20 films about scientific expeditions

This collection is about people who can not sit by the fireplace – restless travelers, traitors to slippers. The ruthless Arctic, the North Pole, the impenetrable jungle, rocky mountains and the ocean abyss – nothing will stop adventurers on their way to great discoveries. In our list of the best films about expeditions and travels, there are both realistic and fantastic stories about explorers, scientists and dreamy adventurers.

Archipelago (2020)

Do you know how big the globe is under your feet? If not, then the Internet will provide the necessary information immediately, but at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, these figures had to be stomped on Svalbard. To obtain real data on the size and shape of the Earth, a Russian-Swedish expedition set off on an Arctic journey. The young astronomer Alexander Vasiliev led a team of fearless scientists who, for the love of science, embarked on a long and dramatic journey, leaving their families and friends behind.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Dmitry Palamarchuk, Marina Petrenko, Andrey Merzlikin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Amundsen (2019)

A Norwegian film about the scientific expeditions of Roald Amundsen and the controversial personality of the famous pioneer. As a boy, he set the goal of becoming a great traveler and going where no one else could go. From his youth, the son of wealthy parents prepared for the harsh conditions of the North, developing endurance and unpretentiousness in himself. The drama about the discoverer of the South Pole will highlight important events in the life of Rual, talk about preparing for long trips, and also show the complex nature of the Norwegian, which pushed many people away from the man.

Original title:
Amundsen

Genre:
Adventure, biography

Actors:
Paul Sverre Valheim Hagen, Christian Rubek, Katherine Waterston …

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Aeronauts (2019)

Female pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher take to the unexplored upper atmosphere for the first time. A young widow who has lost her husband on a hot air balloon expedition is saddened by the loss. Her meteorological companion is eager to break the 7 km balloon flight altitude record in order to make new scientific observations: to study the mechanisms of the movement of air, precipitation and clouds. Together, the fearless couple will soar up, where the heroes of the film with incredible landscapes are waiting for discoveries that are priceless for meteorology.

Original title:
The Aeronauts

Genre:
Adventure, biography

Actors:
Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Himesh Patel …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Lost City Z (2016)

A feature film about a lost expedition and adventures will appeal to fans of film adaptations of real historical events . After all, the story of Colonel Percy Fossett, who devoted his life to exploring the South American jungle, embodied on the screen, delights and fascinates. The plot tells about the expedition of 1925, which became the last for the military topographer. The Briton was going to find a lost city in the state of Mato Grosso. However, neither he nor his team returned from this campaign.

Original title:
The Lost City of Z

Genre:
Action, drama

Actors:
Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Tutankhamen (mini-series, 2016)

The English adventure series follows the world-famous discovery of Egyptologist Howard Carter. One day, a researcher stumbles upon evidence that Tutankhamen’s tomb is still hidden from human eyes. However, his colleagues doubt the reliability of this fact, but not Lord Carnarvon, a well-known adventurer and rich man who is ready to finance excavations in Egypt.

Original title:
Tutankhamun

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, history

Actors:
Max Irons, Jonathan Aris, Sam Neil, Amy Ren…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Odyssey (2016)

One of the most impressive projects of French cinema in recent years is a film about the life and expeditions of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, based on real events. Adventure drama with grandiose underwater scenes filmed in the classic biography genre . Dreamer, inventor , traveler Captain Cousteau was a man who had many weaknesses and shortcomings. The authors of the film decided to show the reverse side of the complex nature of the outstanding oceanologist.

Original title:
L’odyssée

Genre:
Adventure, biography, drama

Actors:
Lambert Wilson, Pierre Nine, Audrey Tautou…

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Everest (2015)

In 1996, several commercial groups of 30 people, including 6 guides, 8 conductors and 16 brave tourists, led by instructor Rob Hall, stormed one of the most impregnable peaks – Everest. Travelers were confident in the successful outcome of the venture, but the legendary mountain ordered otherwise. During the descent, a severe snowstorm began, which ended in the death of five members of the group and frostbite and injuries to other climbers.

Original title:
Everest

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal …

Country:
UK, USA, Iceland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Territory (2014)

A new adaptation of the novel by Oleg Kuvaev is a remake of the 1978 Soviet drama. A Russian film about research and expeditions takes the viewer to little-studied territories on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The protagonist is Ilya Chinkov, a geologist who is obsessed with the idea that the virgin, harsh land hides gold deposits. A man gathers a team of daredevils and goes to Chukotka. Despite the fact that all circumstances are against him, Ilya is ready to go all the way to make a geological discovery that is so significant for the country.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Konstantin Lavronenko, Grigory Dobrygin, Yegor Beroev …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
12+


Marco Polo (TV series 2014 – 2016)

Netflix’s massive project is a colorful $90 million series based on the life and adventures of land explorer Marco Polo. The future famous traveler was left by his father at the court of the Mongol Khan as a gift in gratitude for the permission to trade. Young Marco plunges into the palace intrigues and political feuds of the 13th century, learns martial arts and tries to find an approach to the khan.

Original title:
Marco Polo

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Lorenzo Riquelmi, Benedict Wong, Joan Chen…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.0

Age limit:
16+


Trails (2013)

The film tells the real story of Robin Davidson, based on the book of a girl who made a difficult journey of more than four thousand kilometers to cross Australia. In the company of four camels and a dog, the traveler sets out on a trek, where she will spend a long seven months, along the way making notes for National Geographic magazine. What made Robin decide on a desperate step and how did she manage to carry out her plan? For many, the girl’s adventure is still a mystery.

Original title:
Tracks

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Rolly Mintuma…

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+


Kon-Tiki (2012)

Is it possible to conquer the endless expanses of the Pacific Ocean on a wooden raft? In 1947, six Scandinavian heroes proved they could. Surrendering to the will of currents and winds, Thor Heyerdahl, together with a team of the same adventurers, made an incredible journey. And this expedition was remembered as the most daring in the world history of travel. A spectacular interesting film about Norwegian pioneers and explorers is based on real events and received a lot of excellent feedback from the audience.

Original title:
Kon-Tiki

Genre:
Adventure, biography

Actors:
Paul Sverre Walheim Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Tobias Zantelman …

Country:
Norway, UK, Denmark, Germany, Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
6+


Die for the Enemy (2012)

The idea that once all the continents of the Earth formed a single whole was put forward by a scientist from Germany. In 1939, despite the threat of a world war, an expedition was assembled by the Germans to prove this theory. The group included British scientists, a German geologist with an assistant, an expert from Sweden and a crew from Russia. All team members become friends and are sure that political strife will not affect their mission, but the upcoming military events will interfere in the fate of all members of the marine expedition.

Original title:
En fiende att dö för

Genre:
Thriller, military, history

Actors:
Tom Burke, Allan Korduner, Jeanette Hein …

Country:
Sweden, Germany, Norway

Rating:
IMDb – 5.8

Age limit:
16+


New earth (2011)

The film about geographical discoveries tells about the third Arctic expedition of the navigator from Holland Barents, which became the last for the traveler. In the 16th century, it became necessary to search for new sea routes to India through the northeast passage. The Barents team was not the discoverers of Novaya Zemlya, but they were the first to venture around it from the north side and stay for the winter in the conditions of the polar night. This adventure was written about by Herrit de Feira, one of the characters in this film.

Original title:
Nova Zembla

Genre:
Drama, history

Actors:
Robert de Hoog, Victor Reinier, Jan Decler…

Country:
Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.8

Age limit:
16+


Abyss (2010)

The heroes of the serial film in the thriller genre are oceanographers who are looking for microorganisms that live near the Lomonosov Ridge. Scientists believe that underwater organisms can become a new source of energy resources. However, the mission has to be ended due to a breakdown of the submarine . Researchers find themselves at a depth of many meters and they will have to try very hard to get out of the abyss.

Original title:
The Deep

Genre:
Fiction, Action, Thriller, Drama, Detective, Adventure

Actors:
James Nesbitt, Orla Brady, Goran Visnich …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.7

Age Limits :
16+


Diary of a polar expedition (2005)

Fans of noir thrillers will be delighted by South Korean cinema with spectacular visuals, a dynamic plot and a masterfully disguised mystery. A polar expedition of six people is sent to Antarctica. The purpose of the hike is to get to the pole of inaccessibility, the most difficult place to reach on the mainland. After a few weeks of the campaign, the group finds traces of the British, who were in these parts 80 years ago. Their travel notes describe terrible events, and drawings in their diary depict members of the Korean team.

Original title:
Namgeuk ilgi

Genre:
Thriller, detective, drama

Actors:
Song Kang-ho, Yu Ji-tae, Kim Kyung-ik …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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