Science & Nature Documentaries

by DanCushing | created - 21 Aug 2016 | updated - 4 months ago | Public
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1. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: The World of Buckminster Fuller (1964)

Documentary

It follows the work of an inventive designer (Buckminster Fuller) and his research of the geodesic dome.

Stars: R. Buckminster Fuller, Robert Horne, Aaron Klug

Votes: 8

3. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: The Quest for Tannu Tuva (1988)

45 min | Documentary

The story of physicist Richard Feynman's fascination with - and efforts to visit - a remote country in the center of Asia, called Tannu Tuva, "the land where the reindeer meets the camel".

Director: Christopher Sykes | Stars: Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton

Votes: 42

5. The Vanishing Prairie (1954)

Approved | 71 min | Documentary, Family

Story of the American Prairie as it was when vast herds of bison and elk grazed.

Director: James Algar | Star: Winston Hibler

Votes: 346

6. Adventures in the Red Sea (1951)

Approved | 67 min | Documentary

Excellent documentary film about diving to the bottom of the Red Sea.

Director: Hans Hass | Stars: Hans Hass, Lotte Hass, Alfons Hochhauser, Leo Rohrer

Votes: 19

9. Genesis (2004)

G | 81 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

A storyteller relates the creation of the world. A tall tale like all yarns. But this tall tale is a true tale - it is our very own story. The birth of the universe, the formation of the ... See full summary »

Directors: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou | Star: Sotigui Kouyaté

Votes: 1,353 | Gross: $0.01M

10. Winged Migration (2001)

G | 89 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro

Votes: 11,180 | Gross: $10.76M

11. Oceans (2009)

G | 84 min | Documentary, Drama

75 Metascore

An ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Part thriller, part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Jacques Perrin, Matthias Brandt

Votes: 8,645 | Gross: $19.42M

13. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (1981)

50 min | Documentary

Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman tells his story.

Director: Christopher Sykes | Star: Richard Feynman

Votes: 120

14. Nova (1974– )
Episode: What Darwin Never Knew (2009)

TV-PG | 113 min | Documentary, Biography

A look at Charles Darwin, his book On The Origin of Species, and how his theory of evolution is explained. It includes Darwin's observations through work on the Human Genome Project.

Directors: Serena Davies, Rushmore DeNooyer, Sarah Holt, John Rubin | Stars: Ellen Becker-Gray, Jerry Chu, Kandace C. Cummings, Olivia Judson

Votes: 115

15. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: Playing God (2012)

Documentary

A documentary that discusses synthetic biology.

Director: Matthew Dyas | Stars: Adam Rutherford, Ed Boyden, Rob Carlson, Randy Lewis

Votes: 36

17. The Genius of Charles Darwin (2008– )

60 min | Documentary

In this three-part series Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary scientist and bestselling author, takes us on a journey of discovery. How does evolution work? How do we know it's true - and why... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Dawkins, The Naked Cowboy, Steven Pinker

Votes: 854

18. Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (2013– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

David Attenborough embarks on a remarkable 500 million-year journey revealing the extraordinary group of animals that dominate our world, and how their evolution defines our human bodies.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 727

19. Bill Nye, the Science Guy (1993–1998)

TV-Y | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy, Family

Scientist/comedian Bill Nye explores various aspects of science for young viewers.

Stars: Bill Nye, Pat Cashman, Michaela Leslie-Rule, Jaffar Smith

Votes: 6,150

20. Attenborough's Life That Glows (2016 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Family

Sir David Attenborough explores the world of bio-luminescence, the often spectacular natural light produced by some creatures. Specially designed cameras reveal nature's leading lights.

Director: Joe Loncraine | Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 405

21. Virunga (2014)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, War

95 Metascore

A team of brave individuals risk their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.

Director: Orlando von Einsiedel | Stars: André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby, Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo

Votes: 9,084

22. Allosaurus: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special (2000 TV Movie)

29 min | Documentary

The first half of this special is a recreation of Al's life, from birth through his death in adolescence.

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Avery Brooks

Votes: 1,109

23. Gravity and Me: The Force That Shapes Our Lives (2017 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary

Professor Jim Al-Khalili investigates the science of gravity, recreating ground-breaking scientific experiments including the moment when Galileo first discovered how to measure gravity.

Director: Andrew Smith | Stars: Jim Al-Khalili, Vicki Smith, Graham Appleby, Chris Hadfield

Votes: 113

24. The Farthest (2017)

PG | 121 min | Documentary, History

87 Metascore

It is one of humankind's greatest achievements. More than 12 billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space - the first human-made object ever to do so.

Director: Emer Reynolds | Stars: Frank Drake, Carolyn Porco, John Casani, Lawrence Krauss

Votes: 2,940 | Gross: $0.01M

25. Journey to the Edge of the Universe (2008 TV Movie)

91 min | Documentary, Family

A journey through space and time.

Director: Yavar Abbas | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Sean Pertwee

Votes: 3,586

26. State of the Planet (2000– )

147 min | Documentary

David Attenborough investigates the latest scientific research to discover whether or not there is a global environmental crisis, and, if so, what solutions there are to it.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 670

27. Attenborough in Paradise (1996 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary

David Attenborough travels to the forests of Papua New Guinea, where 38 of the 42 kinds of bird of paradise are found.

Director: Paul Reddish | Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 786

28. Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough (2011)

TV-PG | 40 min | Documentary

Famous naturalist David Attenborough explains the rise and fall of pterosaurs, mistakenly known as flying dinosaurs. He also flies a glider to show how big the Quetzalcoatlus, at the time the largest known pterosaur species, really was.

Director: Matthew Dyas | Stars: David Attenborough, Douglas A. Lawson

Votes: 796 | Gross: $5.69M

30. Attenborough's Paradise Birds (2015)

60 min | Documentary

Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough's lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them ... See full summary »

Director: Miles Barton | Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 413

31. Walking with Monsters (2005)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

A 90-minute documentary about life before the dinosaurs.

Star: Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 1,588

32. Walking the Amazon (2011– )

96 min | Documentary

The story of Ed Stafford's 2 1/2 year journey to become the first man to walk the length of the Amazon River.

Stars: Luke Collyer, Gadiel 'Cho' Sanchez Rivera, Ed Stafford

Votes: 228

33. Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions (2009– )

60 min | Documentary

A two-part documentary looking at the awe-inspiring world of animal swarms. The latest camera techniques take viewers to the heart of the action, revealing how the creatures view the world ... See full summary »

Star: David Tennant

Votes: 57

35. What Darwin Didn't Know (2009– )

90 min | Documentary

Explores the revolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin on the evolution of species from their very beginnings, to the publication of his On The Origin Of Species, and all the way up to our ... See full summary »

Star: Armand Leroi

Votes: 81

36. The Animal Contract (1991– )

150 min | Documentary

How humans have treat animals down the centuries and how they should treat them now.

Star: Desmond Morris

Votes: 5

37. Mission Blue (2014)

95 min | Documentary, Drama

77 Metascore

Feature documentary about legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and her campaign to create a global network of protected marine sanctuaries.

Directors: Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens | Stars: Barbara Block, James Cameron, Michael deGruy, Sylvia Earle

Votes: 1,276

38. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, News

83 Metascore

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite | Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall

Votes: 57,099 | Gross: $2.06M

39. A Brief History of Time (1991)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Biography

78 Metascore

A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, was one of the great minds of all time.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Stephen Hawking, Isobel Hawking, Janet Humphrey, Mary Hawking

Votes: 4,845 | Gross: $2.28M

40. Hubble (2010)

G | 44 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Director: Toni Myers | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Scott D. Altman, Megan McArthur, Andrew J. Feustel

Votes: 3,977 | Gross: $52.45M

41. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

79 Metascore

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 53,669 | Gross: $77.44M

42. More Than Honey (2012)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

Director: Markus Imhoof | Stars: Fred Jaggi, Randolf Menzel, John Miller, Liane Singer

Votes: 3,763 | Gross: $0.07M

43. Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

A documentary that follows Dr. Penny Patterson's current scientific study of Koko, a gorilla who communicates through American Sign Language.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Koko, Penny Patterson, Saul Kitchener, Carl Pribram

Votes: 652

44. Kestrel's Eye (1998)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary

Filmed over several years, it is a wonder-filled portrait of a family of kestrels (European falcons) who live in a church tower above a small Swedish town. The amazing cinematography, nominated for a Swedish Oscar.

Director: Mikael Kristersson | Star: Caisa Persson

Votes: 86 | Gross: $0.03M

45. Anima Mundi (1991)

28 min | Documentary, Short

Image and music are intertwined in this third collaboration between director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass. The film was produced to celebrate the World Wildlife Fund's ... See full summary »

Director: Godfrey Reggio

Votes: 1,032

46. Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)

47 min | Documentary, Comedy

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

Director: Mark Lewis | Stars: Tip Byrne, H.W. Kerr, Glen Ingram, Bill Freeland

Votes: 1,117

47. The Natural History of the Chicken (2000)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary, Comedy

Through interviews and reenactments, The Natural History of the Chicken investigates the role of the chicken in American life and tells several remarkable stories. A Maine farmer says she ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Lewis | Stars: Janet Bonney, Joseph Martinez, Joel Vavra, David Forrester

Votes: 384

48. Cane Toads: The Conquest (2010)

PG | 85 min | Documentary, Comedy

A documentary horror film about the environmental devastation left in the wake of the giant toads' unstoppable march across Australia.

Director: Mark Lewis | Stars: Henry Richards, Neil Young

Votes: 405