Worst onscreen (fictional) destruction, by city

Coming out of Godzilla this year, I can’t remember a single movie that kicked San Francisco’s ass as badly as that film did–at least since San Francisco (w/Gable, Tracy & Jeanette MacDonald), which was at least based on historical events. Between that and the latest Apes movie, it’s been a banner year for my city on the bay.

So, the challenge: name a city (US or otherwise) and the worst onscreen fictional (non-historical) destruction it has been subjected to in a movie or television.


Houston gets nuked in Independence Day.
Baltimore fares equally poorly in The Sum of All Fears.
Vegas (also appearing in Godzilla) arguably gets it even worse in Mars Attacks!

Your nominees?

For the purposes of this discussion, we should probably leave out Tokyo. I can think of at least a couple of works where the city was totally destroyed twice.

Actually, I can probably think of a few where the city was infected and sexually assaulted to death. Not it’s population—the actual city.

L.A. got it pretty bad in Terminator 2.

New York took it pretty hard in Cloverfield.

Both New York and Moscow get it good in “Fail-Safe”.

In 2012 we see a news report of Rio getting shaken apart. Of course, that movie also did in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Washington, and a few other places.

On-screen, not a whistling noise on the telephone or a montage of New York street scenes. :slight_smile:

Worst destruction of New York City: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Worst destruction of Los Angeles: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Worst destruction of London: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Worst destruction of Tokyo: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Worst destruction of Paris: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Worst destruction of Kalamazoo: The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

Metropolis took quite the sound drubbing in Man of Steel, and it was lot more visceral than, say, Independence Day.

Vegas in The Stand.

Toronto gets taken out by a nuke (hogtown was a stand in for Raccoon city) in resident evil

Chicago looks like it got the treatment in Transformers 3


It’s practically harder to think of movies that don’t destroy New York. I appreciate when filmmakers branch out and nuke a different town on occasion.

Chicago takes a pretty good beating in Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Terre Haute, in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.

Sunnydale, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (huh… I don’t know that it ever occurred to me that it got collapsed exactly the same way as the Dark Matter research station at the beginning of The Avengers…).

San Francisco got plowed under pretty good in Star Trek: Into Darkness

Buenos Aires in Starship Troopers.

Buenos Aries got totally trashed in Starship Troppers.

So did the original book, according to a lot of folk on this board :wink:

When I named the movie, I spelled it correctly… :stuck_out_tongue:

But I got the joke in!

The judges speak:

Tapioca for the /qin.


Atlanta gets it (off-screen) in Independence Day.

Of course, the most famous on-screen destruction of the city is prohibited by the OP’s rules…

I currently live in San Antonio, TX which hasn’t been destroyed on-screen yet… unless somebody made a film based upon the book War Day. The Alamo also doesn’t count because of the OP’s rules… and also, the city itself wasn’t destroyed.

In Resident Evil: Afterlife, Tokyo got destroyed pretty goodby some sort of Akira bomb.

Just noticing Ranchoth’s link.