Best Movies, Documentary, Nature/Outdoor

The Best Environmental Movies And Documentaries of All-Time

The Best Environmental Movies And Eco Documentaries Of All-Time

“What are the best Environmental Movies & Eco Documentaries?” We looked at 259 of the top Environmental films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 25 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Environmental” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 200+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top Environmental Movies & Documentaries



25 .) Before the Flood

 Before the Flood Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Mind Body Green
  • Top Documentary Films

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities across the planet.

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24 .) Crude (2009)

 Crude (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia

The story of lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

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23 .) Earth

 Earth Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Mind Body Green
  • Wikipedia

It’s 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl bears witnesses to tragedy as her ayah is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.

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22 .) Fly Away Home (1997)

 Fly Away Home (1997) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • Wikipedia

Amy is only 13 years old when her mother is killed. She goes to Canada to live with her father, an eccentric inventor whom she barely knows. Amy is miserable in her new life… until she discovers a nest of goose eggs that were abandoned when a local forest is torn down. The eggs hatch and Amy becomes “Mama Goose”. When Winter comes, Amy, and her dad must find a way to lead the birds South…

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21 .) Home

 Home Lists It Appears On:

  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Wikipedia

With aerial footage from 54 countries, Home is a depiction of how the Earth’s problems are all interlinked.

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20 .) Hoot

 Hoot Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Grist
  • Smithsonian

A young man (Lerman) moves from Montana to Florida with his family, where he’s compelled to engage in a fight to protect a population of endangered owls.

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19 .) March of the Penguins (2005)

 March of the Penguins (2005) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Green Global Travel
  • Wikipedia

Every year, thousands of Antarctica’s emperor penguins make an astonishing journey to breed their young. They walk, marching day and night in single file 70 miles into the darkest, driest and coldest continent on Earth. Morgan Freeman narrates this amazing, true-life tale touched with humour and alive with thrills. Breathtaking photography captures the transcendent beauty and staggering drama of devoted parent penguins who, in the fierce polar winter, take turns guarding their egg and trekking to the ocean in search of food. Predators hunt them, storms lash them. But the safety of their adorable chicks makes it all worthwhile. So follow the leader … to adventure!!

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18 .) Over the Hedge

Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

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17 .) The Age of Consequences

 The Age of Consequences Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Watch
  • Mind Body Green
  • PBS

The Hurt Locker’ meets ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES investigates the impacts of irreversible climate change, resource scarcity, mass migration, and pandemic conflict through the lens of US national security and global instability.

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16 .) The True Cost

 The True Cost Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • PBS
  • Wikipedia

Film from Andrew Morgan. The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

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15 .) Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006)

 Who Killed The Electric Car? (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust, and ran without gasoline… Ten years later, these cars were destroyed.

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14 .) Winged Migration (2002)

 Winged Migration (2002) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Green Global Travel
  • Grist

The cameras of Jacques Perrin fly with migratory birds: geese, storks, cranes. The film begins with spring in North America and the migration to the Arctic; the flight is a community event for each species. Once in the Arctic, it’s family time: courtship, nests, eggs, fledglings, and first flight. Chicks must soon fly south. Bad weather, hunters, and pollution take their toll. Then, the cameras go

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13 .) Chinatown (1974)

 Chinatown (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Yes Magazine

Private eye Jake Gittes lives off of the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband’s extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together.

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12 .) Erin Brockovich (2000)

 Erin Brockovich (2000) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

A twice-divorced mother of three who sees an injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins — with a little help from her push-up bra. Erin goes to work for an attorney and comes across medical records describing illnesses clustered in one nearby town. She starts investigating and soon exposes a monumental cover-up.

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11 .) Food, Inc. (2009)

 Food, Inc. (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.

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10 .) Happy Feet

 Happy Feet Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Grist
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!

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9 .) Soylent Green (1973)

 Soylent Green (1973) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.

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8 .) The 11th Hour (2007)

 The 11th Hour (2007) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

A look at the state of the global environment including visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet’s ecosystems. Featuring ongoing dialogues of experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolse

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7 .) The Day after Tomorrow (2004)

 The Day after Tomorrow (2004) Lists It Appears On:

  • Grist
  • MNN
  • The Guardian
  • Wikipedia

After years of increases in the greenhouse effect, havoc is wreaked globally in the form of catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of a new Ice Age. Paleoclimatologist, Jack Hall tries to warn the world while also shepherding to safety his son, trapped in New York after the city is overwhelmed by the start of the new big freeze.

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6 .) Chasing Ice (2012)

 Chasing Ice (2012) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Conservation Careers
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

When National Geographic photographer James Balog asked, “How can one take a picture of climate change?” his attention was immediately drawn to ice. Soon he was asked to do a cover story on glaciers that became the most popular and well-read piece in the magazine during the last five years. But for Balog, that story marked the beginning of a much larger and longer-term project that would reach epic proportions.

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5 .) FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

 FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

When a sprite named Crysta shrinks a human boy, Zak, down to her size, he vows to help the magical fairy folk stop a greedy logging company from destroying their home, the pristine rainforest known as FernGully. Zak and his new friends fight to defend FernGully from lumberjacks — and the vengeful spirit they accidentally unleash after chopping down a magic tree.

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4 .) The Cove (2009)

 The Cove (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Thought Co.
  • Wikipedia

The Cove tells the amazing true story of how an elite team of individuals, films makers and free divers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate the hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. The shocking discoveries were only the tip of the iceberg.

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3 .) WALL-E (2008)

 WALL-E (2008) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia

WALL·E is the last robot left on an Earth that has been overrun with garbage and all humans have fled to outer space. For 700 years he has continued to try and clean up the mess, but has developed some rather interesting human-like qualities. When a ship arrives with a sleek new type of robot, WALL·E thinks he’s finally found a friend and stows away on the ship when it leaves.

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2 .) Avatar (2009)

 Avatar (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • Berkeley Wellness
  • Common Sense Media
  • MNN
  • Smithsonian
  • Wikipedia
  • Yes Magazine

In the 22nd century, a paraplegic Marine is dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission, but becomes torn between following orders and protecting an alien civilization.

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1 .) An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

 An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • Common Sense Media
  • Conservation Careers
  • Eco Warrior Princess
  • Green Global Travel
  • Grist
  • MNN
  • Thought Co.
  • Uproxx
  • Wikipedia

A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

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The 200+ Additional Best Eco Movies Of All-Time



 

#FilmLists
(Titles Appear On 2 Lists Each)
26A Civil ActionGrist
Wikipedia
27Arctic Tale (2007)
Common Sense Media
Thought Co.
28Bambi (1942)Smithsonian
Yes Magazine
29Blue VinylGrist
Wikipedia
30Children of Men (2006)Tree Hugger
Berkeley Wellness
31
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Eco Warrior Princess
Wikipedia
32Earth Days (2009)Wikipedia
Thought Co.
33Fire Down BelowGrist
Wikipedia
34Flow: For Love of WaterThought Co.
Wikipedia
35Forget Shorter ShowersEco Watch
PBS
36
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011)
Wikipedia
Green Global Travel
37Koyaanisqatsi (1982)Wikipedia
MNN
38
Revenge of the Electric Car (2009)
Wikipedia
Thought Co.
39RevolutionWikipedia
Wikipedia
40SafeGrist
Wikipedia
41
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Smithsonian
Wikipedia
42The Burning SeasonWikipedia
Wikipedia
43The China SyndromeGrist
Wikipedia
44
The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People
Eco Watch
PBS
45The Lorax (1972)Wikipedia
Berkeley Wellness
46To the Ends of the EarthEco Watch
PBS
47Virunga
Conservation Careers
Wikipedia
48Whale Rider (2003)MNN
Berkeley Wellness
49WindfallUproxx
Wikipedia
(Titles Appear On 1 Lists Each)
502012Wikipedia
51180 Degrees South
Common Sense Media
52A Beautiful Planet
Common Sense Media
53
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash
Wikipedia
54A Fierce Green FirePBS
55
A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity
Mind Body Green
56African Cats
Common Sense Media
57AftermathWikipedia
58Amazon (IMAX)
Common Sense Media
59American MastersPBS
60An Inconvenient PenguinWikipedia
61
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Wikipedia
62Angry InukWikipedia
63Anthropocene
Top Documentary Films
64Ashes to HoneyWikipedia
65BarakaWikipedia
66Bears
Common Sense Media
67Beasts of the Southern WildThe Guardian
68Before VanishingWikipedia
69Bhopal ExpressWikipedia
70Birdemic: Shock and TerrorWikipedia
71Biùtiful cauntriWikipedia
72Black HoleWikipedia
73Black Snake Killaz
Top Documentary Films
74Blackfish
Conservation Careers
75Boy and the World
Common Sense Media
76
Burning the Future: Coal in America
Wikipedia
77ButterflyWikipedia
78Call of Life
Conservation Careers
79Can You Dig This?
Common Sense Media
80
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
Wikipedia
81Cane Toads: The ConquestWikipedia
82Captain PlanetWikipedia
83CarfaceWikipedia
84Chernobyl HeartWikipedia
85
Chernobyl: The Exclusion Zone
Top Documentary Films
86Chevron vs. the Amazon
Top Documentary Films
87Chicken RunWikipedia
88
Children of Tsunami: No More Tears
Wikipedia
89China Syndrome (1979)MNN
90
Climate Change Denial Disorder
Wikipedia
91CLIMATE OF DOUBTUproxx
92Climate RefugeesWikipedia
93Clouds of SmokeWikipedia
94Darwin’s Nightmare (2005)
Green Global Travel
95
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster
Wikipedia
96
Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment
Wikipedia
97DemainWikipedia
98DenmarkWikipedia
99Disarm. (2005)Thought Co.
100
Disneynature: Wings of Life (2013)
Thought Co.
101Disneynature’s OceansSmithsonian
102
Donald Trump, The Koch Brothers and Their War on Climate Science
Top Documentary Films
103Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
Common Sense Media
104DreamlandWikipedia
105
Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11
Wikipedia
106EarthquakeWikipedia
107Earthquake in ChileWikipedia
108
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson
Wikipedia
109ElementalWikipedia
110
Empty Oceans, Empty Nets: The Race to Save Marine Fisheries
Thought Co.
111
Encounters at the End of the World (Nominated in 2008)
Green Global Travel
112Evolution of OrganicPBS
113Fight for the PlanetWikipedia
114
Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness
Wikipedia
115Forbidden ForestWikipedia
116Forests for the 21st CenturyWikipedia
117Fractured LandWikipedia
118Free WillySmithsonian
119
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Wikipedia
120GasLand (2010)
Green Global Travel
121Glacier ExitMind Body Green
122
Global Warming: The Signs and The Science
Wikipedia
123
Global Warming: What You Need to Know
Wikipedia
124GMO OMGWikipedia
125
Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey
Grist
126Great Lakes, Bad Lines
Top Documentary Films
127H2OWikipedia
128
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Wikipedia
129HellThe Guardian
130Hell and High WaterWikipedia
131Heritage Radio NetworkPBS
132Hinterland Who’s WhoWikipedia
133How to Change the WorldWikipedia
134I Heart Huckabees (2004)Yes Magazine
135Ice and the SkyWikipedia
136If You Love This PlanetWikipedia
137InterstellarThe Guardian
138Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Common Sense Media
139
Journey to the Safest Place on Earth
Wikipedia
140King Corn (2007)Thought Co.
141Laloorinu ParayanullathuWikipedia
142Life
Conservation Careers
143Mad MaxTree Hugger
144Manda Bala (2007)Thought Co.
145Material Of The FutureWikipedia
146Matrix seriesTree Hugger
147
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
Wikipedia
148
Minamata: The Victims and Their World
Wikipedia
149Mission Blue
Conservation Careers
150Monkey Kingdom
Common Sense Media
151Mountaintop RemovalWikipedia
152Muro AmiWikipedia
153
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Common Sense Media
154Never Cry Wolf (1983)Berkeley Wellness
155No Impact ManWikipedia
156No PressureWikipedia
157Oceans
Common Sense Media
158Oil on IceWikipedia
159Oil Sands KaraokeWikipedia
160On Deadly GroundWikipedia
161On the LineWikipedia
162Once Upon a ForestWikipedia
163Out of the BluePBS
164Paddle to the SeaWikipedia
165Pandora’s PromiseWikipedia
166Plastic BagWikipedia
167Plastic ChinaPBS
168Polluting ParadiseWikipedia
169
Powerful: Energy for Everyone
Wikipedia
170Princess Mononoke (1997)Yes Magazine
171Prophecy (1979)Yes Magazine
172Rancher Farmer FishermanPBS
173RenewalWikipedia
174San AndreasWikipedia
175Schoolhouse Rock! Earth
Common Sense Media
176Sea of LifeWikipedia
177Search for the Super BatteryWikipedia
178Semper Fi: Always FaithfulWikipedia
179Shale Cowboys
Top Documentary Films
180SharknadoWikipedia
181SharkwaterWikipedia
182Shored UpWikipedia
183Silent StormWikipedia
184SilkwoodGrist
185SizzleWikipedia
186SnowpiercerThe Guardian
187Space TouristsWikipedia
188Spoiled the MovieWikipedia
189
Super Comet: After The Impact
Wikipedia
190
Surviving the Tsunami – My Atomic Aunt
Wikipedia
191SWITCHUproxx
192SyrianaGrist
193Tapped
Eco Warrior Princess
194TentaclesWikipedia
195
That Should Not Be: Our Children Will Accuse Us
Wikipedia
196The Age of Mankind
Top Documentary Films
197The Age of StupidWikipedia
198The Animal Train
Common Sense Media
199The Bell of ChernobylWikipedia
200
The Breakthrough In Renewable Energy
Mind Body Green
201
The Chances of the World Changing
Wikipedia
202The City DarkWikipedia
203
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
Common Sense Media
204The Dome
Top Documentary Films
205The End of EdenWikipedia
206
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream
Grist
207The End of the Line
Conservation Careers
208The Forgotten DistrictWikipedia
209
The Fourth Revolution: Energy
Wikipedia
210The Future of FoodWikipedia
211The Garden (2008)Thought Co.
212
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Wikipedia
213The Great WarmingWikipedia
214The HappeningWikipedia
215The Idiot CycleWikipedia
216THE ISLAND PRESIDENTUproxx
217The Islands and the WhalesPBS
218
The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals
Wikipedia
219The Man Who Planted Trees
Common Sense Media
220The Memory of FishPBS
221The MessengerWikipedia
222
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Wikipedia
223The RedwoodsWikipedia
224The Return of Navajo BoyWikipedia
225
The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes
Wikipedia
226The Rise of Vertical Farming
Top Documentary Films
227The Road (2009)Yes Magazine
228The Shiranui SeaWikipedia
229The Story of StuffWikipedia
230
The Story of the Weeping Camel (2004)
Green Global Travel
231
The Toxic Clouds of 9/11: A Looming Disaster
Wikipedia
232
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Common Sense Media
233
The World According to Monsanto
Wikipedia
234This Changes Everything
Common Sense Media
235To the Arctic
Common Sense Media
236TomorrowMind Body Green
237Toxic LegacyWikipedia
238
Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage
Wikipedia
239Trouble The Water (2008)Thought Co.
240Troubled Waters
Top Documentary Films
241Ultimate TornadoWikipedia
242Unacceptable LevelsWikipedia
243Under the DomeWikipedia
244Under the Sea 3D
Common Sense Media
245Up The Yangtze (2008)Thought Co.
246Vanishing of the BeesWikipedia
247Vanishing PointWikipedia
248Voices of TransitionWikipedia
249VorticityMind Body Green
250WatchWikipedia
251
Water & Power: A California Heist
PBS
252
Water Wars: When Drought, Flood and Greed Collide (2009)
Thought Co.
253WatermarkWikipedia
254WaterworldTree Hugger
255
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
Wikipedia
256What Is the Electric Car?Wikipedia
257
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Wikipedia
258
Wind Over Water: The Cape Wind Story
Wikipedia
259Wings of Life
Common Sense Media


18 Best Environmental Film Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
Berkeley Wellness View as List The Best Environmentally Conscious Movies
Common Sense Media Environmental Movies
Conservation Careers 10 Documentaries Ever Conservationist Should
Eco Warrior Princess Must See Green Films: 8 of the Best Environmental Documentaries
Eco Watch Climate Change Documentary
Green Global Travel The Top 10 Oscar-Nominated Environmental Documentaries
Grist 15 Green Movies
Mind Body Green Want To Know What The Heck Is Up With Climate Change? Watch These Documentaries
MNN Top 10 Environmental Films Of All Time
PBS Earth Day Watch List: 17 Films About Sustainability and Climate Change
Smithsonian Top Ten Kids’ Movies With a Green Theme
The Guardian Spoiler alerts: the five best climate-change films
Thought Co. Documentary Films About the Environment and Ecology
Top Documentary Films Environment
Tree Hugger Can’t get enough TreeHugger? Sign up now and have it sent straight to your inbox.
Uproxx 7 Best Environmental Documentaries
Wikipedia List of Environmental Films
Yes Magazine 10 Films to Inspire Your Inner Environmental Superhero

 

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