Top 10 Wilderness Survival Movies

The first thing people usually think about when it comes to survival is the wilderness, often because of the many stories we hear of people being stranded in the woods, fighting off dangerous animals and doing whatever is necessary to make it out alive. Many such stories, fictional and inspired by real life events, have made it to the big screen. Here are the best survival movies set in the wilderness.
The Top Ten
1 The Revenant

Based on a true story and one of Leonardo DiCaprio's most praised performances in the last decade in which the decorated actor plays Hugh Glass, a frontiersman who, while exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. After his young son is killed by a member of his party and he is left for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization with only one goal in mind: get revenge on the man who killed his son and left him for dead.

2 Into the Wild

Made in 2007, this is a biographical adventure drama film based on the life of Christopher McCandless who was the son of wealthy parents and graduated from Emory University. However, instead of embarking on a prestigious and profitable career, he chooses to give his savings to charity, rid himself of his possessions, and sets out on a journey to the Alaskan wilderness. The real Christopher was inspired by the wilderness tales of Jack London and Henry David Thoreau he had read and so he wanted to live in the woods. In the film, he is also said to have read many philosophy books.

3 The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is a 1974 independent feature film produced by Charles E. Sellier Jr. and Raylan D. Jensen. The film was popular enough that an NBC television series of the same name followed after. The inspiration for the main character came from the real life California mountain man John "Grizzly" Adams. He becomes a mountain man after being falsely accused of murder and his only companion is a bear whom he named "Ben".

4 Jeremiah Johnson

A movie based on the life of mountain man John "Liver-Eating" Johnson. Played by Robert Redford, Johnson is a Mexican-American War veteran who heads to the mountains to live in isolation. He is terribly unequipped for this, especially as it's winter, but Johnson is fortunate to come across a seasoned mountain man willing to teach him the necessary survival tactics to survive out there in the wild. As time goes on, Johnson eventually finds himself a native bride and adopts a son. However, their peaceful existence is threatened when Johnson incurs the ire of the Crow Indians.

5 The Grey

A movie from 2011 starring Liam Neeson who plays the role of sharpshooter John Ottway who leads a group of people who worked for 5 long weeks in an Alaskan oil refinery and are flying home for a much-needed vacation. Unfortunately, their plane crashes during a brutal storm and only eight men, including Ottway (Neeson) survive the crash. To survive, they must walk South towards civilization while injured, fighting the cold weather and a pack of wolves.

6 The Last Trapper

Nicolas Vanier's hybrid documentary stages events and uses nonactors to tell the story of a year in the life of Norman Winther, a real-life trapper who lives off the land in northern Canada with his wife. During this time he hunts, fishes and interacts with nature. He is also seen suffering the loss of one of his beloved huskies and is later saved by his newest dog. Vanier laments the ways of the modern world on camera and expounds on his simple way of life. The Last Trapper is a film intended to draw spectators into the world of a real-life character by showing experience, and sometimes re-enact various moments and selected episodes of his life. It is very different from the other movies on this list, but in a good way.

7 Never Cry Wolf

In this 1983 film, a research scientist named Tyler who is sent to the desolate Canadian tundra to find out whether the local wolf population is responsible for decimating Canada's caribou herds. With the help of Ootek, a local Inuit native, he manages to establish an observation post and, while braving the harsh climate, begins to study a family of wolves, as well as the caribou. He eventually determines that the greatest danger to the caribou doesn't move on four legs.

8 Backcountry

Alex and Jenn, a young couple, have left the city to go camping in the country. After setting off in the woods, they realize they've forgotten their phone and they become lost. The trip turns into a fight for survival when they are stalked by a man-eating bear.

9 The Edge

In this 1997 film starring Anthony Hopkins as Charles Morse, a wealthy man, and Alec Baldwin as Robert Green, his photographer. Their plane crashes down in the Alaskan wilderness and the two of them, along with Charles's assistant Stephen, have to find their way back to civilization. However, Charles' biggest obstacle might not be the elements, or even the Kodiak bear stalking them. It could be Robert, whom Charles has reason to believe is having an affair with his wife and would not mind seeing him dead.

10 127 Hours
The Contenders
11 Against The Wild

Two siblings and their devoted dog become lost in the wilderness and must learn how to combine their skills, trust their instincts and navigate around the forest.

12 Rescue Dawn
13 The Way Back

A group of prisoners escape a Siberian labor camp after a blizzard provides them with the perfect opportunity. To truly be free they must trek 4,000 miles on foot through the frozen Himalayas.

14 Lone Survivor
15 Everest
16 Alive
17 Kon-Tiki
18 Jungle (2017)
19 The Mountain Between Us
20 Frozen (2010)
21 Apocalypto
BAdd New Item