19 Best Survival Movies of All Time


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that’s largely what becoming a more experienced and prepared survivalist is all about. You read books, live your own experiences, and watch how others conduct themselves in pressured situations.

Movies can be insightful case studies into how an individual survives in the wild, even if dramatized and loosely based on reality.

Below are the 19 best survival movies for our money. If you’re interested in sitting back and enveloping yourself within another world, look no further than these excellent films.

The Way Back (2010)

Director Peter Weir tells the absolutely phenomenal story of escaping from a Soviet Gulag in WW2.

Link to Amazon

1917 (2019)

This riveting “one shot” film exposes you to the travail and loss experienced by William Schofield whose delivery of a message is critical to the fate of 1600 British soldiers in WWI. If the excellent storyline and engaging cinematography aren’t enough of a draw for you, watch it for Moriarty and Sherlock!

Link to Amazon

The Revenent (2015)

*Incoherent moaning*

Let’s get the obvious out of the way – Leo won his first and only academy award for this one – FINALLY. So you know you have to watch it, right? But even without that piece of trivia – The Revenant is the ultimate story of survival which ends on a “revenge is a dish best served cold” note. Speaking of dishes, eating before watching this film is not recommended.

Link to Amazon

I am Legend (2007)

I can… I can save you!

Link to Amazon

Birdbox (2018)

A unique take on horror, Birdbox takes you through a dystopian world where a woman and two kids have to navigate themselves away from a state of hysteria and fear in order to get a shot at being safe. Did I mention that they have to do this blindfolded?

Link to watch on Netflix

Castaway (2000)


Link to Amazon

Never Cry Wolf (1983)

Mmmm mouse… Scrumptious.

Link to Amazon

Dunkirk (2017)

Can anyone lend me a Lee Enfield? Seriously what an intense and captivating film. If you ever imagined what it might be like to be sitting ducks while in war, this is as close as you can get.

Link to Amazon

Book of Eli (2010)

Denzel and Gary Oldman are absolutely phenomenal. Be ready for plenty of plot twists, tense action scenes, and a window into what post-apocalyptic life in the desert may be like.

Link to Amazon

Defiance (2008)

Daniel Craig is excellent. Blueprint as to what it’s like to build an entire society from scratch. Goes to show being a scholar isn’t a very useful skill when living in the woods during winter.

Link to Amazon

The Road (2009)

Is that Aragorn? No, but it is Viggo Mortensen who is excellent in this 2009 film who plays a father as he and his son trek across the wasteland.

Link to Amazon

Into the Wild (2007)

Better have studied up on edible seeds in school.

Link to Amazon

The Pianist (2002)

Imagine living in war-time Poland? Much has been told of the holocaust and between this and Schindler’s List, there is no better depiction of what it might be like to be hunted like animals.

Link to Amazon

Deliverance (1972)

The next best thing to fighting post-war marauders is dealing with a band of backwoods locals.

Link to Amazon

Lone Survivor

And that’s why I never trusted a goat herder.

Link to Amazon

Schindler’s List (1993)

Who is going to tell that little girl to not wear red in a world of black and white?!

Link to Amazon

127 Hours (2013)

Can I lend you a hand?

Link to watch on Amazon

Apocalypto (2006)

Are those bones in his nose?

Link to Amazon

Alien (1979)

Not a typical survival movie but if a hungry bear is on your trail, it’s not dissimilar to being hunted by a Xenomorph.

Link to watch on Amazon

We’d love to hear what some other quality survival movies you may have in mind!

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