20 Of The Best Nuclear War Films

Films that show the build up and/or detonation and/or aftermath of nuclear war or nuclear bomb attack

Films in no particular order.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Threads (1984 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization. (112 mins.)
Director: Mick Jackson
 
2.
By Dawn's Early Light (1990 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries... (100 mins.)
Director: Jack Sholder
 
3.
The Day After (1983 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas. (127 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
 
4.
A Boy and His Dog (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex... (91 mins.)
Director: L.Q. Jones
 
5.
On the Beach (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months. (134 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
6.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. (112 mins.)
 
7.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
8.
Fail-Safe (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted? (112 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
9.
The War Game (1965 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city... (48 mins.)
Director: Peter Watkins
 
10.
Right at Your Door (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A dirty bomb goes off in Los Angeles, jamming freeways and spreading a toxic cloud. (96 mins.)
Director: Chris Gorak
 
11.
Testament (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack. (90 mins.)
Director: Lynne Littman
 
12.
Miracle Mile (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes. (87 mins.)
 
13.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
14.
When the Wind Blows (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war. (80 mins.)
 
15.
Crimson Tide (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so. (116 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
 
16.
Unthinkable (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A psychological thriller centered around a black-ops interrogator and an FBI agent who press a suspect terrorist into divulging the location of three nuclear weapons set to detonate in the U.S. (97 mins.)
Director: Gregor Jordan
 
17.
WW III: World War III (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
This mock documentary uses archival footage, interviews and reports taken out of context and staged... (88 mins.)
Director: Robert Stone
 
18.
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo Nazis faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore. (124 mins.)
 
19.
The Fourth Protocol (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
John Preston is a British agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the 'special relationship' between the two countries. (119 mins.)
Director: John Mackenzie
 
20.
Fail Safe (2000 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow. (86 mins.)