8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should Watch

by Tommy Grant

An EMP attack can either happen because of an electromagnetic device being detonated in the air, or it can also result in the aftermath of a nuclear strike as well. When detonated high enough into the atmosphere, an EMP attack will result in the electrical power grid completely collapsing.

There will be no electricity, internet, cell service, or running water. Most vehicles with computerized components will be unable to work and those driving on the road will shut off and crash. The world’s supply chains and financial services will come to a complete standstill as well.

If this is difficult for you to wrap your mind around, watching movies that revolve around the subject might help you visualize what an EMP attack would truly look like.

Here are the best EMP-themed movies (and shows) that you should watch as soon as possible, presented in the order that they were released:

Goldeneye (1995)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchGoldeneye is the 17th James Bond movie that was released.

The film follows 007 as he travels to Russia searching for an EMP device called “Goldeneye” that’s gone missing (hence the name of the film).

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While this action thriller does not revolve around an apocalyptic-level event from an EMP attack, early on the movies does clearly showcase what an EMP weapon would do in a sequence where “Goldeneye” is detonated above a Russian military base, resulting in all power and computers being knocked out instantly and airplanes falling out of the sky.

Just imagine what would happen if an EMP weapon went off in the vicinity of commercial airliners, and you’ll get an idea of how serious an EMP attack would be.

The Day After (1983)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchThis is a classic made-for-TV movie that provides a chilling portrayal of the aftermath of a nuclear war as well as its EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack on the United States.

The Day After focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and explores the devastating effects of the attack.

The film is known for its realistic depiction of the immediate consequences of a nuclear attack and subsequent EMP. When it was released at the height of the Cold War during the Reagan era, it woke much of the American public up to what a nuclear war would look like.

Threads (1984)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchA British production, Threads is a harrowing portrayal of a nuclear war and its EMP consequences on the city of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

The film was compared to The Day After following its release, only for showing the effects in the U.K. rather than the U.S.A.

Threads doesn’t shy away from the brutal realities of societal collapse, depicting the breakdown of infrastructure, government, and social order that occurs after the attack.

Jericho (2006-2008)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchJericho is a post-apocalyptic show that focuses on the residents of Jericho, a small town located in the middle of Kansas as they band together to survive in a post-apocalyptic America where each of the major cities have been obliterated in a nuclear strike.

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Later in the show, things become even more desired when an EMP attack knocks out all power and electronics, forcing the characters to have to figure out how to survive and live without many of the essentials of modern day living.

Red Dawn (2012)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchRed Dawn is a 2012 remake of the 1984 film of the same name.

The original 1984 version depicted American teenagers leading a guerilla resistance against a Soviet-led invasion of the United States of America in an alternate reality where NATO had collapsed.

The remake is different in more ways than one, with the teenagers this time fighting against a Russian-backed North Korean invasion that utilized an EMP weapon to cripple the U.S. electrical grid before invading.

The Road (2009)

Based on Cormac McCarthy’s classic novel, this post-apocalyptic film follows a father and son as they navigate a desolate landscape after an unspecified catastrophic event.

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should Watch

While not explicitly EMP-themed, the movie captures the bleakness and struggle for survival characteristic of an EMP-induced societal collapse that clearly has resulted in the loss of the power grid.

The lack of infrastructure and resources in the film showcases the challenges that would be faced in a real-life EMP scenario.

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Revolution (2012-2014)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchRevolution is another post-apocalyptic show that takes place in a future America where all power and electricity has become disabled. While not mentioned as an EMP attack specifically, the show does depict an environment very similar to what an EMP attack would create as the characters are forced to survive in a world that has been pushed back to the pre-industrial era.

American Blackout (2013)

8 EMP-Themed Movies You Should WatchEven though it’s not a traditional narrative film, this National Geographic-produced docudrama presents a fictionalized scenario of a nationwide blackout caused by a cyber attack on the power grid.

Related: The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make In A Blackout – Field Report From Venezuela

The film combines dramatized storytelling with real-life footage and expert interviews to explore the societal breakdown and individual struggles during an extended power outage.

While the focus is on the cyber attack, the film touches on the vulnerability of the power grid, which will give you an idea of what an EMP attack would look like.

Each of the above movies are equally as entertaining as they are as effective at visualizing for us what the world might look like following an EMP attack.

Give any of them a watch if you’d like to see what an EMP weapon could do, and use that inspiration to take action to start getting prepared.

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