Films that make you think about the Earth

So, this here article is sort of a sequel to one I wrote back in 2001 for Earth Day. (You can find it in our archives at Here are some films that make me think of Earth, wilderness, animals and recycling. As you might concur, there aren’t very many happy films about Mother Earth. Lots of stuff involving tornadoes and messed up camping stories.


Five hundred years in the future, Earthlings have become so stupid that they water their crops with Gatorade. Mike Judge’s underappreciated film envisions a future where landfills have become so overwhelmed that civilization suffers occasional garbage avalanches. Probably the funniest cinematic statement on what could happen due to planetary neglect.

The Day After Tomorrow

Global warming causes a cataclysmic weather event that brings killer tornadoes to Los Angeles and an Ice Age to the Northern hemisphere. Jake Gyllenhaal tries to protect the girl from Phantom of the Opera while his dad, played tenaciously by Dennis Quaid, travels to New York to save his freezing ass. The film ends on a hopeful note, with all Americans migrating to Mexico, where they accept us with open arms.

An Inconvenient Truth

Why, sure, this is an obvious choice. What can I say? This film—about how we are all going to die if we don’t recycle our beer cans—got me thinking about Earth for sure. It also got me thinking about how Al Gore has grown up into a fine human being. Seriously, people, recycle your beer cans. I don’t want to die in a big global warming-induced tidal wave that hits me 500 miles from the nearest oceanic shore. That would suck.

Into the Wild

Earth loving and incredibly handsome Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) disenfranchises and goes off into the wilderness to live off God’s land … and he dies!!! This film made me think of the wonders of camping, life without electricity and luxuries (a gutted bus doesn’t count) and just how nasty Mother Earth can be to those who are just trying to love her. She killed this dude with pretty poisonous plants! That’s cold!

Earth Girls are Easy

This one stars Jeff Goldblum and Jim Carrey as furry aliens and Geena Davis as the girl. It makes me think about Earth because the word “Earth” is in its title.

Grizzly Man

In this documentary, a not-so-handsome, animal-and-Earth-loving dude travels into the wilderness … and dies!!! Dude gets eaten by a bear because he basically sets up camp in the paths of grizzlies heading for hibernation. He might as well have slathered himself with honey (Is the Winnie the Pooh thing about bears liking honey true or just a cartoon myth?) and jumped on the big hairy bastards’ backs. This film made me think about Earth not so much because the dude got himself eaten by bears, but because the scenery is quite breathtaking. I’d like to say this movie is about man’s harmonious relations with nature, but it’s more about how, if you should choose to go out into the wilderness and put your face up to those big bears, one of them will eventually eat you.