We love to watch survival movies because they are thrillers and help us get a little bit closer to the edge of our seats. The 15 movies in this list have all inspired people to become a little better at surviving in some way, whether it’s being more prepared or just knowing what not to do if you’re ever lost in the woods with a bear. Check out these 15 great survival films available on Netflix right now:
1. 127 Hours
127 Hours is a survival movie starring James Franco as Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who gets trapped by a boulder. To free himself, he has to amputate his arm. The movie is based on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston and was written and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two: best-adapted screenplay for Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy and best actor for James Franco.
2. Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow is a 1996 action movie about a soldier and a pilot stranded in the desert in a nuclear missile silo. The film is set in the desert of New Mexico and is based on a true story.
John Travolta stars as Michael Burroughs, an expert marksman forced to navigate his way out of trouble after being left behind by his fellow soldiers during joint training exercises with the Air Force. Christian Slater plays Brent Modine, who becomes stranded with Burroughs after their helicopter crashes.
The two men must work together to escape this seemingly hopeless situation before running out of food. They become easy targets for any pursuing army personnel or Native Americans who may come across them first.
3. Into the Wild
This film is based on a true story, starring Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless and directed by Sean Penn. It was released in 2007 and is based on Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Wild.
This movie won Best Director at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards for Sean Penn’s direction, but it also received critical acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The exciting thing about this movie is that it does not romanticize McCandless’ journey but instead clarifies that his choices led to his death. However, it also shows how he was able to find happiness in many ways before this tragic end.
4. Cast Away
Tom Hanks plays Chuck Noland, a FedEx pilot stranded on a desert island after his plane crashes during a trip to Honolulu. Chuck is forced to fend for himself once he realizes that there will be no rescue and that he must find a way to survive on the island until help arrives. This movie is excellent for anyone who loves survival stories or likes Tom Hanks. It’s also good if you like beaches or islands.
Deliverance is a 1972 classic about four men who decide to go on an adventure in the wilderness. They get lost and then attacked by locals who don’t like them being there. The movie shows that it’s essential to be able to survive while also fighting back against attackers. The film was based on a book by James Dickey, and it was filmed in Georgia, where much of the action takes place.
If you love survival stories or thrillers, this is one movie you’ll want to add to the top of your list!
Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action horror film directed by John McTiernan and written by Jim and John Thomas. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, and Richard Chaves.
The story follows Dutch (Schwarzenegger), a commando who leads his team into the jungles of Central America to rescue hostages from the guerrilla territory. They soon find themselves fighting for their lives against an unseen enemy; this is when we see Dutch’s true character shine through as he leads his team through epic gun battles to survive their encounters with these deadly creatures.
7. The Grey
The Grey is the story of a group of oil workers who survive a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness. Liam Neeson plays John Ottway, one of the few survivors and someone who is determined to make his way back to civilization. The movie follows John as he struggles against freezing temperatures, wolves, and other dangers threatening his life.
The movie stars Liam Neeson (Taken) as well as Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), James Badge Dale (World War Z), and Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Joe Anderson (The A-Team), Nonso Anozie and Dallas Roberts. Carnahan directed The Grey from a screenplay by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers and Oscar nominee Joe Carnahan (Narc).
This survival film has been rated R for violence, including gruesome images and language.
8. The Hunt for Red October
The Hunt for Red October is a classic, starring Sean Connery as an old-school Russian submarine captain who’s stolen his ship and plotted to start a war. The movie was based on the book by Tom Clancy, directed by John McTiernan, and released in 1990. It’s rated R and runs for 2 hours and 26 minutes.
9. The Martian
The Martian is a movie that would be right at home on this list, but we thought it would be better to start things off with a bang.
Let’s get out of the way: Matt Damon doesn’t play an astronaut stranded on Mars. What he does play is Mark Watney, a botanist, and engineer who must figure out how to survive on Mars after his crew leaves him behind for dead. Damon has been in plenty of survival movies before (as seen above), but none quite like The Martian because this one takes place entirely off Earth and features aliens!
But wait, there’s more! Not only does The Martian have lots of sci-fi thrills like space travel and alien encounters—but it also has some incredible cinematography thanks to director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Wolfman).
You’ll lose yourself in the beautiful visuals, gripping storylines, and heartwarming relationships throughout this movie as you watch Watney try his best for himself and those back home who are counting on him returning safely home someday. Soon…or else they’ll all die too!
10. Rambo (2008)
Rambo is the story of a Vietnam War veteran who returns to the country to rescue American POWs. Stallone’s character John Rambo is probably one of the most well-known characters in this genre, and much of his popularity is due to this 2008 film.
While some action scenes in Rambo make it an excellent movie for any fan of survival movies, it also has some surprisingly deep and exciting themes. For example: what does it mean to be loyal? How far should someone go when fighting for something they believe in? These are complex questions that help give this movie its strength and staying power as a classic survival film.
11. Robin Hood (2010)
In this 2010 movie directed by Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe plays Robin Hood as a man who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Set in 1199, Robin Hood stars Crowe as a thief who robs from tax collectors of King Richard (played by Matthew Macfadyen). The king’s brother Prince John (played by Max von Sydow) has taken over while the king is away, and taxes have become increasingly high on all citizens except himself and his cronies.
This film features an important woman character named Marian (played by Cate Blanchett), who helps Robin Hood hide from the law during one of his adventures. She develops feelings for him but cannot act upon them because she knows he can never marry her since he’s already married to Maid Marian. Instead, she helps him escape when Sir Guy of Gisbourne threatens her life after she discovers that he plans to kill everyone in Sherwood Forest, so no one will know where they’ve been hiding all these years – including herself!
12. San Andreas
You can’t go wrong with this action flick starring Dwayne Johnson. The special effects are fantastic, the acting is excellent, and it has a great storyline. This movie also has some of the best writing in any movie ever made. The cinematography is phenomenal and has an excellent soundtrack that makes you feel right in the middle of all the action! If you haven’t seen this one yet, then I would highly recommend it because it’s sure to keep you entertained for hours on end (not to mention give you plenty of ideas for your next adventure).
Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic movie about a train circling the globe. The only humans left alive are on this train, and they were all forced to live there after an experiment gone wrong caused Earth’s surface to become uninhabitable. Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia), Ed Harris (Winter’s Bone), and John Hurt (Alien). The movie was written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, who has also made movies such as The Host and Okja.
14. Suspiria (2018)
This movie is set in 1977 Berlin and follows an American dancer who joins a prestigious dance company in Berlin, only to discover that a coven of witches runs the company. The film stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Jessica Harper.
15. Sunshine (2007)
Sunshine is a British science-fiction thriller film written and directed by Danny Boyle. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh, and Troy Garity. It is about a group of astronauts sent on a mission to reignite the dying sun 50 years in the future by detonating a nuclear bomb at its core.
A second soundtrack album, Sunshine: Music from the Motion Picture, was released on May 1, 2008.
So, there you go. Our picks are for the 15 best survival movies to watch on Netflix. If you think we missed an essential movie on this list, feel free to let us know in the comments below!