23 Best Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix

End-of-the-world fiction gives viewers a safe way to experience chaos, and so do the following best apocalyptic movies on Netflix. We ranked them from 23rd to 1st to help you find a starting point to watch. Or if you’re like us, you’ll just watch them all!

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: into the forest

23. Into the Forest (2015)

Directed by : Patricia Rozema

Starring : Elliot Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella

Based on the novel of the same title by Jean Hegland, the 2015 film Into the Forest focuses on two sisters, Nell and Eva, who live deep in the woods of Northern California with their father, Robert. Everything changes one day when all the power goes out. It seems like nothing but a small annoyance at first, but their problems – mostly due to the lack of electricity – escalate quickly by the day. Rumors have it that the entire country is in the dark.

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: #alive

22. #Alive (2020)

Directed by : Cho Il-hyung

Starring : Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-hye

Based on a 2019 script Alone by Matt Naylor, #Alive offers a relatable situation where a person must live in quarantine to stay away from a lethal virus. It tells the story of Jun-u, an avid PC gamer who lives in an apartment complex in Seoul, as he navigates through a perilous path to survival. Just when he considers giving up, he learns that there is another survivor nearby.

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: i am mother

21. I Am Mother (2019)

Directed by : Grant Sputore

Starring : Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank

Somewhere in a technologically-advanced underground facility, an android known simply as Mother is responsible for the safety of a large number of human embryos while raising one named Daughter. It’s said that the world outside the bunker is lifeless. A surprising arrival of another mysterious female human triggers some emotional issues between Mother and Daughter. Her identity and what she knows are crucial to the story.

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: arq

20. ARQ (2016)

Directed by : Tony Elliott

Starring : Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Shaun Benson

The first few scenes in ARQ bear strong resemblance to the Edge of Tomorrow. Renton wakes up to encounter three men in gas masks who attack him and his girlfriend, Hannah. After a struggle, Hannah is taken and Renton dies. He wakes up again, reliving everything he experienced just moments ago. Renton realizes that they are in a time-loop and works to solve their dilemma. The problem is one of the attackers also notices the time-loop phenomenon.

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: the girl with all the gifts

19. The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

Directed by : Colm McCarthy

Starring : Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close

A young girl is shown shackled in a wheelchair inside a prison cell. Her name is Melanie, one of many prisoners in the room. On the surface, Melanie seems like any other normal teenage girl. She goes to school, likes her teachers, has friends, and often challenges decisions made by the adults in her life. But Melanie has one striking difference from the rest of us. She can change into an aggressive mindless creature that eats human flesh. And all it takes for her to change is a simple trigger. Oh yeah!

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: what happened to monday

18. What Happened to Monday (2017)

Directed by : Tommy Wirkola

Starring : Noomi Rapace, Willem Dafoe, Glenn Close

Overpopulation has transformed the Earth into a barren planet. The government makes it a law that there should be only one child in a family. Any extra individuals will be cryogenically frozen for an indefinite time. Karen dies after giving birth to identical septuplets, who are placed under the care of their grandfather. To make identification easier, the septuplets are named after days of the week from Sunday to Saturday. Only one is allowed to come out each day to fool the government agents tasked to enforce the law. But one night, Monday does not return home, leaving her six sisters to figure out what the problem is.

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: cadaver

17. Cadaver (2020)

Directed by : Jarand Herdal

Starring : Gitte Witt, Thomas Gullestad, Thorbjørn Harr

Norway is barely habitable in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Foods are scare, except for Mathias. Not far from where Mathias lives is a poor family, Leonora and Jacob along with their daughter, Alice. One day the couple receives and accepts an invitation from Mathias to come for a night of entertainment. Guests are promised free meals. Leonora soon understands that their host conceals an evil plan, especially for Alice. 

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: 9

16. 9 (2009)

Directed by : Shane Acker

Based on : 9 by Shane Acker

Starring : Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

It doesn’t take long for 9 to realize that the world is in a post-apocalyptic state. Humanity is an extinct species, and the planet is ruled by a sentient monster known as the Beast. Against 1’s wishes, 9 will lead its comrades on a journey to figure out why the Beast wants to destroy them. Despite being the youngest, 9 is the smartest and most daring of them all. 

Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix: district 9

15. District 9 (2009)

Directed by : Neill Blomkamp

Starring : Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Vanessa Haywood

A massive spaceship hovers over the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. When there’s no attack and nothing happens, the military sends a group to storm the ship and determine whether the ship is friendly or a threat. Inside the ship are thousands of crustacean-like aliens; things get complicated because the aliens are seeking refuge on Earth. Their home planet does not want them anymore, so, humans being human, they force the aliens to live in a crime slum called District 9. 

14. Bird Box (2018)

Directed by : Susanne Bier

Based on : Bird Box by by Josh Malerman

Starring : Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich

There are strange and dangerous creatures in many places that will kill anyone with a glance. A simple look in the eye turns you into a suicidal maniac. You will use just about any tool available to end your own life – not only a gun, but a window, a moving car, a desk, a pair of scissors–anything. If you’re alive, it means you’ve never seen the creature, but you must believe that it exists and respect what it can do to you. Malorie knows there’s a place of refuge down the river. To ensure a safe journey, she and the two children with her, must make the trip blindfolded.

13. Extinction (2018)

Directed by : Ben Young

Starring : Michael Peña, Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter

A father has a vision of alien invasions. The images of burning people, exploding buildings, and hovering UFOs make him sleepless. His mental state deteriorates due to the disturbing scenes and drives him away from his family. What they don’t know is the father’s visions are about to become reality, but different from what they appear to be.

12. IO (2019)

Directed by : Jonathan Helpert

Starring : Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston

A drastic change in Earth’s atmosphere renders the planet almost inhospitable. The hostile living conditions force the majority of survivors to flee into space. Their new home is a space station orbiting IO, one of Jupiter’s moons. Sam Walden, a scientist, still believes there is enough time to find a solution to save the dying Earth. She doesn’t want to join the mass exodus. 

11. The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Directed by : Julius Onah

Starring : Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

An energy crisis looms large. A team of experts fly to a space station where they plan to use a particle accelerator to develop a potential solution: an unlimited source of energy. In the space station, strange events start to happen as every individual in the team seems to live in an alternate reality. While the scientists deal with this, the Earth continues to deteriorate, and time is running out.

10. Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)

Directed by : Kōbun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita

Starring : Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Yūki Kaji

The premise is simple: make a plan to defeat Godzilla and execute every action according to the plan. Of course, defeating a monster requires a lot of improvisation. Perhaps that’s why watching Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters feels much like playing a video game without any controls. Since it’s an animated movie set in the distant future, the filmmakers present the setting of a barren planet with only a few signs of humans being around.

9. How it Ends (2018)

Directed by : David M. Rosenthal

Starring : Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Grace Dove

Communication networks and electricity are shut down, first in Seattle then in Chicago. It’s a big problem if your girlfriend is still in Seattle, while you’re in Chicago. Public transportation doesn’t work, so the best way to get to Chicago is drive there. How It Ends portrays an apocalyptic road trip through a national crisis where people on the streets take the law into their own hands. 

8. Cargo (2017)

Directed by : Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke

Starring : Martin Freeman, Simone Landers, Anthony Hayes

The 2017 sci-fi horror-drama Cargo brings a fresh approach to an apocalyptic zombie outbreak. A bite by an undead does not kill and transform you into a zombie in an instant. You have 48 hours before the virus takes over your body. The “fresh approach” refers to how the film focuses on what a person can and will do within that short timeframe to make a lasting positive impact on the lives of others. 

7. Blame! (2017)

Directed by : Hiroyuki Seshita

Based on : Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei (manga series)

Starring : Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Sora Amamiya

As documentaries often suggest about AI, in Blame! our future world is fully integrated with cyber-technology, like Skynet in Terminator. The city runs automatically with little to no input from people at all. A computer virus attack sets the computer in self-defense mode, killing anyone and anything it considers a threat. A mysterious lone wanderer is humanity’s only hope to restore order. 

6. Spectral (2016)

Directed by : Nic Mathieu

Starring : James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Emily Mortimer

Expect to see an assortment of things from Edge of Tomorrow, Black Hawk Down, and Aliens in the 2016 film Spectral. In a war-torn region in Eastern Europe, engineer James Badge Dale identifies an entity with a strange and impressive ability to camouflage itself in broad daylight. This strange humanoid apparition can kill a person instantly and must be stopped. 

5. The Worthy (2016)

Directed by : Ali F. Mostafa

Starring : Mahmoud Al Atrash, Rakeen Saad, Samer Ismail

There’s not enough clean water to go around. Only some scattered groups of people have access to the valuable resource. Drinking water from any random well or river is suicide because it’s all poisonous. The only source of fresh water for miles around is located in a barricaded compound. A group of people living near the site start to die, one by one. When they discover infiltrators who aren’t exactly what they seem to be, the race for survival is on.   

4. Snowpiercer (2013)

Directed by : Bong Joon-ho

Starring : Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris

A grand plan to halt the effects of a global-scale climate change fails. Instead of restoring the temperature to a more benign level, the plan brings about a new ice age. Billions of people die in the process. The remnants of humanity now live in a perpetually moving train pulling 1,001 cars. The rich and privileged live in the good cabins, whereas the poor are stuck in cramped quarters. After years of inhumane treatment, an insurrection is inevitable.

3. The Book of Eli (2010)

Directed by : The Hughes Brothers

Starring : Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Michael Gambon

Most of Earth’s population disappears as a result of a catastrophe. The new world order apparently puts thieves, hijackers, and gangs at the top of the food chain. Eli is a lone warrior on a journey to deliver a package that contains humanity’s redemption across a wasteland filled with lawless savages. He must do whatever it takes to get the job done.

2. The Night Eats the World (2018)

Directed by : Dominique Rocher

Starring : Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant

Following a zombie outbreak, a man is trapped in his apartment building. Where his neighbors either kill themselves or turn into undead, he is resourceful enough to get food and weapons without attracting the attention of the zombies. He’s safe, but being in isolation becomes his real hell. 

1. Contagion (2011)

Directed by : Steven Soderbergh

Starring : Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet

It is an unusual and unsensational film about a pandemic caused by an airborne virus. A simple cough or barely noticeable physical contact with an infected person can be life threatening. Contagion feels almost like a documentary about how a virus can start a global pandemic before anybody realizes it. With Covid in our world, it almost makes you wonder if the filmmakers were sending us a warning.

If you like any, or all of these movies, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Things you may want to know:

What are the best post apocalyptic movies of the 21st century?

Here are some widely acclaimed post-apocalyptic movies of the 21st century:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  2. The Road (2009)
  3. 28 Days Later (2002)
  4. Children of Men (2006)
  5. Snowpiercer (2013)
  6. I Am Legend (2007)
  7. War of the Worlds (2005)
  8. The Book of Eli (2010)
  9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  10. A Quiet Place (2018)

These movies are known for their gripping storylines, thrilling action sequences, and thought-provoking commentary on humanity and survival in the aftermath of a disaster.

What are some of the underrated post apocalyptic movies that you should watch?

Here are some underrated post-apocalyptic movies that are worth watching:

  1. The Signal (2014)
  2. The Divide (2011)
  3. Z for Zachariah (2015)
  4. The Rover (2014)
  5. The World’s End (2013)
  6. Pontypool (2008)
  7. Triangle (2009)
  8. Stake Land (2010)
  9. The Day (2011)
  10. The Colony (2013)

These movies may not have received as much attention as some of the more popular post-apocalyptic films, but they are known for their unique takes on the genre and for delivering thought-provoking and entertaining stories.