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7 Must-See Movies Like Thirteen Lives

August 6, 2022

Amazon Prime’s Thirteen Lives is a rescue story based on true events. It centers on thirteen people trapped in a heavily flooded cave. As the rescuers and volunteers arrive and the media gathers outside, the whole world holds its breath waiting for the twelve boys and their soccer coach to get out safely. The film uses the sense of claustrophobia and urgency to heighten the suspense. As the divers traverse the more than a mile long path and endure there for hours, a feeling of uneasiness is created that does not go away even after the film ends.

What’s scary about the movie is that the fight isn’t against a big, scary thing from another world. It is mother nature that fights the toughest battles. If you’re looking for more movies that deal with the struggle against nature, the passing of time and the oppressive feeling of being cramped, then we have a few suggestions. Here are the movies like Thirteen Lives that you can watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime or other streaming services:

7. 47 Meters Down (2017)

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If you thought cave diving was an extreme sport then you should check out 47 Meters Down. The film, starring Mandy Moore, tells the story of two sisters who decide to dive in a cage. You enter a cave held in place by a winch system and are lowered into the sea where sharks lurk. Things get tricky when the winch system breaks, leaving the sisters trapped in the cage on the sea floor while their oxygen supplies run low.

6. The Finest Hours (2016)

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Credit: Claire Folger/Disney

Starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, this is another film based on the true story of a daring rescue operation. Set in the 1950’s, the film follows a Coast Guard who leads a team of men to rescue the crew of an oil tanker that has crashed in half in the middle of the ocean. The crew members are trapped and the situation is catastrophic as the weather worsens by the minute, meaning the rescuers are risking as much as the crew to complete this mission. They must survive the wrath of the mighty ocean, as ruthless as the rain that pelts them.

5. Tunnels (2016)

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The South Korean survival drama tells the story of a man trapped in his car buried under the rubble of a collapsed tunnel. Lee Jung-soo was on his way home to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. But now he’s trapped in a situation from which there seems to be no way out, and the only thing that gives him hope is his wife speaking to him over the radio. To make matters worse, the rescue operation is proceeding quite slowly and doesn’t give the outside world much hope of his survival.

4. Against the Ice (2022)

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Credit: Lilja Eriksdottir/Netflix

If you thought being trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks was a horrific ordeal, then prepare yourself for this true story of two men trapped in the arctic with no hope of rescue for years. Set in the early 1900s, Against the Ice follows two men as they embark on an expedition to recover a map that has major political implications for the fate of Greenland. In the process, they are abandoned by crew members who are unable to initiate an immediate rescue. The two men struggle with harsh winters and bouts of insanity while a rescue is planned for them.

3. The Tunnel (2019)

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This Norwegian film is based on a true story and shares similar themes with Thirteen Lives. It is set in a tunnel that is collapsing when a tanker truck collision results in a fire in the tunnel. While a terrible snowstorm is raging outside, a large number of people are trapped in the tunnel. The difficult conditions outside the tunnel also make it difficult for the first responders to be there in time and save everyone. But no matter how difficult it gets, they must get everyone out of the tunnel as the fire is raging inside and they face a very bad fate.

2. Bolgen (2015)

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‘Bølgen’ aka ‘The Wave’ is another Norwegian disaster film that finds a place on this list. Inspired by a true story that has happened more than once, he shows that there is no greater force than nature and that it has the unique ability to destroy things like nothing else can. The situation in Geiranger was picturesque, but a natural disaster had been forecast. Still, no one was prepared for a tsunami that would result from a mountain pass collapse and threaten to kill many people. While Thirteen Lives keeps viewers hopeful with the promise of an imminent rescue, it only gets worse for the people of The Wave because rescue always comes after a disaster, not during it. Who will save these people now?

1. Apollo 13 (1995)

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Ron Howard is no stranger to movies about rescuing people trapped in impossible situations. His experience with Apollo 13 informed many of the creative decisions in Thirteen Lives, making it a must-see film for anyone looking for something with the same feelings and effects as the Thai rescue film. Based on a real-life lunar mission that turned into a critical emergency, the film follows three astronauts en route to the moon who are trapped in their spacecraft, which has lost much of its oxygen supplies in an explosion. How do you save people who aren’t even on earth?