The 15 Best Survival Movies, from ‘Cast Away’ to ‘The Revenant’

From “Gravity ” and “Wild” to “The Way Back” and “Jaws,” the most compelling survival movies fearlessly examine characters’ will to live, imbuing their perilous struggles with the intensely personal motivations and desires that make every person unique.

These stories allow audiences to consider what specific obstacles along one person’s quest for survival and happiness say about humanity writ large.

What’s more, they challenge viewers to look inward and consider what truly matters when the chips are down.The best survival films immerse viewers in life-or-death scenarios, balancing realism and believability with slow-burn suspense.

Even in lighter survival fare, such as “Swiss Family Robinson,” filmmakers have to keep up the pace and pressure to deliver the subgenre’s characteristic urgency.

Sure, “Cast Away,” “The Revenant,” and epic sagas like them are sweeping in scope with the lengthy running times to match.

But survival stories work best when every frame

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