The end of the world is nigh. Or so we've been told approximately 300 times, until Armageddon was narrowly avoided thanks to a rogue scientist/ unlikely hero/ band of rebels dreamed up by the incredibly paranoid/ relentlessly hopeful people who make movies.
We're about to see one more group of rebel heroes attempt to save us from robot-fueled doom in Terminator Genisys, which stomps into theaters July 1. In this new encounter with Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John Connor (Jason Clarke), Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), and the Terminator himself (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the challenge they face is the some one we've been grappling with on-screen since long before the Governator first intoned "I'll be back." That is: We're all doomed!
And yet, every fictional depiction of our demise serves a different purpose, from warning us of the idiocy of nuclear warfare (Dr. Strangelove) and scaring the crap out of us about the consequences of genetic engineering (every modern zombie movie), to cautioning us against environmental disasters and spinning any number of silly allegories in between.
Here, we gather up the best end-of-the-world stories to hit the screen, and take a shot at analyzing what the point of it all is. You know, other than showing us wicked explosions, fire-breathing demons, and zombie swarms.