Top 10 Movies Where the World Ends

Script Written by Matthew Thomas. It's the end of the world as we know it. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies Where the World Ends. For this list, we’re taking a look at movies where the world is either on the brink or in the midst of destruction. And by the end of the film, life on Earth as we know it must come to an end. Special thanks to our users Charlie Palmer, MTNAVA and Kimmy Palmer for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Movies Where the World Ends


It's the end of the world as we know it. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies Where the World Ends.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies where the world is either on the brink or in the midst of destruction. And by the end of the film, life on Earth as we know it must come to an end. Movies that exist in post-apocalyptic world like “The Road” or “Mad Max: Fury Road” were not considered, for films as that’s a list for another day. Because we will be discussing plot details of these films, a SPOILER ALERT is in order.

#10: “Interstellar” (2014)

The Earth in this Christopher Nolan sci-fi epic is no longer a lush planet where flora is plentiful; food growth has become nearly impossible and the future of humanity is in jeopardy. Primarily following the crew aboard a spaceship as they desperately search for a new inhabitable planet, the shadow of death looms large over every scene, but there’s a distinct feeling of hope that permeates the story. A visual masterpiece that keeps you guessing as to its next move and hits you at an instinctual level, “Interstellar” is a worthy addition as humankind is forced off its home permanently.

#9: “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (2012)

If a mission failed to stop an asteroid from impacting Earth and the end of the world were upon us, we could do a lot worse than Keira Knightley or Steve Carell by our side. After humanity finds out they have three weeks left to live, Carell’s Dodge and Knightley’s Penny befriend each other and try to make each other’s final weeks happier, in Dodge’s case by finding the one that got away and in Penny’s case by returning to her family in England. But instead, they find that they are the missing ingredients in each other’s lives. Sure, their story may have a grim ending, but at least these two didn’t go out alone.

#8: “Miracle Mile” (1988)

Just when a man finds the woman of his dreams, a phone rings and he finds out that nuclear war is imminent - we're talking real imminent. At times Harry’s uncertain that the end is, in fact, near and that the information he received was accurate, becoming increasingly worried that he alone sparked the panic gripping LA. Even so, Harry tries to find a way to escape his impending doom, and finds himself going to great lengths to do so. We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of this cult film, but by maintaining the feel of an ‘80s comedy while tackling a horrific situation, “Miracle Mile” stands out as exceptional.

#7: “These Final Hours” (2013)

When a meteor strikes the opposite side of the world sparking a global firestorm, Australian James leaves his lover to travel across a city where anarchy rules in an attempt to reunite a girl with her family and join his girlfriend to enjoy the “party to end all parties.” An Australian film that is largely unknown in some parts of the world, “These Final Hours” deserves a great deal more acclaim and notice. With characters that are far from innocent and a goal that seems fruitless, the performances, story and situation have you rooting for them despite the odds.

#6: “The Day After” (1983)

Undoubtedly one of the better television films ever made, and still the highest-rated, “The Day After” is a product of its time. Taking place during the Cold War and showing a worst case scenario outcome of the conflict, it’s an uncompromising film that juxtaposes life before, during and after the destruction wrought by nuclear war. We’re introduced to a world we know well and a wholly unfamiliar one at the same time, where surviving is not as easy as finding food and shelter. Ending with a single stark voice calling over the radio in vain, “The Day After” feels entirely possible.

#5: “This Is the End” (2013)

When a group of self-obsessed, hedonistic celebrities gathers for a housewarming party on the same night of the Apocalypse, the results are absolutely hilarious. Featuring a who’s who of this generation’s comedic actors – as well as a few other random cameos – perhaps the most impressive part is not the comedy that ensues, but the fact that the filmmakers didn’t use the impressive cast as an excuse to cut corners on the effects. Whether it was the standout appearance by the intentionally obnoxious Michael Cera or the performances of the six leads, this is a film unlike any other on this list.

#4: “On the Beach” (1959)

The battle is not over even after the world has been decimated by World War III, for the nuclear fallout is on its way. “On the Beach” follows humanity as it anticipates ultimate destruction due to the impending radiation sickness that is moving south to Australia. We’re left with a world in which people are deciding either to succumb to the sickness or to end their lives themselves. A grisly window into the despair of near certain doom, this film is a harrowing look at the outcome of nuclear war, the shadow of which loomed large when the film was released in 1959 and remains relevant today.

#3: “Last Night” (1998)

A tiny Canadian film made on a relatively low budget, “Last Night” revolves around a society that knows their world will end at midnight – and packs in plenty of style and substance. It details how an assortment of folks spend their last night on Earth, with one duo of strangers agreeing to take each other’s lives, one family feigning a Christmas party, and one man trying to experience as many new types of sex as possible before the end. It may never be made evident what deadly force will take them, but what is clear is that the film’s strong direction, script and cast make it a must see for film buffs.

#2: “Melancholia” (2011)

Arguably the artsiest film about the end of the world, this visceral Lars von Trier joint is populated with character archetypes and metaphors too numerous to count, but the general theme involves the peace with which depressed people can face calamitous events. A newfound planet is set to collide with Earth – a somewhat obvious metaphor for the inevitability of depression. This unflinching portrayal of doomsday is a majestic vision, told through the eyes of various different types of characters – all of whom have different reactions, all of which are relatable. And while that may sound depressing in itself and does hit you at a guttural level, “Melancholia” ends on an oddly hopeful note.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Knowing” (2009)
- “Titan A.E.” (2000)
- “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (2005)
- “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)

#1: “Dr. Strangelove” (1964)

In fairness to the other films considered for this list, it is pretty difficult to beat Stanley Kubrick. When an Air Force general orders a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, the joint chiefs of staff, an Air Force officer and the President come together to attempt to prevent an apocalypse. Unfortunately for humanity’s sake the War Room proves to be full of fools as these men are not exactly cool headed in the face of such impending doom. In the end, based on the theme of this list, you can imagine what goes down. Cold war fears and detonating nukes have never been so hilarious.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie where the world ends? For more catastrophic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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