Our Picks for the Best Ocean Films and Documentaries

In mainstream media ocean related cinema is usually confined to gore fests featuring terrible CGI-Sharks or overly aggressive marine life. Since making a huge splash (pardon the pun) with Jaws in 1975, ocean filmography has been sourly disappointing for those who know the true nature and beauty of the ocean and the life within it.

Cult classics like Jaws or Sharknado haven't done wonders for the reputation of marine life, but with all the bad there has been some good. There are films out there that show the ocean in all it's grandeur, and teach you and thing here and there too. Here are our top picks for ocean films:

-Sharkwater (2006) This documentary is possibly the best piece of shark cinema you'll find. The late Rob Stewart does an amazing job of capturing the personalities and beauty of sharks across the globe. This doco is perfect for anyone who still believes sharks are just like what you see in Jaws. You can learn more here: http://www.sharkwater.com/ Where to watch: Netflix 

-The Blue Planet (2001) This David Attenborough/BBC series explores the ocean through eight episodes. The beauty of this series is that you don't have to love the ocean to be captivated by it, the cinematography, music, and content is superb. Plus...David Attenborough, so enough said. If people didn't appreciate the ocean before this series, they did by the end. Blue Planet II is set to be released by the BBC later this year, but still no word on when it will air in Australia. Where to watch: Netflix, YouTube (BBC Account)

-Mission Blue (2014) This feature-length documentary follows the life and work of oceanographer and conservationist, Sylvia Earle. The film is visually stunning and is an emotive call to arms for regular citizens to make an impact on the oceans livelihood through action and conversation work. This film will make you fall in love with Earle and her impressive, lifelong dedication to the ocean. Where to watch: Netflix, or https://www.mission-blue.org/

-A Plastic Ocean (2016) Another feature-length doco, this film forces audiences to realise the impact of plastic on the precious marine ecosystem. This film balances emotions and fact so well, and will have a profound effect on even the most staunch of viewers. Where to watch: Netflix, iTunes, or http://aplasticocean.film/ 

-Moving Art (2017) This series is a filmmakers take on the beauty of the world. With no dialogue the series is one for the film buffs. The cinematography is second to none and the scenery draws you in, so much so that you don't even notice there's no narration. The overall series is stellar, however the specific ocean content is found in Episodes 1 & 6 of Season 1, and Episode 4 of Season 2. Where to Watch: Netflix, Vimeo, https://movingart.com/ 

-Life in the Blue (2016) This is a nice and quick doco, with a running time of 47 minutes. It's perfecting for capturing the attention of you friends who lose interest in feature-length documentaries. It's educational, beautiful, and interesting. Where to watch: Netflix, Vimeo


Written by: Monique Aganovic


Hollie Newman