20 Best Survival Movies Of All Time

19. The Road

Cast Away Tom Hanks
Dimension Films

Moving from space to the classic image of the post-apocalyptic wasteland now, The Road came out in 2009, based on the novel by literary maestro Cormac McCarthy. Though it was a slow and carefully-crafted book with an unconventional setting and grasp of time, director John Hillcoat managed to fuse all the elements of the story into one of cinema's most deeply affecting pictures.

Controlled beautifully with a deep respect for the source material, the film follows a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they journey across a the wasteland of a dead world and come face to face with cannibals, suspicious wanderers and their own shared past.

What makes the film so effective is the unorthodox narrative. The apocalypse and its origins aren't important; this is a film about a man trying to find a life for his young son. Sure, there's fights, the aforementioned cannibals and some distressing moments (the Man/Father stripping a man of his clothes and all his supplies), but the relationship is the focus rather than the events leading to their situation.

It's dark and thrilling despite being a slow-burner, with some shocking scenes (and deaths), and an ambiguous ending that is either really hopeful or very bleak indeed.


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