When Netflix first dropped the trailer for Society of the Snow in November last year, we were instantly gripped by the stunning scenery of the Andes mountain range, and it seems we weren't alone. The survival thriller has become an instant hit on the best streaming service, with more than 28 million views since it was released on January 4.
It has become the most watched non-English film on Netflix this week, and has been in the top 10 for two weeks in a row. It's the terrifying true story of the infamous Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 plane crash that occurred in late 1972, which also inspired the 1993 movie Alive and 2021 Showtime series Yellowjackets.
Society of the Snow appears to be a smash hit with both the critics and audiences, and is certainly one of the best Netflix movies of recent times – it has a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score and 83% audience rating. If you haven't seen it yet, then we highly recommend you give it a go. But for those who have, then here are five more incredible survival thrillers that are also true stories.
Released in 2012, The Impossible is based on a true story about the Belon-Alvarez family who were holidaying in Thailand in 2004 when a massive underwater earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit their resort. The disaster killed an estimated 225,000 people, but there were survivors, including the Belon-Alvarez family, who were able to reunite after being separated by the devastating wall of water. Starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland, The Impossible is such a raw depiction of the harrowing event that even a survivor called it "beautifully accurate" in The Guardian.
Based on the book by Marcus Luttrell of the same name, Lone Survivor tells the true story of a US Navy SEAL attempting to survive in Afghanistan after a firefight against the Taliban. Out of the four Navy SEALs that were on the covert operation in 2005, only one sadly survives. Mark Wahlberg plays the survivor Luttrell alongside Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster in the film, which – although it doesn't have a very high rating among critics – received two Academy Award nominations.
There are plenty of movies and documentaries chronicling a sailor's circumnavigation of the world, but True Spirit stands out for the fact that the person who attempted such a feat was only 16 years old at the time. Her name is Jessica Watson, and although she didn't officially become the world's youngest solo circumnavigator because of technicalities over the distance – Laura Dekker still holds this title – she was still awarded the Order of Australia Medal. While the film also doesn't have rave reviews, it is nonetheless an incredible true story of surviving on your own.
This movie is a dramatized portrayal of the events of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon, with Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton playing the three astronauts (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert) that crewed the Saturn V rocket. After an oxygen tank exploded, the group had to abandon the mission and instead loop around the moon to return safely home, without enough air or power to make it. The thrill of the people back at NASA working to jury-rig ways to make it work, with the astronauts trying to follow suit in impossible conditions, drives the heart of this movie. With a 96% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the film does every bit of the story justice and will have you on the edge of your seat.
Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche
Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche was released 40 years after the real life events took place but feels just as raw as if it were to have happened today. It's a documentary that tells the story about the search for eight missing people that were tragically buried under an avalanche that hit the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, California, using archival footage interwoven with interviews with the rescuers and survivors. While this documentary doesn't yet have a lot of reviews, it's currently sitting with a flawless 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes with critics praising how well made it is.