If you’re looking for adventure but can’t break away to a new location due to work or family constraints, the next best thing is to relax and enjoy an adventure from your own home or the local movie theater.
We’ve pulled together the best of the best adventure movies. Some of these are classics and some are ones that might have slipped past your radar. Check them out below.
1. Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks
This is a well-known adventure movie about a man who is stranded on an island for four years when his plane crashes.
The movie does a good job of presenting the mental, emotional, and physical stresses that come into play when resources are limited as well as the stages someone goes through when stranded.
This movie is based on the true story of a researcher assigned to study wolves in the Arctic who are believed to be endangering the caribou population. Stranded in the arctic wilderness by a reckless pilot, Tyler is rescued by a local Ootek, who builds Tyler a dogsled.
Tyler finds a group of wolves and discovers their only diet is mice. The rest of the movie focuses on Tyler’s adventures in his quest to prove the wolves are not to blame for the rapidly disappearing caribou.
Starring Liam Neeson, this movie chronicles Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary journey to Antarctica in the early 1900’s.
Shipwrecked amid the ice in the midst of the ocean, this movie recreates their survival for more than two years. Includes accounts from relatives of the crew, music, and narration along with location footage.
4. Into the White, directed by Petter Naess
Starring Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter fame), this movie follows the crews of enemy fighter planes from Britain and Germany after they crash in the Norway wilderness. After seeking shelter in a remote cabin, the two groups must put aside their differences and focus on survival.
5. Alive, directed by Frank Marshall
A tragic plane crash in the Andes pits a team of Uruguayan Rugby team against the elements and forces them to do the unthinkable to survive more than 70 days. One of the first movies to be made from actual accounts.
6. Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn
Journey with Christopher McCandless as he forges into the Alaskan wilderness determined to find himself and experience his greatest adventure. Based on a true story as journaled by Christopher himself as he made mistakes that trapped him in the Alaskan wilderness.
7. The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir
A legendary tale of survival and the human determination of a group of WWII prisoners who escape a POW camp only to be confronted again and again by Mother Nature as they try to find their way back home.
8. Rescue Dawn based on the true story of Dieter Dengler
Starring Christian Bale, Rescue Dawn is the recreation of the story of an American fighter pilot who crashes on his first mission. He is captured by the VietCong and later leads an escape mission with other POWs across hundreds of miles.
9. The Grey, co-directed by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers and Joe Carnahan.
Based on the short story Ghost Walker and starring Liam Neeson and a host of other familiar entertainers, The Grey, tells the story of a group of oil workers whose plane crash lands in the wilds of Alaska.
In addition to the freezing temperatures and long journey toward help, the group must overcome an even deadlier obstacle, a pack of grey wolves.
10. Rabbit Proof Fence
Separated and earmarked for training as domestic workers in 1931, three young Aboriginal girls, escape and journey on foot for several months through the harsh Australian desert to return to their home.
11. The Snow Walker, directed by Charles Martin Smith
Starring Barry Pepper and based on Farley Mowat’s, Walk Well, My Brother, comes this story about a bush pilot from Canada who survives a plane crash in the harsh Northwest Territories and fights to survive with the help of a young Inuit woman.
12. The Edge
Starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, this movie follows two men in love with the same woman (Elle Macpherson), who find themselves trapped in the wilderness when their plane crashes.
Not only must they overcome the wilderness, they are confronted by an angry bear who makes getting back to civilization even more dangerous.
13. 127 Hours directed by Danny Boyle
Starring James Franco, as real life outdoorsman, Aron Ralston, who became trapped in a narrow canyon during a hike.
He was forced to ration his supplies and eventually summon the courage and strength to remove his arm and free himself.
14. The River Wild, directed by Curtis Lee Hanson
Starring the infamous Meryl Streep and a young Kevin Bacon, this film about white water rafting, is one of the classic best of the best adventure movies.
It also serves as a great reminder that although she can be brutal, sometimes Mother Nature isn’t the worst enemy you can come across in the wilderness.
15. All is Lost
Robert Redford gives an award winning performance in this lost at sea adventure story. If you’re seeking an adventure movie that highlights some of the quirky obstacles one encounters when stranded in open water, this one should top your list.
Paul Conroy, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, is your average family man and a truck driver. He’s buried alive with no real knowledge of why or where he is. All he has with him is a lighter and a quickly dying cell phone which gets poor reception.
An intense movie, great acting, and a good example of a circumstance when a full EDC could in fact, save your life.
Did your favorite adventure movie make our list? If not let us know which one is your favorite and why.
Did you find one of these best of the best adventure movies intriguing enough to add it to your must watch list? Let us know in the comments below.
Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of ten is learning everything she can about preparedness, survival, and homesteading.