10 Pandemic Movies to Binge Watch During Self Quarantine

What better way to feed your fascination for sci-fi flicks, thrillers and dramas, what with the mandatory Coronavirus self-isolation and work-from-home routine?

Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Movies, have on many occasions, managed to hold up a mirror to society, often serving as a conduit between essential public discourses and the layman. Be it art-house films depicting the drudgery of daily life, or grand ones, bringing to light the stories of our unsung heroes – movies manage to convey messages in a far more relatable manner than most other forms of art. And speaking of relatable things, here’s a buzzword doing the rounds – PANDEMIC. 

While it is one thing to watch pandemic movies to find a cathartic release by witnessing your anxieties play out on-screen, it is a wholly other thing to be living right in the middle of one. But what else do you do with all the time at hand made available by self-quarantine, social distancing and work from home? If you’re the kind who likes to dig deep into phenomena impacting our lives directly and indirectly, we highly recommend this list that involves 10 best movies to watch on pandemics and outbreaks. 


With a solid star cast –  featuring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman and Donald Sutherland, and co-stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Kevin Spacey and Patrick Dempsey – Outbreak, a medical disaster film based on Richard Preston’s book, The Hot Zone, is a 1995 American flick, directed by Wolfgang Peterson that traces the lives of those impacted by the outbreak of a fictional virus, much like Ebola. It is considered the holy grail of pandemic movies, but naysayers have also pointed out issues with it. It's a must-watch, though. 

How to watch: Torrents

Pandemic: How To Prevent an Outbreak

This docu-series covers the lives of those on the frontline, such as folks in the medical world, and narrates the story of their brave struggle against influenza and back-end role in preventing global outbreaks. It kicks-off a little slowly, but picks up equally fast. The informative six-part series has 40-to-50-minute episodes; it dropped on streaming platforms this year, eerily enough and is being regarded as a very relatable watch at this hour.

How to watch: Log on to Netflix.in 


This 2011-sci fi drama with the best of Hollywood – Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwynetth Paltrow, Matt Damon – has been trending with the Coronovirus pandemic shrouding the world. Directed by Academy-award-winning filmmaker, Steven Soderbergh – also associated with Gray’s Anatomy and the Ocean’s movie series – Contagion is a spine-chilling story spanning the lives of American bureaucrats, top-bosses, scientists and regular citizens in the grips of a global outbreak. Its uncanny similarity to our current scenario has brought it back in the news, and we highly recommend it, if you’re not one to panic naturally. Also, killer cinematography!

How to watch: Log on to Amazon Prime

Virus Hunters: Stopping the Next Outbreak

This is a 55-minute moving documentary, covering the real-life stories of victims and medical workers who survived the mayhem caused by the Zika virus in Brazil in 2015. While most of us only think of pandemics, when we’re in the middle of it (like, now), this documentary shows us how most outbreaks are perennially imminent. Virus Hunters also focuses on how viruses spill-over and how our medical experts are studying it to keep it at bay. 

How to watch: Log on to Amazon Prime

93 Days

When Ebola, aka Ebola virus disease (EVD), which causes viral hemorrhagic fever in humans and other primates, arrived in Lagos, it impacted 21 million people. Directed by Steve Gukas, the Nigerian drama-thriller gives you a peek into the medical disaster that rocked the whole of Nigeria in 2014. With the last Ebola victim having been recently cured, this might make for a relevant watch with cautionary tale.

How to watch: Log on to Netflix.in


A riveting British black-comedy, drama, Utopia is a fantastically written and shot TV series that lasted for only two season. In fact, cinephiles have lamented greatly and touted Utopia as “the best TV show to have ever been cancelled”. Rightly so, for the series spanning the lives of those who discover the manuscript of a cult graphic novel predicting the biggest disasters of past (and possibly) future generations, is one a totally great disaster-cum-conspiracy series. In fact, a US-remake of the series was set to be directed by the one-and-only David Fincher (behind some of the best Hollywood movies and American TV series), but that project did not take off because of budget disputes between Fincher and the network. A remake was underway as of 2019, when we heard last. We’ll let you know when we find out more. 

How to watch: Torrents

12 Monkeys 

Directed by Terry Gilliam, 12 Monkeys is an American neo-noir fiction featuring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, both in one frame. Yes, we know it will be hard to focus on the plot, but it’s worth it. The story navigates the lives of survivors living in a post-apocalyptic world having gone through a deadly virus outbreak in 1996, released by a group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, and a hero sent back in time to reverse the order of things. 

How to watch: Log on to Netflix.in

The Next Pandemic, Episode 4 of Explained, Season 2

Of all the things you could watch right now, this is perhaps the most educational. The Next Pandemic is an eye-opening episode of a truly genius web-series called, Explained, which as the name suggests, tries to explain topical issues that impact human lives – from outbreaks to diamonds and beauty. The episode, featuring Bill Gates, sheds light on the world of viruses and those studying it. It serves as a precautionary tale for now and the future, explaining rather successfully and with impeccable brevity, what pandemics are, how they happen and why they’re always around the corner. 

How to watch: Log on to Netflix.in

Resident Evil Series

If you are a '90s kid and you love action movies, this movie-series needs no introduction. The action-horror science fiction  series is loosely based on the eponymous Capcom survival horror video game series that was all the rage in the late-1990s and 2000s. Starring Mila Jovovich, ostensibly Hollywood’s first female-action lead – yes, she did those crazy stunts herself – the Resident Evil series follows Alice, played by Jovovich, a former security specialist who’s trying to outdo an umbrella organization, that has left the world in a turmoil after developing bio-weapons that have beckoned a zombie apocalypse. Forget the pandemic, just watch (or re-watch) it for the action. 

How to watch: Multiple streaming platforms 

The Andromeda Strain 

Based on Michael Crichton's 1969 novel, The Andromeda Strain, the eponymous 1971-film is an American sci-fi thriller directed by Robert Wise. Starring Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne. The thriller – which has been lauded for their clever use of effects such as the split screen, way back when – follows a team of scientists investigating a life-threatening organism of extraterrestrial origin that wreaks havoc. 

How to watch: Torrents 


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