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Top Movies (& TV Series) Involving Facilities Management

December 21, 2023

Isn’t it fun when a movie spotlights your area of expertise? When everyone you’re watching with turns to you for your take on the film?

It’s especially great when extended family or friends are around and you can point out all the details and flaws that you can see because you’re a facilities expert – safety failure, OSHA violation, poorly maintained equipment, etc.

Then you’ll love our list of movies and TV series where a building, facility, or infrastructure is the star of the show. Whether it’s the holidays, a long weekend, a staycation, or you’re just in the mood for a movie, check out this list for your next movie selection.

Die Hard

Released in 1988
Rated R
Yes, it’s one of the greatest action movies of all time. But we would argue it’s also one of the greatest facilities movies out there are as well. The Nakatomi Plaza building is a film character in its own right. From elevators and air shafts to Hans Gruber’s iconic 40-story fall, this movie just wouldn’t be the same without the facilities setting.

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox


Released in 1996
Rated PG-13
This one has it all. Underwater traffic tunnel infrastructure, a team of emergency managers and construction workers that come through in a pinch, forgotten rooms, fire, flooding, electricity, explosions. And the best part? The dog lives.

*Image courtesy of Universal Pictures


Released in 1994
Rated R
The incredible bus sequence gets the most attention in this film, but the introduction that takes you down the elevator shaft is brilliant. It really sets the scene, helping you appreciate just how big elevator shafts are and showing off the rarely-seen facilities infrastructure that so many occupants take for granted.

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Blade Runner

Released in 1982
Rated R
It’s fascinating to see what people in the early 1980s thought Los Angeles would look like in 2019. The movie journeys through the dark, cramped slums at street level as well as the luxurious high rises of the rich. A decaying city with degraded buildings makes for a dramatic backdrop to the story.

*Image courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures


Released in 2018
Rated PG-13
As the tallest building in the world at 225 floors, this skyscraper makes for a massive set with surprises around every corner. All the building’s systems can be controlled from a tablet – which, although it ends up being a major security flaw, is still a fascinating look into the future of facilities management.

*Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

Ocean’s 11

Released in 2001
Rated PG-13
Danny Ocean’s hand-picked team has to know three casinos and surrounding infrastructure inside and out to pull off this $150 million heist. And even then, one of the characters still gets lost in the maze of hallways containing the casino’s servers and security. Hmm, a digital floor plan on a tablet sure would have come in handy in that scene, don’t you think?

*Image courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures


Released in 2012
Rated R
Almost the entire film takes place in a massive high-rise building known as a mega block, containing apartments, schools, hospitals, stores, and anything else a community might need. (Can you imagine the budget and staffing needed to manage one of those?) The characters must navigate the treacherous mega block all the way to the top, so you get to see a lot of the infrastructure.

*Image courtesy of Reliance Entertainment & Entertainment Film Distributors


Released in 2001
Rated R
Retitled The Shaft on DVD, this sci-fi horror flick will make you think twice before getting on an elevator again. The main character, an elevator repairman, tries to get to the bottom of some truly unpleasant elevator malfunctions – but his employers don’t want to hear it. It’s an interesting lesson in why it’s important to acknowledge facilities problems instead of avoid them. But be warned: the dog doesn’t make it.

*Image courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

The Towering Inferno

Released in 1974
Rated PG
Faulty wiring is the bad guy in this story. A new skyscraper built with lots of corner cutting leads to disaster – during a party celebrating the building’s completion, no less. The facility becomes a death trap as the fire is too high up to be fought from the ground. Definitely a warning to take building codes and safety requirements seriously.

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox & Warner Brothers Pictures

Office Uprising

Released in 2018
Rated TV-MA
Imagine trying to escape a high-tech, highly secure weapons manufacturing facility while being chased by well-armed zombies. Talk about a tough day at the office. Once again, the building is not only the setting but also a key character in this humorous take on a zombie movie.

*Image courtesy of Sony Crackle


Released in 1997
Rated PG-13
Sure, this movie is about a volcano, but it’s also about how the heroes use city roads, subways, buildings, and emergency resources to understand and stop the volcano. From determining the likely course of the lava to blowing up a skyscraper, infrastructure and facilities are everywhere in this classic movie.

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Martian

Released in 2015
Rated PG-13
A facility actually saves the main character’s life in this sci-fi thriller. When an astronaut is stranded on Mars, he uses the living facility his team left behind to stay alive long enough for rescue. It’s a neat glimpse into what human dwellings of the future could look like.

*Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Facilities Movie Franchises

Star Wars

From using smuggled schematics to plan the attack on the Death Star to racing through the incredible infrastructure of Coruscant, the Star Wars universe is filled with futuristic facilities that totally immerse you into a galaxy far, far away.

*Image courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd

Star Trek

Whether you’re a fan of the original, next generation, or reboot movies, Star Trek had to be included in this list because these films explore what we want the future of mankind and technology to be. And they’re full of examples of advanced facilities management: holographic schematics, powerful sensors, handheld data analyzers, communicators, and more.

*Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Mission Impossible

Whether it’s jumping off buildings, climbing up the outside of skyscrapers, or sneaking into secure buildings, facilities are integral settings in this franchise. And it’s a lot of fun watching the characters use cutting edge technology to complete their missions. AI, biometrics, surface computers with touchscreens, and even smart glasses with heads-up displays all come into play.

*Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Facilities TV Series

The Days

Follow the events of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Without the experience, skill, and bravery of the nuclear plant’s facilities crew, an already nightmare scenario could have become so much worse.

*Image courtesy of Netflix


When the series is named for the building it’s set in, you know it’s going to be a facilities-focused adventure. And to top it off, the main character is an engineer who works on the main generators powering the facility. Set in a dystopian future, 10,000 people live in a giant underground silo 144 levels deep because the surface of the earth is supposedly dead and uninhabitable. But is that really the case? Watch as the characters try to uncover the truth while keeping the silo functional.

*Image courtesy of Apple TV+


Dive into the story of one of the world’s worst facilities failures – the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. Appreciate the incredible bravery of the first responders. Watch as the only man who knows how to drain the water that’s collected at the bottom of the plant saves the world from an even bigger nuclear disaster. And learn the importance of not cutting corners when it comes to safety.

*Image courtesy of HBO

Betsy Francoeur

Betsy is AkitaBox's Content Manager. She loves to write blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, emails, and magazine articles about all things facilities management. She also enjoys traveling, running 5ks, and cuddling with her dog.

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