The end of the world has fascinated humans, and has probably done so since the beginning of time. Most religions have a strong set of beliefs about what happens at the end of days. The Book of Revelation, the final chapter of the Bible, may be the best known of these.
Leave it to the movie industry to recognize this matter of major interest of people and produce countless films about the end of the world as we know it, or its dystopian aftermath. Reviews of these films are mixed, but critics and audiences alike agree that the three best are “WALL-E,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” (Here’s a complete list of the best movies about the end of the world.)
In the original “Terminator” (1984), set in a dystopian future, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a killer robot programmed to kill the mother of a man who will one day lead the anti-robot resistance. In “Terminator 2,” its more highly rated sequel, he has been reprogrammed to help the resistance, fighting off a shape-shifting robotic enemy in the process. The film takes the action to a new level, assuring that the Terminator franchise would become a cornerstone of action movies and pop culture. It has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score.
“WALL-E”is one of the few wholesome movies about the end of the world. Earth has been completely ravaged by consumerism, corporate greed, and environmental destruction, and humans have left to live elsewhere in massive spaceships. The film follows the robot WALL-E as it attempts to clean up the ailing planet. Critic Derek Malcolm called it “one of the most imaginatively made and individual pieces of work that the audacious Pixar has developed.” Its Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score is 95%
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, the highest-rated movie about the end of the world, is a black-and-white Cold War dark comedy directed by Stanley Kubrick that taps into the existential fear of mutually assured nuclear destruction. Events are set in motion when an unhinged renegade U.S. Air Force officer orders a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, hoping to win the standoff in one fell swoop.
The film follows the crew of a B-52 bomber plane equipped with nuclear weapons and the U.S. government officials that are scrambling to stop nuclear Armageddon. Critic James Powell said “Kubrick has shown before that he is a director of rare gifts. Dr. Strangelove brings them into full realization.” Its Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score is 98%. (In real life, these are the 17 effects nuclear war would have on Earth.)