The 10 Greatest Films About the End of the World According to Critics

Posted 2017/06/06 3889 0

Film and TV critics share with us their choice of the best films about the apocalypse.

 

1. Melancholia (2011)

As a planet hurtles toward a collision course with Earth, two sisters (Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg) cope with the approaching doomsday in different ways.

 

2. This Is the End (2013)

In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are his buddies Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson. Suddenly, an apocalypse of biblical proportions erupts, causing untold carnage among Tinseltown's elite and trapping Franco's party in his home. As the world they knew disintegrates outside, cabin fever and dwindling supplies threaten to tear the six friends apart.

 

3. Southland Tales (2006)

With the United States under the threat of nuclear attack, the lives of several people converge in a dystopian Los Angeles. Movie star Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson) plans his next film with the help of ambitious porn actress Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and troubled policeman Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott). Meanwhile, Marxist revolutionaries, greedy corporations and secretive government agencies pursue their separate agendas among a paranoid populace.

 

4. A Serious Man (2009)

Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor at a 1960s university, but his life is coming apart at the seams. His wife (Sari Lennick) is leaving him, his jobless brother (Richard Kind) has moved in, and someone is trying to sabotage his chances for tenure. Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis, but whether anyone can help him overcome his many afflictions remains to be seen.

 

5. Shame (1968)

Former musicians Jan Rosenberg (Max von Sydow) and his wife, Eva (Liv Ullmann), have left the city to avoid a civil war and now live on a rural island where they tend a farm. While the situation seems idyllic, the couple's isolation begins to wear on their relationship, and eventually the armed conflict that they've tried to flee arrives on the quiet island in the form of soldiers. Try as they might, Jan and Eva ultimately can't evade either the war or their own marital problems.

 

6. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button, and it played the situation for laughs. U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely insane, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He thinks that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people.

 

7. The Dead Zone (1983)

When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed, and he now has psychic abilities. Heartbroken that his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) has moved on with her life, Johnny also must contend with his unsettling powers, which allow him to see a person's future with a mere touch. After shaking the hand of aspiring politician Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), Johnny sees the danger presented by the candidate's rise and resolves to kill him.

 

8. Into Eternity (2010)

One of the biggest problems facing countries who rely on nuclear energy is what to do with the highly toxic radioactive waste. In 1970, Finland began construction of a massive underground bunker designed to safely store its nuclear waste until it decays and becomes safe, a process that takes 100,000 years. Through interviews with leading Finnish scientists and researchers, director Michael Madsen explores the consequences of nuclear energy and human fallibility.

 

9. Margin Call (2011)

When an analyst uncovers information that could ruin them all, the key players (Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany) at an investment firm take extreme measures to control the damage.

 

10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

The announcement that an enormous asteroid will obliterate Earth in less than a month brings an end to the marriage of mild-mannered insurance salesman Dodge (Steve Carell), whose wife leaves him on the spot. After his bold young neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley), belatedly delivers a letter from Dodge's former sweetheart, Dodge decides that he must find the love of his life before it's too late. Dodge and Penny embark on a road trip that eventually brightens their outlook, if not the world's.

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