10 Movies Like Nowhere (2023) You Must Watch

10 Movies like Nowhere (2023) you must watch: It may be considered a subgenre, but survival films have indeed managed to find an audience that loves the premise: people struggling against the odds to survive. Netflix drama Nowhere is one such movie, a harrowing story of a pregnant woman trapped in a shipping container that is abandoned in the middle of the ocean, waiting to give birth and fighting against the water slowly filling the container and being buffeted by the very power of nature itself. If this is your thing, we’ve collated 10 movies like Nowhere that we know you’ll enjoy.

It’s a tense and somewhat topical film, made more palpable by the central performance of Anna Castillo and the claustrophobic direction of Albert Pinto.

The harrowing tone did get us wondering if there are other films that match this production in tone and premise.

13 Movies like Nowhere (2023):

1. Dead Calm (1989)

Dead Calm | April 7, 1989 (United States) Summary: After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae are spending some time isolated at sea, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.
Countries: AustraliaLanguages: English

We start with a late eighties classic, with three incredible leads that hold the whole thing together. John and Rae Ingram have taken to the open sea, hoping to forget the tragic past and encountering a mysterious stranger stranded on his sinking boat.

Of course, they do the right thing and take him on board, but this leads to a suspenseful, deadly Hitchcockian game of cat and mouse that reminds you to be careful who you share your ride with.

Ex B list phantom superhero and star of Zombie Killers: Elephant Graveyard Billy Zane excels as the sinister Hughie, turning Nicole Kidman’s and Sam Neil’s sea-faring holiday into a nightmare.

2. Open Water (2003)

Open Water | August 20, 2004 (United States) Summary: Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English

Based on a real-life story, this entry has another couple in trouble at sea, this time trying to survive against the elements and sharks. Left behind by their boat on a scuba diving expedition, Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis are left floating alone in the Caribbean with no way of making it to shore and everything turning against them

The style and tone of this film is a somber one, like Nowhere, and the dark path this film takes makes it a very disturbing entry on our list.

3. The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant | January 8, 2016 (United States) Summary: A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.
Countries: Hong Kong, Taiwan, United StatesLanguages: English, Pawnee, French

“The Revenant” (2015) is a survivalist epic directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, inspired by true events. The film is set in the 1820s and follows the harrowing journey of frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) through the uncharted American wilderness.

After a brutal bear attack leaves Glass severely wounded and his hunting team believing he won’t survive, they leave him behind. Glass’s determination to seek revenge on John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who betrays him and kills his son, becomes a driving force. In a relentless pursuit for survival and justice, Glass endures extreme physical and emotional hardships, including encounters with hostile Native American tribes, extreme weather, and the unforgiving wilderness.

“The Revenant” is known for its breathtaking cinematography and the grueling conditions under which it was filmed. DiCaprio’s portrayal of Glass earned him his first Academy Award for Best Actor. The film explores themes of resilience, revenge, and the indomitable human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

4. Life of Pi (2012) 

Life of Pi | November 21, 2012 (United States) Summary: A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Be... Read all
Countries: United States, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Canada, India, FranceLanguages: English, Hindi, Japanese, French

Another two survivors of a disaster at sea make this film what it is. However, one of them is a tiger. Directed by Ang Lee, the film explores the relationship between man and animal and is based on a best-selling book by Yann Martell.

The book was more based on philosophical teachings, and the film does its best to explore the more spiritual aspects of the narrative, as well as make a darn fine movie.

5. The Shallows  (2016)

The Shallows | June 24, 2016 (United States) Summary: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English, Spanish

A gossipy friend of Sesame Street, Blake Lively, is front and center in this sea survival story that follows surfer Nancy, stranded on a rock just two hundred yards from the shore after being bit by a shark and unable to get back to the beach.

With nobody but a wounded seagull for company, she has to watch as a drunk wanders onto the beach and steals all her stuff too, while Jaws becomes more determined to eat her.

She does her best to save her new pet, Steven Seagull, and a flare gun and a whale carcass add to the somewhat incredulous final act.

6. Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men | January 5, 2007 (United States) Summary: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have somehow become infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.
Countries: United States, United Kingdom, JapanLanguages: English, German, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Arabic, Georgian, Russian, Serbian

“Children of Men” (2006), directed by Alfonso Cuarón, presents a dystopian future in 2027 where humanity faces extinction due to global infertility. Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a disillusioned bureaucrat, is pulled into a dangerous mission when he encounters a pregnant woman, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), the first in 18 years.

Kee’s pregnancy could be humanity’s last hope, and Theo becomes her protector, navigating a world plagued by violence and chaos. The film showcases stunning long takes and a gritty, realistic portrayal of societal collapse. As they strive to reach a group known as The Human Project, they encounter ruthless enemies and unlikely allies. “Children of Men” explores themes of hope, desperation, and the resilience of the human spirit in a bleak and turbulent world.

7. Adrift (2018)

Adrift | June 1, 2018 (United States) Summary: A true story of survival, as a young couple's chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recor... Read all
Countries: Hong Kong, Iceland, United StatesLanguages: English, French

Couple Tami and Richard fall in love, then fall foul of a hurricane in this story of survival that is based on real events. They naively set sail straight into the hurricane, leaving Richard badly hurt and their ship in a state of disrepair, and Tami has to fight not just for herself but for her injured true love.

Oddly, the end credits still state, “The persons and events in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional.” Despite the fact, the film is based on a true story.

8. All Is Lost (2013)

All Is Lost | October 25, 2013 (Canada) Summary: After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English

1970s Gatsby and horse whisperer Robert Redford stars in this film and is pretty much the only character in the whole production. Redford is on his own, struggling on his boat that is struck by a shipping container and becoming perilously close to sinking.

Redford’s career makes him Hollywood royalty, and his filmography is a thing of wonder, but if you are of a certain age, you will probably recognize him as Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

9. Capsized: Trapped in the Water (2019)

Capsized: Blood in the Water | July 31, 2019 (United States) Summary: After a yacht bound for Florida capsizes during an unexpected storm, its crew is left to drift for days in the chilling waters of the Atlantic where they become prey to a group of tiger shar... Read all
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English

Here is another entry that has its roots in reality: this time, a yacht heading for Florida hits a storm and ends up capsizing, stranding its crew in the water and becoming prey for the tiger sharks that operate there.

Released as a made-for-television movie, the budget is low, so it relies more on a slow burn, and how much you enjoy it will depend on how invested you are in the true story behind the film.

10. Everest (2015)

Everest | September 25, 2015 (United States) Summary: On May 10, 1996, mountain guides Rob Hall and Scott Fischer combine their expedition teams for a final ascent to the summit of Mount Everest. With little warning, a storm strikes the mountai... Read all
Countries: United Kingdom, United States, IcelandLanguages: English, Russian

“Everest” (2015), directed by Baltasar Kormákur, is a gripping adventure drama based on real events. The film chronicles the disastrous 1996 Mount Everest expedition led by experienced climbers Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal). 

The story follows two expedition groups attempting to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. Tragedy strikes when an unexpected and severe snowstorm engulfs them, leaving the climbers fighting for their lives in the treacherous, oxygen-deprived “Death Zone.”

Amidst the chaos, Hall and Fischer display remarkable courage and leadership in their efforts to save their team members. The film also features Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), who miraculously survives the brutal conditions.

“Everest” is a harrowing tale of human endurance, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of climbers who risk everything to achieve their dreams, set against the breathtaking but perilous backdrop of the world’s highest peak.

11. The Perfect Storm (2000)

The Perfect Storm | June 30, 2000 (United States) Summary: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English

Rubbish Batman and coffee seller George Clooney stars with Mark Wahlberg in this survival at sea story based on the book by Sébastien Junger that covered an incredible series of natural phenomena that resulted in a storm to end all others.

The crew of the Andrea Gail is caught up in the devastating storm at sea, and the film is a masterclass in building tension and making you care about the characters.

Although based on real events, the film actually covers various different encounters that people had during the storm and blends them into one movie.

12. Buried (2010)

Buried | October 15, 2010 (United States) Summary: Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race agains... Read all
Countries: Spain, United Kingdom, France, United StatesLanguages: English, Arabic

Going slightly off the beaten track here but still dealing with an isolated protagonist trapped in a life-threatening situation is buried. Amiable UK soccer team owner and X-rated Marvel icon Ryan Reynolds finds himself buried alive after being attacked by a group of Iraqis while driving his truck through Iraq.

You would think that with the help of his cell phone, he would be able to get some help, but it’s not that simple, and the air is running out.

Tense, claustrophobic, and frustrating, this is a tense survival film that left Reynolds stating he would not want to film anything like this again.

13. Maidentrip (2013)

Maidentrip | March 10, 2013 (United States) Summary: 14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: Dutch, English

After all the horror of the above films, we thought it might be nice to leave you with something a little more inspiring. This documentary will cover the incredible story of a fourteen-year-old sailor, Laura Dekker, who sets out to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the world.

The film is an inspiring story of bravery and dedication, filled with some stunning shots, and evokes the feelings that Laura experienced during her trip. Those feelings are what make this movie similar to Nowhere.

Empowering and inspiring, this should be mandatory viewing at high schools everywhere.

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like 2023’s Nowhere? Let us know in the comments.


Leave a Comment