- Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies on Prime Video explore the collapse of society and the survival of unlucky individuals in the face of various disasters.
- These movies provide a backdrop for pushing the boundaries of human drama and unraveling social realities and politics in the midst of impending doom.
- From zombie outbreaks to alien invasions, these films offer a mix of thrilling action, humor, and thought-provoking moments, making for entertaining and engaging viewing experiences.
The best apocalypse movies on Prime Video have one thing in common: they imagine the collapse of modern society and hold a broken mirror up to the unlucky survivors. In movies, the end of the world can be caused by a virus, zombies, nuclear war, a giant meteor, a water or food crisis, or some other natural or unnatural disaster. Either way, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies are about those who somehow survive the worst-case scenario for the planet.
This template affords filmmakers the perfect backdrop for pushing the boundaries of human drama. Amid impending doom for everything and everyone, social realities and the inherent politics of mundane things like survival are completely unraveled. Glimpses of tender, hilarious, and inspiring moments shine like beacons in the thick, nuclear clouds of hopelessness. In the wasteland, strangers in the distance signify both hope and instant death. From the 80s to the 2010s, there are great apocalyptic films available to stream on Prime Video.
25 Battleship (2012)
Few people could have predicted that the popular board game Battleship would one day be turned into a self-serious alien invasion movie. The movie stars the likes of Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, and Rihanna in the story of a fleet of military ships that must do battle with a powerful enemy who arrives with their advanced weaponry to wage war on Earth. It is a shame that the movie didn’t take a look at its source material and go for a lighter tone as it seems more concerned with being a Transformers-like blockbuster. However, there is some fun in seeing such a ridiculous story told in such a big-budget way.
24 Resident Evil (2002)
The first of the Resident Evil movies is generally seen as the best of the franchise with the 2002 film going for an action-horror vibe that can be pretty fun. Milla Jovovich stars as Alice, a young woman who wakes up in a secret facility with no memory. She soon comes across a group of military operatives looking to secure the facility after an outbreak turns everyone into flesh-eating zombies. It is not until the end of the movie that audiences realize the world has been doomed due to this virus, kicking off this post-apocalyptic action franchise. In the end, the result is a pretty fun, if slightly cheesy, ride.
23 Turbo Kid (2015)
The apocalypse movie genre can sometimes be overall grim, so it is nice to see a movie that allows itself to have some fun with the genre while also paying homage to some of the greats. As a sign that Turbo Kid doesn’t take itself too seriously, the post-apocalyptic adventure is set in the Wasteland of 1997 where a young comic book lover turned superhero teams with a and of colorful heroes to take down a warlord. With plenty of love shown to George Miller and John Carpenter, Turbo Kid feels like a nostalgic trip with some great humor and gory fun to make for a hugely entertaining and underseen experience.
22 Knock At The Cabin (2023)
Knock at the Cabin is the latest thriller from M. Night Shyamalan and poses an interesting question of what an ordinary person might be willing to sacrifice in order to stop the end of the world. The movie follows a family vacationing at a secluded cabin when they are visited by a group of strangers who lock them inside and tell them the world will end if they do not choose one of them to be killed. Knock at the Cabin‘s anti-climatic ending makes it feel as though Shyamalan dropped the ball on this story, but he manages to create a thrilled tension throughout. It also features one of Dave Bautista’s best performances as the leader of the strangers.
21 Maggie (2015)
The idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a zombie apocalypse movie may cause fans to picture some sort of bloody action-horror movie, but Maggie is certainly not that. Featuring Schwarzenegger’s most reserved performance to date, he stars as a father who, living in seclusion with his daughter amidst a zombie outbreak must come to terms with losing her after she is bitten. The movie takes a human look at the kind of zombie story audiences have seen so many times, and though it is a little slow at times, the performances from Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin as his daughter elevate the whole thing.
20 Noah (2014)
Taking a look at perhaps the oldest apocalypse story of all time, Darren Aronofsky tackles the Biblical epic, Noah. Russell Crowe stars as the titular man who hears a warning from God that the Earth will be flooded to wash away the sinful masses of society. Noah’s righteousness is sparred and he is tasked with preparing his family for the coming flood by building an arc. The grand scale of the story and the nuances Aronofsky gives to it makes for a fascinating retelling even if some of the human-based tension feels a little forced. Crowe makes for an intense lead while the supporting cast of Jennifer Connolly, Ray Winstone, and Emma Watson is exceptional.
19 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
The Hunger Games franchise explored a thrilling post-apocalyptic world with great world-building and an exciting story of rebellion. After the action-packed second movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 began the conclusion of this saga with the first of a two-part ending. Many fans pointed to the decision to split the finale in two as a big mistake as it left this installment as the worst of the bunch and a rather dull experience. However, seeing the scattered and flawed rebellion taking shape was an interesting world to spend time in as the stage was set for the end.
18 The Tomorrow War (2021)
After launching into space as Star-Lord, Chris Pratt has found himself in a few sci-fi blockbusters with The Tomorrow War bringing him into this human versus alien story. Pratt plays a family man in present day who is drafted along with many other citizens to come to the future and fight against alien invaders who are eradicating the planet. The premise is an exciting one that makes great use of the “time travel to save the world” gimmick. While the action and CGI alien enemies are nothing unique, it is a fun story with some interesting twists and a fun cast.
17 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
Getting past the filler entry of Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is the epic conclusion to the story of Katniss and the rebellion of Panem. Unfortunately, the ending is not without its flaws as the franchise seems to have lost some of the excitement behind when it left the games behind. Yet there are a lot of thrills in seeing the darkest installment of the franchise with plenty of surprises and the risk-taking directions that ensure it will not be the happy ending fans were expecting. Certainly, fans of the series will want to check out what becomes of this post-apocalyptic story.
16 The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
The zombie subgenre has often been a big part of apocalypse movies. Though not connected to George A. Romero’s iconic zombie movies, The Return of the Living Dead establishes itself as its own wonderful and wild entry into the genre. The movie follows a group of warehouse workers, a mortician, and some young punks who must stop an outbreak of the dead rising and looking to feast on human brains. The movie is a wonderful mix of horror and comedy with some great gore. It is also responsible for introducing new elements into the zombie lore that have been taken up by a lot of other movies that follow.
15 The Last Man On Earth (1964)
The Last Man on Earth is the first attempt to adapt the book of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Vincent Price stars as a man who finds himself the last living person in the world when a virus turns the rest of humanity into the living dead. As he becomes a hunter of these deadly new enemies, he fights against the odds to survive. Like the rest of the adaptations, The Last Man on Earth loses some of the most interesting concepts of Mathson’s novel. However, it still maintains a creepy and dark tone for its era with a wonderfully compelling performance from Price in the lead role.
14 The Dead Zone (1983)
The adaptation of a Stephen King story, The Dead Zone begins with a brilliant premise that turns into an intense story about preventing the end of the world. Christopher Walken stars as a man who develops the ability to see a person’s future simply by touching their hand. The third act of the movie deals with Walken touching the hand of a politician (Martin Sheen) who he sees will ignite a nuclear war that destroys the planet, leaving Walken with the decision of whether or not to kill him and save the planet. His solution for saving the day is a brilliant twist.
13 The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)
The Girl with All the Gifts is another zombie movie taking place in the aftermath of a virus outbreak that turns people into flesh-eating monsters. The potential savior of humanity lies within a group of infected children who crave human flesh but retain their rational minds. The movie follows one of these children and a group of adults as they travel across the dangerous dystopian world as the young girl comes to terms with who she is. The movie is an excellent mix of thought-provoking and human moments along with exciting horror elements, making it a little-known gem in the genre.
12 The Hunger Games (2012)
The first installment of the Young Adult movie series introduces the audience to Panem and the annual games. The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen from District 12 who finds herself competing in the cruel tournament that pits young boys and girls against each other in a fight to the death. But when Katniss forms a bond with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), she finds herself becoming a symbol of hope in the dystopian society. While the PG-13 rating seems a little out of place given the premise of the movie, the movie is a thrilling entry into this world with a standout performance from Lawrence who cemented herself as one of the best up-and-coming talents.
11 A Quiet Place 2 (2020)
Following the inventive approach to horror and suspense that A Quiet Place delivered, a sequel risked ruining a lot of that original magic. Thankfully, A Quiet Place 2 continues the timeline of this alien invasion story in a satisfying and fitting way. The movie follows the remaining members of the Abbott family as they venture out into the world with new threats lurking as well as a weapon to fight back against the aliens who hunt based on sound. From the exciting flashback opening to the invasion’s first day to Cillian Murphy joining the cast as a new hero, the sequel expands the world while also creating some truly intense sequences.
10 Men In Black (1997)
Modern blockbuster filmmaking can learn a thing or two from the perfect popcorn entertainment on Men in Black. The mix of comedy, high-stakes scenarios, and exciting sci-fi world-building makes for a winning combination along with the wonderful duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Smith plays a dedicated young cop who is recruited to join a secret organization that monitors aliens living secretly on Earth. While the heroes have to race against the clock to prevent the world from being destroyed, part of the fun is the idea that such apocalyptic threats are a common occurrence with humanity totally oblivious to how close they came to destruction.
9 The World’s End (2013)
The third movie collaboration between Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg, The World’s End is generally regarded as a great but least popular entry in the Three Cornettos Trilogy. However, fans who might have dismissed it the first time around should revisit it and see if their opinion doesn’t improve. Pegg stars as a man desperately trying to recapture his glory days who convinces his friends to return to their hometown for a pub crawl only to find it’s been taken over by aliens. Wright’s energetic direction, the sharp humor, and a more emotional character arc than the other two movies make The World’s End a fun ride from beginning to end.
8 War Of The Worlds (1953)
What began as Orson Welles’ infamous radio broadcast of a Martian invasion has become a long-lasting story in sci-fi. War of the Worlds deals with the invasion of the alien army with their deadly tripod weapons making quick work of the defending humans. The story doesn’t break new ground but rather helped guide a lot of popular alien invasion movies that followed. While Steven Spielberg used his talent to remake it, there are still many who call the 1953 version of War of the Worlds the better of the two takes.
7 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
The second movie in The Hunger Games franchise was the rare example of a sequel that surpasses the original. After winning the Hunger Games and inspiring the people of Panem, Katniss finds herself the target of President Snow who draws her back into the games with the hope of killing her and extinguishing the rebellion. With the games well-established, the sequel has a lot of fun setting up a new fight and a lot of new threats. There are also a lot of terrific new characters introduced and a growing cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright. It all builds to an explosive, clever, and surprising finale.
6 The Fifth Element (1997)
A space opera with an outlandish style and a great sense of humor has made The Fifth Element a cult classic. Set in the 23rd century, the movie centers around a powerful cosmic entity that threatens to destroy Earth. Bruce Willis stars as a taxi driver who, along with a mysterious girl (Milla Jovovich) must locate powerful artifacts that will save the planet. Avoiding the dark and crime future of the likes of Blade Runner, The Fifth Element is a vibrant and colorful adventure that is not afraid to be campy and bizarre but is always entertaining. It also features a fun supporting cast including Chris Tucker and Gary Oldman.