20 Best Survival Movies Of All Time

Space, deserts, jungles, big rocks, wolves and war - survival is never easy.


Cinema has a lot to offer when it comes to the theme of survival. There are space epics, the classic tales of stranded travellers, claustrophobia and war. The best survival flicks are the ones which focus on character - the way people react when thrown, often head first and with little warning, into a situation brimming with threat and uncertainty.

Some work better on a larger scale, sure, be them films set in war, away from the battlefield, or pictures about the devastation of real life natural disasters.

Whatever you prefer, the following list has you covered. Everything from space horror to killer wolves is taken into consideration here. All the films are thick with tension, oozing dread and dripping with fearful anticipation, but many also contain elements of hope and perseverance; the idea that no matter what, they will continue to fight to reach safety.

The most recurring theme on this list, beside the horror and fear of the unknown, is the acting involved. Each film is great as a piece of storytelling, but all are propelled to new heights by some of Hollywood's most explosive, sensitive and daring performances, all of which deserve a sea of praise for finding a way to elevate the tension of their film even further.

So get comfortable and make sure you're emotionally prepared, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Spoilers throughout.


WhatCulture contributor, aspiring author and lover of all things Buffy, zombie, TV and movie. Usually found re-watching the same films and TV shows on repeat.