It’s no wonder why post-apocalyptic movies are such an immense form of entertainment. We’re spellbound by the narration & are frightened by the scenes. That’s only possible for a director who represents the scenes in the way he envisioned them, making us feel excited as we watched. Often, we imagine ourselves in the lead role & assume that we are in that fictional world throughout the entire film. By doing so, post-apocalyptic films offer us a unique opportunity to experience something doomy we may never have the opportunity to see in the real world. With embroidered elements and fictional characters, it becomes more captivating as the film progresses. It is no different from having nightmares, and people love watching nightmares on screen, perhaps in their cozy beds at night.
Here are the 10 best post-apocalyptic movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
10. I Am Legend
A fan favorite and most popular post-apocalyptic movie, I Am Legend. It depicts the plight of a lone survivor on a deserted planet surrounded by zombies. First, you have to acknowledge the remarkable performance of Will Smith. The biggest asset of this movie is Will Smith, that’s the reason I guess why it is fan favorite. A lot of people imagine themselves in his role. I Am Legend must be in the top of your list if you are looking for a film to captivate you.
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Cast: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, and more..
Plot: After the zombie plague, a survivor lives in a desolate place trying to find a cure for existing cruel humans. During the process, he’ll encounter a few surprises.
9. Zombie Land
There is no doubt that Zombie Land is one of the best zombie films. This movie takes place in a world where characters stumble upon zombies and slaughter them viciously while juggling different aspects of their lives. In my opinion, Zombie Land is about surviving on earth with zombies lurking behind you with tons of fun & entertainment. We give a big thumbs up to Jesse, Emma, Abigail Breslin, and Woody for their hilarious performances. I recently viewed the sequel, and it was quite good.
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and more.
Plot: Student Columbus joins forces with three eccentric strangers to travel through the southwest of the United States in search of safety from the zombie apocalypse.
8. Train to Busan
The film Train to Busan has been both critically acclaimed & highly lauded by audiences. It is regarded to be one of the best zombie films ever made, and indeed, it is true as it’s my personal favorite zombie film. I had no expectations before watching Train to Busan, I thought alright it was going to be fun, some fights, & suspense. However apparently right within 15 minutes, Train to Busan isn’t that kind of movie. It’s more than a zombie film, above all of that, It has a heart-touching narrative that will definitely make you cry in the end. With its gripping narration and intimidating scenes, I’m sure it keeps you on the edge of your seat right from the beginning & will easily become one of your favorite zombie films of all time.
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Cast: Gong Yoo, Yu-mi Jung, Ma Dong-seok, and more.
Plot: South Korea is ravaged by a zombie virus, and travelers on the Seoul-Busan train struggle to survive.
Read more: 15 Best Thriller Movies of All Time
7. 12 Monkeys
’12 Monkeys’ is a very intricate film from the post-apocalyptic point of view. It may not be as popular as other films, but it’s considered to be a classic movie on the theme of the apocalypse. This movie should make your list of top post-apocalyptic movies.
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt,and more.
Plot: A prisoner goes back in time to discover the cause of a virus that destroyed most of the human race.
The Terminator franchise is one of the most popular film franchises in the post-apocalyptic genre. The Terminator franchise was hugely successful at the box office. Terminator: Judgment Day, directed by James Cameron, has received a great deal of attention & praise from the audience. Imagine someone from the future sends a cybernetic robot to kill you. That’s the simplest explanation I can offer.
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and more.
Plot: A battle between a human race that is nearly extinct, and artificial intelligence.
Snowpiercer may have received mixed reviews from the audience, but I consider it one of the best post-apocalyptic movies directed by Boon Joon hoo who is most known for his films Memories of Murder and Parasite. This movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopian society where all humanity is forced to live in trains that traverse the globe perpetually. The story hooks you from the beginning and makes you hold your breath to the very end. It is a film you cannot dismiss just because someone made a bad comment. Putting logic aside, one of the best post-apocalyptic movies is still this one.
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, and more..
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic future, the survivors board a super-advanced train that can travel around the world. As the story unfolds, class discrimination comes into play.
4. Children of Men
One of the best movies of the past decade is Children of Men which shows a dystopian society in which all women on earth are sterile and unable to conceive. The story unfolds when a woman becomes pregnant, whose life is at stake, a former activist is entrusted to protect her. Isn’t that interesting? The impact of this post-apocalyptic film is enormous and gigantic. Needless to say, it’s Alfonso’s film, you should great things from his movies. Also big props to the cinematography, visuals, and performances by Julianne Moore and Clive Owen.
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and more.
Plot: Taking place in 2027, women will no longer be fertile. A former activist helps a woman who miraculously becomes pregnant.
3. Mad Max – Fury Road
Mad Max Fury Road film is a reboot of the classic 90’s Mad Max series, which is well-known for its post-apocalyptic depictions and rustic action scenes. Surprisingly, Fury Road turned out to be the best out of the mad max films and was regarded as one of the best post-apocalyptic movies ever made. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in this grim, gory, and authentic thriller that delivers engaging action sequences, and outstanding visuals. It represents the very rough aspects of potential humankind which is dark, gore, greedy & ultimately anarchy.
Without seeing the previous films, you can still watch Mad-Max Fury Road.
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult,and more..
Plot: Women fight against an oppressive ruler in the post-apocalyptic world with a group of four pregnant women and a wanderer in search of their homeland.
2. Wall E
Wall-E is one hell of a movie that I enjoyed so much & has become one of my personal favorites. The thing I loved about Wall-E is authenticity and realism in terms of the earth’s potential state & future humanity. It represents everything that is demanded for a post-apocalyptic movie. It’s a perfect mixture of artificial intelligence dominion, earth extinction, and advanced technology. If proper care is not taken, one popular scientific prediction suggests that our earth might cease to produce resources & become neutral. Here’s Wall-E to experience the fictional future.
Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, and more.
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic desolate world, a small robot that collects waste and garbage makes an error and ventures into space by mistake.
Read more : 15 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century
1. The Matrix
Talk about complex post-apocalyptic stories, The Matrix always comes. The matrix is full of interesting topics. Being a 1999 film, It still stands out to be one of the most appreciated films & in fact a fan favorite. It’s a movie that depicts a dystopian society and the dark side of our world. It has a more foreboding tone, that made me think of life & suspect our very existence on earth & our very purpose.
My head swirls with questions, is this really real or a simulation? Are we being watched? Are we under supervision? That’s crazy! right.
With regards to the plot, the main character is Thomas Anderson, a computer hacker, when he learns about a mysterious rebel group, he’s invited to join to fight powerful enemies to free humanity. I’m sure you will be introduced to new more esoteric aspects in this film that may frighten you in one sense. It’s more of a thought-provoking film that will enthrall you through the end. Keanu Reeves who is the main lead has done a fabulous performance along with Lana Wachowski and Carrie-Anne.
If you’re a big fan of this trilogy as I am. The fourth installment is currently in production & is scheduled to released on December 22, 2021 .
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and more..
Read more: 15 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Honorable Mentions :
- World War Z
- 28 Days Later
- A Quiet Place
- Bird Box
- The Road
- Dawn of the Dead
Legit good list. Having 28 days later in the “also rans” is fair enough. When I first read Wall-E I thought it may be misplaced in the list, but now I think about it the first 45 minutes of that film is an incredible apocalyptic vision.
I thought Cargo was pretty good, as was The Quiet Place
Great list! We just started rewatching all the Terminator movies and now I have some ideas for our next marathon.
Great list of movies, the Matrix, terminator and I am Legend a definitely a few of my favorite movies! I still have yet to see Wall- E but always have heard great things. I may just watch it this weekend on Disney +
The only movie on this list I’ve for sure seen is Wall E! The others look really interesting.
Some fantastic choices in there. I’ve seen most of them but there are certainly a couple to add to my ‘To View’ list. Thanks for sharing.
Some brilliant choices in here. I’ve not seen SnowPiercer so will give it a go. I loved Zombie Land and all if the Mad Max films though.
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I love these kinds of movies. Great list!
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You have some good movies on this list. I was glad to see that there are others I have not seen yet too. I will have to add them to my queue.
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I love that Wall-E made the list. It is such a good movie!
I’ll have to check out Snowpiercer. It seems interesting.
Thanks for sharing
Yea, you should watch snowpiercer !
There’s a couple of these I haven’t seen but overall agree with all of these!