20 of The Best Pandemic and Outbreak Movies of All Times

Pandemic and outbreak movies are one of the most popular genres among movie fans. From 28 Days Later to Contagion, there are great virus outbreak films out there to watch.  And because we are already facing one of the worst outbreaks in history, we thought you may be interested to watch some of them.

So, we collected all the great outbreak films for you. Below are 20 of the best pandemic and outbreak movies of all times.

20. Cabin Fever | 2002 | 8 IMDB

best pandemic and outbreak films of all times

Cabin Fever is a 2002 horror film directed by Eli Roth. The movie stars Rider Strong as the lead character, a college student named Paul. The movie also stars Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, and Giuseppe Andrews.

The story follows a group of college kids who go to stay at a cabin in the woods. As the movie progresses, they become infected with a flesh-eating virus. The movie is both a critical and financial success.

19. Dawn of the Dead | 2004 | 7.8 IMDB

virus movies like cabin fever

A remake of the original classic, but with an updated version of the story. The zombies have taken over the world, and a group of humans takes refuge in a mall. A group of thugs is also holed up there, looking to take over the mall and turn it into their own private fortress.

18. Carriers | 2009 | 7.2 IMDB

best pandemic movies like dawn of the dead

A family of four struggles for survival after a virus infects most of the population. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. Carriers is a low-budget zombie flick from the director of The Bourne Identity.

17. Infection | 2005 | 7.0 IMDB

infection alien invasion film

Another horror film in the post-apocalyptic sub-genre, this French film follows a group of able-bodied survivors who find themselves trapped in an apartment building.

A deadly virus is spreading outside, and the buildings lower levels have been sealed off. The group begins to turn on each other as their situation becomes desperate, and the decisions they are forced to make are increasingly cruel.

16. 93 Days | 2016 | 7.4 IMDB


93 Days is a 2016 Nigerian historical drama film based on the true story of the Nigerian soldiers who refused to leave their post during the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in Nigeria. It stars Bimbo Akintola, Bimbo Manuel, Adesuwa Etomi, and Banky Wellington.

15. 12 Monkeys | 1995 | 8.1 IMDB

great pandemic and outbreak films

Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi film is based on the French cult classic La Jetée, and it’s a great film, one that’s not only a great video game film, but a great sci-fi film. Bruce Willis plays a convict who is sent back in time to gather information about a virus that will wipe out most of the human race. He’s sent back to meet someone in the present day played by Brad Pitt, and together they try to save humanity.

14. Quarantine | 2008 | 6.7 IMDB

viral outbreak movies quarantine

In this Spanish horror film, a night of partying turns into a nightmare for a group of young people who discover that something evil is lurking in the apartment complex where they live.

Quarantine is a decent horror film, but it’s not as clever as Spanish horror films often are. It borrows heavily from films like The Exorcist and The Omen, and it’s not as creepy as it could have been. The ending is also a little predictable. Still, it’s entertaining, and the Spanish setting makes it a little different from other movies in the sub-genre.

13. Warm Bodies | 2013 | 7.4 IMDB

pandemic movies like contagion

The zombie craze is still going strong, despite recent failures like World War Z and the TV series The Walking Dead. The only one I’ve seen that I think is really good is this movie, a romantic comedy starring Nicholas Hoult as a zombie who starts to feel something for the living girl he saves from another zombie.

12. The Day After Tomorrow | 2004 | 6.9 IMDB

best thriller movies outbreak films

The Day After Tomorrow is a disaster movie that has a very interesting concept, where the weather changes instantly and the world is plunged into the next Ice Age. The movie is a perfect example of a disaster movie with a message because it shows the effects of global warming on the world in a very realistic and terrifying manner.

The Day After Tomorrow also has a character who is a scientist, Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), who tries to explain what is happening to the rest of the world. Although his efforts are futile because the world is already falling apart.

11. Flu | 2013 | 5.8 IMDB

best outbreak movies and films ever made

The movie has a perfect balance of action and horror. It has a great story that is filled with surprises that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Flu is about the outbreak of a deadly virus that causes the human body to mutate and turn into a monster. The movie has some great acting and wonderful special effects that are sure to entertain anyone who is a fan of the horror genre.

10. Black Death | 2010 | 6.2 IMDB

best outbreak movies like flu

The 13th century was a dark time for humanity. Black death is the story of a group of knights who get the task of chasing down a group of monks who are bringing a plague with them from Jerusalem to the village of Mortain.

It’s a story that goes back to the very core of the genre, and it is one of the best. It is violent, it is grim, and it has a terrific cast, including Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Carice Van Houten, and more.

9. The Last Man on Earth | 1964 | 7.1 IMDB

virus outbreak films to watch

A scientist (Vincent Price) creates a plague that turns people into zombies. The scientist is immune, but he must find a woman who is not infected.

Directed by the legendary Italian filmmaker, Ubaldo Ragona, The Last Man on Earth is one of the best films of the 1960s. It is a movie that is very much in tune with its time. A perfect example of science fiction horror, as it is very much in tune with the Cold War paranoia that was present in the world at the time.

8. I Am Legend | 2007 | 7.5 IMDB

best thriller movies of all times

I Am Legend is a post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film based on the novel of the same name, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. The film follows virologist Robert Neville (Smith), who is immune to a man-made virus that has plagued the world and killed most of humanity.

Neville is attempting to create a cure and reverse the effects of the virus using his own blood. He is also searching for other survivors and regularly engages with the hostile mutants who roam the streets. He is also constantly under threat from vicious packs of dark creatures who hunt the mutants for food.

I Am Legend is a perfect example of the disaster science fiction genre with Will Smith being the only man in New York fighting for survival against disease and the hostile mutants. The film is a perfect example of the genre and the perfect post-apocalyptic movie.

7. The Happening | 2008 | 5.4 IMDB

the happening outbreak movie

The Happening is a film that is hard to watch but it is not a film that you can look away from. This is the type of movie that you will be talking about long after you have seen it. It’s a film that will leave you speechless and it is unlike anything you have ever seen before. Director M. Night Shyamalan is known for his twist endings and this movie is certainly no exception.

The Happening is about a family that tries to get away from the toxin that is causing people to commit suicide. While the film is not your typical horror movie, it certainly has elements of one. The movie is about people dying and they are dying in the most gruesome ways possible. While you might think that it’s a movie that doesn’t need to be seen, you will change your mind the minute it is over.

6. 28 Days Later | 2002 | 7.6 IMDB

thriller movie 28 days later

The opening credits to 28 Days Later are a perfect example of the type of film that it is. It is an apocalyptic film about a virus that infects animals and humans and turns them into bloodthirsty monsters.

28 Days Later has the perfect balance of action and horror. There is a montage of the virus spreading throughout London, and then we see the virus get into Jim (Cillian Murphy), who wakes up in an empty hospital to find that everyone around him is dead.

The film really goes into the psychology of Jim, as he gets a gun and tries to survive in a world where everyone is dead and he is the only one alive. The film is a great combination of action and psychological horror, and it is one of the best post-apocalyptic films of the 21st century.

5. Outbreak | 1995 | 7.0 IMDB

best outbreak and pandemic virus films

A military scientist and a doctor find themselves racing against time to contain an outbreak of a deadly virus that could bring an end to mankind.

Starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman, the film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and is one of the most underrated action-thrillers ever produced.

4. World War Z | 2013 | 7.4 IMDB

movies like 28 days later

Max Brooks’ novel makes a great movie, especially with Brad Pitt leading the cast. The movie is a mix of drama and horror, all set in a post-apocalyptic world where zombies have almost wiped out mankind. Brad Pitt’s character is not unlike McCarthy’s character. He is a man of few words, but he knows that the world is ending and he has a plan to beat it.

3. The Andromeda Strain | 1971 | 7.0 IMDB

best zombie movies of all times

Nuclear war wipes out most of the world’s population, but a small group of scientists in the Arctic circle survives. They discover a spacecraft from Andromeda, a planet in the galaxy’s closest spiral arm, and bring it back to the United States for study.

The alien microorganism, recovered from the spacecraft, turns out to be deadly, and the scientists must find a way to destroy the alien germ before it wipes out all life on Earth.

2. Contagion | 2011 | 6.7 IMDB

best outbreak movies to watch

The global pandemic thriller is about a deadly outbreak of a virus with a 99% fatality rate, speeding uncontrollably through the population. Those who are unaffected find themselves fighting for survival. Within days, society is collapsing and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. As the world unravels, a group of individuals in Los Angeles tries to help one another survive.

1. Cargo | 2017 | 8 IMDB

best virus outbreak films cargo

From the Australian writer/director team of Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, and starring Martin Freeman, Cargo is a zombie film you don’t get to see every day. This film, which is set in the Australian outback, is a father and son story, which promises to keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end.

The story follows Andy (played by Martin Freeman), a father who, after the world is taken over by a virus that turns people into zombies, has to protect his infant daughter from the infected.

Although Cargo has been praised by many critics, it hasn’t been a huge financial success. However, it has been well-received by both critics and fans of the genre.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *