The 10 best diving movies in 2024

By Julius
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Are you looking for the best (scuba) diving movies to watch in [current-year] with your dive buddy or by yourself? Then you came to the right place.

These are my top 10 favorite movies about (scuba) diving that every diver should watch. It’s a mix of full-length films, documentaries and more so everyone should find something interesting.

Not all of them are about scuba diving exclusively, but feature freediving, saturation diving, and other diving-related topics.

They are great for everyone who would like to learn about diving, get inspired before their next dive, or to have a fun movie night with dive buddies.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1 Open Water (2003)

Ah…the absolute worst nightmare of every certified scuba diver.

Coming back up after a dive and…the boat is gone.

The plot follows a couple on their long-awaited dive vacation in Australia when the dive boat leaves them out on the ocean. As you can imagine, some not-so-pleasant things start to unfold…

The camera quality is not the best and it surely won’t win any academy awards…but I remember when this movie came out in 2003 and made a literal big splash for its realism and novelty.

Oh…and did I say it’s based on a true story? Scary!

You can often find it for free on Amazon Prime. Here is the trailer:

2 The Abyss (1989)

This James Cameron film from 1989 tops many lists of the best diving movies out there and it definitely is worth watching!

A submarine is lost at sea after an encounter with an unidentified submersible object (USO) and a search and recovery team tries to get to the vessel in time.

Scuba diving, aliens, action, Cold War, some really cool visual effects that won an Academy Award…what’s not to like about this film?

Well, I am not completely convinced by the plot but others think it’s absolutely amazing. You be the judge!

Check out the trailer here:

3 Le Grand Blue – The Big Blue (1988)

This masterpiece is both, a good diving movie and a good movie on its own.
The Big Blue depicts the rivalry of two former no-limit freediving champions Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca and their quest to dive deeper and deeper.

I remember watching this movie with my parents as a kid and being totally in awe of the cinematography. It does get a little lengthy toward the end but it still features a very interesting look behind the scenes of freediving records.

Here is the trailer:

4 Diving into the Unknown (2015)

My top pick

To be honest, I would have put this as the number one on this list, just because I think everyone should watch it.

However, if I did, I would probably get a lot of complaints because let’s face it…it isn’t exactly “fun” to watch a documentary about the death of two of the protagonists.

Diving into the Unknown tells the story of a group of Finnish divers losing two of their friends at the world-famous Plura cave -one of the deepest caves in Europe- and the subsequent mission to recover their bodies.

What sounds like a movie looking to shock the viewer is actually an incredibly detailed account of a diving mission and an intense look behind the scenes of extreme cave diving.

I loved absolutely every minute of it but it is worth knowing at least a little about decompression procedures, different gas mixtures, and drysuit diving before.

Check out the trailer here, plus the extra content released for free:

5 Chasing Coral (2017)

Chasing Coral is a Netflix-exclusive documentary featuring a team of divers, scientists, and photographers documenting, and researching the destruction of coral reefs around the world.

This is a must for every scuba diver out there who wants to learn more about the environment they dive in. Here at Social Diving, we emphasize sustainable and safe diving practices that preserve the environment and keep our oceans intact.

Therefore, Chasing Coral is the perfect preparation for our Underwater Environmental Care diving course!

The best part about it is that you don’t even need a Netflix account to watch it because you can watch it in full length right here, for free:

6 Deepsea Challenge 3D (2014)

Who hasn’t heard of James Cameron’s dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth?

We get to look over his shoulder as he descends into the depth in his submarine and what it took to get there. From planning to testing and finally the dive itself, this documentary covers it all.

Truly unique and exciting to watch, even though there isn’t much scuba diving going on, this is a must-watch for anyone, in my opinion.

Here is a small preview to get you more excited:

7 Experience the Underwater World Through the Eyes of a Free Diver (2019)

This National Geographic short film from 2019 features world-famous freediver Guillaume Néry in a series of different freediving sequences.

Every scene seems to get more intense and my personal favorite is where he dives among the whales!

I am a freediver myself, but this is definitely next level!

You can watch the 13-minute film for free here:

8 47 Meters down (2017)

If you like horror or scary movies, 47 Meters Down from 2017 might be just what you are looking for.

Two sisters go cage diving with sharks off the coast of Mexico, one of them scuba certified, the other one not (don’t do that, please).

When the cable breaks, they fall to the seafloor and are trapped in their cage with low air and some hungry Great Whites nearby.

A sort of mix between Jaws and Open Water, this movie plays with a number of the greatest fears people tend to have when thinking about diving. Being lost at sea, depth, sharks, darkness…don’t say I did not warn you!

You can get the movie on Amazon Prime or check Netflix if it is currently featured.

Or check out the trailer before:

9 My octopus teacher (2020)

Another Netflix-exclusive documentary, this one is a bit different from the rest.

It does not focus on freediving directly – although the main protagonist does indeed dive on breath-hold the entire time- but rather on our personal connection with the sea and its inhabitants.

I found this film to be strangely mesmerizing to watch, as it depicts a researcher’s relationship with an octopus at his house reef.

The film does not aim to teach too much, but by the end of it, you surely feel like you learned more about the world we live in.

You can find the original trailer by Netflix here:

10 Pressure (2015)

Pressure takes you into the world of saturation diving and does so with a lot of noise.

Four deep-sea divers are trapped in their saturation pod after it becomes separated from their ship during a storm. As the air runs out, they face many challenges in their fight for survival.

Let’s be honest, many feel claustrophobic just thinking about saturation diving and this movie feeds all of their fears. No, it is not 100% accurate or realistic, and no, you will not see actual saturation diving practices.

But it sure does give you good entertainment if you look past these issues.

Check out the trailer here and decide for yourself:

Where to watch diving movies?

The best platform for watching movies about diving are Amazon Prime, Netflix, and good old Youtube.

I personally always check Youtube first before the other options because it’s free (I like that). However, especially Netflix releases quite a few documentaries there for everyone to watch.


This wraps up my current list of the 10 best diving movies of all time. I hope you liked it and found something to watch next!

If you liked them or have other recommendations, share them with me and others in the comments!

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Always dive with friends and happy bubbles. 😃



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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

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Social Diving is your #1 online source for scuba diving, scuba travel, water sports, learning, and having fun in and under water. We have scuba online articles, review plenty of (scuba) gear, and regularly post travel guides around the world.



    1. Hey Igor!
      Thanks for your comment. It was flagged due to the links. Appreciate you sharing them!


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