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Buckle in and grab some popcorn. Here are some of the best disaster films you should be watching now.

Try not to fear the end of the world after watching these disaster movies

With the COVID-19 pandemic barging into our lives with the onset of 2020, life has felt a lot like a disaster movie a lot lately. The arrival of 2021 hasn’t fared much better. With many folks around the world stuck in quarantine for the better part of the last twelve months, it’s surreal to think that this became real life. 

Disaster movies depicting the end of the world and catastrophic devastation have always been a favorite among movie enthusiasts. Over the last couple of decades, there have been some absolute firecrackers that have withstood the test of time. Some are even eerily reminiscent of real life in the last fourteen months. 

Buckle in and grab some popcorn. Here are some of the best disaster films of all time. 

I Am Legend (2007)

A man-made plague that transforms humans into bloodthirsty mutants is plaguing the country. Everyone is dead, or at least almost everyone. Robert Neville (Will Smith) appears to be a lone survivor but he refuses to give up hope in finding others like himself. 

Before the plague hit, Neville worked as an acclaimed scientist. I Am Legend sees Neville split his time walking the deserted streets of New York City looking for survivors and trying to find a scientific cure for the disease. In a game of cat & mouse, the infected essentially hunt him and hope he makes some kind of fatal mistake. 

Contagion (2011)

This 2011 drama turned out to be quite a prophecy for 2020. A resident of Minnesota returns to the U.S from a business trip from Hong Kong and winds up dead two days later. At first, nobody knows what killed her, but as other cases like her start emerging around the world, it is uncovered that she was carrying a lethal virus originating from China. 

The similarities to the COVID-19 virus are uncanny. It originated from a bat, it’s airborne, like COVID-19, and the Center for Disease Control just can’t seem to get ahead of it. Everyone is told to wear a mask, to wash their hands, and stop touching their faces. Quarantines ensue. People live like this for quite some time and the Contagion society resembles something of an apocalypse. 

Considering all the world has been through in the last fourteen months, if you haven’t seen Contagion, it’s a must-see. 

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

This is the sequel to Cloverfield Lane, which received mixed reviews at best. Despite this, 10 Cloverfield Lane was given much praise. After a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in a bunker with a couple of whacky doomsday preppers. The men tell her that they’re under chemical attack and they’ll die if they try to leave the bunker. 

One of the men is extremely controlling and makes Michelle feel unsafe in her current situation. Despite the fact that it’s unsafe to leave, she escapes and heads out of the bunker into the unsafe air, and whatever dangers awaits her. Or so she thinks . . . .

Independence Day (1996)

We couldn’t write a piece about disaster movies and not include this classic! Two days before July 4th, an alien mothership enters the earth’s atmosphere and deploys several smaller ships to hover over key locations around the world. The ships are fifteen miles in diameter each, and they are hostile. 

When the aliens begin attacking, the United States takes matters into its own hands. Cities all around the globe are evacuated while the military uses both combative and technological advancements to take down the ships. 

As July 4th rolls around, the aliens appear to be winning their attempt at taking over the earth. Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), a Marine F/A-18 pilot makes a great sacrifice for his country (and the planet) and saves the day in an epic takedown! 

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a climatologist that is trying to alert the world stage about an unprecedented climate event that is brewing. Everyone, including the United Nations, essentially ignores him at first. As it becomes clearer that Hall is actually telling the truth, panic sets in. 

A superstorm develops like nothing the planet has ever seen before. As the storm brings havoc to the United States, Hall embarked on a deadly mission to save his son. Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is trapped in New York City. Hall braves the superstorm and attempts to travel to New York City on foot to rescue his son before the storm takes him. 

12 Monkeys (1996)

Set in the future in 2030, James Cole (Bruce Willis) finds himself in prison. He is recruited for a special time travel mission that takes him back to the 1990s. His mission is to gather as much data on a plague that is about to wipe out the human race and take it back to where he came from. 

Like Contagion this movie is eerily reminiscent of the tribulations the world has endured in the last fourteen months. There are some differences with this plague so it doesn’t feel quite as prophetic as Contagion, but it’s pretty darn close!

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