People Share The Best Documentaries They've Seen

I recently sat down and rewatched Capturing the Friedmans, about a family whose life is rocked after finding themselves in the crosshairs of a child abuse investigation. It's a searing documentary, achingly personal, and yes... utterly disturbing. It's also one of the most affecting documentaries that I've had the pleasure of seeing. It's just not for everyone, of course.

A good documentary series can be quite riveting, too. I've seen Wild Wild Country at least twice over the last few years–for those of you who don't know, it's about the circumstances that led to the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack–and every time I do, I wonder why Netflix can't make more documentaries that are as well-made and self-contained as this one.

If you're looking for some recommendations, you've come to the right place. People shared their opinions with us after Redditor tandyman234 asked the online community,

"What documentary would you rate a 10/10?"

Thou Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

"Thou Shall Not Grow Old. It's jaw dropping good. Seriously. The amount of attention to details to make that era come to life is just absolutely amazing."


This is one I've enjoyed showing to people. It's incredibly immersive.

Harlan County, USA (1976)

"Harlan County, USA is a documentary about the warring sides of unionization in a Kentucky coal town and is the greatest documentary film I've ever seen."


This film is more relevant than others. Should be considered necessary viewing, particularly for anyone who would like to know more about the labor movement in the United States.

Touching the Void (2003)

"Touching the Void. The most insane mountaineering/survival story you will ever hear."


This one definitely had me glued to the screen. Saw it about twelve or thirteen years ago and I still think about it from time to time.

9/11 (2002)

"9/11 by the Naudet Brothers.

"It's pretty raw and is the original footage of the first plane hitting North Tower. Not much for graphic injuries which is fine by me, but the part where you and the firefighters realize that a very specific slamming sound are bodies hitting the pavement is pretty brutal."


This one definitely stuck with me and yes... I remember that moment. Not easy viewing.

Grizzly Man (2005)

"Grizzly Man. This is the perfect doc. Hands down. Stays with you forever and captures secret angles of life with confident twists of the gut and mind."


This documentary is sad, fascinating, and frustrating all at once.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

"Dear Zachary. Don’t Google it before watching. This movie wrecked me."


I agree – Google nothing.

This documentary is gorgeous... but it emotionally devastated me.

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

"Three Identical Strangers. I legit was obsessed with this story after watching."


I can't decide how I feel about the twist, admittedly. There's always a twist.

Icarus (2017)

"Icarus. It's not necessarily great technically, but the timeline of the documentary is absolutely fascinating. The coincidences that lined up just right that ended up capturing a behind the scenes look into the biggest Olympic doping scandal ever. It blows my mind."


I concur! So many factors had to line up for us to get the film that we got!

The Act of Killing (2012)

"The Act of Killing. Truly the most fascinating documentary I have ever seen. There's something captured near the end that I thought would have been impossible to catch on film and near-impossible to happen in the first place. Strong stuff though."


This documentary truly represents one of the darkest journeys into the human soul that I've ever seen.

Hoop Dreams (1994)

"Hoop Dreams. Absolutely fantastic documentary! I don't even like basketball that much, but this was such a worthwhile watch."


If you like this, I highly recommend checking out Steve James’ other doc Stevie. It’s very bizarre.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get watching. Some of these are bound to change your life. Documentaries can absolutely offer a window into experiences you might never have thought about before.

Have some recommendations of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

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