30 documentaries you need to see

30 documentaries you need to see

With the sun exiting the UK to scorch distant beaches, it's probably time to close the curtains, get the crisps in and return a year later having binged the following 30 documentaries. 

Saving you from an inevitable trawl through the eye-straining grids of Netflix possibilities, here are our top picks to watch this Autumn and beyond. From retired wrestlers to dead rappers, we have it all covered. 

Making a Murderer

Freed from prison, Steven Avery faces a new criminal case amid allegations of police misconduct and witness coercion in this real-life thriller.

Amanda Knox

She was twice convicted and acquitted of murder. Amanda Knox and the people closest to her case speak out in this illuminating documentary.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

Struggling with alcoholism, ex-pro wrestler Jake "the Snake" Roberts turns to fellow grappler "Diamond" Dallas Page to get his life turned around.

Abstract: The Art of Design

Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil

This documentary follows the pioneering heavy metal act Anvil as they cope with obsoleteness, recover from a disastrous tour and record a new album.

Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery

Artist and master forger Wolfgang Beltracchi is profiled, with insights into his life, talent and the international art world that made him millions.

Biggie & Tupac

British documentarian Nick Broomfield, famous for appearing in his own investigations, heads to Los Angeles to investigate the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, the East Coast/West Coast rap rivalries and Death Row Records boss Suge Knight.


This documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity.

Bowling for Columbine

Michael Moore tackles America's obsession with firearms in this Oscar-winning documentary that examines the Columbine High School shootings.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

This documentary explores the history of Memphis rock band Big Star, which experienced commercial failure but influenced major artists such as REM.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Filmmaker Michael Moore takes on capitalism's roots, the floundering U.S. economy, and 2008's global financial meltdown.   

Captive for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story

Snatched at 11 and held captive by a convicted sex offender and his wife for 18 horrifying years, Jaycee Dugard emerged alive -- but never the same.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Director Martin Scorsese profiles former Beatle George Harrison in this reverent portrait that mixes interviews and archival footage.

Hoop Dreams

Two of Chicago's top high school basketball prospects face pressure on and off the court in this iconic documentary about sports, family and race.

The Killing$ of Tony Blair

This crowdfunded documentary reviews the career of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, portraying him as a man largely driven by self-gain.

Kurt & Courtney

Director Nick Broomfield chronicles Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, the grunge icon who died in 1994 at age 27. The film charts his rise to fame, his drug-addled relationship with Courtney Love and the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.

Last Chance U

In a docuseries set at one of NCAA football's most fertile recruiting grounds, guys with red flags seek to prove their worth on the field and in class.   

Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth

California's Central Valley is home to some of the most impoverished rural towns in America, where crystal meth addiction is prolific. In Fresno, Louis Theroux finds a community ravaged by this cheap and highly addictive drug.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

This collection includes the acclaimed rock documentary about Metallica, plus a film checking in with the still-thriving group 10 years later.

Neil Young Journeys

Following rocker Neil Young to his Toronto hometown, Jonathan Demme captures the artist live in concert at Massey Hall and on the road in Ontario.   

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

Hulk Hogan's court case against Gawker Media sheds light on wealthy, powerful figures who challenge freedom of the press in order to silence critics.

Pumping Iron

Starring five-time Mr. Olympia winner - and future film star and California governor - Arnold Schwarzenegger, this pivotal 1977 independent documentary follows the then 28-year-old bodybuilder's progress as he competes for his sixth title.

Rubble Kings

In 1970s New York City, an unlikely band of young residents helped bring peace to the gang-ruled streets by ushering in a new culture: hip-hop.

Springsteen & I

Mixing fan-shot video with performance clips, this heartfelt documentary demonstrates how important Bruce Springsteen has been to his fans worldwide.

The Seven Five

This film examines the case of Mike Dowd, a corrupt Brooklyn cop who became dirtier than the drug dealers he was supposed to be policing.

Team Foxcatcher

With never-before seen home video, this film recounts the paranoid downward spiral of John E. du Pont and the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz.

The Thin Blue Line

Filmmaker Errol Morris's gripping investigation into the murder of a Dallas police officer was responsible for freeing the man who was originally -- and erroneously -- charged with and convicted of the crime.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream

Explore the history of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, including Petty's famous collaborations and notorious clashes with the record industry.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

Tony Robbins' clients swear by his unorthodox life coaching methods. A revealing film goes behind the curtain at his annual mega-event.

West of Memphis

After the 1994 conviction of three troubled teens for the murders of three younger boys, questions began to arise about the prosecution of the case.





















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