The Best Documentaries People Have Ever Seen

Movies are one of the greatest things in the world. I honestly believe that. And I think a lot of people will agree.

However, when talking about movies, a lot of people aren't thinking about documentaries.

Documentaries are movies about the real world, where the cameras capture candid moments, experts are consulted on the subject matter, and the end result is the viewers always learn something new.

My favorite is the documentary series Wild Wild Country, which never ceases to entertain me, no matter how many times I rewatch it. I’m not the only one who loves them, of course.

My best friend found her whole worldview had changed after she saw Blackfish for the first time. My brother pulled up his entire GPA after doing a report on Jon Cartwright’s Lighting Up the World, and of course, no health class was complete without a viewing of Supersize Me.

Redditors love documentaries too and were ready to share their favorites.


It all started when Redditor joeduncanhull asked:

“What’s the best documentary you’ve ever seen?”

Every Family Has Its Quirks

"I didn't mention Capturing the Friedmans, but I should have. That was a really good documentary."

"What a freaking twisted family."

– SweetCosmicPope

Camera Work Matters

"The Planet Earth documentaries. Praise to the people behind the camera."

– teethalarm

"Also Blue Planet 2 is f*cking amazing"

– IzaacLUXMRKT

"It was a colossal undertaking. To get a couple moments of the snow leopard took 3 months."

– External_Recipe_3562

"Absolutely unparalleled"

– joeduncanhull

The Athletes Will Celebrate

"Baseball by Ken Burns, not really a fan of baseball the sport, but the history was interesting."

– biggertheboobs

"Icarus was absolutely wild. Started with a pretty interesting premise, and then took a sharp turn and kept getting crazier. If you're even remotely interested in sport, it's worth your time."

– Spartannia

Disney Always Wins

"Kevin Perjurer's deep dive on the Fastpass System at Disney Themeparks. For such a seemlingly dull topic, it's shocking how interesting and surprising the whole thing winds up being."

– Notmiefault

"Totally agree here. That was amazing."

– mynewme

The Artsy Folk Will Celebrate

"Exit Through the Gift Shop"

"Documentary on Street Art. I literally thought Bansky was gas lighting us with this movie. No way could the story of ‘Mr Brainwash’ could be true."

– AwareParking

Higher and Higher

"Free Solo"

– Crocodile-toes-ten

"Anyone who enjoys this film should also check out The Dawn Wall. It's another climbing documentary on El Capitan in Yosemite. But it tells a very different story about two guys who try to become the first people to climb a route that many of the world's best climbers thought impossible."

– MasteringTheFlames

The Musicians Will Celebrates

"Not the best, but a favorite of mine...Dig ! A doc about the Dandy Warhols and BJM...one band's somewhat rise to fame, with the implosion/self-sabotage of the other. Half of it was embellished, and both bands had issues with the final product, but it was highly entertaining. Check it out if you're into music docs."

– Ok_Fact5541

"I would also recommend "We Jam Econo", about the 1980s punk rock band The Minutemen, who were on the cusp of the big time when their singer died in a freak accident."

"The "Jacka*s" theme is from their song "Corona."

– notthesedays

The Arts Save Lives

"Crumb"

"About the cartoonist Robert Crumb and his 2 brothers, and how abuse and mental illness plagued them. Crumb's cartooning got him out of it, but the other 2 brothers had a hard time."

– TooDeeGuy

Epic Animals

"Africa. It’s from the BBC like Planet Earth, Blue Planet."

"Why Africa? Well Africa has really varied environments and the best and most abundant wildlife by a mile. The first episode in particular has 2 awesome things: an epic Giraffe Fight and a Rhino Orgy. The Rhino Orgy is so unexpected. No one knew that Rhinos get together and party late at night. The Rhinos snuggle! And it’s especially poignant because there’s so few of them left."

– watchingsongsDL

The Truth About Vietnam

"Ken Burns’s Vietnam War docuseries was fairly eye-opening for someone like me, who only had the typical US high school history take on that conflict with a handful of fictional films to supplement it."

– Jaebird0388

"I really enjoyed that one, very eye opening indeed"

– Miggel1973

Next Level

"I remember watching the first Paradise Lost documentary so long ago and was just blown away. I know it’s not the first ever true crime doc, but sure felt like it took it to the next level. If I had to choose a favorite, that would probably be it."

– illmattic12345

Look Into Their Minds

"The Architecture of Doom was the first documentary that let me see how people could actually have bought into Nazi propaganda. Not that I agree with it, but it seemed so preposterous that anyone could believe what they were doing was somehow good."

– johnnylongpants1

A Fan Favorite

"Wild Wild Country"

– PalmerEldritch2319

All The Yesses!

"Avengers: age of ultron"

– ReapersEatApples05

"It's amazing how the camera crew caught these robots in their natural environment"

– joeduncanhull

Emotional Ending

"The six part DefunctTV about Jim Henson."

"It's a really engaging and endearing watch about Henson's life. I really appreciate all the behind the scenes footage the team was able to gather."

"The last episode leaves me sobbing every time."

– nocleverusername190

I want to watch all of these!

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