The best Earth Day films

A list of movies and documentaries to celebrate Earth Day

Camille Lenning | Entertainment Editor


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Documentaries about saving the earth:

  • “Kiss the Ground” — Scientists, farmers, and politicians are joined by celebrity activists in an effort to save the Earth’s vital topsoil, narrated by Woody Harrelson. 
  • “Ice on Fire” — Explores how to prevent extinction level events by reducing and reversing our carbon footprint, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. 
  • “Mission Blue” — Follows the journey of Dr. Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist, oceanographer and environmentalist, as she works to create marine sanctuaries. 
  • “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” — Attenborough outlines what he’s observed of humanity’s impact on the planet throughout his prolific career, and details solutions to these problems. 
  • “Chasing Coral” — Scientists and divers embark on a journey to discover why the coral reefs are dying. 

Documentaries about the small wonders of the world: 

  • “Dancing with the Birds” — Birds of paradise show off their most impressive courtship moves in a colorful display of feathers. 
  • “Fantastic Fungi” — A visually stunning take on how fungi can heal and sustain life on Earth, narrated by Brie Larson. 
  • “My Octopus Teacher” — Follows the unique bond between diver Craig Foster and a curious young octopus over months of visits to her den. 
  • “Life in Color with David Attenborough” — A three-part series showing the captivating colors animals use to survive and thrive. 
  • “Animal” (2022) — A docuseries following the creatures of the Earth in their natural habitats, narrated by celebrity guests like Pedro Pascal and Rebel Wilson.   

Movies about the apocalypse:

  • “2012” — During a series of catastrophic natural disasters, a man and his family flee to the safety of a secret government fleet of arks meant to save the elite.
  • “The Day After Tomorrow” — A climatologist tries to find his son and his friend as a global superstorm overtakes the world. 

Movies about living after the apocalypse:

  • “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (2008) — An alien and his robot counterpart are sent to Earth to decide if humanity is worthy of living on the planet. 
  • “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) — In a world where water and gasoline are scarce, a warrior liberates the fives wives of a tyrannical warlord and teams up with another former captive to bring them to freedom. 
  • “Snowpiercer” (2013) — During a man-made ice age, the last remnants of humanity live on a train organized by social class, where the richest live in luxury and the poorest in squalor under armed guard. 
  • “Io” — The Earth’s atmosphere is toxic, and most people now live in a space station near one of the moons of Jupiter, but a scientist who stayed behind hopes to cleanse the air and make Earth livable again. 

Movies about corporate greed, evil intentions and the earth:

  • “Avatar” (2009) — On an alien moon, a marine tasked with infiltrating the indeginous population to uncover their mineable resources must question whether he is fighting on the right side.  
  • “Okja” — A young girl must embark on a mission to save her genetically engineered super pig best friend, who was repossessed by the company that created her to boost the food industry. 
  • “Kingsman: The Secret Service” —  A new recruit to a secret spy organization must stop a billionaire from launching his plot to end climate change by killing everyone on the planet he deems unworthy.  

Animated movies about saving the planet: 

  • “Wall-E” — A lonely waste allocation robot living alone on Earth falls in love with a probe sent by humans living in space, who leads him to the adventure of a lifetime. 
  • “The Lorax” — After happening upon a stranger while searching for a sapling, the object of his crush’s desires, a boy listens to his tale of greed that destroyed nature. 
  • “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” — When human deforestation and those who thrive on it threaten a fairy’s homeland, she and her human friend must work together to stop them.