Netflix features a variety of apocalyptic films currently available for on-demand streaming.
Below is a list of our recommended Netflix apocalyptic movies, followed by a complete overview of all the best apocalyptic movies on Netflix currently available to stream.
Before we can list our recommendations, we need to answer one crucial question.
What qualifies as an apocalypse?
Our definition of an apocalyptic story ranges from a robot uprising to an alien invasion to a full-on apocalypse survival story.
Let’s check the list of best apocalyptic movies on Netflix!
In This Article
- 1. I am Mother
- 2. Cadaver
- 3. District 9
- 4. Birdbox
- 5. Snowpiercer
- 6. Spectral
- 7. Cargo
- 8. 3%
- 9. The Road
- 10. The Worthy
- 11. How It Ends
- 12. The Cloverfield Paradox
- 13. IO
- 14. Armageddon
- 15. The Walking Dead
- 16. The 100
- 17. Into the Forest
- 18. ARQ
- 19. Extinction
- 20. The Girl With All the Gifts
- 21. Numero 9
- Final Thoughts
1. I am Mother
Imagine this. An unnamed catastrophe has ravaged the universe.
As part of her efforts to repopulate Earth, Mother (the voice of Rose Byrne) raises a little girl called “ Daughter.”
The machine called Mother provides Daughter with an education in the morals and other skills vital for human existence.
A woman, played by Hillary Swank, interrupts the lives of the Daughter and Mother by revealing a disturbing truth to the Daughter.
This film uniquely explores themes of morality, duty, motherhood, and the meaning of being an outsider. The world premiere of this movie took place in January 2019.
The film “Cadaver” occurs in a community destroyed by a nuclear explosion.
People are starving to death, and the prevalence of violent crime has increased. The sight of rotting corpses on the road is an everyday experience.
In such a hostile atmosphere, staying close to your family and trusted allies is your only chance at survival.
The movie follows the story of our protagonist Alice and her parents, Leonora and Jacob.
Out of the blue, a renowned theater director named Mathias Vinterberg divulges that he would be helming an up-close and personal performance titled “The Hotel,” complete with an invitation to lunch.
Alice and her family naturally accept the invitation believing it would give them a brief reprieve from their life.
In the end, when fact and fiction collide, chaos ensues. The reality that you hunt or become the prey is laid bare for everyone to see.
3. District 9
The film “District 9” is widely regarded as among the top science fiction movies produced in early 2000.
The movie is based on Cape Town’s ‘District Six’ events during the apartheid regime.
Beginning with the alleged observation of an extraterrestrial craft flying above Johannesburg in 1982, the film combines aspects of science fiction with the genre of found footage.
The human population’s initial reaction to the discovery of malnourished extraterrestrials still residing on the Planet’s surface was one of extreme anxiety.
Consequently, South Africa’s government restricts their movement to a specific area known as District Nine.
An uprising ultimately results in an armed war between the bizarre creatures and humans.
Thie movie “Bird Box” attracted considerable popularity immediately after it was made available on Netflix.
Starring Sandra Bullock, the film has amassed more than 40 million views.
However, despite its vast viewership, people are still unsure whether the movie delivered on the hype.
The movie depicts the story of a mother (Sandra Bullock) living in an apocalyptic world.
The challenge she faces is transporting her two young children across a dangerous body of water. The journey is made challenging because they are required to do this while blindfolded.
The events described here seem to fit a blueprint we’ve encountered in other stories.
This movie had mixed reviews from critics, but most reviewers had issues regarding how the story was left hanging at the end.
On the other hand, the premise of the movie and unexplained entities add to its allure.
Bong Joon-ho, a well-known Korean filmmaker, enjoys taking risks with his films.
The most original feature of this movie is that, in this version of events, the planet has been left uninhabitable. As a result, everyone who is still alive is traveling aboard a giant train.
The entirety of the film takes place on a massive train that transports passengers worldwide for an entire year, and this train is where all of the action takes place.
Divisions similar to our civilizations have become increasingly apparent among the in-house population over time.
The poor have moved to the coaches towards the back, where they live in miserable conditions. Whereas the rich live a life of comfort in the front coaches.
The plot revolves around an uprising against the wealthy to grab control of the train. The film’s sociopolitical observations are just as excellent as the brilliant set designs.
A primary focus of this movie is to showcase the class divide between rich and poor and how the strong exploit the weak by manipulating their perceptions of power.
In this universe, there is unseen danger in the form of magical beings invisible to the naked eye.
The movie’s plot revolves around a special operations squad that engages in combat with unidentified beings.
The beings could be ghosts from the conflict or the result of a botched government weapons experiment; we don’t know.
The film is an excellent watch due to its impressive special effects, fantastic story, and solid acting.
Although not without flaws, the movie is good enough for a Friday night with friends and family.
This zombie apocalypse movie takes a different route.
The film follows the story of a father who learns that he will get affected by the zombie virus.
To save his daughter, he heads out to look for a new residence for his infant daughter.
Unlike other zombie films, which tend to be purely action-oriented, this one succeeds admirably in making its audience feel a wide range of emotions.
While not action-filled, the movie offers the thrills it promises and is undeniably a welcome change of pace.
This Brazilian apocalyptic thriller is an exciting combination of The Hunger Games, The Giver, and the Divergent series.
The movie follows the premise that the top three percent of the highest-scoring twenty-year-olds are allowed to go offshore, where society’s most intelligent people live in luxury.
The young kids go through a battery of tests throughout the show, and viewers follow their journey as they attempt to reach the island paradise.
The protagonists go through a lot of strain, and the stakes could not be higher, but the alternatives are equally terrifying.
9. The Road
The Road is an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name.
The film is a grim account of life in the aftermath of the world’s end.
After a worldwide catastrophe, most of the world’s population is gone. Viggo Mortensen plays a father fighting to keep himself and his little kid alive.
This depressing story is less of a sci-fi dramatization of apocalyptic events and more of a meditation on the deterioration of humanity in the aftermath of a catastrophe.
What would it mean for humanity if most of the world’s people suddenly disappeared?
10. The Worthy
“The Worthy” is a fast-paced film set in a world where clean water is scarce.
The film’s plot revolves around eradicating a significant portion of the world’s population due to water contamination by an infectious disease.
Few individuals who survived the disaster lived close to a reliable source of clean water, which was later polluted by those who did not have the best intentions.
So when the last few humans on Earth begin to struggle for control of the one source of water, the entire situation devolves into a bloody survival game.
11. How It Ends
In a world devastated by an apocalyptic event, the film follows a married man as he searches for means to get back to his wife.
The world we once knew has changed, and the disorder rules it.
This movie gets off to an excellent start, and the first half is fast-paced and engaging. However, the second half fails to deliver as the film loses its grip on the plot.
Several sequences and choices made during scenes will leave you frustrated.
Regardless of these flaws, the film keeps you entertained until the end and is a good Friday night watch.
12. The Cloverfield Paradox
There are three movies set in the Cloverfield universe.
“The Cloverfield Paradox” is the movie that explains the origin of the bizarre monsters from “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.”
The movie begins with a group of researchers toiling away inside a space station orbiting the Earth.
Their objective is to develop a mechanism that will enable a continuous supply of infinite energy to the planet.
But the entire experiment is a catastrophic failure, and it creates gateways to another reality that will bring the end of the planet.
The movie “IO Last on Earth” is set on apocalyptic Earth nearing destruction.
The planet is no longer habitable for humans, and the vast majority of Earth’s population has uprooted and fled to settle on a moon of Jupiter called IO.
Sam, a young woman who is a scientist, believes that there is still hope for earth
To answer her plea for help, a man named Micah stops to aid her. He is on his way to the last spaceship to IO.
Sam must decide if she wants to stay on Earth or relocate to IO like other humans, while Micah must make a hurried trek to the ship.
This film is very similar to “I Am Legend,” with the only distinction being that the latter incorporates zombies.
Unfortunately, this movie is not as great as ‘I am Legend.’ In some ways, IO manages to squander away a promising premise.
Nevertheless, you should check it out at least once because it convincingly recreates a dystopian future.
Some crucial narrative elements are missing, but other than that, it’s excellent.
Armageddon’s allure is that it doesn’t bother explaining why they have to train oil drillers to be astronauts rather than the other way around.
In the movie, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler star as people trying to save the world from an impending catastrophe caused by a gigantic asteroid headed in Earth’s direction.
To counter this catastrophe, NASA recruits deep-core drillers to travel into space.
Their mission is simple, drill into the asteroid and detonate it from the inside out. The movie was released in the late 1990s and is an exciting cult classic.
15. The Walking Dead
It’s impossible to discuss apocalyptic media on Netflix without acknowledging the influence of AMC’s big zombie TV success, “The Walking Dead.”
After a bloody firefight in Georgia that leaves Sheriff Rick Grimes in a coma for about a month, he awakens to a world invaded by zombies.
What follows is a battle for his life against more than just the zombies.
16. The 100
‘The 100’ looks like a young adult dystopian drama but has roots in rigorous science fiction.
After the nuclear holocaust, some of the survivors of humanity fled to a network of interconnected space stations to avoid being killed by radiation.
After nearly a century, fewer resources are available, so a group of one hundred troubled youths is dispatched to the planet’s surface to see if they can survive there.
Instead, they discover a world with hazardous terrain, a few horrifying monsters, and, against all odds, primitive humans who have survived.
In Season 1, the A-plot takes place on Earth and has the feel of Lord of the Flies, while the B-plot takes place on a space station and is remarkably similar to Battlestar Galactica.
Even though there are some problems with the second season of The 100, the show is still a good choice for modern science fiction fans, and it will likely continue to improve.
17. Into the Forest
Patricia Rozema is the director of the Canadian horror movie “Into the Forest,” released in 2017.
The story’s unsettling resemblance to our lives makes it so intriguing.
In this story, which takes place in the not-too-distant future, a wealthy family has chosen to raise their children in seclusion in a forest house.
However, electricity and other contemporary technologies are vital to their way of life and sense of security.
Their issues arise when a power outage lasts more than a year throughout the continent, leaving people to survive without electricity.
The rest of the story demonstrates that people have relied so much on technology that in the absence of those aids, they will not be able to survive.
A bunch of mask raiders attack a man and a woman at the beginning of each new day as they are stuck in a time loop within a laboratory.
To repel these raiders, they must be able to adapt and sharpen their fighting techniques.
But, at the same time, they must be able to develop a tool that may act as a power source to avert the world’s end.
Every time the pair awakens to find themselves back at the beginning of the time loop, the film reveals a fresh story twist.
The movie is underrated and is bound to keep you intrigued and on the edge of your seat.
The movie “Extinction” follows a guy who suffers from recurring dreams.
The plot centers on the protagonist’s determination to follow his gut feeling to save his family from an army of extraterrestrial beings.
The movie is unique with good direction. The movie can be said to serve as a model for all the other alien invasion apocalyptic films currently available.
The lead actor, Micheal Pena, does an excellent job in the role, but the plot surprises at the end might leave you feeling let down or cause you to fall head over heels in love with it.
You will have to watch this to decide for yourself.
20. The Girl With All the Gifts
Every single person on the planet has contracted a pathogenic infection that multiplies in bodily fluids and spreads from there in the coming years.
When the virus takes hold of a person’s body, they turn into a zombie.
Few second-generation youngsters who can still think and communicate while eating flesh are the only ones still alive.
The movie’s protagonist is a standout young woman named Melanie who journeys with a colorful ensemble of people.
These include a researcher, a teacher, and servicemen as they try to live in a hostile environment.
Colm McCarthy’s spooky film, based on the book with the same title, is one that you shouldn’t miss.
21. Numero 9
The animated movie “9” is directed by Shane Acker and follows the story of a handstitched doll that comes to life.
Elijah Wood voices the title character in the animated film “9,” and the feature was based on the same-titled short movie by Ackerman.
In one imaginable scenario, 1930 occurs in a society where a dictator orders a scientist to develop a robot to advance technology.
The scientist develops BRAIN, an intelligent robot that lacks a soul.
When the dictator kidnaps the robot to use it as part of his fabrication team to help him build an army of war robots, the planet ends up on the brink of extinction.
Due to its lack of a soul, the Fabrication Machine has decided that it must exterminate all life on Earth.
Watch the movie to see how this story ends.
We have compiled a comprehensive list of some of the best apocalyptic movies on Netflix.
Some are a must-watch with your friends and family, while others are good for a one-time viewing when you have nothing to watch.
Regardless of their rating, all the movies listed above deserve some love.
How many have you already watched? Tell us which of these you recommend to someone who loves a good dystopian thriller.