Best Documentaries

Best Documentaries: Finding the Best Documentaries for You to Enjoy and Learn From

Informative, fascinating, and sometimes life-changing documentaries have a way of pulling you in. With this list of the best documentaries, you can dive deeper into unique subject matters like never before. From behind-the-scenes looks to expert analogy, these top documentaries have it all.
In this list of the best documentaries, we have assembled the best of the best in the documentary world. You will be able to dive deeper into topics that you find interesting, like never before. And with a wide range of documentary topics, you can find the topics that best appeal to you. 
The other great thing about a well-done documentary is its ability to pull you into a specific topic. So whether you are previously interested in one of these documentary topics or not, once you get started, you will be. So get ready to do some learning, and enjoy it while you do!
Are you looking for even more entertainment-related lists? Make sure you check out our list of the best movie websites and best TV shows. And for something to snack on and drink while enjoying one of these documentaries, visit our list of the best snack ideas and best mixed-drink recipes.


Top 25 Documentaries:



The Last Dance Documentary

1. The Last Dance Documentary

Released In: 2020

IMDb Rating: 97%

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9.1/10

About Documentary: Whether you’re a die-hard basketball fan or not, The Last Dance is a must-watch documentary series. This series is engaging and informative with 10 episodes that cover Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls and his earlier life and career.

You’ll be amazed by Jordan’s skill and drive, but you’ll also learn about the context surrounding his amazing 1997-1998 season. You will also get to view exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage; this riveting series tells the story of one of basketball’s greatest players and his team’s historic championship run.



Grizzly Man Documentary

2. Grizzly Man Documentary

Released In: 2005

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

About Documentary: This documentary will feature actual video footage from grizzly bear activist Timothy Treadwell. Grizzly Man details what led Treadwell to live among the grizzlies in Alaska and ultimately what led to his death. Heartbreaking and informative, this documentary gives a real insight into the realities of nature.



Brooklyn Castle Documentary

3. Brooklyn Castle Documentary

Released In: 2012

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

About Documentary: Brooklyn Castle details the lives and successes of a poor, inner-city middle school chess team. This underdog chess team will go on to win more national chess championships than any other team in the country. This documentary features challenges, successes, and failures in an inspirational and thought-provoking way.



Tiger King Documentary

4. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness Documentary

Released In: 2020

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 35%

About Documentary: It’s not often that you come across a documentary series as wild, wacky, and downright insane as Tiger King. With each episode crazier than the last, this seven-part docuseries follows the exploits of Joe Exotic, a flamboyant and extremely confident owner of a private big cat zoo in Oklahoma.

If you’re looking for an engaging and informative series to watch, look no further than Tiger King. Before you know it, you will be hooked on one of the best documentaries of all time.



The Truffle Hunters

5. The Truffle Hunters Documentary

Released In: 2020

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%

About Documentary: The Truffle Hunters is a sweet and simple movie with a healthy dose of informative-engaging content. This documentary unfolds as a series of vignettes, documenting the lives of several older men and their dogs in Piedmont, Italy.

These truffle hunters live a simple life that is quickly disappearing, and this film captures their passion for the hunt. Whether you’re looking for an engaging documentary to watch or are interested in learning more about the art of truffle hunting, The Truffle Hunters movie is sure to please.



Man on Wire Documentary

6. Man on Wire Documentary

Released In: 2008

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

About Documentary: “Extraordinary, amazing, crazy, and unreal.” These are some of the words used to describe this incredible true story. In 1974 Frenchman Philippe Petit illegally rigged a wire between NYC’s Twin Towers. He then proceeded to walk the tightrope for nearly an hour before his eventual arrest. The Man on Wire is one of the best documentaries and details everything that went into pulling off one of the most remarkable crimes ever.



Blindsight Documentary

7. Blindsight Documentary

Released In: 2006

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

About Documentary: Blindsight showcases the harrowing climb of Mount Everest by six Tibetan teenagers. These feats become even more impressive when viewers learn that all six of the teens are blind. Gripping and awe-inspiring, Blindsight has won multiple viewer awards.




8. MLK/FBI Documentary

Released In: 2020

IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%

About Documentary: Most people know that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t exactly beloved by J. Edgar Hoover – the FBI director kept detailed reports on the Civil Rights icon’s daily activities, including his extramarital dalliances. In Sam Pollard’s new documentary “MLK/FBI,” you’ll learn just how extensive the Feds’ fixation on the Nobel prizewinner was, and the result is both eye-opening and jaw-dropping.

A longtime editor for Spike Lee, an American Masters veteran, and one of the directors involved with the seminal Eyes on the Prize series, Pollard is an expert at weaving together archival footage to tell history in a way that engages and informs audiences like never before.



The Act of Killing Documentary

9. The Act of Killing Documentary

Released In: 2012

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

About Documentary: In 1965, the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military. In the following year, death squads executed over 1 million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals. Today the leaders of these death squads live as heroes.

The Act of Killing is going to feature one of the most famous death squad leaders, Anwar Congo. The documentary is like no other in that it is going to have Anwar and his friends create a fictional film reenacting their own atrocities. Follow the journey as Anwar and his friends contemplate what they did all of those years ago.



The Overnighters Documentary

10. The Overnighters Documentary

Released In: 2014

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%

About Documentary: This award-winning documentary features the small town of Williston, North Dakota, and the sudden oil boom that hits the area. With an overwhelming amount of job-seekers showing up to the town to seek work, the city becomes overrun by down and outers looking for work.

One local pastor decides to start a program that will allow the would-be workers to sleep in the church overnight. The town immediately resists this idea, and the pastor must make a tough decision. His decision will “lead to profound consequences that he never imagined.”



Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary

11. Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary

Released In: 2011

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%

About Documentary: Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of arguably the world’s best sushi chef and everything that comes along with being the best. The documentary will follow Jiro as he runs a 10-seat sushi-only restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. This 3 star Michelin restaurant is a pilgrimage for sushi lovers from all around the world.

This documentary will cover this one-of-a-kind dining experience and also Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu as he struggles to fill his father’s shoes. If you love food documentaries, this is one of the best documentaries for you.



Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

12. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed Documentary

Released In: 2021

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%

About Documentary: If you’re a fan of Bob Ross or just interested in how one man rose to fame and fortune before tragically falling from grace, then this documentary is for you. It’s a fascinating look at the business side of things, as well as the personal life of an icon. Gripping, informative, and eye-opening, Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good documentary.



Bill Cunningham New York Documentary

13. Bill Cunningham New York Documentary

Released In: 2010

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%

About Documentary: New York City is a living, breathing entity, and no one understood that better than New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. This documentary is going to follow Cunningham as he glides around the city on his Schwinn bike, taking photos of anything that caught his eye.

His unique personality and approach to life highlight the documentary, and his love for life and people shows. See the beauty of New York City like never before through Bill Cunningham’s eyes and camera.



O.J.: Made in America Documentary

14. OJ: Made in America Documentary

Released In: 2016

IMDb Rating: 9.0/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

About Documentary: An ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary, OJ: Made in America touches on a variety of different topics. This 5 episode documentary will give you a look into the OJ trial like never before. It will also give you a better understanding of who OJ was as a person. Over two decades later, this case is still just as fascinating.



Icarus Documentary

15. Icarus Documentary

Released In: 2017

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%

About Documentary: We have all seen different athletes get busted for performance-enhancing drugs. When this happens, these athletes are widely considered to be cheaters by the majority of the public. Imagine, though, if there was a government agency designed to help athletes purposely get away with doping?

Icarus is going to star a Russian scientist that sheds light on Russia’s doping history and the Russian government’s hand in it. For even more sports-related movies, make sure to visit our list of the best sports movies



13th Documentary

16. 13th Documentary

Released In: 2016

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%

About Documentary: The documentary 13th takes a look into America’s broken prison system and a look into past injustices. With 1/4 of the world’s prison population residing behind bars in America, this documentary looks at the reasons behind this. Along with looking at the causes, though, it is also going to look for solutions to the situation.

With real-life testimonies of injustices, 13th will cause viewers to take a good hard look at the change needed in America’s prison system. This is one of the best documentaries as it is raw and very eye-opening. 



Cartel Land Documentary

17. Cartel Land Documentary

Released In: 2015

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%

About Documentary: Cartel Land is going to follow two separate modern-day vigilante groups as they look to battle Mexican drug cartels. One of the vigilante groups followed is on the Mexican side of the border, and one is on the US side. Both will allow the documentary crew unprecedented access to the war on drugs. Both squads of vigilantes use their own brand of justice to deal with the drug cartel issue, sometimes blurring the lines of right and wrong.



Won't You Be My Neighbor? Documentary

18. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Documentary

Released In: 2018

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

About Documentary: More than just “America’s favorite neighbor,” Fred Rogers used his creative genius to inspire. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? tells the story of how Fred Rogers was able to inspire generations of children. His compassion and one-of-a-kind imagination was a positive light in the world to anyone who saw it. This documentary will give you an intimate look into the life of Mr. Rogers and everything that he was able to accomplish in his lifetime.



Food, Inc. Documentary

19. Food, Inc. Documentary

Released In: 2008

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

About Documentary: If you want a better look into where your food comes from, Food, Inc. is a must-watch. This documentary will allow you a peek behind the curtain of America’s food regulations. You will be able to get a look at the USDA and FDA like never before. Be warned, though; you may not like everything that you see. If you are looking to learn more about the food industry in America, this is one of the best documentaries.



Supersize Me Documentary

20. Supersize Me Documentary

Released In: 2004

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

About Documentary: Supersize Me details the life of director Morgan Spurlock as he undertakes a 30 day McDonald’s fast food only diet. Along the way, viewers see Spurlock’s doctor checkups, weight gain, and health scares. This documentary is going to highlight the problems of obesity and fast food dependence in America.



Shoah Documentary

21. Shoah Documentary

Released In: 1985

IMDb Rating:8.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

About Documentary: Shoah is a landmark documentary. Using only the testimonials of Holocaust survivors and historians, it tells a painful and intimate story of the Holocaust. While painful and raw, Shoah reminds us that we must never forget the atrocities that happened in the not-so-distant past.



Taxi to the Dark Side Documentary

22. Taxi to the Dark Side Documentary

Released In: 2007

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%

About Documentary: Taxi to the Dark Side explores claims of the American military’s use of torture in bases like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration. Investigative and informative, this documentary is a sad look at what can happen when power goes unchecked.



Murderball Documentary

23. Murderball Documentary

Released In: 2005

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

About Documentary: Murderball showcases the wheelchair-bound athletes of the 2004 US Paralympics quad rugby team. This documentary is everything a sport’s documentary should be – inspiring and thrilling. With passion, heart, and high spirits, the athletes in this film demonstrate courage against all odds. If you love sports, make sure to also visit our list of the best sports books for even more sports-related content. 



March of the Penguins Documentary

24. March of the Penguins Documentary

Released In: 2005

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

About Documentary: Voiced by Morgan Freeman, the popular March of the Penguins provides a fascinating look at the annual breeding ground march of Emperor penguins. Great for kids and adults alike, this documentary is a must for animal lovers.



Hoop Dreams Documentary

25. Hoop Dreams Documentary

Released In: 1994

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

About Documentary: Shot over five years, Hoop Dreams details the lives of two inner-city Chicago high school boys who look to basketball as a way of escape. Within the story, questions of race, socioeconomic status, and the standing of today’s modern schools come to the forefront. Hoop Dreams is an illuminating and realistic look at some of the problems that society still faces.


Best Documentaries Conclusion

An excellent documentary should be informative while also entertaining. You want to be able to receive information without having to feel like you are in a classroom lecture.
This list is of the best documentaries will provide all that and more. You will find yourself fascinated with topics that you never even considered before. So pick one of these excellent documentaries to get started with, and start enjoying.
We would love to hear your feedback in the comments below on any of these documentaries.