Great Documentaries

My Top 5 Favorite Documentaries

I use to think documentaries were boring. I thought of the horrible things they use to make us watch in school and had no interest in seeing any more documentaries. Now I love documentaries. There are documentaries covering pretty much any subject no matter what your interest's are. Also, I think they provide a nice break from the films being put out by the major studios, which I often find lack any substance. There are tons of wonderful documentaries out there. This list could be twenty movies long, but I decided to cut it too 5 so someone new to documentaries or someone interested in them already has a good point to start. All of the films listed below are great informative films, some are upsetting, and others heart-breaking, but all are definitely worth a watch.



Murderball-  I wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard about a movie that involved full-contact rugby, wheelchairs, and quadriplegics. Needless to say I was impressed. Murderball follows the U.S Quad Rugby Team as they compete in the 2002 World Championships and the 2004 Paraplygic Games. This film both saddens and uplifts the spirit of the viewer. It showcases individuals who have suffered a life changing tragedy and still show a tremendous competetive fighting spirit. For many being able to compete provides the motivation to rehab and helps them come to terms with the physical condition they find themselves in. Great characters and a wonderful story about dealing with adversity.


Restrepo- A film crew spends a year embedded with a platoon for a year during their tour in Afghanistan. The crew films the anxiety, fear, loss, and brotherhood that the soldiers experience during their time in Afghanistan. The film is intersected with sombering comment from the soldiers after their tour reflecting on their experiences from an individual and group perspective. Restrepo puts faces and names to often forgotten and nameless young soldiers serving and sometimes dying in far away places.

The Fog of War

The Fog of War- This documentary won an Oscar for its tale of controversial former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's extensive career. His story and career path are easily one of the most interesting I have seen from his work during WW II, being head of Ford, Secretary of Defense, and head of the World Bank. One of the most influencial individuals in shaping the U.S policy during the Vietnam War serving during two administrations. The story is relayed through footage and interviews, many with McNamara himself. These interviews help shed some insight on his decisions, thoughts, and how they may have led to soul searching on his part. A must see for any fan of history or politics, especially American politics.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit through the Gift Shop- This film starts as a project by an amateur filmmaker attempting to chronicle the hidden world of street art. The filmmaker meets some of the most famous and influencial street artists, including the mysterious Banksy, and infiltrates their secretive world. Somehow the filmmaker ends up becoming the subject of the film himself. It turns into a tale about hype, commercialism, and popular culture. It asks the question of what is art and what makes someone an "artist". Received an Oscar nomination and I could clearly see why.

The Cove

The Cove-This Oscar winning documentary shows secretly captured, shockingly brutal footage of the world's largest supplier of dolphins. The footage obtained while filming at the secret cove where the dolphins are captured is quite disturbing and brings home the horror of what is happening to the viewer. While attempting to let the world know of the horror's being committed they uncover an environmental disaster. Despite the disturbing and startling scenes it is definitely a must see for all people not just animal lovers or enviromentalists.

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Comments 4 comments

lorddraven2000 profile image

lorddraven2000 5 years ago from Wheelwright KY

I am afraid the only one of these I had seen was murderball.

averageguypov profile image

averageguypov 5 years ago from California Author

Yeah that one was the one that changed my opinion about documentaries. Good flick. If you have netflix a few on my list are available on streaming there.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

The documentary regarding Robert McNamera and the Cove would get my attention. I am generally a fan of the documentary genre. I have certainly seen more than my fair share.

averageguypov profile image

averageguypov 5 years ago from California Author

I had heard of him prior to the documentary but had no idea what an interesting career he had led. I majored in Poli Sci and we watched part of it in one of my classes. I enjoyed what I had seen so much I went home and rented it so I could see the rest. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in politics or American history.

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