Adventure and suspense movies about jungle really get our hearts racing. You know, those films with fast action and mysterious wilderness settings. We never know what’s going to pop up on the screen and startle us. It could be anything from any direction. Like going on a quest to find hidden treasures, or an epic journey to the center of the earth. The best jungle movies always have tons of entertainment waiting for the audience.
Some people might say this kind of movie has been done a lot, with many films choosing a jungle to explore. But there’s something special about going on an unknown wild adventure that never stops being exciting. It’s just fun when filmmakers create interesting backgrounds and funny characters that turn the movie into a thrilling ride. People who love these movies find a sort of comfort in them and sort of live through the forest adventures.
Updated on June 10, 2023, by Brahim WAALLA:
Before the famous adventurer Indiana Jones takes his last adventure in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (coming on June 30), you might want to go back and watch its prequel, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” from 2008. Guess what? This movie takes place a lot in the jungle.
26 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979)
I’m sure you’ve heard this name before – it’s one of the most famous Hollywood movies ever. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who’s known as the big boss of The Godfather movie series. This film is all about war in America. It stars actors like Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall, who both worked with Coppola before in The Godfather. And guess what? It’s based on a book called ‘Heart of Darkness’.
The main character is Colonel Kurtz, who’s gone a bit crazy and leads his own group of local tribespeople. Captain Willard’s job is to put an end to Kurtz’s activities, because he’s doing some vigilante stuff. What comes next is a big slice of the Vietnam War experience, mixed with fighting and talking about war, all happening in the forests of neutral Cambodia.
25 of 26: ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God’ (1972)
This is a special kind of movie – a historical drama. It was written and directed by a famous filmmaker from Germany named Werner Herzog.
The story takes place in the Amazon jungle. It’s all about a Spanish soldier named Lope de Aguirre. He’s leading a group of explorers who are on a mission to find a legendary city made of gold, called El Dorado.
What makes this movie really cool is the music. The sounds you hear while watching it create a kind of dreamy feeling. You get to think about what’s happening to the men as they journey through the Amazon.
24 of 26: ‘Platoon’ (1986)
This is an American film that’s against war. It’s about the Vietnam War. The person who made it is Oliver Stone, who also wrote “Scarface.” And guess what? It stars Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen. Oliver Stone himself was in the Vietnam War, so he used his own memories to build the movie on real stuff.
The story happens in the jungles of Vietnam. It’s about a group of American soldiers who have to deal with all the terrible things in the war. The interesting part about “Platoon” is that it’s shown from the perspective of the soldiers themselves.
What’s cool about this movie is that Oliver Stone didn’t try to make the action scenes super exciting like other war movies. He wanted to show things more like they really were.
23 of 26: ‘Fitzcarraldo’ (1982)
Here’s another movie from Werner Herzog on the list. It looks like he really liked the jungle for his movies.
The main character in the film is named Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, but they call him Fitzcarraldo. He’s from Ireland and he’s got a big idea – he wants to move a steamship over a really steep hill. Why? To get to a place in the Amazon with lots of rubber and become rich.
This movie is special because the filmmaker tried to keep things real and truthful. It’s definitely worth watching.
22 of 26: ‘Death in the Garden’ (1956)
Luis Buñuel, the director, made this really interesting adventure movie. It’s kind of surreal, which means it’s full of strange and unexpected things. The story comes from a book by Jose-Andre Lacour.
The whole thing takes place in South America during a revolution. There’s a bunch of different folks – a daring adventurer, a lady of the night, a priest, a diamond miner, and the miner’s daughter who can’t hear – they all run away to the jungle to stay safe.
And after that, well, you’ve got to watch to see what happens next!
21 of 26: ‘The Emerald Forest’ (1985)
This movie is a British drama that’s actually inspired by something that really happened. The story happens in the jungles of a rainforest in Brazil.
There’s this guy from America. He’s been asked to create a dam, so he goes there with his family. But then, something really sad happens – someone he loves a lot gets taken by the local tribespeople.
The movie is really captivating and it looks absolutely amazing to watch. The scenes are so beautifully made.
20 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘Romancing The Stone’ (1984)
Before Robert Zemeckis brought us “Back to the Future,” he warmed up with something else. It’s a mix of action and romance, starring Kathleen Turner when everyone loved her, and Michael Douglas at his highest point of fame. The result? A big, lively, and kind of steamy story.
Kathleen Turner plays a writer who’s all about romance. She heads to Colombia to save her sister who got kidnapped. But guess what? She ends up needing a rescue herself, this time from a gang of thieves looking for precious jewels. And who comes to the rescue? Michael Douglas, playing a guy who deals with rare birds.
Yeah, you read that right. There are wild scenes, fights, and even a part with crocodiles. This movie might feel like a modern Peter Pan tale with a dash of adventure. In the end, our brave writer gets a new hit book, and the bird guy gets a new boat to sell parrots to regular folks. Ah, the 1980s!
19 of 26: ‘The Lost City of Z’ (2016)
James Gray created a really big movie about a guy named Percy Fawcett. This Percy was a British explorer. He got sent off to the Brazilian rainforest on a mission that wasn’t going to end well. He was searching for a city that everyone said was just a myth. But he wasn’t just after the city – he wanted people back home to finally give him the respect he deserved.
James Gray, the director, has a unique style. He tends to talk when he doesn’t really need to in his movies. But there’s a part early in the movie that’s quite special. One of the local folks who got made to work on Percy’s journey tells him about the amazing things in this Lost City. It’s like a place where everyone lives together in harmony, with golden streets. This thought kind of hangs over the rest of the movie, even though the rest of the journey is filled with scary things.
“I feel sorry for you English. I am free. You will never escape the jungle,” the local guy says. Maybe he doesn’t mean it exactly, but it’s like a message that nature will always beat our efforts to build fancy things. And that’s why everything falls apart in the end.
18 of 26: ‘Apocalypto’ (2006)
Mel Gibson, the guy who’s known for sometimes acting a bit crazy, made a really wild movie called Apocalypto. He spent a bunch of money he earned from his Passion of the Christ movie on this new one. It’s about a jungle adventure with Mayan actors who only speak Yucatec, a language from a long time ago.
The movie starts with something unexpected—a hunt for tapirs, which are kind of like pigs. And guess what? It ends with a super shocking surprise that’s one of the most jaw-dropping twists ever. In the middle of all this, there’s a warrior named Jaguar Paw, played by Rudy Youngblood. His village gets attacked, and his pregnant wife gets taken to be sacrificed.
Jaguar Paw goes on a crazy journey through the jungle of ancient Central America to save his wife. The movie is intense, full of action, and has no rules—it’s totally wild and you can’t predict what’s gonna happen next. It’s honestly one of the craziest movies ever made. You wouldn’t even believe someone like Mel Gibson could come up with it. And even though you might not expect it, the movie is actually really awesome.
17 of 26: ‘The Mosquito Coast’ (1986)
After Harrison Ford and Peter Weir’s success with “Witness,” they teamed up again for something quite different. They made a really serious movie based on a story by Paul Theroux and written by Paul Schrader. It’s all about this guy who kind of understands Capitalism and its problems, but not enough to keep his family safe.
The story takes them to the jungle, trying to escape the troubles of Capitalism, but things go really wrong. This movie feels really important, like it should’ve come out a decade ago. But now, after some time, it’s getting attention again. In fact, it’s being turned into a TV series on Apple TV+.
It’s interesting how the main character’s warnings about society’s issues are starting to sound like predictions, especially in our current times marked by the pandemic.
16 of 26: ‘Red Dust’ (1932)
In the movie “Red Dust,” Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Mary Astor create a passionate love triangle. This film came out in a time when Hollywood was changing its ways, but not completely yet. Jean Harlow’s character is a woman who’s had a tough life and works at Clark Gable’s rubber plantation in a faraway place called Indochina.
She sees Gable as a way to escape her difficult life, and he’s interested in Mary Astor’s character because she comes from a rich family. The wild environment in the movie mirrors the intense feelings between these three characters. The actors, especially Gable and Harlow, put so much emotion into their roles that their chemistry is explosive. They even worked together in more movies later on.
Jean Harlow’s character is more than just a pretty face. You can feel her heartbreak when her dreams don’t come true. She reminds me a bit of Giulietta Masina’s character Cabiria in another movie. And speaking of the movie, some people find the way Asians are shown in “Red Dust” upsetting. But I think it actually reflects how Asians were and still are sometimes treated in America.
Interestingly, there’s a scene in a newer movie called “Jungle Cruise” where someone is made fun of for bringing tennis rackets to the jungle. It could be a nod to a similar scene in “Red Dust.”
15 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘Sorcerer’ (1977)
William Friedkin’s jungle adventure is all about a group of troublemakers and outcasts in a far-off place in Latin America. They end up there because of a series of events involving different things like a Palestinian uprising, Irish gang activity, Nazis, and accusations of insider trading. It might sound like a mess, but when you think about it, “Sorcerer” is really about greed and the lingering effects of colonialism.
The whole story revolves around a dangerous 200-mile truck journey where they’re moving a super explosive substance called nitroglycerin. This journey includes crossing a really old and falling-apart wooden bridge. The jungle is burning because of their selfishness and desperation. The only calm moment in the movie is a final dance scene.
Roy Scheider, who’s been in many great roles, shines the brightest in this film. Even though some people didn’t like the movie when it came out, it’s now recognized as one of the best films from the most amazing era of American cinema.
14 of 26: ‘Princess Mononoke’ (1997)
Hayao Miyazaki, a really talented Japanese filmmaker, created a magical fantasy story that’s both huge and incredibly well-made. It’s not just about action; it also teaches us about society. One of the important moments in the story is when a group of women who used to be prostitutes stand up bravely against threats.
The story is about a prince who’s under a curse and is sick because of a dangerous sickness. He meets forest spirits, especially Princess Mononoke, and they join forces even though they’re not completely comfortable with each other. They work together to fight against the harm caused by pollution from big industries.
In a way, the story is a bit like a poem by William Blake called “Tyger Tyger,” where nature is scared of humans taking over. The movie is like a modern version of that idea. The images in the movie are really powerful and will stay with you for a long time. It is indeed one of the best jungle movies.
13 of 26: ‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979)
Remember how Francis Ford Coppola once said that he wasn’t just making a movie about Vietnam, but that the movie itself was like being in Vietnam? Well, that might sound a bit strange and even hurtful, but his words do capture the craziness and hugeness of what he created. It’s like a record of wild, nightmarish thoughts and madness.
The movie goes from being really grand to really personal. It’s kind of like when they took parts of “The Wizard of Oz” and sent them on a journey up a river to find a soldier, Marlon Brando, who’s gone really far from where he should be. This movie is so intense that it can change how you see movies forever. You’ll remember the time before you saw it and the time after.
Now, I have a different opinion than most people, but I actually like the “Redux” version better. It adds a part where there are some Playboy Bunnies stuck because of a storm, and a scene at a “French Plantation” that many don’t like. But to me, that scene is like a strange, dreamy break in the middle of all the terrible things happening. It’s like we never really left the jungle. It’s where we met our end.
12 of 26: ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ (2012)
This new movie is a big follow-up to the hit film from 2008, “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” In this one, we see Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, and Vanessa Hudgens. They’re on a mission because they got a strange message from deep inside the woods. They’re trying to find Sean’s grandpa who went missing.
Both of these movies come from really exciting stories written by Jules Verne. If you watch this film, you’ll find lots of funny moments, scenes that make you smile, and of course, the amazing Dwayne Johnson. The humor might be a bit cheesy and the story might be a bit predictable, but it’s not really for the serious movie fans. Still, it could be one of those movies you secretly enjoy and watch when you need a little lift in your day.
11 of 26: ‘Uncharted’ (2022)
Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg lead the way in “Uncharted,” a movie that takes us on the unknown journeys of Ferdinand Magellan, who was on a quest to find hidden treasure. People who already love the game were really looking forward to a film that would bring the game’s world to life. But when “Uncharted” turned up, it was quite different from what they expected.
Even though Tom Holland did a great job at capturing Nate’s character—his charm, quick wit, humor, and the warmth that makes him who he is—the movie didn’t quite make up for the story that wasn’t very exciting, missed chances for excitement, and changes to the game’s story that the creators decided to add, which left some fans puzzled. This is indeed one of the best jungle movies.
10 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘The Lost City’ (2022)
In this exciting movie, there’s not only adventure but also a romantic story that brings together an author and a model who’s usually overlooked. It’s a modern version of this type of movie, and it features Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. They’re out in the wild, dealing with an evil Daniel Radcliffe who keeps getting in their way.
The story is pretty crazy, and it does manage to grab your attention, even though not all the jokes are that funny. The movie gets you interested with its cool fonts and a tale about a secret treasure that’s fascinated people for ages, even kings and queens. And just as a fun surprise, keep an eye out for an unexpected appearance by Brad Pitt – that alone makes the movie worth watching.
9 of 26: ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ (2008)
This is the fourth movie in the adventure series that so many people love. It’s called “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” In this story, Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, goes on another thrilling adventure to find a really powerful artifact. He’s joined by an old flame, Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen. Together, they go deep into the forests of Peru and then end up in the Amazon after getting captured.
Even though this might not be the absolute best movie in the big series, “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” still has a lot of exciting action and moments that’ll make you laugh out loud. For all the fans who really enjoy this character, the movie is a great watch. It’s also nice to go back and watch the legendary films again, especially since the last movie in the series is just about to come out.
8 of 26: ‘Jungle Cruise’ (2021)
Everyone was really excited about “Jungle Cruise” because it brought two really great actors, Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, together in one movie. In this exciting story, you follow a doctor and her brother as they head into the Amazon forests to find a special tree with supposed magical powers.
But things aren’t easy for them. There are bad guys who want to use the tree for their own bad plans. They’re like villains with wicked ideas. The movie is a good way to have fun and enjoy the beautiful setting of the Amazon. It’s a simple adventure movie set in the jungle, and it doesn’t try to be anything more complicated than that.
7 of 26: ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (2017)
Although the story is easy to follow, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is incredibly funny – it’s hard not to burst out laughing. The movie goes with the wild idea of getting stuck in a video game, but it doesn’t make the audience feel silly.
With Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and a nice surprise from Nick Jonas, this movie is a big action-packed show meant to keep you entertained. It gets its inspiration from the old and loved Jumanji game, but it adds its own twist to the story to make it even better. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ is one of our favorite jungle movies.
6 of 26: ‘Tropic Thunder’ (2008)
“Tropic Thunder” isn’t perfect, but deep down, it’s a super exaggerated and wonderfully cheeky way of making fun of all the problems in Hollywood. There are tons of moments that will make you laugh and you’ll find yourself quoting them all the time. Plus, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise steal the show with their fantastic performances.
This big movie brought together some of the best comedians and actors of our time. They started the century with a big bang in this huge group project. It lived up to all the excitement when it was first released and even now, fans still really love it.
5 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘King Kong’ (2005)
“King Kong” has been redone a few times by different directors, each adding their own unique touch to the story of the amazing Gorilla, King Kong. The movie is about Carl Denham and his team. They find a huge ape on Skull Island and decide to take it to New York, which turns out to be a big problem when the ape gets loose in the city.
The whole movie is really fantastic and keeps you excited. The story is huge, full of action, and introduces new, unbelievable creatures. This version has more action than the original, and it uses a lot of computer effects (even though some of them don’t look as good as they used to).
4 of 26: ‘Tarzan’ (1999)
“Tarzan” is one of those much-loved Disney classics and one of the best jungle movies – a cartoon movie that everyone knows about. The story is about Tarzan, the main character who’s voiced by Tony Goldwyn. He’s a human child who gets left in the jungle and is taken in by a family of gorillas. As he grows up, he deals with figuring out who he really is and where he fits in. Things get even more interesting when a group of people shows up, and that’s when he meets the lively Jane Porter, voiced by Minnie Driver.
This Disney film is really special. It has amazing animation, catchy songs that stick in your head, and a touching story that makes you feel all warm inside. The movie talks about finding yourself and what family really means, and all of this happens in the backdrop of a stunning jungle, which can be beautiful and tough at the same time.
3 of 26: ‘The Jungle Book’ (1967, 2016)
“The Jungle Book” is a classic that never seems to get old. It’s been loved by so many people and has been both a book and a movie that folks have enjoyed for ages. The story is about Mowgli and all the exciting things he experiences, like dealing with the scary yet unforgettable villain Shere Khan and hanging out with a bunch of wild animals.
The music in the movie is really nice, and you can learn a lot about courage, friendship, and just life in general. After watching, you’ll feel warm inside. There have been many versions of this story – some made with drawings, others with real actors – made and remade many times over the years. But even with all these changes, the movie still keeps that special Disney magic that people have always loved.
2 of 26: ‘Jurassic Park’ Movies (1993 – 2001)
The Jurassic Park series is like a thrilling journey that went on for seven exciting movies over almost twenty years. It’s packed with the very best stuff. The first movie did something totally new – it brought dinosaurs back to life and put them in the modern world, which everyone loved. It quickly became a big deal in the world of movies.
These films have everything, from huge monsters causing chaos to scientific experiments that didn’t go quite right. And you know what? The movies always had really talented actors, which made people all around the world interested. The latest one, “Jurassic Park: Dominion,” felt like it might be the last movie in the series. It seems like the quality of the movies has been going down lately. But if you’re into tense jungle survival stories, you should definitely watch the first three movies. They’ve won awards and are a great choice for that kind of excitement.
1 of 26 Jungle Movies: ‘Predator’ (1987)
“Predator” was one of the big hits for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1980s (also one of the best jungle movies). It’s like two movies in one: a super macho shootout film and also a scary sci-fi horror. The cool thing is, it takes apart the usual action movie stuff and the tough guys who star in them. These guys usually rely on their big guns and strong muscles, but here they find out all of that doesn’t really matter when they’re up against an amazing warrior who hunts people like a sport.
“Predator” became a classic action movie really fast. People loved the terrifying creature, the catchy one-liners, the steamy jungle setting, and the way John McTiernan directed the film. It’s like the ultimate jungle adventure, and it’s the movie that started a whole legendary series that’s still going strong today. The latest addition, “Prey,” seems like a great step forward for this classic set of movies.
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