COVID-19 Pandemic was a global event that affected almost every single aspect of our life, from health to professional aspects to personal relationships. This is what inspired numerous filmmakers to present their own experiences, both real and fictional scenarios, and present the pandemic through their own eyes. This is why today we’ve decided to present you with the ten best COVID-19 movies and documentaries, so you can inform yourself as well as take a look at alternative takes on the whole thing.
1. Songbird (2022)
What it’s about: In 2024, COVID-19 has mutated into COVID-23, and the US government has become a fascist police state. Infected individuals are forcibly taken to quarantine camps, while the uninfected must take temperature checks on their phones. Nico, a courier with immunity, is in a virtual relationship with Sara, who lives with her grandmother Lita, who begins showing symptoms of COVID-23. Nico promises to protect Sara from being taken as her building sees a rise in infections.
Why you should watch it: Songbird is an interesting take on how the COVID-19 pandemic could have played out. The movie’s premise focuses on the morality of imposed lockdowns, the relationships between people that suffered the most, and the fact that the rich and wealthy always seem to bend the rules.
2. The Last Cruise (2021)
What it’s about: One of the first massive cases of infection during the pandemic was seen on the cruise ship called “The Diamond Princess.” The event was widely reported, and Hanna Olson decided to make a documentary. The documentary details the events that came to pass right before the infection and during the whole ordeal, as well as the origin of the term “essential workers.”
Why you should watch it: Even with COVID out of the picture, The Last Cruise is an interesting insight into how diseases easily spread in close quarters, such as on cruise ships. Cruise ships, despite being a luxury, might turn out to be more trouble than they are worth. It’s general knowledge that it’s hard to keep sanitation up to standard with so many people in close quarters. It’s a highly educational piece on what happens when you have nowhere to run from the virus.
3. The Narrow Road (2022)
What it’s about: A Hong Kong movie, The Narrow Road, released in 2022, brings the story of Chak, a sanitation worker and the owner of the company in the same branch who is in the days leading to the outbreak primarily worried about keeping his company in business. He hires a new cleaner, and the romance develops between them, all during the time of the pandemic.
Why you should watch it: The Narrow Road has a dark and chilling atmosphere, and sometimes you might forget that it’s a COVID movie that is supposed to be a realistic depiction of the situation that happened around that time. The movie has an apocalyptic feel to it, but it’s definitely worth a watch if you want to get a better insight into how the low-paid workers dealt with the pandemic.
4. Fauci (2021)
What it’s about: The title says it all. Fauci is a documentary movie following the master of pandemics, Dr. Anthony Fauci. The documentary, however, doesn’t focus on the COVID-19 pandemic but rather focuses on the whole “life and work” of Fauci and highlights his greatest accomplishments.
Why you should watch it: No matter how you feel about Fauci and what your overall thoughts are on well, his contribution to the whole ordeal that played out, this documentary is an opportunity to get to know about his other contributions to science while leaving the pandemic itself in the rearview mirror.
5. Alone Together (2022)
What it’s about: Alone Together was written by Katie Holmes at the mere start of the pandemic. The plot of the movie revolves around June and John, a couple caught up in the start of the pandemic. June just rented an Airbnb in upstate New York while John had to return to his parents in order to deal with the situation. Arriving at the Airbnb, June finds out that the accommodation has been double booked, and now she is stuck with a complete stranger, Charlie.
Why you should watch it: Alone Together is a story about two random people being stuck together during the pandemic. It’s a story about baring yourself to a complete stranger while you’re isolated from your loved ones.
6. The Year Earth Changed (2022)
What it’s about: The Year Earth Changed is a documentary created by Tom Beard. It chronicles the pandemic and the impact the lockdowns and travel restrictions had on nature.
Why you should watch it: During the first few months of the pandemic, we’ve heard about all the miraculous sightings of animals that finally reappeared in their long-lost habitats when the tourists failed to arrive. Some of those stories were fake, and some of them were legit. The Year Earth Changed chronicles the legitimate impact that the pandemic had on nature and animals.
7. The Bubble (2022)
What it’s about: Cliff Beasts 6: Battle for Everest: Memories of a Requiem is one of the first major film productions to resume amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cliff Beasts cast self-quarantine at an English hotel for two weeks before a welcome-back party. Carol reunites with co-stars and meets new ones, including a TikTok sensation. Director Darren Eigan clashes with Dustin over the script, and Dieter develops a crush on the front desk clerk. Howie quits the film in a panic during a group meditation, and Krystal and Carla’s partying gets Krystal canceled. The cast tests positive for influenza from a delivery girl but is forced to film despite being ill.
Why you should watch it: The Bubble failed in almost every aspect and failed to deliver almost all messages that it tried to convey, except one. Doing showbiz during the pandemic was an extremely difficult and complicated process.
8. Corona (2020)
What it’s about: Corona is a Canadian production with a very interesting premise. It tells the story of six neighbors who become trapped in the elevator of their building during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. The group begins to suspect that a seventh neighbor, a Chinese newcomer played by Traei Tsai who coughed, may have the coronavirus and could infect them.
Why you should watch it: Corona is the story that perfectly frames how people tended to overreact and blow everything to massive proportions during the pandemic. It attempts to breathe a sense of reason into characters that are clearly struggling with rational thinking and xenophobia.
9. Alone (2023)
What it’s about: Kalidasan is a motivational speaker that recently moved to a new place in Kochi. Soon after moving in, the pandemic starts, and due to various restrictions, he is forced to stay put and unable to leave. But, the pandemic might turn out to be the least of his worries as he is soon faced with the reality that something paranormal is happening at his place.
Why you should watch it: Like many other movies on this list, Alone doesn’t try to go intellectual on the whole “I’m isolated due to pandemic” theme. It instead puts a fresh new take on it. What would happen if you were isolated and also faced with paranormal during the pandemic?
10. Sick (2022)
What it’s about: The movie follows college student Tyler Murphy, who is stalked and killed by an anonymous figure while shopping at a grocery store during the COVID-19 crisis. Parker takes her friend Miri to her family’s lake house to quarantine, but strange things start happening when they arrive. Parker’s fling DJ shows up uninvited and tries to reconcile with her, but a masked intruder breaks into the house, steals their phones, and starts attacking them.
Why you should watch it: Sick is your classic slasher filled with tension and dread but with a unique twist of being set during the pandemic. It’s an interesting watch if you’re looking for COVID-19-themed horror movies.