End of the World Movies

With all the end of the world talk, here's a list of movies to prep you for the apocalypse

By Lori Hoffman
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Dec. 13, 2012

Share this Story:

Bruno Lawrence in 'The Quiet Earth.'

Well 12-12-12 passed and we are still here. I’m glad I didn’t quit my job and spend my last dime on a trip to Australia to await the end of the world.

Of course some doomsday experts insist that those kooky Mayans predicted the end for Dec. 21, 2012, so we have a few more days anxious days ahead.

The Web site notes that, “The 2012 Apocalypse is predicted by an intersection of religions, science, and prophesies. Who or what will cause the 2012 Apocalypse? Super volcanoes? Pestilence and disease? Asteroids? Comets? Antichrist? Global Warming? Nuclear war?”

As a film critic, all this "end of days" talk got me thinking about one of my favorite film genres, end-of-the-world movies. I even enjoyed parts of the silly Mayan-theory-based flick 2012, released in 2009.

Therefore, in celebration of the end, here is a list of enjoyable end-of-the-world movies. For the record, while I like zombie movies, I’ve left them off this particular list, confining my selection to more plausible, science-based scenarios.

2012 (2009) — What is most believable about this flick is that the super wealthy can buy their way on to the giant ships built to save a small percentage of the world’s population. Of course the rest of us are out of luck. John Cusack is fun as the everyman trying to save his family, and so is Woody Harrelson as a hippie doomsday radio host. Written and directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), the modern king of the genre.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) — I can’t resist watching this movie when it shows up on TV, which it does frequently. Emmerich is again at the helm in this very human tale that blames global warning for the catastrophic weather changes that lead to a new ice age. With Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward, Emma Rossum and Ian Holm.

Knowing (2009) — This is more of a horror film with an end-of-the-world twist, but it is another film I will watch when it turns up on the tube. Nicolas Cage stars as a widower father and teacher whose son is given a strange list of numbers unearthed from a 1959 time capsule at the boy’s school.  Cage begins to decipher the numbers and sees the “end of days” coming soon, this time from solar flares.

The Quiet Earth (1985) — This little gem of a New Zealand film features the fabulous Bruno Lawrence as a man who wakes up one day to a world devoid of people. After finding two more survivors, he goes in search of answers to what happened, suspecting that a government research project he was involved in had something to do with the disappearance of everyone. Lawrence’s searing performance makes this a striking EOTW flick.

Deep Impact/Armageddon (1998) — In this battle of comet end-of-world vs. asteroid end-of-world, Deep Impact is the more serious entry and Armageddon is the full tilt action version. Honestly, I prefer the admittedly sillier Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck take on a space mission to stop the giant rock from hitting earth. Impact stars Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood, Tea Leoni and Robert Duvall.

The Day After/ Testament/ Threads (1983, 1984) — After watching these three movies when they were first released, the former two American TV movies about life after nukes and the latter, a BBC take on the same subject, I dreamed about being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. In the dream, I was calm and happy since death was preferable to what life would be like trying to survive in the toxic wasteland that follows. The Day After stars Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg and John Lithgow. Testament features Jane Alexander, William Devane, Lucas Haas and a relative newcomer at the time named Kevin Costner.

Speaking of Costner, I liked his two post-apocalypse movies, Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997) more than most, but like I said, I’m a fan of EOTW movies.

And, while I’ve never been a fan of volcano EOTW flicks, there are enjoyable moments in the 1997 competing volcano movies Dante’s Peak (the one with Pierce Brosnan) and Volcano (with Tommy Lee Jones).

So what movies would you watch to celebrate the end of the world as we know it? Post your favorites in the comment section.

Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend


Comments 1 - 2 of 2
Report Violation

1. Chad K. said... on Dec 13, 2012 at 03:39PM

“Repo Man!”

Report Violation

2. Shane said... on Dec 13, 2012 at 03:40PM

“"Masked & Anonymous" (2003)”


(HTML and URLs prohibited)

Related Content

Dreadful ‘G.I. Joe’

By Lori Hoffman

As a stand-alone film, Retaliation is a mindless collection of action-set pieces, only one of which is visually interesting, a ninja battle that takes place with trapeze artists/soldiers flying across the face of a mountain.

RELATED: Dinosaurs in 3D
 2012: Worst Movies of the Year 10 Summer Movies 
 Movie Review: Kick-Ass 'Avengers' Spring Movie Preview
 2012 Movies: TIFF 2011 2012: Top 10 Movies 11 Great Irish Movies
 Movie Review & Listings Top Movies of 2005 ‘Pain’ful Indeed

Related Content

Best Albums of 2012
By Jeff Schwachter

Plus other outstanding releases of the year, including several extraordinary re-issues from the Fat Boys, Velvet Underground and the soundtrack to the documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man.'

RELATED: Favorite 50 Albums of 2013 Dwight Yoakam’s ‘Pear-fection’
 Atlantic City NYE 2013 in Photos 
 Kanye’s Revel Trifecta
 Coasting - Ocean City First Day at Beach 
 Local Music Guide Coasting - Scott Kirby Recording New Album at Charter-Tech Album Review: Deftones - 'Koi No Yokan' Best of 2011: Albums of the Year 2011 Albums of the Year: The Roots 'undun' 2010 Album Picks

Related Content

Greetings From Middle-Earth

By Lori Hoffman

Latest ‘Hobbit’ adventure is a bit on the cute side

RELATED: Hobbit For the Holidays Make a List, Check it Twice, Find that Perfect Gift for Half the Price
 Bond’s Back
 ‘Flight’ Crashes

Related Content

By Lori Hoffman

Director Roland Emmerich knows how to blow things up real good. He has become the modern day “Master of Disaster,” a title once bestowed on filmmaker Irwin Allen thanks to the success of his back-to-back blockbusters The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.

Related Content

10 Favorite Holiday Movies

By Lori Hoffman

I had no reason to go to the movies last weekend. Instead, here’s a list of my 10 favorite movies to watch during the holidays in alphabetical order.

RELATED: Holiday Movie Rush Local Children, Families Enjoy Winter Wonderland in Atlantic City Year in Review: 2012 Holiday Gift Guide 2012 10 Best Movies of 2011
 ACW's Weekend Hot Tub Party - Best & Worst Holiday Movies Atlantic City on Film
: Then & Now Best Movies of 2010 Decade's Best Movies

Related Content

'Killing Them Softly' - It’s The Pitts

By Lori Hoffman

"If you still want to see this movie, I have obviously not done my job."

RELATED: Brad Pitted Against Zombies
 ACW's Weekend Hot Tub Party - Best & Worst Holiday Songs 2010's Worst Movies

Related Content

Spielberg Does Lincoln Proud 

By Lori Hoffman

Steven Spielberg knows how to make an epic movie infused with an intimate feel. With Lincoln, he has accomplished that goal while showing us that the nasty in-fighting of American party politics is not restricted to the modern era.

RELATED: My Response to '12 Years a Slave'

Related Content

Farewell to ‘Twilight’ Time
By Lori Hoffman

Twihards, don’t rip my head off for saying this, but I enjoyed your reaction to the final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, Part II more than the actual movie, although it was a major improvement over the SNL spoof that was Breaking Dawn Part I.

RELATED: Toothless ‘Twilight’
 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' - Fangs for the Memories Smashmouth Sentimentality 'Twilight' Zone

Related Content

Dazzling ‘Django Unchained’

By Lori Hoffman

Some would say being a Quentin Tarantino fan is a matter of taste, or perhaps in some minds, it’s a matter of being swayed by his utter tastelessness. Put me in Camp Tarantino every day and twice on Sunday.

RELATED: Raw Brutality in '12 Years a Slave' Oscar Worthy ‘Playbook’
 2013 Oscar Tout Sheet
 2013 Oscar Nominations Announced Movie Reviews: Tough Women Spring Brings Better Movies