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The complete list of Los Angeles destruction movies

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Filmmakers love to destroy LA

A panoramic view of "destruction" from a massive earthquake in the 1974 film Earthquake. The effect was achieved through a painted backdrop with moving parts.

Whether out of convenience or laziness or a deeply-felt animosity for their hometown, filmmakers love fake-destroying Los Angeles.

It just looks so right with flames leaping up every 20 blocks or so. Deadspin's The Concourse blog has done the very important statistical work on Hollywood’s on-screen destruction of American cities and found Los Angeles has been totaled only slightly less than New York (and that's counting “Gotham” and not counting outlying areas of Southern California).

Starting with the spooky aliens of War of the Worlds in 1953, Los Angeles has been assaulted by giants, mutant ants, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanos, ice, global warming, dirty bombs, errant superheroes, zombies, ancient Mayan prophesies, meteors, and, finally, sharknados.

Below is every filmic destruction by type of attack. Enjoy.

Monster Attacks

Them!, 1954
War of the Colossal Beast, 1958
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, 1958 (Tarzana)
Reptilian, 1999
Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, 2010

Climatic Events

Tidal Wave: No Escape, 1997
Ice, 1998
The Day After Tomorrow, 2004

Geologic Events

Earthquake, 1974
The Great Los Angeles Earthquake, 1990
Volcano, 1997
10.5, 2004
10.5: Apocalypse, 2006
2012, 2009
This is the End, 2013
San Andreas, 2015


Night of the Comet, 1984
Gangs of the Dead, 2006
Silent Night, Zombie Night, 2009
Zombieland, 2009


Panic in Year Zero!, 1962
Miracle Mile, 1988
Waterborne, 2005
Right at Your Door, 2006
Next, 2007

Alien Attacks

War of the Worlds, 1953
Independence Day, 1996
Skyline, 2010
Battle: Los Angeles, 2011

Space Rocks

The Apocalypse, 2007
Meteor Apocalypse, 2009

Superhero Battles

Hancock, 2008


Sharknado, 2013