The Best Movies About Oil
The world’s dependency on oil and the effects its use has on the climate, culture, economics, and politics of different countries is a fascinating subject. Many wars have even been started over oil and oil drilling, and tons of conspiracy theories have been built around this concept. It’s no wonder that so many movies have told stories about oil. What are the best movies about oil? Vote up the best films below and see where your favorites rank.
The movies featured on this list have been ranked as the absolute best oil movies in film, whether the movie takes more of a literal, fact-based approach to the controversial topic of oil or whether it is a completely fictional story.
This list has the best movies about oil including, Syriana, There Will Be Blood, Black Gold, The Abyss, On Deadly Ground, The Night They Saved Christmas, The Burning Season, The Big Fix, and The Wages of Fear. Vote up the best, slickest oil films below or add one you love that isn't already on the list.
- Released: 2007
- Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
An intense and powerful character study, brought to life by the incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, an ambitious oilman with a relentless drive for success. The film's striking visuals and haunting score by Jonny Greenwood further enhance the story, while director Paul Thomas Anderson masterfully weaves themes of greed, ambition, and human relations into a captivating tale set during the California oil boom.
- Released: 1956
- Directed by: George Stevens
A sprawling epic that spans decades in the lives of a wealthy Texas ranching family, this film delves into themes of love, power dynamics, and societal change against the backdrop of the state's burgeoning oil industry. James Dean delivers a heartbreaking performance as Jett Rink, an enigmatic drifter who becomes wildly successful after striking oil on his property. Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson round out an exceptional cast that brings Edna Ferber's novel to life under George Stevens' expert direction.
- Released: 2016
- Directed by: Peter Berg
This harrowing account of the 2010 disaster that occurred on the eponymous offshore drilling rig offers both thrilling action sequences and poignant character moments. The formidable ensemble cast includes Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, an electrician working aboard the rig when catastrophe strikes. With white-knuckle tension throughout and Peter Berg's adept direction, the film is not only an engrossing watch but also serves as a stark reminder of this devastating ecological event.
- Released: 1968
- Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
John Wayne stars in this action-packed drama about an elite team of firefighters specializing in combating catastrophic oil well fires. Drawing inspiration from real-life fire expert Red Adair, Hellfighters provides gripping depictions of these dangerous battles against nature's fury alongside personal conflicts among its crew members. Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, this high-octane adventure offers a thrilling glimpse into a dangerous profession fueled by courage and determination.
- Released: 1949
- Directed by: Stuart Heisler
Susan Hayward shines as Cherokee Lansing in this engaging exploration of the Oklahoma oil boom, as her character seeks revenge against the oil companies responsible for her father's death. The plot expertly combines drama, romance, and classic western tropes into an engrossing tale that showcases the transformative power of the oil industry on American society. Directed by Stuart Heisler, Tulsa is an often-overlooked gem that provides a compelling window into a bygone era.
- Released: 1967
- Directed by: Arthur H. Nadel
Elvis Presley takes center stage in this light-hearted musical romp set amidst the sun-soaked backdrop of Florida's beaches and Jet Ski races. Trading places with a water-ski instructor to escape the pressures of his oil magnate father, Presley's character Scott Heyward sings and dances his way through love and adventure. With catchy tunes and vibrant colors, Clambake offers a breezy take on the classic fish-out-of-water story.