Feature

6 movies for the end of the world

If Dec. 21 doesn't usher in the apocalypse after all, face the final curtain vicariously by watching one of these recent Hollywood films

If you forgot to flip the page on your Mayan calendar this month, we have some bad news. The world is coming to an end on Dec. 21 thanks to the preordained Mayan Apocalypse. At least, that's what dubious sources have spent the past few years alleging. But if the apocalypse means widespread fear and panic to the average person, it means something else to Hollywood: Great entertainment. So just in case tomorrow isn't the last day Earth exists, here are six recent movies that will let you the enjoy the end of the world vicariously:

1. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
It's probably too late for you to find your own new friend for the end of the world, but you can revel in this underrated, underseen romantic dramedy, which stars Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley as neighbors spending their last weeks together before an asteroid destroys Earth.

2. Melancholia (2011)
If the thought of Earth's complete obliteration bums you out, you'll feel right at home with Melancholia. Kirsten Dunst plays a deeply depressed young woman whose life is altered by the announcement that a mysterious planet, dubbed "Melancholia," has emerged from behind the sun — and may be on a collision course with Earth.

3. The Road (2009)
Doomsday enthusiasts can't agree on the form the so-called "Mayan Apocalypse" will take, which makes The Road — a post-apocalyptic film in which the cause of the cataclysm is never explained — ideal viewing. Viggo Mortensen stars as a man trying to protect his son from cannibals, scavengers, and thieves.

4. 2012 (2009)
If you prefer your apocalypses of the big, stupid, Hollywood-blockbuster variety, your best bet is Roland Emmerich's 2012. John Cusack leads a cast of slumming stars as they face an apocalyptic wave of earthquakes and mega-tsunamis.

5. Wall-E (2008)
If you decide to spend the immediate pre-apocalypse with your children, you may be seeking a doomsday film that's a little more family-friendly. Luckily, Pixar created Wall-E, a film about an adorable robot who falls in love with another adorable robot, as they explore an Earth that was abandoned by the humans who devastated it.

6. I Am Legend (2007)
The cosmos ordains the Mayan Apocalypse, but man triggers the apocalypse in I Am Legend — by genetically engineering a virus intended to cure cancer that somehow mutates into a virus that turns people into zombies. (Who said apocalypse movies had to make sense?) Will Smith stars as the last man in an all-but-abandoned New York City, attempting to reverse the apocalypse by developing a cure.

Recommended

10 great Thanksgiving TV episodes to watch on streaming
Thanksgiving dinner.
Briefing

10 great Thanksgiving TV episodes to watch on streaming

The daily gossip: November 23, 2022
Jenna Ortega
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: November 23, 2022

Andor: The best Star Wars Easter eggs and tie-ins
Star Wars easter eggs.
Briefing

Andor: The best Star Wars Easter eggs and tie-ins

How accurate is The Fabelmans?
Steven Spielberg.
Briefing

How accurate is The Fabelmans?

Most Popular

Georgia Supreme Court reverses decision to block 6-week abortion ban
abortion rights protest photo
Back and forth

Georgia Supreme Court reverses decision to block 6-week abortion ban

Writer E. Jean Carroll files new lawsuit against Trump
E. Jean Carroll speaks onstage during the How to Write Your Own Life panel at the 2019 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit at Alice Tully Hall on November 10, 2019 in New York City.
new case

Writer E. Jean Carroll files new lawsuit against Trump

Officials share 'death note' found on Walmart gunman's phone
FBI agent outside of Walmart.
tragic details

Officials share 'death note' found on Walmart gunman's phone