Movies Like Titanic to Watch For More Disaster, Romance, or Both


A lot of people think of Titanic as the most romantic movie ever made. A lot more think that of it as one of the most successful movies of all time. Whatever the point of argument may be, Titanic has remained a truly unforgettable film ever since it first graced the silver screen. The tragic love story of Jack and Rose stole and broke everyone’s hearts. James Cameron’s stunning filmmaking skills and outstanding performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became so iconic that they earned the movie 11 Academy Awards. This 1997 blockbuster film is packed with drama, romance, action, and adventure told with the backdrop of a major historical event.

The movie features fictional accounts of real events surrounding the sinking of the legendary RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. The story follows Rose Dewitt Bukater (Winslet) and Jack Dawson (DiCaprio), two young passengers on board from different social classes who fall in love with each other only to experience a roller-coaster ride of life and death as the ship sinks. Besides Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the lead roles, Titanic‘s cast also featured Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, and Bill Paxton, among others.

Titanic isn’t just a movie. It’s a saga, a cultural touchstone, a beautiful memory that has not been forgotten and probably never will be. It is almost impossible to live up to the reputation of this movie. But it would also be wrong to say that there aren’t stories as touching as that of Jack and Rose. We’ve put together a list of seven movies that are similar to Titanic and while they might not all have enjoyed the same level of popularity, each of these movies is admirable and outstanding in its own right. So, get that popcorn and tissue box ready and come aboard. It’s going to be a very emotional journey.

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Poseidon

poseidon

Image via Warner Bros.

Poseidon shares the same underlying theme (a sinking ship) as Titanic, sans the pivotal love story. But this old-school disaster flick induces the same tension, anxiety, and terror as in the second half of Titanic. Poseidon is adapted from a 1969 novel – The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico. The 2006 movie is a loose remake of the 1972 movie of the same name.

The survival thriller movie follows the luxury ocean liner, RMS Poseidon, on a transatlantic voyage. When a giant wave crashes into the ship and it starts to capsize, the passengers onboard struggle to escape and find a way to survive. Directed by Wolfgang Peterson, Poseidon stars Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, Mike Vogel, Jimmy Bennett, and Andre Braugher, in major roles.

Pearl Harbor

After Titanic, if there was one movie that married a tragic love story with a disaster scenario, it was Pearl Harbor. Although it’s set on the premise of the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, the heartbreaking love triangle of two pilots and a nurse was stirring enough for the fans to draw parallels with Titanic.

Directed by Michael Bay, Pearl Harbor boasts an ensemble cast including Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore, and Alec Baldwin, among others. The story follows fictional accounts of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Set with the background of the war, the plot focuses on two friends – American pilots Rafe McCawley (Affleck) and Danny Walker (Hartnett) – who are both in love with a nurse named Evelyn Johnson (Beckinsale). The three of them go through the loss of life and love while fighting off enemies in the biggest war in human history. With an action-packed story supported by outstanding performances by the cast, this Academy Award-winning movie is the best follow-up to Titanic.

Romeo + Juliet

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Image via 20th Century Fox

William Shakespeare’s plays and stories have been adapted to the big screen a million times through generations. But we bet no one ever saw Romeo and Juliet the way this 1996 movie explored the iconic ill-fated lovers. Director Baz Luhrmann not only modernized the Shakespearean icons but also revamped the premise into an edgier, quirkier, modern-day California gang rivalry. But no love is lost in the process. Instead, the endearing romance of teenage Romeo and Juliet leading to a tragic ending comes out quite incredibly.

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the titular roles of Romeo and Juliet respectively, who are from two rival business empires of California. Despite their family feuds, they fall in love and the rest, as we know, is history. The movie’s cast also includes Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, and Diane Venora in supporting roles. Tragic romance, young lovers, unfulfilled love, and Leonardo DiCaprio – Romeo + Juliet has a lot in common with Titanic. And the way this movie is made, the story, and its overall experience still hold up today.

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Life of Pi

life-of-pi

Image via 20th Century Fox

You might wonder why this movie is on this list. Romance is not just in two people falling in love but also in the zeal for life. Life of Pi does a great job with that aspect. Based on the eponymous novel by Yann Martel, this adventure drama revolves around an Indian teenager, Pi Patel, who narrates his life story to a biographer. From his life as a 12-year old in India to surviving a shipwreck and being adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, Pi’s journey is thrilling and heartwarming, to say the least.

The movie stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Tabu, Adil Hussain, and Gérard Depardieu in major roles. An inspirational fantasy adventure revolving around a young man and a tiger, this movie is just as touching as Titanic even without the star-crossed romance. And with stunning visuals and cinematography, a gripping narrative, and interesting plot twists, the movie keeps you hooked from beginning to end. It’s meaningful and magical at the same time and something everyone should watch at least once.

The Notebook

A touching love story, The Notebook is a cinematic romance that’s almost as iconic as Titanic. Set in the 1940s, this is a story of forbidden love with a cliched poor-guy-rich-girl trope but it is an epic tear-jerker nevertheless. Directed by Nick Cassavetes, The Notebook stars Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly, Sam Shepard, and Joan Allen in major roles.

Based on the eponymous novel by Nicholas Sparks, the movie follows the romance between two young lovers, Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allison (Rachel McAdams), who come from very different social backgrounds. Alice leaves for college and ends the relationship, only to return seven years later when she must choose between her past and present. The rest of the story is better kept unsaid or it loses its magic. The Notebook is a beautiful, deep, and heartbreaking story, leveraged by the fantastic chemistry between Gosling and McAdams. Noah and Allison will definitely remind you of Jack and Rose. Despite getting a mixed reception after its premiere, The Notebook is now considered a cult classic and it’s a movie you should certainly check out.

The Aviator

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Image via Warner Bros.

Another movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator is a good watch after Titanic, mostly because it helps you really appreciate DiCaprio’s growth as an actor. That, and because it’s a Martin Scorsese movie.

The film is based on the book Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham, with DiCaprio starring as Howard Hughes, the legendary American aviation pioneer. The movie showcases 20 years of his life, from 1927 to 1947, during which Hughes became an aviation magnate and a film producer while dealing with his unstable mental health caused by severe OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). The ensemble cast also includes Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, and Jude Law.

The Fault in Our Stars

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Do you believe (or want to believe) in unconditional love? If yes, then this movie is for you. If not, then this movie might just make you believe in it. Another painful love story like Titanic, The Fault in Our Stars is based on the bestseller of the same name by John Green. It’s a movie about loving and being loved despite what the future might bring, even if what it brings is imminent death. Directed by Josh Boone, this coming-of-age romance drama stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff, and Willem Dafoe in important roles.

The Fault in Our Stars is the star-crossed love story of two teenagers, Hazel (Woodley) and Augustus (Elgort), both of whom have had a very difficult life. While Hazel suffers from thyroid cancer and is constantly accompanied by an oxygen tank, Augustus lost his leg to bone cancer and is now in remission. They meet by chance at a support group session and what follows is an intense emotional rollercoaster of love and loss, of friendship and romance, and a story of youth unlike anything you might have seen before.

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