Nothing’s more terrifying than a 50-feet tall wave, capable of wiping out an entire city approaching you. Just the mere thought of it gets you jittery as adrenaline kicks in your veins.
Pondering over how much destruction a tsunami can cause is a weirdly exciting exercise. And there exist several movies, displaying the devastation caused by gigantic waves to aid you with it.
In this article, we shall be providing you with a list of the 15 best movies about tsunamis that will get you on the edge of your seat.
- The Wave
As the title suggests, The Wave deals with the horrors that a mammoth wave can cause to humans. The plot is set around a geologist and his family living near a scenic mountain pass in Norway. When a landslide occurs, tons of rock and earth crash into the sea, resulting in an 85-meter tidal wave that threatens their existence.
It is a Norwegian disaster film directed by Roar Utaug and was released in 2015. Rotten Tomatoes suggests the film with 83%.
- The Impossible
The Impossible or (Lo impossible in Spanish) is a Spanish disaster drama film directed by J. A. Bayona. The film vividly depicts the tribulations that people have to go through in the aftermath of a tsunami.
Released in 2012, the film stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor along with Tom Holland and Samuel Joslin as child actors. Impossible is rated 7.5 on IMDb and 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- The Perfect Storm
Though The Perfect Storm does not exactly deal with a tsunami, it still is a worthy inclusion in this list of 15 best movies about tsunamis as it does not shy away from presenting huge waves that threaten to cost human lives. The film revolves around a fishing vessel, Andrea Gail that meets an unusually destructive storm.
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the movie features George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Diane Lane in lead among several others. It was adapted from the creative nonfiction book written by Sebastian Junge of the same name.
The Perfect Storm came out in theatres in 2000 and was able to collect $328.7 million at the global box office.
Another Wolfgang Petersen film dealing with gigantic waves, Poseidon is based on the adventure novel The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico. The film displays the devastation inflicted when a giant wave crashes into Poseidon, a luxurious cruise liner, and flips it upside down.
Poseidon stars Kutt Russell, Emmy Rossum, and Josh Lucas among others. The film was released in 2006 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
- The Poseidon Adventure
We have another film adapted from The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico. The Poseidon Adventure was released in 1972 and shares the same story as 2006’s Poseidon.
It was directed by Ronald Neame and was nominated for eight Academy Awards of which it succeeded in winning two among several other accolades.
The Poseidon Adventure is highly rated with 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 7.1 on IMDb.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Waterworld deals with the deprivation caused after the Earth’s polar ice caps have melted. The movie does not visualize giant waves but presents a world submerged underwater.
Waterworld was released in 1995 and features Kevin Costner in the lead. It was directed by Kevin Reynolds.
Made with a budget of $175 million, the film was successful in collecting $264.2 million in its theatrical run.
Released in 2014, Noah is based on the biblical tale of Noah who is chosen by God to build an ark and protect all creatures from an apocalypse that will drown the entire planet.
The film stars Russell Crowe as Noah, along with Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the film collected a revenue of $359.2 million at the box office.
One of the most popular disaster films of all time, 2012 depicts the escathologic events that take place in 2012 which eventually lead to Earth being submerged underwater. The movie exhibits huge waves efficacious of drowning cities along with many other natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, the movie features John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, and Thandiwe Newton. It was released in 2009, 3 years before the supposed events in the film.
2012 grossed a whopping $791.2 million and was declared a blockbuster.
- San Andreas
San Andreas is largely a film about massive earthquakes that occur along the San Andreas fault line but at the same time, also presents city-leveling humongous waves caused by them.
Starring Dwayne Johnson as the primary character, the film had a box office run of $474 million. It is directed by Brad Peyton and was released in 2015.
Hereafter exhibits three people from different parts of the world who face near-death experiences and unknowingly collide with one another. One such death experience presented in the movie is caused by a tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood and presents Matt Damon and Cécile de France as the lead.
Hereafter was released in 2010 and grossed $107.7 in its theatrical run.
Bait presents an intriguing narrative of a dangerous tsunami scene coupled with the threat of a 12-foot Great White Shark. The movie provides a stirring experience to the audience with its portrayal of the dangerous situation.
Released in 2012, the horror thriller is directed by Kimble Rendall. Bait has a decent rating of 5.2 on IMDb.
- Tidal Wave
Tidal Wave is a South Korean disaster film directed by Yoon Je-kyoon. The story is about a geologist who visits the Haeundae beach amidst millions of tourists as he is convinced of an impending tsunami. But his claims are put down by the disaster prevention agency.
Released in 2009, it was South Korea’s first disaster film. IMDb rates Tidal Wave 5.5 out of 10.
Starring Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry in the lea, Moonfall is the enthralling story of the moon being knocked out of its orbit and hurtling toward a collision course with Earth which causes more tsunamis due to its increased influence on the oceans and seas.
Released recently in 2022, the sci-fi adventure is directed by Roland Emmerich.
Moonfall is rated 4 out of 5 on Vudu and 5.1 out of 10 on IMDb.
With the distinct premise of a sci-fi disaster, Geostorm showcases the ventures of Jake Lawson, a technology designer who races against time to save the world from an approaching Geostorm that endangers Earth’s very survival.
Directed by Dean Devlin, the film stars Gerard Butler in the persona of Jake Lawson. Geostrom was released in 2017 and succeeded in grossing over $221 million at the box office.
- Fukushima 50
Fukushima 50 is a Japanese disaster drama film directed by Setsurō Wakamatsu and released in 2020. It is based on the book by Ryusho Kadota, titled On the Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi.
The plot revolves around a group of employees who are tasked with handling the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Rotten Tomatoes recommends the movie at 71%.