Into The Wild is the true-to-life story of Christopher McCandless, who leaves his life behind to explore the North American wilderness while finding himself in the process.
The movie is popular amongst free-spirited individuals and tells an unbelievable story. Many travellers still follow the route he took to this day, and it’s become a pilgrimage of sorts.
If you enjoyed watching the movie and have been looking for similar films, you’re in luck. In this article, I’ll show you 15 movies like Into The Wild and why you should watch them.
If you enjoy disappearing into the woods, check out these 15 movies and choose one to watch next.
When Cheryl experiences a significant loss in her life, she decides to go on a 1,100-mile adventure. While she’s travelling, her experiences change her life forever.
The movie is based on a true story, as is Into The Wild, and even though both characters have different reasons for leaving society behind, you can agree that this is the best therapy for some people.
You’ll notice many parallels between the two stories, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching this as much as you did Into The Wild.
Reese Witherspoon played Cheryl fantastically and was nominated for an Oscar. She’s joined by actress Laura Dern who plays her mother and Gaby Hoffmann.
Based on actual events, the story follows climber Aron Ralston who decides to go canyoneering alone in Moab, Utah.
While he’s out enjoying his day, an accident happens, resulting in his arm being trapped under a boulder. While he thinks things can’t get any worse, he’s running out of water, and the weather is rapidly changing.
The story is one you won’t forget and is the definition of survival, just like Into The Wild.
James Franco and Kate Mara star in this movie.
The Motorcycle Diaries
Based on Ernest “Che” Guevara’s early years, this movie steers clear of political speeches and the warfare you’d usually associate with the leader.
The movie follows Ernesto before his political movement when he was a young medical student. He takes his friend Alberto on a motorcycle trip across South America.
However, while he’s there, he discovers the harsh reality of society and learns a lot about the conditions the indigenous population live in.
Like Into The Wild’s lead character he changes himself for the better, Che Guevara used this experience to change his and others lives.
The movie stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, and Mia Maestro.
Ben Cash and his beloved wife decide to raise their children away from modern society by raising them from home.
However, when Leslie suddenly dies, Ben is forced to expose his children to the world he and his wife wanted to keep them away from.
It’s a brilliant drama-comedy to watch after Into The Wild, and it has a much lighter feeling to it, aside from Leslie’s death.
The film stars Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, and Annalise Basso.
Leave No Trace
A father, Will, and his 13-year-old daughter, Tom, live in the wilderness in what seems like an ideal existence. However, a small mistake derails their lives resulting in them having to adapt to civilisation.
While Tom begins to adapt by learning new skills, Will’s greatest fears start to take over.
This movie is kind of the reverse of Into The Wild; the family in this movie go from Wilderness to regular life. While it’s slightly different, it’s a good movie to watch if you enjoyed Into The Wild.
This film stars Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Michael Draper, Jeffery Rifflard, and Derek John Drescher.
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
If you enjoyed the escapism that Into The Wild gave you, you’d enjoy The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.
It tells the story of a middle-aged man living a dull life, so he dreams up romantic and action-packed scenarios to disguise his dull life.
However, when his dull job is threatened, he heads out on a real adventure just like the ones he’s always dreamed of, full of action and even some romance too.
Starring in this movie is Ben Stiller; he’s known for Meet The Parents, Tropic Thunder, Zoolander, Night At The Museum, and Dodgeball.
The majority of movies on this list are based on adventure and survival. Yet Boyhood tells the story of a boy named Mason and his ordinary life.
While it might seem nothing like Into The Wild, it does share the same theme of a young man finding himself and his road to self-discovery.
As Mason grows up, his family relations change, and he has to deal with the everyday problems everybody goes through during their younger years.
Even though this movie might have flown under your radar, it’s been a hit with audiences. Smashcutreviews called it “A brutally honest, modern masterpiece.”
Starring in this movie is Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Zoe Graham, Lorelei Linklater, and David Blackwell.
Stand By Me
Stephen King is usually known for his horror stories, but Stand By Me is a fantastic example of his ability to write gripping dramas.
Based on his novel The Body, four kids embark on a camping trip to see a dead boy supposedly in the woods. However, on their way, they learn to survive the wilderness, avoid bullies, and develop a bond like no other.
If you enjoyed the wilderness aspect of Into The Wild, you’ll love this movie.
The film stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, and Gary Riley.
“WILSONNNNNNN… WILSONNNNNNNN!”… If you haven’t watched Cast Away and you enjoyed Into The Wild, it’s a must-watch movie for you.
Chuck Nolan finds himself stranded on an island when his plane suffers a deadly crash, leaving him as the only survivor. With no way to escape, he’s forced to survive and build a “life” for himself while he awaits any rescue attempt.
This movie is one of the best around; it gives you the true feeling of survival and desperation.
Starring in the film is Tom Hanks, known for Road To Perdition, Toy Story, Big, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle, The Terminal, Forrest Gump, and The Green Mile. He’s joined by Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy, and Lari White.
When I watched Into The Wild, one of the first movies I thought of was The Beach. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe it was the idea of a lone man heading into the unknown. But, what I do know is that you’ll enjoy watching this movie if you like Into The Wild.
The movie follows a young man named Richard, who leaves his life in the US and travels to Thailand with an old map he’s become the owner of.
The map is rumoured to have the location of an island paradise. However, when he arrives in the promised land, it’s not entirely what he’d expected and leaves him learning a lot about himself and the actions of others.
This movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen, Paterson Joseph, and Robert Carlyle.
Seven Years In Tibet
In this true story, Australian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer escapes prison and travels to Lhasa, the Capital of Tibet.
While he’s there, he develops a close bond with the 14th Dalai Lama. He’s employed to instruct him and soon becomes one of his closest confidantes.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is taking over Tibet, and the world is outraged by what’s happening.
Brad Pitt stars in this movie; he’s known for his roles in Troy, Ocean’s Eleven, Mr And Mrs Smith, Bullet Train, Inglorious Basterds, and Interview With The Vampire.
It’s similar to Into The Wild, as the lead character is free-spirited, and based the movie is based on real-life events.
The Life Of Pi
Based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel of the same name, this hit 2012 adventure drama tells an epic story.
Pi Patel, a young man, survives a hurricane while at sea, and he finds himself floating adrift on the open ocean in a lifeboat. However, he’s not alone; along for the ride are a Hyena and a male Bengal Tiger.
While they navigate the sea, Pi develops an unexpected bond with the Tiger.
This movie is full of beautiful visuals with epic storytelling and is incredibly fun to watch. If you enjoyed the survival aspect of Into The Wild, you’ll love this.
Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, and Adil Hussain are starring in this movie.
The Loneliest Planet
In this drama-thriller, an engaged couple decides to go backpacking around the Caucasus Mountains, which intersect Europe and Asia.
However, their entire trip is derailed by a misstep that has the potential to undo the couple’s relationship and everything they thought about, not only each other but themselves.
It’s hard to describe the movie, but NY Times did an excellent job, calling it “gripping and haunting, but also coy and elusive.”… yeah, you kinda need to watch it to understand what I mean.
If you enjoyed the “wilderness” feeling from Into The Wild and how it changes the lead character, you’ll enjoy watching The Loneliest Planet.
It stars Hani Furstenberg, Bidzina Gujabidze, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Tali Pitakhelauri.
Legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass is severely injured during a bear attack. His hunting crew decides to leave him behind as they don’t want the burden of caring for a man who is on death’s door.
However, Glass uses his highly trained survival skills to track the hunting party and take revenge on those who betrayed him.
The movie was a massive hit in 2016 and even won Leonardo DiCaprio his first-ever Oscar.
The movie is like Into The Wild as it’s one man surviving in the wilderness with nobody there to help him. It gives you the feeling of desperation throughout the movie.
Starring alongside DiCaprio is Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas, Forrest Goodluck, and Paul Anderson.
Climbing cliff faces is pretty scary stuff, even if you’re watching somebody else do it. However, imagine someone not using any safety equipment, ropes, or harness; you’d think they’re crazy, right?
Professional rock climber Alex Honnold is determined to be the first person to free solo climb Yosemite National Park’s 900-metre vertical rock face, El Capitan.
This actual footage of the climb is nerve-wracking but is a fantastic movie to watch if you want to see a free-spirited individual stepping away from the hustle and bustle of life.
I can’t help but feel Christopher McCandless and Alex Honnold would have gotten along excellent. If you enjoyed watching Into The Wild, Free Solo is an inspiring movie to watch.
Starring in this movie is Alex Honnold and his production team.