Best Environmental Fiction Movies Beyond Erin Brockovich

Planning on taking it easy this weekend? Does pizza and a movie sound like a perfect night, but you’re still unsure what to watch? Or maybe you want to try to watch something different but don’t know where to start? We got you. These environmental fiction movies are sure to scratch that itch.

As climate change and environmental conservation remain one of the most serious and urgent issues we’re facing, filmmakers are focusing on these topics and bringing them to the big screen.

We’ve rounded up some of the best environmental films of all time. We tried to choose a variety of genres, from animation to drama to science fiction. Everyone will find something to enjoy on this list, so keep reading!

Don’t Look Up


What it’s about: Two astronomers try their hardest to warn the Earth about an impending comet strike that will destroy the earth. This comedy is a tongue-in-cheek allegory for what could happen if we keep on our path of climate self-destruction.

What we liked about it: It provides strong social commentary about pop culture and environmental health. There is a twist at the end that may surprise you.

How to watch: Available to watch on Netflix.

Promised Land


What it’s about: Two corporate sales partners arrive in a small town to secure drilling rights for a natural gas company. They believe that the economic decline has done their work for them and that the townspeople will happily accept whatever offer they make. However, they don’t consider the objections of a respected school teacher and the leader of a grassroots campaign.

What we liked about it: It shows real problems that small rural communities face and that sometimes don’t get enough attention. There is a twist at the end that may surprise you. This movie shows the importance of environmental justice.

How to watch: Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

I Heart Huckabees


What it’s about: In the movie we are introduced to two existential detectives and their work with a coincidence-obsessed leader of the local Open Spaces Coalition and a young corporate employee whose life is falling apart. There’s also an anti-oil fireman who only rides a bicycle, a French philosopher creeping around the edges of the story, an African refugee autograph collector, and the human search for universal connectivity.

What we liked about it: Despite being a dark comedy, it addresses complex topics and questions around the environment and humanity. This playful and existential comedy may not be typical, but why not give it a try?

How to watch: Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.

Princess Mononoke


What it’s about: In Princess Mononoke, the march of the Iron Age threatens the peace and harmony of the world as it has existed forever. Ashitaka is a demon-cursed young man who goes in search of a cure. He finds a battle being waged between the inhabitants of Iron Town and the creatures of the spirit world tasked with protecting the forests. Ashitaka is human and part of the progress of time, but he finds his loyalties torn between nature and humanity.

What we liked about it: This is not a simple story of good and evil. The characters have motivations that drive them to act in the way they do. We liked the the way female characters are portrayed in this movie. This gorgeous movie will show you that animation is definitively for everyone. You’ve probably heard of Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki before. If not, Princess Mononoke is a great introduction to their amazing work.

How to watch: Available to watch on HBO Max, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.

Soylent Green

What it’s about: This science fiction movie is set in an overpopulated world. People survive on food rations that the Soylent Corporation produces, and they’ve just released a new product: Soylent Green. When the director of the Soylent Corporation is murdered, a detective finds himself in the midst of a massive cover-up. He finds he’s the target of assassination to protect the secret of Soylent Green.

What we liked about it: This seminal sci-fi movie shows us the potential consequences of our food systems and environment becoming overwhelmed. The storyline is full of mystery and suspense that will keep you engaged. You may already know the twist, but it’s still worth watching.

How to watch: Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

What it’s about: In this animated movie we meet Crysta, a fairy who lives in FernGully, a rainforest in Australia. She’s never seen a human before. In fact, she thinks they’re extinct. But when a logging company comes into the forest, she learns the truth. She even accidentally shrinks a logger named Zak. Now Zak sees the damage that his company is doing, and he helps Crysta try to stop them. They also encounter Hexxus, an evil entity who feeds off pollution.

What we like about it: Those of us who grew up with FernGully will never forget Crysta’s heartbreaking line, “How can you live without trees?” The film is a great way to introduce young people to environmentalism. Plus, the movie features a bunch of cool Australian species.

How to watch: Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Dark Waters

What it’s about: This movie is inspired by a real-life legal battle against DuPont over the release of a toxic chemical into Parkersburg, West Virginia’s water supply. A lawyer uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family, and his own life.

What we like about it: Since it’s based on a true story, this movie helped to create awareness about industrial pollution. The filmmakers and star, Mark Ruffalo, also participate in campaigns to raise awareness about these topics.

How to watch: Available to watch on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

The Lorax

What it’s about: This movie is based on the classic Dr Seuss book. Young Ted lives in a place devoid of nature. No flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville. Ted wants to win the heart of Audrey, but he must find what she most desires: a Truffula tree. Ted meets the Lorax, once the guardian of the forest, and he also meets the greedy Once-ler, who harvests the Truffula trees. They discover how his harvesting of the tufted trees is changing the landscape forever, despite the Lorax’s protests.

What we like about it: The film shows what humanity’s greed can do to the environment. This movie is another good way to introduce children to environmental preservation. Though it’s a movie for kids, people of all ages can enjoy it.

How to watch: Available to watch on Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.

Special Mention


What it’s about: A woman spends her days renovating the Victorian mansion that she lives in with her husband in the countryside. A stranger becomes an unexpected guest in their home. Later, his wife and two children also make themselves welcome. Terror strikes when the wife tries to figure out why her husband is so friendly and accommodating to everyone but her.

What we like about it: This horror-thriller may not seem like an environmental movie at first glance. But the movie contains a deep environmental message. It addresses climate change, overpopulation, and global extinction. Mother! is truly a movie about mother nature.

How to watch: Available to watch on Hulu, Paramount +, and Amazon Prime Video.

Dogwood Alliance picks

We asked our staff what their favorite environmental movies were, and here they are!

Even The Rain

What it’s about: Two Mexican filmmakers are shooting a film in Bolivia about the conquests of Christopher Columbus. They become embroiled in controversy when their film schedule runs up against the Cochabamba protests. The local Native people are rising up against the privatization of their water supply. As the production encounters problems and the riots escalate, tension rises among the film crew.

What we like about it: This drama draws attention to the colonization and exploitation Native populations have faced and continue to face.

How to watch: Available to watch on Netflix.

Pom Poko

What it’s about: Studio Ghibli also produced this animated movie. We meet a community of magical shape-shifting raccoons struggling to protect their forest home from the destruction of urban development. Together, they’ll use all their supernatural powers.

What we like about it: The film shows how progress in society and the loss of tradition can harm nature.

How to watch: Available to watch on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

What it’s about: After an apocalyptic conflict has devastated much of the world’s ecosystem, the few surviving humans live in scattered “toxic jungle” environments. Young Nausicaä lives in the arid Valley of the Wind and can communicate with the gigantic insects that live in the dangerous jungle. Along with a veteran warrior, Nausicaä works to bring peace to the ravaged planet.

What we like about it: Nausicaä is an empathic leader we could all look to right now. Probably the most interesting thing is the parallels between the film and 2020. The people in the film have learned to live with toxic spores, wearing face masks on a daily basis to protect themselves. We’re also learning to live with the COVID-19 virus, which has a lot of us wearing masks on the daily too.

Where to watch: Available to watch on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.


What it’s about: A young girl named Mija lives in the mountains of South Korea. There she raises a genetically modified “super pig” named Okja. A multinational corporation takes Okja to the United States. Mija must go on a mission to rescue Okja from mistreatment at the hands of the meat industry.

What we like about it: The film throws light on capitalism and corporate greed. Another main topic is animal cruelty in the meat industry. For vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, this movie will make you think deeply about the meat industry for a long time.

Where to watch: Available to watch on Netflix.

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