Photo:
Entertainment
89 voters

The Best Movies About Oil

Updated October 9, 2019 313 votes 89 voters 9.8k views

List RulesFilms 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.

...more
  • 1
    24
    9

    There Will Be Blood

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Ciarán Hinds

    Released2007

    Directed byPaul 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 Oil!...  more

    More There Will Be Blood 

    #114 of 373 The Best Movies Based On Books#343 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies Of All Time

  • 2
    16
    6

    The Grey

    Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney

    Released2011

    Directed byJoe 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 "Ghost...  more

    More The Grey 

    #31 of 136 The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made#7 of 19 19 Underrated Movies Where Animals Are The Villain

  • 3
    15
    5

    Giant

    Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean

    Released1956

    Directed byGeorge 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 Hudson and...  more

    More Giant 

    #117 of 401 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#392 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 4
    10
    3

    Lorenzo's Oil

    Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte

    Released1992

    Directed byGeorge 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

    More Lorenzo's Oil 

    #325 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#59 of 125 The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s

  • 5
    9
    4

    Black Gold

    Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas

    Released2011

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

    Black Gold is a 2011 drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud....  more
  • 6
    10
    6

    The World Is Not Enough

    Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards

    Released1999

    Directed byMichael 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, with...  more

    More The World Is Not Enough 

    #305 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s#49 of 102 The Best 1990s Action Movies

  • 7
    9
    5

    Mad Max 2

    Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence

    Released1981

    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. The...  more

    More Mad Max 2 

    #37 of 180 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#285 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 8
    8
    5

    The Beverly Hillbillies

    Rob Schneider, Lea Thompson

    Released1993

    Directed byPenelope 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 Schneider...  more
  • 9
    9
    6

    Hellfighters

    John Wayne, Katharine Ross

    Released1968

    Directed byAndrew 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 a...  more

    More Hellfighters 

    #1297 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies#122 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s

  • 10
    6
    3

    The Abyss

    Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

    Released1989

    Directed byJames 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 sinks...  more

    More The Abyss 

    #229 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#98 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 11
    5
    3

    Tulsa

    Susan Hayward, Robert Preston

    Released1949

    Directed byStuart 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 film...  more
  • 12
    7
    7

    Syriana

    George Clooney, Matt Damon

    Released2005

    Directed byStephen 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 screenplay is...  more

    More Syriana 

    #354 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#217 of 303 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 13
    6
    6

    The Mattei Affair

    Gian Maria Volonté, Peter Baldwin

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancesco 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 avoid...  more
  • 14
    2
    6

    Sector 7

    Ha Ji-won, Oh Ji-ho

    Released2011

    Directed byJi-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
  • 15
    2
    6

    Lessons of Darkness

    Werner Herzog

    Released1992

    Directed byWerner 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 oil...  more
  • 16
    3
    2

    Local Hero

    Burt Lancaster, Peter Capaldi

    Released1983

    Directed byBill 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 film is...  more
  • 17
    5
    6

    Clambake

    Elvis Presley, Robert Redford

    Released1967

    Directed byArthur 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 oil...  more
  • 18
    0
    3

    Woman Sesame Oil Maker

    Siqin Gaowa, Chen Baoguo

    Released1993

    Directed byXie 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 DVD...  more
  • 19
    0
    3

    The Burning Season

    The Burning Season is a 2009 film directed by Cathy Henkel....  more
  • 20
    4
    6

    The Wages of Fear

    Yves Montand, Darío Moreno

    Released1953

    Directed byHenri-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 owned by...  more
  • 21
    0
    6

    Atlantic Rim

    Graham Greene, Treach

    Released2013

    Directed byJared Cohn

    Atlantic Rim is an American science fiction monster film produced by The Asylum and directed by Jared Cohn. Shot in Pensacola, Florida, the film stars Graham Greene, David Chokachi, Treach, and...  more
  • 22
    4
    6

    The Big Fix

    Amy Smart, Bernie Sanders

    Released2011

    Directed byJosh 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 2010...  more
  • 23
    2
    3

    City on Fire

    Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda

    Released1979

    Directed byAlvin 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 a...  more

    More City on Fire 

    #504 of 552 The Best '70s Movies#17 of 40 The Best Firefighter Movies

  • 24
    2
    4

    Crude Impact

    Richard Heinberg

    Released2006

    Directed byJames 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 and the...  more
  • 25
    4
    8

    The Night They Saved Christmas

    Jaclyn Smith, Art Carney

    Released1984

    Directed byJackie 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 company...  more