In startling times like the current COVID-19 crisis we're experiencing, sometimes it's a smart idea to just turn off the news and switch to watching something a bit more light-hearted. Luckily, a number of films are skipping their traditonal theatrical release window and moving to digital release early, including the new Disney Pixar film Onward and the upcoming Trolls World Tour. Those are both fantastic picks to watch with the kids, though once it's bedtime for the little ones, you might be looking for something a bit different.

It's hard to not think of the developing situation in the world, but the entertaining pandemic-related films below are a good way to get your mind off the current crisis and onto a completely fictional one.

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Best Pandemic Movies

You'll want to note that the prices listed below are to buy the movie outright; you can save some cash by renting the film of your choice for just a few dollars instead. On the other hand, you might be able to find them using some of these free trials for streaming services.

One of the best: Contagion

The 2011 release Contagion recently shot up the charts at iTunes and other digital retailers as those on the internet pointed out that the lethal pandemic seen in the film seems to share some similarities with the one the world is facing today. Let's hope it has a happy ending.

$9.99 at Amazon

Cult classic: 28 Days Later

Looking for something a bit less realistic than Contagion? 28 Days Later follows the breakdown of society after the release of a deadly virus devastates the world. This hit helped reinvigorate the zombie genre back in 2002 and ultimately led to a sequel: 28 Weeks Later.

$14.99 at Amazon

Not the dog!: I Am Legend

This action flick starring Will Smith might be even more notable due to his sidekick in the film, the lovable German Shepherd, Sam. The story follows virologist Robert Neville who lives as the last human in New York while searching for a cure for the virus which has wiped out most of mankind and turned many into horrific mutants.

$9.99 at Amazon

Social distancing works: Quarantine

Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine. While you're holed up in your house, why not catch a film to remind yourself why it's so important to practice social distancing? This 2008 film was praised for its atmosphere, performances, and just how freaking scary it is.

$12.99 at Amazon

Sick!: The Crazies

Timothy Olyphant stars in this 2010 film revolving around a small Iowa town which falls prey to a military virus, sending anyone infected into a murderous rampage. It might just be best to get out of town when it comes to this.

$4.99 at Amazon

Grr. Arrrgh.: Dawn of the Dead

This remake of George A. Romeo's classic 1978 film ended up becoming iconic in its own right. It tells the story of a world rocked by a zombie virus and a handful of survivors living in a shopping mall. Hopefully the food court is still open.

$11.99 at Amazon

Game to screen: Resident Evil

One of the longest-running horror film series in history is based on a video game. There are already six installments and an upcoming reboot currently in production, though the first is one of the best as it follows Alice, played by the bad-ass Milla Jovovich, as she attempts to control the spread of the deadly T-virus which kicks off the iconic series.

$13.99 at iTunes

Caesar rules: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This remake of the classic Planet of the Apes series sees the beginning of Caesar's story, from being injected with a drug intended to cure Alzhheimer's to his escape from the clutches of humans who wish to destroy his kind.

$14.99 at Amazon

Based on a book: World War Z

World War Z follows a former United Nations investigator, played by Brad Pitt, as he searched the world to find a cure to a deadly pandemic that threatens to turn everyone into zombies.

$7.99 at Amazon

How to watch films from Amazon on other devices

Not accustomed to watching movies purchased at Amazon? You'll be able to watch anything you purchase using an Amazon Fire TV Stick, though there are plenty of other ways as well, such as using your internet browser or with a smart TV. You'll just want to download the Prime Video App on your preferred device to start watching.

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