Disaster Movies With Ridiculously Huge Waves And Tsunamis

By Rick Gonzales | Published

There is something about a good disaster flick that gets the mind racing. Earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, you name it, the bigger the disaster and destruction, the more audiences get into it. Over the years, we have been entertained by movies that feature disasters via a crazy huge wave or its smaller cousin, a tsunami.

There are numerous reasons for these big waves to appear in films, some from earthquakes and others from meteors falling from the sky. Either way, these waves, and tsunamis are set to wipe out anything in their paths. Here are some films that feature gigantic waves or tsunamis.

Movies With Ridiculously Huge Waves And Tsunamis

6. The Perfect Storm (2000)

The first big wave film on our list is based on the true story of the ship and crew of the Andrea Gail. The story follows the crew of the Gail, a commercial swordfishing boat whose luck has not been good.

The boat’s captain, Billy Tyne, convinces his crew to take on a last late-season run to see if they can turn their fortunes around. The crew finds their gold way past their normal fishing grounds but with a broken ice machine, the only way they can sell their load is to get back to port as quickly as possible.

But what stands in their way is the perfect storm, Hurricane Grace, and a devastating northern front. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, William Fichtner, and John C. Reilly as part of the crew and features hellacious 40-ft waves that eventually take down the Andrea Gail.

The entire crew of six were lost at sea.

5. Poseidon (2006)

Poseidon is the big wave disaster film that is based on the Paul Gallico novel, The Poseidon Adventure, as well as the 1972 film of the same name.

The story follows the luxury cruise liner, the RMS Poseidon, as it is making its transatlantic New Year’s Eve crossing. As the passengers are about to celebrate the new year, an underground earthquake shakes, sending a huge tsunami toward the boat.

The captain attempts to survive the wave but doesn’t have enough time to properly turn the boat, crashing into the wave. The wave is so large, it flips the boat upside down, killing most on board. Now the survivors must escape the overturned boat before it completely sinks.

Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfus, Jacinda Barrett, and Andre Braugher star in this pulse-pounding disaster flick from Wolfgang Petersen.

4. 2012 (2009)

If you are looking for a disaster film with one of the largest waves ever recorded, then 2012 is your movie. The film boasts an excellent cast that includes John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Thandiwe Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson which tells the story of Earth rebelling against mankind.

The disaster film first focuses on massive tornadoes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions that cause global disasters, but the highlight of the film is the massive, big wave that causes global flooding. This wave is so large that it reaches the top of Mount Everest, which sits at an impressive 29,000 feet above sea level.

3. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

big waves

Extreme weather events are the focus of The Day After Tomorrow, a disaster film that stars Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, and Sela Ward as people trying to survive the next coming of the ice age.

But before the new ice age has a chance to settle in, destruction needs to take place. In this case, the drastic climate change includes a massive wave that obliterates New York City, wiping out the Big Apple and putting survivors in a tough spot.

With the super cold, instant freezing weather on its way, Quaid’s Jack Hall heads out to rescue his son Sam (Gyllenhaal), who is trapped in the New York Public Library.

2. San Andreas (2015)

big waves

Dwayne Johnson stuck the landing on this wild disaster film that also stars Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, and Ioan Gruffudd. The film follows Ray Gaines (Johnson), an LA Fire Department rescue helicopter pilot who happens to be in the air when the San Andreas fault finally gives out.

The resulting earthquake causes unfathomable destruction in Los Angeles and up the fault line into San Francisco. Gaines, along with his ex-wife then race to San Francisco to rescue their daughter Blake (Daddario), who is trapped in San Francisco.

The film features one of the largest waves as the fault line causes a tsunami that is bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge.

1. The Impossible (2012)

big waves

The Impossible tells the true story of María Belón and her family, who were enjoying their vacation in Thailand when it was hit by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami.

This big wave was the result of a massive 9.1 Indonesia earthquake and tragically killed nearly 228,000 unsuspecting people. The bulk of the story follows Maria (Naomi Watts) and her son, Lucas (a very young Tom Holland) as they are washed away by the tsunami and separated from the rest of their family.

Ewan McGregor plays the father Henry, while Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast play their other two sons.