1. The Road (2009)
Based on the Cormac McCarthy bestseller, The Road tells the story of a father (Viggo Mortensen) and his son traveling through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, doing their best to avoid gangs and armed cannibals. In terms of a real-life look at a post-apocalyptic world, Martin says this would be at the top of his list — though that's not to say he doesn't have a problem with it. "The Road really sets itself apart from the other ones because it shows you how things would be in the aftermath — there are no zombies, there are no UFOs or fanciful things that happen," he explains. "It just tells you the basic nature of how people will be, and that's exactly what I see in the minutes, days, weeks, months of the aftermath of any different catastrophe that we go to. It doesn't matter which one. When we were in the cholera outbreak, in Haiti after the earthquake, volcanoes, government collapses ... any time society breaks down, that's basically what's going to happen. The only negative thing I'd say about the movie is that, and I say this about all these types of movies — for some reason in all these post-apocalyptic movies, everybody's trying to go somewhere. And you never see that. In Haiti, in Japan, in Ecuador, nobody goes anywhere. There's a mass exodus before the event, but after the event, when there's lawlessness, the only logical thing to do is hunker down and ride it out as long as you can. Going somewhere is the worst possible option you have, because you take yourself away from your food, water supply, and safety. But also, you take yourself away from your neighborhood, your comfort zone. You don't know the landscape, you don't know the terrain, you don't know the people or the rules, and the other person does. So they always have the upper hand on you, and whenever you're in those types of situations, you always need the upper hand. It's never going to be a fair fight. So there’s no reason to go anywhere."