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Entertainment

The Best Movies About Oil 

Ranker Film
Updated October 9, 2019 224 votes 66 voters 8k views

List Rules Films about oil and oil tycoons.

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.

list ordered by
1
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies 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

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2
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Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1956

Directed by: George Stevens

Giant is a 1956 American drama film, directed by George Stevens from a screenplay adapted by Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat from the novel by Edna Ferber. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock ...more

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3
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Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells

Released: 1981

Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

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4
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John Wayne, Katharine Ross, Vera Miles

Released: 1968

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

Hellfighters is a 1968 American film starring John Wayne and featuring Katharine Ross, Bruce Cabot, Jim Hutton, Jay C. Flippen and Vera Miles. The film, directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, is about ...more

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5
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Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Carnahan

The Grey is a 2011 American survival thriller co-written, produced and directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo and Dermot Mulroney. It is based on the short story ...more

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6
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Susan Hayward, Robert Preston, Chill Wills

Released: 1949

Directed by: Stuart Heisler

Tulsa is a 1949 Technicolor film that was directed by Stuart Heisler and starred Susan Hayward and Robert Preston, and featured Lloyd Gough, Chill Wills, and Ed Begley in one of his earliest ...more
7
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Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

Released: 1989

Directed by: James Cameron

The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. When an American submarine ...more

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8
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George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet

Released: 2005

Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's ...more

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9
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Rob Schneider, Lea Thompson, Lily Tomlin

Released: 1993

Directed by: Penelope Spheeris

The Beverly Hillbillies is a 1993 20th Century Fox comedy motion picture starring Jim Varney, Diedrich Bader, Erika Eleniak, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Lea Thompson, Rob ...more
10
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Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards, John Cleese

Released: 1999

Directed by: Michael Apted

The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Michael Apted, ...more

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11
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Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Laura Linney

Released: 1992

Directed by: George Miller

Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 American drama film directed by George Miller. It is based on the true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son ...more

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12
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Burt Lancaster, Peter Capaldi, Peter Riegert

Released: 1983

Directed by: Bill Forsyth

Local Hero is a 1983 British comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay, and Burt Lancaster. Produced by David Puttnam, the ...more
13
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Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Black Gold is a 2011 drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.
14
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Gian Maria Volonté, Peter Baldwin, Franco Graziosi

Released: 1972

Directed by: Francesco Rosi

The Mattei Affair is a 1972 film directed by Francesco Rosi. It depicts the life and mysterious death of Enrico Mattei, an Italian businessman who in the aftermath of World War II managed to ...more
15
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Yves Montand, Darío Moreno, Peter van Eyck

Released: 1953

Directed by: Henri-Georges Clouzot

The Wages of Fear is a 1953 French-Italian thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Yves Montand, and based on a 1950 novel by Georges Arnaud. When a South American oil well ...more
16
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Elvis Presley, Robert Redford, Teri Garr

Released: 1967

Directed by: Arthur H. Nadel

Clambake is a 1967 American musical film directed by Arthur H. Nadel and starring Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, and Bill Bixby. Written by Arthur Browne Jr., the film is about the heir to an ...more
17
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The Big Fix Amy Smart, Bernie Sanders, Peter Fonda

Released: 2011

Directed by: Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell

The Big Fix is a 2012 documentary film about two filmmakers, Josh and Rebecca Tickell, as they travel along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico meeting the residents whose lives were changed by the ...more
18
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Steven Seagal, Michael Caine, Billy Bob Thornton

Released: 1994

Directed by: Steven Seagal

This film is a 1994 environmental action-adventure film, co-produced, directed by and starring Steven Seagal, and co-starring an all-star cast that includes Michael Caine, Joan Chen, John C. ...more
19
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Jaclyn Smith, Art Carney, Paul Williams

Released: 1984

Directed by: Jackie Cooper

The Night They Saved Christmas is a 1984 RHI Entertainment Christmas film, executive produced by Robert Halmi, Senior and Junior; and originally developed for ABC. The film is about an oil ...more
20
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Ha Ji-won, Oh Ji-ho, Ahn Sung-ki

Released: 2011

Directed by: Ji-hoon Kim

Something awaits 8,000 feet under the sea off the southern tip of Jeju Island. The Eclipse is the offshore drilling rig stationed at Sector 7, a mining area in the vast open sea located off the ...more
21
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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
22
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Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda, Leslie Nielsen

Released: 1979

Directed by: Alvin Rakoff

City on Fire is a 1979 disaster film directed by Alvin Rakoff and featuring an all-star cast. The film’s plot revolves around a disgruntled employee who sets fire to an oil refinery, setting off ...more

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23
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Werner Herzog

Released: 1992

Directed by: Werner Herzog

Lessons of Darkness is a 1992 film by director Werner Herzog. Shot in documentary style on 16mm film from the perspective of an almost alien observer, the film is an exploration of the ravaged ...more
24
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Woman Sesame Oil Maker Siqin Gaowa, Chen Baoguo, Xiaoqing Ma

Released: 1993

Directed by: Xie Fei

Woman Sesame Oil Maker is a 1993 Chinese film. In the English speaking world it has been released in the United Kingdom under the title Women from the Lake of Scented Souls and more recently on ...more
25
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The Burning Season

Released: 2009

Directed by: Cathy Henkel

The Burning Season is a 2009 film directed by Cathy Henkel.