As the summer heats up and the U.S. experiences record temperatures in the Southwest, there is no better time to cool off indoors with a cold glass of water and a good movie.
As a sustainability company, some of our favorite flicks are those based on real life that shed light on the need for better environmental practices and leave us inspired (or awestruck) about this amazing world we live in and our power to preserve its beauty.
Below we have compiled a comprehensive list for your heat wave watching pleasure, from environmental documentaries to Pixar movies, and everything in between. Get the popcorn ready!
No Impact Man
No Impact Man follows Colin Beavan on his journey to go COMPLETELY green while living Manhattan. His year-long project with his wife and daughter documents the struggles and benefits that come with giving up the comforts of modern living — no TV, no taxis, no plastic, no electricity. Watch with delight when he tells his New Yorker wife she can no longer have Starbucks.
Truly a visual masterpiece, Avatar explores the clash between mankind and the environment on a fictional world named Pandora. When humanity discovers the rich resources of this new world, they create an Avatar for paralyzed Marine Jake Sully so that he might infiltrate the ranks of the native population on a mission that will allow humans to mine(and in the process, destroy) the planets ecosystem. What follows is a beautiful twist on what it means to have compassion for different species and environments.
This film is worth watching for the visuals alone! On assignment for National Geographic, James Balog headed to the Artic to capture images for a piece on climate change. Originally a bit skeptical, he was astounded when he witnessed the rapid disappearance of an incredible landscape that much of the world never gets to see. A man on a mission, Balog took a team back with him to capture time-lapse evidence of the melting Arctic. Complete with breathtaking views and more than a few cliffhanger moments (literally) this film is a must see.
It swept the 2014 Academy Awards for good reason! Gravity will have you on the edge of your seat as you tag along for the ride of an abandoned astronaut in space. It makes our list not just for its cinematographic achievements, but also for its stunning views of planet earth and strong message of survival.
An Inconvenient truth
Arguably the most popular film on climate change, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth drew controversy from its inception. Both informative and terrifying, don’t miss the movie that brought the discussion of climate change to the forefront of the media.
Fuel [Field of fuel]
The “unofficial sequel to An Inconvenient Truth”, this documentary sets out to answer the question, “What can we do to help the environment?” Environmental activist Josh Tickell examines alternative energy sources with the help of friends Sheryl Crow and Larry David, focusing on the impacts of biofuel.
Everyone knows Pixar has the secret formula when it comes to making great movies. However, Wall-E broke the mold when it was released. Regarded as one of Pixar’s best, the film follows a robot named Wall-E, as he is sent to clean up the destruction from a post-apocalyptic earth devastated by environmental change. Along the way he finds his robot love and follows her across the galaxy, while still managing to save the day and sprinkle in some laughs and tears along the way.
The 11th Hour
Not to be confused with the 2014 Kim Basinger thriller, The 11thHour is a documentary focusing on the political side of climate change. This is not a movie for the faint of heart, as it includes very intense footage of some of the more recent natural disasters, but it provides a great educational experience that will leave you feeling inspired to make a difference.
See Julia Roberts in one of her most famous roles as she portrays whistleblower Erin Brockovich. Based on true events, Brockovich is single mother who finds employment as a law firm secretary. What she uncovers is a corporate cover-up involving cancerous water pollution that has led to tumors in the local population. Watch it for the great acting and a powerful message of one person’s ability to make a difference.
Years of Living Dangerously
From executive producer James Cameron comes a documentary series that focuses on the effects that global warming has had in various places around the world. What’s more, Cameron uses those most in the spotlight, celebrities, as the personal correspondents for each episode. With each installment the series gives you an in-depth look at each location with a brand new perspective.
Another science fiction movie for the ages, Interstellar follows an astronaut who leaves Earth to find a new habitat for humanity as the health of Earth is declining to the point of no return. With groundbreaking special effects and superb acting by Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, Interstellar is a story of the survival of the human spirit at its best.
Short for “Your Environmental Road Trip”, this documentary is a bit more on the lighter side of climate change. Watch as 3 people travel to all 50 states in 1 year (jammed in 1 hybrid) in an effort to highlight the initiatives each state is doing to reduce their carbon footprint.
Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest
A childhood favorite, Fern Gully is an animated cult classic. When Krista the fairy discovers humans are planning to chop down their rainforest she decides to shrink one of them so he can truly understand what it is to appreciate and love nature the way she and the animals are able to. Keep an eye out for the hysterical Batty Koda, voiced by Robin Williams.
A Fierce Green Fire
For all the history buffs out there, this documentary takes a look at the story of sustainability and climate change in the United States since it first became a hot topic in the 70’s. With great raw footage of the environmental movement and compelling narration by Robert Redford this is guaranteed to keep you captivated.
Race the Sun
Every movie marathon needs a 90’s throwback movie, plus it has Halle Berry! While this film may be a bit corny to some, it’s a fun adventure that follows a group of underdog high school students in Hawaii as they try to create the very first solar car.
There you have it! With 14 movies making our list you should be set for at least one weekend heatwave. Happy watching!
Please feel free to leave your comments on your favorite sustainability themed movies, or recommend ones that you think we missed below!