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12 Movies like 2012 To Watch if you like Disaster Movies

Movies like 2012

Looking for disaster movies like 2012? We have got you covered. Read on to get the list of best films similar to 2012 you might enjoy.

2012 is a strange film. Unlike other disaster movies that take up a crisis, like climate change, or earthquakes or floods, 2012 tries to add every possible natural disaster in the film. The film follows the story of Jackson Curtis, a writer who is trying to protect his family from a series of disasters that threaten to wipe out the human race.

The film falters on the story and it’s characters a bit. The story is a little too out there and none of the characters has been developed very well, so their actions and motivations feel a little forced. Well, I don’t think anybody is going to watch the film for character development. Roland Emmerich directs the film with great style, but not a lot of substance. The film has amazing disaster scenes and gorgeous choreography. 2012’s special effects and CGI are a sight to behold and the best of the time.

The film is based on the famous Mayan prophecy that the world would end in 2012 in a series of disasters and humans would be wiped out. While the Mayan prophesy turned out to be incorrect and the world in fact didn’t end, the film still makes for an entertaining watch. If you like the movie 2012, you should check out these disaster movies similar to 2012.

Also Check Out: 11 Movies like Sunshine to Watch if you like Mind-Bending Films

12 Movies Like 2012

  1. The Day After Tomorrow
  2. The Wave
  3. Cloverfield
  4. The Core
  5. Armageddon
  6. San Andreas
  7. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  8. Greenland
  9. Contagion
  10. War of the Worlds
  11. Twister
  12. Melancholia

The Day After Tomorrow

Another film by Roland Emmerich, who is an experienced disaster movies director. The film follows the story of Jack Hall, a scientist who is studying the Earth’s weather patterns and monitoring climate change based in Antarctica. Hall is also a believer in the theory that climate change is going to bring about an imminent disaster but the government ignores his repeated warnings. As the movie progresses, disaster strikes. A cold wave washes over the world, enveloping the whole world in a blanket of ice. Hall’s son, played by the talented Jake Gyllenhall is stuck in New York. Jack is on his way to his son, but will he get there?

If you’re looking for movies like 2012, this is going be one of your best bets. Directed by the same guy who made 2012, The Day After Tomorrow is one hell of a disaster movie. While thin on the storyline, the film iconic visuals and great special effects hold up the test of time. If you’re looking for great entertainment and action, The Day After Tomorrow is a good choice.

The Wave

Unlike 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, this film doesn’t need to make use of expensive special effects to make the viewers involved with the film. While the critics aren’t fond of this Norwegian film, viewers on IMDb have been praising this film a lot. The story follows the story of a geologist living in a small village in Norway and the village is based near a mountain pass and is always at risk of flooding. When a large flood breaks out of the mountains, nobody is prepared to handle the crisis. The geologist and his family are caught in the middle of the disaster so they have to make their way to safety.

The film still has gorgeous cinematography and a very exciting storyline. The characters are well developed and the buildup to the disaster is done amazingly. You can really relate to the characters in the film and begin to imagine what would you do in their place. All in all, it’s an excellent disaster film to watch.

Cloverfield

Cloverfield is a classic survival disaster film and is often at the top of many disaster film lists. The film follows a group of friends in New York who are stuck in the city when a very large monster attacks the city. The friends have to rescue their friend who is trapped in her apartment. They travel through New York, encountering danger and life-threatening situations to rescue their friend Beth.

The film has been shot in a found footage manner and the format works exceedingly well in this scenario. It makes you feel like you’re a part of the events happening in the film. Cloverfield has become a cult classic among fans of alien and disaster films and everyone should see this movie at least once.

The Core

As per a review by Nell Minow of Common Sense Media,”The Core” is a big, dumb, explosion movie. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — often big, dumb, explosion movies are fun to watch and do very well at the box office”.

That pretty much sums up this accurately. While the film is a bit old, it’s a highly entertaining film that will keep you glued to your screens throughout the duration of the film. This is one of the best movies like 2012. The core of the Earth has stopped spinning and if humankind wants to survive they will have to drill down to the core and make it spin again. It’s a fun film to check and has plenty of action to keep you hooked.

Armageddon

Armageddon is one of the early movies of Michael Bay, the director known for making films that foucs more on explosions than characters. While his have subpar stories, the action is in work is top notch. His transformers franchise is proof of how good of an action director Bay is.

Armageddon is the same, full of crazy explosions and crazy special effects that are highly entertaining. The film stars Bruce Willis and he is at the prime of his career here. If you’re looking for a fun action flick for the weekend, you should check out Armageddon.

San Andreas

San Andreas is the perfect disaster film. If you’re looking for movies like 2012, you just can’t go wrong with San Andreas. The film stars Dwyane Johnson in the role of Ray, a rescue-chopper pilot and Carla Gugino as his wife.

The pair live in San Andreas when a huge earthquake hits the city, destroying almost everything. The Rock and his wife have to rush throughout the destroyed city in search of their daughter. San Andreas is a big, high budget action flick that will keep you entertained with the sheer spectacle of it. You should definitely check this movie out.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Seeking a Friend For The End Of The World is not exactly a movie like 2012, but it’s still based on the end of the world film trope. This is a film you should watch for the beautiful storyline. In the film, news comes out that a large asteroid is heading for Earth which is going to crash on the planet in less than a month and going to destroy the world.

The movie stars Steve Carell(The Office fame) who up is a timid insurance salesman. As soon as the news breaks out, Carell’s wife leaves him. Carell then decides he has to find the love of his life before the world is destroyed. Penny(Kiera Knightley’s character) helps him along on his journey for true love. The two bond during their travels and form an adorable friendship. If you’re ever feeling down, you should watch this great film.

Greenland

Greenland a recent disaster that combines the best elements of disaster movies. It has great, good acting, great character development. It’s the perfect disaster film. The film also stars Gerard Butler, and it’s his return to form. He had been doing many ordinary roles over the past few years but he does a great jobs and reminds everyone what a great actor he can when given the right script.

John Garrity(Butler), along with his seperated wife and son goes on journey to look for safe haven. Large sized comets are hurtling towards that will spell doom for the world. Garrity and his family encounter the best and the worst of people across their journey. Will they find a safe place to survive or will they perish in the destruction? You should definitely see this film if you’re looking for movies like 2012.

Contagion

Contagion is a disaster movie in a different sense. Anyone who has been through 2020 will get shivers watching this film. While the movie wasn’t reviewed highly when it originally came out, ever since COVID-19, people have a newfound respect for this piece of art. The film follows the story of a group of people who are dealing with a sudden pandemic that has enveloped the world. The film has a great cast as well.

The film does a great job of accurately portraying things that humans do when under a crisis. Almost everything that happens in the film came to pass in 2020 when COVID-19 struck. It’s a disaster movie where a disease has run rampant across the planet and scientists are racing against the clock to find a cure before half the planet dies. It’s a film everyone should see regardless of their choice of genres.

War Of The Worlds

Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, this film is considered one of the best alien invasion and disaster movies of all time. Released in 2005, it has special effects that would still blow your mind. The film stars A-lister Tom Cruise who does a great job in his role.

The film has incredible action sequences and the aliens are a sight to behold. Cruise plays the role of Ray, a dockworker and dad to two kids. When the aliens attack, Ray has to take his kids and get them to a safe spot. It’s the perfect film full of action, heart and excitement. You should definitely check this film out.

Twister

Twister was a huge hit in 1996 when it first came out. The film follows the story of Bill and Jo Harding, a married scientist couple who are about to get divorced. However, violent tornadoes start wreaking havoc across the country the pair has put aside their differneces to work together and make an accuate weather prediction and alert system so the people can be prepared when tornadoes strike.

Twister is also a film that focuses more on special effects and cinematography than the story and characters but that’s not always a bad thing for disaster movies. You should check out this film as it has some great action sequences and some really innovative CGI for its time. Fans of movies like 2012 will definitely love this film.

Melancholia

All films of Lars Von Trier are very hard to recommend, as the reviews for all of his work are heavily polarised. People either hate his films or love them to death. Although I’m not a big Lars Von Trier Fan, Melancholia holds a very special place in my heart. I feel like I can relate to Kirsten Dunst’s character a lot. The way she does on a self-destructive streak and then falls into a heavy depression was eerily reminiscent of my own experiences. 

This is a unique disaster film that explores the conecpt of mental health and depression like no other movie has ever done before. There’s a large planet hurtling through space coming closer and closer to the earth. I don’t want to spoil it, but it focuses how the characters behave when faced with threats beyond their comprehension. Melancholia is grand in scope, yet will make you feel helpless. If depression had a visual representation, it’s Melancholia. Please give this film a watch, it’s one of my favorites. 

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward