Documentaries About the Environment and Ecology

by SebastiaanVG | created - 30 Jul 2014 | updated - 23 Apr 2016 | Public

A list of documentaries that deal with climate change, conservation, global warming, sustainability, overconsumption, pollution, endagered species, overpopulation... More titles will be added in the future.

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2. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 33,452 | Gross: $1.72M

3. Earth First! The Politics of Radical Environmentalism (1987)

60 min | Documentary

"Earth First! - The Politics of Radical Environmentalism" documents the rise of the controversial eco-activist group, Earth First!, as told by its founders, its admirers and its opponents, ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Manes | Stars: Edward Abbey, Rick Baily, Darryl Cherney, John Davis

Votes: 8

4. Ecological Design: Inventing the Future (1994)

Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary

Ecological Design: Inventing the Future features the ideas and prototypes of pioneering designers who have trail-blazed the development of sustainable architecture, cities, energy systems, transport, and industry.

Directors: Brian Danitz, Chris Zelov | Star: Linda Hunt

Votes: 13

5. Winged Migration (2001)

G | 89 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro

Votes: 11,317 | Gross: $10.76M

6. Blue Vinyl (2002)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary

The hazards of bio-accumulation, pollution, and the makeup of what we commonly hope are benign plastics are tackled in this documentary.

Directors: Daniel B. Gold, Judith Helfand | Stars: William Baggett, Charlie Cray, Daniel B. Gold, Patrick 'Paddy O'Furniture' Hayes

Votes: 292

8. Darwin's Nightmare (2004)

107 min | Documentary

84 Metascore

A documentary on the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania's Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out the native species, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.

Director: Hubert Sauper | Stars: Elizabeth 'Eliza' Maganga Nsese, Raphael Tukiko Wagara, Dimond Remtulia, Marcus Nyoni

Votes: 5,276 | Gross: $0.20M

9. Earth from Above (2004)

Not Rated | 67 min | Documentary

Yann Arthus-Bertrand has flown over hundreds of countries to create an extraordinary aerial portrait of our planet as never seen before. This DVD from the Panoramica Motion Gallery is '... See full summary »

Director: Renaud Delourme | Stars: Bernard Giraudeau, Nils Hugon

Votes: 294

10. Life Running Out of Control (2004 TV Movie)

95 min | Documentary

GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms which have made their debut in plants like corn and soybean, but are now in animals for consumption. The controversy of corporations owning "... See full summary »

Director: Bertram Verhaag | Stars: Alejandro Argumedo, Larry Bain, Bill Clinton, Mark Franz

Votes: 43

11. We Feed the World (2005)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

A look at how the world's food is produced and how mass production changes the environment and the lives of people.

Director: Erwin Wagenhofer | Stars: Jean Ziegler, Peter Brabeck, Karl Otrok

Votes: 2,380

12. Crude Impact (2006)

Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary, History

An examination of the interconnection of human domination of the planet and the use of petroleum, and offers solutions for how we can stop our progression down this destructive path.

Director: James Jandak Wood | Stars: Thom Hartmann, William Rees, Richard Heinberg, Michael Economides

Votes: 248

13. e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious (2006– )


A six-part series about international efforts to design and build eco-friendly structures through sustainable architecture.

Stars: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, William McDonough, Jeroen Bergsma

Votes: 72

14. Galápagos (2006– )
Episode: Forces of Change (2006)

TV-G | 51 min | Documentary

The geological forces at work in Galapágos are complex and unpredictable; so, too, are the many ocean currents that unite here.

Star: Tilda Swinton

Votes: 34

15. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, News

75 Metascore

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 78,924 | Gross: $23.81M

16. Manufactured Landscapes (2006)

Unrated | 86 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing.

Director: Jennifer Baichwal | Star: Edward Burtynsky

Votes: 2,718 | Gross: $0.24M

18. Sharkwater (2006)

PG | 89 min | Documentary

59 Metascore

An investigation of sharks' importance to ecosystems and humankind's mass destruction of shark species worldwide.

Director: Rob Stewart | Stars: Rob Stewart, Paul Watson, Erich Ritter, Boris Worm

Votes: 4,702 | Gross: $0.85M

19. The 11th Hour (I) (2007)

PG | 95 min | Documentary

63 Metascore

A look at the state of the global environment including visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet's ecosystems.

Directors: Leila Conners, Nadia Conners | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kenny Ausubel, Thom Hartmann, Wangari Maathai

Votes: 5,476 | Gross: $0.70M

20. Earth (2007)

G | 90 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Stars: James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, Anggun, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 14,027 | Gross: $38.05M

21. Harvesting Water the Permaculture Way (2007)

80 min | Documentary

Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton designs and builds a dam and water harvesting system on a farm.

Director: Frank Gapinski | Star: Geoff Lawton

Votes: 15

22. The Human Footprint (2007 TV Movie)

75 min | Documentary

Documentray examining the amount of products consumed in a lifetime and the impact it has on the environment.

Director: Nick Watts | Stars: Catherine Collins, Oliver Curry, George Monbiot, Jeremy Penzer

Votes: 90

23. The Story of Stuff (2007)

21 min | Animation, Short

For most of the world, consumption has been the unquestioned duty of every individual. Then garbage activist Annie Leonard brought her two-hour lecture to Free Range who helped her turn it ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Fox | Star: Annie Leonard

Votes: 312

24. Addicted to Plastic (2008)

85 min | Documentary

A Canadian documentary on modern society's 'addiction' to plastic; our prolific use of this product, its effects on the earth and on us, and where our unwanted plastic ends up.

Director: Ian Connacher

Votes: 319

25. At the Edge of the World (2008)

PG | 90 min | Documentary, Action, Adventure

70 Metascore

At the Edge of the World chronicles the controversial Sea Shepherd Antarctic Campaign against a Japanese whaling fleet. The international volunteer crew, under-trained and under-equipped, ... See full summary »

Directors: Dan Stone, Patrick Gambuti Jr. | Stars: Paul Watson, Alex Cornelissen, Peter Hammarstedt, Benjamin Baldwin

Votes: 364

26. Burning the Future: Coal in America (2008)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary

Burning the Future: Coal in America examines the explosive forces that have set in motion a groundswell of conflict between the Coal Industry and residents of West Virginia. Confronted by ... See full summary »

Director: David Novack | Stars: Maria Gunnoe, Bill Raney, Rocky Hackworth, Chrystal Gunnoe

Votes: 58

27. Flow: For Love of Water (2008)

84 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Water is the very essence of life, sustaining every being on the planet. 'Flow' confronts the disturbing reality that our crucial resource is dwindling and greed just may be the cause.

Directors: Irena Salina, Dan Berger | Stars: Bill Alexander, Maude Barlow, Basil Bold, Shelly Brime

Votes: 1,097 | Gross: $0.14M

28. Food, Inc. (2008)

PG | 94 min | Documentary, News

80 Metascore

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb, Vince Edwards

Votes: 48,556 | Gross: $4.42M

29. Fuel (I) (2008)

Not Rated | 112 min | Documentary

50 Metascore

Director Josh Tickell takes us along for his 11 year journey around the world to find solutions to America's addiction to oil. A shrinking economy, a failing auto industry, rampant ... See full summary »

Director: Joshua Tickell | Stars: Joshua Tickell, Barbara Boxer, Richard Branson, George W. Bush

Votes: 600 | Gross: $0.17M

30. Garbage Island (2008)

60 min | Documentary

They said there was a garbage dump the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We had to go see for ourselves.

Director: Meredith Danluck | Star: Thomas Morton

Votes: 38

31. The World According to Monsanto (2008 TV Movie)

108 min | Documentary

You do not have to believe that God exists, but you will after this movie know that the devil poster! Monsanto is the largest global company that produces agricultural products: pesticides,... See full summary »

Director: Marie-Monique Robin | Stars: David Baker, Ken Cook, David Carpenter, Robert Bellé

Votes: 1,707

33. A Snowmobile for George (2008)

94 min | Documentary

Curious about why President Bush reversed regulations to phase out the two-stroke snowmobile, the filmmaker goes on the road to look at other acts of de-regulation. This rambunctious trip ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Darling

Votes: 12

35. Tropic of Capricorn (2008– )
Episode: Chile to Brazil (2008)


Simon starts in Souther Chile's huge Atacama, the world's driest desert, by copper export train and the Altiplano, about 4km above sea level, yet with tropical lakes, where natives explain ... See full summary »

Director: Dominic Ozanne | Star: Simon Reeve

Votes: 6

36. The Age of Stupid (2009)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, History, News

A future archivist looks at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate change.

Director: Franny Armstrong | Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Jehangir Wadia, Alvin DuVernay, Layefa Malini

Votes: 4,145

37. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

84 Metascore

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 46,223 | Gross: $0.87M

38. The End of the Line (I) (2009)

Unrated | 85 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

Documentary filmmaker Rupert Murray examines the devastating effect that overfishing has had on the world's fish populations and argues that drastic action must be taken to reverse these trends.

Director: Rupert Murray | Stars: Ben Bradshaw, Roberto Mielgo Bragazzi, Charles Clover, John Crosbie

Votes: 1,006

39. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: Poisoned Waters (2009)

TV-PG | 115 min | Documentary

Frontline examines at the problem of water pollution in the United States. It focuses on the worsening conditions in the Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay and looks at the threat posed by runoff from agriculture and industry.

Director: Rick Young | Stars: Martin Baker, Will Baker, Ken Balcomb, Leon Billings

Votes: 27

40. Home (I) (2009)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

47 Metascore

With aerial footage from fifty-four countries, 'Home' is a depiction of how Earth's problems are all interlinked.

Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand | Stars: Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Glenn Close, Jacques Gamblin

Votes: 20,918

41. Introduction to Permaculture Design (2009)

90 min | Documentary

Geoff Lawton takes you into the world of Permaculture and explains the basic concepts for beginners.

Director: Frank Gapinski | Star: Geoff Lawton

Votes: 26

42. Lost Land of the Volcano (2009– )


A team of scientists search for new species of insets and animals to a island just north of Australia. This is a place where no one has been to known as the lost land, while on the there ... See full summary »

Stars: George McGavin, Steve Backshall, Gordon Buchanan, Philip Glenister

Votes: 117

43. Natural World (1983– )
Episode: A Farm for the Future (2009)


Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key. With her father ... See full summary »

Stars: Rebecca Hosking, Colin Campbell, Rosie Boycott, Tim Lang

Votes: 45

44. No Impact Man: The Documentary (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact.

Directors: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein | Stars: Colin Beavan, Michelle Conlin

Votes: 1,457 | Gross: $0.10M

45. Oceans (2009)

G | 84 min | Documentary, Drama

75 Metascore

An ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Part thriller, part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Jacques Perrin, Matthias Brandt

Votes: 8,828 | Gross: $19.42M