A good drama hits you right where it hurts, whether it's Blue Valentine 's broken romance or Fruitvale Station 's sense of injustice, or Kramer vs. Kramer 's parental strife. If these cinematic tear-jerkers don't have you crying, keening, and curling up into a little ball, we don't know what will.
The Valentine's Day Disaster
If your feeling fancy, you can even try staring into a fireplace as the tears gently flow down your face, Call Me By Your Name style. Related Stories.
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Ari Aster established himself as one of the trippiest, most batshit crazy, and brilliant horror directors with 's Hereditary. The spooky shocker. Warning: If you haven't seen Midsommar, turn back before you get spoiled. Going on a romantic trip to the sun-drenched shores of Scandinavia with your.
Chances are, you've seen a movie, documentary, or TV show about a cult in the past year. From art house horror films to viral documentaries, cults are. Call it what you want, but not all kisses were created equal. Some are steamy, some are sloppy, some leave you cold, and others. The religion is heavy-handed, but also surprisingly powerful — especially once the volcano goes boom. Both these films came out in , and they compare and contrast in fun ways. In Volcano , Tommy Lee Jones is a city emergency manager and single father who winds up battling rivers of lava and romancing seismologist Anne Heche after a newly formed volcano emerges beneath L.
Both are supremely ridiculous, and supremely entertaining. Combined, they could make for a master list of all the best and worst things about disaster movies. The High and the Mighty This tense, tough William Wellman picture is an early example of the airplane disaster movie that would later become such a staple of s filmmaking. Some of the effects may have become dated, but the suspense definitely has not. The plot, much of it involving Dennis Quaid trying to get to Manhattan to save his stranded son Jake Gyllenhaal, is ludicrous but touching.
For once, we get the sense that this director feels these issues deeply, in his own crude, bombastic way. And not unlike that earlier film, this one takes its tale of debauchery and rectitude and reconciles everything with a fiery third act. The destruction at the end, with buildings loudly exploding left and right, is still impressive.
Pompeii Not everybody liked Paul W. In fact, most people probably hated it. And when Mt.
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Vesuvius finally blows, Pompeii becomes a glorious spectacle of annihilation, as the director lays waste to his sets and characters with all the glee of a young boy melting his action figures. If you ever get a chance to catch this in 3-D, do so. Only the Brave While most disaster movies follow a few days or hours in the lives of their characters, this devastating, fact-based account of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters from Arizona who set their own backfires to combat and contain wildfires, is an epic that encompasses several years.
As a result, it is far more emotionally engaging and honest than the average disaster flick — we get a real sense of these people as human beings. This also provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the firefighting profession. The minutiae of fighting fires — the tools involved, the procedures followed, the mind-set required — is fascinating to watch.
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But director Joseph Kosinski delivers real spectacle, too, depicting the raging fires in all of their visual splendor without ever skimping on tension and danger. Focusing mostly on the commercial fishing boat Andrea Gail and its doomed crew of working-class stiffs including pre-megastardom George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, not to mention John Hawkes and John C. Reilly , the film is a clinic in stomach-gnawing tension. And that giant wave at the end — holy crap. The Wave This Norwegian thriller outdoes most American disaster movies with its suspense and spectacle.
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Our hero, the geologist who first warned of the imminent collapse, now has to save his family — including his wife and son, who are trapped underwater in a hotel. The film gets bonus points for not going down the usual route of following a diffuse cast of characters.
Until a desperate man blows a hole in the side of a transatlantic flight piloted by Dean Martin , the film is mostly about airport chief Burt Lancaster dealing with an epic snowfall, a plane stranded on the runway, a failing marriage, angry neighbors, and all manner of other shenanigans.
Which brings us to …. Of course, the film is now a comedy classic, but there was no guarantee that it would have worked; the disaster movie has always functioned as its own self-parody to a certain extent. But by upping the comic ante to such go-for-broke lengths, Airplane!
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The film, which builds to the quake and its aftermath, is thus a story of transformation, as we watch this cauldron of lawlessness flattened and a new city emerge in its wake. Instead, Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns focus on process, and on society pushed to the extremes. Fallen minister Gene Hackman and no-nonsense cop Ernest Borgnine try to lead the survivors to safety, with many freak accidents and bellowing at the heavens along the way.
What makes this one so special is the way the film transforms this giant boat — a modern marvel of engineering — into a terrifying, deadly obstacle course. Does this really count as a disaster movie?