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Hidden Post-Apocalyptic Movie Gems On Netflix You Need To Watch

Post-apocalyptic tales have held our fascination for as long as humans have had a concept of the world ending. Whether it's a high-concept thought exercise about what we would do after the collapse of society or a high-octane thrill ride through a fallen world we've never imagined, there's something undeniably gripping about the question of what might be left on the other side of life as we know it. We don't mean terrifying disaster stories about how the world ends — these are adventures in what comes after.

Of course, a post-apocalypse is not for everyone, and not all post-apocalypses are made equal. Here are some of the finest post-apocalyptic movies Netflix has to offer, whether you're in the mood for a wild dinosaur battle, a grim zombie encounter, or a romp through the desert with a shirtless Jason Momoa. These are the hidden post-apocalyptic movie gems you need to check out on Netflix.


Martin Freeman has shared the screen with plenty of otherworldly creatures — orcs, superheroes, Benedict Cumberbatch. But have you ever wanted to see him go up against zombies in a post-apocalyptic Australian outback? Then Cargo is the movie for you. Don't expect something as adrenaline-pumping as Black Panther or as fanciful as The Hobbit, though — this is a grim, harrowing drama that has more in common with The Road than it does with World War Z or even The Walking Dead.

Freeman stars as a father desperate to care for his wife and daughter in a post-zombie apocalypse world. It isn't long before his quest stops being about finding food and supplies and starts being about finding someone to care for his child before he inevitably succumbs to the zombie virus. His only hope might be a young Aboriginal girl who's just as desperate to care for her own father. If you want to know how effective Cargo's drama is, look no further than a review by RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico, who said, "Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay it is that I think George A. Romero himself would have liked it."

The Bad Batch

Ana Lily Amirpour made her feature directorial debut with "the first Iranian vampire spaghetti western," A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. While that critically acclaimed breakthrough traded in moody atmosphere and subtle black-and-white cinematography, Amirpour's follow-up takes a somewhat different approach. The Bad Batch is a loud, bright, over-the-top desert romp that the director herself has described as "The Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink with a dope soundtrack." That says it all — it's big, it's messy, and it's fun as hell.

The Bad Batch follows a young woman named Arlen as she voyages through a lawless Texas desert designated as a dumping ground for various "undesirables" who've been rejected from society. As she encounters a colorful kaleidoscope of dangerous characters, Arlen has to come to grips with just who she is and where her allegiances lie. If the concept doesn't catch your interest, the cast almost certainly will — supporting Suki Waterhouse's breakout leading performance are Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna, and Jim Carrey.

Iron Sky: The Coming Race

Not all "hidden gems" are misunderstood masterworks or artistic achievements that got unduly snubbed come awards season. Some are simply answers to questions no rational person would ask — questions like, "What if a dinosaur-riding lizard Hitler was guarding the Holy Grail at the center of the Earth?" That's Iron Sky: The Coming Race, a sequel that looks back at its own predecessor — a movie about all-out war with moon nazis — and declares, "Bigger."

The planet has been decimated by nuclear war after the events of the first Iron Sky. A small society of survivors has been living in an old nazi base on the moon, but they're quickly running out of resources. The answer? A quest into the hollow Earth, where an immortal race of shape-shifting lizard people (who have secretly counted many of history's most prominent leaders among them) guard the power of the Holy Grail.

With a budget provided largely by fans through an Indiegogo campaign (it's the most expensive live-action production in the history of... Finland), Iron Sky: The Coming Race is targeted directly at fans of audaciously bad spectacles like Sharknado. Whether or not that serves as a recommendation will depend greatly on personal taste, but when one hears about a movie that has dinosaurs, a cult of Steve Jobs worshippers, and reptilian versions of everyone from Caligula to Mark Zuckerberg, it's hard not be a little curious.

Doom: Annihilation

Hey, did you know they made another Doom movie? They made another Doom movie! The long-gestating follow up to the 2005 Karl Urban-Dwayne Johnson vehicle finally arrived in time for Halloween of 2019, just a few months before Doom Eternal arrived on video game consoles to rave reviews. If you've been too busy hunting down hell priests to check out Doom: Annihilation, now's the perfect time to catch up.

Rather than a direct sequel (sorry, you won't find the Rock here), Doom: Annihilation serves as a reboot, making more effort than its predecessor to incorporate the sort of demonic beasts and portals to hell that are the game franchise's trademarks. Facing off against this hoard of devilish imps in space is the movie's new hero, Lt. Joan Dark (named for Joan of Arc, naturally, because Doom is no place for subtlety). Inspired by the success of the 2016 game series revival and incorporating inspiration from The Terminator and Aliens, Doom: Annihilation is just the right kind of low-budget-yet-ambitious monster action romp to keep your bloodlust alive after you've put down your controller.


Post-apocalyptic movies have a proud tradition of fallen societies, desperate for entertainment, turning to over-the-top bloodsport — and we're not just talking about Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, The Running Man, Rollerball, the half-dozen remakes and sequels to Death Race 2000... all dystopic portraits of humanity tearing itself apart to thunderous applause. And while the notion of viciously brutal sports entertainment may seem like a particularly American concept, 2016's Ares proves that France can conjure such a concept just as well as anyone.

The year is 2035, and Paris is governed by corporations. As massive deregulation leads to rampant poverty and homelessness, the powers that be placate the masses with broadcast fights between chemically altered combatants. Pharmaceutical companies sponsor fighters who have been subjected to extreme trials and experiments — think UFC meets Marvel's Weapon X. When a brawler known as Ares begins to turn against his corporate overlords, he unravels a tangled web of political intrigue far more dangerous than he ever imagined.