Best Human Survival Cinema of the 21st Century

The 100 best examples of human survival cinema of the 21st century.

Themes covered by these works include, but are not limited to, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, zombies, vampires and futuristic societies.

I will continue to modify and refine this so your input is welcomed.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Waterworld (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land. (135 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
“ Obviously not from the 21st century but this film transcends time and therefore deserves the number one spot! ” - reuter-matt
 
2.
28 Days Later... (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. (113 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
3.
The Walking Dead (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by the walking dead. Fighting the dead, fearing the living. (44 mins.)
 
4.
WALL·E (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. (98 mins.)
Director: Andrew Stanton
 
5.
District 9 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. (112 mins.)
Director: Neill Blomkamp
 
6.
Jericho (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small town in Kansas is literally left in the dark after seeing a mushroom cloud over near-by Denver, Colorado. The townspeople struggle to find answers about the blast and solutions on how to survive. (45 mins.)
 
7.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. (99 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
 
8.
Children of Men (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. (109 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
9.
The Hunger Games (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. (142 mins.)
Director: Gary Ross
 
10.
Battle Royale (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act. (114 mins.)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
 
11.
Zombieland (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America. (88 mins.)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
 
12.
Equilibrium (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system. (107 mins.)
Director: Kurt Wimmer
 
13.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall. (101 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
14.
Survivors (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world's population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order, hoping that the virus will not mutate. (60 mins.)
 
15.
The Road (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea. (111 mins.)
Director: John Hillcoat
 
16.
Melancholia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth. (130 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
 
17.
Sunshine (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057. (107 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
18.
Cloverfield (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack. (85 mins.)
Director: Matt Reeves
 
19.
Never Let Me Go (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The lives of three friends, from their early school days into young adulthood. (103 mins.)
Director: Mark Romanek
 
20.
I Am Legend (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure. (101 mins.)
 
21.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams. (138 mins.)
 
22.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan. (100 mins.)
 
23.
Pitch Black (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur. (109 mins.)
Director: David Twohy
 
24.
9 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A rag doll that awakens in a postapocalyptic future holds the key to humanity's salvation. (79 mins.)
Director: Shane Acker
 
25.
Jeremiah (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In a post-apocalyptic future, a deadly virus has wiped out most of humanity. The only ones who survived... (45 mins.)
 
26.
Aftermath: Population Zero (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Ever wondered what the world would be like without any humans? (90 mins.)
 
27.
The Divide (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic. (112 mins.)
Director: Xavier Gens
 
28.
The Island (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Lincoln Six Echo is just like everyone else - he's waiting to go to the Island, the only place left in the world to actually live a life... (136 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
 
29.
The Book of Eli (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. (118 mins.)
 
30.
Signs (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come. (106 mins.)
 
31.
Contagion (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure. (106 mins.)
 
32.
Blindness (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant white blindness. (121 mins.)
 
33.
Stake Land (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster... (98 mins.)
Director: Jim Mickle
 
34.
In Time (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system. (109 mins.)
Director: Andrew Niccol
 
35.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith. (129 mins.)
 
36.
War of the Worlds (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival. (116 mins.)
 
37.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 19-year old drifter and his future wife from a most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack. (109 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Mostow
 
38.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe. (119 mins.)
Director: David Twohy
 
39.
Death Race (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory. (105 mins.)
 
40.
Land of the Dead (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The living dead have taken over the world, and the last humans live in a walled city to protect themselves as they come to grips with the situation. (93 mins.)
 
41.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age. (124 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
 
42.
Knowing (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
M.I.T. professor John Koestler links a mysterious list of numbers from a time capsule to past and future disasters and sets out to prevent the ultimate catastrophe. (121 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
 
43.
Carriers (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Four friends fleeing a viral pandemic soon learn they are more dangerous than any virus. (84 mins.)
 
44.
2012 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind. (158 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
 
45.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth. (104 mins.)
 
46.
Ever Since the World Ended (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Twelve years ago, a plague swept through, wiping out most of the population; in San Francisco, only 186 people remain... (78 mins.)
 
47.
The Happening (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
A science teacher, his wife, and a young girl struggle to survive a plague that causes those infected to commit suicide. (91 mins.)
 
48.
Resident Evil (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident. (100 mins.)
 
49.
Daybreakers (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind. (98 mins.)
 
50.
Code 46 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A futuristic Brief Encounter, this is a love story in which the romance is doomed by genetic incompatibility. (93 mins.)
 
51.
The Crazies (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
About the inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. (101 mins.)
Director: Breck Eisner
 
52.
The Darkest Hour (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply. (89 mins.)
Director: Chris Gorak
 
53.
Snowpiercer (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges. (126 mins.)
Director: Bong Joon Ho