Ten best disaster films – from Independence Day to Airplane!

Did your favourite make it onto our list?

Everyone loves a disaster film, right?


There’s something quite comforting about watching other people’s lives – and sometimes entire planets – descending into chaos whilst you sit back with a bucket of Butterkist and trim your toe-nails on the sofa.

So, without further ado, here’s some of our favourite flicks in the most disastrous of genres…

1. Independence Day (1996)

Will Smith’s summertime world-saving habit began with Independence Day. He bravely shoots aliens out of the sky, but is generally out-shined by a fireworks display of exploding American landmarks. Ooh… Aah…

2. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Question: What do you get if you stick Shelley Winters, Gene Hackman, Jack Albertson, Red Buttons and Ernest Borgnine in a ship and turn it upside down? Answer: A disaster classic from the top drawer.

3. Apollo 13 (1995)

It might not seem like a disaster to most of us – but let me tell you, getting stuck in a tin can on the dark side of the moon is no laughing matter. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton – this is a modern classic of the genre with the volume turned down to -11… after all, in space, no one can hear you scream…

4. The Towering Inferno (1974)

The first co-production between two major Hollywood studios (Twentieth Century-Fox and Warner Bros) this blockbuster is HOT! Steve McQueen and Paul Newman may have disputed who’s name was first on the credits, but in the end they lead an all-star cast in a flick that’ll have you biting your nails – and reaching for the fire blanket – to the very end.

5. Dante’s Peak (1995)

Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan, an erupting volcano and an acid lake… yes please!

6. Titanic (1997)

Everyone gets very wet in James Cameron’s epic sinking ship yarn, but Leonardo DiCaprio is probably the wettest of all as Kate Winslet’s oh-so free-spirited (but not very buoyant) beau.

7. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Brr. It’s cold outside. Well, there is a new ice age dawning, but the efforts of father Dennis Quaid to find his son Jake Gyllenhaal makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside (or is that rising bile?)

8. Snakes on a Plane (2006)

What’s that hissing in the overhead compartment? No, it’s not an improvised explosive made from cola and Semtex. It’s much worse than that! Samuel L Jackson gets in a tangle with a bunch of slithering pythons.

9. Deep Impact (1998)

Duck! A meteor is on a collision course with Earth and, unlike Armageddon, it actually hits. Even the extreme gravitas of Morgan Freeman (playing the President) isn’t enough to knock it off course.

10. Airplane! (1980)

The airline featured in this spoof disaster movie serves more nuts than you can handle, including Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen and Robert Hays as a freaked-out ex-fighter pilot. Happy landings!


Did your favourite make our list? Leave a comment and let us know…