27 Best Survival Movies of All Time 1
TV Series & Movies

27 Best Survival Movies of All Time

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What are the best survival movies of all time?

The Hollywood movie industry has created so many movies that are based on survival, but only a few of them are evergreen.

In this blog post, I will share my list of best survival movies and the platforms where you can watch them.

If you are a movie lover like me, then I am sure you love watching survival movies.

I think survival movies are the best because true stories of survival inspired these movies from an unfortunate incident. The movies have characters staying alive fighting for their life through shipwrecks, accidents while traveling, etc.

Let’s hope into the list of best–

The Revenant

Where is it streaming – Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 8

IMDB has rated Leonardo DiCaprio’s film ‘The Revenant’ as one of the greatest film ever with a rating of 8. Leonardo DiCaprio after a long time has received the Academy award for Best actor in the category of leading role.

The movie is regarded as one of the best adventure survival movie because of its masterpiece cinematography, screenplay and performance by the lead actor.

The plot of the story is simple – how a seriously wounded man survived alone beating and fighting the wilderness under freezing temperatures after his crew left him alone.

The Revenant (2015) - IMDb

Into the Wild

Streaming: Netflix

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Into the Wild is considered as one of the best travel movies but it is also a movie based on survival.

Based on the true life story of a young travel enthusiast, Christopher McCandless, who left all his prized possessions behind to travel with only a backpack.

The movie is so beautifully portrayed, starting from his disturbed childhood, his love for books and sister, how he enjoyed the little things of life while traveling, how he experienced every odd job and how desperate was he for Alaska.

The survival part comes in the last section of the movie where he felt alone and stuck in the wilderness. He had no way of contacting the outer world. He tried hard to survive, but his fate didn’t.

27 Best Survival Movies of All Time 2

Jungle

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 6.7

With Daniel Radcliffe in the lead, the film tells the story of friends who set on their journey into the Amazon jungle. Soon, their journey took an adverse turn and forces them to witness the deadliest threats of the wilderness.

It is a great film and worth watching. It is not among the best for sure, best the story is quiet captivating.

Apocalypto

Streaming: Amazon prime

IMDB Rating: 7.8

Epic historical adventure film ‘Apocalypto’ is a brilliant movie in the Mayan kingdom. It shows the foundation of the empire and how power works to save their kingdom.

The movie shows some gruesome and blood scenes that might disturb you. So, if you have the strong stomach you should watch it.

Why I am calling it a survival movie? I bet you will understand if you watch it.

Apocalypto (2006) - IMDb

The Impossible

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 7.6

You must have to remember, the Tsunami that destroyed a massive and caused death to thousand of people. ‘The Impossible’ portrays a natural calamity happened that took place in Thailand during the Christmas.

The story centres around a family who went to Thailand to spend the holidays, but fate took a turn and soon it becomes how the family saves themselves to a safe place.

Naomi Watts always performs with so much dedication and ease. It is a onetime watch survival movie.

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The Grey

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating:6.8

Do not look at the IMDB rating of this film. I know it’s not great, but it’s a great survival movie to watch. This is a fiction story where John’s fight for survival continues till the end. He was all left among his fellow mate. The challenge is to survive from a pack of hungry wolves and fight the freezing temperature.

The Grey (film) - Wikipedia

Unbroken

Streaming: Netflix

IMDB Rating: 7.2

I watched this film two weeks back with my father and my father loved it. Louis Zamperini, a US Olympic track record holder, met with a plane crash in the second world war and got himself stuck up in the enemy’s prison.

He was being mercilessly tortured, but all was left his willpower and hope. The film shows his resilience and how he survives the torment of the enemies.

It is a very heart-wrenching and an emotional film. I am glad that Angelina Jolie has directed this film with such dedication and poised.

Unbroken - Rotten Tomatoes

Cast Away

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 7.8

‘Cast Away’ is Tom Hanks, one of the best movies ever and is based on a real-life of William Broyles Jr, who spent days alone on an isolated beach.

The story revolves around Chuck aka Tom Hanks who, after a plane crash, finds himself stranded on an isolated beach. After a long struggle, he finally settles down his mind to live on that island until he gets rescued.

He started making his home, collecting fruits, and found a volleyball which he pretends to be his new friend. He named him Wilson, and that’s the only thing that kept him sane.

Cast Away (2000) - IMDb

Life of Pi

Streaming: Disney+Hotstar

IMDB Rating:7.9

The movie won Academy award for best music and it is indeed one of the best survival movies of all time. It is a very visually attractive film  about a young man who is stranded in a lifeboat after a shipwreck in the middle of the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

How he survived for days with limited supplies alone with a tiger and him surrounded with water is all about.

Life of Pi (2012) - IMDb

127 Hours

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 7.5

127 hours is one of the greatest Hollywood film ever inspired by the actual life story of mountaineer and adventurer Aron Ralston who his arm got trapped between boulders while exploring canyon in Utah.

How did he survive for 127 hours and his struggle for survival is the story?

It is also James Franco’s one of the best film of his career.

127 Hours (2010) - IMDb

Lone Survivor

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 7.5

Lone Survivor is a 2013 biographical war survival story about four Navy SEALs on a covert mission encounter who got attacked by the Taliban. It is more of a war genre film but also can be categorised as a survival film.

27 Best Survival Movies of All Time 3

Eight Below

Streaming: Disney+Hotstar

IMDB Rating: 7.3

Late Paul Walker in the lead film ‘Eight Below’ is based on a true story of eight sled dogs that left in Antarctica during winter. How did they survive the extreme harsh winter temperatures and Paul Walker gave a fine performance of his life.

In the heart of the Sea

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 6.9

‘In the heart of the sea,’ is a 2015 adventure drama film adapted from the novel of the same name. I would definitely recommend this film to watch. The plot of the film is about a crew who got encounter a huge albino bull sperm whale which has attacked the ship and it tests their survival skill out there in the sea.

Did the crew made out of the sea safely? Watch it.

In the Heart of the Sea - Rotten Tomatoes

Martian

Streaming: Disney+Hotstar

IMDB Rating: 8

I have watched 2015 space film ‘Martian’ three times and every time I watch it pleases me. Ridley Scott had made a marvellous film.

It is so deeply rooted in science fiction with only Mark Watney played by Matt Damon in the lead. He has covered it all fabulously with his incredible performance.

Mark is an astronaut who got stranded on the planet of Mars after his crew left behind when a storm hit them. With minimum supplies, how he survived and how he got rescued by the NASA is all about.

The Martian (2015) - IMDb

Gravity

Strteaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Yet another incredible space movie ‘Gravity’ directed by Alfonso Cuaron. The movie shows us a different world—a world of stars, planet, infinite space.

The plot describes a team on an outer space mission, who got hit by high-speed debris. As the situation got out of control, Dr Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, is the lone survivor.

It is a science-fiction thriller movie and the best of all.

Gravity (2013) - IMDb

The Mountain Between Us

Streaming: Disney+Hotstar

IMDB Rating: 6.4

I love Kate Winslet and I have watched every movie of her, ‘The Mountain Between US’ is no different. The story goes like this, ben and Alex someone stranded two fellow passengers in the mountains after a plane crash.

Together, they helped each other to fight against the odds and survive. The film has fewer actions but since both the actors are brilliant naturally, it has enhanced the movie.

If you are looking for a pure survival movie, ‘The Mountain Between Us’ is perfect.

The Mountain Between Us (2017) - IMDb

The Shallows

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 6.3

When a medical student, Nancy Adams, travels to an isolated beach to surf, soon she finds herself surrounded by a huge shark. Can she survive?

Therefore, one shouldn’t go looking for secluded beaches, I guess.

Performance wise it’s not a great movie, I would have recommended to skip. Since I am suggesting a list of best survival movies, certainly this movie qualifies.

I Am Legend

Streaming: Amazon Prime Video

IMDB Rating: 7.2

If you have watched Will Smith in the lead film ‘I Am Legend’, you would know why it is the greatest movie of all time.

It is a post-apocalyptic thriller film where Robert Neville, a scientist, is the lone survivor of a plague that destroyed the civilization. He is trying to find a solution, an antidote that can help and reverse the effects of the virus.

It is a highly intense film and could be the best film of Will Smith’s career. Though he didn’t survive in the end but he survive from the loneliness, grief and fear for a long time.

I Am Legend (2007) - IMDb

The wave

Streaming: Amazon Prime Video

IMDB Rating: 6.7

I stumbled upon this amazing Norwegian survival movie that is based on a verifiable fact, a tsunami that hit Norway 80 years ago.

The movie revolves around a family lives near a beautiful mountain hill town which got hit by the gigantic waves and swipe away everything.

It is an underrated film. You should watch it. I would say this foreign film is a lot better than many Hollywood films.

It is one of the best survival movies on Amazon Prime.

The Wave (2015) - IMDb

The Finest Hours

Streaming: Disney+Hotstar

IMDB Rating: 6.8

This film is based on the story of the US coast guard’s one of the most daring sea rescue in the history. The story revolves around four coast guards who set their journey to rescue the survivors of an oil tanker that exploded.

The film portrays how they rescued, and how they struggled to reach the oil tanker’s location.

It is a magnificent film to watch and gives you an insight about some historical facts.

The Finest Hours | Disney Movies

Jaws

IMDB rating: 8

Steven Spielberg’s classic horror film, ‘Jaws’, is still as refreshing as it was when we watch it on the television.

The music of this film, the thrilling element, the mood that sets a horror feeling is just pleasure to watch. There are several movies on shark attack and survival, but none can match like ‘Jaws.’

It has a simple storyline, but the execution is superb.

Jaws

Alive

Streaming: Netflix

IMDB Rating: 6.3

‘Alive’ is a South Korean zombie survival film and is the best survival movies on Netflix. Korean films are gaining attention for quite some time.

This zombie doesn’t show gross and obscene scenes, but delivered a fun factor. You won’t get traumatised while watching the ending is predictable.

Like all zombie movies, the hero always wins.

Alive (2020) - IMDb

The Ritual

Streaming: Netflix

IMDB Rating: 6.3

You will get ‘The Ritual’ in the best horror movies category on the home page of Netflix. It is a great blend of horror, suspense and thriller element.

I am listing it to the survival movie genre because the story shows how the characters survived in the end. The movie typically matches how a survival movie should be.

The Ritual (2017 film) - Wikipedia

Adrift

Streaming: Amazon Prime

IMDB Rating: 6.8

‘Adrift’ tells the story of a couple who sails through the Pacific Ocean but things got out of their hand when they faced the challenging and disastrous hurricane.

It is an emotionally driven film based on the life story of Tami Oldham Ashcraft; she lost her partner in the hurricane in 1983 while sailing.

The film portrays her psychological loss and how she survived the hard times before she got rescued.

movie

Solo

Netflix original ‘Solo’ is similar to ‘127 hours’ where young surfer Alvaro accidentally slips from a cliff into rocky waters and severely got wounded.

He survived, but how did he survive is the story worth watching.

Bird Box

Yet another Netflix original film that got a lot of attention around the globe after its release. Sandra Bullock in the lead film ‘Bird Box’ is a post-apocalyptic horror thriller film where a monster causes death of thousands of people. If you see it, you die.

To save her kids from the threat, she embarks on a dangerous journey to search for a secure place tying up their eyes.

Indeed, they survived in the end, but from the beginning the movie will grasp you.

Bird Box (film) - Wikipedia

No escape

Streaming: Netflix

IMDB Rating: 6.8

‘No Escape’ is one of the best survival movies and it is incredibly intense to watch. The story revolves around a family who moved to Southeast Asia to start a new life but find themselves trapped amidst the political uproar and riots aimed at American companies.

There are several nail-biting scenes in the movie. It is more than just a survival movie, there are also jam-packed actions.

No Escape (2015) - IMDb

Conclusion:

The above is my list of best survival movies which you can enjoy watching at different streaming services.

Hello, I am Paulomi Dutta, a passionate blogger, content creator, a travel enthusiast, and a hard-core movie-lover from Pune, India. I am happily married for 4 years now and like to help other couples by providing them relationship advice to attain happiness in marriage. I am the author and founder of Worldupclose.in

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