A whimper rather than an explosion is how the world dies.
According to Eliot, who knows? As far as movies go, there is no limit to what could happen to our world or our civilizations. People are naturally concerned about the apocalypse, given recent predictions that the world is about to end (the vast majority of which have already occurred).
And so it goes: Our pop culture is a reflection of what’s popular in society. This suggests that there will be an increase in films depicting a world-ending catastrophe. For those who prefer action-packed, fast-paced apocalyptic stories or those who prefer a slower, more contemplative approach, there is a story out there for everyone.
20. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
This was Lorene Scafaria’s first feature picture as a filmmaker, and it was released in the middle of the summer of 2012 without much excitement. It’s fair to say that it was a tough sell. No one expected this apocalyptic comedy/rom-com/road trip movie featuring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, two actors who don’t seem to belong in the same world together, let alone in a romantic pairing. If you don’t mind a plot that is heavily inspired by another film on this list, you’ll probably enjoy this one despite its many problems. But Carell and Knightley’s chemistry and charisma make this one of the best car trips of all time.
19. War of the Worlds (2005)
The 1953 film version of H.G. Wells’ classic novel by director Bryon Haskin remains one of the most notable science fiction films of the 1950s. Despite its age, the film serves as an important marker in the development of visual effects. As a result, unlike some other properties, a remake was possible. And who better than Steven Spielberg to carry out this task?
Using the original’s Cold War paranoia to incorporate elements of post-9/11 anguish is what makes the 2005 version so effective. This vision of disintegrated New Yorkers strolling around after the Trade Center attack comes to mind when Tom Cruise’s character, who narrowly avoided an alien invasion, looks in the mirror and sees that he’s covered in ashes from disintegrated civilians. Since Spielberg sticks closer to the original idea of the book, which was to locate his wife in all the turmoil, he produces an intimate and emotional disaster film. Even if the closing reel of the picture is a little shaky, the film has already built up enough goodwill to make up for the flaws.
18. The Rapture (1992)
It’s no secret that Mimi Rogers’ character Sharon is a LA hedonist who gets caught up in a religious sect preoccupied with the end of times. In light of the group’s warning that the biblical Rapture is imminent, Sharon vows to commit her life to God and live in a more virtuous manner. She finally gets married and has a baby.. Sharon, on the other hand, begins to question her faith in God and his “cruel” methods when the Rapture indications begin to show. After receiving a glowing review from Roger Ebert and other high-profile critics, the film’s original release was a failure. To understand why, look no farther than its smug attack on traditional religious beliefs about God. Despite its heavy-handed style, this film is worth seeing only for Rogers’ performance and the sheer audacity of the closing fifteen minutes.
17. On the Beach (1959)
You’d think it would be impossible to release a film with the visceral effect of a current production given the material limitations imposed on films prior to the MPAA era. As far as I’m concerned, you’re right. Stanley Kramer, director of such issue-heavy films as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Inherit the Wind, delivers a poignant ensemble drama about a group of characters who are in denial about their inevitable demise in this movie. It depicts a post-World War III world where the Northern Hemisphere has been poisoned by radiation and people are fleeing to Australia to avoid the slow-moving but ever creeping radioactive dust. On the Beach features a stellar cast, including Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins, and Fred Astaire.
16. Time of the Wolf (2003)
Instead of playing it safe with his films like many other directors, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke prefers to push the boundaries of what is acceptable in cinema. In his 2003 apocalyptic film, Time of the Wolf, this is undoubtedly the case. Her character is the patriarch of a French family who returns to their country house only to discover that an unidentified tragedy has wreaked havoc on the earth. As a result, the family is ostracized or neglected like lepers in biblical times as they seek a new place to live. In this case, Haneke seems to be making a point about the fragility of human relationships and how little it takes to suck the compassion out of people by not revealing the reason of the apocalypse. Time of the Wolf is an excellent variation to the usual end-of-the-world stuff, even if Haneke’s previous works are more dramatic.
15. Fish Story (2009)
There is a scene in Almost Famous where rocker Jeff Bebe says the soundbite-like phrase “rock ‘n’ roll can save the world.” In Fish Story, by Yoshihiro Nakamura, these words are brought to life in a way they have never been before. The film begins in a Japanese city that has been deserted. Asteroid collisions are predicted to wipe out humanity as we know it, so everyone is ready for the inevitable. An avid music lover, meanwhile, still holds out hope that an obscure punk track from 1975 will save the world from oblivion. Moreover, we can observe this in a succession of seemingly unrelated events that chronicle the song’s history. In Fish Story, a “hyperlink” story is tackled without the pretentiousness or overindulgence that frequently afflicts ventures of this type.
14. Miracle Mile (1988)
As Alanis Morissette would put it, it’s “a piece of irony worthy of Alanis Morissette.” After the initial “meet-cute,” you discover that the world is about to be engulfed in a nuclear Armageddon. Harry is a lonely man who chances to answer a random ringing pay phone late at night in this overlooked late 1980s thriller starring Anthony Edwards. An exasperated man tells him that nuclear war will begin in exactly 70 minutes on the other end of the phone. To save himself, Harry must find his new love and flee on a helicopter before the clock runs out. On an amazing roller coaster trip through the nightlife of LA, Miracle Mile is an apparent influence on the 2008 film Cloverfield.
13. This is The End (2013)
“This Is The End” stars Seth Rogen and his crew of stoned snobs as they stare towards the end of the world with dick-jokes in their mouths. A number of things could have gone catastrophically wrong in Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s feature-length directorial debut, including an overreliance on inside jokes or shoddy visual effects. Rogen and Goldberg sidestep the pitfalls that first-time comedy directors face by combining freewheeling Apatow-inspired interactions with outstanding visual set pieces that convey a feeling of grandeur and progression. After watching This is the End, you’ll probably want to watch it again right away.
12. Night of the Comet (1984)
With its recent release on Blu-Ray, Night of the Comet has been rediscovered as one of the most underrated films of the 1980s. A fascinating example of a film that combined genres before it was widely accepted might be found, though, by those with an open mind. They decide to use the end-of-the-world situation to go on an epic shopping spree with their friends when a comet passes right near the Earth and vaporizes billions of people in its wake. They run into zombies, military personnel, and a slew of other “completely lame” distractions along the route. Even if you don’t remember anything about the 1980s, Night of the Comet is a great time capsule.
11. The Road (2009)
Filmed in the style of Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road, the film explores human misery and desperation. As a nameless man and his young boy, Viggo Mortensen makes his way through the desolate remains of an obliterated planet. The guy must eventually choose between pushing forward and hoping for a brighter life or executing his son in order to prevent future suffering from the ruthless people. Despite the film’s difficulty, director John Hillcoat and writer Joe Penhall deserve credit for bringing a beautiful and powerful novel to the big screen.
10. The Day After (1983)
This two-hour, made-for-TV film was one of the most talked-about and emotionally charged films of 1983. When a nuclear bomb goes off in Kansas City and Lawrence, the residents of both cities are thrust into the role of dealing with the aftermath. When Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan came out, director Nicholas Meyer lobbied hard to get ABC censors to let the film go through, and the consequences spoke for themselves. After seeing the movie, folks all throughout the country began calling their elected officials to ask if such a scenario was real. To help the children who had been affected by the film, Mr. Rogers even aired a series of programmes.
9. The Last Wave (1977)
Peter Weir earned his mark with the genre films Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave before making mainstream hits like The Year of Living Dangerously and Witness. In the latter, future Thornbirds actor Richard Chamberlain plays a lawyer who accepts a job representing an Aboriginal organization. During a violent storm, the group appears to have fought and killed one of their own. As the character’s investigation takes him deeper into the rabbit hole, he notices the beginnings of a catastrophic tragedy. Even if it’s not to everyone’s taste, The Last Wave is an excellent thriller for an art-house audience.
8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Among the apocalyptic films on this list is 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Plant-based species that silently and effectively replaces the inhabitants of San Francisco with identical pod people threatens to wipe out humanity in this case rather than a nuclear apocalypse or hostile invasion. Phillip Kaufman’s re-imagining of Jack Finney’s novel Body Snatchers is darker and more cynical than the original 1956 film adaption. In doing so, it has established itself as the best of the four Body Snatchers adaptations.
7. 28 Days Later (2002)/ 28 Weeks Later (2007)
If you’re looking for maximum emotional impact, you can’t go wrong with Danny Boyle’s 2002 alternative horror film and its follow-up in 2007. Despite setting the stage for an alternate reality in which a “anger” virus has rendered the bulk of the populace psychotic canines, 28 Days Later manages to leave its audience with a sense of optimism for the future. In 28 Weeks Later, on the other hand, the brutality of the world is depicted, but the ending is significantly less hopeful.
6. 12 Monkeys (1995)
12 Monkeys, a film based on the 1962 French short film La Jetée, was Terry Gilliam’s only commercial success in a career littered with mishaps. An apocalyptic future criminal who is brought back in time to stop the spread of a terrible virus that would kill billions of people is played by Bruce Willis. This is one of the few Gilliam pictures that has all the inventive imagery and idiosyncrasies that make Gilliam films wonderful, but without the illogical, scatter-brained storyline that frequently proves to be their demise. Willis and Brad Pitt both shine in 12 Monkeys.”
5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
There are numerous examples of “zombie-end-of-the-world” scenarios. George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, are two of the best go-to horror flicks ever made, but there are many others. However, Dawn of the Dead is the only film to make the cut. In both Night and Shaun, the zombie danger is limited to a rural house and a small neighborhood, where the action takes place. Even though Dawn’s running length is confined to a big retail mall, its first third effectively demonstrates the widespread scope of the zombie epidemic with scenes like an aggressive SWAT team’s apartment search. Another thing to note in Dawn is that, unlike many other zombie flicks, it doesn’t look that humanity is winning or returning to normal. In a world invaded by the undead and with limited resources, how long can these heroes survive?
4. Melancholia (2011)
If you’ve seen Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Oh, what a treat. Even if you don’t like Lars von Trier’s work, you can’t help but admire this film, which is both heartbreaking and beautiful (especially the opening, slow-motion sequence) without being overbearing. Udo Kier, as a snobbish wedding planner, adds true levity to the film’s darker moments. The picture features two distinct narratives. ” As a newlywed (Kirsten Dunst) struggles to make it through the parties and celebrations, the grip of her despair grows ever tighter, and we see her in a career-defining performance. During the second half, we learn of the escapades of her elder, more structured sister (the great Charlotte Gainsbourg). A blue planet named Melancholia is also rapidly approaching our solar system.
Apocalyptic events are an appropriate metaphor for despair in Von Trier’s film, even if they aren’t subtle. Von Trier manages to infuse the apocalypse with a peculiar sense of hope despite the film’s gloomy subject matter.
3. Take Shelter (2011)
apocalyptic images plague Curtis LaForche. He begins building a shelter for his wife and child, convinced that his premonitions will soon come to pass. He visits a therapist because his conduct is becoming more and more out of control, and we find that he comes from a long line of people who have struggled with mental illness. Take Shelter’s primary dilemma can be summed up in this way. Is Curtis a modern-day prophet or a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia? It delivered on the promises of Jeff Nichols’ first feature, Shotgun Stories, and established him as a forceful new voice in the cinema community with its satirical twist on the traditional Noah story. Not to mention, Michael Shannon gives what may be his best performance to date in the picture.
2. Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)/ Fail-Safe (1965)
A comparison of Dr. Strangelove and Fail-Safe, two films based on the same source material and released within a year of each other, illustrates how a same narrative can result in two wildly different yet equally successful films. In spite of this, Strangelove will always hold a special place in the hearts of most people. It was director Stanley Kubrick who discovered that many real-life specifics of emergency nuclear bomb protocols were too ludicrous to function in an important drama while adapting Peter George’s novel Red Alert for the big screen. Terry Southern, a well-known humorist, was brought in to aid with the rewriting of the script. Everything that follows is history. Few performers have ever matched Peter Sellers’ ability to provide a series of distinct and hilarious roles, with perhaps the exception of Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronates. Slim Pickens riding the bomb to its final location, and the ending destruction montage set to the mournful “We’ll Meet Again” are movie legends in their own right. Moreover, It’s never been so much fun to see the end of the world.
Although director Sidney Lumet was also working on an even more serious take on the “what if?” question. Kubrick launched a lawsuit claiming that Fail-plotline Safe’s was based on George’s Red Alert, which Kubrick held the rights to, which he was intimidated by. Even though a settlement was reached, it had the desired outcome. Before Fail-Safe, Kubrick’s film was released. It’s a pity that Fail-Safe isn’t as funny as Strangelove, because it’s nearly as effective a dramatic vehicle. Both Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau are outstanding as their characters, and Lumet’s cinematography and editing perfectly convey the rising tension.
1. Last Night (1998)
Last Night fades in around 6 p.m. on the last day before the planet is completely destroyed (a specific reason is never given though the film does draw attention to the fact that night has not existed for some time). The world as we know it will be gone in six hours. Don McKellar, a Canadian actor and director, wrote and directed the film, which focuses on the last night of many people’s lives. For help, Sandra (Sandra Oh) recruits a melancholy hermit named Patrick (McKellar) to assist her in getting to her spouse in time so that they can both take their own lives. Craig (Callum Keith Rennie), a buddy of Patrick’s, plans to use the time he has to fulfill all of his sexual desires.
Last Night is a heartfelt drama and a heartfelt comedy all at the same time, creating an astonishing crescendo that will both haunt you and make you grin.
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