The end of the world is in effect in Hollywood. Every summer, movie audiences are barraged with popcorn flicks that either show the destruction of the Earth due to outside forces or show us what life will be like after the apocalypse.
The movies showing post-apocalyptic environments range from comedies and adventure films to somber, meditative movies. One thing is certain about the world after life as we know it ends we are in for a rough time. Either we are running for our lives from zombies or evil men, trying to find hope or doing our best to subsist on the little gasoline and emergency food storage we have. One thing is for sure; with the number of post-apocalyptic movies out there, we have plenty of preparedness education for the "inevitable" collapse of society as we know it.
This post-apocalypse scenario was directly created by the excess of garbage and waste created by us humans. Not a plant or animal can survive on the earth's degraded surface. The humans in this movie jettison from the planet and leave cleaning robots to take care of the mess so that we can one day recolonize the planet. While this movie doesn't give much credit to humankind, the robotic characters of Wall-E and EVE are the true heart of this story.
9. "Book of Eli"
This movie never comes out and says what caused civilization to end, but it does describe a "flash." Many say a nuclear war caused the earth to become the desolate wasteland that Eli (Denzel Washington) journeys through to bring a mysterious book to a secure place. In this barren future, knowledge is used for two things power or kindling.
This movie starts a while after the zombie holocaust has begun. Those who were not completely taken over by the zombie virus have fought for survival. Columbus, a young college student, has managed to survive after following his 30 rules. He meets up with a renegade traveler, Tallahassee, who is on a quest to find the emergency food supply that will never die Twinkies. With clever performances by all and one of the best film cameos of all time, this was one of the funniest movies of 2009.
7. "Escape from New York"
This dystopian movie takes place in the grim future of 1997. The world has become overrun with crime after World War III, and Manhattan has become an island penitentiary. This movie introduced us to one of film's great anti-heroes, Snake Plissken. We join him as he braves the convict-ridden island on his mission to rescue the president. This is one of the best cult classics to come out of the 1980s.
6. "Children of Men"
There didn't need to be a nuclear disaster or zombie apocalypse to destroy the dystopian civilization in "Children of Men." Instead, the terrorism, apathy and decline of society are brought on by one fact every woman in the world has become infertile. This grimy movie follows Theo (Clive Owen) as he becomes the protector of a woman who is miraculously pregnant and quickly becomes the sole hope for the future of humanity.
5. "28 Days Later"
Four weeks after animal rights activists free a group of chimpanzees infected with the "rage" virus, we see the streets of London completely empty. One man wakes up from a coma and discovers that he may be the last man on earth, and has to run for his life from the infected. He finds only a few human survivors and soon realizes that he may have just as much reason to fear the survivors as he does the "zombies."
4. "Planet of the Apes"
Disregard the poor sequels and the inferior 2001 remake and you have a science-fiction classic that becomes deeper than it seems. Charlton Heston chews up the scenery as an astronaut who crash-lands on a mysterious planet overrun by civilized apes. There are few more memorable endings in cinematic history than Heston's character discovering the Statue of Liberty and realizing that nuclear war has brought an end to mankind as the world's dominant species.
3. "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior"
Following the tragic events in "Mad Max," this sequel details the collapse of the world's oil-based economy and the apocalyptic war that follows. Now, scavengers rule the roadways without conscience, as every day becomes a life-or-death struggle to find gasoline and food. This fantastic sequel gave us images of a post-apocalyptic world that have become a staple for the genre.
2. "The Road"
Only watch this film if you feel like you need to be slightly more depressed than you already are. This 2009 movie was adapted from a great Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The disaster is only referred to as a bright flash in the sky that ended the good life for everyone. We then follow the man and his son as they travel across a greyed, burnt American landscape looking for shelter and survival foods, all while trying to dodge ruthless men on the road. This is the quintessential somber post-apocalyptic movie.
1. "The Matrix"
While generally thought of as a science-fiction action movie, the reality of this 1999 film takes place after the Earth has been scorched and humanity has become nothing more than a power source for sentient machines that roam the planet. A computer hacker who calls himself Neo is recruited by the resistance, led by Morpheus, to crush the artificial reality known as the Matrix. This movie raised the bar for action movies. Just don't worry about watching the sequels.
If you're in the mood for a great post-apocalyptic movie, the movies on this list are a good place to start. They will show you what you should and shouldn't do in crisis situations, so you can be prepared for the end of the world.