Are you looking to chill with some of the best disaster movies on Netflix? Read on to see our selection. Disaster movies offer a fresh perspective on our world at large, and they remind us that we are not invincible as a planet.
However, disaster movies show us the goodness in us to help our fellow in times of crisis. Together, we can beat any disaster thrown at mankind.
Don’t forget to drop your comments on your best disaster movies.
Table of Contents
- 1. Don’t look up (2021)
- 2. World War Z (2013)
- 3. Titanic (1997)
- 4. Extinction (2018)
- 5. Poseidon (2006)
- 6. Chernobyl 1986 (2021)
- 7. 7:19 (2016)
- 8. How It Ends (2018)
- 9. Pandora (2016)
- 10. The Wandering Earth (2019)
- 11. 2012 (2009)
1. Don’t look up (2021)
- Director: Adam McKay
- Star cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, and Tyler Perry
Michigan State University Astronomy Ph.D. candidate Kate Dibiasky discovers an unknown comet. In a short while, her professor, Dr. Randall, confirms that it will inevitably collide with earth in precisely six months. The comet’s size is large enough to cause an extinction-level event.
NASA subsequently confirms the impending danger. They sent their planetary defense coordination office head, Dr. Teddy, and Kate Dibiasky to inform the United States president. The President and her chief of staff react in a less-concerned manner.
Don’t look up cleverly portrays the attitude of people today concerning impending destruction of the planet. The people have become so immersed and fixated in celebrity worship, social media popularity, political gambling, and brain-numbing infotainment.
This film occupies a unique spot among the best disaster movies on Netflix. It practically sets out the chaotic and confusing nature of today’s world.
It perfectly captures the blend of anger and exhaustion present in our society for the last few years.
People have stopped worrying about extinction-level events and have become more focused on having fun. Don’t look up is a dark satire filled with comedy at critical and dangerous moments.
Imagine laughing when you hear that the world is coming to an end.
2. World War Z (2013)
- Director: Marc Foster
- Star cast: Bradd Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge, and Matthew Fox
The earth might have its elements, but man can also wipe out itself if he so pleases. Former AFSOC and UN operative Gerry Lane find himself and his family trapped in heavy traffic when zombies overrun the city.
During the chaos, Lane escapes with his family and initially takes refuge in an apartment with another couple and their young son Tommy. A horde of zombies breaks into the flat, and Lane flees with Tommy and his family.
Fortunately, an old friend of Lane, who is now the UN Deputy Secretary-General, sends a helicopter to extract Lane and his family to a United States Navy vessel in the ocean.
A team of scientists and military personnel analyze the outbreak, and they endlessly search for a cure.
World war Z provides an immersive apocalyptic spectacle that portrays a global zombie uprising from the beginning to the end. It is unlike other best disaster movies on Netflix.
This time around, the disaster is in the form of a zombie virus.
3. Titanic (1997)
- Director: James Cameroon
- Star cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, and Bernard Hill
While we are used to referring to disasters like tornadoes, and tsunamis, a simple fire engulfing a building is a disaster.
The 193-minute blockbuster Titanic dominated the 70th Academy Awards, taking home eleven wins, including best picture.
17-year old Rose DeWitt, her fiancé Caledon, and her mother, Ruth, board the Titanic in 1912 Southampton. Ruth emphasizes how her daughter’s marriage to Cal will end their family’s financial problems.
Jack Dawson, a poor young artist, boards the ship with a ticket he won in a poker game. It is a game of prince charming rescuing a princess at the nick of danger.
Jack stops Rose from jumping overboard, obviously from depression. Jack and Rose develop a strong friendship, with Rose developing feelings for Jack.
James Cameroon packs this film with state-of-the-art visual and special effects to produce an engulfing story usually absent in disaster movies.
Unlike other disaster movies on Netflix, this film shows the destruction of man’s creation by a little insignificant error. Its immersive scenes show how far man can go in his inventions and the dangers that follow if the invention fails.
4. Extinction (2018)
- Director: Ben Young
- Star cast: Michael Peña, Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter, Erica Tremblay, and Emma Booth
What if another worldly force brings disaster to our planet? Peter, an engineer, recurrently dreams of a violent alien invasion that leaves everyone suffering.
His dreams caused his relationship with his wife, Alice, and daughters to become strained.
Peter reluctantly goes to a clinic to receive help, only to discover another patient who claims to have the same visions as him.
This unabatedly boosts Peter’s confidence in the authenticity of his impending disaster.
The plot of his film is solid enough to make you overlook its low production value. The first 30 minutes contain a slow pace, but the film incorporates many twists once you think you have it figured out.
The movie may leave you feeling like you are watching another movie in some plot twists. It is currently listed as one of the disaster movies on Netflix.
5. Poseidon (2006)
- Director: Wolfgang Petersen
- Star cast: Kurt Russel, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, and Mike Vogel
The RMS Poseidon is a luxury ocean liner making a transatlantic crossing. Former New York City Mayor Robert Ramsey boarded the cruise ship with his daughter Jennifer and her boyfriend Christian, and Jennifer and her boyfriend headed to New York for their engagement.
On New Year’s Eve, a giant wave crashes in the Poseidon and flips it upside down. The passengers struggle to survive as the ship begins to sink.
Times of crisis and disaster bring out the best and worst in people. Dylan, a professional gambler, abandons his old nature and leads the group of survivors. He puts his life at risk on several occasions for the sake of others.
Dylan coaches and consoles his fellow survivors through the ill-fated catastrophe. He repeatedly chooses to save others even when he could’ve just saved himself.
Poseidon is a hidden gem among disaster movies on Netflix. It is a film that portrays the bravery of a man to rescue others even when his own life is at risk. The actors deliver a solid performance that keeps the movie from falling apart.
6. Chernobyl 1986 (2021)
- Director: Danila Koslovsky
- Star cast: Danila Koslovsky, Oksana Akinshina, Filipp Avedeyev, Ravshana Kurtova, and Nikolay Kosak
In 1986, 30-year old Pripyat firefighter Alexey Karpushin began reconnecting with an old lover, local hairdresser Olga Savostina. Olga tells him that he is the father of her 10-year-old son. The romance starts to pick off.
However, the romance stumbles to the ground when Alexey fails to turn up for a picnic with Olga and their son. A visibly angry Olga tells him to stay away from her and their son. A devastated Alexey applies to be stationed at Kyiv.
Before Alexey leaves, an explosion rocks the nearby Chernobyl power plant, forcing him to board a fire truck to reactor number 4.
Humanity witnessed one of the worst disasters when the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded. The catastrophe sent shockwaves across the entire world, and it affected people physically and emotionally.
The action sequences in Chernobyl 1986 stand out among its peers, and they are raw and realistic with the chaotic madness of disaster.
Chernobyl 1986 is one of the great disaster movies on Netflix. The energetic camera movements create an immersive experience as if you are physically present.
7. 7:19 (2016)
- Director: Jorge Michel Grau
- Star cast: Demián Bichir, Hector Bonilla
Building workers report to an office building early on September 19, 1985. Shortly after, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake brings the building to the ground, killing and trapping many workers.
Fernando, a worker, regains consciousness only to realize that a beam pins him down. One of the guards, Martin, is trapped at his desk.
Fernando and Martin hear the voices of other survivors, including Nadia, a janitor, and two other workers, Carlos and Juan. The earthquake is broadcast over the radio.
The earthquake sends an aftershock that kills Carlos, crushes Fernando further, and pushes Martin off his desk. Rescuers instruct the survivors to make noise to pinpoint their location and rescue them.
Rescue efforts kill almost all the survivors when an excavator accidentally causes further collapse of the building. Nadia, the janitor, remained the only survivor rescued from the rubble. This event brought Mexico to its knees.
Damian Bichir and Hector Bonilla deliver decent performances to keep you from skipping this movie. It is not all fun and exciting but tragic and dull as well.
The director convincingly shows what it feels like to be trapped in unstable rubble.
This is one of the disaster movies on Netflix that attempts to retell a tragic event in the history of humankind.
The film conveys desperation and hopelessness when disasters strike, and it brings a sad feeling of knowing that the victims were trapped for days without food or water.
8. How It Ends (2018)
- Director: David M. Rosenthal
- Star cast: Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Grace Dove, Kat Graham, Mark O’Brien
A young couple, Will and Samantha, expect to have their first child soon. Will takes a flight to Chicago to visit Samantha’s parents, and he intends to ask Samantha’s dad, Tom, to marry his daughter.
Unfortunately, Tom gets into an argument with Will during dinner, forcing Will to leave without informing Tom of Sam’s pregnancy or his wedding intentions.
Disaster strikes when all flights are canceled, preventing him from returning to Seattle, where Samantha is.
A seismic event off the West coast of the United States has knocked out electricity and telecommunications. Tom agrees to drive together with Will to find Samantha in Seattle.
The people descend into apocalyptic chaos in no time. This film tells a very dark and paranoid side of the world.
However, it struggles to maintain a consistent theme throughout, switching between order and confusion irrationally. It is still passable as one of the disaster movies on Netflix.
Don’t go into watching this film with so many expectations. Keep it simple, and you will have something to pass the time.
9. Pandora (2016)
- Director: Park Jun-woo
- Star cast: Kim Nam-Gil
Ae-hyeok works at a local power plant that provides the town with energy and jobs for the citizens. He lives with his mother, sister-in-law, and nephew Min-Jae.
His plans to leave town and work on a fishing vessel to provide for his family are rebuffed by everyone close to him.
Pyeong-Seok, a member of the plant, attempts to persuade the President to shut down the plant but gets turned down by the President.
An earthquake hits the town and causes the nuclear reactors to overheat.
Attempts to cool the reactors proved abortive, and soon the basement collapsed and killed most of the crew. We can easily guess how it goes from this point forward.
Pandora explores the dangers of cronyism and incompetence in the country. These are political issues that threaten the country’s peace, and director Park Jun-woo approaches these issues boldly in the film.
The producers based this film on the Fukushima disaster of 2011. Understandably, the shock of this disaster is still felt in the country of Japan.
Pandora may not appeal to many people, but it is one of the good disaster movies on Netflix.
10. The Wandering Earth (2019)
- Director: Frant Gwo
- Star cast: Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat Zhao Jinmai, and Qu Jingjing
This film tells a compelling story of a cursed future for the earth. The sun’s instability threatens to wipe out all life on earth.
Humans build about 10,000 jet engines powerful enough to propel the earth away from the sun to another solar system 4.2 light-years away. Can earth make that trip?
Resulting cataclysmic disasters from the sun’s instability kills off much of the human population. Tsunamis held sway as soon as the earth’s rotation was stopped.
The dreaded journey to another solar system is now in progress, and however, it causes most of the earth’s surface to become frozen.
The people built underground cities besides and under the jet engines to survive. This is one of the best disaster movies on Netflix with intense action sequences.
The actors deliver a performance solid enough to keep the movie rolling.
The film producers implemented special effects as much they could, and I wondered if the human acts were not special effects at some point.
Nevertheless, it is a decent, nerve-cracking disaster movie worth watching.
11. 2012 (2009)
- Director: Roland Emmerich
- Star cast: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Olivwe Platt, Amanda Peet, and Thandiwe Newton
American geologist Adrian Helmsley pays a visit to astrophysicist Satnam Tsurutani in India in 2009. He learns of new exotic neutrinos from a massive solar flare, and the neutrinos are heating the earth’s core.
Helmsley reports his findings to the white house chief of staff, Carl Anheuser, who introduces Helmsley to the United States president.
The President realizes that the impending disaster cannot be stopped, and he calls on other world leaders to build large ships called the Arc for survival.
Roland Emmerich’s disaster movie blends almost every other disaster movie you could think of. The film left me stunned after watching it. Maybe the apocalypse is real, and the earth will one day perish.
2012 prides itself with special effects that will cause your eyes to pop literarily. The physical production has so much grandeur to be one of the best disaster movies on Netflix, and it is a technical marvel.
The scene that got me was when Cusack drove the limo through the streets of Los Angeles while avoiding the crumbling freeways and skyscrapers.
The producers reveal the Arc in the most breath-taking manner possible. Go ahead and watch it.