Movies have a way of welcoming you into a fantastic, new world. You can stroll on the beach or hike in a forest without leaving your home. They can give you a surge of inspiration. Perhaps it can provide you with a much-needed break from your hectic life.
This article’s 15 best nature movies offer a peek into mesmerizing landscapes and breathtaking ocean views. They also reveal the mysteries of wildlife. We’ve asked movie buffs and dove into reviews and forums to give you this ultimate list. So grab your granola bar and revel in nature with us.
1. Wild (2014)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars:Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
This film is a touching adaptation of a memoir written by Cheryl Strayed. After going through her mother’s death and a divorce, she set off to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. She had no prior hiking or outdoor experience.
All she had was the urge to make something out of her life. Reese Witherspoon is this touching film’s lead actor and producer. She gave such a powerful, raw performance that you’d forget she was Elle Woods. It showcased the world-famous trail. It also showed how nature could be a healing force.
2. Into the Wild (2007)
English, Danish 2h 28m IMDb
Director: Sean Penn
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener
This film follows the life of Christopher McCandless as he embarks on a journey to the Alaskan wild. Everyone expected him to have a successful career as an A-plus student and star athlete. However, he had other plans.
He started a journey towards the great Alaskan adventure. He faced challenges and forged relationships along the way. It’s a relatable film, especially for people trying to find their life purpose. It captured the beauty and hardships found in nature.
3. The Lorax (2012)
English 1h 26m IMDb
Director: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda (co-director)
Stars: Zac Efron (voice), Taylor Swift (voice), Danny DeVito (voice)
This animated movie is fun, insightful, and based on a Dr. Seuss children’s book. It follows the tale of Ted, a 12-year-old boy who wants to woo a girl named Audrey. They live in Thneedvills, a place where nature doesn’t exist.
It’s a town where oxygen is for sale and trees are a thing of the past. In the boy’s search to give Audrey a tree, he has to go past the Lorax, a former forest guardian. The songs and antics in the film may be entertaining. However, it effectively spread the message of environmental conservation.
4. The Perfect Storm (2000)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly
On Halloween in 1991, men on a fishing boat faced a “perfect storm .”It was the fiercest storm in history, comprising three weather fronts. This movie is based on authentic narratives by the fishermen who lived to tell their tales.
It’s an emotional look at the dangers of their profession. You’ll get to see that nature can be unforgiving at times. It is up to humans to conform to its power. This seafaring biopic is an emotional roller-coaster ride. You’ll find yourself rooting for the fishermen while silently begging
Mother Nature to calm down.
5. Tracks 2013
English, Aboriginal 1h 52m IMDb
Director: John Curran
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl
An Australian woman, played by Mia Wasikowska, wanted to explore her longing for solitude. She embarked on a solo desert trip with her dog and four camels. The journey spanned the great Australian outback in the Northern Territory.
Everyone she knew thought it was a crazy idea. However, she showed that persistence and grit could help you achieve your goals. The movie showed magnificent shots of Alice Springs. They allowed you to feel the heat and the sand through the screen. It’s dreamlike but showcases raw emotions. The cinematography is awe-inspiring.
6. Cast Away (2000)
English, Russian 2h 23m IMDb
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez
The story began when the plane of a FedEx executive crashed over the ocean. He stayed on an island and learned to survive. He attempted to contact anyone who could help him, but he was unsuccessful. He remained on the island for many years with only a basketball as a companion.
This movie will prompt you to ask yourself, “what if this happens to me?” It encourages its audience to assess their lives, especially during unexpected challenges. It also featured the beautiful virgin beaches in the Pacific Ocean. The cinematography perfectly captured the pristine sand and gorgeous waters.
7. The Impossible (2012)
English, Thai, German, Swedish, Spanish 1h 54m IMDb
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Mother Nature lovingly shares her beauty with the world., However, there are times when it also wreaks havoc, Perhaps, to teach humanity a lesson or to strengthen the human spirit. This movie perfectly encapsulates how the power of love allows people to survive.
One family vacationing in Thailand got caught in the aftermath of a tsunami. What followed were the struggles and realizations of each family member. Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, and Ewan McGregor gave brilliant performances. Knowing that this film is based on a story makes it more heartwarming.
8. Okja ( 2017)
English, Korean, Spanish 2h IMDb
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seo-hyun Ahn
A girl living in the mountains with her grandfather takes care of a gentle beast named Okja. The conflict began when a multinational company wanted to take Okja away. It made animal rights activism into an entertaining movie.
It’s an effective tool to keep everyone thinking about how we treat animals. Many viewers have allegedly converted to veganism after watching this movie. It means the message was compelling. It veered away from the usual boring and depressing documentaries. It promoted how we must take care of animals and treat them as equals.
9. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ( 2013)
English, Spanish, Icelandic 1h 54m IMDb
Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly
A man about to lose his job takes on an extraordinary adventure. The journey went beyond his wildest imagination. You can’t peg this movie into just one category. It’s not your usual Ben Stiller comedy since it doesn’t resort to cheap jokes or antics.
It’s also an art film without being too serious. The cinematography captured the majestic Alps and the roaring oceans. The message may be profound but not preachy. It’s not your typical Hollywood “finding yourself” movie that banks on formula and stereotypes.
10. Against the Ice (2022)
English 1h 42m IMDb
Director: Peter Flinth
Stars: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed
Two explorers went on a journey to ice-covered Greenland. Their goal is to search for the missing documents of past Danish explorers. Not everyone can see snow as vast and treacherous as in the movie.
So, it is an excellent peek into the world rarely touched by humans. In their quest for greatness, the men battled with their inner demons. Movies shot on ice aren’t an easy endeavor. However, the creators pushed through amidst the harsh weather conditions, creating a masterpiece.
11. Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)
English 2h 5m IMDb
Director: Olivia Newman
Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson
This film is a haunting tale of love and triumphs over adversity. Based on a bestselling novel, it tells the story of Kya. She’s a woman who raised herself on the North Carolina marshes. Conflict ensued when she became the suspect in the murder of a man she was involved with.
The mesmerizing music of Taylor Swift accompanied the breathtaking view of the South. Behind the greenery and water is untamed wildlife. It represents the community appearing righteous but persecuting an innocent girl. Lead actor Daisy Edgar-Jones gave a brilliant performance as Kya.
12. Weathering With You (2019)
Japanese 1h 52m IMDb
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Kotaro Daigo (voice), Nana Mori (voice), Tsubasa Honda (voice)
Viewers of this Japanese animated film believe that this love story is far better than Hollywood. It reveals the life of a young man who ran away to Tokyo. It is where he meets a young lady who can seem to manipulate the weather.
Every scene seems like a beautiful wallpaper. Despite being an animation, it still captured the details of nature perfectly. The creators gave time and effort to create this masterpiece. It’s not a movie you easily forget. Instead, the magnetic lines and emotions will stay for a long time.
13. Captain Fantastic (2016)
English, Esperanto, German, Chinese 1h 58m IMDb
Director: Matt Ross
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler
In this touching tale of parenthood, a father raises his six children deep in the Pacific Northwest forest. He taught them survival skills, intellectual discourse, and respect for nature. A tragic event forced them out of their paradise.
The family faced emotional turmoil as the rest of the world challenged their way of life. This film is a perfect combination of eccentricity and realism. It will trigger various emotions. It also touches on what it means to be a parent amidst criticisms from the outside world.
14. Pig (2021)
Persian, English 1h 32m IMDb
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin
A truffle hunter lives peacefully in an Oregon forest. One day someone kidnaps his beloved foraging pig, forcing him on a search in Portland. He also had to confront his past as he looked for his pet. This film is a category on its own.
You can’t pin it down as being drama, action, or horror. And that’s where the beauty of it lies. As always, Nicolas Cage gave an unexpected yet astounding performance. The beautiful shots of the Oregon wilderness are awe-inspiring and memorable.
15. First Cow (2019)
English, North American Indian, Russian, French, Hawaiian 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Alia Shawkat, John Magaro, Dylan Smith
The film distributor A24 has been releasing thought-provoking movies recently. One film that makes you think and feel simultaneous is First Cow. It’s a refreshing take on friendship and determination. It follows the story of a skilled cook who travelled to Oregon after experiencing tragic life events.
He connected with a Chinese immigrant who also wanted a change of pace. They collaborated to create a successful business. It’s an unusual story set in the great American wilderness. It reveals how a humble animal can affect lives and change one’s destiny.
Nature has a way of changing people. Immersing in its beauty allows humans to find peace and meaning. Watching this article’s 15 best nature movies will be worth your time.
They’ll make you cry, smile, and think about your life purpose. These films may encourage you to explore the great outdoors alone or with loved ones.