Self-isolated over Coronavirus fears? Here are 5 movies like 'Outbreak' you must watch


Streaming and on-demand services have pretty much become the sole places to seek entertainment as theatres are closed and a large number of people work from home over coronavirus-related shutdowns and social distancing. 

The 1995 film Outbreak is now in Netflix’s Top 10. The film, starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Patrick Dempsey, has climbed as high as number three on the streaming service's US movie rankings, according to Netflix’s Top 10 lists, which are updated daily.

In the film, an infection has its roots in Zaire but then spreads to a small town called Cedar Creek in California. Most events hereafter take place at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The story follows how related authorities struggle to contain a very dangerous and extremely contagious virus.

This award-winning film is directed by Wolfgang Petersen and inspired by Richard Preston’s book The Hot Zone. Fans who have already watched it praised it for its rabid pacing and related to its scary storyline, which almost seemed to predict the 2020 coronavirus pandemic that has put almost the entire world in shutdown mode.

Now, if you are in the search of movies similar to Outbreak, here’s a list you can start with. You can watch several of these movies like Outbreak on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. 

ALSO READ: 10 movies on pandemics and virus outbreaks

12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys is a neo-noir science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, and based on Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetee. It stars Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt, and opened to critical acclaim after its release. The plot is set in 1996 when a killer virus is set loose on the populace, which ends up killing almost the entire human race. The last-remaining survivors are forced to live underground. A team called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is revealed to be the orchestrators of this conspiracy.

The Andromeda Strain

Directed by Robert Wise and based on Michael Crichton’s 1969-published eponymous novel, it stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne. What happens is a dangerous virus, which has its origins somewhere in the galaxy, starts plaguing humanity. A team of scientists is then shortlisted to trace the origins of this deadly organism and stop its spread before they run out of time.

28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later, which is branded more as a horror flick, is directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. It is created as a sequel to the 2002 film 28 Days Later and stars Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, Imogen Poots, and Idris Elba. The story takes off after the conclusion of the original movie, when the NATO military forces attempt to safeguard a certain safe zone in London in order to protect its inhabitants. But when two siblings go against the rules and set off to search for their infected mom, the Rage Virus re-enters the safe zone.


The 2013 South Korean disaster film is written and directed by Kim Sung-su. The suspense thriller is about an outbreak of a deadly strain of H5N1 that kills its victims within 36 hours, throwing the district of Bundang in Seongnam, which has a population of nearly half a million people, into chaos. It stars Jang Hyuk and Soo Ae.


The 1998 movie is directed by Bill L Norton and is a variant on the plague outbreak movie. The plot revolves around a chemical engineer, who recently moved to town and struggles to find a way to kill a deadly new variant of Cryptosporidium that has infiltrated the town's water supply. This caused people who drink it to die of thirst.