Mass eradication, whether caused by a natural disaster or man, is typically depicted in disaster films. Are you currently looking for the best disaster movies on Netflix? If so, this is just the place for you. We have curated a list of the 10 most thought-provoking disaster movies you’ll ever see on Netflix.
Recently, filmmakers are becoming more interested in movies with zombies, alien invasions, tsunamis, and catastrophe themes. Mother Nature is diverse, nurturing, and inspirational, but it also has its frightening moments. The future of Earth and the human population that lives there are in danger from events like avalanches and hurricanes. Watching films that challenge our survival is not only thrilling and entertaining but provokes the mind to think just how much power humanity possesses to endure such unimaginable situations.
List of Disaster Movies On Netflix
1. Cast Away (2000)
Castaway features Tom Hanks in one of his best performances of all time. The story follows Tom as a FedEx systems engineer, Chuck Noland. He is a married man who as a part of the job, travels with a bunch of FedEx parcels due to unprecedented problems, the plane crashes on a remote island, and he is left alone to survive by himself.
The movie tests humanity’s most innate ability of survival. Chuck’s challenges run from basics like lighting a fire –to food –to more complex struggles like loneliness. Castaway has become synonymous with the survival/disaster movie genre as it takes you on an emotional journey like no other with Tom’s skin-deep, engaging and riveting performance. Castaway is easily on the top of my list for best natural disaster movies on Netflix, if you watch it then I’m sure it’ll be on yours too.
2. Don’t Look Up (2021)
Don’t Look Up isn’t the kind of serious disaster movie you’ll expect to watch. Rather it’s a satirical film, an allegory for climate change, commenting on the politics, celebrity culture, and the media’s indifference to climate warnings. The film has a bunch of A-list actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and more.
As most satires go, Don’t Look Up is a comical yet hard-hitting story. Two scientists discover a comet – size of 10 Kilometers which is in course to hit Earth directly in 6 months. Still, as the two scientists are freaking out over the possibility of the end of the world, the people on the very top seem to be ‘disinterested’ in taking action, not taking the warnings seriously. Don’t Look Up is surely amongst the best disaster movies on NetFlix for you to watch.
3. World War Z (2013)
The more serious circumstances of this film, World War Z, follow a former UN employee Garry Lane (Brad Pitt), as he runs against time to stop the zombie pandemic that occurred due to a highly infectious virus called Solanum. The high spread of the virus threatens the survival of humanity.
While there are innumerable zombie films out there, World War Z is not like the others, it’s as intelligent, a well-written film focusing on the disastrous pandemic. This may be different from the reality of pandemics we have seen, but this short, dramatic, fast-paced film is a part of the best disaster movies on NetFlix to watch right now.
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4. Contagion (2011)
Having gone through the real-world challenges of a pandemic in 2022, the 2011 film Contagion became one of the most-watched films online. The film follows just what happens when a deadly virus is discovered. The virus kills a lady and her son, putting the Central of Disease Control (CDC) in motion to control the spread as the world falls into panic.
Almost surreal to watch a film that came a decade ago, warning us about the difficulties, Contagion is mind-blowing. The story entertains and teaches us a lot. One good thing is that the virus in the movie is far deadlier than ours- giving humanity hope of getting through. Contagion is a great option for natural disaster movies on Netflix.
5. Deep Impact (1998)
Deep Impact is another film about a comet in course of collision with Earth. However, in this film, humanity collectively tries everything in its power to prepare for the worst. Deep Impact focuses less on drama and more on the realistic portrayal of how our intelligence and technology can be used to save all of Humanity.
I highly recommend this movie. It is impressive how the story does not feel dated even after being 2 decades older. Special effects sure aren’t as timeless but the heart and soul of the movie is forever. The characters, their emotions and their reactions feel genuine as they take you on a beautiful journey. In my opinion, Deep Impact deserves to be called one of the best disaster movies on Netflix. Check it out.
6. San Andreas (2015)
This film if is the best example of when a seemingly good day turns into the worst nightmare. An earthquake of 9 magnitude hits California and cracks the Earth open. All the buildings start to crumble as the Los Angeles and San Francisco cities start to sink in. A man called Ray ( Dwayne Johnson), an LAFD search-rescues helicopter pilot, navigates the destruction to save his estranged wife and his only daughter.
Dwayne Johnson’s movie often packs a lot of thrill and action, which is one exception. San Andreas has a good plot, great special effects, and strong acting. It is a bit predictable, but regardless, I highly suggest San Andreas to anyone who loves suspenseful stories and wants to see earthquake movies on Netflix.
7. Extinction (2018)
Extinction opens up with a father who has a recurring dream about losing his family while witnessing an evil force of destruction. Much to his surprise, the evil forces are the way to cause destruction. The father must find a way to save his family from the devastating attacks.
This is a thought-provoking story with an unexpected twist. The plot and special effects are extremely creative and a joy to watch. The beginning was slow, but the movie picks its pace up really well. I suggest giving Extinction a go, especially if you enjoy disaster movies on Netflix.
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8. The Core (2003)
The Core is about a group of people who have to drill to the center of the Earth and start a series of nuclear explosions to get the Earth’s core to rotate again. The planet’s electromagnetic field rapidly deteriorates when the inner core stops spinning. The only way Earth can be saved is to get the core back in motion.
Despite the fact that at first glance, it all may appear far-fetched, The Core is a fantastic film. The scientific inaccuracies do not take away from the plot. The plot is thrilling and quite jarring, the characters are believable and well-developed (though not always likable), and the visual effects are far ahead of their time when viewed from a fantasy perspective. Hence, The Core is a great pick for natural disaster movies on Netflix for you.
9. Geostorm (2017)
In the film Geostorm, the satellites that regulate the climate and prevent catastrophic natural disasters are malfunctioning. It’s a race to find the threat before a global storm takes over. I would say this film is rather a work of fiction, as it ignores most scientific foundations.
The film is not very groundbreaking or outstanding due to its simple execution, but it can’t be denied that the film packs a solid punch with its action sequences, plot twists, and visual effects. Trust me, Geostorm is an entertaining choice for tsunami movies on NetFlix or storm movies on NetFlix.
10. How It Ends (2021)
In this feel-good apocalyptic comedy, How It Ends- a woman called Liza decides to take a trip through LA in hopes of making it to her last party before the world ends ‘it all ends’. Along her journey, she encounters eclectic characters.
Fresh and thought-provoking, How It Ends is a showcase of the mindset differences between the sheltered younger generation and the roughshod older generation. I recommend watching this movie. It depicts very authentic apocalyptic-related issues and very successfully captures the raw and very real emotions that manifest in such situations. Is it one of the best disaster movies on Netflix? Maybe not, but surely entertaining.
Here are a few disaster movies on Netflix that didn’t make the list (few of these are currently not on Netflix), but you can check them when they become available:
- Pandora (Korean)