From time to time, disaster movies have shown their monetary potential by rocking the box office. They are also one of the most popular themes for directors to make movies on. That is probably because of the vastness of nature, and how little control man has over it. If there is anything we can be certain about Mother Nature, it is that it is extremely uncertain. The prospect of being in the middle of a disaster is extremely terrifying, which makes it an appealing movie theme for the masses. Here today we have compiled a list of 20 of the best disaster movies of all time that you should definitely watch before getting in some disaster yourself:
20. Armageddon (1998)
The fate of the world hangs in the balance as an asteroid the size of Texas is heading for Earth. It’s a global disaster and if something isn’t done soon enough, the human race will cease to exist. It is decided that a hole must be drilled in the asteroid and it must be nuked from the inside to shatter it into millions of smaller pieces to avert the certain disaster.
A group of oil rig drillers are called to do the job and save the Earth before the asteroid destroys every last living being on the planet.
19. Volcano (1997)
Los Angeles is in trouble as an underground volcano has started to erupt. Volcano is big-budget movie that has a lot of visual effects to offer you than most of the other disaster movies released in the same year like Dante’s Peak etc, but it doesn’t have an engaging plot to offer.
The storyline is pretty basic, and quite unrealistic: an unknown volcano had been growing under the streets of L.A. and when it blows, a crisis management director must take matters into his own hands to save his daughter and the rest of the city.
18. Knowing (2009)
In 1959, a girl wrote down some numbers and buried it in a time capsule. 50 years later the capsule is dug out again and the numbers find their way to an astrophysicist. When he pays some attention to the figures, he realizes that the numbers contain the date of each major disaster caused in the previous years and the exact number of deaths caused by them.
What can he do to prevent the upcoming disasters and what will happen when the numbers run out? It is one of those disaster films that don’t seem promising at first, but satisfy you by their endings alone.
17. The Perfect Storm (2000)
When a crew returns from the sea from what appears to be a long journey with little success, the crew leader decides to go back one last time before the weather gets cold and make some money. Unfortunately he forgets to check the weather and the crew leaves without making a precautionary check. Weather experts confirm that two storms are about to collide somewhere in the sea, and the boat is headed straight for them.
Now the crew has to make a choice, to go back and spoil their catch or go through the storm and make it with the season’s earnings.
16. The Day after Tomorrow (2004)
We have been taught since elementary school that global warming is a major hazard, but we never envisioned it like this. A Palaeoclimatologist warns the United States government that the global warming could cause another ice age, but they just won’t listen to him.
To prove him right, the ice age does happen, but it happens so fast that his own son gets trapped in the New York public library and with no help in sight only his father can rescue him.
15. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
One of the most common modern fears is the fear of a nuclear holocaust. Based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name, the movie revolves around a thermonuclear attack on US soil at Baltimore, and the Americans are quick to blame the Russians for it.
Now a CIA agent must investigate the matter, and quickly too, for his knowledge about the situation is all that’s going to stand between USA and a bomb going back to the Russian soil which will trigger World War 3.
14. Sunshine (2007)
The movie is set in 2057, where the sun of our solar system is dying and system is getting dark. A spaceship Icarus II is sent to deliver a thermonuclear payload to the sun to bring it back to normal condition. On its way, Icarus II picks up a distress signal from Icarus I, a spaceship that was lost in mission several years earlier.
Although the Icarus I doesn’t seem to have anybody alive in it, but as the causes of its failure are revealed, the crew of Icarus II face similar issues as everyone else who attempts to get too close to the sun.
13. Twister (1996)
Destruction, special effects and tornadoes; that’s what this disaster movie is all about. If you are looking for something with real depth and emotion, this is not the thing for you.
A couple on the verge of divorce get together for one last time for an adventure of a lifetime: into the midst of violent tornadoes. Twister delivers its promise of a lot of eye catching special effects, but fails to deliver an engaging plot.
12. Titanic (1997)
Titanic is without a doubt one of the most phenomenal movies ever made. It is a brilliant mix of disaster, romance and outstanding cinematography.
Although the plot does tend to be a bit melodramatic (a kind of classical Romeo and Juliet story) with a run time of over 3 hours, the movie still keeps its audience engaged thanks to the eye catching sequences of the real life disaster that tore the mighty ship Titanic apart and killed 1,500 out of its 2,200 voyagers.
11. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
A rich and immersive story on the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina which won many awards around the world. The plot revolves around a father and a daughter living in the already crisis struck island of “Bathtub”.
When the hurricane strikes, it only makes things worse for them and many of the Bathtubs residents start fleeing the area. Now the sick father and the fragile child must survive the Hurricane together.
10. War of the Worlds (2005)
An incompetent father (Ray) is left with his two kids for the weekend while their mother visits her parents. In the meanwhile, strange weather conditions start to appear and giant tripods emerge from the ground, killing everything within sight.
It’s an alien invasion, or a human extermination would suit it better, considering that we don’t stand a chance anymore. Now Ray must survive and bring his children, who don’t even respect him enough to call him dad, back to their mother.