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2

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, a climatologist does his best to warn U.N. officials about environmental concerns. When his prediction of an enormous superstorm proves to be true, a string of catastrophic natural disasters happens worldwide. He risks his life while braving the extreme elements to get to his son, who is trapped in New York, before it’s too late.

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3

The Impossible (2012)

Based on true events, in December 2004, a family enjoys their winter vacation in Thailand, but the day after Christmas turns the holiday into an incomprehensible nightmare when a tsunami hits the coast. (Psst, the movie stars a young Tom Holland, btw).

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4

San Andreas (2015)

A seemingly normal day in sunny California quickly turns tragic when the notorious San Andreas fault triggers a magnitude 9 earthquake (yeah, that would technically be the largest recorded, like, ever). As the Earth cracks open and buildings begin to crumble, Ray Gaines, an LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, must navigate the destruction from L.A. to San Francisco to save his estranged wife and only daughter.

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5

Titanic (1997)

Could you get more tragic than this? You probably already know the premise of the story, but here it goes one more time: based off the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S Titanic, Rose and Jack must navigate societal differences and a sinking ship in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.

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6

Contagion (2011)

When Beth Emhoff returns home from a Hong Kong business trip, she dies from a mysterious illness two days later that doctors have never seen before. Soon, others start to exhibit the same symptoms as a global pandemic spreads. Healthcare professionals and government officials race against time to find a cure while an emboldened blogger spreads paranoia. Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it?

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7

Greenland (2020)

John, his estranged wife, and their young son embark on a journey in search of sanctuary as a planet-killing comet flies toward Earth. As the countdown to the end of the world approaches zero, their trek turns into a desperate and last-minute fight for any possible safe haven they can reach.

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8

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Based on the true events of April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing several crew members and setting the surrounding sea on fire. Banding together to survive the heat and flames, chief electronics technician Mike Williams and co-workers must use their wits to make it out alive amid the chaos.

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9

Pompeii (2014)

How old were you when you went had a random obsession with the doomed city of Pompeii? We all went through it, right? Based loosely on the true events of 79 A.D., a gladiator who has caught the eye of a wealthy merchant’s daughter races against time when Mount Vesuvius rains lava and ash down on the city to save her before it’s too late.

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10

Into the Storm (2014)

In the town of Silverton, Mother Nature takes an otherwise normal day and turns it on its head. In the span of a few hours, residents experience an unprecedented number of tornadoes that ravage the town. Storm trackers predict that the worst is yet to come and storm-chasers race toward the storm in hopes of studying the destructive phenomenon.

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11

World War Z (2013)

When a former U.N. investigator and his family get stuck in an urban gridlock, they quickly learn this isn’t just an ordinary traffic jam. The city (and the rest of the world) erupts into chaos as a lethal virus spreads with one single bite, turning healthy people into vicious and feral zombies. With the pandemic spreading, it’s up to the investigator to find the source of the infection in hopes of halting the spread.

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12

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, two low-level astronomers embark on an ambitious media tour to warn mankind of the approaching comet that will destroy the planet. The only problem? No one really takes their warning seriously.

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13

The Wave (2015)

In this Norwegian thriller, a geologist and his family must survive an 85-meter high tsunami when the mountain pass above the Norwegian fjord Geriranger collapses.

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14

Armageddon (1998)

When an astroid the size of Texas is on a collision course with Earth, NASA recruits a misfit team of drillers to help save the planet. The mission? Drill into the astroid’s surface and detonate a nuclear bomb. No pressure.

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15

The Happening (2008)

Starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel, ordinary life turns deadly when an apocalyptic threat to humanity arrives out of thin air with a string of inexplicable deaths spreading across the country. The cause? No one knows! And after trading the city for Pennsylvania farmland, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe.

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16

Moonfall (2022)

When a mysterious force knocks the moon out of orbit and sends it straight at Earth, the planet is on the brink of annihilation (obvi). With just a few weeks before the moon is expected to collide with the planet, a NASA exec teams up with a man from her past and a conspiracy theorist for an unthinkable mission to save humanity.

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17

Dante’s Peak (1997)

A volcanologist arrives in a picturesque countryside town and soon discovers that a dormant volcano, Dante’s Peak, may activate quickly. When the mayor finally convinces the residents to leave immediately, she must race against the clock to save her kids, who went up the mountain to retrieve their grandmother.

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18

Volcano (1997)

Earthquakes in California aren’t surprising, but when one hits the city of Los Angeles, it proves to be more dangerous than expected. The Emergency Management Department head, Mike Roark, returns from his vacation to help the city’s response, but things take a turn for the worse when a geologist warns that a volcano may be forming in the sewer tunnels, threatening to destroy the City of Angels.

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19

Leave the World Behind (2023)

When a NYC family takes a vacay to Long Island, they’re interrupted by a father and daughter bearing news of a blackout. As an unknown threat grows and technology continues to be disrupted, both families must decide how best to survive the crisis.

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20

Twister (1996)

A university professor and a team of students prepare Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device, for the most powerful storm in decades. But when a privately funded rival steals the same idea, it’s a race to see who can put themselves in the crosshairs of the extremely violent tornado first.

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