Best Survival Movies

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Best Survival Movies

Ever viewed these Best Survival Movies? We know you'll find some new picks. Here are 25 of the best ones.

The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox
Rated R

The Pianist is a 2002 biographical drama film directed by Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody as Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish pianist and composer who is a survivor of the Holocaust. The film follows Szpilman as he navigates his way through the descent of the Warsaw Ghetto, narrowly avoiding capture and death at the hands of Nazi officers. The story is based on Szpilman's autobiography of the same name, and the film chronicles his struggles to survive, both physically and emotionally, as he falls victim to the horrors of the Holocaust. Throughout the film, the audience is shown Szpilman's resilience, his loyalty to his family, and his unwavering courage and strength of spirit despite his struggles. The Pianist earned numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Actor, making it one of the most acclaimed films of the 21st century.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt
Rated R

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 biographical drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 autobiography of the same name by Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery in the 1840s. The film follows Northup’s journey as he is bought and sold several times, enduring cruel treatment and adversity at the hands of his masters. Despite his struggles, he maintains hope and eventually meets a Canadian abolitionist, who helps him get back his freedom. The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is widely considered one of the greatest films of the 21st century.

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Sean Penn, starring Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden
Rated R

Into the Wild is a 2007 adventure drama film directed and written by Sean Penn, based on the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The film follows the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who decides to abandon his everyday life and embark on a solo, two-year journey into the wilderness of the United States. Along his journey, Christopher finds himself on a spiritual quest and discovers the beauty and harshness of nature. He befriends various people along the way and learns to live off the land. His journey ultimately leads him to an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness, where he meets his untimely end. Through his travels, Christopher learns about the importance of having a purpose in life and the value of human connection.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From George Miller, starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
Rated R

Mad Max: Fury Road is a post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller in 2015. The movie follows the titular character Max (Tom Hardy) as he embarks on a dangerous mission with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to free the Five Wives from the oppressive warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Along their journey, they face a series of battles and confrontations with Immortan Joe’s forces, including the deadly War Boys. In the end, Max and Furiosa emerge victorious, liberating the Five Wives and reclaiming the Citadel. With a mix of stunning visuals, intense action sequences and a truly iconic score, Mad Max: Fury Road is a modern classic that stands as a testament to George Miller’s incredible vision.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mel Gibson, starring Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer
Rated R

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 war drama directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield. It tells the true story of Private Desmond Doss, the first Conscientious Objector in U.S. history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. At the start of the film, we see Desmond's upbringing as a young man in Lynchburg, Virginia. His father, a WWI veteran, is an abusive alcoholic, and his mother is a deeply devout Christian. His upbringing gives him a strong sense of moral values, and he refuses to even hold a gun, let alone fire one. When Desmond is drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to fight in the Battle of Okinawa, his refusal to carry a weapon brings him scorn and scorn from his fellow soldiers. However, his courage and bravery on the battlefield soon earn him their respect. Desmond leads his men in a heroic effort to take the heavily fortified Japanese position on Hacksaw Ridge, and is eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. He is the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to be so honored. The film is a powerful and inspiring story of courage in the face of violence, and a testament to the power

Room (2015)

Room
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Lenny Abrahamson, starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson
Rated R

Room is a 2015 film directed by Lenny Abrahamson, starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. The film tells the story of a young woman, Joy (Larson), who has been held captive for seven years in a small room, along with her five year old son Jack (Tremblay), who was born in the room. Joy and Jack manage to escape the room and Joy must learn to cope with life on the outside and find a way to keep Jack safe and happy. The film is an exploration of the effects of trauma and captivity on the human spirit, and the strength of the mother-son bond.

The Martian (2015)

The Martian
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
Rated PG-13

The Martian is a 2015 science fiction survival film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Andy Weir. The movie follows the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut who is presumed dead after a fierce storm on Mars and left behind by his crew. Watney must find a way to communicate with Earth, survive the harsh Martian environment, and ultimately find a way to get back to Earth. With the help of a team of scientists at NASA, Watney uses his engineering and botanical skills to keep himself alive and find a way to signal his crew, who had believed him dead and safely returned to Earth. With limited resources, Watney must rely on his wit and determination to keep himself alive long enough to be rescued. The movie was met with critical acclaim, earning a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.

The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alejandro G. Iñárritu, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
Rated R

The Revenant is an epic survival drama film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Domhnall Gleeson. The story follows the story of frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) who is left for dead by a treacherous member of his hunting team, John Fitzgerald (Hardy). After being mauled by a bear and left for dead, Glass embarks on an extraordinary journey of survival and revenge across the dangerous American wilderness. With the help of a Native American companion, Glass strives to survive the harsh winter and seek out revenge against Fitzgerald. Along the way, Glass confronts the brutality of nature and the cruelty of mankind, ultimately facing the ultimate test of his will to survive.

Lion (2016)

Lion
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Garth Davis, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar
Rated PG-13

"Lion" is a 2016 biographical drama directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies. It tells the true story of Saroo Brierley, an Indian boy who, after getting separated from his family at the age of five, is adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, he sets out on an extraordinary journey to find his lost family. The film stars Dev Patel as Saroo, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham as his adoptive parents, and Rooney Mara as his girlfriend. The film follows Saroo as he travels back to India, relying on his memories and Google Earth to find his way back to his hometown and his biological family. Along the way, he confronts his past and learns that home can be found in unexpected places.

Touching the Void (2003)

Touching the Void
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Kevin Macdonald, starring Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron
Rated R

Touching the Void is an acclaimed British documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald. The film tells the story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, two mountaineers who attempted to summit the treacherous Siula Grande peak in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The pair's expedition was successful and they began their descent, only to be forced to separate due to an accident that left Simpson severely injured. Despite being in great danger, Yates was forced to cut the rope that was connecting them and leave his partner for dead. With tremendous courage and sheer will, Simpson miraculously survived and managed to make it down the mountain alone. The film combines the mountaineers' present-day recollections with dramatic re-enactments to capture the astonishing ordeal. Touching the Void is a gripping exploration of the human capacity for courage and survival against all odds.

Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ang Lee, starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu
Rated PG

Life of Pi is a 2012 fantasy adventure film directed by Ang Lee, based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The film tells the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, an Indian boy who, after a shipwreck, is stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After being marooned for 227 days, Pi survives with the help of his wits and the companionship of the fierce yet loyal tiger. Together, they face the vastness of the sea and its dangers. In his journey of survival, Pi embarks on a spiritual journey of self-discovery, exploring faith and reason, beauty and truth. Speaking to a writer, he tells a story of a fantastic journey, one that ultimately helps him to reconcile with the world around him.

Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alfonso Cuarón, starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine
Rated R

Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction-thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. Set in a near-future, dystopian world where humanity has become infertile and unable to reproduce, the film follows the story of Theo Faron, a former political activist (Clive Owen) who is tasked with bringing a miracle - an amazingly pregnant woman - to a safe haven. Along the way, Theo and his companions must dodge danger as they traverse a chaotic and war-torn world in order to bring hope to a desperate civilization. The film explores themes of hope, despair, survival, and the fragility of human existence.

Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White
Rated PG-13

In Cast Away, Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive who is stranded on a deserted island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. Chuck must use his resourcefulness and ingenuity to survive the harsh conditions and to find a way off the island. Along the way he meets a volleyball that he names Wilson, who becomes his companion and a source of inspiration. After four years, Chuck is finally able to construct a raft and make his way back to civilization. He reunites with his fiancée Kelly, but their reunion is bittersweet, as their relationship has changed irrevocably in his time away.

Apocalypto (2006)

Apocalypto
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Mel Gibson, starring Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández, Rudy Youngblood
Rated R

Apocalypto follows the story of a Mayan warrior named Jaguar Paw, who is forced to flee his village when it is attacked by a ruthless band of warriors. With his family held captive, Jaguar Paw embarks on a harrowing journey to save them and to escape the end of his civilization. Along the way, he encounters a variety of hardships and obstacles as he fights to reunite with his loved ones and reclaim his freedom. Ultimately, Jaguar Paw must face his enemies and battle to save his people from the impending apocalypse.

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy
Rated PG-13

Dunkirk is a 2017 British-American historical war drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie tells the story of the Dunkirk evacuation during the Second World War. The film follows the story of British and Allied soldiers who were surrounded by German forces on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, and their rescue by a flotilla of British and civilian boats while under constant threat of German air and sea attack. The film also follows several characters over different timelines, each depicting a different aspect of the evacuation. The film stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy, and introduces One Direction singer Harry Styles in his acting debut. Dunkirk received acclaim from critics, with many praising its direction, cinematography, and score. It received numerous nominations, including nine BAFTA nominations, eight Academy Award nominations, and three Golden Globe nominations, ultimately winning three Academy Awards and one BAFTA Award.

Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Paul Greengrass, starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Catherine Keener
Rated PG-13

Captain Phillips is a 2013 biographical drama film directed by Paul Greengrass and based on the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking by Somali pirates. The film stars Tom Hanks as the title character, Richard Phillips, who was the captain of the cargo ship when it was hijacked in the Indian Ocean. After the pirates take over the ship, Phillips forms a bond with the leader of the pirates, Muse (played by Barkhad Abdi). When Phillips attempts to outwit the pirates, they decide to take him hostage on a lifeboat in an attempt to negotiate a ransom. The U.S. Navy then launches a rescue mission in an effort to save Phillips, leading to a dramatic climax. The film depicts Phillips' courage under pressure and his attempts to protect his crew during the hijacking. It also explores the economic and political context of the hijacking.

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

The Motorcycle Diaries
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Walter Salles, starring Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, Mía Maestro, Mercedes Morán
Rated R

The Motorcycle Diaries is a 2004 biopic directed by Walter Salles about the formative journey of young Che Guevara (Gael García Bernal) and his best friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) across South America in 1952. Leaving behind their comfortable life in Buenos Aires, the two go on a road trip on Granado’s worn-down motorcycle to explore the continent. Along the way they bear witness to the poverty and social injustice of the continent and are inspired to take action. As their journey progresses, they discover a newfound sense of purpose that will shape their lives forever.

Grizzly Man (2005)

Grizzly Man
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Werner Herzog, starring Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter
Rated R

Grizzly Man is a documentary film directed by Werner Herzog about the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell. The film chronicles Treadwell's relationship with grizzly bears during his thirteen summers spent living with them in Alaska. The film reveals his extraordinary passion for the bears and his naivety in believing he could live in harmony with the bears. It also highlights his growing mental instability, which ultimately leads to his death in 2003 when he and his girlfriend were attacked and killed by a grizzly bear. The film features never before seen footage of Treadwell's time in Alaska and interviews with friends, family and colleagues about his life, death and legacy. The film also examines the complex issues of man's relationship with nature and wildlife conservation.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Nuri Bilge Ceylan, starring Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan
Rated Not Rated

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a Turkish drama directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan that follows a group of men in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes. The ensemble cast includes a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor, and two suspects, as they journey through the night, slowly uncovering the truth. As the darkness wraps around them, the men share stories, bond, and come to terms with their own mortality. Over the course of their search, the men discover a deeper understanding of themselves and the society in which they live, as well as the beauty of the Anatolian landscape. Ultimately, the film is a meditation on mortality, morality, and human nature, as well as a tribute to the harsh beauty of the Anatolian landscape.

Gravity (2013)

Gravity
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alfonso Cuarón, starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen
Rated PG-13

Gravity is a 2013 science fiction-adventure film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts who are stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed. Following a disastrous mission to repair a satellite, veteran astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and mission commander Matt Kowalski (Clooney) find themselves adrift in space, struggling to survive in the harsh environment of zero gravity. With limited resources and time running out, they must find a way back to Earth before their oxygen supplies are depleted. Along the way, they must learn to trust each other and overcome their fears in order to make it home alive. Gravity is a thrilling and visually stunning film that pushes the boundaries of space exploration and cinematic special effects.

Get Out (2017)

Get Out
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Jordan Peele, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
Rated R

Get Out is a 2017 horror/thriller film directed by Jordan Peele. The film is about a young African American man, Chris Washington, who visits his white girlfriend's family estate and discovers a disturbing secret. As they spend time together, Chris begins to realize that the family has a sinister agenda, and attempts to escape. The film is a commentary on race relations in modern America and the horror of being in a foreign and hostile environment. It is a critical success, both commercially and critically, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov, starring Werner Herzog, Gennady Soloviev, Anatoly Blumei, Gennady Tiganov
Rated Not Rated

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is a 2010 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov. The film takes place in a small village in the vast Taiga forest in the Siberian region of Russia. It follows the lives of a group of trappers who live off the land and hunt for their sustenance. It takes a close look at their simple yet harmonious way of life and the intimate connection they have with the land and animals around them. The story is narrated by Herzog and Vasyukov, and features interviews with the trappers as they discuss the harsh conditions of their lives and the strong sense of community among them. Despite the difficult conditions of their lives, the film showcases the beauty of their environment and their deep appreciation for it. The film was nominated for the 2011 Documentary Feature Academy Award.

127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Danny Boyle, starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott
Rated R

127 Hours is a 2010 biopic directed by Danny Boyle and written by Simon Beaufoy. The film tells the true story of Aron Ralston (portrayed by James Franco), a mountain climber who was forced to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped beneath a boulder in a remote canyon in Utah. The film follows Ralston's struggle to survive as he attempts to find his way back to safety over the course of five days. He has to confront the psychological effects of being alone and the harsh reality of facing his own mortality. Through his ordeal, he eventually learns to appreciate life and the importance of cherishing every moment.

Only the Brave (2017)

Only the Brave
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Joseph Kosinski, starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly
Rated PG-13

Only the Brave is a 2017 American drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly. It is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire. The movie follows the story of Eric Marsh (Brolin) and the other Hotshots as they battle to contain and eventually extinguish the Yarnell Hill Fire in Yarnell, Arizona, in 2013. It shows their struggles both personally and professionally, including the determination and courage of these brave individuals as they battle both the odds and the elements in their epic fight. The film is an emotional and powerful tribute to the brave men and women of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and their heroic actions in the face of danger.

The Cave of the Yellow Dog (2005)

The Cave of the Yellow Dog
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Byambasuren Davaa, starring Batchuluun Urjindorj, Buyandulam Daramdadi, Nansal Batchuluun, Nansalmaa Batchuluun
Rated G

The Cave of the Yellow Dog is a 2005 Mongolian drama directed by Byambasuren Davaa. It tells the story of Nansal, a young Mongolian girl who discovers a small, yellow dog while herding her family's sheep. Though her father forbids her to keep it, she takes the dog home and names him Zochor. As Nansal and Zochor bond, she discovers that the cave where she found him is home to a small family of nomads. Against her father's wishes, Nansal visits these nomads. She soon learns that one of them is her grandmother, and the two develop a special bond. Ultimately, Nansal is forced to choose between her family's traditional lifestyle and the more modern life she sees with the nomads. The Cave of the Yellow Dog is a heartfelt story about family, loyalty, and the power of friendship.

 



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