Survival Gear

Best Survival Movies

From surviving natural disasters, nuclear wars, and shipwrecks to sci-fi alien invasions and zombie plagues, survival movies cover a wide range of genres.

Survival Movies

Here is our list of the Best Survival Movies ever made.

Wilderness Survival Movies

  1. 127 Hours – Based on the true story of Aron Ralston whose journey into Utah’s Canyonlands National Park would become one of the most horrific tales of endurance and courage ever told.
  2. Alive – Based on the real-life events of an Uruguayan rugby team that crash landed in the Andes.  The story made worldwide headlines when it became known that the survivors resorted to cannibalism to stay alive
  3. The Snow Walker – Story of a couple who crashes in the Alaskan wilderness hundreds of miles from civilization and has to do what they can to survive.
  4. The Donner Party – Based on the real-life events of a group of pioneers who get stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains and resort to cannibalism to survive.
  5. Into the Wild – The real-life story of Christopher McCandless, a man who shunned society and went off into the wilderness in search of adventure. The movie gives a chilling look into what can go wrong when an unprepared person tries to take on nature.
  6. Jeremiah Johnson – Robert Redford stars in the adventure Jeremiah Johnson, a movie about a trapper who learns to survive as a mountain man in the wilderness.
  7. Man in the Wilderness – An abandoned fur trapper fights to survive after being injured and left for dead in the wilderness.
  8. Robinson Crusoe – Pierce Brosnan stars in the big screen version of Robinson Crusoe, a movie that is very loosely based on the classic novel. Crusoe is the only survivor of a shipwreck and has to survive on a deserted tropical island.
  9. Seven Alone – The true story of seven children who journey out on the Oregon trail after their parents die.
  10. The Edge –  After crashing in the Wild Alaskan wilderness, two men find themselves teamed up against a giant Kodiak bear in a brutal struggle for survival.

Survival by Sea / Castaway

  1. Cast AwayCast Away – One man’s story of survival after crash landing near a deserted island.
  2. Shackleton – The Greatest Survival Story of All Time – Based on the real-life adventure of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s whose 1914 Antarctic expedition turned out to be one of the greatest survival stories of all time.
  3. Lost – I know it’s a T.V. series, and not technically a movie, but I couldn’t leave it off the list. Uncover the secrets of what caused Oceanic 815 to crash and experience their incredible journey as they battle to survive and rewrite their own fate.
  4. Lord of the Flies – After their plane crashes into the sea, a group of young military cadets bands to together after becoming marooned on a remote deserted island. They eventually split up into two factions setting off a disturbing battle.

Zombie Apocalypse Movies

  1. The Omega Man – The Omega Man stars Charlton Heston in the 2nd on-screen adaptation of the classic novel, I am Legend. This movie is a classic end of the world zombie flick.
  2. Zombieland -Columbus, a panicky college student has managed to survive a zombie virus by creating his rules for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. He teams up with a real zombie killing badass named Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) for what is probably one of the funniest Zombie movies ever made.
  3. Dawn of the Dead (1974 Edition) – Blood Gore & Zombies.
  4. Dawn of the Dead (2004 Remake) – More Blood Gore & Zombies.
  5. I Am Legend This is a remake of the original Richard Matheson classic. Will Smith plays a military scientist who is left alone in Manhattan after trying to discover a cure for a virus that turned everyone into demented zombies.I am Legend
  6. The Last Man on Earth Vincent Price stars in the first big screen version of Richard Matheson classic, I am Legend.
  7. 28 Days Later – A patient awakens from a coma to find a world filled with vicious Zombies.
  8. 28 Weeks Later – 28 weeks have passed since the first film, 28 day’s later. Just when the virus is thought to be contained, a carrier accidentally spreads the deadly infection and wreaks havoc on everyone.
  9. Carriers – Four kids try to avoid a deadly pandemic that is attacking humanity.
  10. Resident Evil – Apocalypse – Zombie thriller based on the popular video game.

Post-Apocalyptic Movies

  1. The Book of Eli -This story takes place 30 years after war has destroyed the world, and left it completely unrecognizable. The new world is filled with roaming gangs who have destroyed all the world’s book,  in an attempt to control whoever is left. The Book of Eli is the story of one man who is on a mission to revitalize a lost society, in a post-apocalyptic world.
  2. The Road – The big screen version of Cormac McCarthy’s best-selling and PulitzerThe Road Movie Cover Prize-winning novel, The Road. The Road is a dark and disturbing post-apocalyptic story of survival that shows a father and son’s journey across a destroyed America.
  3. Waterworld– Waterworld is a post-apocalypse future where the world has been covered by water. The story is about a few who cling to the hope of finding dry land to ensure the survival of the human race. It’s basically Mad Max with water.
  4. The Postman – Set in a post-apocalyptic future, after war has destroyed the government, a wandering loner becomes the symbol of resistance.
  5. Mad Max -The end of the oil age is here and civilization has started to break down, in the first of the Mad Max series.
  6. The Road Warrior – In a post-nuclear war world, a loner fights against other survivors in search of gasoline.
  7. Panic In Year Zero – A family of four leaves Los Angeles for a camping trip just before a nuclear bomb destroys the city. As chaos breaks out, the father must fight to keep his family alive.
  8. 20 Years After – A Post-Apocalyptic story of a young woman who finds herself on a journey to deliver the first child to be born in over 15 years.
  9. A Boy & His Dog – A twisted cult classic, set in a Post-Apocalyptic America, which has inspired a number of apocalyptic movies.
  10. Children of Men – Children of Men is a story where humans have become infertile in a world filled with terror and nuclear fallout.  A small group journeys through an urban landscape filled with vicious urban fighting to protect a lone pregnant women and save the human race.
  11. Reign of Fire – A Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi adventure, where man is driven into hiding when a boy unknowingly releases dragons back into the world.

Invasion / War Survival Movies

  1. Defiance – Based on the real-life story of the Bielski brothers, Defiance tells the tale of a group of defiancebrothers who fled in the woods after Nazis killed their parents. They formed a resistance movement and cared for over 1200 people in makeshift villages that they built throughout the forest.
  2. Red Dawn – The invasion of the United States has begun and eight teens escape into the mountains of Colorado and prepare to wage guerrilla war against the Russians.
  3. RED DAWN – 2012 Remake where a group of teenagers have to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.
  4. Heaven Knows Mr. Allison – WWII story of survival featuring a marine who becomes stranded with nun on an island swarming with Japanese soldiers.
  5. Behind Enemy Lines – A pilot forced to evade and survive behind enemy lines
  6. Rescue Dawn – The true story of a US fighter pilot who is shot down and captured during the Vietnam War.

End of the World / Armageddon Movies

  1. When Worlds Collide – 1951 Classic – The Earth is in danger of colliding with a runaway star, as a  group When Worlds collide movieof survivalists builds a space ship to start a new civilization
  2. War of the Worlds – Steven Spielberg directs the 2005 adaptation of H. G. Wells’ classic novel The War of the Worlds.
  3. The War of the Worlds (1953 Edition) – George Pal, who also produced When Worlds Collide, first brought H.G. Wells classic story of alien  invasion to the big screen in 1953. The film is a classic sci-fi movie and won  the Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 1953.
  4. Independence Day – The question of whether we’re alone in the universe is answered as aliens attack the world.
  5. Cloverfield – Five young New Yorkers document their attempt to survive as a creature attacks the city.
  6. The Day After Tomorrow – Global warming plunges the world into an instant Ice Age that causes super storms, chaos, and death throughout the world.
  7. Armageddon -A group of oil riggers are sent into space to save the world from a giant meteor.
  8. 2012 – To be honest I thought this movie kind of sucked, the only reason I put it on the list is because a few readers emailed me telling me how great it was. I did like the crazy survivalist guy.
  9. The Core – The U.S. Government discovers that the earth’s core has stalled and the survival of mankind could be at stake.
  10. Deep Impact – A high school astronomy student discovers a comet that’s headed straight for Earth. The government builds caves to prevent the extinction of mankind and a group of astronauts is sent to destroy the comet with nuclear weapons.

Survival Movies Suitable for Kids

  1. White FangWhite FangJack London’s classic tale of a young man trying to carry out his father’s dying wish to find gold in the great Alaskan frontier.
  2. Davy Crockett – The adventures with Davy Crockett
  3. Shipwrecked -A Disney Classic that includes a shipwreck, pirates, and a boy who must survive alone on a jungle island.
  4. Wilderness Family Trilogy– The adventures of a modern family who leaves the big city for a life in the mountains.
  5. Swiss Family Robinson – Disney’s big-screen version of the classic novel, Swiss Family Robinson. Swiss Family Robinson is the story of a family who must build a new life after becoming shipwrecked on a deserted island.
  6. A Cry in the Wild – Based on Gary Paulsen’s classic wilderness survival novel, “Hatchet” about a 13-year-old boy who has to survive alone in the wilderness.
  7. Stranded – Another version of the classic novel Swiss Family Robinson.
  8. Lost in the Barrens – An orphaned teen is sent to live with his Uncle in the wilderness.

Mountain Survival

  1. Touching the Void – An amazing story of survival about a mountaineers attempt to survive and return to base camp.
  2. The Mountain Men – A movie about the life of a couple of fur trappers in the Rockies.

Survival Documentaries

  1. Alone in the WildernessAlone in the WildernessAlone in the Wilderness is probably one of the best wilderness survival documentaries ever made. The movie shows Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke, a naturalist and survivalist living alone high in the mountains of Alaska at a place called Twin Lakes.
  2. Alaska Silence & Solitude – A follow-up to Alone in the Wilderness; filmmakers trek into the remote wilderness of Alaska 25 years after the original classic. The movie shows Dick Proenneke, who has lived the wilderness for over 30 years.
  3. Nanook of the North – A film that studies Eskimo life including, hunting seal & walrus, building igloos, and a number of other Eskimo survival skills.
  4. American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl – The story of how people survived drought, dust, disease, and famine.
  5. The Great Depression – A historical look at the Great Depression.
  6. American Experience – Influenza 1918 – A chilling look at the flu pandemic of 1918 that killed an estimated 675,000 people.
  7. Snowshoes and Solitude: A Year in the Wabakimi Wilderness – Les Stroud and Sue Jamison document their year in the Wabakimi Wilderness, attempting to replicate life in North American 500 years ago.

Native American Survival Movies

  1. A Man Called Horse – Richard Harris (who also stars in Man in the wilderness) plays an English aristocrat who is captured by Dakota Sioux and eventually adopts their way of life
  2. Geronimo – An American Legend -The story of Geronimo an Apache leader who fought for decades to preserve his tribe’s way of life.

Misc. Survival Movies

  1. The Flight of the Phoenix – A military plane crashes in the desert and the survivors must fix it before all the crew members die.
  2. First Blood – The best of the Rambo series.
  3. Rambo RamboThe most brutal and realistic of the series, Vietnam Vet John Rambo ends up living in Southeastern Asia near Burma and is forced back into action to save a group of American missionaries. This movie is pure brutality, and is not for those who get squeamish at the site of blood and guts!
  4. Sunshine – A crew of seven astronauts is sent on a mission to re-ignite the dying sun.
  5. Open Water – Based on a true story of a couple who is abandoned at sea and must survive in shark-infested waters.
  6. Apocalypto – The story of a Mayan man’s adventure  to save his wife and child after a vicious tribe attacks and enslaves everyone in his village.
  7. The Grapes of Wrath – An American Film Classic, The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of a family who treks across the country to escape the dust bowl in hopes of reaching the promised land of California.
  8. The Grey – After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survive, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.

147 Comments on Best Survival Movies

  1. Jim

    Wow nice list! I thought I knew about all the survival movies what were out there but there are a number of them that I have never heard of. I’m going to have to check a couple of them out.

    My Favorites so far are Cast Away, book of eli, the road, and defiance.

  2. LovesToSpooge

    A nice list indeed, however, Waterworld and The Postman should never be included in a list that has the word ‘best’ in the title.

    • FRED

      Waterworld is a terrible movie.

      • Don oberloh

        Maybe for you but there might be some redeeming qualities for others

        • Mist

          I liked waterworld

    • DavidR

      I’m told The Postman by David Brin is a good book.

    • Maia

      I could live without Waterworld ever having been made. I, however, thought The Postman was pretty good considering. Just my opinion though. But most everyone I personally know liked it.

      • scooter

        …I don’t know, i love both. They fall into my favorite genre of movies and there aren’t enough well funded examples being produced. So I choose not to be overly critical. What about “The Day”? Maybe…?

  3. Ken

    I would’ve put Snowshoes and Solitude on the Survival Documentaries list. Gotta give Les Stroud (survivorman) some recognition.

  4. Iouri

    I agree, Postman is definitely not one of the best survival movies. Just a propaganda movie.

  5. Reader

    Man, thank you so much for this list. I LOVE these kinds of movies. I’m printing it now to use with my NetFlix.

  6. Pharestc

    Jeremiah Johnson?!

    • Maia

      I watched this movie a long time ago. It’s pretty decent. Redford nailed the part.

    • Srenn

      Agreed, jeremiah johnson is a great frontier survival flick.

  7. Don

    Am I the only person that has seen Panic in Year Zero
    it’s an oldie but it’s worth a look.

    • dee

      Panic in year zero….excellent movie… dated but still good

  8. Oh great! I go from Little House on the Prairie to movies to keep me awake at night…LOL…just kidding. Thanks for a complete list. Maybe I can find these on Hulu or at the Libary. I see some comments include other movies. Thanks, everyone. Maybe I will make another recipe of Black Bean Brownie just to go with one of these tonight.

  9. Justin Bowen

    I can’t believe Waterworld made it on a list while The Edge didn’t.

    • aric

      WOW I loved the EDGE.
      does anyone know a movie where a boy and his father live in the woods, father breaks his leg and dies from infection, the 11 year old lives alone awhile and then gets taken to a county orphanage.
      the name blue county doesnt come up with anything for me.

      • Enter your name...Dooud

        The Education of Little Tree, great movie and book.

        • Enter your name...andrew

          The education of little tree was written by a white supremist
          It was supposed to be his own bio but it all fiction

      • arsalabbasi

        “The Road”

  10. Dustin

    Great list. I don’t know if your smoking crack but you need to put it down, pick up the marijuana and watch Waterworld again because it is one of the greatest movies of all time and Does belong on this list along with postman.

    • james

      Waterworld will always be my favorite film..

  11. Rosie

    My only problem with this list is Christopher McCandless dies out there so it’s really not a survival story at all. Besides that, great list.

  12. eugene

    Uh, ditch Waterworld and the Postman in your post apocalypse section and add Blade Runner. All that rain and gloom is fall out.

  13. Brian

    Great list, but you missed Shawn of the Dead. The ultimate zombie survival movie.

  14. Nasty Gash

    CAST AWAY is nothing but an advert for FedEx. The entire cast, crew, producers, directors, etc should be ashamed for producing this advert and calling it a “movie”. How many times was the FedEx logo seen? Was there even one scene where it was not seen? Artistic integrity? They have none. Tom Hanks, you are among our favorite actors, but you failed on this one.

    When it became evident to my wife and me what it was (about half way thru), we left and demanded our money back. The manager apologised and did so. Much later we saw it thru with friends on their DVD. No way I would pay to see it.

    How much did FedEx pay for the advert?

    Shame on everyone involved with this fraud.

    • Adam

      They didn’t actually pay anything. Unreal I know.

    • Lima

      Did you want them to use some generic name like Ship It, Inc? NOT realistic. There is no way to portray reality unless you actually portray reality! FedX was ALLLLL he had left. I suppose you would have preferred that Wilson was a coconut rather than a volleyball? They could have named it CoCo. And Tom Hanks could have eaten CoCo! Gosh…that would have been a vast improvement over Wilson. NOT! Without FedX there would have been no Wilson… crash….no movie. If ANYthing, it slammed FedX because of the plane crash and the death of those on board; that’s not a plug for a company, by any means! Think before you speak!

  15. Matt

    I Am Legend was CRAP. Even Omega Man was better & I hate Charlton Heston.

    • Tim

      THIS! A million times this! It mentions the book but the movie gets every single possible point of the book wrong in the most rediculous fashion imaginable… The book is amazing, the movie is garbage…

  16. God

    i liked most of these movies, but now i have a few more to watch =) i was disappointed that “Kodiak” was not under the “Mountain Survival” category. “Kodiak” was a good movie about these 3 guys crashing into a mountain and having to survive until they get down the mountain. seriously, go watch it.

  17. Nick

    I have basically no problems with this list, it’s a good list of somewhat good movies in general, having not seen the majority of them however I wont say that I think it’s a great list.

    THAT SAID, I have one HUGE problem, and that is the description, or even inclusion of, White Fang, the famous novel by Jack London. Not only is that description not anything resembling the book, if that is what the movie is about, then every copy of it should be destroyed, burned, deleted, and generally wiped out of existence!

  18. Chris

    Blasphemy that 2012 isn’t on the list! LMAO just kidding that was aweful. Too much.

  19. Jeff

    Great topic. Lots of good movies to check out.

    In the future, if you update your lists, you might want to add “The Mosquito Coast”. Good movie with Harrison Ford from the 80’s about a Surburban family that goes to live in the jungles on South America.

    What about the TV show, “the Colony”? It was too staged for my liking, but had some good ideas.

    I Am Legend, DID suck!

  20. Joe Ballard

    What about K-2? And don’t forget the greatest survival movie of all time “Home Alone.”

    • E.C.

      Home Alone, and it’s sequels are definite classics on urban survival techniques, and bugging in.

  21. brad

    The Snow Walker with buddy peppers is a good one

    • Enter your name...Andrew

      Berry pepper

  22. Note: Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke is now a government tourist site. I am sure doing this in the year 2011 would land your ass in federal prison. I mean all the flights records would give your location away to the police. You would be visited by Alaska State Police, Fish and Game, and various federal agencies to inspect you “lonely” wilderness cabin.

    • joe

      He didn’t just go someplace and build a cabin and live. He did it legally and bought the land. Hell, he had at least monthly visits from govt. wildlife management picking up and dropping off film for him because he was working for them filming the wildlife. It was hardly a covert operation he had going on. Read his diary.

  23. DOODS

    Great List, Thanks. some of them I watched several times! Pop the popcorn bag into da micro!!!

  24. Jeff

    I didn’t read every comment to see if anyone else pointed this out yet, but, c’mon. I am Legend as best zombie movie? Lame. Maybe the original could deserve to be in the top 5. But not the mediocre Will Smith remake. 28 days/weeks later are 50x better. And of all the Resident evil movie you pick the worst one. Actually, nemesis was worse, i take it back.

  25. jim

    TV Series:
    The walking dead

    • nomadr

      You forgot Jeremiah!

  26. Sherry

    I must agree with Jim, Jericho was one of the best shows for survival. Also The Walking Dead is also good, just think of the zombies as another country taking over the USA.

  27. Jeffrey Stone


    • Bruno

      Hells yeah Deliverance!


  28. Dave D

    There was a bbc movie released a couple decades ago where a nuclear disaster wiped out a section of northern england. The story is amazing and documents exactly what may happen in event of nuclear war. I can’t remember the name if anyone one reading this does please respond with title. I want to get a copy for my wife and I to watch.

    • Bruno

      I think the movie/documentary your thinking of is called : “Threads (Nuclearwarmovie conflict discharge crass)”, that’s what I have it as on my comp.. my friend downloaded it for me

  29. Matt

    Into the Wild? The guy went unprepared and didn’t know how to get out when he needed to get out. This is a how to kill yourself in the wild movie.

    • nine09

      Read the book and you will know he wasn’t entirely unprepared. What ended up killing him could happen to any survivalist.

  30. Steven Cates

    I think some survival movies for kids should include Mountain Family Robinson, Adventures of the Wilderness Family, and the Further Adventures of the Wilderness Family. I think some family lessons can be obtained in a lot of areas from watching the Lords of the Ring trilogy as well, though it may be a little intense for the very young.

    Battle: Los Angeles is right there with Independence Day and War of the Worlds especially since it highlights the importance of attacking command and control objectives.

  31. Roozbeh

    The most interesting thing about this list is that it has been categorized into several genres.

  32. Super list. Just downloaded the walking dead to watch…survivors the tv show was good. gonna go alone in the wilderness a go. cheers

  33. meives

    I liked the movie selection but i didnt realy like cloverfeild maybe i just had too high expectations.

  34. Angus

    If you are looking for true grit survival stories, try looking for Kokoda its about Australian and NZ Soldiers on the Kokoda trail…good list but I think this Aussie movie should be there with them.

  35. oisin

    what about “lord of the flies” man

  36. Cosmo

    Jeremiah Johnson.

  37. 1badmofo

    I disagree on ‘Into The Wild’ as one of the best survival movies, let alone the number 1 slot.

    Primary reason: He DIDN’T survive. He dies an agonizing, prolonged, and totally preventable death.

    Second reason: He did everything wrong. If something could accidentally be done right, he STILL did it wrong.

    Case in point, he tried to cross the river to return to civilization once he realized he was in WAAAAAY over his head. The river is raging too hard to cross. Your two choices are:
    1) Hike up-river to an area above ice melts and branch inlets to where the water is calmer and much more shallow and cross there.
    2) Give up.

    He chose 2.
    Actually, there was a third and fourth option in a rescue cabin about 15 miles from his bus and a crank operated cable chair crossing about 5 miles down-river. But as he didn’t have enough sense to bring a map of the area, he didn’t know about them.
    I’m not the only one who feels this way about him and the movie. The residents in the area have an extremely low and very negative opinion of him and, according to every press account and interview, every ‘stupid, spoiled and delusional kid who tried to follow in his footsteps’.

    • thundercloud

      The thing about surviving is also learning what doesn’t work. That’s why I would keep this one on the list. There are great examples of what NOT to do and why practicing and knowing how to survive is important.

      • dfg1

        Yes its been awhile the list is out. I want to agree with you adamantly. Most people that fail(die) from trial and error are not observing others failures for avoidance. Having all the right choices can only be from avoiding wromg choices previously observed.

  38. Corey B

    I gotta add:
    The Way Back
    As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me

  39. mary

    Salute of the Juggers- AKA_-The Blood of Heroes

  40. Josephus

    Book of Eli was not about ‘books’, it was specifically about the Bible.

    The Postman is a great post-apocalyptic book, it’s a terrible movie.

    Look for ‘Silent Running’, if you like Post-Apocalypse /Armageddon movies.

  41. Mike D

    I’m a big fan of the survival movie genre. The fans of this genre tend to mistake the scenarios depicted in the fiction movie as realism which means that I’ll have plenty more post-apocalypse dead bodies to loot thus increasing me and my clan’s own chances for survival.

  42. Max

    DELIVERANCE!!!!!!!!!!! Best movie ever

  43. RAK

    It’s a list folks , not the Ten Commandments…
    Besides, if your a true preper/survivalist, don’t you have some sand bags to fill or wheat to grind?

    • Lima

      ROFL! Good point RAK!

  44. 3DD3

    The Island on Bird Street, is a very overlooked film!
    “ased on a true story during WWII in Warsaw, Poland, it is the survival of an eleven year old Jewish boy separated from his father and uncle who are taken to work camps, from which no one returns. He has three things to sustain him: his pet white mouse, Snow; the book Robinson Crusoe; the promise of his father that he will return.”

  45. norman

    don’t forget soylent green and the old classic planet of the apes from the 60s.

  46. jeff

    Charlton Heston with the last man on earth always impressed me

  47. bill_beach

    Another oldie, but serious goodie, is “On The Beach”. By the way, “I agree that “The Edge” needs to be on the list.

  48. Andy

    I’m looking forward to 2012 when Liam Neesons film ‘The Grey’ comes out. unarmed group of plane crash survivors up against an angry pack of wolves. Also ‘World War Z’ will be worth a look. There was a BBC documentary in the UK called ‘Alone in the wild’ which was an eye opener…

  49. Andy

    Can’t wait for ‘The Grey’ with Liam Neeson and ‘World War Z’.

  50. Jason Charles

    The Way Back is a true survival movie. No one puts on there list.

  51. incisözlük

    i wonder why nobody is mentioned about
    7 years in tibet

  52. JC

    You missed a great war movie survival theme…

    Peter Weir’s The Way Back

  53. patrick

    I dont see “testament” or “the day after” on the list. The most accurate depictions of post apocalyptic life

  54. Boogler

    The original Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978, not 1974.

  55. jason

    The Earthling

  56. Travis

    What an awesome movie list, kudos’ to the creator of this list for organizing it so well.

  57. Paul

    Why is Pitch Black with Vin Diesel not in this?

  58. Scotty Ray

    “The Road” should be way way way way before “Book of Eli”.

  59. Mike

    Nice list. I liked The Postman” but didnt really care for “waterworld” (at least the second half) And The Snow Walker was amazing (especially the mosquito’s) I would consider “BAT 21” a great war survival movie as well. And the one with Lee Marvin, “Hell in the Pacific”

  60. p00ter1775

    Panic in year zero, Hombre the western with Paul Newman, watch how the people act in this movie.

  61. Roger63

    One of the best true survival stories ever is My “Side of the Mountain.” The book was much better than the movie, but the movie was still good.

  62. ella

    Melancholia!! Otherwise thanks for the list :)

  63. In the ‘suitable for children’ category the Disney movie “My Side of the Mountain” should be included.

    • Malcolm

      I agree. Loved this movie when I was a kid.

  64. ProCamper

    Superb list! 28 Days Later and Castaway are both among my favorites.

  65. RJ

    Where’s Soylent Green?! Great movie with Charl. Heston!

  66. Fajas

    You missed out on shawn of the dead, the ultimate zombie survival movie. Oh, and thank you for this list, you have given me more movies to watch.

  67. Adam

    I’m slowly but selectively working my through these, missing out the ones I’ve ssen. So far:

    Into the Wild – very good but soon tire of him crying.
    The Edge – very good. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this already.
    Castaway – good film. Not seen it in ages, so watched again. More of him surviving on the island instead of watching FedEx would have been nice.
    The Road – one of my favourite films. Ever.
    Alone in the Wilderness – such a great documentary. Has been something I’ve wanted to do for years.
    Alaska Silence and Solitude – a suberb follow up to Alone in the Wilderness.
    Snowshoes and Solitude: A Year in the Wabakimi Wilderness – another top documentary. The events that happen were bad, but really frustrating as well!

    I’m now about to watch Robinson Crusoe. I’ve seen a few already so I won’t watch them again. So far, a good source of telly box material.

    • dusty

      anybody remember Robinson Crusoe on mars?

  68. Adam


    Robinson Crusoe – ok, but WTF is that sign doing on the beach?? Was he near a holiday resort and never knew it??

  69. MrFlibble4747

    Great Lists!

    How about “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”?

    Once more for the dummies EDGE is #10!!!!! Read the frikkin lists!

  70. naydb1

    saved me hours of searching, il work my way down your list, awesome :D thanks alot

  71. An Other

    “THREADS” The truly shocking Brit nuclear war movie from the 80’s – and the inferior “The Day After” starring Steve Guttenberg could also be included. Both good movies.

  72. Paola

    May I suggest a movie called “Blindness” with Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo & many more?… it’s a post-apocalyptic movie that I love.

    • Stefano

      Yes! Very overlooked, even hated movie, but I also thought ‘Blindness’ was an interesting post apocalyptic movie, strangely realistic and yet frustrating as a narrative because the people don’t act like they usually do in the movies. To all those people who keep writing ‘The Edge’; aren’t you ashamed to be so completely ridiculous?

  73. jack

    It’s a good list,but it’s missing two very good movies-the Grey and the Way Back.

  74. Balakrishna M

    Wonderful listing… I watched most of them, really awesome and I enjoyed and thrilled much!!!

    Thanks a lot … Love U ALL

  75. MP

    Really great job on this list. Excellent find.

  76. Sean

    What about The Edge?!!

  77. Lili

    Awesome list, thank you ! I love this kind of movies. In the “Documentary” category, you could add the one about Aron Ralston – it’s called “Desperate Days in Blue John Canyon” (2004) and it’s pretty good.

    (Also, I think “Touching the Void” should be in the documentary category too.)

  78. Karin

    A great wilderness survival movie often overlooked is “The River Wild” with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon.

  79. Jet Graphics

    My Side of the Mountain (1969) – – –
    Genius kid goes off into the wilderness to do biological experiments. Lives off the land.
    Book by Jean Craighead George

  80. Hell in the Pacific (1968)

    Hell in the Pacific (1968)Lee Marvin
    During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean.

  81. Seventeen Minutes Alone

    Hmmm ..
    “The Hunger Games” and “The Battle Royale” should be here, this kind of movies is so cool.

  82. Mitzi

    Snowwalker is a great movie though sorely unaprreciated and overlooked. I am pleased to see it on your list.

  83. Poppy

    Here’s some more not listed here yet:
    Predators (2010), Life of Pi (2012), Lifeboat (1944), Quest for Fire (1981), Pitch Black (2013), Take Shelter (2011), City of Ember (2008), Pandorum (2009), Perfect Sense (2011), The Andromeda Strain (1971), The Happening (2008), The Invasion (2007), The Lathe of Heaven (1980), and Defiance (2008).

  84. ANON

    You forgot Lost in Space. The classic tail of space survival. Based on real events, this film depicts the Robinson family in the Jupiter 5 space craft when something goes terribly wrong.

  85. John McNicholas

    Best wilderness true survival movie I saw was British. Army soldiers stationed in Hong Kong spent their vacation hiking through a treacherous valley somewhere in Asia ( Indonesia ? ) they suffer heat exhaustion and injuries from falls. Some did not survive. I never did get the title. Any ideas ?

  86. Kelly Popo

    The Grey and The Way Back, the other great survival movies

  87. Chuck Doucette

    You have to see Death Hunt with Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin. Based on the true story of the hunt for mountain man Albert Johnson.

    • CLM

      I LOVE this movie. Bronson is awesome, and the way he keeps escaping capture is great. Good ending, too.

  88. Zee Bass

    Decent list. But how can you omit Deliverance and also The Grey…

  89. Ken

    One more movie, “the Canyon.”

  90. Chuck

    Great list. Thank you for taking the time. I would like to concur with the people saying to add My Side of the Mountain, Threads, The Day After. A few others are the TV series Jericho and the movie The Wall (Austrian). Also some of these movies are not very good but the survival aspects are excellent (The Postman, Waterworld, etc).

  91. Chris

    A few months ago I saw a trailer for a new movie about a group of friends that split buying a piece of land and small cottage just in case the world ended, and then it does end and they all end up meeting at this cottage. They then struggle to fight off savages that want inside. Anyone know the name of this title?

  92. Simeon

    MY TOP 3

    #1. “Seraphim Falls” with Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson. (Hands down number one in my book).

    #2. “The Road”
    #3. “Book of Eli”

  93. CLM

    Good list. Found a few I haven’t seen. Here are some others that were missing:
    “Hey, I”M Alive”.. true story, 2 strangers, plane crash in the Yukon, stranded several months. (75 min. long)
    “Testament” (post nuclear, with William Devane about 1980)
    “The Day After” (post nuclear, Kansas City, Jason Robards, also early 80s.)
    “Threads” (BBC, post nuke, more graphic violence, details. Also 80s.)
    “Damnation Alley” (Another early 80s, Jan Michael Vincent and George Peppard, more fanciful, adventure.)

    Looking for movies with a few stranded people, surviving in blizzards, or caught in inclement weather. NO DESERT… I hate the desert. :(

  94. CLM

    Here are a few to include for family enjoyment.
    “The Earthling” (William Holden, very young Rick Schroder…. a little boy stranded, meets a grumpy old man in Australia. Very touching story.)
    “The Brothers of the Frontier” with Joey, Matt and Andy Lawrence…… pioneer family gets separated and has adventures.
    “Shipwreck” with Robert Logan and Heather Rattray,( both co-starred in The Wilderness Family movies,)name says it all. And another of his films that I really love is “Across the Great Divide” about a con-man who hooks up with a couple kids heading for Oregon, with beautiful scenery, some mild action and good humor. Also starring Heather Rattray.

  95. Aaron

    One movie worth mentioning and surprised it wasn’t is “Never Cry Wolf” with Charles Martin Smith and Brian Dennehy. About a researcher who goes on an expedition to study the Artic wolf.

  96. Jeremiah

    To everyone bitching about movies that shouldn’t be on the list, shut the fuck up. That many movies in a list there are gonna be ones not everyone likes. There are ones I don’t like but I’m sure a lot of other people do. This is still a great list. Thanks for making it….

    • B Esplin

      Yes, a very good list. Not complaining about any movie on it. Do want to add one I don’t think was mentioned – (I may be wrong; there was a lot to read here…) based on the book Rogue Male, and starred Peter O’Toole.

  97. Mike

    Does anyone remember a post-apocalyptic movie that starts with two guys fighting, one of them is holding the other under water, then there’s a big flash and only the guy under the water is left. He eventually finds another male survivor, then they both come across a female survivor, which then complicates things more. I think it’s from the 70’s or very early 80’s.

    • MLM

      It’s call Quiet Earth, 1985. I think from New Zealand or Australia. I was going to add it as my suggestion.

  98. ssgmarkcr

    When you mention “Flight of The Phoenix”, which one do you mean. They also recently did a remake of it, though I much preferred the original which starred Jimmy Stewart and Ernest Borgnine.

  99. Vito

    There is another category that can be included: Space survival movies. Like APOLO 13, Space Cowboys, Moon… or more recently Interstellar, Gravity and The MArtian

  100. Macy

    I read these categories of fiction, but the film’s usually don’t fulfill the books’ scope and vision.

    I am glad though, that you included ‘Children of Men’ in your Dystopia listings. It is hands down one of my favorite films EVER. Thank you for the rest of the list too-I’ll have some movies to watch now!

  101. Eve

    I’m just curious if you have actually seen some of the movies you’ve listed…?

    My reason for asking is because Omega Man, I Am Legend, and Carriers have zero zombies in them.

    Definitely not zombie films.

  102. Shelley Anderson

    Z for Zacchariah was made into a movie this year, based on the novel.

  103. Andy

    The Quiet Earth, A Sci Fi Post Apocalyptic Classic from New Zealand.

  104. Qaiser

    I read all comments but suprised that no body mentioned
    One of best Drama movie. A story of survival and love

  105. Connie

    I love survival movies, and watch as many as I can. I never see these listed: “Hey, I’m Alive” (very short, true story of 2 people surviving plane crash in Yukon,) “The Trail” (pioneer woman is lone survivor, after her husband is killed and horses stolen, she moves along on foot, alone.) And “Gerry” with Casey Afleck & Matt Damon, about two guys with same name who have to survive in the Australian desert w/o any supplies. Then there are nuclear disaster movies: Testament, The Day After, and Threads… all made in the early 80s, and having different takes on post nuclear survival. Too bad, none of these is on Netflix. :(

  106. Maigurs

    The Story of a Real Man 1948 Soviet Union, based on real WW2 pilot story

  107. Please visit Very soon coming up with rare videos from North Himalaya which proves God does exist.

  108. Rick

    Great List .. thanks :D

  109. Keith

    I know the list is mostly movies but since the author listed a couple TV shows I thought I would chime in a couple. AMC’s Walking Dead and the short lived TV show Revolution. I think we could also list Jericho as well.

  110. Michael

    stephen kings “The Stand”. would also be a good addition to the list.

  111. nine09

    My new favorite is “The Survivalist” (2015). It’s very raw and may not be for everyone but I absolutely loved it.

  112. Meekz

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Backcountry! About a couple who go camping in the woods, and get a bit turned around & they end up being attacked by a grizzly bear….which they must fight-off in order to survive. I don’t wanna give away too many spoilers ~but ultimately it’s got the most epic, yet gruesome bear attack scenes I’ve ever seen‼️ It’s also ‘based off a true story’ and apparently the whole movie was shot in 16 days! I believe it was the writers first go at a feature film, & it was pretty good imo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.