Did you like 2012? Let us show you some more heart-pounding, action-filled, and adrenaline-pumping disaster films like it then!
Today, we will show you our list of the 12 best movies like 2012, and we hope you and your popcorn are ready for it. Without further ado, let us get on with this list!
2012 is a science fiction disaster film starring John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor, under the direction of the master of disaster himself – Roland Emmerich.
The film took inspiration from the ancient Mayan phenomenon, also knowns as the notion that the world was to end on December 21, 2012. In essence, 2012 is a modern take on The Bible’s story of Noah’s Ark.
It focuses on a geologist and a writer as they try to survive the disasters that the end of the world brings. From a gentle start, this film quickly gets the action moving and your heart pounding. As the disasters come, one right after the other, you will likely be left holding on to your seats.
2012 is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours and 38 minutes, making it an ideal movie for the whole family to watch.
The 12 Best Movies Like 2012
2012 could be hard to forget, especially how it made you feel. Well, you do not need to worry! We have some disaster films that can get your heart pounding and your mouth hanging here.
Let us not delay this and get right to our first film now!
1. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
English 2h 4m IMDb
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum
Let us get the reel rolling with The Day After Tomorrow. This film is a sci-fi and disaster film that stars Dennis Quaid, directed by the same director of 2012 – Roland Emmerich.
The film takes inspiration from The Coming Global Superstorm – a book by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. The story centers on Jack Hall as he tries to save his son Sam as the earth plunges into an ice age.
Being in Washington, D.C., and Sam in New York City, you can expect this task is no easy trek. It is a pursuit full of action and suspense. Like 2012, this film will have you holding your breath as the disasters hit our leads.
Our first movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours and 4 minutes, making it ideal to see alone, with someone, or even with the whole family.
2. The Core (2003)
English 2h 15m IMDb
Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo
Here, we have The Core. The Core is another science fiction disaster film, but this time, directed by the multi-awardee Jon Amiel. It stars Aaron Eckhart along with Hilary Swank and Delroy Lindo.
Here, we follow a group set on a mission to make their way to the center of the earth to get the molten core of the Earth spinning again. As you can tell, it is similar to 2012 in that the problem is ultimately at the center of our planet.
It takes a different approach, though. Here, our heroes have the chance to fix the problem instead of going through it like in 2012. While a little different from 2012, The Core will likely also get you marveling and worrying all at once.
This one is a PG-13 that runs for 2 hours and 15 minutes, making it a film you can watch with the whole family.
3. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates
This film is a science fiction drama film directed by the jack-of-all-trades Scott Derrickson. On the other hand, it stars the equally flexible actor – Keanu Reeves.
This film takes inspiration from the movie from 1951 that bears the same name. In the previous films, we have nature telling humanity of the awful job it has done as its caretaker. Here, we have an alien doing that. This film follows Klaatu as he roams our planet in his mission to save it.
This one has a little less action. That makes this film different from the others, but it also makes it an ideal addition to give your heart a break.
This one is a PG-13 film that runs for 1 hour and 44 minutes, making it a movie to consider if you want something that runs for less than 2 hours.
4. The Wandering Earth (2019)
Chinese 2h 5m IMDb
Director: Frant Gwo
Stars: Jing Wu, Chuxiao Qu, Guangjie Li
Impending doom about to strike the earth? Has anyone thought of moving it out of the way? No? Well, the makers of The Wandering Earth did. This one is a science fiction film directed by Frant Gwo. It stars Chuxiao Qu and Wu Jing.
The film takes inspiration from a book that holds the same name. It follows a group of astronauts and a mix of professionals as they attempt to safely move earth away from the impending doom the sun poses.
As you might imagine, moving an entire planet is anything but easy. Our heroes experience all sorts of problems, disasters, and dilemmas as they try to complete this impossible feat while trying to make it out alive.
This one has a TV-MA rating, and it runs for 2 hours and 5 minutes, making it a movie to consider watching by yourself or along with the gang.
5. Knowing (2009)
English 2h 1m IMDb
Director: Alex Proyas
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne
Knowing is a science fiction thriller film directed by Alex Proyas and stars one of the most decorated actors of this time – Nicolas Cage.
The film centers on John Koestler and his family. Here, they find themselves with a piece of paper marked with numbers that tell of death tolls, coordinates, and dates of the disasters that struck the earth over the last five decades.
As they uncover the final numbers and, ultimately, details of the final catastrophe the paper predicts, they struggle to find an escape from the end. This film is similar to our featured movie but with a supernatural twist. Despite the slight difference, this film will likely have you glued to your seat as 2012 did.
It is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours and 1 minute. It is a film you can add to the movie marathon of the family.
6. The 5th Wave (2016)
English 1h 52m IMDb
Director: J Blakeson
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez
Next up, let us talk about The 5th Wave. This movie is a science fiction film directed by J Blakesone and stars Chloe Grace Moretz.
This film takes heavy inspiration from the novel where it got its name. The story focuses on Cassie Sullivan as she navigates through the attacks or “waves” aliens called The Others devised to rid the earth of humans.
It is similar to 2012, as some of the waves come as natural disasters. Additionally, this film, like 2012, will have you cheering and worrying for our central figures as they try to make it out alive through the waves.
The film is rated PG-13, making it a fine addition to the watch list of the family. It runs for 1 hour and 52 minutes.
7. Noah (2014)
English 2h 18m IMDb
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
Over here, we have Noah. Noah is an epic biblical drama film under the direction of Darren Aronofsky. It stars some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman.
The film took inspiration from the widely-known Bible story, Noah’s Ark. The story focuses on Noah and his family as he builds an ark to prepare for a great flood and the events after.
As we have said earlier, in essence, 2012 is a modern take on the biblical story. If you want something closer to the story, you might want to check this one out then.
This movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours and 18 minutes. It is an ideal film to see alone, with someone, or even with the whole family.
8. Pompeii (2014)
English 1h 45m IMDb
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland
Here, let us talk about Pompeii. Pompeii is a historical disaster film under the direction of Paul W. S. Anderson. It stars Kit Harington as Milo and Emily Browning as Cassia.
The film takes inspiration from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The story focuses on Milo as he finds true love amidst the disasters hitting Pompeii. Surviving an eruption and the surge is a feat on its own already.
However, will he manage to save his lover before Pompeii crumbles? This movie will likely have you glued to your seats as you anticipate what happens to our hero and Pompeii.
This movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes. It is an ideal film to watch alone or with the gang.
9. Deep Impact (1998)
English 2h IMDb
Director: Mimi Leder
Stars: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood
Over here, we have an oldie but goodie. Let us talk about Deep Impact next. This movie is a science fiction disaster film. It was under the direction of Mimi Leder and stars Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, and Elijah Wood.
The film centers on the attempts of a group of spacemen to stop a comment from hitting earth and ultimately wiping out the human race. Like with 2012, you will likely be cheering, wishing, and hoping our heroes make it out alive and in time to save everyone else.
This movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours. It is ideal for your me-time, date night, or even a movie night with the family or gang.
10. Moonfall (2022)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley
On the other hand, you might be looking for something newer. Well, you do not have to worry. We also have something up that alley. Let us talk about a movie that just came out and is still hot – Moonfall.
Moonfall is a science fiction disaster film. It was under the direction of, yet again, the master of disaster – Roland Emmerich. It stars Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry, and John Bradley.
This film centers on the events that ensue as the moon mysteriously leaves its obit, endangering the lives of many on earth. It follows the venture of Brian Harper, Jocinda Fowler, and K.C. Houseman as they venture into the interior of the moon, as well as the happenings on earth.
Our tenth movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 2 hours and 10 minutes, making it ideal to see alone, with someone, or even with the whole family.
11. Geostorm (2017)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: Dean Devlin
Stars: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish
Next up, we have Geostorm. Geostorm is a science fiction disaster film. The film was under the direction of Dean Devlin and stars Gerard Butler.
Here, we have satellites that can control our climates allowing the earth to avoid many natural disasters. However, trouble ensues as what once was made to protect the planet becomes lethal machinery to attack and ultimately destroy it.
Will our hero be able to undo the problem before the satellites wipe out the human race? Well, you will have to join Jake Lawson in this heart-pounding and nerve-wracking adventure to save the earth to find out!
This movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 1 hour and 49 minutes, making it an ideal choice to add to almost any watch list.
12. Volcano (1997)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Gaby Hoffmann
Finally, we come to our last film on this list. Let us talk about Volcano. This film is a disaster film under the direction of Mick Jackson. It stars Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche.
Volcano takes inspiration from the sudden formation of a volcano in Mexico in 1943. The film centers on Mike Roark and Amy Barnes and their efforts to save the people from the flow of lava from a newly formed volcano. A little different from 2012, but it plays with similar elements.
This movie is a PG-13 film that runs for 1 hour and 44 minutes, making it an ideal choice to watch alone or with the gang.
And cut! Today, we showed you our list of the 12 best movies like 2012. We hope we were able to help fill your watch list with some heart-pounding and adrenaline-pumping films!
Do you want more heart-rendering movies? Maybe you want something calmer film? Well, whatever it is, if it is a movie you need, we will likely be able to help. Go ahead and check out our discussions to see our other recommendations!