The Best Documentary Films (Highly engrossing docos)by Mychosenamewastaken | created - 08 Feb 2012 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
***IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER***
WARNING - This list has multiple pages.
RECENTLY SEEN AND ADDED
UNACKNOWLEDGED (2017) WWII IN HD (2009) THE WAR - KEN BURNS (2007) WAR OF THE CENTURY (1999) APOCALYPSE - THE SECOND WORLD WAR (2009) WWII IN COLOUR (2009) THIRD REICH - THE RISE & FALL (2010) SHOOTING WAR (2000) AMERICAN ANARCHIST (2016) CNN - THE SEVENTIES (2015) CNN - THE EIGHTIES (2016) CNN - THE NINETIES (2017) DEATH IN GAZA (2004) CNN - THE HISTORY OF COMEDY (2017) CRIES FROM SYRIA (2017) ICARUS (2017) THE FARTHEST (2017) THE PROPAGANDA GAME (2015) (DIS)HONESTY - THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES (2014) SENNA (2010) ZERO DAYS (2016) THE INTERNET'S OWN BOY - THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ (2014) NO END IN SIGHT - IRAQ'S DECENT INTO CHAOS (2007) THE GATEKEEPERS (2012) THE CONFESSION TAPES (NETFLIX ORIGINALS) (2017) THE KEEPERS (NETFLIX) (2017) THE VIETNAM WAR (2017) (KEN BURNS) SPIELBERG (2017) APOCALYPSE - THE RISE OF HITLER (2011) APOCALYPSE - STALIN (2015) CITY OF GHOSTS (2017) THE WAR YOU DON'T SEE (2010) DIRTY WARS (2013) TAXI TO THE DARKSIDE (2007) MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST (2017)
***MORE OF MY LISTS BELOW!***
The Best Movies ever made (For the most enthusiastic movie lovers)
The Best Horror Films of all times -
The Best Found Footage Movies -
The Best Sci-Fi Movies ever made (For lovers of all things Science Fiction) -
The Best Documentary Films (Highly engrossing docos) -
The 50 best films ever made.
The Best South Korean Films -
The Best and Most Addictive TV Series -
The Best War Movies, Docos & Series -
The 25 Best Classic Films ever made -
The 25 Best WWII Movies, Docos & Series -
The 15 Best Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan War Movies, Docos and Series -
The Best Stephen King Adaptations -
The Best Simpsons Halloween Episodes
P.S I'm always looking for more suggestions, please feel free to link me to your lists!
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1. Zeitgeist (2007 Video)
Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, History
Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues.
Should be required viewing for everyone. A shocking mind opener for both, the experienced documentary lover and those who rarely watch tv or movies, and everyone in-between.
If more people watched this documentary and others like it, i believe we would have a much more intelligent, open and informed society, armed with the information needed to make our own choices by lifting the veil on politics, war and religious dogma.
DO NOT LET THIS ONE PASS YOU BY!
2. Making a Murderer (2015– )
TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Crime
Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree who, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.
Regardless of your opinion of Guilt or Innocence, this is a fact. This case has FAR to many inconsistencies, violations of civil and constitutional rights, it all stinks far, far too much. Even if only 10% of the things that the defence claims, turns out to be true (which im certain it will be) that should be more than enough to outrage a nation.
But like most people, and most first world nations, we suffer from sever short term memory loss and yes, ill say it.. Extreme apathy. We like to think we care, but deep down, we care about ourselves, our comfort and our desires. It's only convenient to care about things like this when they entertain you. It is a selfish veneer we drape in front of ourselves to see the world through the way we want to see it.
I think it's great when noble people set out to help the world or help their fellow man, yet it never turns out the way they or anyone else hopes. They end up losing interest, something new comes along, THAT is how galvanised our ideals are, they are NOT static, they flip and change and do 180's all the time to better accommodate what suits us, what makes us comfy.
Again, even if he is guilty, this case should have been thrown out halfway through the trail, it is a travesty and a mockery of the so called "Impartial Judicial System" in the US.
If this man was rich do you think he'd be where he is right now?? If this man and his whole family were not constantly looked down on, but were instead, respected members of the society, do you think this would have happened?
Again, regardless of what you think of Avery. Something is very very wrong here.
Not interested in people telling me i just don't know about the case and have not read, or watched everything available that they claim with extreme fervour (like they have won some sort of game and need to gloat like a child.) shows the undeniable guilt of Steve and Brendan. Because I've seen everything (The interviews) and read a wholllleee lot of transcripts available on line. After doing months of research, i'm still firm in my belief that this is one messed up situation, not because it was a murder, but because nothing seems to fit and everything seems very suspicious, happening just at the right time, everything always seems to benefit Manitowoc and there unflinching hatred and over zealous need to "GET THIS MAN!" How dare he try to sue us!
As far as I'm concerned, the biggest slap in the face to logic is that Spare key they found in Stevens room, regardless of the several thorough searches of the premises and that room particularly by the officers who were actually meant to be there, they find nada, not one shred of anything, Low and Behold in come Lenk and Colbourne, 2 officers FORBIDDEN from being involved due to conflict of interest, and guess what they find on there first search... The Key, in plain view. Seriously? It sounds like a goof in a movie for god sakes, it's such a slap in the face of rational minded people and in general the laws of physics.
Anyways. Watch... Now.
3. A Murder in the Park (2014)
PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Crime, History
Documentary filmmakers assert that Anthony Porter - a former death-row inmate who was spared the death penalty thanks to the efforts of a college journalism program - was actually guilty, and an innocent man was sent to prison.
One of the most disturbing documentaries you will ever see.
It looked so random, i thought it was going to be another "Oh no, man is in prison for something he didn't do and get's released *insert cheer* But nope, this one is something very unique, it absolutely blew my mind.
This documentary is in a league of it's own, it's unknown amongst most TV and documentaries watchers, yet it's one of the best, most original and most shocking documentaries i have EVER seen.
A must watch.
Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
One of the first, and most intriguing (and at the same time, sickening) documentaries to show the absolutely absurdity that is the US justice system, and how they can and are willing to squash any human being as long as they are not wealthy and/or powerful.
The lengths that this system goes to, to keep certain people in jail (even with overwhelming evidence of their innocence) with nothing but circumstantial evidence which is paper thin at best, is a real eye opener.
This is a real shocker, one of those documentaries in which you will find the need to binge watch all 3 addendum's and all the stand alone documentaries, movies and books on the subject.
Once this is seen, you will never be able to see the US justice system in the same light again.
5. Only the Dead (2015)
TV-MA | 77 min | Documentary, Biography, History
Australian journalist Michael Ware's experiences in Iraq during the 2003 war and after.
I absolutely LOVED this doco, however, be warned, it is INCREDIBLY intense. The violence and graphic nature of this gritty conflict is show in full detail and the documentary maker goes as deep as i have ever seen any foreigner go into the world of the suicide bombers.
This guy honestly has some of the biggest balls i have ever witnessed.
NOT FOR THE FEINT HEARTED!
You have been warned...
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.
One of the most heartbreaking things i have ever seen. A clear example of the leeway given to Women in the western societies and the obvious failure (once again) witnessed in the justice systems of the USA and it's neighbour Canada.
7. Cosmos (1980)
TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary
Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the various elements and cosmological theories of the universe.
8. West of Memphis (2012)
R | 147 min | Documentary, Crime
An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.
Votes: 9,391 | Gross: $0.31M
Peter and Fran Jackson give us a fresh look at the WM3 case as they re-examine it, bringing to light extraordinary evidence with the aid of some of the worlds most renowned experts in their respective fields (such as forensic investigators etc.)
A must watch for those who watched Paradise Lost 1, 2 and 3 or even those who have never heard of the case.
It's best to start with the original Paradise Lost however, this should really be considered an addendum or the fourth part in the series.
9. Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000 TV Movie)
Unrated | 130 min | Documentary, Crime
The case of the West Memphis Three, its questionable circumstances and the parties involved are followed up years later.
Continues with case against the WM3 (West Memphis 3) and the new evidence and new revelations, hence the title.
10. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)
Not Rated | 121 min | Documentary, Crime
A further followup of the case of the West Memphis Three and the decades long fight to exonerate them that finally gained traction with new DNA evidence.
The final chapter in the WM3 case.
11. The Century of the Self (2002)
235 min | Documentary
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations.
12. Why We Fight (2005)
PG-13 | 98 min | Documentary, History, War
Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.
Votes: 9,587 | Gross: $1.44M
13. Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003–2010)
TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Documentary
The comedy illusionist duo explore various topics and debunk what they consider misconceptions about them.
Such a shame this was so glossed over, it was one of the greatest running tv shows about things that make us wonder, things we scoff at and things we don't understand or accept/deny.
An eye opening experience in every episode.
Can't recommend it enough.
14. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 20,171 | Gross: $1.21M
Eroll Morris does it like no other.
An in depth analysis of two men who met one fateful night which lead to a trajectory of nothing but sadness and the film maker who finally got to the truth.
15. The Imposter (2012)
R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.
Votes: 42,716 | Gross: $0.89M
Wow... You can't make this stuff up.
This is more uncanny than most movies.
16. High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell (1995 TV Movie)
TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary
Documents 18 months in the lives of three crack addicts in Lowell, Massachusetts.
As real and gritty as it gets.
17. Religulous (2008)
R | 101 min | Documentary, Comedy, War
Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.
Votes: 56,364 | Gross: $13.00M
A look into the ridiculous (and frankly, ignorant, naive and moronic) world of Christianity in America.
Bill Maher shows the absurdity of the concept of unconditional faith.
If you are interested in religion, one way or the other, this is a MUST WATCH.
TV-14 | 279 min | Documentary, Crime
A great documentary dealing with, yet again, the might of the justice system and it's leniency and flat out corruption when it comes to dealing with the rich and powerful.
If you think OJ got off easily, you'll be AMAZED at what this documentary series reveals.
19. The Killing of America (1981)
R | 90 min | Documentary, Crime
A documentary of the decline of America. It features a lot a great footage (most exclusive to this film) from race riots to serial killers and much-much more.
One of the most graphic documentaries ever made, it shows the way the US is killing itself and the violence inherent in its society.
R | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Votes: 7,205 | Gross: $1.25M
A very interesting look into the life and times of the man who wrote "Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas" Hunter S Thomson.
21. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)
Not Rated | 161 min | Documentary
A feature length documentary work which presents a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.
22. Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008 Video)
Not Rated | 123 min | Documentary, History, War
Zeitgeist: Addendum attempts to locate the root causes of the pervasive social corruption, while also offering a solution.
23. Citizenfour (2014)
R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, News
A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.
Votes: 48,901 | Gross: $2.80M
A deep and stunning look at the Edward Snowden situation and the forces who desperately attempt to keep him silent.
24. American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)
Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography
Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.
Votes: 4,632 | Gross: $0.09M
A great man and a great documentary about him. A comedian/philosopher who's words will live in infamy.
25. Freedom Downtime (2001)
Unrated | 121 min | Documentary, Adventure
A feature length documentary about the Free Kevin movement and the hacker world.
This documentary deals with hackers and the way they are treated in the US.
26. The Seven Five (2014)
R | 104 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Meet the dirtiest cop in NYC history. Michael Dowd stole money and dealt drugs while patrolling the streets of 80s Brooklyn.
Votes: 4,842 | Gross: $0.01M
27. The Central Park Five (2012)
Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History
A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
Votes: 6,390 | Gross: $0.27M
28. Exporting Raymond (2010)
PG | 86 min | Documentary, Comedy
A documentary on Phil Rosenthal's experiences during the making of "Voroniny," the Russian-language version of "Everybody Loves Raymond".
Votes: 1,612 | Gross: $0.08M
A hilarious look at the man who created "Everybody Loves Raymond" and his role in its exportation and recreation in Russia.
29. Into the Abyss (2011)
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.
Votes: 15,056 | Gross: $0.22M
30. Dinosaur 13 (2014)
PG | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary about the discovery of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil ever found.
Another amazing look at the power and might of the US's willingness to crush the little guy.
Horizon (1964– )
Science Under Attack
Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse examines why science appears to be under attack, and why public trust in key scientific theories has been eroded.
34. Most Evil (2006–2015)
TV-14 | 44 min | Documentary, Crime
Series follows Columbia University's Michael Stone as he searches for the roots of evil in human beings by exploring acts committed by infamous criminals and ordinary people which he rates on his "scale of evil".
Horizon (1964– )
Why Do We Dream?
Horizon uncovers the secret world of our dreams. In a series of cutting-edge experiments and personal stories, we go in search of the science behind this most enduring mystery and ask: ... See full summary »
36. Louis and the Nazis (2003 TV Movie)
70 min | Documentary
Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed "the most dangerous racist in America"; Tom Metzger, his family and his publicity manager. Louis also meets 'Prussian Blue' an American white-nationalist preteen musical sibling duo.
Masters of Darkness (2002– )
The Wickedest Man in the World
50 min | Documentary
Famous for his occult writings, founder of the religion of Thelema, which became adopted by the Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O.) as well as the magical order Argenteum Astrum, the Order of the Silver Star.
39. Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008)
PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Sport
An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.
Votes: 12,855 | Gross: $0.31M
40. Super Size Me (2004)
PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.
Votes: 96,738 | Gross: $11.53M
47. A Brief History of Time (1991)
G | 80 min | Documentary, Biography
A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, was one of the great minds of all time.
Votes: 4,876 | Gross: $2.28M
48. We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012)
Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary