The Last of Us by Naughty Dog is a masterwork of contemporary gaming that has captivated audiences around. The rollercoaster of their shared adventure together can leave a significant hole in people’s life once it is over because of the game’s emotionally compelling tale, which makes players care for its primary characters. It appears that the HBO series based on the games will have a similar impact on the lives of fans of the franchise given its early success.
Character dynamics and post-apocalyptic action in some of the best movies, like The Last of Us, may rival the game’s most dramatic and thrilling scenes. There are many movies with setups like the one in The Last of Us, but it helps to have a road map to follow in order to identify the greatest possibilities in the wide-ranging zombie genre.
Table Of Content
- 1 28 Days Later (2002) Available to stream on Cinemax
- 2 A Quiet Place (2018) Available to stream on Paramount+
- 3 Bird Box (2018) Available to stream on Netflix
- 4 Cargo (2017) Available to stream on Netflix
- 5 Children Of Men (2006) Available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video
- 6 Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) Available to stream on TruTV
- 7 I Am Legend (2007) Available to stream on fuboTV
- 8 It Comes At Night (2017) Available to stream on Showtime and Paramount+
- 9 Leave No Trace (2018) Available to stream on Netflix
- 10 Logan (2017) Available to stream on Disney+
- 11 Monsters (2010) Available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Crackle, Pluto TV, Vudu, and Redbox
- 12 Stake Land (2011) Available to stream on Pluto TV, Tubi, Redbox, Peacock, Crackle, and Amazon Prime Video
- 13 The Battery (2012) Available to stream on Redbox
- 14 The Road (2009) Available to stream on Pluto TV, Redbox, Crackle, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video
- 15 The Rover (2014) Available to stream on HBO Max
- 16 The Survivalist (2015) Available to stream on AMC+
28 Days Later (2002)
Available to stream on Cinemax
The zombie apocalypse genre was greatly elevated by Danny Boyle’s groundbreaking remake of the zombie film, which swiftly became as important to the genre as Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead. The story of 28 Days Later centres on a man who emerges from a coma to find the United Kingdom lying in ruins. He searches for refuge and encounters many survivors, some of whom are more compassionate than others.
As the movie’s title suggests, the apocalypse is far more recent than the one shown in The Last of Us and the majority of other post-apocalyptic tales. The views of the main character wandering about a desolate London, however, greatly contribute to the overall believability, giving the film a sense of size more often found in video games than in films.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Available to stream on Paramount+
The sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinksi, shows a world overtaken by monsters that hunt solely by sound, with the last of humanity seemingly content to live in silence. In addition to starring and directing, Krasinski portrays the father of a family struggling to get by on a farm as they are ready to welcome a new child.
Despite some showy monster scares, the film’s core remains the kind of close-knit family drama that The Last of Us fans found so compelling in the relationship between Joel and Ellie. It’s one of the best jump-scare films multiplexes have seen in recent years, but it’s also a tearjerker that aims to break the viewer’s heart as much as it does their heart.
Bird Box (2018)
Available to stream on Netflix
Sandra Bullock plays a mother of two trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where an evil spirit has taken control and everyone who sees it commits suicide in Susanne Bier’s popular Netflix thriller Bird Box. Even while there isn’t a traditional zombie element like in The Last of Us, the emphasis on parenthood’s challenges makes the movie quite comparable.
The protagonist’s physical journey, like that of The Last of Us, matches their mental journey toward accepting love in their hearts for the children in their care, and this dramatic element raises the stakes for death even more. The constant sense of danger is far from being wholly abstract as there are also human threats acting against the main protagonists.
Available to stream on Netflix
The father of a small infant girl who is trekking through the Australian outback to escape the worst of a zombie apocalypse is portrayed by Martin Freeman in the movie Cargo. Due to a series of errors, the dad is left with his young child and has a limited amount of time before he transforms into a flesh-eating monster.
Cargo takes the tack of making the zombies in a zombie apocalypse the least of people’s concerns, and it succeeds in that Freeman’s portrayal serves as the foundation for the entire film. The interaction between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us is reminiscent of Simone Landers’ performance as an Aboriginal girl whose fate is intertwined with that of Freeman’s.
Children Of Men (2006)
Available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video
In contrast to most other post-apocalyptic films, Alfonso Cuarón’s adaptation of P.D. James’ novel Children of Men presents a more subdued dystopia in which humans have merely lost the capacity for reproduction. Without the creation of any new life, humanity’s grim destiny becomes more and more violent and anarchic. When a guy is forced to defend a miraculously pregnant refugee, he is granted a glimmer of hope in this brutal world.
Cuarón went above and beyond to make his portrayal of the end of the world feel uncannily accurate. Children of Men is an extremely emotional post-apocalyptic tale that is also quite credible because the characters’ world is mainly based on events and settings from modern day life, making it feel very real. Fans of The Last of Us’s immersive features will also find themselves drawn into these characters’ problems.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
Available to stream on TruTV
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes follows a small group of survivors from the ruins of San Francisco as they are compelled to forge a tenuous alliance with a developing society of super-intelligent apes in order to try to repair a hydroelectric dam and restore hope for civilization. The film is set after a global health pandemic that has reduced humanity to almost nothing. Cooperation is best for everyone because there are young families on both sides, but old biases pose a permanent threat to the future of their two worlds.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes offers much more human drama than the typical cutting-edge effects-driven blockbuster while never sacrificing its action and suspense scenes. In certain places, the landscape is startlingly reminiscent to The Last of Us. Despite being the middle instalment of one of the most well-liked movie series in recent memory, it can stand alone.
I Am Legend (2007)
Available to stream on fuboTV
Will Smith’s acting skills were ultimately far more important than anything else in this protracted adaptation of Richard Matheson’s renowned sci-fi book I Am Legend, but that’s all that’s required to create a compelling film.
Smith portrays a scientist who thinks he might be the last person still alive in a planet now populated by ferocious, vampire-like creatures in the ruins of a dismal New York City. The plot of I Am Legend loses a lot of its subtleties when it is scaled down for a big-budget release, but it also gains a lot from the film’s brilliantly portrayed post-apocalyptic cityscape. Fans of Joel’s more determined traits from The Last of Us may find it more enjoyable even though the redemption arc of the main character contradicts the plot of the book.
It Comes At Night (2017)
Available to stream on Showtime and Paramount+
It Comes at Night, a psychological horror movie written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, offers a unique perspective on what life will be like after the end of the world because it places more emphasis on the effects than the causes of the global catastrophe. Shults demonstrates this through the intense paranoia and loneliness experienced by the two families who must dwell in a remote house in the woods.
Despite being blatantly effective in terms of action and horror, the film’s lasting impact is largely due to what the viewer doesn’t see. Fans of The Last of Us are all too aware of how these unclear moments are frequently the story’s most painful wounds.
Leave No Trace (2018)
Available to stream on Netflix
The finest films that are comparable to The Last of Us typically have characters who are in some sort of post-apocalyptic condition because—in addition to being entertaining—the milieu intensifies the bond between the lead characters. Contrarily, Leave No Trace doesn’t require the premise to convey an engrossing tale about a father and daughter living in the bush.
In the movie, a war veteran and his teenage daughter live in a forest in Oregon off the grid, but it’s evident that their lives are coming to a crossroads that will inevitably cause them to part ways in a tragic way. Leave No Trace is certainly one of the best films like The Last of Us in terms of parental drama despite without action or science-fiction components.
Available to stream on Disney+
Similar to how The Last of Us received universal praise, James Mangold’s comic book film Logan is frequently cited by critics and fans as one of the best in the genre. This is in large part due to the film’s touching father/daughter narrative.
Hugh Jackman had played Wolverine in the live-action X-Men films from 20th Century Fox for 17 years at the time of the film’s release, signalling his departure from the role. Although he has since revealed that he will reprise the part in Deadpool 3, the movie is nevertheless an unusually grounded and character-driven superhero tale that gives Jackman’s interpretation of the character a fitting conclusion. The Oscar-nominated screenplay for the movie, which has neo-Western influences running through it, provides plenty of insights about mourning, stoicism, and many other major themes in The Last of Us.
Available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Crackle, Pluto TV, Vudu, and Redbox
Gareth Edwards’ renowned high-concept/low-budget debut film, which is set in a world where major portions of Mexico have been taken over by enormous extraterrestrial creatures who arrived on Earth from a wrecked space probe, features a lot of stunning technical innovation. That, however, is nothing compared to the strange, bittersweet feelings in its tale of a journalist taking his employer’s daughter through the alien-infected zone to safety.
Due to its limited budget, Monsters is less of an action-adventure film than it should be, but it makes up for it in mood. Fans of The Last of Us’ character-building excursions into the wilderness should not miss it since the unsaid emotions of its protagonists are reflected in the stunning scenery.
Stake Land (2011)
Available to stream on Pluto TV, Tubi, Redbox, Peacock, Crackle, and Amazon Prime Video
The vampire apocalypse film Stake Land by Jim Mickle lends a rare degree of discipline to a highly stylised idea. The movie takes great pleasure in being a genre thriller, but it frequently plays out more like a sombre road movie in the vein of Terrence Malick, and it follows a small group of wandering vampire murderers.
With Nick Damici as the unyielding substitute father figure, the movie concentrates on the icy bond between a little kid and the veteran vampire hunter who saves him. In addition, Stake Land’s slower, more sombre rendering of the Americana aesthetic is sure to appeal to many Last of Us fans.
The Battery (2012)
Available to stream on Redbox
The Battery, a micro-budget zombie film written and directed by Jeremy Gardner, following two former baseball players as they work together to survive a typical zombie apocalypse. Despite the film’s grandiose concept, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead-inspired independent roots are drawn upon, and the result is a character- and dialogue-driven narrative.
The Battery is one of the finest films like The Walking Dead because it emphasises the tedious grind of post-apocalyptic life; nevertheless, this also leads to talks that are remarkably lifelike, which makes it one of the greatest films like The Last of Us. The people who enjoy the games’ quietest, most introspective moments will probably benefit the most from this.
The Road (2009)
Available to stream on Pluto TV, Redbox, Crackle, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video
The Road, adapted by John Hillcoat from Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel, is a bittersweet experience that combines excellent acting with relentless horror and sadness. The film’s leading man, Viggo Mortensen, plays a father who is trying to protect his son when the ecosystem fails and civilization vanishes, leaving behind an uninhabitable earth populated by roving gangs of cannibals.
The Road should undoubtedly be at the top of the watch list for everyone who enjoyed the emotional drama of The Last of Us. The brief break from the post-apocalyptic world of the movie always serves as a prelude to harsh, challenging life lessons that have the potential to stay with viewers for a very long time.
The Rover (2014)
Available to stream on HBO Max
Consider David Michôd’s bloody and unforgiving thriller The Rover if you’re specifically looking for vicious vengeance films similar to The Last of Us Part II. In the same way that Mad Max is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction scenario, the movie depicts a dismal world where resources are so few that human compassion is all but nonexistent.
The film’s leading actors, Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, play two men who, for different reasons, are attempting to hunt down a ring of thieves through the Australian Outback. The cold-blooded violence that is sprinkled throughout their journey never seeks to justify itself. The Rover is not a merciless movie, but it is more appropriate for fans of the Last of Us series’ most brutal scenes.
The Survivalist (2015)
Available to stream on AMC+
The Survivalist is a post-apocalyptic survival film that differs from the norm by being considerably colder and more realistic. It centres on a young guy who manages to survive alone due to his strict seclusion and distrustful personality. In order to gain his trust, an elderly woman and a young child approach his modest farm. He is compelled to determine their genuine motivations and make a bargain with them.
Fans of The Last of Us will enjoy the tension-filled moments that result from the characters’ need to keep their cards close to their chest until they make their play even more than they will from the environment due to how terrible the circumstances are.
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