By Cecilia Nowell published
There's a movie out there for every occasion. Rom-coms for Valentine's Day. Tragedies for getting through a break-up. And end-of-the-world movies for those dark moments where you just want to see everything fall apart (or you feel like everything is already falling apart).
The fun thing (is there such a thing?) about end-of-the-world movies is how creative they get. Alien invaders? Check. Sentient computers? Check. Time travel? Of course. Revolution? You betcha. Take a little vacation from what feels like the actual end of the world with these classic movies.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Riley Keough
Can the end of the world....turn into a feminist epic about rebirth and the destruction of patriarchy? We're sure hoping so!
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Starring: Brooke Adams, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy
This throwback is one of the OG end-of-the-world movies. We recommend the 1973 remake of the 1956 original.
The Day After Tomorrow
Starring: Jake Gyllenhall, Dennis Quaid, Emmy Rossum, Sela Ward, Dash Mihok
Remember watching this in high school environmental science? Anybody? Just me? Well, it looks a whole lot more like reality than it did back then.
I Am Legend
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Willow Smith, Salli Richardson
Everyone needs a dog at the end of the world. Especially if the end of the world includes zombies!
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Starring: Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Claude Akins, Austin Stoker
There have been a TON of Planet of the Apes remakes, but the 1973 original is a classic must-watch.
Starring: Jeff Garlin, Elissa Knight, Ben Burtt, Andrew Stanton, Sigourney Weaver
Listen, the end of the world can be cute. If there are robots involved.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman
Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame broke our hearts (but put them back together) with this semi-apocalyptic finale.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving
Is it weird to say that this is, like, the sexiest end-of-the-world movie? The leather, the woman in the red dress, Neo and Trinity? If the world ends with machine overlords, then I guess this is the way to do it.
The Hunger Games
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz
Okay, so The Hunger Games might not be an actual end-of-the-world movie, but it's supposed to take place after a world-ending authoritarian take-over so....we'll say that it counts. Plus, it's surprisingly inspiring to watch Katniss and Peeta and friends organize a rebellion.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Timothée Chalamet
It's the end of the world...but in outer space. But in all honesty, this movie is breathtaking and we so, so recommend it.
Starring: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law,
Okay, this might hit a little too close to home right now, but this cast was amaaazing and the movie's kind of a crash course in public health.
Starring: Charlie Day, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Hunnam, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman
Nothing like a good end-of-the-world action flick. The Pacific Rim soundtrack is unbeatable and the 2018 John Boyega remake is soooo good.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Taika Waititi, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo, Karl Urban, Idris Elba
Beyond the best Thor movie so far (although we're happy to be proven wrong by Thor: Love and Thunder), this is an end-of-the-world movie about a different world (phew!). Taika Waititi kills it as a director and the soundtrack is on fire.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Starring: Keira Knightley, Steve Carell, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt
There's something strangely sweet about watching Keira Knightley and Steve Carell make the best of a bad situation—one month to live until an asteroid hits and destroys the world.
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Cecilia Nowell is a freelance reporter covering gender, reproductive health, and the Americas. Her writing has been published in Elle, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post’s The Lily, and The Nation.
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