The 5th Wave is a doomsday film, or as we’ll refer to it in the year 2020, reality television. The Old Testament is vividly retold in computer-generated imagery, complete with existential threats and moral trials. Right now, disaster movies like The 5th Wave might be your cup of tea.
With Chlo Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson in the lead roles, J Blakeson’s film The 5th Wave depicts a doomsday scenario in which the Earth is threatened by an evil alien race.
Hungering for punishment, five waves of disasters, including earthquakes, disease, and actress Chlo Moretz’s acting, are used to creatively inflict suffering.
We’ve compiled a list of ten other end-of-the-world films to go along with The 5th Wave. The news on television in the evening is not relevant.
1. The Host (2013)
The Host depicts a world in which parasitic aliens known as ‘Souls’ have colonized the human race. In order to avoid a similar fate to her own, the main character, who is now hiding, must fight to keep her body intact.
Adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s 2008 book of the same name, with Saoirse Ronan in the lead role, the film is aptly dubbed an extraterrestrial Twilight.
Our list of films that are like the 5th wave continues to grow with The Host, another entry in the ‘Young Adult Dystopia’ genre.
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
What if it’s more dangerous to stay inside than to venture outside? To put it another way, that’s the basis of this suspenseful thriller, which sees car accident victim Michelle (Kristen Stewart) awaken in the basement of a stranger who claims to have saved her from a chemical attack that has rendered the rest of the world uninhabitable.
While the first Cloverfield film had audiences reaching for the motion sickness buckets, Dan Trachtenberg’s film opts for a third-person perspective rather than using the ‘found footage’ approach.
The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr., and its post-apocalyptic theme elevates it to the ranks of films like the 5th wave in our book.
3. Hunger Games (2012)
As a symbol of anarchy and lawlessness, the 2012 release of The Hunger Games launched a massive cultural phenomenon that has since grown into a massively popular franchise.
An alternate-history future in which each district selects a boy and girl to compete in a death-defying televised fight is depicted in the film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence in a powerful lead role as well as some innovative direction from Gary Ross.
This is ideal for fans of movies like The 5th Wave because of its strong female lead who perseveres in the face of adversity.
4. Divergent (2014)
The only person who can see the truth is an outsider in a post-apocalyptic world where people have organized themselves into orderly, harmonious groups.
Shayne Woodley plays the lead role of Beatrice Prior (the movie’s ‘divergent’ character), who discovers an evil plot that threatens to destabilize the seemingly peaceful society in which she lives.
Apocalypse Now is a thriller with elements of drama, suspense, and a post-apocalyptic world similar to those seen in films like The 5th Wave.
5. Mortal Instruments – City of Bones (2013)
The first Mortal Instruments book follows Clary Fray, a teenager, on her quest to save her mother from demonic forces in ‘Downworld,’ a fantasy realm full of demons, vampires, and other supernatural creatures.
Based on Cassandra Clare’s Young Adult novel series of the same name, the film was released in 2012. It has a devoted cult following and features a stellar cast of heartthrobs, including Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Robert Sheehan, who all star in the film.
A love story set in difficult circumstances is used in films like The 5th Wave. For those who enjoy this type of story, the Mortal Instruments trilogy is a must-read.
6. The Giver (2014)
The Giver, like many other films of this type, has a high concept plot that is based on a work of literature. In a world devoid of color or emotion, it is up to 16-year-old Jonas to carry the burden of memory and restore everything that makes us human.
This Phillip Noyce-directed film, which stars Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, and the legendary Meryl Streep, has been criticized for not being faithful to the original, but it is still a fun, well-made watch nonetheless.
The Giver has earned its place on our list of films like the 5th wave for its imaginative portrayal of a post-apocalyptic society.
7. The Road (2009)
The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s best-selling novel, tells the story of a father and son surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. As they make their way down “the road,” they have to contend with armed scavengers and other perils. Is the place they’re going any safer?
There’s some dark cinematography in this John Hillcoat and Joe Penhall film, which masterfully conjures a feeling of desolation and hopelessness.
Movies like the 5th wave demonstrate how a couple’s strength can overcome any societal crises. This is a must-have for the list.
8. Sunshine (2007)
The sun is a major antagonist in this end-of-the-world thriller. The sun is dying, and a team of scientists sets out on a space mission to use a bomb to try to re-ignite it. What’s the worst that could happen?
With a screenplay by Alex Garland and direction by Danny Boyle, this film manages to be both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The film’s color scheme is dominated by yellow and red, and Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans deliver powerful performances as the film’s central characters.
Another movie, another end-of-the-world scenario. Like the 5th wave, this movie is now part of our collection.
9. The Book of Eli (2010)
The Book of Eli is like a post-apocalyptic version of your standard lone ranger story. This film follows a man who has been assigned the dangerous task of delivering a copy of a mysterious book to a secure location.
An impressive cast led by actors Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis makes for an engaging watch that draws heavily on the Western subgenre.
The Book of Eli is stylistically and thematically similar to films like the 5th wave, which belong to the apocalyptic thriller genre.
10. Children of Men (2006)
In the wake of a global pandemic (ouch), there is a widespread infertility crisis around the world. As soon as one woman becomes pregnant, she must be whisked away in safety to a laboratory where scientists are hard at work developing a revolutionary cure.
This thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat as the miracle of childbirth is celebrated in the midst of a grim industrial dystopia in this suspenseful thriller. With a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Alfonso Cuarón’s co-written and directed film was a huge hit when it was released.
The final film on our list of films like the 5th wave deals with an existential crisis.