Disaster type: Stranded in space
Notable destruction: George Clooney
Something like ‘Castaway in Space’, Alfonso Cuarón’s follow-up to his dystopian masterpiece Children of Men resembles a high-stress video game more than a movie. Sandra Bullock assumes the Tom Hanks role, spending nearly the whole runtime alone, in space, as an astronaut whose craft is destroyed in a debris shower, forcing her to improvise a way back home. (George Clooney, as her wisecracking partner who may or may not be a figment of her imagination, is basically her Wilson.) So it’s a small-scale disaster – admittedly, a weird thing to say about a movie that cost more to make than some countries’ actual space programs – but a disaster all the same. And in terms of sheer, sweaty-palmed tension, it outdoes just about every other movie on this list. You’ll need to remind yourself to breathe.