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It’s the Top Ten Movies About the End of the World, and I Feel Fine

top ten end of the world movies

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I have a confession to make, mamas: I LOVE BAD MOVIES. I also love good movies, but there is a special (dark, lonely, twisted) place in my heart for a gripping saga about the end of the world. I don’t particularly care how the world ends – be it nuclear holocaust, mysterious plague, or interplanetary attacks – if the human race is in danger of expiring, I’m so. watching. that. Soooooo… with the understanding that you may no longer desire my opinions on anything ever again, I am going to share with you my top ten favorite end of the world movies and why I love them so.

Let me preface this by saying that I still have Melancholia, The Road, The Rapture, and a few other apocalyptic films in my queue, so this list is by no means complete or set in stone. Please do share any bleak, disturbing movies about the obliteration of life as we know it that simply must be added to my playlist. Without further ado, here is my list of the Top Ten Movies About the End of the World…

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  • 28 Days Later 1 of 10
    28 Days Later
    The original slow zombies. I hate horror movies, but I loved this one. Maybe its Cillian Murphy's icy fortitude… maybe its the cray cray zombie baby. Maybe it's the fact that whenever I get super frustrated, I tell my husband that I've caught "the sickness" and leave the room before I infect the whole household, and he knows what I mean. I am pretty sure this is the movie that started my obsession with apocalyptic end of the world movies.
    Get it here.
  • The Day After Tomorrow 2 of 10
    The Day After Tomorrow
    Not only does the world freeze over as the eye of the storm hits, but the freezingness CHASES YOU. It chases everyone into the library, right at their heels! And it almost catches them! But it doesn't! Whew. This movie is riddled with inconsistencies and bad cgi wolf attacks but I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND I AM NOT ASHAMED TO TELL YOU THAT.
    Get it here.
  • Children of Men 3 of 10
    Children of Men
    My poor, sad-eyed boyfriend Clive Owen must shepard the only pregnant woman on earth through a dystopian landscape rife with filth, crime, and despair in order to restore hope to a bleak world where the youngest living person was just 17 years old, until he too was murdered. This is an actual good movie, so I won't ruin it for you. The cinematography and sound editing alone are worth the two hours of your time.
    Get it here.
  • I Am Legend 4 of 10
    I Am Legend
    I didn't want to like this one, but the DOG. Oh jeez, the dog. The tears. The loneliness, the sacrifice, the golden hue of the future as it reflects off of Will Smith's biceps. I'll always be a sucker for he, the very freshest of princes.
    Get it here.
  • 12 Monkeys 5 of 10
    12 Monkeys
    Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt… Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt? Brad Pitt.
    Get it here.
  • The Core 6 of 10
    The Core
    Omg this one is the worst!! But I still love it. Hillary Swank is always worth watching, and I mean really… the earth has somehow stopped spinning, so of course they get into a giant drill with an atomic bomb. What? As they plow into the center of the earth through all kinds of faux-scientific tomfoolery like massive crystal-spears and other ridiculousness, I just laugh and shovel english muffin pizzas into my mouth. Fun.
    Get it here.
  • 2012 7 of 10
    2012
    I don't want to spoil the ending but SPOILER ALERT the world does not actually end. What??? Rip off. But I totally fell for the arc twist and I love a good car chase as a freeway collapses (who doesn't?). The mere anticipation of this movie made the year 2009 extra special for me. And Carleton hiring a babysitter and taking me to see it on opening night? Well, that's the kind of love that will last long after this world of ours has exploded into cosmic dust.
    Get it here.
  • Contagion 8 of 10
    Contagion
    Ok, so the world doesn't actually end in this one, but it feels like the world is going to end. Movies where everyone gets super sick and main characters die at random times are totally up my dark, deserted alley.
    Get it here.
  • District 9 9 of 10
    District 9
    Now, in all fairness, in this movie it's their world that ends, so they come to ours. But I can't express to you how much I loved every second of this movie. From their crazy alien-shrimp-mongrel language, to the internment-camp parallels, to the disaster-movie-staple fake news reports. Everything about this movie is apocalyptically awesome.
    Get it here.
  • Wall-E 10 of 10
    Wall-E
    Now my daughter loves end of the world movies too. Ah, the cycle of life.
    Get it here.

Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman), follow up fill-in journal My Prudent Advice, and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier DIY destination for crafty moms seeking ways to make their lives even more stylish and beautiful.

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