As much as you’d like to, we all know you’re not spending every weekend in the great outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hone your survival skills (or critique some ignorant director’s) with a good survival flick.
Here are some great survival movies that you can stream this weekend. Let us know if we left anything out.
Even if it’s not accurate, survival movies are entertaining, and really make you appreciate your soft couch and air conditioning. Nothing like sipping a frosty beer while watching some actor succumb to dehydration, no?
Having successfully summited all 29,029 feet of Mount Everest, a group of climbers faces their biggest challenge yet. With little warning, a massive storm engulfs the mountain and leaves the men struggling to stay alive and work together. Based on a true story of the 1996 events, the film may not live up to real-life mountaineering experiences, but it’s entertaining just the same. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
Into the Wild, 2007
The well-known story of Christopher McCandless and his trek from an affluent home to seek adventure in the Alaskan wilderness is given the Hollywood treatment by director Sean Penn and actor Emile Hirsch. While not totally true to the book, the film effectively visualizes McCandless’ journey and motivations. It also contains one of Kristen Stewart’s most watchable performances. Available on Netflix and to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
The Mountain Between Us, 2017
Settle in as two strangers find themselves stranded on a mountain after a plane crash. Realizing help is not on the way, they set out to cross hundreds of wilderness miles. Available to rent on Amazon for $5.99.
All is Lost, 2013
An unnamed mariner played by Robert Redford finds himself stranded in the Indian Ocean after his yacht collides with an abandoned shipping container. With no communication or navigation equipment, he must use a sextant and compass to find his way into a shipping lane and attempt to flag down a passing ship, all the while combating circling sharks and a brutal sun. Available on Amazon Prime.
127 Hours, 2010
Regardless of your feelings about Aron Ralston, his tale of getting trapped in a canyon in Utah is compelling as hell. Director Danny Boyle and actor James Franco tell the story of a hiker pinned to a wall by a boulder for five days in such vivid detail that you can’ help but wonder what you’d do in Ralston’s shoes. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
Touching the Void, 2003
The true story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates facing disaster while attempting to descend after summiting the Siula Grande in Peru. After Joe breaks his leg on the descent, the two face increasingly difficult situations that ultimately leave Joe to fend for himself. The story of his survival is inspiring, to say the least. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
The Way Back, 2010
Inspired by a true story, this film tracks seven escapees from a Siberian gulag who have to trek 4,000 miles on foot across the Gobi desert, facing blistering Siberian cold, wolves, oppressive desert heat, and the damn Himalayas to make their way to freedom. Available on Netflix.
Open Water, 2003
Another film loosely based on a true story, Open Water is the tale of two scuba divers who are accidentally left behind by their tour boat and left stranded in shark-infested waters. In addition to the sharks, over the course of the film they have to deal with the unrelenting sun, dehydration, and stinging jellyfish. If you thought Jaws was too sappy, this is the perfect film for you. Available to rent on Amazon for $2.99.
The Impossible, 2012
Based on a true store, The Impossible will have you on the edge of your seat. Starting out on an idyllic family holiday in Thailand, it soon takes a turn as the they must fight for survival after a massive tsunami tears their lives apart. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
28 Days Later, 2002
Come on, we had to throw a zombie film in here somewhere. And 28 Days later is one of the best. Danny Boyle’s terrifying direction and Alex Garland’s script took the schlocky zombie genre and made an art film with it. Besides, if/when the zombie apocalypse actually happens, this will give you an idea of how to survive it. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
Now sit back, grab some popcorn (or Clif Bars), and start watching these gems.