26 Best Disaster Movies on Netflix (June 2024) (2024)

Disaster movies depict large-scale destruction, either natural or otherwise. Lately, filmmakers have mainly resorted to alien invasion stories, zombie attacks, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, or space catastrophes. However, one could argue that even war movies can be classified as the above, given the mass eradication of resources, both animate and inanimate, inherent in such productions.

While Mother Nature can be wonderful and inspiring, she can also be extremely terrifying. From hurricanes to avalanches, the world is constantly threatened by various calamities. Man-made disasters are equally rampant these days, given the mass destruction of the planet that is being carried out, like wars and wildfires. Moreover, the possibility of these events eventually leading to the end of the human race as we know it is no longer negligible.

26. The Ice Road (2021)

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A disaster movie that doubles up as an action thriller, ‘Jonathan Hensleigh’s ‘The Ice Road’ follows Liam Neeson’s Mike McCann, who is part of a team of truckers on a rescue mission to save the miners stuck in a diamond mine in the aftermath of an explosion in Manitoba, Canada. The catch? With limited time, they must travel in their rigs over a frozen ocean that can give away if they aren’t careful. But they do not know there is a live threat among them waiting to jeopardize their mission. As they say, your co-passenger isn’t always for the ride; he/she can sometimes be there for you. The film co-stars Amber Midthunder, Benjamin Walker, Laurence Fishburne, Matt McCoy, and Holt McCallany. You can watch the film here.

25. London Has Fallen (2016)

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Directed by Babak Najafi, this is a sequel to ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ (2013) and the second installment of the ‘Has Fallen’ action thriller film franchise. It follows Gerard Butler’s Mike Banning, a US Secret Service agent, who has to race against time to rescue US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) after the latter is kidnapped by terrorist Aamir Barkrawi’s (Alon Moni Aboutboul) men. This occurred in the aftermath of a series of coordinated attacks on London during the British Prime Minister’s funeral that brought in leaders from all over the world, including the US President. Banning was leading Asher’s security detail during his stay in London when the incident took place. ‘London Has Fallen’ is a must-watch action thriller, especially for Gerard Butler fanatics. You can watch the movie here.

24. Nowhere (2023)

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In the riveting survival thriller ‘Nowhere,’ directed by Albert Pintó and led by Anna Castillo and Tamar Novas, the audience is immersed in Mia’s harrowing journey. Fleeing a war-torn nation while pregnant, Mia seeks refuge in a maritime container on a cargo ship. However, when a violent storm hits, Mia is forced to deliver her child amidst the tempest-tossed sea. Now stranded and isolated, Mia must summon her strength and resourcefulness to navigate the unforgiving elements, offering a compelling tale of resilience and survival against the backdrop of a treacherous maritime ordeal. You can watch it here.

23. Against the Ice (2022)

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Directed by Peter Flinth and penned by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Derrick, ‘Against the Ice’ is a gripping historical survival film inspired by the events narrated in Ejnar Mikkelsen’s ‘Two Against the Ice.’ Starring Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Charles Dance, and Heida Reed, the plot unfolds in 1909 as two explorers battle for survival and are left stranded during a Denmark expedition amidst the icy wilderness of Greenland. The film weaves a tale of resilience and endurance against the harsh backdrop of the unforgiving Arctic landscape. You can watch the film here.

22. Army of The Dead (2021)

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Spearheaded by famous director Zack Snyder, ‘Army of The Dead‘ opens on a terrifying note as a biologically modified zombie escapes captivity and soon overrides the city of Las Vegas with a zombie army. Although the military blocks off the city with colossal packing containers, the plague spreads like wildfire, and soon, every living human in Las Vegas turns into the bloodthirsty undead. In such a setting, casino owner Bly Tanaka recruits former mercenary Scott Ward, tasking him with recovering $200 million from a vault inside Las Vegas before the army bombs the city to the ground. Scott then puts together a heist team and undertakes the seemingly impossible mission of infiltrating the zombie city. From here on, the movie plays like an out-and-out action flick with giant explosions, massive battles, backstabbing, and heroics, all bundled into a thoroughly enjoyable package. You can watch the movie here.

21. Cadaver (2020)

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‘Cadaver’ is set in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster in a Norwegian city where electricity, food, and water are almost extinct. Although a hotel, one of the few buildings left standing after the disaster, serves a warm meal and a theatre performance, the entry cost is quite dear as most of the population is without money. The movie originally revolves around Leonora, her husband, Jacob, and their daughter, Alice, who are struggling to survive and are on the verge of dying from hunger. Once Leonora hears the hotel’s offer, she scrapes together whatever money she has before buying tickets for her family. Initially, the hotel is warm and inviting, with loads of food for the guests and a fascinating performance. However, once the manager reveals that the whole building is a stage for the performance, the lines between reality and act blur, putting Leonora amid a sinister operation that pushes her toward her death. You may watch it here.

20. Beyond Skyline (2017)

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‘Beyond Skyline’ is a sequel to ‘Skyline’. This film opens amid an alien invasion when LAPD Detective Mark Corley is vying for his son’s release from jail. As the invasion starts, people are sucked into various spaceships one at a time. Mark and a group of survivors are meandering in the subway tunnels across the city to protect people. But they eventually land inside the alien spaceship, and Mark discovers they’re being converted into bio-mechanical soldiers for a more significant cause. Although ‘Beyond Skyline’ may not promise the edge-of-the-seat thrill that many other invasion movies do, it still is way better than its predecessor in terms of its narrative. You may watch it here.

19. #Alive (2020)

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Ever since the now Oscar-winning ‘Parasite’ graced the international movie circuit, Korean filmmakers have been given a new audience that can appreciate their work. This globalization has also introduced ‘#Alive,’ which is essentially the story of a video gamer’s survival in his apartment in Seoul when a zombie apocalypse wreaks havoc on the city. It stars Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-Hye and is directed by Cho Il-Hyung. If you want to watch something that resonates with you and the current pandemic, this movie can be a great fit, as the protagonist is also isolated. You can watch the movie here.

18. Spectral (2016)

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‘Spectral’ opens amid an ongoing war wherein the troops have been using hyperspectral goggles, allowing them to see what is invisible to the naked eye. A translucent humanoid figure that they spot can kill with just a touch, thus posing a newer challenge for the soldiers. CIA officer Fran Madison and DARPA scientist Clyne then set their troops out with hyperspectral imaging cameras to track down these “invisible” and invincible insurgents. They later find out that the agitators cannot see through ceramic and are vulnerable to iron nails, thus giving the human troops an added advantage. ‘Spectral’ is an audacious attempt to match those big-budget thrillers, but it somewhat lags in its overall execution. Still, it is one of the best movies on this list. You can check it out here.

17. Pandora (2016)

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Pyung-Sub is worried about the conditions of the local nuclear power plant, but no one seems to listen to him. However, when an earthquake strikes, it severely damages the plant and begins to spread panic. Now, young Jae-Hyeok and his colleagues must prevent another nuclear disaster. ‘Pandora’ is not only a thrilling movie but also an emotional one, thanks to the script. With sound visual effects and decent cinematography, director Jong-woo Park delivers a tear-jerking story with a touch of reality. You can watch ‘Pandora’ here.

16. Extinction (2018)

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‘Extinction’ is Netflix’s contribution to the doomsday genre. The movie opens in the near future, where an engineer named Peter is having nightmares about an alien invasion that could lead to the destruction of life. Upon his visit to a psychiatrist, he finds that other people are also having similar visions. After spaceships arrive and cause substantial damage to the city, Peter and his family seek shelter amid enemy alien soldiers on the prowl. It is later revealed that Alice, Peter’s wife, is an AI humanoid, and the only way to save her is with the help of an unexpected power source: Peter himself. He, too, is a synthetic AI, aka synth. Turns out, synths had their memories wiped off and have been residing on the planet as people ever since the human rebellion against the AI. You may watch ‘Extinction’ here.

15. The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

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‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ aimed at capitalizing on its highly successful ‘Cloverfield’ franchise. However, it doesn’t compare to its predecessors despite promising twists and a somewhat compelling story. It begins with a group of astronauts on board a space station in 2028 as Earth is undergoing a global energy crisis. In desperate attempts to test the Shepherd particle accelerator aboard the Cloverfield station, a disaster strikes and leads to a paradox. This implies that the existence of a parallel universe may pose a looming danger to the world as we know it. The movie is streaming here.

14. Cargo (2017)

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In the wake of a pandemic that turns people into zombies within 48 hours, Martin Freeman’s character Andy has to ensure his baby daughter Rosie’s safety after losing his wife Kay (Susie Porter) to the infection. The catch? He, too, is infected and is running out of time. So Andy has to protect his baby from not only a disaster that has already occurred but also an impending one. ‘Cargo,’ directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, showcases the lengths to which a parent can go for the child and uses a world-scale event to stress the limits. If you have seen ‘Train to Busan,’ this movie is another such example. While the audience knows the dangers that Andy potentially faces, they are also exposed to the thought of the baby’s fate, which has also been compromised. Will Andy find a way to make sure that Rosie lives? You may watch the movie here and find out.

13. Rim Of The World (2019)

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A Netflix original film directed by McG, ‘Rim Of The World‘ has clear ‘Stranger Things‘ vibes in its story and production values. It follows the aesthetics of the 1980s films about children’s adventures and gets its name from a summer camp (in the story) happening in Southern California.

Three young boys, Zhenzhen, Alex, and Dariush, as well as a juvenile delinquent called Gabriel, are the protagonists of the movie. While deep inside the jungle, they suddenly notice that army fighter planes are battling the invading alien ships in the sky. A pod from the International Space Station lands nearby, and emerges a woman who hands Alex a key. She tells him that it is with this key that the alien army can be destroyed. It supposedly activates a defense project known as the Excalibur. With no adults to help them and very little time, the four youngsters embark on an adventure rife with numerous difficulties along the way. You can check out the film here.

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12. How It Ends (2018)

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David M. Rosenthal is the director of this Netflix original film starring Theo James, Kat Graham, and Forest Whittaker. James and Graham play a couple, Will and Samantha, who plan on getting married after Sam gets pregnant. He decides to travel to Chicago and asks for Sam’s father’s permission first. When Will is about to return from his visit, the news announces that all flights have been canceled because mysterious occurrences have been detected in the sky. In such a state, Will and Tom (Sam’s father) decide to travel together to Seattle so as not to leave Sam alone in such a perilous time. The weather discrepancies are mainly the aftereffects of an apocalyptic phenomenon that has hit the world. In such a dangerous time, the journey of two men for the girl they both love is the central narrative of the film. You may watch ‘How It Ends’ here.

11. IO (2019)

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Margaret Qualley did come to the limelight after her role in Quentin Tarantino‘s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,’ but do you know she has been the star of a Netflix production as well? The science fiction film ‘Io’ sees Qualley playing the role of Sam Welden, a scientist who continues to live on the Earth long after it has been rendered uninhabitable. Most of humanity has evacuated the planet and has settled down on a moon of Jupiter called Io. Welden, however, is determined to come up with a plan to make Earth liveable once again. She sends out a radio transmission and is soon visited by a man called Micah (Anthony Mackie). He, however, thinks that all hope is lost, so he plans to leave as quickly as possible. You can watch ‘IO’ here.

10. Awake (2021)

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Can not being able to sleep bring about a disaster? ‘Awake,’ directed by Mark Raso, shows how the inability to sleep can indeed become a risk to life in ways more than one. Amid global hysteria that has led to people wreaking havoc due to disorientation and hallucination, Jill (Gina Rodriguez), a former soldier and a mother of two (Noah (Lucius Hoyos) and Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt)) discovers that her young daughter Matilda ‘can sleep.’ With doctors hell-bent on finding a cure, will she be able to protect her, or will she be forced to give up Matilda so the entire world can be saved? ‘Awake’ is yet another example of the extent to which a parent can go for the kids in the middle of chaos. You may watch it here.

9. Bird Box (2018)

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Bird Box’ is perhaps one of the most successful Netflix releases, owing to the fact that it resembles the likes of ‘World War Z’ (or any apocalypse movie for that matter). The film begins with a pregnant Malorie and her sister who are heading out to the hospital amid news of people killing themselves following an epidemic. While driving back home, Malorie’s sister “sees” something, thus killing herself as well. The spread of the epidemic is rampant, with hundreds committing suicide. Malorie then takes shelter in a nearby home, which also houses many others.

Five years later, after a fallout, Malorie, along with her son, the daughter of another woman, and Tom (a man she had met), is learning to live again with the help of a blindfold. They all do chores in this manner so that they don’t end up killing themselves. However, when insurgents hit and Tom commits suicide, Malorie and the kids head out on a journey down the river to a safer place. As they reach there, they find that all the others in the area are blind, thus making them survivors. ‘Bird Box’ boasts a powerful performance by Sandra Bullock, along with a thrilling narrative that keeps you hooked on the screen. You may watch the movie here.

8. The Wave (2015)

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Geologist Kristian Eikjord (Kristoffer Joner) has apprehensions about a tsunami resulting from a landslide in the Åkerneset Mountain in Geiranger, where it is his last day with his family. Soon, his apprehensions become true when readings of sensors on the mountain show signs of an upcoming avalanche. Within a few hours, the avalanche hits, and a gigantic wave of over 250 ft. rises from the Geiranger Fjord to devour the tourist village of Geiranger. Can Eikjord save his family? What about the rest of the village? Directed by Roar Uthaug, ‘The Wave’ is an underrated disaster movie from Norway and is better than many Hollywood disaster movies, hands down. You can watch it here.

7. Society of the Snow (2023)

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In J. A. Bayona’s survival thriller ‘Society of the Snow,’ the harrowing tale of the Uruguayan 1972 Andes flight disaster unfolds. Based on Pablo Vierci’s book, the film vividly portrays the gripping accounts of the 16 survivors, drawing from Vierci’s personal connections with many of them. With a cast predominantly comprised of fresh talents from Uruguay and Argentina, ‘Society of the Snow’ delves deep into the human spirit’s resilience amidst adversity, offering a poignant and immersive cinematic experience that resonates long after the credits roll. You can watch the movie here.

6. 22 July (2018)

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Based on the book titled ‘One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway— and Its Aftermath’ by journalist Åsne Seierstad, ’22 July’ takes a look at the genuine terrorist attacks that occurred in Norway in 2011. The explosions that shook Oslo also took at least 80 lives, including those of teenagers who were present at the summer camp hosted by the Labor Party. A white nationalist is held culpable for the gut-wrenching mass murders. Albeit dramatized, ’22 July’ revisits the horrifying events of that day, and it is because of these true crime roots that we suggest watching this film. Feel free to check it out here.

5. The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari (2022)

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In 2019, New Zealand witnessed a terrifying tragedy in which 47 people, including tourists and guides, were trapped just off the country’s coast due to a volcanic eruption. The people affected had gone to visit Whakaari or White Island, which is an active andesite stratovolcano located in the Bay of Plenty. The documentary portrays how the volcano had been showing signs of eruptions in the month leading up to the disaster and how some were caught unaware by the sudden eruption that claimed 22 lives and injured several others. The movie even features one-on-one interviews with survivors and chronicles how the local community came together to help survivors, eventually painting a harrowing picture of one of the worst tragedies ever faced by New Zealand. You may watch the documentary here.

4. The Midnight Sky (2020)

The Midnight Sky‘ brings to life a reality where an unknown disaster kills off most of the world’s population and contaminates the surface with ionizing radiation. In such a time when scientific research is directed towards finding other planets to inhabit, ‘The Midnight Sky’ focuses on academic Augustine Lofthouse, the one and only person alive on a massive Arctic base. Although his failing health brings a sense of impending doom, Lofthouse soon remembers how the crew of the spaceship Aether will be returning to Earth shortly. The crew has no idea about the disaster on Earth and believes that they lost connection due to damaged equipment. Thus, it falls upon Lofthouse to warn the crew and, in turn, save human lives. The haunting yet beautiful apocalypse presented in the film makes it one of the best disaster movies of this generation. You may check out the film here.

3. Don’t Look Up (2021)

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Don’t Look Up‘ stars stalwarts Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence, among others, in a thrilling, nail-biting movie directed by Adam McKay. Revolving around low-level astronomers Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Randall Mindy, the film showcases how they suddenly discover a rapidly approaching comet that is set to destroy the Earth. Unsurprisingly, they are initially met with disbelief and then indifference as the world refuses to listen to someone without rank or status. The film then follows the duo as they undertake a massive media tour, hoping to find someone who will take them seriously and save humankind. You can watch ‘Don’t Look Up’ here.

2. Suzume (2022)

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With Japan’s fate resting on her shoulders, 17-year-old Suzume Iwato must help Souta Munakata locate and shut supernatural doors to prevent the worm Namazu from entering Japan and wreaking havoc by causing earthquakes. A Makoto Shinkai directorial that brilliantly blends disaster, adventure, fantasy, and coming-of-age, ‘Suzume’ is the ninth-highest-grossing anime film ever. You can watch it here.

1. Godzilla Minus One (2023)

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The latest reboot of the Godzilla Kaiju franchise, ‘Godzilla Minus One,’ won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 96th Academy Awards. Directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who also served as the visual effects supervisor, the film offers a new rendition of the popular reptilian monster that was the result of nuclear radiation. The film is set in postwar Japan, from the POV of a pilot, Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki), with PTSD, who encounters Godzilla in 1945. His fear returns two years later, along with the monster, mutated, more powerful, and bent on destroying whatever stands in its way. Is there any way to stop it from bringing about the extinction of Japan? To learn more, you can watch ‘Godzilla Minus One’ here.

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26 Best Disaster Movies on Netflix (June 2024) (2024)
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