Top 5 Movies About World War III If Oppenheimer Wasn't Enough

Top 5 Movies About World War III If Oppenheimer Wasn't Enough
Image credit: FilmDistrict, Legion-Media, HBO, Universal Pictures

Just in case you needed something even more depressing.

Any war movie, whether it is about one of the world wars or Vietnam or some other horrible weaponized conflict, they all leave scars. But when it's about a war that never happened, it hits you differently.

Of course, Oppenheimer is not a movie with that kind of premise, but it does show us the days of the creation of the atomic bomb, so from the moment those first nuclear bombs were tested, it opened up the world to the possibility of being blown up at any moment from now on.

Here we have the most terrifying scenarios the movie industry has for us in terms of depicting World War III – and boy do we hope these scenarios will remain on screens only.

1. Crimson Tide (1995)

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This 29-year-old movie has an 89% Rotten Tomatoes score, which means it's a must-see for those looking for a movie in the established genre. It centers on a young first officer on an American nuclear missile submarine who stages a coup to prevent his trigger-happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so.

The story of the film is about finding a way to prevent a deadly thing from happening only because some low-qualified people decided that it should be done…

2. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

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Now this is the brilliance of the scenarios that never happened, they can be as different as the creators want and still be perfectly aligned among the rules of the genre.

This movie centers on a time when the president is kidnapped by a terrorist and former Presidential Secret Service agent Mike Banning is trapped in the building and has to think his way out of the situation.

The thing is, everything is at risk, not only the life of the president, but also the whole nation’s lives. The way Banning’s mind starts working is brilliant, though.

3. By Dawn's Early Light (1990)

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Another nuclear-centric movie is this 34-year-old classic. The movie focuses on an unlikely situation: a non-NATO nuclear missile is fired from Turkey at the USSR, where it detonates. The Soviet response is immediate because it's considered a NATO missile. Were there any chances they wouldn't think so? Well, the main question is, can further escalation be avoided?

“Despite its age, the movie presents a terrifying scenario of an escalation ladder and not being able to stop the exchange of nuclear weapons once an attack begins. Script was a bit stiff but the cast was incredible for an early HBO movie,” Redditor RhymingUsername said.

4. American Assassin (2017)

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A dark event in one's life can change him into a completely different person, give him new goals and ambitions, and turn him into a madman. This time the story focuses on Mitch Rapp, who lost his girlfriend in a terrorist attack.

After the event, the young man is drawn into the world of counter-terrorism, mentored by tough former U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. Stan Hurley, and together they will later investigate a wave of seemingly random attacks on military and civilian targets.

5. Fail Safe (1964)

Another take on the Russian-American nuclear war, created many years ago, but still considered one of the most terrifying non-horror movies. At the center of the story is a technical malfunction that sends American planes to Moscow to deliver a nuclear attack. But what can be done in a situation like that?

The fans of the genre mention this movie as a must-see and never got enough credit while some other similarly premised movies got it all.

“This movie is so underrated. Sydney Lumet doing a dramatic Dr Strangelove the exact same year, at the top of his game right after 12 Angry Men, fantastic script and acting, but it’s like nobody’s ever heard of it. It’s a must watch if that’s even halfway interesting, amazing as a double feature,” Redditor owl_theory said.