15 Best post-apocalyptic fiction movies of all time


It was prophesied and proven wrong for so many times. It was called many names in all religions and sects. Some say it has already begun in many forms and many ways while others don’t believe at all. Most people are both fascinated and at the same time, afraid that day might come yet we exercise our expectations by making stories and films.

Some of us love to watch these kinds of films to give us a quick head start of what Apocalypse would really look like and what can we do to survive it. We imagine ourselves in the shoes of the main character answer the question “If I’m in his/her situation, what would I do?” And these movie leading characters answers the question for you as the film goes.


Before we go down to the list, let me explain the relationship between Disaster films to post-apocalyptic fictions. Disaster films are a film genre that has an ongoing disaster as its subject and primary plot device. Most of these movies don’t get a sequel since the ending could either only “the end of everything” or “new beginning”. The 2012 disaster film titled ‘2012’, for example, didn’t get a sequel. Who would’ve wanted a 2nd end of the world anyway? Unless it ends with a cliff-hanger. Post-apocalyptic fiction is a genre which involves global catastrophic risk that could be natural, man-made, medical, or imaginative.


There are lots of disasters to post-apocalyptic films created in the history of Hollywood but I selected the most watched and famous films that became once a blockbuster. Remember, these films are depicted on post-apocalyptic setting or what we call “the aftermath.” Some of these movies have a glimpse of the past right before the apocalypse started.

  • Zombieland

Nope. Zombieland is not some sort of wonderful theme park dedicated to the undead with people wearing zombie costumes. No. Zombieland is more frank than that. After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world’s surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the hungry undead. Now for the 4 survivors Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock, the world has still little fun to offer by enjoying the little things as they try to survive.


  • Shaun of the Dead

Yes, the funny way to survive. Once again, Simon Pegg proved his brilliance in making a masterpiece out of a movie. Shaun of Dead could be the funniest post-apocalyptic zombie fiction film. It is about survival, alright. But Shaun and his friends combined with lively (mostly from the band Queen’s) music makes this film a less-serious and hilarious way of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

  • World War Z

The only movie where you see zombies making pyramids to get over a wall or reaching a flying helicopter. If ever a zombie apocalypse happens, I would pray it won’t be the same as in World War Z. Zombies there are so extremely fast. They can run fast, jump high, and form a Zombie tsunami. You would never guess how the U.N. Investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) solved this global catastrophe.


  • Resident Evil Movies

This could be the most popular zombie apocalypse movie ever created. Although the first movie of Resident Evil is a story right before the virus hit the cities which is not post-apocalyptic, watching the film gives you the idea what the main character, Alice (Mila Jovovich) is facing on the next sequels. Resident Evil films will give you a thorough idea of what “extinction” is about.


  • 28 Days/Weeks Later

28 Days/Weeks Later is a zombie apocalypse movie that features its characters 28 days and weeks after the viral outbreak in Great Britain. Here’s to keep you on track. 15 days later, Mainland Britain is quarantined. 28 Days later, the first movie, British mainland has been destroyed by the rage virus that can infect a living host in seconds. 5 weeks later, infected people died of starvation. 11 weeks later, American stepped into London to give aid. 18 weeks later, the British mainland is declared free of infection. 24 weeks later, reconstruction begins. And the sequel movie started 28 weeks later.


  • Mad Max

There are 4 basic needs of man: air, food, shelter, and water. But after humanity embraced greed with oil for economic gain and power, other natural resources rapidly depleted and turned the whole world thirsty for water. In this post-apocalyptic film, water is gone. It’s unclear how it happened so fast but one thing is certain, people started killing each other for water.


  • Waterworld

In the other hand, if Mad Max is about a world of endless sand dunes, Waterworld is a world full of…well…water. In this film, nature once again, retakes every land and drowned it with salt water. Maybe the sun gets finally tired of trolling people with extreme heat so it just decided to melt the glaciers in the north and south to end it with a global endless swim. Score to Darwin Award-winning humanity, some people finally adapted and evolved in his drowning environment. The main character that’s only known as “the mariner”, developed feet webs and gills making him able to breathe underwater. He will then meet a child with a map on her back and help the search for the legendary “dryland”.

  • Maze Runner Trilogy

Finally, humanity successfully destroyed the ozone layer making the ultraviolet rays scorched earth for eternity. But you will only learn the truth on the trilogy’s first film ending scene. After escaping the deadly shifting halls of the maze, the protagonists will find themselves in a world devastated by heat.


  • Divergent Chronicles

It is clear that in this movie, humans are the ones who destroyed themselves. A world-war broke, nuke missiles fly, most of the population and major cities wiped, and then there’s peace. To ensure the prevention of another conflict, humanity is divided accordingly. The problem is whenever a system is introduced, there’s always somebody who could either be against it or too great for it.

  • I Am Legend

A genetically re-engineered measles virus that’s supposed to be curing cancer turned into a lethal strain that killed 90% of those it infects, mutates the 9% into predatory, with the only remaining 1% immune. Robert Neville (Will Smith) is one of those immune.


  • 5th wave

If neither we humans nor nature will bring us to heavens, aliens would probably be the ones to send us there. . 1st Wave – The aliens hit humanity with an electromagnetic pulse that killed all the power on the planet; 2nd Wave – Earthquakes that resulted to giant tidal waves; 3rd Wave – Weaponized Bird flu or a form of Ebola virus outbreak; 4th Wave – are the “Silencers” or Aliens that looks like humans; The 5th Wave is bombing every city via mother ship.


  • Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow is a looping post-apocalyptic story of Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) who lives right after dying, finding himself stuck on time, fighting invincible aliens, but giving him the chance to reshape his future.

  • Wall-E

A cute anime movie from Pixar. Human waste cannot be controlled and the only way for humanity to survive is to leave the earth and find a new planet, leaving the garbage AI robot Wall-E in charge of cleaning the garbage left by humans. In time, Wall-E will meet an advance rover named Eve and eventually fell in-love with her. Wall-E’s adventure begins when he found the last plant and puts it in a shoe.


  • Terminator Chronicles

Terminator story is much like the Matrix but with different ending. Man created machines, and then machines turned against their creators. Man fights back and wins the war. But humanity’s fate is certain, “man will win against machines” and the stories of each film is to ensure the future will happen.

  • Matrix Trilogy

“And man said, ‘let there be light’ and he was blessed by light, heat, magnetism, gravity, and all the energies of the universe.”

If the beginning of the end really exists, the Matrix’s story is what I believed in to be closest to reality.


“Then the man made the machine in his own likeness.”

The Matrix world is so complex that it will take me another article to explain. We are now in Post-modern Information Age of our time-line; we have created machines to satisfy our wants and even made machines with Artificial Intelligence that can decide. We are not far from creating a machine that looks, think, and moves like us humans. In the Matrix, machines learned to disobey orders and retaliate against their masters. Thus Humans vs. Machines began, explained in The Matrix’s side story ‘The 2nd Renaissance’ of the ‘Animatrix’ film.




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