15 Best Wilderness Survival Movies to Watch: Your Ultimate Adventure Film List

There’s something thrilling and adventurous about wilderness survival movies that always keeps me on the edge of my seat. These movies are an exciting mix of drama, action, and suspense, offering breathtaking landscapes, daring escapes, and the astounding resilience of the human spirit. As a fan of these films, I’ve picked 15 of the best wilderness survival movies to help you enjoy a heart-pounding cinematic experience.

The freezing cold, the scorching sun, the lonely nights, and the unseen perils of nature: wilderness survival movies have it all. Watching these films, I can’t help but be fascinated by the characters’ resourcefulness and resilience. Delving into the vastness of nature, the films portray the raw power of Mother Earth and the desperate struggles of human beings in their quest for survival. As we embark on this thrilling journey of cinematic survival, let the list of 15 best wilderness survival movies enthrall, entertain, and inspire you.

In this collection, you’ll witness some incredible moments of desperation, bravery, and sheer human greatness, as well as deep emotional connections formed in some of the most challenging circumstances. From the tundra’s icy grip to the merciless heat of the sun-parched desert, these outdoor survival movies will leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind.

I’m less of a movie enthusiast and more of an outdoor enthusiast. Often, I am unable to watch an entire movie in one sitting. But these are the movies I enjoyed the most while watching and could relate to.

To give you a better understanding, I have classified them into three categories: classic, modern, and lesser-known.

Top Surviving Movies in the Wilderness

Below is a table with all the important information you need about the movies.

MoviesRelease YearDirector(s)StarsPrimary Filming LocationIMDb Rating
Deliverance1972John BoormanJon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned BeattyGeorgia (USA)7.7
Jeremiah Johnson1972Sydney PollackRobert Redford, Will Geer, Delle BoltonUtah (USA)7.6
The Edge1997Lee TamahoriAnthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle MacphersonAlberta (Canada)6.9
Cast Away2000Robert ZemeckisTom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul SanchezMonuriki (Fiji)7.8
Into the Wild2007Sean PennEmile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine KeenerOregon, Alaska, Arizona (USA)8.1
The Revenant2015Alejandro G. IñárrituLeonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will PoulterCanada, Argentina8.0
The Grey2011Joe CarnahanLiam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank GrilloBritish Columbia (Canada)6.7
The Martian2015Ridley ScottMatt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen WiigJordan, Hungary8.0
Arctic2018Director Joe PennaMads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir, Tintrinai ThikhasukIceland6.8
Adrift2018Baltasar KormákurShailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey ThomasFiji6.6
The Way Back2010Peter WeirJim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin FarrellBulgaria, Morocco, India7.3
All Is Lost2013J.C. ChandorRobert RedfordMexico6.9
The Mountain Between Us2017Hany Abu-AssadKate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau BridgesBritish Columbia (Canada)6.4
Tracks2013John CurranMia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily PearlAustralia7.1
Swiss Army Man2016Daniel Kwan, Daniel ScheinerPaul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth WinsteadCalifornia (USA)6.9

Top 5 Classic Wilderness Survival Movies


I remember watching Deliverance and being captivated by the story of four city dwellers who embark on a canoe trip through the remote Georgia wilderness. As they battle the challenges of both the river and the local residents, the film delves into themes of survival, camaraderie, and the unpredictability of nature. The intense scenes and suspenseful storytelling truly make this a classic in the wilderness survival genre.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson is another wilderness survival classic that I enjoyed. The film, starring Robert Redford, follows the story of a man who abandons civilization to become a mountain man in the Rocky Mountains.

He quickly learns the difficulties of survival in the wilderness and encounters various challenges, including harsh weather and dangerous wildlife. Redford’s captivating performance and the film’s realistic portrayal of survival in nature make this a must-watch for any survival movie fan.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

The Edge

In The Edge, a billionaire and a fashion photographer are stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash. As they navigate the harsh landscape and threats from a predatory bear, the two men must overcome their differences to survive. The dynamic between the characters, played by Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, adds emotional depth to the film, making it an engaging viewing experience.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Cast Away

When I think of classic wilderness survival movies, Cast Away immediately comes to mind. Tom Hanks’ unforgettable performance as a FedEx executive stranded on a deserted island captivated audiences worldwide. The film not only explores themes of isolation and adaptation to a new environment but also highlights the importance of perseverance and hope in the face of adversity.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Into the Wild

Into the Wild holds a special place in my heart as a fan of both literature and film. Based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book, the movie tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who abandoned his material possessions and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. 

His physical and emotional journey is documented through beautiful cinematography and a powerful story of self-discovery and survival in the face of harsh conditions.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Each classic wilderness survival movie offers a unique perspective and captivating story that will stay with you long after the credits roll. Whether you’re a die-hard wilderness enthusiast or just love a great survival story, these films should definitely be on your must-watch list.

Top 5 Modern Wilderness Survival Movies

The Revenant

I couldn’t help but be on the edge of my seat while watching The Revenant. The chilling tale of a frontiersman’s fight for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his fellow hunters is a true testament to human resilience. Leonardo DiCaprio’s powerful performance made it feel as though I was right there with him, struggling through every obstacle.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

The Grey

As someone who appreciates survival movies, The Grey hooked me from start to finish. Liam Neeson leads a group of oil workers stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash. Visually stunning and emotionally charged, this movie showcases how the harsh environment and predatory wolves leave the characters fighting for their lives.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

The Martian

I was captivated by The Martian, a movie that brought a new perspective to survival films. Matt Damon’s portrayal of an astronaut stranded on Mars perfectly blends humor, intelligence, and determination. Facing impossible odds and isolation, I marveled at how his character ingeniously used science and resourcefulness to stay alive.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.


Next on my list is Arctic, a gripping story of perseverance where Mads Mikkelsen braves icy conditions while stranded in the Arctic Circle. With minimal dialogue, the movie still managed to hold my attention as it delved into the inner strength and willpower every human possesses in dire circumstances.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.


Lastly, I was moved by the true story of survival in Adrift. Shailene Woodley gives a riveting performance as a young woman stranded at sea after a hurricane devastates her sailing trip with her fiancé. The powerful portrayal of love, loss, and the drive to survive resonated with me on a profound level.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Top 5 Lesser-Known Wilderness Survival Movies

The Way Back

I recently watched The Way Back and found it to be a gripping story of a group of prisoners who escaped from a Siberian gulag during World War II. The film follows their long and arduous journey through the wilderness to reach India, facing harsh weather conditions and challenging terrain. The characters’ struggle for survival and their determination to reach freedom kept me engaged throughout the movie.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

All Is Lost

Another lesser-known survival movie I’d recommend is All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford. This film tells the story of a man lost at sea after his sailboat collides with a shipping container. With minimal dialogue, the film focuses on the protagonist’s resourcefulness and resilience as he faces storms, sharks, and dwindling supplies. The movie’s unique storytelling and Redford’s powerful performance made it a memorable watch for me.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

The Mountain Between Us

I recently came across The Mountain Between Us, a story about two strangers who must rely on each other after their plane crashes in the snowy wilderness. Starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, the film explores the evolving relationship between the characters as they navigate the dangerous terrain, keeping me invested in their journey.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.


Another movie that captivated me is Tracks, based on the true story of a woman who treks across the Australian desert with her dog and four camels. The breathtaking cinematography and Mia Wasikowska’s performance as the determined explorer made this film stand out among wilderness survival stories.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.

Swiss Army Man

Lastly, for something more unique and quirky, I thoroughly enjoyed Swiss Army Man. This imaginative movie stars Paul Dano as a man stranded on a deserted island who discovers a unique way to survive with the aid of a talking corpse, played by Daniel Radcliffe. This unconventional and heartfelt story explores themes of loneliness and friendship, making it a must-watch for anyone looking for a different take on the wilderness survival genre.

Click here to get it from Amazon Prime.


As a fan of wilderness survival movies, I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of tv. I’ve gathered a variety of movies from different locations and periods, so there’s something for everyone. These films will take you on a thrilling ride, from deadly mountains and dense forests to menacing jungles and desolate deserts.

Personally, I find that these types of movies inspire me to appreciate the natural world better and challenge myself when faced with adversity. I hope these cinematic adventures can do the same for you.

Ultimately, my goal was to share my love for the wilderness survival genre and introduce you to a few classics to enjoy. So, grab some popcorn and buckle up for a thrilling journey into the heart of the wild.

Happy watching!