While we’re socially distancing ourselves because of the coronavirus, it’s a good time to watch some movies at home. Netflix and Amazon and the other streaming video services have a wide selection.
Let’s get the obvious films out of the way, those depicting a world undergoing a pandemic or similar global crisis. Here are 10 to consider:
10. “Outbreak” (1995) – The story examines the outbreak of a fictional virus in Zaire that begins to spread around the world. Fortunately for us, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, and a lot of other big-name stars are on hand to stop the bug’s deadly progress.
9. “The Road” (2009) – After an apocalypse, a father and his son travel to the sea to find safety. Viggo Mortenson makes it all about survival amid a mass catastrophe.
8. “28 Days Later” (2003) – The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus. Four survivors struggle to cope with the destruction of life as they knew it. Yes, this virus turns people into zombies, but that adds to the tension in this film by Danny Boyle.
7. “The Mist” (2008) – A strange mist oozes over a town, unleashing deadly monsters. Not exactly a virus, but these big bugs are indeed killers. Based on a Steven King novella, it follows a group of folks holed up in a supermarket.
6. “The Postman” (1997) – Here, an apocalyptic event has sent the world back into the Dark Ages. Some survivors band together to form communities and others form militias. Kevin Costner delivers the mail between them.
5. “The Happening” – M. Night Shyamalan gives us a world in which a cryptic neurotoxin causes anyone exposed to it to commit suicide. Mark Wahlberg tries to help his wife and friends find a safe refuge.
4. “Children of Men” (2006) – Based on P.D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name, humanity has faced two decades of infertility. Clive Owen helps a refugee escape the chaos that results from this plague.
3. “The Andromeda Strain” (1971) – Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, mankind is threatened when a deadly organism arrives from outer space.
2. “The Crazies” (2010) – A remake of George A, Romero’s 1973 film of the same name, this disaster film takes place in Iowa, where an outbreak of a mysterious disease makes its victims, well, crazy.
1. “Contagion” (2011) – Similar to the pandemic we’re currently facing, this thriller documents the spread of a virus across the globe. Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and others trace the contagion from its initial outbreak to mass transmission.
Too close to home? Watching these films will help you come to grips with the threats we may face.