People have been enjoying movies about disasters for many years – since the 1930s. Some of them are preposterous, but many are based on what could happen if the factors all fall into place. They focus on survival of those who can figure out how to mitigate the effects on their own lives, and often on rescue attempts of their loved ones.
There are some disaster movies that everyone knows, that make every list of disaster movies but there are so many other natural disaster movies that people may not have seen yet. While people certainly may watch the popular ones, some of the lesser known movies may become favorites once they are discovered!
This film from 2006 takes place in Nebraska, where destruction hits in the form of a tornado. It is a struggle to overcome the difficulties that result from the twisters that rage through the town.
Set in the Big Apple, this movie shows potential results of extreme global warming and the tornadoes and storms that are likely to occur. The City is in danger and the deputy mayor and his wife – who is a meteorologist – are working hard to deal with it.
This popular movie featuring Helen Hunt is a look at the unique destructiveness of tornadoes. She plays a storm chaser who is trying to be the first to show the results she finds from this huge natural disaster.
An experiment in energy goes awry and releases a barrage of hurricanes that threaten to destroy the continent. Saving his family before the hurricanes become one huge “hypercane” is the task of the science teacher at one high school.
A fictional story about a father in New Orleans whose newborn requires mechanical assistance on the day Hurricane Katrina hit, this movie follows the struggles faced by a forgotten father and his child.
A devastating earthquake is about to hit Los Angeles and there is little time remaining to escape the danger.
Charlton Heston stars in this epic from 1974 about a catastrophic earthquake in southern California. Some consider it cheesy, but the special effects are very good for the time when it was made.
A seismologist believes that minor quakes affecting Los Angeles are leading up to a much larger quake. Before she can decide whether or not to say anything, a reporter tells the tale and sparks fear and hysteria.
Flood / Tsunami
Naomi Watts stars in this movie based on a true story. A small family vacationing in Thailand are caught in a terrifying tsunami, with thousands of strangers.
The dam was not going to hold up. One man tries to spread the word, but another man is selfish and greedy. When the inevitable happens, townspeople are caught in the deluge.
A geologist notices that a nearby mountain has a problem, and when the mountain slides into the water, the town has only a few minutes to escape the tsunami that results.
Snow / Ice
Based on a true story, this movie tells of the struggles and challenges faced by a rugby team that were on a plane that crashed in the Andes.
This 2018 movie follows people seeking to escape a skyscraper that has caught fire due to a gas explosion. If you especially like movies with a strong female lead, you will love this movie.
Unexpected eruptions threaten the whole world while scientists endeavor to determine whether devastation can be prevented and to convince the government agencies that destruction is coming.
Based on real places, this fictional event becomes of much concern as Mount St. Helens shows evidence of waking up and gears up to erupt.
A volcano erupts due to an oil rig and triggers a series of eruptions that threaten the entire planet.
Asteroid / Comet / Meteorites
A high school student discovers a comet on a collision course with Earth. In an attempt to rescue people, scientists discover they cannot save more than about 800,000 people so there is an attempt to destroy the incoming danger before it arrives.
A comet’s path causes wave after wave of meteors striking San Francisco like bombs from space.
A renowned scientist (played by Christopher Lloyd) finds a huge meteor headed toward Earth and immediately begins efforts to save the world, against much opposition.
A deadly virus circles the world while one man frantically works to stop it.
In this movie, a scientist sees indications of coming disaster and seeks to find safety, while the whole world begins to fall to pieces. There is a large dose of comedy in this movie, tempering the frightening events.
One disaster after another strikes in this fast-paced movie featuring Shannen Doherty and Randy Quaid. Major landmarks all over the world are decimated and chaos takes over as the extreme weather and those who follow it are also dealing with a religious zealot who thinks that it is the End of Days and wants to prove it with Egyptian plagues.
Los Angeles is the setting for this meeting of horrific disasters. An earthquake is joined by a super volcano and a huge tornado, and a separated family works to survive and find each other.
Climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is the person people turn to with the weather starts doing crazy things. He and a group of people struggle through tornadoes, hail, pouring rain, a tsunami, a bit of a hurricane, and an extremely deep freeze.