Watchworthy

The Best Documentaries About Oil 

Ranker Film
Updated November 5, 2019 123 votes 53 voters 12.8k views 35 items

The best documentaries tackle the controversies and importance of oil, including how it affects different countries and regions, how it impacts the climate and environment, its complicated politics, and how much oil we must have to sustain our everyday lives. What are the best documentaries about oil? The oil industry affects the deepest parts of the environment and just about every nation in the world. Massive oil spills and related pollution have dominated news outlets for decades. Who doesn’t remember seeing image after image of animals covered from an oil spill?

This list discusses the best documentary films discussing the oil industry, including: Collapse, Crude, The End of Suburbia, Fuel, PetroApocalypse Now?, FrackNation, Pipe Dreams, and Gasline. Vote up the most educational and entertaining, and add any that are missing from the list.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video

Released: 2006

Directed by: Ray McCormack, Basil Gelpke

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash is an award-winning documentary film about peak oil, produced and directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack.
2
Ranker Video

Released: 2009

Directed by: Chris Smith

Collapse, directed by Chris Smith, is an American documentary film exploring the theories, writings and life story of controversial author Michael Ruppert. Collapse premiered at the Toronto ...more
3
Ranker Video
Trudie Styler, Steven R. Donziger

Released: 2009

Directed by: Joe Berlinger

"Three years in the making, this cinéma-vérité feature from acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) is the ...more
4
Ranker Video
Escape from Suburbia

Released: 2010

Directed by: Mayana Bonapart

Escape from Suburbia is a 2010 documentary short film directed by Mayana Bonapart.
5
Ranker Video
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Released: 2006

Directed by: Faith Morgan

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil is an American documentary film that explores the Special Period in Peacetime and its aftermath; the economic collapse and eventual recovery of ...more
6
Ranker Video
PetroApocalypse Now?

Released: 2008

PetroApocalypse Now? is a 2008 documentary television film about the future of global oil production and peak oil.
7
Ranker Video
The End of Suburbia

Released: 2004

Directed by: Gregory Greene

The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream is a 2004 documentary film concerning peak oil and its implications for the suburban lifestyle, written and directed by ...more
8
Ranker Video
Dick Cheney, Josh Fox

Released: 2010

Directed by: Josh Fox

Gasland is a 2010 American documentary written and directed by Josh Fox. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film focuses on communities in the United States ...more
9
Ranker Video
Bernard Shakey, Sheryl Crow, Richard Branson

Released: 2008

Directed by: Josh Tickell

Fuel is a 2008 documentary film directed by Josh Tickell and produced by Greg Reitman, Dale Rosenbloom, Daniel Assael, Darius Fisher, and Rebecca Harrell Tickell. It won the audience award at ...more
10
Ranker Video
Richard Heinberg

Released: 2006

Directed by: James Jandak Wood

Crude Impact is a 2006 film written and directed by James Jandak Wood. It is a documentary about the effect of fossil fuels on issues such as global warming, the environmental crisis, society ...more
11
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Documentaries About Oil
Daniel Day-Lewis, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Dano

Released: 2007

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American epic drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film was inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel ...more

More There Will Be Blood 

#246 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #103 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Ranker Video
Jerry Mander, Thomas Berry, Derrick Jensen

Released: 2007

Directed by: Timothy S. Bennett

What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire is a 2007 documentary film about the current situation facing humanity and the world. It discusses issues such as peak oil, climate change and the ...more
13
Ranker Video
Sweet Crude

Released: 2007

Directed by: Sandy Cioffi

Sweet Crude is a documentary film by Sandy Cioffi about Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta. The film premiered in April 2009 at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and has since screened at 30 ...more
14
Ranker Video
Michael Caine, John Le Mesurier, Gordon Jackson

Released: 1958

Directed by: Peter Maxwell

Blind Spot is a 1958 British drama film directed by Peter Maxwell and starring Robert MacKenzie, Delphi Lawrence, Gordon Jackson, John Le Mesurier and Michael Caine in an early screen
15
Ranker Video
Split Estate Ali MacGraw

Released: 2009

Directed by: Debra Anderson

Split Estate is a documentary film directed by Debra Anderson.
16
Ranker Video
Oil on Ice

Released: 2004

Directed by: Bo Boudart

Oil on Ice is a 2004 documentary film directed by Bo Boudart and Dale Djerassi. It explores the Arctic Refuge drilling controversy in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the impact of oil ...more
17
Ranker Video
Blood and Oil: The Middle East in World War I

Released: 2006

Directed by: Marty Callaghan

18
Ranker Video
Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez

Released: 2008

Directed by: Robert Cornellier

Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez is a 2008 documentary film directed by Robert Cornellier.
19
Ranker Video
Collapsus

Released: 2010

Directed by: Tommy Pallotta

Collapsus is a 2010 documentary film written by Chuck Wendig and Lance Weiler and directed by Tommy Pallotta.
20
Ranker Video
The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced

Released: 2002

Directed by: Lawrence R. Hott

21
Ranker Video
Gladys Knight, Sally Kirkland, Bruce French

Released: 2002

Pipe Dreams is a 1976 film starring soul singer Gladys Knight in her acting debut as a woman who attempts to regain the love of her husband played by real-life spouse Barry Hankerson. In this ...more
22
Ranker Video
FrackNation

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ann McElhinney, Magdalena Segieda, Phelim McAleer

FrackNation is a feature documentary created by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, the directors of Not Evil Just Wrong and Mine Your Own Business, and Magdalena Segieda, that aims to address ...more
23
Ranker Video
Dear Governor Cuomo

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jon Bowermaster

Dear Governor Cuomo is 2012 documentary music film written and directed by Jon Bowermaster.
24
Ranker Video
Black Tide

Released: 2012

25
Ranker Video
UNEARTHED: the Fracking Facade

Released: 2012