The Best Apocalypse Movies

The end of the world is an interesting concept, a philosophical debate, and perhaps an exciting time to be alive. At the very least, it is movies. While the idea of witnessing the apocalypse, whether you want to imagine it from a religious or scientific perspective, is thrilling, actually being there would probably be downright terrifying. A few apocalypse movies did it right and showed the world dreadful scenarios where all we know and love would come to an end.

However, there are numerous possibilities on how it would happen, when it will occur, and why. In this day and age, it’s likely that movies have covered a majority of the potential reasons if not all of them. Even more, each theme has been tackled several times. After all, the apocalypse was “trendy” not too long ago. Be it the four horsemen, scenarios shown by Marvel through the X-Men, or the SyFy channel, there was an abundance of them. Mel Gibson gave it a shot too.

We have since moved on to the post-apocalyptic pop culture madness. Our imagination can go ahead and see them as sequels to actual apocalypse movies that brought forth the end of the world. Here is the list of the most popular ones. What is left behind could be a barren world, a broken society, or end of life as we know it. There is a reason they are also called “disaster movies”.


2012 movie

The Mayans had it right, and the world is about to end on December 21st, 2012. The signs were there. At least, that was the movie’s premise. Directed by Roland Emmerich, the story surrounds a writer played by John Cusack desperately trying to keep his family safe through the end of the world. It’s a beautiful depiction and cinematographic excellence of what could happen.  Everything good would be destroyed, and humans will inevitably turn on each other.

The prediction ended being wrong, given that we’re alive today, but things got a little crazy out there for the entirety of the year.

War of the Worlds

war of the worlds

Time and energy are spent on debating the very existence of aliens, and fewer focus on what would happen should they find us. War of the Worlds shows one potential scenario: extermination. Tom Cruise could’ve never made a more horrible promise than stating that nothing bad is going to happen. As we all know, that’s a number one jinx in disaster movies. Never ever promise that everything is going to be okay.

World War Z

world war z

The movie that sparked an actual fashion trend claiming once again that it was okay for men to wear scarves. Brad Pitt plays a former UN employee who is fighting through a zombie pandemic in efforts to save his family and humanity. All while stylishly dressed and still capable of pulling off action movies. Is it an Oscar worthy film? No. But it’s an excellent example of a disaster movie and how a zombie apocalypse might actually go.

The Day After Tomorrow

the day after tomorrow

Another Roland Emmerich depiction of a scenario that will bring forth the end of our world. The Ice Age is coming. Watch as climate change puts the final blow on our planet and what must be done to survive it. Even though the movie is over a decade long, it’s scarily current to the crisis of global warming we are facing today. There’s nothing like a film that could ultimately become a classic. It’s particularly impacting when it’s a disaster movie.

Independence Day

independence day movie

Perhaps one of the most popular apocalypse movies of our time. And, once again, it’s brought on by aliens, viciously attacking our planet in seeking its destruction. Will Smith is battling for Earth, fighting against superior technology with only the will to survive as humanity’s best weapon. It has become a staple for “alien attack movies”, and will be getting a sequel soon.

This is the End

this is the end

Let’s lighten up the list a little. While the apocalypse is coming, there is a party at James Franco’s house, and people are having fun like there’s no tomorrow. That literally becomes the case. Several celebrities are then left to fend for themselves and see through the end of the world. Not precisely the doom and gloom movie, but a light comedy with its fair share of funny moments.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

seeking a friend for the end of the world

A different kind of disaster, where humanity genuinely knows that the end is coming. How would people react if they were told they had three weeks left until a massive asteroid will destroy Earth? Loved ones, regrets, shattered dreams, hopes, depression, and aspirations, all would rise to the surface of their mind. It’s a psychological disaster, one that ruins humans through sheer hopelessness. However, even for a little while, there is still hope to find who you love.

There are certainly many more that could be added to the list, as these are the few chosen that have made an impact in recent times. We cannot count out “near disaster” movies, like Armageddon, which broke our hearts, or The Terminator with its confusing time swaps. Or the latest Superman movie, Man of Steel, which could be considered in itself a disaster movie given what happened to Metropolis. One can understand why Batman was angry, and hell bent on elimination in Batman Vs. Superman.

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