8 of the Most Harrowing Survival Movies Ever Made

Survival Film The Way Back
“The Way Back” by National Geographic Films.

With the Wild Boar soccer team rescue in Thailand last week, many of us found ourselves gripped with hope, fear, grief, and jubilation. There is nothing more compelling or uplifting than a rescue story, especially one with a happy ending. In honor of the Wild Boars, and of men like Saman Kunan who lost his life making sure these young boys survived, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite survival stories.

Alive – Showtime

In 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 591 crashed in the Andes mountains, stranding the rugby team that was aboard, leaving some of the passengers dead, and forcing others to endure the bitter cold mountain.

The 33 – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up.

Eight years ago in Copiapo Chile, 33 copper-gold miners were trapped after a sudden collapse and remained underground for over two months until they were finally rescued.

Deepwater Horizon – HBO

This 2016 disaster film is based on the Deepwater Horizon disaster and stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Dylan O’Brien, and Gina Rodriguez.

6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain – Hulu | Crackle

Eric LeMargue, an Olympic Hockey player, once found himself stranded on Mammoth Mountain for eight terrifying days. This little-known film stars Josh Hartnett as LeMargue.

Only the Brave – Starz

A group of elite firefighters known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots perished in a powerful wildfire in 2013. These men put their lives on the line to make sure others survived.

127 Hours – Rent or buy from $2.99 and up.

When Aron Ralston gets trapped by a boulder while exploring a remote canyon, he is forced to consider the unthinkable in order to find his way home.

The Way Back – Netflix | Acorn TV | Hulu

Loosely based on The Long Walk, the story tells of a treacherous journey home over mountain and desert.

Rescue Dawn – Amazon Prime | Epix | Tribeca Short List

Directed by legendary documentarian Werner Herzog, Rescue Dawn tells the true story of Dieter Dengler who served as a pilot during the Vietnam war. Dengler was shot down, imprisoned in a POW camp, and managed to escape and await rescue.

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