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The Complete A-Z Post-Apocalyptic Movies Guide

The Complete A-Z Post-Apocalyptic Movies Guide

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When it comes to post-apocalyptic movies, you really are spoiled for choice. There are so many different options to decide between, from classic zombie movies to nuclear disasters.

A handful of classics immediately jump to our minds when thinking about disaster movies, such as Mad Max, 28 Days Later, and Children of Men. They’re all fantastic in their own right, but there are dozens of lesser known movies that are just as great, and are often overlooked in favor of the more popular choices.

Over the years, there have been hundreds and hundreds of post-apocalyptic movies created, all based on different subject areas. Take the 1980s for example, with nuclear war seen as a genuine concern, naturally movies followed the same pattern. In recent years, movies about zombies and viruses have become rather popular choices to create.

It’s so difficult to create the ultimate list of post-apocalyptic movies, because the list really is never ending. There are many to choose from, and even more that are being released each year, which is brilliant for lovers of all things post-apocalyptic.

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Through this list, we have aimed to cover as many post-apocalyptic movies as possible, while also covering a wide variety of different subject matters. All of the movies included are certainly worth watching, and are ones we have thoroughly enjoyed.

We hope you enjoy this ultimate list. How many of these movies have you seen?

What Is A Post-Apocalyptic Movie?

Post-Apocalyptic

When it comes to post-apocalyptic movies, there can be some disagreements when it comes to the nitty-gritty of what constitutes as one. However, the term post-apocalyptic really can cover a whole plethora of different movies.

In general, for a movie to be post-apocalyptic it should feature an “end of the world” scenario, and an environment which would be difficult to live in. Life must be in grave danger. To be post-apocalyptic, typically the catastrophic event should have just occurred, or have occurred some time ago.

These movies will usually show the aftermath of what has happened. However, they can feature elements of the catastrophe as it plays out too.

There is not one set movie genre that is responsible for post-apocalyptic movies. Sure, horror has had some of the most memorable movies. However, Sci-Fi, and Dystopian movies with post-apocalyptic settings have also been just as popular.

This is why we have included a whole host of genres in this list, as they are all certainly deserving of their place — there’s no gatekeeping here!

Numerical

9 (2009)
Run time: 1 hr 20 mins
Genre: Animate Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

This is a fun, animated movie to watch, about a rag doll that is involved in helping to save the earth. It is easy to watch, and features the voice of Elijah Wood. The animations are great, and it was based on Acker’s 2005 short movie of the same name.

28 Days Later (2002)
Run time: 1 hr 53 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: R

28 Days Later is a classic movie that features an incurable virus that is rapidly spreading across the UK. The plot begins four weeks into the disaster, and follows the journey of the character’s survival. While it can technically be classed as apocalyptic, it certainly has pot-apocalyptic elements to it too.

28 Weeks Later (2007)
Run time: 1 hr 40 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: R

In comparison to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later is more of a typical post-apocalyptic movie. As its title suggests, it’s set 28 weeks after the virus outbreak and focuses on how the UK is rebuilding and adapting to what has happened. Naturally, things aren’t as they first seem.

2012 (2009)
Run time: 2 hrs 38 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

2012 is great if you are looking for a longer movie that is action-packed. It was very relevant at the time it was created, being set around the ancient Mayan calendar, and what was predicted to happen once it ended, such as solar flares.

A

A Boy and his Dog (1975)
Run time: 1 hr 30 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

A Boy and his Dog is a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movie that is centered around Vic and Blood, his telepathic dog. It focuses on them surviving on the wasteland looking for everything they need. The plot is slightly bizarre, but it certainly makes for an interesting watch.

After Earth (2013)
Run time: 1 hr 40 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

After Earth features Will Smith, and his son, Jaden Smith. It focuses on life after humanity has escaped from earth, and an asteroid storm which damages the spaceship they are traveling in. Kitai has to travel across post-apocalyptic environments to find the rescue beacon.

Apocalypse Road (2017)
Run time: 1 hr 26 mins
Genre: Thriller
Age Rating: PG-13

Apocalypse Road is a movie that focuses on two sisters. The Sisters become separated, and have to survive, fight and find their way back to each other. While it may not be to everyone’s tastes, it was a movie we enjoyed watching.

A Quiet Place (2018)
Run time: 1 hr 30 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: PG-13

A Quiet Place was a movie that took the world by storm when it was released, and it is clear to see why. It is such a well-made movie, and the quietness of the movie certainly does resonate with viewers. While it is not scary so to speak, it is fantastic at building up suspense.

Armageddon (1998)
Run time: 2 hr 31 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

When it comes to classic movies, it doesn’t get much better than Armageddon. Just as Aerosmith said, “I don’t wanna miss a thing”, and you certainly don’t want to miss out on watching this movie. While it could be classed as apocalyptic, it is too great to not feature on this list.

B

Battleship (2012)
Run time: 2 hr 11 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

Battleship is an interesting movie that focuses on naval warships battling. There is the threat of extinction, and the characters must successfully save Earth from the aliens that are hellbent on destroying it.

Bird Box (2018)
Run time: 2 hr 4 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: R

Bird Box is a fairly new movie, and was one that was an instant success when it was released on Netflix. Starring Sandra Bullock, and based on Josh Malerman‘s book, this horror focuses on beings that cause people to die by suicide if they look at them.

Bounty Killer (2013)
Run time: 1 hr 32 mins
Genre: Action / Comedy
Age Rating: R

Bounty Killer is an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic movie. It focuses on a handful of people that are fighting corporate greed in the aftermath of an apocalypse. It is full of action and has plenty of comedy elements dotted throughout it too.

The Book of Eli (2010)
Run time: 1hr 57 mins
Genre: Action
Age Rating: R

What is intriguing about The Book of Eli is that it is a neo-western action movie. It focuses on one character in particular as he travels across the United States to protect The Book of Eli that can save everyone on Earth.

C

Cabin Fever (2002)
Run time: 1 hr 33 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: R

Cabin fever is another virus related horror movie that every horror fan should watch at least once. It is intriguing and full of action.

Children of Men (2006)
Run time: 1 hr 49 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

As we mentioned in our introduction, when it comes to the best post-apocalyptic movies, Children of Men is one of the best created. It is set in 2027, and focuses on a character that helps a pregnant woman find sanctuary at sea. It is interesting and jam packed with action.

Contagion (2011)
Run time: 1 hr 46 mins
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Age Rating: PG-13

Contagion is a movie that is set during a pandemic, and focuses on healthcare professionals and scientists who are seeking to find and create a cure. Given the hindsight we now have on what living through a pandemic is like, this would be an intriguing watch.

The Colony (2013)
Run time: 1 hr 34 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The concept of The Colony is certainly an intriguing one. It focuses on a group of people that are part of a survival experiment in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has completely frozen. They must find another outpost in order to survive.

D

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Run time: 1 hr 41 mins
Genre: Action / Horror
Age Rating: R

Dawn of the Dead is a classic horror movie that you definitely have to watch if you have not seen it before. It is your typical, classic zombie movie that features a lot of action and plenty of blood and gore. As it’s directed by Zack Snyder, you know you are in for a great movie.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Run time: 2 hr 11 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi / Action
Age Rating: PG-13

When you think about post-apocalyptic movies, it is unlikely that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes would be the first one that comes to your mind. However, it can certainly be classed as such, given that apes take over the world. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a reboot of the original movies, and is jam packed with action.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Run time: 2 hr 4 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

The Day After Tomorrow is another movie that technically speaking could be classed as an apocalyptic movie, rather than post-apocalyptic. However, it is too good to not include in this list. It is jam-packed with action, and focuses on the character’s trek from Washington, DC to New York City during an unprecedented ice age.

Day of the Dead (1985)
Run time: 1 hr 41 mins
Genre: Horror
Age Rating: R

Day of the Dead is another classic zombie movie, and it is definitely one you need to watch if you enjoy 80s horror. It has everything you would want from a standard zombie movie, such as gore and blood. It’s an entertaining watch, and the scientists in the movie carry out some questionable experiments.

Delicatessen (1991)
Run time: 1 hr 39 mins
Genre: Comedy / Crime
Age Rating: R

Delicatessen is an interesting movie that is based in a post-apocalyptic setting where food is a rarity. Without giving too much of the plot away, the owner of a delicatessen is always in need of a handyman, because of the food that he makes… A clown applied for the role, and there is an unexpected love story in this movie too. It’s all a little bizarre!

Doomsday (2008)
Run time: 1 hr 48 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

If you are looking for an action packed thriller set during a disaster, Doomsday is a strong contender. It has an intriguing plot, and focuses on a rapidly spreading virus that is spreading through Scotland.

Dredd (2012)
Run time: 1 hr 35 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Dredd is an interesting movie that has a futuristic setting, where the police are able to execute anyone they feel is necessary. It has a post-apocalyptic feel to it, being set on a wasteland. If you enjoy dystopian movies, Dredd is worth watching.

E

Empire of Ash (1988)
Run time: 1 hr 26 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Age Rating: R

Empire of Ash is one of the perfect examples of an excelled post-apocalyptic movie, especially when it comes to both the plot and the setting. It is set after a nuclear war in “New Idaho”, and a man and a woman work together, to rescue the sister from the girl. She has been taken hostage by a clan of warriors, and the plot is action packed, with some fantasy elements. The blend of the two is interesting.

Escape From L.A. (1996)
Run time: 1 hr 41 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

As the name of the movie suggests, the plot focuses on Los Angeles. Snake has to help save L.A. and retrieve a detonation that is threatening it. The politics in the movie are intriguing, and it is a classic action / sci-fi movie.

Equalizer 2000 (1988)
Run time: 1 hr 25 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Equalizer 2000 is another classing 80s post-apocalyptic movie that we would recommend watching. It features a ripped main character, Slade, who has created the best machine gun, and is ready for war. Traveling through the wastelands, he attempts to destroy the leader of a notorious gang. It is action packed, and makes for an entertaining watch.

F

Flu (2013)
Run time: 2 hr 2 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The title of this movie is self-explanatory, and focusing on a new, yet deadly strain of the flu. The strain quickly gets out of hand, and there is the classic “race against the clock” for a vaccine to be created. Its set is Seoul, and goes into detail about the shutdown.

Future World (2018)
Run time: 1 hr 28 mins
Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Future World is a fairly recent post-apocalyptic movie that features James Franco, and Suki Waterhouse. Interestingly, James Franco also co-directed the movie. While it is not the most well-known survival movie, it is worth watching. The main character is traveling across the wasteland searching for his lost mother. It features all of the classic elements of a post-apocalyptic movie within a futuristic setting.

G

Glen and Randa (1971)
Run time: 1 hr 33 mins
Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

With a post nuclear war setting, this movie focuses on Glen and Randa, who are a couple looking to see what the world is like outside of their clan. They are yet to see the world, and have preconceived notions from comic books. While it is a dated movie, it is still a great choice to watch.

H

Hell (2011)
Run time: 1 hr 29 mins
Genre: Horror / Sci-fi / Thriller
Age Rating: R

Hell is a post-apocalyptic movie that’s set in the near future. Interestingly, the main enemy in this movie isn’t zombies, a virus, or nuclear war, it’s the sun. The increase in the temperature of the Earth is making it also inhabitable, and the characters face a series of struggles during their journey across the mountains.

Hostile (2017)
Run time: 1 hr 23 mins
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Hostile is a fairly recent post-apocalyptic movie that does have some apocalyptic crossovers. It focuses on the main character Juliette, who has a series of different injuries, and is struggling to survive. It features creatures intent on killing her, and the horror elements and the build up of suspense is great.

I

I Am Legend (2007)
Run time: 1 hr 41 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure
Age Rating: R

I Am Legend is a popular movie starring Will Smith. Interestingly, it is based on the book with the same name, that was written by Richard Matheson. However, the movie and the book are rather different from each other. The movie is set after a plague that turns people into monsters, and the main character is the only survivor in New York. He has to search for a cure, and comes across many obstacles along the way.

Independence Day (1996)
Run time: 2 hr 25 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

This Independence Day is a remake of the original movie, and it is a fantastic choice to watch if you enjoy aliens. It is well-made, and full of action and suspense, with the perfect amount of Sci-Fi elements. There are many well-known actors featured, such as Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman

It Comes at Night (2017)
Run time: 1 hr 31 mins
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

It Comes at Night is a brilliant horror movie that focuses on a family that is facing the threat from the outside world. They come across another family seeking a safe space, and it focuses on whether or not you can truly trust humanity.

IO (2019)
Run time: 1 hr 36 mins
Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

IO is an interesting movie that focuses on a scientist whose intentions are to help save Earth. She meets up with an unlikely character who wants to get about the last shuttle that’s leaving Earth. The plot is a compelling one, and there are a lot of difficult decisions to be made throughout.

K

Knowing (2009)
Run time: 2 hr 1 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Knowing is a captivating movie featuring Nicolas Cage as the main character. The Sci-Fi elements are fantastic, and it focuses on the creation of a time capsule. Within the time capsule is a list of disasters that have already occurred, and the main character attempts to help prevent the last three on the list from occurring.

L

Land of Doom (1985)
Run time: 1 hr 27 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi / Adventure / Thriller
Age Rating: R

Land of Doom is based after a nuclear war has occurred on Earth. It follows a female warrior and a soldier as they travel across barren wastelands to find “paradise”. They encounter many things along the way, and have to work together in order to survive.

The Last Man on Earth (1964)
Run time: 2 hr 26 mins
Genre: Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

The Last Man on Earth is one of the oldest movies featured on our list. While it is dated, it is still enjoyable to watch, and is one we would certainly recommend. If you love vampire movies, this is one you need to watch. The last man that is left on Earth has to become a vampire hunter in order to survive, as the rest of humanity have become the living dead.

Post-Apocalyptic Scene

Light of My Life (2019)
Run time: 1 hr 59 mins
Genre: Drama / Thriller / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Light of my life is a great movie that was only released a few years ago. It is set after a deadly plague that killed half of the world’s population. A father is trying to help protect his child from the world, and the plot follows their journey.

M

Mad Max (1979)
Run time: 1 hr 28 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

When it comes to the greatest post-apocalyptic movies of all time, there is no denying that Mad Max is one of the best. It was revolutionary at the time, and while it is slightly dated, it still remains an ever popular cult classic. The story line is compelling, and focuses on an Australian policeman that is hellbent on stopping a motorcycle gang. If you have never seen it before, we would highly recommend it.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Run time: 1 hr 36 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Let’s face it, we couldn’t create the ultimate post-apocalyptic movie list without including all the Mad Max movies. It would be a crime to miss the other 3 from the list too! Released a few years after the original movie, Mad Max 2 continues to follow the journey of Max and his journey to get rid of the Night Rider’s cronies.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Run time: 1 hr 47 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is the last of the original Mad Max movies, and like the previous two, it also features Mel Gibson as Max. The plot is an interesting one, and focuses on a group of children that are looking to take down the town’s queen.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Run time: 1 hr 36 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Mad Max: Fury Road is a fairly new release, and while it is separate from the original movies, there are certainly nods to the originals and Easter eggs throughout. Fans of the first Mad Max series certainly appreciate this. Mad Max: Fury Road features Tom Hardy, and is also based in the wastelands of Australia. While it is different from the original movies, it is a captivating watch.

The Matrix (1999)
Run time: 2 hr 16 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

While the Matrix is not a recent release, it is by far one of the most interesting movies of all time in our opinion. It is a fan favorite when it comes to post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movies. Featuring Keanu Reeves as Neo, the plot has many layers, and leaves the viewer wondering what decisions they would have made when it comes to the pill choice. It discusses what reality really is and focuses on the fight of humans against machines.

Malevil (1981)
Run time: 2 hrs
Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: No age rating

Malevil is an intriguing post-apocalyptic movie that focuses on a group of French people that have survived through a nuclear war. The plot picks up after the war has happened, and focuses on them adjusting to their new life and the civilization that is waiting for them.

N

The New Barbarians (1983)
Run time: 1 hr 27 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Age Rating: R

The New Barbarians is a movie that many people may not have watched. However, it is a fun movie. The original title is I Nuovi Barbari, and it focuses on a man and woman, who are two mercenaries. They aim to kill evil bikers, and its post-apocalyptic setting is based after a nuclear Holocaust.

The Northlander (2016)
Run time: 1 hr 38 mins
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The Northlander is a fairly new post-apocalyptic movie. While it is not the greatest of all time, if you are a fan of these types of movies, then it is likely that you will enjoy watching it. It is set in 2961, after a big disaster. It focuses on the recovery from this, and follows a hunter called Cygnus, and his people.

O

Oblivion (2013)
Run time: 2 hr 4 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

Oblivion is a fantastic movie that stars Tom Cruise as the main character. It focuses on the need to remove the remaining resources from the Earth in the aftermath of a post-apocalyptic tragedy. The veteran is on the mission alone, and it focuses on the reality of this, and everything he has to face along the way.

On the Beach (1959)
Run time: 2 hr 14 mins
Genre: Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: A

On the Beach is one of the oldest movies featured in this article, but it is a classic, and one you should consider watching if you love older movies. It is not particularly “scary” in any way, and in many respects it is more of a love story, rather than a survival one. It is certainly unique, and is set after a nuclear war in Australia. Furthermore, it also features the famous dancer and actor, Fred Astaire.

Outlander (2008)
Run time: 1 hr 55 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Outlander is an interesting movie that is set during the time of the Vikings. While this is not a typical setting for a post-apocalyptic movie, it works well. The Outlander lands on Earth during this time, along with the predator that’s chasing him. Both want revenge, and the plot is certainly unique.

P

Planet of the Apes (1968)
Run time: 1hr 52 mins
Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: G

We couldn’t create a list of post-apocalyptic movies and include the remake of this movie, without also including the original. While it is certainly dated in comparison to newer movies, it is a classic that everyone needs to watch at least once. This movie focuses on a planet run by apes that keep humans captive and enslaved to them. It is a unique and fascinating movie that is still very popular today.

Pontypool (2008)
Run time: 1 hr 33 mins
Genre: Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Age Rating: R

Pontypool is another post-apocalyptic movie that is not overly popular or well-known with those who do not actively watch this sub-genre. However, we would recommend watching it as it is interesting. It can be classed as an apocalyptic movie too, and it is centered around a radio host and a deadly virus outbreak which happens in Ontario.

The Postman (1997)
Run time: 2 hr 57 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama
Age Rating: R

The postman is a compelling movie that is set in the wastelands of America. It follows a mail man that is delivering mail and letters to people across the wastelands. Interestingly, it is equal parts dramatic and also heartwarming. It is not your typical post-apocalyptic movie.

Priest (2011)
Run time: 1 hr 27 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Age Rating: PG-13

Priest is an interesting post-apocalyptic fantasy movie. It follows a priest that turns vampire hunter to help protect humanity, and goes against the laws his church has put in place. His niece is taken by vampires, and he is determined to find her, and hunt them down.

Q

The Quiet Earth (1985)
Run time: 1 hr 31 mins
Genre: Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The Quiet Earth is another 80s post-apocalyptic movie. It centers around a main character called Zac Hobson, and follows his journey across the Barren Earth in an attempt to find other people and civilization.

R

Ready Player One (2018)
Run time: 2 hr 20 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

When thinking about survival, or post-apocalyptic movies, Ready Player One is not one that you would typically think of to begin with. However, its dystopian setting definitely makes this movie fitting. While it is mainly set in the Oasis, which is all VR, the viewer does get snippets of the reality of what Earth is like, and how corrupt it has become.

Refuge (2016)
Run time: 1 hr 13 mins
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Age Rating: R

Refuge is an interesting movie that focuses on a specific family, and how they deal with the fallout and aftermath of an apocalyptic event. There is plenty of drama and suspense that is built up throughout, and drama too.

Resident Evil (2002)
Run time: 1 hr 40 mins
Genre: Action / Horror / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The vast majority of people will be familiar with Resident Evil. However, if it is a movie that you have not seen before, it is worth noting that it is based on the very popular movie franchise. While the movie series is different to the game, it is interesting, and one to watch if you do enjoy playing the games. It is a typical horror movie, featuring flesh eating creatures, and plenty of jump scares.

Right at Your Door (2006)
Run time: 1 hr 36 mins
Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Age Rating: R

Right at Your Door is not only one of the most popular post-apocalyptic movies, but it is one we thoroughly enjoyed watching. It focuses on a toxic bomb that is set off in Los Angeles, and how the characters deal with and service the situation.

The Road (2009)
Run time: 1 hr 51 mins
Genre: Drama
Age Rating: R

Post-apocalyptic movies that are solely dramas are hard to come by. However, The Road is a particularly great one to watch. It features Viggo Mortensen as the main character, and it follows his journey of protecting his son in the harsh climate and world. They are aiming for the sea, and the plot follows this journey and their struggles.

S

Scorched Earth (2018)
Run time: 1 hr 36 mins
Genre: Action / Drama / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

Scorched Earth is the perfect blend of Drama, Sci-fi and Action. It focuses on a bounty Hunter called Attica Gate, and her journey as she hunts down and kills the criminals she has been requested to eliminate. The setting is pot-apocalyptic, and it is an interesting movie.

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Run time: 1 hr 39 mins
Genre: Comedy / Horror
Age Rating: R

If you are looking for one of the funniest zombie movies, then look no further than Shaun of the Dead. It is a fantastic British cult classic that features the actors Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. They find themselves caught up in a zombie apocalypse, and the unlikely duo have to fight to survive. It is gory, hilarious, and a movie you have to watch if you have not done so already, you will not be disappointed!

The Stand (1994)
Run time: 6 hrs 1 min
Genre: Adventure / Drama / Fantasy
Age Rating: R

Technically speaking, The Stand is not actually a movie at all. Instead, it is a miniseries. However, given that it is only a short series, we have decided to include it within this list. We couldn’t exclude a TV series based on one of the best post-apocalyptic books of all time.

The Stand was written by none other than Stephen King, and the TV series follows the plot well. It truly emphasizes the battle between good and evil, and there are many fantastic characters that feature in the season. The catastrophic event was a deadly virus, and The Stand focuses on the aftermath of this.

Stake Land (2010)
Run time: 1 hr 38 mins
Genre: Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

As you can probably guess from the title, Stake Land is a post-apocalyptic movie based on vampires. It focuses on one vampire slayer in particular, and follows his journey killing vampires, and traveling with his assistant to find sanctuary. It is action packed, and you really can’t beat a good vampire movie!

The Survivalist (2015)
Run time: 1 hr 44 mins
Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Age Rating: R

The Survivalist is a great example of a movie that focuses on self-sufficiency and how people can survive in extreme conditions. The main character lives on a plot of land in the forest, and it follows his journey as two women discover his hideout. Danger is at the forefront of the movie, and there are some interesting twists and turns along the way.

T

Tank Girl (1995)
Run time: 1 hr 44 mins
Genre: Action / Comedy / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

If you want to watch a funny post-apocalyptic action movie with elements of Sci-Fi, Tank Girl is a great option to consider. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, and it focuses on a handful of survivors on earth. The main character is a woman who fights to ensure that the water supply is given to the people who need it the most.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Run time: 1hr 49 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-FI
Age Rating: PG-13

While, technically speaking, we could have included all of the Terminator movies, we decided to stick with just Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines for this list. However, we would recommend and encourage you to watch all of the Terminator movies, as they are fantastic.

The third movie focuses specifically on time travel, and a machine from the post-apocalyptic future (Terminator) who is sent to help prevent nuclear attack and saves the day.

This is the End (2013)
Run time: 1 hr 47 mins
Genre: Comedy
Age Rating: R

If you are someone that is looking for an all out comedy movie that is based in a post-apocalyptic world, This is the End is the perfect option to consider. It is not only bizarre and ridiculous (in the best possible way, of course) but it features so many celebrity cameos too! It is one that will have you belly laughing, and it is still funny to watch, even if you have already seen it before.

Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Run time: 2 hr 9 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi / Thriller / Mystery
Age Rating: R

Twelve Monkeys is a truly fantastic movie that is unlike anything we have ever watched before. At the time it was released, it was impressive, and it still remains so to this day. It focuses on time travel, and a world ruined by disease. It features actors such as Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, and it is a compelling watch.

U

The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
Run time: 1 hr 34 mins
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: R

The Ultimate Warrior is another classic movie that you should watch if this is your favorite sub-genre. While it is dated, it still holds its own. It focuses on a plague that swept New York City in 2012, and shows the fallout and aftermath of what happens. There are gangs and plenty of action.

United 93 (2006)
Run time: 1 hr 51 mins
Genre: Action / Drama / History
Age Rating: R

United 93 is unlike the other movies that are featured in our list. This is because it is actually based on a true story, which certainly makes it insightful and also hard hitting. While it is technically not post-apocalyptic, it focuses on the plan that was hijacked on September 11th 2001.

V

Virus (1980)
Run time: 1 hr 43 mins
Genre: Adventure / Drama / Horror
Age Rating: PG

Virus is a movie that focuses on a virus that has swept the Earth. The only survivors are left in Antarctica and have to deal with its extreme weather conditions, while also attempting to save the human race. It is a fascinating concept for a movie.

Volcano (1997)
Run time: 1 hr 44 mins
Genre: Action / Drama / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

Volcano is set around a volcano that erupted near downtown LA. As you can imagine, this sparks disaster and panic. The movie focuses on a volcano expert who is aiming to help prevent the whole of Los Angeles from becoming covered in the lava flow. It is fascinating and action packed.

W

Wall-E (2008)
Run time: 1 hr 38 mins
Genre: Animated / Adventure / Family
Age Rating: U

In contrast to a lot of the other movies featured on this list, Wall-E is a completely family-friendly option to consider. It is a heart-warming movie about a waste-collecting robot that is cleaning up the planet after a disaster. Wall-E then needs to save the world, and he even falls in love along the way too. It is a truly wonderful movie that the entire family will enjoy watching.

War of the Worlds (2005)
Run time: 1 hr 56 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

War of the Worlds is another quintessential post-apocalyptic / apocalyptic action movie. It is based on the aliens invading Earth and what happens as a result of this. It follows a normal character on a quest to help save children from the aliens that are attacking.

While it is a movie that the vast majority of people will have seen before, if it is one you are yet to watch, we would highly recommend it. It is compelling and action packed.

Waterworld (1995)
Run time: 2 hr 15 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

Waterworld is yet another post-apocalyptic movie that everyone needs to watch. It is based around the melting of the polar ice caps, and the effect that this has on the planet. People begin to mutate, and there are plenty of outlaws. Kevin Costner plays the main character, who has decided to care for a woman and child to help them survive.

What Still Remains (2018)
Run time: 1 hr 32 mins
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Age Rating: TV-14

What Still Remains is a great movie that follows a woman that has lost her family, and is trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic environment that has been ruined by disease. She must decide whether to trust the traveler that has offered to help her or not.

World War Z (2013)
Run time: 1 hr 56 mins
Genre: Action / Adventure / Horror
Age Rating: R

World War Z is one of the best newer zombie movies created in our opinion, and it focuses on helping to prevent the zombie apocalypse that is quickly sweeping the globe. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, and it is a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Brad Pitt plays the main character, and does a fantastic job of this. Interestingly, the movie is based on the book that has the same title by Max Brooks.

Y

Young Ones (2014)
Run time: 1 hr 40 mins
Genre: Action / Drama / Romance
Age Rating: R

Young Ones is a movie that also goes by the title ‘Bad Land:Road To Fury’. It is an interesting movie that features romance alongside the many action and drama scenes. Water is a rarity in the plot and something that everyone is seeking. It becomes weaponized to some extent as so many people need it. It delves into the politics of this, and how many of the characters survive.

Z

Z for Zachariah (2015)
Run time: 1 hr 38 mins
Genre: Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi
Age Rating: PG-13

Z for Zachariah is a well-made movie that features just 3 great actors and actresses, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, and Margot Robbie. The plot is based around civilization that has been all but wiped out by a disaster, and the three character’s struggle to survive. The plot is heavily based on the love triangle between the three characters, which is intriguing to see play out.

Zombieland (2009)
Run time: 1 hr 28 mins
Genre: Adventure / Comedy / Horror
Age Rating: R

We couldn’t create a post-apocalyptic movie list without featuring Zombieland. This is a cult classic, and it is easy to see why. The movie is easily quotable, and there are so many unforgettable moments. It is a movie that every zombie fan needs to watch, and it will certainly have you laughing out loud. While it is a zombie movie, in many ways it is a spoof too.

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Run time: 1 hr 39 mins
Genre: Action / Comedy / Horror
Age Rating: R

Last, but certainly not least, we have the second Zombieland movie. It was one that was eagerly awaited by thousands of fans, and certainly did not disappoint.

It follows the story from the first Zombieland movie, and there are some fantastic Easter eggs and cameos in the movie. Furthermore, it is just hilarious and memorable and the first movie, and one we would definitely recommend.

Summary

We hope this list has helped you to discover some new post-apocalyptic movies to consider watching. As you can see, there is such a wide variety of different options to choose from when it comes to this sub-genre.

You aren’t just stuck with horror or zombie movies — though these do make great post-apocalyptic movies too! How many of these movies have you seen, and are there any others that you think we need to include in this list too?



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root cellar that can be used as a bunker

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Also included: