The end of the world is on everyone’s lips today.   So in light of that here’s:  “The Top Ten End of the World Movies!’

10.  The Rapture (1991).  Nope, this isn’t some Kirk Cameron extravaganza.   Sure, it looks at “end times”.  But it does it in a remarkably straightforward way.  Devoid of hype and sensationalism.  The movie offers an intriguing “what if” scenario.  Without taking sides.  The title sequence (below) gives you a sense of the unique tone that writer-director Michael Tolkin (The Player) gives the film:

9.  The Day After (1983).  Director Nicholas Meyer (The Wrath of Khan) caught the zeitgeist of the early eighties in this hugely successful TV film that chronicles the events leading up to and immediately following a nuclear war.   The movie may be cheesy.  But, in the eighties, the fear was real.

8.  Fail Safe (1964).   Gritty, black and white film follows a president’s (Henry Fonda) desperate attempts to avoid nuclear war.  Gripping stuff.  And the final shot has more impact than any CGI sequence ever could.

7.  Take Shelter (2011).    There’s a thin line between prophet and mad man.  This controversial films examines this dichotomy.   Michael Shannon plays a man plagued by visions of apocalyptic storm.  He’s compelled to believe them.  But others questions his sanity.  Especially when he beings building an elaborate shelter on property.  Shannon’s portrayal of this confused and inarticulate man is the highlight of the film.

6.  Miracle Mile (1988).  This quirky flick mixes romance and nuclear paranoia.  Failed to make a ripple at the box office on initial release.  But found a cult following on video.  And, look, Anthony Edwards has hair!

5.  The War Game (1965).  Peter Watkins faux documentary about the effects of a nuclear attack on Britain.  Chilling. Technically flawless.  And banned in Britain for thirty years.  A must see!

4.   Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970).  Not a patch on the first film.  It doesn’t even have Roddy McDowall in it?!?  (The only film in the series that doesn’t.) But it’s still hugely entertaining.  With many classic moments.   And the final sequence makes its inclusion on this list virtually mandatory.

3.  Doctor Strangelove (1964).  Kubrick and Peter Sellers at their finest.  Biting satire.  Hilarious lines.  Gorgeous black and white cinematography.  And ken Adam sets.  What more can you ask from a movie?

2.  The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961).  Literate, witty British take on the end of world.  The sun’s getting closer.  Things are getting hotter.  Even mad dogs and Englishman find hard to bear.   Great feel for the newsrooms and newspaper men.   And an ending you’ll not soon forget.

1.  When Worlds Collide (1951).  Only producer George Pal could find a way to make the end of the world upbeat.  And not the way you think.  Plus it has that whole Nibiru Cataclysm feel about it.  That’s why this film has to grab the top spot.

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