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27 Inspiring Survival Movies To Make You Appreciate Life

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> 27 Inspiring Survival Movies To Make You Appreciate Life

The most frightening and awe inspiring tales of survival are the ones that really happened. Based on true stories, these films showcase the desperate struggle to stay alive against impossible odds and the wrath of mother nature herself. From storms at sea, to plane crashes, war or getting trapped, the challenges are absolutely daunting and nail biting. See our list as we count down the top 27 greatest real life survival movies!

27. The Grey (2011) | IMDb 6.8

27. The Grey (2011)   | IMDb 6.8

In Alaska, a team of oil workers board a flight home; however, they cross a storm and the airplane crashes. Only seven workers survive in the wilderness and John Ottway, who is a huntsman that kills wolves to protect the workers, assumes leadership of the group. Shortly after they learn that they are surrounded by a pack of wolves and Ottway advises that they should seek protection in the woods. But while they walk through the heavy snow, they are chased and attacked by the carnivorous mammals.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1601913/

26. All Is Lost (2013) | IMDb 6.9

26. All Is Lost (2013) | IMDb 6.9

Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner's intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017038/

25. Lord of the Flies (1963) | IMDb 7.0

25. Lord of the Flies (1963)   | IMDb 7.0

A group of young boys are stranded alone on an island. Left to fend for themselves, they must take on the responsibilities of adults, even if they are not ready to do so. Inevitably, two factions form: one group (lead by Ralph) want to build shelters and collect food, whereas Jack's group would rather have fun and HUNT; illustrating the difference between civilization and savagery.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057261/

24. The Old Man and the Sea (1958) | IMDb 7.0

24. The Old Man and the Sea (1958)   | IMDb 7.0

Now an old man, a lifelong fisherman sets out to sea to ply his trade as he has done all of his life. He's not had much good fortune of late and has gone almost three months without a major catch while others are catching one or even two large marlins every week. Many of the locals make fun of him and some say he's too old now to be fishing but he still loves what he does and is encouraged by a young boy who loves him and has faith in him. On this day, he hooks the fish of a lifetime, a marlin that is larger than his skiff. As it slowly pulls him out to sea, the old man reminisces about his past, his successes and the high points of his life. When he does finally manage to land the fish he has to fight off sharks who are feeding on it as he tries to return to his Cuban village.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052027/

23. Alive (1993) | IMDb 7.0

23. Alive (1993)  | IMDb 7.0

In 1972, the Uruguayan rugby team is flying to Chile to play a game. However, the plane from the Uruguayan Air Force with 45 people crashes on the Andes Mountains and after the search party, they are considered dead. Two months after the crash, the sixteen survivors are finally rescued. Along the days, the starved survivors decide to eat flesh from the bodies of their comrades to survive.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106246/

22. Kon-Tiki (2012) | IMDb 7.2

22. Kon-Tiki (2012) | IMDb 7.2

In 1947, the world was gripped with excitement as the young Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl embarked on an astonishing expedition - a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean on the raft 'Kon-Tiki.' From his days living in the Marquesas with his wife Liv, Thor suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by ancient South Americans from thousands of miles to the east. Despite his inability to swim and his fear of water, Thor decided to confirm his theory by sailing the legendary voyage himself.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1613750/

21. Tracks (2013) | IMDb 7.2

21. Tracks (2013) | IMDb 7.2

A young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2167266/

20. Unbroken (2014) | IMDb 7.2

20. Unbroken (2014)  | IMDb 7.2

The life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who joined the armed forces during the second world war, only to be captured by the Japanese navy after a plane crash in the Pacific. During his capture, Louie must continue his fight by surviving through the war.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1809398/

19. The Road (2009) | IMDb 7.3

19. The Road (2009) | IMDb 7.3

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event was, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the 'good people' who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. Although life with his father in this world is all the boy has known, he may come to his own thoughts as to what it means holistically to be one of the good or one of the bad. Meanwhile, the man occasionally has thoughts to happier times with his wife/the boy's mother before the apocalypse, as well as not as happy times with her after the apocalypse and the reason she is no longer with them.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

18. The Way Back (2010) | IMDb 7.3

18. The Way Back (2010)   | IMDb 7.3

In 1941, three men attempt to flee communist Russia, escaping a Siberian gulag. The film tells their story and that of four others who escaped with them and a teenage girl who joins them in flight. The group's natural leader is Janusz, a Pole condemned by accusations secured by torturing his wife, spent much of his youth outdoors, and knows how to live in the wild. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: a cynical American, a Russian thug, a comedic accountant, a pastry chef who draws, a priest, and a Pole with night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, as well as many moral and ethical dilemmas throughout the journey towards freedom.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023114/

17. So weit die Füße tragen (2001) | IMDb 7.4

17. So weit die Füße tragen (2001) | IMDb 7.4

A prisoner of war, Clemens Forell, a German soldier during WW II, is sentenced to a labor camp in far east Siberia. After four years working in the mines, he escapes from the camp (in 1949) and tries to get home to his wife and children. For three years, he journeys through Siberia. An odyssey of 14,000 kilometers, set against a backdrop of desolate and inhospitable landscape, beset by danger (from both animals and humans). Constantly battling the worst nature can throw at him, Forell makes his way, step by step towards Prussia and the longed-for freedom. Sometimes riding on trains, sometimes by boat, mostly on foot, he never knows if his next step will be his last. His prosecutor Kamenev is always right behind him, and more than once it seems that Forell is captured again...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0277327/

16. Nordwand (2008) | IMDb 7.4

16. Nordwand (2008)   | IMDb 7.4

Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation's Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif - the Eiger - two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0844457/

15. The Snow Walker (2003) | IMDb 7.4

15. The Snow Walker (2003) | IMDb 7.4

In 1953, in the Artic, pilot Charlie Halliday is very well-paid to change his flight plan and bring the local native with tuberculosis Kanaalaq to a hospital for treatment. However, he crashes the plane and they have to struggle for survival. Charlie learns with Kanaalaq how to survive in the cold region, forming a bond of respect and friendship with her.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337721/

14. Rescue Dawn (2006) | IMDb 7.4

14. Rescue Dawn (2006)   | IMDb 7.4

In 1965, while bombing Laos in a classified mission, the propeller plane of the German-American US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler is hit and crashes in the jungle. Dieter is arrested by the peasants, tortured by the Vietcong and sent to a prisoner camp, where he meets five other mentally deranged prisoners and guards. He becomes close to Duane and organizes an escape plan; however, the unstable Gene opposes to Dieter's plan. When they discover that there is no more food due to the constant American bombings in the area and their guards intend to kill them, Dieter sets his plan in motion. However, an unexpected betrayal splits the group and Dieter and Duane find that the jungle is their actual prison.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462504/

13. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) | IMDb 7.5

13. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) | IMDb 7.5

Western Australia, 1931. Government policy includes taking half-caste children from their Aboriginal mothers and sending them a thousand miles away to what amounts to indentured servitude, 'to save them from themselves.' Molly, Daisy, and Grace (two sisters and a cousin who are 14, 10, and 8) arrive at their Gulag and promptly escape, under Molly's lead. For days they walk north, following a fence that keeps rabbits from settlements, eluding a native tracker and the regional constabulary. Their pursuers take orders from the government's 'chief protector of Aborigines,' A.O. Neville, blinded by Anglo-Christian certainty, evolutionary world view and conventional wisdom. Can the girls survive?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252444/

12. Lone Survivor (2013) | IMDb 7.6

12. Lone Survivor (2013)   | IMDb 7.6

Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal, and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. After running into mountain herders and capturing them, they were left with no choice but to follow their rules of engagement or be imprisoned. Now Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/

11. 127 Hours (2010) | IMDb 7.6

11. 127 Hours (2010) | IMDb 7.6

127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he can be rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1542344/

10. Apollo 13 (1995) | IMDb 7.6

10. Apollo 13 (1995) | IMDb 7.6

Based on the true story of the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon. Astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert were scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It's 1970, and America has already achieved its lunar landing goal, so there's little interest in this 'routine' flight.. that is, until things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112384/

9. Lo imposible (2012) | IMDb 7.6

9. Lo imposible (2012)   | IMDb 7.6

A regular family - Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1649419/

8. Walkabout (1971) | IMDb 7.7

8. Walkabout (1971) | IMDb 7.7

After facing a terrible ordeal on the road, a 14 year-old girl and her 6 year-old brother set off into the Australian desert in an attempt to get home. The landscape is bleak with little or no food and water available to them. They meet a young aborigine who is on his walkabout - a coming of age time when 16 year-old boys must set off into the wilderness on their own to show that they can fend for themselves. He speaks no English but they nonetheless manage to communicate and he shows his new companions how to find water. Together, they manage to survive. As their relationship expands however, it leads to tragedy.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067959/

7. Cast Away (2000) | IMDb 7.7

7. Cast Away (2000) | IMDb 7.7

A man is marooned on an island after his plane crashes into the ocean. Far away from home, his girlfriend, and any human contact, he engages in a battle of wits with himself as he is tested mentally, physically, and emotionally in order to survive.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162222/

6. Lifeboat (1944) | IMDb 7.8

6. Lifeboat (1944) | IMDb 7.8

In the Atlantic during WWII, a ship and a German U-boat are involved in a battle and both are sunk. The survivors from the ship gather in one of the boats. They are from a variety of backgrounds: an international journalist, a rich businessman, the radio operator, a nurse, a steward, a sailor and an engineer with communist tendencies. Trouble starts when they pull a man out of the water who turns out to be from the U-boat.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037017/

5. Gravity (2013) | IMDb 7.9

5. Gravity (2013)  | IMDb 7.9

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/

4. Life of Pi (2012) | IMDb 8.0

4. Life of Pi (2012)  | IMDb 8.0

In Canada, a writer visits the Indian storyteller Pi Patel and asks him to tell his life story. Pi tells the story of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, and the origin of his nickname. One day, his father, a zoo owner, explains that the municipality is no longer supporting the zoo and he has hence decided to move to Canada, where the animals the family owns would also be sold. They board on a Japanese cargo ship with the animals and out of the blue, there is a storm, followed by a shipwrecking. Pi survives in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker. They are adrift in the Pacific Ocean, with aggressive hyena and Richard Parker getting hungry. Pi needs to find a way to survive.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/

3. Touching the Void (2003) | IMDb 8.1

3. Touching the Void (2003)   | IMDb 8.1

In the mid-80's, two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached within three days, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevasse and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevasse. This is the story of how he got back down. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/

2. Dersu Uzala (1975) | IMDb 8.3

2. Dersu Uzala (1975) | IMDb 8.3

A Russian army explorer who is rescued in Siberia by a rugged Asian hunter renews his friendship with the woodsman years later when he returns as the head of a larger expedition. The hunter finds that all of his nature lore is of no help when he accompanies the explorer back to civilization.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071411/

1. The Pianist (2002) | IMDb 8.5

1. The Pianist (2002)  | IMDb 8.5

A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Germans place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the German Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253474/

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