Updated December 19, 2012.
127 Hours, Fox Searchlight. 94 min. DVD Rated R. $29.98. www.foxsearchlight.com/. A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.
Alive, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 120 min. DVD Rated R. $6.25. disneydvd.disney.go.com/home.html
Faced with the brutal weather conditions in the Andes after their plane crashes, members of a rugby team struggle to survive.
American Experience: The Donner Party, PBS. 90 min. DVD Not Rated. $19.98. http://www.pbs.org
This documentary by Ric Burns uncovers the tragic story of the Donner Party as they traveled across the West to settle in California. Their misguided decisions led to them being caught snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas just 150 miles away from the end of their 2,500-mile trip across the United States in 1846.
Apocalypto, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 139 mins. DVD Rated R. $14.99. disneydvd.disney.go.com/home.html
A mythic adventure about a young hunter in ancient South America and his struggle to survive after Mayan priests select him to be the next human sacrifice. Will his knowledge of the Yucat+¡n be enough to turn the tables on the warriors chasing him? An intense action adventure with dialogue spoken entirely in the ancient Yucatec Maya language.
Apollo 13, Universal Pictures. 140 min. DVD Rated PG. $12.98. www.universalpictures.com/
NASA's worst nightmare turned into one of the space agency's most heroic moments in 1970, when the Apollo 13 crew was forced to hobble home in a disabled capsule after an explosion seriously damaged the moon-bound spacecraft. The Apollo 13 crew and Houston-based mission controllers race against time and heavy odds to return the damaged spacecraft safely to Earth from a distance of 205,500 miles.
Armageddon, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 151 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.99. disneydvd.disney.go.com/home.html. A madcap crew of oil drillers is recruited by NASA to destroy the asteroid heading toward earth.
Avatar, Twentieth Century Fox. 162 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $29.98. www.foxconnect.com. Jake Sully travels to Pandora, a lush, jungle-covered extraterrestrial moon and home to a sentient humanoid race, the Na'vi. The 10-foot tall, blue-skinned Na'vi fight when a human corporation attempts to remove the indigenous people from their native lands. Human scientists create genetically-bred human-Na'vi hybrids known as Avatars to overcome the fact that they can’t breathe Pandora air. Jake participates in this program and encounters many dangers and beauties on Pandora as he scouts around.
Behind Enemy Lines, Twentieth Century Fox. 105 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.98. www.foxconnect.com
A Navy navigator is forced to evade and survive behind enemy lines when his aircraft goes down in war-torn Bosnia.
Big Miracle, Universal Pictures. 107 min. DVD Rated PG. $19.98. www.universalpictures.com/. Three whales are trapped by ice in the waters off Barrow, Alaska. Various segments of the population come together to save the whales.
Book of Eli, Warner Home Video. 118 min. DVD Rated R. $1994. www.warnerbros.com/
Eli walks alone in post-apocalyptic America. He heads west along the Highway of Death on a mission he doesn't fully understand but knows he must complete. In his backpack is the last copy of a book that could become the wellspring of a revived society. Or in the wrong hands, the hammer of a despot. Denzel Washington is Eli, who keeps his blade sharp and his survival instincts sharper as his quest thrusts him into a savage wasteland...
Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Lions Gate. 94 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $15.95. www.lionsgate.com/
Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Cast Away, Twentieth Century Fox. 143 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.98. www.foxconnect.com
When Chuck Nolan's plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, he finds himself stranded on a deserted island. With few supplies, Chuck must physically and mentally adapt to his new environment in order to survive.
Children of Men, Universal Pictures. 109 min. DVD Rated R. $14.98. www.universalpictures.com/
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.
Cloverfield, Paramount. 85 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $29.99. www.paramount.com/. Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal horrifying event of their lives.
The Day After Tomorrow, Twentieth Century Fox. 124 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.98. www.foxconnect.com. After a cataclysmic climate change results in a series of severe weather events, teens trapped in New York City after a quiz bowl competition must figure out how to survive long enough to be reunited with their families.
Defiance, Paramount. 137 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.99. www.paramount.com/
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
Devil’s Arithmetic, Showtime Ent. 95 min. DVD Not Rated PG-13. $14.98. Http://www.sho.com
A teen girl learns to appreciate her Jewish heritage after being transported back in time to the concentration camp that imprisoned her ancestor.
The Eagle, Focus Features. 114 min. DVD Rated PG. $14.99. focusfeatures.com/
Roman Britain, 114 AD. Marcus Aquila seeks to recover the family honor lost when his father's legion disappeared years before. Hearing rumors that the legion's eagle survives somewhere north of Hadrian's Wall, Marcus and his slave, Esca, set forth to discovery the truth about the missing Ninth Legion.
Eight Below, Walt Disney. 120 min. DVD Rated PG. $14.99. www.disneydvd.disney.go.com
This film tells the story of a pack of sled dogs abandoned at a research film. These dogs must battle hunger, the extreme climate, and dangerous predators in order to survive.
Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone, Funimation. 100 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $19.98. funimation.com. Living a life of loneliness and questioning his existence, Shinji struggles to accept responsibility for mankind’s battle for survival in this visually striking rebuild of one of the most important anime of all time. Shinji will fight the Angels alongside the only person who might understand his plight – Rei Ayanami, the elusive and frail pilot of Eva Unit 00.
Far Off Place, Walt Disney. 108 min. DVD Rated PG. $19.99. www.disneydvd.disney.go.com. Teens must evade poachers and survive a long journey through the Kalahari desert.
The Flowers of War, Lions Gate. 146 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $27.98. www.lionsgate.com/
In 1937 China, during the second Sino-Japanese war, a mortician, John (Christian Bale) arrives at a Catholic church in Nanjing to prepare a priest for burial. Upon arrival he finds himself the lone adult among a group of convent girl students and prostitutes from a nearby brothel. When he finds himself in the unwanted position of protector of both groups from the horrors of the invading Japanese army, he discovers the meaning of sacrifice and honor.
Frozen, Anchor Bay Films. 93 min. DVD Rated R. $14.98. www.anchorbayentertainment.com. A typical day on the slopes turns into a chilling nightmare for three snowboarders when they get stranded on the chairlift before their last run. As the ski patrol switches off the night lights, they realize with growing panic that they’ve been left behind, dangling high off the ground with no way down.
Grave of the Fireflies, Studio Ghibli. 89 min. DVD Not Rated. $19.98. As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares.
Hunger Games, Lions Gate. 142 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $22.96. www.lionsgate.com/. Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when she's pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives.
I am Legend, Warner Home Video. 100 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.99. www.warnerbros.com/. Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.
I am Number Four, Touchstone Pictures. 109 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $19.99. waltdisneystudios.com/corp/unit/264
John Smith is an extraordinary teen masking his true identity to elude a deadly enemy sent to destroy him. Living with his guardian in the small town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected life-changing events - his first love, powerful new abilities and a secret connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
Into the Wild, Paramount. 148 min. DVD Rated R. $14.98. www.paramount.com/. After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.
Iron Will, Walt Disney. 108 min. DVD Rated PG. $10.47. disneydvd.disney.go.com
When Will Stoneman's father dies, he is left alone to take care of his mother and their land. Needing money to maintain it, he decides to join a cross country dogsled race. This race will require days of racing for long hours, through harsh weather and terrain. This young man will need a lot of courage and a strong will to complete this race.
Jurassic Park, Universal Pictures. 127 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.98. www.universalpictures.com/. When scientists discover how to breed dinosaurs from preserved DNA, John Hammond decides to open a theme park. However, when paleontologists visit the park to sign off on its liability, a power failure results in terrifying disaster.
King of Thorn, Funimation Entertainment. 120 min. Not Rated. $24.98. http://www.funimation.com/. Panic spreads worldwide as the Medousa Virus-a fatal pandemic that solidifies the body to stone-threatens to wipe out the human race. 160 infected individuals are selected to be cryogenically frozen while a cure is developed. Kasumi is one of those chosen for the experimental program. Forced to enter without her twin sister, Shizuku, her distress multiplies when she awakens to find the facility overrun with thick, thorny vines and ravenous monsters. As Kasumi and six others fight a losing battle to escape this labyrinthine nightmare, questions cloud her distorted mind. Where is her sister? Why did their only salvation mutate into a deathtrap? If they survive, how much longer do they have to live?
March of the Penguins, Warner Home Video. 80 min. DVD Rated G. $14.96. www.warnerbros.com/
The film focuses on a colony of hundreds of Emperors as they return, in a single-file march of70 miles or more, to their frozen breeding ground, far inland from the oceans where they thrive. At times dramatic, suspenseful, mischievous and just plain funny, the film conveys the intensity of the penguins' breeding cycle, and their treacherous task of protecting eggs and hatchlings in temperatures as low as 128 degrees below zero.
Rabbit-Proof Fence, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. 94 min. DVD Rated PG. $6.98. www.echobridgeentertainment.com/. In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.
Red Dawn, MGM. 114 mins. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.98. www.mgm.com/
In an alternate 1980s world, at the dawn of World War III, the United States has been invaded by the Soviet Union and its allies. Meanwhile, in a small Colorado town, a group of teens band together to resist the occupation with guerrilla warfare.
Resident Evil, Sony Pictures. 100 min. DVD Rated R. $19.99. www.sonypictures.com/
A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.
Shackleton: The Greatest Survival Story of All Time, A&E Home Video. 206 min. DVD Not Rated. $19.95. www.newvideo.com. Shackleton is not a biopic of the great Anglo-Irish explorer but a dramatization of the failed trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-191
Shaun of the Dead, Universal Studios. 99 min. DVD Rated R. $14.98. www.universalstudiosentertainment.com. Brain-hungry zombies shamble through the streets of London, but all unambitious electronics salesman Shaun cares about is his girlfriend Liz, who just dumped him. With the help of his slacker roommate Ed, Shaun fights his way across town to rescue Liz.
Soul Surfer, Sony Pictures. 106 min. DVD Rated PG. $30.99. www.sonypictures.com/. After surviving a shark attack that leaves her with only one arm, Bethany Hamilton makes a comeback as a competitive surfer.
Star Trek First Contact, Paramount. 111 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $19.99. www.paramount.com/. The Enterprise has to surive and save the future from a pending Borg attack that would alter Earth's history.
Super 8, Paramount. 112 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $14.99. www.paramount.com/
Super 8 tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to learn that something unimaginable escaped during the crash, which threatens their town. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.
Surviving the Game, New Line Home Video. 96 mins. DVD Rated R. $6.97. www.newline.com/. Ice-T plays a homeless man who ends up as the intended prey of a hunting party in this more modern take on The Most Dangerous Game.
Titanic, Paramount. 194 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $29.99. www.paramount.com/. 84 years later, a 100-year-old woman tells the story about her life set on Titanic's fateful trip in April 1912, when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers including her oppressive fiance and mother. Meanwhile, an artistic drifter named Jack Dawson wins third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912.
Tomorrow When the War Began, Freestyle Digital Media. 103 min. DVD Rated R. $24.00. www.freestyledigitalmedia.com/. A group of teenagers return from a camping trip to discover their country has been taken over by an invading army. They have to band together to survive.
Touching the Void, MGM. 106 min. DVD Rated R. $14.98. www.mgm.com/
In 1985, two British mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, embarked on a daring--arguably reckless in the extreme--attempt to climb the previously unconquered mountain Siula Grande. A mixture of overconfidence in their own abilities and underestimation of the climb's difficulties brought them to grief after the successful slog to the summit. What follows is an often harrowing account of their perilous descent.
Vertical Limit, Sony Pictures. 124 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $9.99.www.sonypictures.com/
An emotionally-charged action-adventure tale of Peter (Chris O'Donnell), a former climber . who must launch a treacherous and extraordinary rescue effort up K2, the world's second highest peak, to save his estranged sister Annie (Robin Tunney) and her summit team in a race against time.
Wall-E, Walt Disney Studio. 93 min. DVD Rated G. $29.99. www.disneydvd.disney.go.com
Wall-E is the last robot of the "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class" left on earth to clean up the environmental degradation done by the former human inhabitants. Although Wall-E is ostensibly a machine, he has developed some rather human traits and apparent emotions, living a lonely life on earth. When humans send their EVE robot to earth, Wall-E falls in love with her. Because Wall-E has found a plant sprout, he and EVE board the Axiom spacecraft where all the humans have turned into obese, lazy, over-consuming blobs. Wall-E helps in leading the humans back to earth.
War of the Worlds, Dreamworks. 116 mins. DVD Rated PG-13. $12.98. http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/
Ray Ferrier, a divorced father who witnesses one giant craft destroy his New Jersey town and soon is on the road with his teen son and preteen daughter in tow, trying to keep ahead of the invasion.
The Warriors, Paramount. 92 mins. DVD Rated R. $12.98. www.paramount.com/
Follow 9 members of a Coney Island street gang as they try to make their way back home from the Bronx after being falsely accused of murdering the leader of the city's most powerful gang. To survive and get back to CI they must face cops, strange subways, and dozens of rival gangs out for their blood!
The Way Back, Image Entertainment. 133 min. DVD Rated PG-13. $27.97. www.watchimage.com. In 1941, three men reach India from Tibet, having walked 4000 miles after escaping a Siberian gulag. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: a cynical American, a Russian thug, a comic accountant, a pastry chef who draws, a priest, and a Pole with night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, and moral questions of when to leave someone behind.
Winter’s Bone, Lionsgate. 100 min. DVD Rated R. $ 14.99. www.lionsgate.com/ An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.
Which Way Home, New Video Group. 90 min. DVD Not-Rated. $ 29.99. www.newvideo.com/
Traversing more than 1450 miles upcountry Mexican freight trains routinely are boarded by migrants hoping to reach America. Among the thousands who ride the trains many are children traveling alone. They come from all over Mexico and Central America risking everything for the chance of a better life.
Zombieland, Sony Pictures. 88 min. DVD Rated R. $19.99. www.sonypictures.com/ A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.