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The Best Movies Ever Made About Ecological Disasters

In the past couple of decades, Hollywood studios have looked to something other than superhero flicks to make their movies: environmental collapse. 

While there is an argument for 1954’s Godzilla, the Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] being the first eco-disaster movie, the apex of Hollywood’s response came in 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow.

Take a look at this list of the best movies ever made about ecological disasters.

According to Wikipedia, an ecological disaster is an environmental disaster or ecological disaster defined as a catastrophic event regarding the natural environment that is due to human activity. 

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin (Actors)


This Pixar movie centers around an abandoned cleanup robot on a desolate, trash-ravaged Earth that encounters a high-tech robot from the stars. The two go into space, eventually, return to Earth, and restore it to life.

The simple story, beautiful animation, and inspiring message at the core of this movie make it one of the best movies ever made about ecological disasters.

Deepwater Horizon (4K UHD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich (Actors)

Deepwater Horizon

The plot of this movie revolves around Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), who was the chief electrical technician on the oil rig called Deepwater Horizon when it exploded.

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The workers strive to survive on the rig and escape. When it happened in real life, the story was unmissable—this was perhaps the worst ecological disaster in decades.

Dark Waters
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins (Actors)

Dark Waters

Dark Waters is unquestionably a harsh, unrelenting portrayal of an outsider named Robert Bilott (played to perfection by Mark Ruffalo.) He works relentlessly to expose the grotesque corruption and wrongdoings of the decades-long DuPont vs. Parkersburg litigation in West Virginia. 

Audiences are challenged to follow Bilott's example as he fights to expose the corporate lies restraining progress.

Erin Brockovich
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Conchata Ferrell (Actors)

Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is a woman in a tight spot. Following a car accident in which Erin is not at fault, Erin pleads with her attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her at his law firm. Erin stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files.

She convinces Ed to allow her to investigate, where she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community that is causing devastating illnesses among its residents.

Ice Twisters
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Luisa d'Oliveira, Chelan Simmons, Mark Moses (Actors)

 Ice Twisters

Charlie Price (Mark Moses), a former scientist who writes science-fiction novels, starts living one of his plots when a government weather experiment turns into a disaster.

Ray Bradbury's Chrysalis
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Klemantaski, Darren Kendrick, Corey Landis (Actors)

Ray Bradbury's Chrysalis

In a post-apocalyptic world, a scientist emerges from an underground bunker to plant some greenery. Chaos ensues among his comrades when he returns, falls ill, and begins to mutate. After World War III Decimates the Earth, a handful of scientists attempt to sustain plant life inside an underground bunker. When one of them falls ill and begins to mutate, chaos ensues among the team.

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If you enjoyed this list of movies, I have a monthly membership for parents and educators that want to teach or supplement lessons with shows and movies.

“I absolutely love sharing movies with my kids as a way to teach them valuable lessons. It's like this awesome bonding experience where we all snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn, and I get to see their little faces light up with curiosity. Whether it's a classic with timeless morals or a new animated flick with hidden gems of wisdom, it's a fantastic way to impart important life lessons in a fun and engaging way. Plus, the post-movie discussions are priceless – hearing their take on the characters and the story adds a whole new dimension to our family time.” –a Homeschooling parent

With Homeschooling with Shows and Movies membership, you will get resources every month, including:

  • List of This Month’s Suggested Themes
  • List of Monthly Observances
  • List Of Movies for Unit Study
  • Unit Study Resource
  • Seasonal Activities (minimum of three)
  • (BONUSES) Resources for you, the teacher

These resources are worth it if you'd like to easily incorporate shows and movies into your homeschooling.

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