Who isn't be charmed by green fields, quaint houses, and sweet animals? Sometimes, all you need in a good flick is a slice of countryside life—ideally, perhaps, set on a farm.
From horror to adventure, from sci-fi to sports, all kinds of movies have involved farms and farm animals. As summer approaches, here are our picks for the best farm movies worth watching!
10. Babe (1995)
At a time when pigs were mostly seen as ugly and soulless creatures that were only good as food, Babe came out and helped change minds.
This somewhat boundary-pushing film centers on the story of friendship between a pig and a farmer, giving us an emotional tale that shaped a generation of newly devoted vegetarians.
As it turns out, farm animals have their own codes of honor and social structures to navigate and respect. What is a pig's place in all of that? When all's said and done, Babe is an important story about individuality and personal talent.
Not to mention that Babe was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards! If you love animals and don't mind crying, this critically-acclaimed film might be the watch for you.
9. Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
Three years after the success of Babe, we got a sequel in Babe: Pig in the City—one of the weirdest films I've ever seen.
With his place on the farm firmly established, Babe must now travel to the city to further his career as a trained pig. So, while it's no longer set on a farm, it still features our beloved farm animal protagonist.
This is a fever dream adventure that's perfect as an easy watch for when you're craving some good old animal stories. Sit back, relax, and don't take this movie too seriously. It's meant to be fun!
Babe: Pig in the City falls short of the first film's greatness, but if you enjoyed that one, you should definitely check this one out.
8. Signs (2002)
In Signs, farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is struggling with the death of his wife, with being a single parent, and with running his full-time farming business.
And as if that weren't enough, one day he starts seeing intricate patterns carved into his crops. What could it all mean?
Signs is a classic alien movie, and it just so happens to be set on a farm. It takes inspiration from the countless tales of crop circles that have been popping up throughout the US over the last several decades.
Featuring a young Joaquin Phoenix alongside Mel Gibson in his prime, Signs is a perfect summer watch: slightly spooky, tinged with elements of mystery and horror, and extremely captivating.
7. Charlotte's Web (2006)
Wilbur is a pig and his days are, sadly, numbered. That right there sets you up for the emotionally devastating story of Charlotte's Web.
Inspired by the eponymous children's book by E. B. White, Charlotte's Web teaches us that every life has value and that even the smallest force—like an unassuming little spider—can have a big impact.
Charlotte's Web is a story of friendship and adventure, where new friends are found and fake friends are lost forever. It's a deeply emotional story that continues to fascinate viewers to this day.
6. Field of Dreams (1989)
Iowa farmer Ray is afraid he might be losing his mind. One night, he starts hearing voices in his head—that can't be a good sign!
Whose voices is he hearing? Well, we don't know yet. All we know is that the voices are asking him to build something. ("If you build it, he will come," says the iconic line.)
Field of Dreams is a wonderful story that touches on the supernatural in a deeply moving way that isn't spooky or unsettling. It takes place on a farm, but it stretches far beyond that in so many ways.
5. At Any Price (2012)
At Any Price is a family story about an Iowa seed farmer who tries to get his son into the family business, to persuade him into pursuing a career in the same field of work.
Full of heart and critically acclaimed—especially lauded by the late Roger Ebert—At Any Price is a film about hard work, dreams and ambitions, resources, and family.
This brilliant movie portrays farming life, complete with all its struggles and the stakes involved, without romanticizing it or diminishing it. At Any Price is an honest film about honest people worth watching.
4. The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005)
Taggart Siegel's The Real Dirt on Farmer John explores two decades in the life of John Peterson, an Illinois farmer who also performs as an artist.
This film is an interesting look at society's prejudices against farmers as it provides a more truthful depiction of what it's like to do agricultural work, approached from several different viewpoints.
John Peterson uses organic agriculture to make a living for himself, and it's so compelling to watch as he merges his professionalism as a farmer with his creativity as an artist.
The Real Dirt on Farmer John is the kind of movie that gives hope and makes you reflect on the nature of farming life and how it can be an effective way to turn one's life around.
3. Chicken Run (2000)
Chicken Run is a true classic of stop-motion animation. In it, a group of chickens grow tired of living on a farm and want to escape so they can seek a better future, one that's full of freedom and possibilities.
Life on a farm is hard, after all, and they no longer want to be exploited for their eggs. It's time to rise up and fight the power!
Chicken Run seems silly on the surface, but it's an amazing story of courage that uses farm chickens as a metaphor for the oppressed and their desire for freedom, all wrapped up in humor and satire.
2. Lamb (2021)
Lamb features an Icelandic couple who own a farm with sheep and chickens. One day, they find an odd half-sheep, half-human creature in their barn... and they decide to raise it as their own daughter.
This unusual folk horror that's set entirely on a farm explores themes of belonging, familial love, grief, loss, and prejudice. The darkly cold tones of the Icelandic landscapes are countered by the warmly kind narrative of the story itself.
1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Ricky Baker is an orphan who's fostered by a couple living on a small farm in the New Zealand wilderness. While there, he starts to feel at home and establishes a close relationship with the couple.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a bright coming-of-age story that develops themes of belonging, the simplicity of life, the importance of family, and the beautifully mysterious character of nature and humans.
Directed by Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a must-watch, critically-acclaimed film that's both charming and unconventional as it deftly weaves together drama, comedy, and pathos.