20 Ocean Related Movies to Binge Watch

Sarah Wormald11 May, 2020

Everyone is entitled to a binge watch from time to time and why not do it like a diver with these 20 ocean-related movies!

  1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

This might not be Bill Murray’s most revered movie but Wes Anderson’s story is certainly watchable. Plus, the film was dedicated to Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In the movie, fictional Oceanographer Zissou, plans to get revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, which leads to much offbeat humour. Did you know that Bill Murray even became a PADI Open Water Diver prior to making the movie?

  1. Into The Blue (2005)

This film tells the entertaining story of a group of young divers who go looking for a legendary treasure ship in the Bahamas. While diving, they stumble upon an airplane-wreck full of drugs, leading to an underground storyline of mobs and underwater action. The movie has an abundance of shark footage, the majority of which was filmed using live, wild sharks. The movie stars Jessica Alba and Paul Walker and the exotic scenery will take you off your couch and into your next dive trip!

  1. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

No movie list can ever be complete without a James Bond movie (or two). For Your Eyes Only includes up close, underwater footage of Roger Moore in Greece and the Bahamas. But what you might not have known is that most of the scenes were actually filmed on a soundstage, with special effects added later to give the impression of water moving around them.

  1. Thunderball (1965)

Turning back the James Bond clock to the nineteen sixties when Sean Connery was the man of the moment in Thunderball. In this Bond classic, Connery dives with sharks in the Bahamas. During filming, clear plastic panels were placed in the water to separate the actor from the sharks. But, this didn’t work as intended and the sharks soon found their way around the panels and were swimming up to the cast – of course, aside from the odd fright, everyone lived to tell the tale.

  1. Men of Honour (2000)

This Oscar winner movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. was a box office hit. Gooding plays Carl Brashear, the U.S. Navy’s first African-American Master Diver. Discouraged and driven by his instructor (Robert De Niro) in equal measure, Brashear overcomes the racism of the 1940s and his incomplete education to achieve his goal of becoming an operational diver in the Navy. A feel good movie with a message – and you might want to have tissues on hand for the multiple tear jerking moments in this scuba movie!

  1. The Deep (1977)

This seventies hit movie was based on a novel by Peter Benchley andfollows a vacationing couple who stumble upon some mysterious artefacts while wreck diving off Bermuda. It is rumoured that the making of The Deep required 8,895 dives, 10,870 hours underwater and 1 million cubic feet of compressed air.

  1. The Abyss (1989)

Aliens and deep sea diving rolled into one by James Cameron – what’s not to love about that? Did you know that James Cameron has a passion for the ocean, is an avid scuba diver himself, and was the third person ever to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench? In “The Abyss” a US nuclear submarine sinks near a massive underwater trench after encountering a mystical underwater entity. If the storyline doesn’t wow you then the amazing special effects still make this a worthwhile watch!

  1. The Big Blue (1988)

Released in Europe as “Le Grand Bleu” the storyline is around two lifelong friends who grow up to be free diving rivals in the Mediterranean Sea. This is a great movie to whisk you away to tropical locations and the dolphin scenes are bound to brighten up your day on lockdown!

  1. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)

Despite numerous remakes over the years, the original Walt Disney Productions version is an all-time classic. From scenes of battling with giant squid through to Nautilus divers scouring the ocean floor for sea life to help feed the crew, it’s bound to keep you entertained – which explains why it won two Academy Awards!

  1. Sanctum (2011)

Loosely based on a real life experience, Sanctum is a cave diving thriller produced by Jim Cameron. This tense and gripping movie is not suitable for those who are claustrophobic, or planning to take their open water certification!

  1. Dark Tide (2011)

Halle Berry stars as a “Shark Whisperer” who is haunted by her memories of her shark attack – which she inevitably has to overcome and win the day.  This is not one of Halle Berry’s most famous movies and it didn’t have a big impact at the box office but it’s still very watchable.

  1. Open Water (2004)

Open Water is the story of two people being left behind in the open ocean by their dive boat. As expected, sharks appear and tensions rise as the couple’s holiday rapidly takes a nose dive. Very watchable but probably not one for new divers who are about to embark on their first boat diving experience!

  1. Fool’s Gold (2008)

A must watch scuba movie for Matthew McConaughey fans. McConaughey’s character is a deep sea treasure hunter who rekindles his relationship with estranged wife Kate Hudson, during a quest to find a Spanish shipwreck full of treasure. This is great family entertainment, despite the questionable diving techniques, and the smattering of charm and humour make for easy and entertaining watching.

  1. Finding Nemo (2003)

It’s impossible to be a scuba diver and not have some affinity with this movie. The fish ‘characters’ brilliantly display real-life characteristics which have been transplanted into their personalities. Perfect family entertainment and ideal for teaching kids some fish ID skills!

  1. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep Blue Sea stars Samual L. Jackson whose character takes on genetically modified sharks at an isolated research facility – from which the sharks are trying to escape into the open ocean. This one is packed with action and suspense, as Samual L. Jackson fights his way to victory over these fishy fiends.

  1. Sphere (1998)

Sphere is another Samuel L Jackson movie which also stars Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone as a crack team of scientists.  The team are sent to investigate a 300 year old space ship 1,000 feet/304 meters underwater which turns out to be an American craft presumably from the future, sent back through time after a mission through space. The movie is based on a novel by Michael Crichton and with an all-star cast it’s worth a watch.

  1. Aquaman (2018)

After years of waiting for an Aquaman movie, this did everything that was expected of it – non-stop action and adventure which spans the vast underwater world of the seven seas. The storyline is a rather predictable super hero affair but what’s not to love about that?

  1. The Cave (2005)

While on a dig in a Romanian forest, a group of scientists find a huge abbey which was built over the entrance to a network of caves. They hire a team of divers who are armed with new high-tech scuba gear that allows them to stay under water for a full 24 hours. They soon discover they are not alone though, as scary creatures make their presence known.

  1. Jaws (1975)

You can’t talk about ocean movies without mentioning the famous Jaws movies. Despite there not being much scuba related content, this movie forever changed the perception of sharks for many people. This is often cited as one of the most ground breaking motion pictures of all time but it has undeniably contributed to the image of sharks as man eaters around the world.

  1. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Known for his crazy stunts, Tom Cruise learned freediving skills to prepare himself for the making of this MI movie. Cruise reportedly became a very competent freediver, achieving static breath holds of six minutes – very impressive!

  1. Titanic (1997)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet there is no scuba diving, but some of the most memorable underwater scenes in cinema. James Cameron admitted he made the movie only so he could dive the Titanic himself – which he did, using the Mir submersibles and a Russian exploration vessel. The details contained in the movie are reportedly all accurate portrayals of the real vessel (even down to the crockery used in the restaurant) and when combined with a love story, it’s a gripping movie and a real feat of movie production.

Have you got your popcorn ready? After you’ve binge-watched all that you can, why not check out some of the awesome locations and their scuba guides so you can start planning your first ‘after-COVID’ dive trip!

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