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Cinematic voyages: 20 unforgettable cruise ship movies.

Are you looking for inspiration to plan your first cruise ? Take a cinematic voyage with my pick of movies set on a cruise ship.

Not all of these cruise ship movies are masterpieces (although some are). A few are utter stinkers. However, each of them showcases aspects of life on the high seas.

Although I have indicated the availability of these films on Netflix and Amazon Prime there may be regional variations. Information here relates to the UK market in March 2024.

hull of norwegian epic cruise ship berthed in port

Some articles on this website contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases . Read the full disclosure here .


Classic Movies About Cruise Ships

Let’s start with the best movies about cruise ships, from films from Hollywood’s Golden Age to a science fiction classic.

Now, Voyager (1942)

Now, Voyager is not only one of the best movies set on a cruise ship but it is also one of my favourite films of all time. I blub like a baby each time I watch it.

Cowed by her domineering mother, middle-aged neurotic Boston heiress Charlotte Vale (a stupendous Bette Davis) takes a cruise after a restorative stay in a sanatorium. Whilst on board, she falls in love with the married Jerry (Paul Henreid).

The movie is famous for an iconic scene where Paul Henreid’s character lights two cigarettes and gives one to Bette Davis. 

A masterpiece of a movie.

  • Running time: 1 hour 57 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 90%
  • Available for streaming on Amazon Prime here .

An Affair to Remember (1957)

This melodrama directed by Leo McCarey and starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is considered to be one of the most romantic films of all time.

Playboy Nickie (Grant) and Terry (Kerr) fall in love on a transatlantic cruise to New York. Despite being engaged to other people, they agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. But will all go to plan?

An Affair to Remember was introduced to a new generation of cinema-goers when it was featured in the 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle .

  • Running time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 65%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 87%
  • Available for streaming on Amazon Prime here

Death on the Nile (1978)

Agatha Christie’s 1937 murder mystery has been adapted for the silver screen three times but the original film version is the best of the bunch (don’t go near Kenneth Branagh’s woeful 2022 remake).

Directed by John Guillermin, Death on the Nile was Peter Ustinov’s first appearance as Hercule Poirot and perhaps his best. Soon after Poirot boards a ship for a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is discovered murdered on board. Who is her murderer?

  • Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score : 78%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 79%

The Fifth Element (1997)

Welcome to a cruise ship of the future.

For my money, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is up there with the best science fiction movies of all time. Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis giving one of his finest performances) is a 23rd-century cab driver who is unwittingly pulled into a search for a mysterious fifth element that will prevent an apocalyptic event.

Much of the action in the final third of the movie takes place on Fhloston Paradise, a space cruise ship patronised by the rich and powerful. This superliner features twelve swimming pools with two VIP pools, dozens of high-end restaurants and a concert hall.

A glimpse of the future of cruising? Minus the giant fireball of course.

costume of large alien lifeform from the movie the fifth element

  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score : 91%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90%

Disaster Movies Set on a Cruise Ship

The poseidon adventure (1972).

The 1970s was the decade for disaster movies featuring all-star ensemble casts and The Poseidon Adventure gets my vote as the best disaster film set on a cruise ship.

This multi-nominated movie – it went on to win two Oscars – centres on the ageing SS Poseidon on her final voyage from New York to Athens. After it is upended by a tsunami on New Year’s Day, it’s a race against time to bring the survivors to safety.

Spoiler alert; not many passengers make it.

  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 81%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 76%

Titanic (1997)

The Oscar-winning, multi-nominated Titanic is one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Directed by James Cameron and starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, this epic movie about one of the most famous cruise ships in history is also one of the most expensive movies ever made.

The sinking of the Titanic is viewed through the lens of a fictional relationship across the social divide between Rose (Winslet), and Jack (DiCaprio).

  • Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 69%

A Night to Remember (1958)

Despite Titanic ’s many gongs, I far prefer this treatment of the sinking of the ill-fated cruise ship.

Filmed in a semi-documentary style, A Night to Remember sticks closely to the facts of the ship’s sinking, unimpeded by fictional sub-plots. This riveting film portrays the events of the fateful night of 15 th April 1912 from the perspective of the luxury liner’s second officer, Charles Lightoller (Kenneth More). 

  • Running time : 2 hours 3 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100%

Cruise Ship Movies to Make You Laugh

Monkey business (1931).

lobby card of monkey business one of the best cruise ship movies showing 3 of the marx brotheres

Monkey Business was the Marx Brothers’ third feature comedy and takes place on a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic to the USA.

Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo play four stowaways who are forced to work for a pair of feuding gangsters to evade capture by the ship’s crew. After the ship docks, the zany quartet become unlikely heroes when one of the gangsters kidnaps the other’s daughter.

  • Running time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84%
  • Available for on DVD from Amazon Prime here

Out to Se a (1997)

Out to Sea is not Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon’s finest cinematic outing by any stretch of the imagination but it is a harmless bit of escapist fun.

Hunting for lonely women with hefty bank balances, Charlie (Matthau) coaxes his widower brother-in-law Herb (Lemmon) into working with him as a dance host on an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise. Under the watchful eye of the cruise director (played by Brent Spiner from Star Trek ), Charlie pursues wealthy socialite Liz (Dyan Cannon) and Herb unexpectedly falls for Vivian (Gloria DeHaven).

  • Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score : 36%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 52%

The Parent Trap (1998)

This romantic comedy directed and co-written by Nancy Meyers stars Lindsay Lohan playing the role of identical twins who discover their relationship when they are sent to the same summer camp. The twins then set to work trying to reunite their parents.

While much of The Parent Trap takes place on land, there are some scenes set aboard Cunard’s now-retired Queen Elizabeth 2 (they were actually filmed on  Queen Mary , which is docked in Long Beach, California).

  • Running time : 2 hours 7 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70%

Like Father (2018)

In this predictable rom-com, jilted bride Rachel (Kristen Bell) ends up on her honeymoon Caribbean cruise with her estranged father Harry (Kelsey Grammer).

Like Father is set aboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas , so lovingly filmed that it feels like an infomercial at times.

  • Running time: 1 hour 43 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 46%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 47%
  • Available for streaming on Netflix

Carry on Cruising (1962)

Carry on films are a guilty pleasure for me. Cinematic masterpieces they are not but they are silly fun from a more innocent time.

Carry on Cruising is very much in this mould.

Sid James plays Wellington Crowther, the captain of SS Happy Wanderer, who is forced to replace five absent crew members at short notice. Not only are these the most incompetent shipmates to set foot on deck, but the passengers are no picnic.

  • Running time: 1 hour 29 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 51%

Musicals Set on Cruise Ships

Gentlemen prefer blondes (1953).

Shot in glorious Technicolor and featuring a razor-sharp screenplay, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of the best musical comedies set on the seven seas.

Showgirl Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) sets sail for Paris with her friend Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell), where she plans to marry her wealthy beau, Gus Esmond Jr. However, her plan is placed in jeopardy by the watchful eye of a private detective hired by Mr Esmund Sr. and by Lorelei’s love of diamonds.

  • Running time: 1 hour 31 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83%

Royal Wedding (1951)

screenshot showing fred astaire and jane powell in royal wedding one of the best movies set on a cruise sip

Do you fancy on-board entertainment Hollywood-style?

In the run-up to the wedding between the then Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, an American brother-and-sister song-and-dance team Tom (Fred Astaire) and Ellen Bowen (Jane Powell) set sail for London. Then love intervenes for both siblings.

  • Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92%

Shall We Dance? (1937)

Was there ever a more perfect recipe than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing to the sublime music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin?

Set on a transatlantic sailing from Paris to New York, Shall We Dance? features Astaire as Pete “Petrov” Peters, a Russian ballet dancer, and Rogers as Linda Keene, a musical-comedy star. As a publicity stunt to prolong Linda’s career, her agent leaks to the press that the two performers are married. 

Will a fake marriage turn into the real thing?

This exhilarating musical features some of the greatest songs ever composed, including They Can’t Take That Away From Me and Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.

  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 84%

Romance on the High Seas (1948)

Starring Doris Day in her film debut and choreographed by Busby Berkeley, Romance on the High Seas is a farce with romantic misunderstandings at its heart. Georgia Garret (Day) is a nightclub singer who is hired to assume the identity of a socialite, Elvira Kent, on a cruise to Rio de Janeiro to allow Kent to remain at home to spy on her suspected unfaithful husband,

Filming locations for Romance on the High Seas included Rio de Janeiro and Cartegena in Colombia.

  • Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 61%
  • Available to buy on Blu-Ray here

Dramatic Movies Set on a Cruise Ship

Ship of fools (1965).

This eclectic group of passengers on a cruise ship bound for pre-war Germany from Mexico represents a microcosm of 1930s society. Picking up eight Oscar nominations and directed by Stanley Kramer, Ship of Fools features a stellar ensemble cast including Vivien Leigh (in her final film role), Lee Marvin and George Segal.  

Although the action takes place almost entirely on an ocean liner, the movie was filmed on a soundstage at Paramount Studios.

  • Running time : 2 hours 29 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 64%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 77%

Table for Five (1983)

In this poignant melodrama, divorced father J.P. Tannen (Jon Voight) takes his three children on a Mediterranean cruise in an attempt to reconnect with them. However, he quickly realises that this is not that easy and is faced with an impossible decision when he learns of a tragedy back home.

Partly filmed on MS Vistafjord (built for the now defunct Norwegian American Line ), shooting locations for Table for Five included Rome , Genoa, Haifa in Israel , Athens and Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.

  • Running time: 2 hours 2 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 67%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 59%
  • Not currently for streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime or to buy on DVD or Blu-Ray

Speed 2 Cruise Control  (1997)

Keanu Reeves was wise to decline the lead role in this lame sequel to Speed . In his place, Jason Patric teamed up with Sandra Bullock as they battled to get all of the passengers on a Caribbean cruise to safety when disaster strikes.

Seabourn Legend was rented for six weeks to film the movies and its multiple filming locations were used including those in the USA, the Caribbean and France.

  • Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 4%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score : 16%

And the Award for the Worst Cruise Movie Ever Made Goes to …

Jack and jill (2011).

If you thought that Speed 2 Cruise Control  was bad, this is the cinematic turkey to beat all cinematic turkeys.

Improbably, Adam Sandler plays twins Jack and Jill who join their family on a cruise vacation. Jack and Jill is so unfunny and its plot so preposterous, that I don’t have the will to say any more about it.

This became the first film to sweep the board of the Razzies, winning in each category including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screenplay. The cruise ship scenes were filmed aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas .

  • Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 3%
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 36%

And that’s a wrap.

Whether you are looking for inspiration to plan a cruise or simply looking for recommendations for a sofa and popcorn night at home, I hope that this cruise ship movies list hits the spot.

Watch, dream and book that cruise.


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About Bridget

Bridget Coleman is a complete cinephile and has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

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Reese Witherspoon in Wild.

20 of the best travel films

From Rome to the Amazon, in these 20 films stunning locations play a starring role – and they’re all on now at a laptop or TV near you


Wild (2014).

Cheryl Strayed decided to walk the Pacific Crest Trail to face her demons, and her memoirs were turned into this uplifting film starring Reese Witherspoon as the inexperienced hiker who turns her life around. Director Jean-Marc Vallée was adamant that the movie be shot entirely on location: the journey starts in the Mojave Desert, heads up to Mount Hood – the highest point in Oregon – and the magnificent Crater Lake, before culminating in the iconic Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks on the Oregon/Washington border. Netflix , Google Play , Sky Store . Read the Guardian review

Tracks (2013)

Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson Adam Driver as Rick Smolan

Another memoir adaptation, Tracks stars a young Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, who spent nine months trekking across the Australian desert on camels. Her journey begins in Alice Springs and takes her across scorching outback to the Indian Ocean, via sights such as Uluru and Coffin Bay. It’s an inspiration for would-be solo travellers, given that Robyn was only accompanied by her dog and, at some points, a photographer (Adam Driver). Amazon , Google Play , Sky Store Guardian review

Into The Wild (2007)


Graduate Christopher McCandless gave away all his possessions and money to charity and hitchhiked across Northern America to Alaska, where he attempted to live in the wild. This poignant account of his journey is directed by Sean Penn and stars Emile Hirsch in many of the real locations visited by Christopher, aka “Alexander Supertramp”. Feast your eyes on peaceful Lake Tahoe, camping at Beard’s Hollow, kayaking down the Colorado River and run with wild horses … There’s plenty to envy until things take a darker turn. Sky Cinema , NOW TV , Amazon Guardian review

Lion (2016)

‘Lion’ Film

If you fancy a good cry as well as a virtual trip to India, then Lion is for you. Based on a true story, it tells of a young Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who accidentally boards a train to Kolkata and becomes homeless. After being adopted by an Australian couple, the older Saroo (Dev Patel) searches his memory – and the evolving internet – in an attempt to locate his childhood home and find his family. This is a film with plenty of compassion as well as armchair travel, with locations including Tasmania as well as India. Netflix , YouTube , Google Play Guardian review

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under the Tuscan Sun

A cheerful comedy-drama about a divorcee rediscovering herself, this memoir adaptation features scenery as charming as the central performance from Diane Lane. Frances Mayes’ pals send her on a tour of Tuscany, where she ends up falling in love with a ramshackle house and buys it on a whim. She meets a plethora of interesting people, including Polish builders and an eccentric old British actor, and becomes a major fixer-upper. The film was shot in and around the town of Cortona, near Arezzo: think gorgeous little houses cut into the hillside overlooking glistening waters. Amazon , YouTube , Google Play , Sky Store Frances Mayes on writing Under the Tuscan Sun


Hunt for the wilderpeople (2016).

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Go tramping in the New Zealand bush with this adorable comedy-drama directed by Oscar-winner Taika Waititi. A winning family adventure, it sees grumpy foster uncle Hec (Sam Neill) following his cheeky young charge Ricky (Julian Dennison) into the wilderness for a trek that turns into a gripping adventure – and an opportunity for the pair to try out their survival skills. Most of it was filmed around the Auckland area, and includes jaw-dropping scenery that Hec describes as “majestical”. BFI Player , Amazon , Google Play , Sky Store The landscapes behind Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The Way (2010)

Martin Sheen in The Way

Follow in the pilgrims’ footsteps with this touching, meditative drama starring Martin Sheen as a grieving father who decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail after the death of his son (played by Sheen’s son, Emilio Estevez, who also directs). The route to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia takes in sensational landscapes as well as a variety of entertaining characters, including James Nesbitt as an Irish travel writer. Amazon Prime Video , YouTube / Google Play , Sky Store Guardian review

On the Road (2012)

On The Road - 2012

Based on Jack Kerouac’s novel set in the late 1940s/early 50s, literature’s most famous road trip did not make it onto the big screen until 55 years after the book was published. Sam Riley is the writer who heads to Denver, North Carolina, San Francisco and Mexico by car and occasionally bus. Head here to vicariously experience a hedonistic road trip with sexually fluid bohemians played by an array of Hollywood’s hottest, including Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge and Kirsten Dunst. Amazon Prime Video , Sky Store Guardian review

Captain Fantastic (2016)

George MacKay, Nicholas Hamilton (obscured), Viggo Mortensen, Annalise Basso, Samantha Isler in Captain Fantastic - 2016

This film immediately plunges the viewer into the forests of the Pacific Northwest: you’re greeted by lush green trees, the sound of birdsong and the sight of a deer munching its way through the bush. Said deer is short-lived, however, as a pack of children led by Bodevan (George MacKay) slaughter it and take it home for tea with their father (Viggo Mortensen – who’s also in On the Road). It’s a chance to live out your off-grid fantasies, before the family are plunged back into society on a road trip with entertaining consequences. Netflix / Amazon , Sky Store Guardian review


The darjeeling limited (2007).

‘The Darjeeling Limited’

Three brothers have madcap adventures on a train in this quirky, colourful film that could only have been made by Wes Anderson. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman are the warring trio who bicker and bond their way through a scenic rail journey in India. Though the film was shot mainly in Rajasthan, the fictional route also convincingly takes in the Himalayas – and reminds you of the wonders of train travel abroad. Amazon , YouTube / Google Play , Sky Store Guardian review

Before Sunrise (1995)


A train to Vienna is the romantic setting for this cult drama starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. After meeting on the journey, they spend the night walking around the city together. Their frank, naturalistic exchanges are involving and funny, and it’s easy to fall in love with the Austrian capital as the pair jump on trams and ferris wheels along the banks of the Danube. Director Richard Linklater followed this with Before Sunset and Before Midnight, but this remains by far the most romantic in the series. Amazon , YouTube , Google Play , Sky Store Guardian review


The secret life of walter mitty (2013).


A daydreamer finally lives out his travel fantasies in this whimsical adventure based on James Thurber’s short story. Walter (Ben Stiller) works a dull desk job at Life magazine, and goes on a globe-trotting treasure hunt in search of a missing negative by legendary photojournalist Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn). Walter’s travels take him to Greenland, Iceland and the Himalayas, and although some of the locations are stand-ins, the film captures the wonder of globe-trotting in a cosy, feelgood format. Amazon , YouTube , Google Play , Sky Store Guardian review

Patagonia (2010)

PATAGONIA film still Matthew Rhys

The psychological benefits of travel are at the heart of this tender drama that explores the links between Wales and Argentina. A Cardiff couple travel to Patagonia where they are guided by a Welsh-Argentine guide (Matthew Rhys). Meanwhile, an older woman journeys from Argentina to Wales to discover her roots. It’s a moving watch with a fun backstory: Rhys found out about the production when travelling through Patagonia on horseback , where he bumped into the director, Marc Evans, who was scouting for locations. Amazon , iTunes , Google Play Guardian review

Black Mountain Poets (2015)

Black Mountain Poets - Jolene Films

Rural south Wales provides a handsome setting for this con artist comedy from writer-director Jamie Adams. Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells star as sisters on the run who resort to posing as a pair of famous beat poets at a retreat in the Black Mountains – what could possibly go wrong? As they camp out in nature, the remote location forms a backdrop for their potential redemption, as well as plenty of improvised humour. YouTube , Google Play , BFI Player Guardian review


Meek’s cutoff (2010).

MEEK’S CUTOFF, left: Shirley Henderson, right: Michelle Williams

You wouldn’t want to re-live the journey these characters make, but the landscape looks remarkable from the safety of your sofa. Loosely inspired by an infamous incident in 1845, it sees a small group of settlers travelling across the Oregon High Desert and becoming increasingly less confident in their guide, Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Kelly Reichardt’s western shows the gender dynamic slowly shifting as the stakes get higher, and she’s assembled an excellent cast lead by Michelle Williams, Shirley Henderson and Zoe Kazan. Amazon Prime Guardian review

The Lost City of Z (2017)


Explorer Percy Fawcett had a compulsion to travel, undertaking hugely risky journeys in the Amazon in to prove his theories about a disappeared civilisation – theories that were ridiculed by his contemporaries in the early 20th century. James Gray’s film stars Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett, Sienna Miller as his wife, and Robert Pattinson as his right hand man, who helps him navigate the rainforest, which looks tantalisingly beautiful despite the dangers that unfold. Amazon , YouTube , Google Play , Sky Store . Also showing on BBC2 Friday 27 March at 11.05pm Guardian review

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

Fitzcarraldo - 1982

An ambitious adventurer makes an eventful jungle voyage in Werner Herzog’s German-language classic inspired by the life of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald. Notoriously volatile actor Klaus Kinski’s wild eyes glint with lunatic abandon as he dreams of building an opera house in Iquitos, in the Peruvian Amazon, and navigating the Pachitea river in a huge steamboat. The shoot (famously as troubled as the events it depicts) took place in the wilds of Brazil and Peru, where Herzog and cinematographer Thomas Mauch vividly captured the cast’s period costumes against the sights and sounds of the jungle. BFI Player , iTunes Guardian review


2 days in paris (2007).

2 Days in Paris

Julie Delpy writes, directs and stars in this whipsmart dramedy that puts a humorous spin on the notion of a romantic city break. She plays Marion, a photographer who lives in New York and decides to spend two days in the French capital with her neurotic boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg). It takes in plenty of famous spots, including the Père Lachaise cemetery, the Pasteur metro station and – should you be missing the Eurostar – the Gare du Nord. Amazon Prime Guardian review

In Bruges (2008)


Who knew a film about a couple of hitmen could showcase a city’s charms so beautifully? The Irish contract killers hiding out in Belgium have very different goals: while Ray (Colin Farrell) just wants to get drunk, Ken (Brendan Gleeson) would prefer to see the cultural sights. And so Martin McDonagh’s bitterly funny black comedy takes in architectural delights such as the Belfry of Bruges as well as canal trips through the medieval city. Amazon , YouTube , Google Play Sky Store Guardian review

Roman Holiday (1953)

‘Roman Holiday’

Take a trip back in time to Rome, circa 1953, where a princess (Audrey Hepburn) is trying to stay incognito. After she’s befriended by an American reporter (Gregory Peck), he realises her identity, but keeps his a secret in an attempt to get a scoop. Romance follows, along with iconic black and white shots of the Eternal City. Look out for a meeting on the Spanish Steps, a tour of Colosseum and Vespa ride through the city traffic. Sky Cinema , YouTube , Google Play Guardian review

Rental prices generally between £1.99 and £3.49 depending on household subscription status. Netflix and BFI Player films are included in a monthly subscription and are subject to change. Most films also available on DVD/Blu-Ray

Anna Smith is a film critic and host of the podcast, Girls On Film

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The Best Movies About Arctic Exploration

Ranker Film

The fascinating world of Arctic exploration has long been a popular subject for filmmakers, giving rise to enthralling movies that embody the spirit of adventure and survival. Countless stories have been inspired by real-life expeditions and fictional tales alike, highlighting the physical and mental challenges faced by those who dare to venture into these unforgiving landscapes. The best arctic movies provide insight into human resilience, bravery, and the struggle to survive in hostile environments. 

Exemplary movies about arctic exploration immerse viewers in the chilling reality of life in the Arctic and Antarctic by skillfully showcasing the unique themes, characters, ideologies, and stories associated with this remarkable setting. Through stunning visuals and gripping narratives, these films transport audiences to the icy wilderness while portraying the experiences of explorers, scientists, and other adventurers who take on the extremes of these frozen frontiers. Such movies about Antarctica and the Arctic have managed to make a lasting impact on the cinematic landscape, solidifying their place as timeless classics. 

In the landscape of arctic exploration movies, a few gems excel in capturing the essence of what it means to face the challenges of the frozen world head-on. For instance, John Carpenter's The Thing masterfully combines science fiction and horror in a tale of an alien creature wreaking havoc among an isolated research team in Antarctica. Against the Ice, a Netflix drama, follows two Danish explorers as they desperately attempt to survive the harsh Arctic elements while claiming a disputed territory. The riveting survival thriller Arctic , starring Mads Mikkelsen, showcases one man's harrowing battle against the brutal Arctic environment after a tragic plane crash. These exceptional films are just a few shining examples of the best movies about arctic exploration. 

The top movies about the Arctic continue to resonate with viewers across the globe with their vivid portrayals of life in the icy wilderness. From thrilling adventures to tales of the indomitable human spirit, the best movies about Antarctica and the Arctic paint a rich tapestry of experiences and emotions that resonate long after the credits roll. These captivating Arctic movies hold a special place in the annals of cinematic history.  

Against the Ice

Against the Ice

Based on true events, Against the Ice showcases the harrowing tale of two explorers stranded in the unforgiving Arctic landscape. With its incredible cinematography and authentic portrayal of the challenges faced by these courageous men, this gripping drama captivates and inspires crowds. Additionally, the strong bonds forged between the characters in their fight for survival add further depth to this extraordinary story. As a result, Against the Ice stands out as one of the finest arctic exploration films for its realistic depiction of human perseverance and resilience.

30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night

In a unique take on arctic exploration, 30 Days of Night presents a thrilling story set in Alaska 's polar night where residents must fend off bloodthirsty vampires. This dark, chilling tale combines elements of horror and suspense to create a gripping atmosphere that keeps audiences enthralled. Apart from its captivating plot, the film's stunning visuals and spine-chilling twists add to its appeal. Consequently, 30 Days of Night distinguishes itself as one of the best movies about arctic exploration for its innovative fusion of horror and icy landscapes.

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The Thing

A sci-fi classic, The Thing takes arctic exploration to horrifying new heights. This chilling masterpiece combines an isolated and treacherous environment with a terrifying extraterrestrial creature, building a suspenseful atmosphere that leaves crowds on the edge of their seats. Furthermore, the film's remarkable special effects and powerful performances create an unforgettable experience. Ultimately, The Thing earns its place among the best movies about arctic exploration due to its unique blend of horror, science fiction, and survivalist themes.

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Delving into the challenges of surviving an arctic landscape, Arctic tells a gripping story of an air-crash survivor struggling to stay alive while awaiting rescue. This emotionally charged film combines heart-stopping tension with stunning visuals of arctic wilderness; thus engaging viewers in an immersive cinematic experience. Furthermore, the remarkable performance by Mads Mikkelsen as the resourceful protagonist adds depth to this survival story. These exceptional elements solidify Arctic's status as one of the top arctic exploration films ever made.

Far North

A haunting tale of love, betrayal, and survival, Far North transports crowds to the desolate beauty of the Arctic tundra. This atmospheric drama captivates viewers with its captivating storyline, powerful performances by its talented cast, and striking visuals of the treacherous arctic landscape. Exemplifying the complexity of human relationships amidst the harsh realities of life in the Arctic, the film stands out for its emotional depth and compelling narrative. Far North undoubtedly takes its place among the top arctic exploration films for its intriguing exploration of the human condition in extreme conditions.

Encounters at the End of the World

Encounters at the End of the World

In this fascinating documentary, director Werner Herzog takes viewers on an extraordinary journey to the isolated research station in Antarctica. Encounters at the End of the World showcases the unique experiences of scientists and workers residing in this remote and harsh environment while capturing the mesmerizing beauty of the frozen landscape. The film's intimate insights into life at the edge of the world, combined with Herzog's striking images and inquisitive spirit, make it a remarkable exploration of Antarctica. As such, Encounters at the End of the World earns its place among the best arctic exploration films for its evocative portrayal of life in the most extreme conditions.

  • # 76 of 139 on The Best Movies Of 2007
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The Revenant

The Revenant

Set against the vast, frozen backdrop of the Canadian wilderness, The Revenant presents a visceral tale of vengeance and survival amidst extreme conditions. This intense drama showcases breathtaking scenery and superb craftsmanship in cinematography, effectively immersing crowds in the unforgiving world of frontier explorers. Moreover, the raw performances by an outstanding cast, especially Leonardo DiCaprio, elevate this cinematic gem to a truly epic status. As a result, The Revenant cements its position as one of the greatest arctic exploration films, combining masterful storytelling with stunning visual artistry.

  • # 71 of 288 on The 250+ Best Western Movies Of All Time
  • # 41 of 125 on The 100+ Grossest Movies Ever
  • # 10 of 48 on The 45+ Best Modern Day Westerns

The Midnight Sky

The Midnight Sky

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, The Midnight Sky follows a scientist's arduous journey through the desolate Arctic landscape to warn a returning spacecraft of Earth's devastation. This visually stunning film captivates crowds with its poignant storyline, exceptional performances by the cast, and breathtaking cinematography showcasing the icy wilderness. Additionally, the film's exploration of themes like hope, isolation, and human connection elevates it to a memorable cinematic experience. The Midnight Sky solidifies its position as one of the best movies about arctic exploration through its thought-provoking narrative and stunning visuals.

  • # 144 of 166 on The 150+ Best Futuristic Dystopian Movies
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  • # 55 of 72 on The 70+ Best Doomsday Movies, Ranked

Into the Wild

Into the Wild

Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild showcases a young man's journey away from society and into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. This inspiring film captivates audiences with its powerful tale of adventure, self-discovery, and survival, masterfully portrayed by Emile Hirsch. Stunning visuals of Alaska's vast and beautiful landscapes further draw viewers into the emotional narrative. Into the Wild stands as one of the finest movies about arctic exploration, offering a gripping and profound look at the human spirit's resilience and the search for meaning in life.

  • Dig Deeper... The Sad Tale Of Christopher McCandless, The Man From 'Into The Wild'
  • # 242 of 675 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars
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In the noir-infused thriller Whiteout , a U.S. Marshal must solve a murder mystery in the hostile environment of Antarctica before a deadly storm arrives. The film delivers a chilling atmosphere and suspenseful storytelling, keeping viewers engaged from start to finish. Additionally, the stunning cinematography showcasing the frosty landscape sets the perfect backdrop for a thrilling crime drama. With its engaging plot, intense action sequences, and icy setting, Whiteout earns its spot among the best movies about arctic exploration.

  • # 19 of 42 on The Best Snowy Thriller Movies, Ranked
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The Grey

Featuring Liam Neeson, The Grey tells the harrowing tale of oil rig workers stranded in the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash and hunted by a pack of wolves. This intense survival thriller combines riveting action with striking visuals, showcasing the brutal beauty of the Arctic landscape. The film’s exploration of themes like mortality, human instinct, and hope keeps viewers captivated throughout its thrilling story. The Grey undeniably stands as one of the best movies about arctic exploration, offering an exhilarating and thought-provoking journey into survival against insurmountable odds.

  • # 48 of 50 on What's The Most Famous Movie Set In Every State?
  • # 13 of 71 on The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made
  • # 7 of 19 on 19 Underrated Movies Where Animals Are The Villain

The Thing

A chilling prelude to John Carpenter's classic 1982 film, this 2011 version of The Thing showcases the dread and terror that comes with Arctic exploration. Set in the remote Antarctic, immersive storytelling and breathtaking cinematography create a genuinely haunting atmosphere that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. As the protagonists encounter a shape-shifting extraterrestrial life form, the film delves deep into the psychological aspects of isolation and paranoia, making it stand apart from other arctic exploration movies. In conclusion, The Thing captivates crowds with its unique blend of horror and mystery, cementing its place as one of the best films of all time in the genre of Arctic exploration.

  • # 56 of 178 on The 150+ Best Movies With Aliens
  • # 15 of 42 on The Best Snowy Thriller Movies, Ranked
  • # 10 of 62 on The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
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A-list stars, menstruating superheroes in Cannes VR competition

From a voyage through the human body with Cate Blanchett, to a feminist superhero satire featuring giant tampons and octopus demons, the Cannes Film Festival launches its first competition for virtual reality films on Wednesday.

Eight VR films will compete for a new award recognising the rapidly growing medium.

(Copyright: Damir Khabirov / Getty Images)

Blanchett, Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell are among the A-list talent attached to projects in the "Immersive" section, a new venture for the world's most famous film festival, which is currently taking place in the south of France.

Eight VR films will compete for a new award recognising the rapidly growing medium, including "Maya: The Birth of a Superhero", which takes viewers on a surreal and interactive journey through puberty and the many global stigmas surrounding menstruation.

It puts the audience in the role of a young South Asian girl as she navigates a London classroom packed with bullying teenagers, a confrontation with her mother in her bedroom and various mystical dreamscapes.

Indian-born director Poulomi Basu said immersing people through a VR headset was the "perfect way to tell the story".

"The experience of every girl of coming into your femininity and womanhood is a very isolating experience -- one that is claustrophobic, one that is psychologically difficult.

"To encounter shame in such a close proximity... we feel like we matched the medium and the message perfectly."

But the technology allows audiences to use their hands to fight back, shooting fire at villains who are both human and demon in a film that "uses the superhero trope almost as a satire".

"We wanted this to be the last word on superhero-origin stories, period," said co-director C.J. Clarke.

- Hollywood voices -

Elsewhere, Blanchett narrates "Evolver", which takes viewers on an abstract journey through the human body.

Chastain's voice accompanies the audience into and through a black hole in space in "Spheres", while Farrell narrates a clash between man and zombie in "Gloomy Eyes".

Cannes' introduction of the new section comes seven years after Mexican auteur Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu showcased the groundbreaking "Carne y Arena" at the festival.

A virtual reality installation that took viewers on the harrowing migrant trail through the Sonoran desert into the United States, "Carne y Arena" later won a special Oscar.

Other major festivals, including Venice, already have established sections for immersive film.

Basu said it was "massive" that Cannes was now giving the burgeoning medium its own space and financial support. 

"I think Cannes accepts that it is a cinematographic art form... it needs its own celebration," she said.

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25 Best Travel Movies Of All Time (Films That Will Inspire You To Travel)

Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (2007)

1. Into the Wild

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

2. The Motorcycle Diaries

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach (2000)

3. The Beach

Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, and Yorick van Wageningen in The Way (2010)

5. 180° South

Reese Witherspoon in Wild (2014)

7. One Week

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in Tracks (2013)

9. And Your Mother Too

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

10. The Darjeeling Limited

Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

11. Encounters at the End of the World

Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List (2007)

12. The Bucket List

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

13. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in Out of Africa (1985)

14. Out of Africa

Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Abhay Deol, and Kalki Koechlin in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

15. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Qué tan lejos (2006)

16. Qué tan lejos

The Endless Summer (1966)

17. The Endless Summer

Peter Fonda in Easy Rider (1969)

18. Easy Rider

Johnny Messner in The Art of Travel (2008)

19. The Art of Travel

A Map for Saturday (2007)

20. A Map for Saturday

Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, and Scarlett Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

21. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Hit the Road: India (2013)

22. Hit the Road: India

Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski in Away We Go (2009)

23. Away We Go

Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation (2003)

24. Lost in Translation

Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

25. Under the Tuscan Sun

Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love (2010)

26. Eat Pray Love

Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce, and Hugo Weaving in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

27. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

28. Seven Years in Tibet

Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, and Alexandru Potocean in The Way Back (2010)

29. The Way Back

The Spanish Apartment (2002)

30. The Spanish Apartment

Baraka (1992)

32. Before Sunrise

Fernanda Montenegro and Vinícius de Oliveira in Central Station (1998)

33. Central Station

Moritz Bleibtreu and Christiane Paul in In July (2000)

34. In July

Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel, and Zoë Kravitz in The Road Within (2014)

35. The Road Within

Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, and Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

36. Little Miss Sunshine

Audrey Tautou in Amélie (2001)

38. Into the Cold: A Journey of the Soul

Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt in Highway (2014)

39. Highway

Simon Pegg in Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)

40. Hector and the Search for Happiness

Two for the Road (1967)

41. Two for the Road

Samsara (2011)

42. Samsara

Dulquer Salmaan and Sunny Wayne in Blue Skies, Green Waters, Red Earth (2013)

43. Blue Skies, Green Waters, Red Earth

Touching the Void (2003)

44. Touching the Void

Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris (2011)

45. Midnight in Paris

On the Road (2012)

46. On the Road

Gethin Anthony and Frederikke Dahl Hansen in Copenhagen (2014)

47. Copenhagen

Una noche (2012)

48. Una noche

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in The Trip to Italy (2014)

49. The Trip to Italy

Riding Solo to the Top of the World (2006)

50. Riding Solo to the Top of the World

Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges (2008)

51. In Bruges

Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise (1991)

52. Thelma & Louise

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)

53. Due Date

Italy: Love It, or Leave It (2011)

54. Italy: Love It, or Leave It

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in Long Way Round (2004)

55. Long Way Round

Sin Nombre (2009)

56. Sin Nombre

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

57. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

58. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Darien Gap (1996)

59. The Darien Gap

Bekas (2012)

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  1. List of 50+ Movies With Voyage in the Title, Ranked

    There's probably one movie with voyage in the title you think of right away, but you might be shocked to see how many others exist as well. Notable films with voyage in the title include Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, although there are many more examples on ...


    R | 96 min | Horror, Thriller. After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae are spending some time isolated at sea, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship. Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, Rod Mullinar. Votes: 43,621 | Gross: $7.83M.

  3. Voyagers (2021)

    Voyagers: Directed by Neil Burger. With Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Chanté Adams. A crew of astronauts on a multi-generational mission descend into paranoia and madness, not knowing what is real or not.

  4. 50 Best Sea/Ocean Movies (2000-2017)

    Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well. Director Gore Verbinski Stars Johnny Depp Orlando Bloom Keira Knightley. 14. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. 2007 2h 49m PG-13.

  5. 50 Best Sea Adventure Movies

    10. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 11. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) Rotten Tomatoes® 80%. 12. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Rotten Tomatoes® 93%. 13.

  6. Voyagers (film)

    Voyagers is a 2021 thriller science fiction film written, co-produced and directed by Neil Burger. It stars Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Colin Farrell, Chanté Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Viveik Kalra, Archie Renaux, Archie Madekwe, and Quintessa Swindell, and follows a group of apprentice astronauts sent on a multi-generational mission in the year 2063 to colonize a ...

  7. The Best Sea Adventure Movies of All Time

    The Top 10 Sea Adventure Movies of All Time; The Top 20 Sea Adventure Movies of All Time; The Top 50 Sea Adventure Movies of All Time; The Top 100 Sea Adventure Movies of All Time; The Top 250 Sea Adventure Movies of All Time; The Best Horror Movies Of the 1980s; The Best Science Fiction Movies of 1977; The Best Comedy Movies Of the 2000s

  8. Cinematic Voyages: 20 Unforgettable Cruise Ship Movies

    The 1970s was the decade for disaster movies featuring all-star ensemble casts and The Poseidon Adventure gets my vote as the best disaster film set on a cruise ship. This multi-nominated movie - it went on to win two Oscars - centres on the ageing SS Poseidon on her final voyage from New York to Athens. After it is upended by a tsunami on ...

  9. 20 of the best travel films

    From Rome to the Amazon, in these 20 films stunning locations play a starring role - and they're all on now at a laptop or TV near you Anna Smith Fri 27 Mar 2020 02.30 EDT Last modified on Fri ...

  10. Fantastic Voyage

    Fantastic Voyage is a 1966 American science fiction adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Harry Kleiner, based on a story by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby.The film is about a submarine crew who is shrunk to microscopic size and venture into the body of an injured scientist to repair damage to his brain.

  11. The 12 Best Movies About Arctic Exploration

    Into the Wild stands as one of the finest movies about arctic exploration, offering a gripping and profound look at the human spirit's resilience and the search for meaning in life. More Into the Wild. Dig Deeper... The Sad Tale Of Christopher McCandless, The Man From 'Into The Wild'.

  12. Top 20 Sea Adventure Movies

    List your movie, TV & celebrity picks. 20 titles. Sort by List order. 1. Life of Pi. 2012 2h 7m PG. 7.9 (668K) Rate. 79 Metascore. A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

  13. Maidentrip

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  14. Voyage (2013 film)

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    2. The Straight Story. 1999 1h 52m G. 8.0 (98K) Rate. 86 Metascore. An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother. Director David Lynch Stars Richard Farnsworth Sissy Spacek Jane Galloway Heitz. 3.

  16. The Last Voyage

    Rated 3/5 Stars • Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/15/24 Full Review CodyZamboni Movie is suspenseful, with good performances. The early scenes remind me of The Poseidon Adventure And I like the " you ...

  17. Category:Films based on Sinbad the Sailor

    Sinbad (TV series) Sinbad and the Caliph of Baghdad. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Sinbad and the Minotaur. Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt. Sinbad of the Seven Seas. Sinbad the Sailor (1947 film) Sindbad Alibaba and Aladdin. Son of Sinbad.

  18. A-list stars, menstruating superheroes in Cannes VR competition

    A-list stars, menstruating superheroes in Cannes VR competition From a voyage through the human body with Cate Blanchett, to a feminist superhero satire featuring giant tampons and octopus demons ...

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    A couple pick up a hitchhiker on the way to their yacht. The husband invites the young man to come along for their day's sailing. As the voyage progresses, the antagonism between the two men grows. A violent confrontation is inevitable. Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Anna Ciepielewska. Votes ...

  20. 25 Best Travel Movies Of All Time (Films That Will Inspire You ...

    12. The Bucket List. The Bucket List is a tearjerker, and more importantly, a heart-warming film that will inspire you to do all the things that you want to do before you kick the bucket, including traveling. To me, the film also reminds us that life is too short, and we should enjoy it to the fullest. 13.

  21. The Last Voyage

    The Last Voyage is a 1960 Metrocolor American disaster film starring Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, George Sanders, and Edmond O'Brien.. It was written and directed by Andrew L. Stone.. The film centers on the sinking of an aged ocean liner in the Pacific Ocean following an explosion in its boiler room.. The ship used in the film was the condemned French luxury liner SS Ile de France, which ...

  22. Lost Voyage

    Lost Voyage is a 2001 supernatural thriller directed, edited and co-written by Christian McIntire that debuted as a Sci Fi Pictures TV-movie on the Sci Fi Channel. Plot. The movie opens by introducing Aaron Roberts (8 years old) along with his father, stepmother and grandmother, going on board a small cruise ship, the Corona Queen. Before his ...