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The Abyss (1989)
Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

The Abyss (1989)

Formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They are drafted to assist a gung-ho Navy SEAL with a top-secret recovery operation: a nuclear sub has been ambushed and sunk, under mysterious circumstances, in some of the deepest waters on Earth.

Themes:panic,  paranoia,  military,  love
Locations:ocean,  sea
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:submarine,  underwater,  sunken submarine,  navy submarine,  trapped underwater,  underwater photography,  swimming underwater,  bottom of the ocean,  alien intelligence,  alien life form,  alien technology,  alien contact,  hidden civilization,  fear of the unknown,  decompression chamber,  naval ship,  cardiopulmonary resuscitation,  earth in peril,  lack of oxygen,  giant wave,  hyperventilation,  dead body in water,  abyss,  subliminal message,  estranged couple,  tidal wave,  husband wife reunion,  oxygen mask,  defibrillation,  defibrillator,  convulsion,  protective male,  reanimation,  nuclear weapons,  golden gate bridge,  orchestral music score,  part computer animation,  tsunami,  nuclear war,  scuba diving,  kindness,  marine,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary,  crying man,  strong female lead,  cgi,  media,  strong female character,  sacrifice,  rat,  drowning,  pantyhose,  no opening credits,  two word title,  gun

Avatar (2009)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi

Avatar (2009)

When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  military,  love
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:marine,  alien life form,  alien contact,  orchestral music score,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  underwater,  no opening credits

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Arrival (2016)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Arrival (2016)

Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touchdown in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. (Read More)

Themes:military,  panic,  paranoia
Characters:alien
Story:extraterrestrial,  alien life form,  alien contact,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits

Sphere (1998)
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Sphere (1998)

1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deepsea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  military
Locations:ocean,  sea
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:underwater photography,  bottom of the ocean,  decompression chamber,  submarine,  drowning

Allegiant (2016) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Allegiant (2016)

After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia,  military,  love
Period:future
Story:part computer animation,  nuclear war,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  cgi,  strong female character,  sacrifice,  no opening credits

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Lo Imposible (2012)
Drama, Thriller

Lo Imposible (2012)

A regular family - Maria ('Naomi Watts' (qv)), Henry ('Ewan McGregor' (qv)) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them? This is why Lo Imposible (2012) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:paranoia
Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:tsunami,  swimming underwater,  tidal wave,  husband wife reunion,  oxygen mask,  kindness,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits,  two word title

Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Action, Horror, Sci-fi

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Ellen Ripley sacrificed herself to destroy the Company's desires to use the alien queen as a biological weapon. 200 years and seven horrible experiments later, she is resurrected on the USM Auriga using blood samples from Fiorina 161, for the purpose of extracting the alien queen inside her. However, Ripley's DNA gets mixed up with the Queen's DNA and she begins to develop enhanced strength and reflexes. After a band of smugglers, hired by the government, bring the crew of a hijacked transport to the Auriga, all hell breaks loose when the aliens breed from the hijacked crew escape. When the Auriga is set on automatic pilot back to Earth, it's up to Ripley and the smugglers to stop the Auriga and escape with their lives. And when the Queen's secret was revealed, it exposed a bizarre DNA mix-up that left both Ripley and the queen's genetics intertwined; giving light to an alien that could spell doom for Earth. (Read More)

Themes:military
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:underwater photography,  swimming underwater,  part computer animation,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  underwater,  drowning,  two word title

Enemy Mine (1985)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi

Enemy Mine (1985)

A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world after sustaining battle damage. Eventually he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together to survive on this hostile world. In the end the human finds himself caring for his enemy in a completely unexpected way. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia,  military
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien technology,  orchestral music score,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary,  two word title

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Cocoon (1985) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Sci-fi

Cocoon (1985)

A group of aliens return to earth to retrieve cocoons containing the people they'd left behind from an earlier trip. These cocoons had been resting at the bottom of the ocean. Once retrieved, they stored these recovered cocoons in the swimming pool of a house they'd rented in a small Florida town. Their mission is hampered by a number of elderly people from a nearby retirement community who had been secretly using the pool, and who discover unusual powers from within these cocoons. (Read More)

Locations:ocean
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  defibrillation,  defibrillator,  orchestral music score,  scuba diving,  underwater

Europa Report (2013)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Europa Report (2013)

Europa, Jupiter's moon is known to have potential to support life. Hence a manned mission is sent to Europa to search for data proving existence of life there. "Europa report" shows the difficult choices and sacrifices the crew has to make to fulfill their objective of sending valuable data to Earth for research. (Read More)

Characters:alien
Story:underwater photography,  alien intelligence,  alien contact,  underwater,  no opening credits,  two word title

Contact (1997)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Contact (1997)

Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, the project takes on a whole new dimension, which strengthens for Ellie the quest for the truth. Thrown into the mix are the unknown person who has up until now funded most of Ellie's work and what his motivations are, and Palmer Joss, a renowned author and theologian, who despite their fundamental differences in outlook, is mutually attracted to Ellie, that attraction based in part on intellect and their common goal of wanting to know the truth. This is why Contact (1997) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:military,  love
Characters:alien
Story:extraterrestrial,  alien intelligence,  alien technology,  alien contact,  orchestral music score,  sacrifice,  no opening credits

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The 5th Wave (2016)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

The 5th Wave (2016)

Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth in ruin. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope - if she can only trust him. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  military,  love
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  giant wave,  tidal wave,  tsunami,  social commentary,  no opening credits,  gun

In The Heart Of The Sea (2015) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, Thriller

In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:giant wave,  tidal wave,  social commentary,  no opening credits,  gun

Interstellar (2014)
Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi

Interstellar (2014)

Earth's future has been riddled by disasters, famines, and droughts. There is only one way to ensure mankind's survival: Interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the far reaches of our solar system allows a team of astronauts to go where no man has gone before, a planet that may have the right environment to sustain human life. (Read More)

Themes:love
Period:future
Story:giant wave,  tidal wave,  orchestral music score,  crying man,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  drowning,  no opening credits

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Poseidon (2006)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Poseidon (2006)

It is New Year's Eve, and over 2,000 passengers & crew are ringing in the New Year aboard the huge cruise ship 'Poseidon' when it capsizes on the open sea in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean! A small group of survivors find themselves unlikely allies in a battle for their lives. Preferring to test the odds alone, career gambler Dylan Johns ignores captain's orders to wait below for possible rescue and sets out to find his own way to safety. What begins as a solo mission soon draws others, as Dylan is followed by a desperate father searching for his daughter and her fiancee--a young couple who hours before couldn't summon the courage to tell him they were engaged and now face much graver challenges. Along the way they are joined by a single mother and her wise-beyond-his-years son, an anxious stowaway and a despondent fellow passenger who boarded the ship not sure he wanted to live but now knows he doesn't want to die. Determined to fight their way to the surface, the group sets off through the disorienting maze of twisted steel in the upside-down wreckage. As the unstable vessel rapidly fills with water each must draw on skills and strengths they didn't even know they possessed, fighting against time for their own survival and for each other. (Read More)

Themes:panic
Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:swimming underwater,  cardiopulmonary resuscitation,  giant wave,  tidal wave,  part computer animation,  drowning,  pantyhose

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe. This is why Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:military
Locations:ocean,  sea
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien technology,  part computer animation,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary,  submarine,  strong female character,  gun

Life (2017) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

Life (2017)

Six astronauts aboard the space station study a sample collected from Mars that could provide evidence for extraterrestrial life on the Red Planet. The crew determines that the sample contains a large, single-celled organism - the first example of life beyond Earth. But..things aren't always what they seem. As the crew begins to conduct research, and their methods end up having unintended consequences, the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected. (Read More)

Themes:panic
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:extraterrestrial,  alien life form,  sacrifice,  drowning

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District 9 (2009)
Sci-fi, Thriller

District 9 (2009)

In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends. (Read More)

Themes:military
Characters:alien
Story:alien intelligence,  alien technology,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary,  no opening credits,  two word title

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

A passenger ship, on her way to the scrap yard is pushed to her limits by the new owners to save on the dismantling fees. A tidal wave hits her, flipping her over so that all the internal rooms are upside down. A priest takes a mixed band of survivors on a journey through the bowels of the ship in an attempt to survive. (Read More)

Themes:panic
Locations:ocean
Story:tidal wave,  trapped underwater,  swimming underwater,  underwater

War Of The Worlds (2005)
Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

War Of The Worlds (2005)

Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. When his ex-wife and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie and young daughter Rachel for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm suddenly touches down. What follows is the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it in this contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells seminal classic sci-fi thriller. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  military
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien contact,  extraterrestrial,  rat,  drowning,  gun

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*batteries Not Included (1987) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Sci-fi

*batteries Not Included (1987)

A group of tenants in an apartment block are being forced to move out so that it can be demolished. The tenants are reluctant to move, so the developers hire a local gang to 'persuade' them to leave. Fortunately, visiting alien mechanical life-forms come to town. When they befriend the tenants, the aliens use their extraterrestrial abilities to defeat the developers. This is why *batteries Not Included (1987) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Characters:alien
Story:alien life form,  alien contact,  orchestral music score,  extraterrestrial

Sanctum (2011)
Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Sanctum (2011)

The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever? (Read More)

Themes:panic
Locations:sea
Story:scuba diving,  underwater,  drowning

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions. (Read More)

Themes:military,  panic
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  defibrillation,  extraterrestrial

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Battle Los Angeles (2011)
Action, Sci-fi

Battle Los Angeles (2011)

Los Angeles and other cities around the world are being bombarded by meteors that seem to be slowing down once they hit the earth's atmosphere. The earth is suddenly being invaded by space aliens that have landed off the shore of LA, and who begin killing everybody along the beach. The military is ordered into action. Marine Staff Sergeant Nantz (Aaron Eckhart), who was about to retire, is reassigned to a new platoon. The platoon, flown by chopper to the forward operating base at Santa Monica Airport, is being led by a new 2nd Lt. Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez). They are sent on a mission to rescue some civilians who are trapped at the police station within alien territory. They only have 3 hours to complete their mission and get out before the Air Force bombs that zone. (Read More)

Themes:military
Locations:ocean
Characters:alien
Story:marine,  alien contact,  extraterrestrial,  no opening credits

The Host (2013) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Romance, Sci-fi, Thriller

The Host (2013)

A race of non-corporeal, parasitic aliens who go from planet to planet looking for hosts have come to Earth and basically taken over the human race. It's believed that, once inside a body, all memories of the host human are gone. Some few free humans remain hidden from them, forming a resistance group. When an alien Seeker captures a girl named Melanie and puts a Wanderer in her body, she hopes to find out where the remaining humans are gathered, but Melanie, a strong fighter able to converse with the alien in her commandeered body, convinces the Wanderer to say nothing. Disappointed by the lack of progress (though suspecting an empathy for the human), the Seeker informs the Wanderer that she'll be removed and placed in a new host while she herself will enter Melanie. With human lives at risk, Melanie convinces Wanderer to run away and hide out with the humans, but finding them doesn't mean they'll allow an alien presence among them. Jared (Melanie's boyfriend) wants her dead, but Jeb (Melanie's uncle) wants to wait, and Ian, tasked with guarding her, finds himself siding with Jeb. As Ian begins to fall for Melanie, a strange love triangle develops, with Ian wanting Wanderer (inhabiting Melanie's body), Jared wanting Melanie (imprisoned inside her own body), and no one knowing any way to separate the two without killing both. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  love
Characters:alien
Story:alien technology,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits,  two word title

Battleship (2012)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

Battleship (2012)

A naval war ship encounters an alien armada and faces the biggest threat mankind has ever faced. If they lose, the world could face a major extinction event and an alien invasion. Will humans win this alien war, what are the aliens doing here, and what do they want? Based on the Hasbro naval war game. This is why Battleship (2012) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:military
Locations:ocean,  sea
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  naval ship,  no opening credits

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

After a car accident, Michelle awakens to find herself in a mysterious bunker with two men named Howard and Emmett. Howard offers her a pair of crutches to help her remain mobile with her leg injury sustained from the car crash and tells her to "get good on those" before leaving the bunker. She has been given the information that there has been an alien attack and the outside world is poisoned. However, Howard and Emmett's intentions soon become questionable and Michelle is faced with a question: Is it better in here or out there? (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  orchestral music score,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits,  gun

Oblivion (2013)
Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-fi

Oblivion (2013)

One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

Locations:ocean
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:swimming underwater,  nuclear weapons,  social commentary,  strong female character,  no opening credits

Starship Troopers (1997) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

Starship Troopers (1997)

In the distant future high school kids are encouraged to become citizens by joining the military. What they don't know is that they'll soon be engaged in a full scale war against a planet of alien insects. The fight is on to ensure the safety of humanity.

Themes:military,  love
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:nuclear weapons,  part computer animation,  media,  no opening credits

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Solyaris (1972)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi

Solyaris (1972)

The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  love
Locations:ocean
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien intelligence,  alien contact,  husband wife reunion,  gun

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Action, Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy, Sci-fi

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

1914: Milo Thatch, grandson of the great Thaddeus Thatch works in the boiler room of a museum. He knows that Atlantis was real, and he can get there if he has the mysterious Shephards journal, which can guide him to Atlantis. But he needs someone to fund a voyage. His employer thinks he's dotty, and refuses to fund any crazy idea. He returns home to his apartment and finds a woman there. She takes him to Preston B. Whitmore, an old friend of his Grandfathers. He gives him the shepherds journal, a submarine and a 5 star crew. They travel through the Atlantic ocean, face a large lobster called the Leviathan, and finally get to Atlantis. But does the Atlantis crew have a lust for discovery, or something else? This is why Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:panic,  love
Locations:ocean
Story:tidal wave,  tsunami,  submarine,  underwater,  no opening credits

Jaws 3-d (1983)
Adventure, Horror, Thriller

Jaws 3-d (1983)

Several years after Amity's former Police Chief Martin Brody electrocuted the shark at Cable Junction, his sons, Mike & Sean, are now working in different roles at Sea World Orlando. Mike is working as a park engineer and considering marriage to his girlfriend, killer whale biologist Kathryn Morgan. Sean is also involved with 1 of the park's water skiers, Kelly Ann Bukowski. Sea World is about to open a massive 'Undersea Kingdom' which will bring visitors closer to marine life than ever before. The park is accessible from the ocean by a series of gates, one of which malfunctions. A young Great White Shark swims through the gate, and when a maintenance diver heads down to fix the gate he does not return. The young Great White is captured & placed in a tank but soon dies despite Kathryn's best efforts to save it. More alarming though, is the young shark's massive, 35 foot mother which has followed the baby shark into the lagoon and killed the maintenance diver, whose body is recovered. It isn't long before the huge shark begins wreaking havoc, and Mike & Kathryn, along with Sea World manager Calvin Bouchard and photographer Phillip Fitzroyce, must find a way to eliminate the shark before they - or the guests - become the shark's next meal. (Read More)

Themes:panic
Locations:sea,  ocean
Story:marine,  scuba diving,  submarine,  underwater

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Titanic (1997) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Drama, Romance

Titanic (1997)

84 years later, a 100 year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiance, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win 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 at 2:20 in the morning. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  love
Locations:sea,  ocean
Period:future
Story:protective male,  part computer animation,  social commentary,  submarine,  underwater,  rat,  drowning,  no opening credits,  gun

Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Action, Sci-fi, Thriller

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

A businessman sinks $200 million into a special project to help fight Alzheimer's disease. As part of this project, medical biologist Susan McAlester rather naughtily figures out a way to genetically enlarge shark brains, so that disease-battling enzymes can be harvested. However, the shark subjects become super smart and decide they don't much like being cooped up in pens and being stabbed with hypodermics, so they figure a way to break out and make for the open sea... (Read More)

Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:dead body in water,  oxygen mask,  scuba diving,  marine,  submarine,  sacrifice,  underwater,  no opening credits

Ender's Game (2013)
Action, Fantasy, Sci-fi

Ender's Game (2013)

The Earth was ravaged by the Formics, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Fifty years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a quiet but brilliant boy, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother and brought to battle school in orbit around earth. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise what he does as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family. (Read More)

Themes:military,  love
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits,  two word title

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E.t. The Extra-terrestrial (1982)
Family, Sci-fi

E.t. The Extra-terrestrial (1982)

After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien. This is why E.t. The Extra-terrestrial (1982) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  cardiopulmonary resuscitation,  defibrillator,  defibrillation,  orchestral music score,  extraterrestrial

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Twelve months after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor's Tour, wherein they visit all the districts, but before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  military,  love
Period:future
Story:protective male,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  sacrifice,  drowning,  no opening credits

The Invasion (2007)
Sci-fi, Thriller

The Invasion (2007)

While returning to Earth, the space shuttle explodes and the fragments bring an alien virus that recodes the human DNA. In Washington, the psychiatrist Carol Bennell observes the modification of the behavior of one of her clients first, then in her former husband and finally in the population in general. Together with her friend Dr. Ben Driscoll the researcher Dr. Stephen Galeano, they discover that the extraterrestrial epidemic affects human beings while sleeping and that her son Ollie, who had chickenpox when he was a baby, is immune to the disease and may save mankind from the outbreak. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Characters:alien
Story:extraterrestrial,  alien life form,  convulsion,  social commentary,  pantyhose

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Dead Calm (1989)
Horror, Thriller

Dead Calm (1989)

An Australian couple take a sailing trip in the Pacific to forget about a terrible accident. While on the open sea, in dead calm, they come across a ship with one survivor who is not at all what he seems.

Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:swimming underwater,  dead body in water,  drowning,  two word title

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Two decades after the freak alien invasion that nearly destroyed mankind a new threat emerges. This Alien mothership is more than twice the size as the last one and once again, the world's armies must band together to save the world. Do they have enough firepower or will this battle change and will aliens take over? (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia,  military
Characters:alien
Story:alien intelligence,  alien technology,  alien contact,  giant wave,  nuclear weapons,  no opening credits

The Thing (1982) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi

The Thing (1982)

A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They are trying to kill a dog that has escaped from their base. After the destruction of the Norwegian chopper the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it is an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate. This is why The Thing (1982) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Characters:alien
Story:alien life form,  cardiopulmonary resuscitation,  defibrillation,  two word title

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The Shallows (2016)
Drama, Horror, Thriller

The Shallows (2016)

In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:tidal wave,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits

The Iron Giant (1999)
Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Sci-fi

The Iron Giant (1999)

This is the story of a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth Hughes who makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that came from outer space. Meanwhile, a paranoid U.S. Government agent named Kent Mansley arrives in town, determined to destroy the giant at all costs. It's up to Hogarth to protect him by keeping him at Dean McCoppin's place in the junkyard. (Read More)

Themes:paranoia,  military,  love
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  tidal wave,  submarine,  no opening credits,  gun

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
Drama, Sci-fi

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  military
Characters:alien
Story:alien contact,  extraterrestrial,  social commentary

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Rogue One (2016) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Rogue One (2016)

All looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new super weapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien intelligence,  social commentary,  strong female lead,  strong female character,  no opening credits,  two word title

Monsters (2010)
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

Monsters (2010)

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over North America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain "the creatures"...... Our story begins when a US journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. This is why Monsters (2010) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989). (Read More)

Themes:military
Characters:alien
Story:alien life form,  cgi

Independence Day (1996)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Independence Day (1996)

On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their Independence Day... (Read More)

Themes:military
Characters:alien
Story:alien technology,  alien contact,  extraterrestrial,  submarine,  no opening credits,  two word title

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Aliens (1986)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller

Aliens (1986)

57 years after Ellen Ripley had a close encounter with the reptilian alien creature from the first movie, she is called back, this time, to help a group of highly trained colonial marines fight off against the sinister extraterrestrials. But this time, the aliens have taken over a space colony on the moon LV-426. When the colonial marines are called upon to search the deserted space colony, they later find out that they are up against more than what they bargained for. Using specially modified machine guns and enough firepower, it's either fight or die as the space marines battle against the aliens. As the Marines do their best to defend themselves, Ripley must attempt to protect a young girl who is the sole survivor of the decimated space colony. (Read More)

Characters:alien
Period:future
Story:alien contact,  orchestral music score,  extraterrestrial,  strong female lead,  strong female character

Open Water (2003) is one of the best movies like The Abyss (1989)
Adventure, Drama, Horror, Thriller

Open Water (2003)

A couple on a holiday in the Caribbean decide to spend the day on a scuba diving trip. But was it the wrong decision? When a mis-count happens on the boat, Susan and Daniel are left behind in the middle of the ocean, the boat long gone. With all their hopes set on the boat coming back to rescue them, they try to keep themselves safe, especially when sharks start to appear. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia
Locations:ocean
Story:scuba diving,  underwater

The Finest Hours (2016)
Action, Drama, History, Thriller

The Finest Hours (2016)

In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. (Read More)

Themes:panic,  paranoia,  love
Locations:ocean,  sea
Story:giant wave,  tidal wave,  no opening credits

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