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Best Documentaries

Looking for the best documentaries to watch? Discover captivating stories and thought-provoking narratives in our handpicked selection. From gripping true crime tales to eye-opening social commentaries, these documentaries offer a unique blend of entertainment and education. Immerse yourself in the world of real-life stories that will leave you inspired and enlightened. Explore our curated collection now!

Looking for the best documentaries to expand your knowledge and gain a fresh perspective? Look no further! Our carefully curated selection of documentaries covers a wide range of topics, ensuring there’s something for everyone. From thought-provoking explorations of social issues to captivating nature and wildlife documentaries, we have it all. These top documentaries offer an immersive experience, taking you on a journey through history, science, and culture. With their engaging storytelling and stunning visuals, these award-winning documentaries will leave you inspired and informed. Whether you’re a fan of true crime, environmental issues, or human stories, our collection of the best documentaries will satisfy your intellectual curiosity. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to broaden your horizons with these must-watch documentaries. Start exploring today!

# Documentary Genre Release Year Rating
1 The Act of Killing Crime, Documentary 2012 9.5/10
2 Blackfish Documentary, Drama 2013 9/10
3 Grizzly Man Biography, Documentary 2005 8.8/10
4 Man on Wire Biography, Crime, Documentary 2008 8.7/10
5 Searching for Sugar Man Documentary, Biography, Music 2012 8.5/10
6 Exit Through the Gift Shop Documentary, Comedy, Crime 2010 8.3/10
7 Citizenfour Documentary, Biography, Crime 2014 8.2/10
8 Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary 2011 8/10
9 March of the Penguins Documentary, Family 2005 7.5/10
10 Planet Earth Documentary 2006 7/10

The Act of Killing

  • Award-winning documentary directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Explores the Indonesian genocide of the 1960s
  • Features reenactments of the killings by the perpetrators themselves
  • Offers a chilling and thought-provoking look into the nature of evil
  • Raises questions about memory, accountability, and justice

The Act of Killing is a groundbreaking documentary that delves into one of the darkest chapters in Indonesian history. Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, this film takes a unique approach by having the perpetrators of the 1965-1966 genocide reenact their crimes on camera. This unconventional method offers a disturbing insight into the minds of those responsible for the mass killings.

This documentary challenges conventional storytelling and pushes the boundaries of the genre, providing a haunting exploration of human nature and the consequences of unchecked power.


  • Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  • Examines the captivity of orcas in marine parks, specifically focusing on SeaWorld
  • Raises awareness about animal welfare and ethical concerns
  • Highlights the impact of captivity on orcas’ physical and mental well-being
  • Sparked public debate and led to changes in legislation regarding marine mammals

Blackfish is a gripping documentary that sheds light on the controversial practice of keeping orcas in captivity. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, this film exposes the harsh realities faced by these majestic creatures in marine parks, particularly at SeaWorld. Through interviews with former trainers and experts, Blackfish reveals the detrimental effects of captivity on orcas’ behavior and overall welfare.

This eye-opening documentary has had a significant impact on public opinion and has prompted important discussions about the ethics of keeping marine mammals in captivity.

Grizzly Man

  • Directed by Werner Herzog
  • Tells the story of Timothy Treadwell, an environmentalist and bear enthusiast
  • Explores Treadwell’s life and his close interactions with grizzly bears in Alaska
  • Raises questions about the boundaries between humans and wildlife
  • Examines the dangers and complexities of living in harmony with nature

Grizzly Man is a captivating documentary directed by Werner Herzog, which delves into the life and tragic death of Timothy Treadwell. Known for his deep connection with grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness, Treadwell spent years living among these powerful creatures. Through Treadwell’s own footage and interviews with those who knew him, the film offers a fascinating exploration of the human-wildlife relationship.

This thought-provoking documentary challenges our perceptions of nature and raises important questions about our place within it. It serves as a cautionary tale about the complexities and risks involved in attempting to coexist with wild animals.

Man on Wire

  • Directed by James Marsh
  • Chronicles Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974
  • Blends archival footage, interviews, and reenactments to tell the story
  • Captures the audacity, skill, and sheer determination of Petit’s feat
  • Offers a glimpse into the human desire for transcendence and pushing boundaries

Man on Wire is an extraordinary documentary that recounts the incredible story of Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Directed by James Marsh, this film combines archival footage, interviews, and reenactments to capture the audacity and meticulous planning behind Petit’s daring act.

Man on Wire is a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for awe-inspiring achievements and the pursuit of seemingly impossible dreams.

Searching for Sugar Man

  • Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
  • Tells the story of Sixto Rodriguez, a forgotten musician from Detroit
  • Explores Rodriguez’s unexpected popularity in South Africa decades later
  • Raises questions about fame, success, and the music industry
  • Offers a heartwarming and inspiring tale of resilience and artistic passion

Searching for Sugar Man is a captivating documentary that follows the journey of Sixto Rodriguez, a talented musician who remained relatively unknown in his home country of the United States. Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, this film uncovers Rodriguez’s unexpected popularity and cult following in South Africa, where his music had a profound impact during the apartheid era.

This documentary celebrates the power of music to transcend borders and touch people’s lives. It serves as a reminder that true artistry can sometimes go unrecognized but can ultimately find its rightful place in the world.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

  • Directed by Banksy
  • A unique exploration of street art and its cultural impact
  • Follows the journey of Thierry Guetta, an eccentric amateur filmmaker turned artist
  • Raises questions about authenticity, commercialization, and the nature of art
  • Offers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of street art and its subversive nature

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a thought-provoking documentary directed by the elusive street artist Banksy. The film follows the story of Thierry Guetta, an eccentric filmmaker who becomes immersed in the underground world of street art. As Guetta’s obsession grows, he transforms into an artist himself, blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

This documentary challenges our perception of art and questions the commodification of creativity, leaving viewers to ponder the true meaning and value of artistic expression.


  • Directed by Laura Poitras
  • Chronicles Edward Snowden’s release of classified NSA documents
  • Offers an inside look into the global surveillance programs
  • Raises questions about privacy, government surveillance, and whistleblowing
  • Won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2015

Citizenfour is a groundbreaking documentary directed by Laura Poitras that provides an intimate and eye-opening account of Edward Snowden’s decision to leak classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA). The film offers a rare glimpse into the extent of global surveillance programs and their implications for privacy and civil liberties.

This documentary serves as a catalyst for discussions about government transparency, surveillance, and the balance between national security and individual rights. It sheds light on the importance of whistleblowers in holding institutions accountable for their actions.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

  • Directed by David Gelb
  • Profiles Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master in Tokyo
  • Explores the dedication, craftsmanship, and pursuit of perfection in sushi-making
  • Offers a glimpse into Japanese culture and the artistry of traditional sushi
  • Celebrates the importance of passion and lifelong dedication to one’s craft

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a mesmerizing documentary that takes viewers into the world of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master in Tokyo. Directed by David Gelb, this film showcases Jiro’s relentless pursuit of perfection in his craft and the unwavering dedication he brings to every aspect of sushi-making.

This documentary is a celebration of the artistry and discipline required to achieve mastery in any field, as well as a reflection on the cultural significance of food and its ability to transcend boundaries.

March of the Penguins

  • Directed by Luc Jacquet
  • Captures the annual journey of Emperor penguins in Antarctica
  • Offers a heartwarming portrayal of their struggle for survival and reproduction
  • Highlights the challenges faced by these resilient creatures in extreme conditions
  • Won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2006

March of the Penguins is a visually stunning documentary that follows the incredible journey of Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Directed by Luc Jacquet, this film provides a captivating glimpse into the harsh realities faced by these remarkable creatures as they navigate through treacherous icy landscapes to breed and raise their young.

This documentary showcases the extraordinary resilience and determination of nature’s creatures, reminding us of the delicate balance between survival and adaptation. It offers a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of preserving our fragile ecosystems.

Planet Earth

  • Directed by Alastair Fothergill
  • A groundbreaking nature documentary series
  • Explores the diversity and beauty of Earth’s ecosystems and wildlife
  • Utilizes cutting-edge technology to capture stunning footage
  • Raises awareness about environmental conservation and the need to protect our planet

Planet Earth is an awe-inspiring documentary series that takes viewers on a breathtaking journey across the globe. Directed by Alastair Fothergill, this groundbreaking production showcases the incredible diversity of Earth’s ecosystems and the fascinating wildlife that inhabits them.

This visually stunning documentary series serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and our responsibility to protect and preserve the natural wonders of our planet.

What are the best documentaries of all time?

There are several documentaries that are considered the best of all time. Some notable examples include “Citizen Kane” directed by Orson Welles, which is often regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Another highly acclaimed documentary is “Man with a Movie Camera” directed by Dziga Vertov, known for its innovative filmmaking techniques. “Hoop Dreams” directed by Steve James is also widely praised for its powerful storytelling and exploration of social issues. These documentaries have left a lasting impact on the film industry and continue to be celebrated for their artistic and narrative achievements.

What makes a documentary great?

A great documentary is characterized by its ability to captivate and engage its audience while presenting factual information or exploring real-life events. It should have a compelling and well-structured narrative that keeps viewers invested throughout. A strong documentary often sheds light on important social, political, or cultural issues, offering unique perspectives and insights. Additionally, effective use of visuals, interviews, archival footage, and storytelling techniques can enhance the overall impact of a documentary. Ultimately, a great documentary leaves a lasting impression, provokes thought, and sparks conversations long after it is watched.

Where can I watch the best documentaries?

You can watch the best documentaries on various platforms. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max offer a wide selection of documentaries to choose from. Additionally, many documentaries are available for rent or purchase on platforms like iTunes or Google Play. Film festivals and specialized documentary film events also showcase some of the best documentaries from around the world. Furthermore, you may find documentaries airing on television channels dedicated to non-fiction content. Exploring these platforms and attending film events will provide you with opportunities to discover and watch the best documentaries that cater to your interests.

Exploring the wonders of nature

Discover the breathtaking beauty of our planet with documentaries that delve into the wonders of nature. From the depths of the ocean to the vastness of the rainforests, these films take you on a mesmerizing journey through diverse ecosystems and showcase the incredible diversity of life on Earth.

Unraveling historical mysteries

Step back in time and unravel the mysteries of the past with captivating documentaries that explore history. From ancient civilizations to pivotal moments in human history, these films provide fascinating insights into the events and individuals that have shaped our world.

Understanding the human experience

Get a glimpse into different cultures, societies, and perspectives with thought-provoking documentaries that delve into the human experience. These films shed light on social issues, celebrate remarkable individuals, and offer a deeper understanding of the complexities of our global community.

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