Countdown to Doomsday with the Top 10 Apocalyptic Movies

The Mayan calendar supposedly predicts the end of the world to occur this Friday, December 21, 2012. (MCT)

The Mayan calendar supposedly predicts the end of the world to occur this Friday, December 21, 2012. (MCT)

By Will Thomas
Staff Writer

With the incredibly unlikely apocalypse coming on Friday, Dec. 21, it is a good time to look back on all the survival tips given to us by Hollywood. From zombies to natural disasters to nuclear warfare, the film industry has prepped us for the near impossible.

10. 2012 (2009)

How could there be a list of apocalypse movies without mentioning 2012, the movie that brought this year’s craze to its peak? John Cusack tries to protect his family while completely illogical natural disasters destroy the rest of the Earth at the end of the Mayan calendar. Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of conspiracy nut, Charlie Frost, brings the film to the top 10.

9. Independence Day (1996)

Aliens begin attacking the Earth and the United States government attempts to defend it. The highest grossing film of 1996, Independence Day comes to no. 9 on the list with cheesy special effects and Will Smith’s famous line: “Welcome to Earth!”

The Mayan calendar supposedly predicts the end of the world to occur this Friday, December 21, 2012. (MCT)

8. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

The original classic directed by George Romero put the zombie subgenre on the map. Society collapses as an unexplained phenomenon reanimates deceased bodies. Dawn of the Dead is considered one of the best zombie movies of all time, and still holds up today.

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

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley take a more humorous and romantic turn towards the end of the world. The last mission to save Earth has failed, and everyone is rioting, preparing for survival or attempting to find the love of their lives. This has everything you need in a pre-Armageddon adventure. And unlike most other movies, it actually ends at “the end.”

6. War of the Worlds (2005)

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning star in Stephen Spielberg’s adaption of H.G. Wells’ classic novel War of the Worlds. Cruise portrays a father trying to keep his son and daughter safe as aliens assault Earth. Cruise excels in showing the psychological effects the apocalypse can have on a father’s mind. War of the Worlds is a film that is faithful to its origins and at the same time, its own separate creature.

5. Armageddon (1998)

A massive meteor headed for Earth is to be destroyed before humanity is wiped out, so who does the government call? Oil drillers Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi and Michael Clark Duncan. This is probably the best Michael Bay film to date without giant robots fighting each other. Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” is also a plus.

4. I Am Legend (2007)

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor (Will Smith) in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure. The movie brings excitement without the overuse of CGI and jump scares. I Am Legend is a decent combination of action, horror, and science fiction.

3. 28 Days Later (2002)

A bicycle courier (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma in a hospital to a world infected with a virus turning everyone into fast zombies. 28 Days Later is considered the best modern zombie film while remaining a political allegory and humanist drama. It was good enough to spawn a sequel 28 Weeks Later, which was almost equally successful.

2. Zombieland (2009)

Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson were part of an oddly perfect ensemble in this hilarious zombie comedy. Zombieland provides plenty of rules to follow during the zombie apocalypse such as “Beware of bathrooms” and makes viewers crave Twinkies like never before.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

One of the few sequels to surpass its original in quality, Terminator 2 brings state-of-the-art effects into a mix of incredible storytelling, relatable characters, and memorable one-liners like “Come with me if you want to live.” James Cameron brings us the story of Sarah and John Connor as they are pursued by a new Terminator model sent back in time to kill John as a child, as he is the future savior of the human resistance against Skynet, which begins a nuclear war in the future to destroy the human race. There is no other film related to the apocalypse that is as gripping and entertaining as Judgment Day.