35 Best Hollywood Documentary Movies To Watch

Made your day with interesting documentaries!

Sanjeyan N

Jun 15, 2021|11 min read


Are you get bored of sitting being in the home due to Pandemic? If yes, I will make you make your mind to get relax.

In this article, we are presenting a list of some of the best Hollywood documentaries. The documentary is a non-fictional motion picture that documents reality mainly for educational purposes and a historical record. 

In early times, the documentary movie was called Actually Film which lasts for one minute. But as time passes, the documentaries became longer. 

YouTube provided an avenue for the growth of documentaries.

Hollywood Documentary Movies

The International Documentary Association (IDA) played an important role in the development of documentaries. Hollywood is an important platform in the case of a documentary and it will surely insist others to be a fan of the Hollywood industry.

So, let us check out the list of Best Hollywood Documentary movies that will inspire and entertain you at the same time.

1. Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (2020)

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder is directed by Grant Singer. This document describes how Shawn Mendes, a singer-songwriter depicts his everyday life and how he battled depression and anxiety. 

This documentary was released on 23 November 2020 and telecasted by Netflix. 

The cast of this documentary includes Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Aaliyah Mendes, Karen Rayment, Manuel Mendes, Cez Darke, and Andrew Gertler.

2. Barbarian Utopia: Encounters On The Appalachian Trail (2019)

Barbarian Utopia: Encounters on the Appalachian Trail was released in 2019. 

It is an action–documentary film. It is a wonderful documentary that describes the true hiking of the Appalachian Trail. This was directed by Thaddeus Lamar. 

Barbarian Utopia is about the challenging experience of hiking 2,185 miles of Appalachian trial by a recent college graduate. 

It is available on Amazon prime and has an IMDB rating of 6.1/10.

3. Becoming Labrador (2019)

Michael crummy is the writer of the documentary film Becoming Labrador. Rohan Fernando, Tamara Segura, Justin Simms are the director of this documentary. 

In the interior of stark Labrador, the number of growing Filipino workers landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for traveling around the world for their jobs to offer a better life to the families. 

What they experience in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and how they face the unexpected cost of living in the story of this documentary. 

Becoming Labrador was released in 2019.

4. Serendip (2018)

Serendip was released on March 1, 2018. It has an IMDB rating of 8.9/10 was directed by Marco Napoli. 

The stars such as Antonio Di Leonardo, Andrea Mariani. It is available in English, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. 

Serendip gives a wonderful opportunity to know about the life of the Sri Lankan people. 

The whole location of the documentary movie is in Sri Lanka. 

5. Get Back Up (2020)

This documentary is based on the journey of one man from rock stardom to rock bottom. He was rescued by a lovely woman, family, and his Bandmates.

Get Back Up is an emotional Documentary movie. It is directed by Norry Niven and released on May 21, 2020. 

Get Back Up is also known as The Blue October Documentary. 

It is released in the USA and Brazil and the IMDB rating is 7.1/10.

5. From Core To Sun (2018)

From Core To Sun is a Spanish Documentary Movie. Ecuador is the country of origin. 

This documentary describes the adventure journey of the Ecuadorian athlete Millán Ludeña and how he won the Guinness world record for his country. 

The director is Oliver Lee Garland. He is also a writer of this documentary along with Carolina Sosa. 

From Core To Sun was released on June 1 2018 and has an IMDB rating of 7.3/10.

6. Officer Involved (2017)

Officer Involved documentary movie explains experience in Officer-involved shooting. 

The police officer cum filmmaker traveled to the united states along with his wife. They become experts in law enforcement and explore the experience of officers involved in the shooting. 

It is directed by Patrick W.Shaver. The stars are Cindy Abrams, Ales Aguilar, Adrian Alan. 

Officer Involved was released in 2017 with an IMDB rating of 6.5/10.

8. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (2020)

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is a unique documentary movie that tells the statement of a man about the natural world. 

This documentary is available on Netflix. Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes, Keith Scholey are the director of this documentary movie. 

It was created by natural filmmaker Silverback Films. His film serves for future generations about the future generation. 

The IMDB rating is 9.0 and it was released on October 4, 2020.

9. Intelligent Lives (2021)

It is an English Documentary movie directed by Dan Habib. Intelligent Lives describes the transformation of intellectual disability catalyst. 

Three pioneering adults Micah, Naieer, and Naomie played an intellectual Disability character. 

Chris Cooper, an American academy award-winning actor looks around this character. 

Naieer Shaheed, Naomie Monplaisir, Micah Fialka Feldman are the top stars involved in this documentary. 

Intelligent Lives was released on September 21, 2021.

10. Pick It Up! - Ska in the '90s (2019)

Pick It Up is a music-based documentary. It tells the rise and fall of Third Wave Ska music in 1990. Taylor Morden is the director of this Documentary.

 It was released on May 1, 2019. Benji Aflalo, Joey Altruda, Tim Armstrong are the stars in this film. 

The IMDB rating of Pick It Up is 8.2/10. 

11. #O2LForever (2015)

The storyline of this documentary movie is that the kid's YouTube videos made them into big stars. Its YouTube channel has 8 million fans. 

Their incredible first tour is explored in this documentary. Michael Goldfine is the director of this documentary.

#O2LForever was released on June 23, 2015, with an IMDB rating of 8.6/10. 

The United States is the origin of this documentary movie.

12. Board Room (2012)

It is the Journey of pioneers who build surfboards and how they created Big Surf Corporation. 

The lifestyle of these pioneers would be an example for future generations. 

It was directed by Markus Davids and was released on January 13, 2012, in the United States. 

The stars are Robert August. Bob Bolen, Dick Brewer.

Board Room has an IMDB rating of 8.2. 

13. The Bit Player (2020)

This film is created to celebrate the birthday of Claude Shannon, the father of information theory. This documentary is a Filipino drama-comedy. 

The Bit Player was telecasted at the EEE Information Theory Society meeting and premiered at World Science Festival in New York. 

It was directed by Mark Levinson and was released in the United States on June 26, 2020. 

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) produced this documentary movie.

14. Shred America (2018)

It is an Adventure sport-based documentary movie. It is based on the adventurous travel from Chicago to New York by twenty-year-old one. 

It is directed by Arthur Swidzinski. This Documentary was released on March 24, 2018, in the United States. 

It was produced by Four Arms Pictures. 

IMDB rating of Shred America is 6.7/10.

15. Human (2015)

The human documentary won the award for Most Popular International Documentary at Vancouver International Flim Festival in 2016. 

It became the first documentary premiered in the General Assembly Hall of the US. 

This film was produced by Bettencourt Schueller Foundation and it contains many stories that offer the immersion about the Human. 

It was released in 2015 with the direction of Yann Arthus – Bertrand. This documentary movie was filmed in 10 languages. 

However, the country of origin was France.

16. Audrey (2021)

Audrey is based on the life of British actress Audrey Hepburn. 

Audrey is released on Netflix on January 5, 2021. It was produced by Hepburn's elder son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, and granddaughter and Emma Ferrer. 

It is also available on DVD and Blu-ray. 

17. Planet Earth: A Celebration(2020)

This documentary shows a compilation of BBC America's 'Planet Earth II' and 'Blue Planet II' with narration and music. 

The Narration was given by David Attenborough. It was released on August 31, 2020, in the United States. Produced by BBC Natural History Unit. 

It has an IMDB rating of 8.7/10.

18. The Way I See It

This documentary is about the life of Pete Souza, the former White House Photographer. 

He worked as a photographer for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

It was premiered at Toronto International Film Festival on September 20. 

Jaywalker Pictures Banner produced this film and directed by Dawn Porter.

19. Twenty Feet From Stardom(2013)

Twenty Feet from stardom was directed by Morgan Neville. This documentary movie gives the experience of behind scenes backup singers. 

It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in the 86th Academy awards. It was released on 17th January 2013. 

Twenty Feet From Stardom is available on Amazon and has an IMDB rating of 7.4/10.

This documentary was telecasted in many film festivals like Southwest Film Festival, International Film Festival are among others.

20. Weiner (2016)

Weiner was directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse steinberg. It was released on January 24, 2016. 

This documentary is about the Anthon Weiners campaign at New York city for mayor during Mayoral Election which was conducted in 2013. 

It is now streamed on Amazon and has an IMDB rating of 7.4.

21. Grizzly Man (2005)

Grizzly Man is directed by the German director Werner Herzog. It was released in Canada on September 30, 2005. 

This documentary tells the life of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell.

The Footage interviews with people who worked with Timothy Tredwell and the professionals who deal with wild bears are placed in this documentary. 

It earned US$269,131 ($9,280 per screen) in its first weekend and was ranked 29th in the box office.

22. Seaspiracy (2021)

This documentary is about the Environmental impact of fishing. Seaspiracy was released on Netflix in March 2021. 

It is directed by Ali Tabrizi. Seaspiracy is an Adventure documentary and produced by Aum films and Disruptive Studios. 

This documentary got immediate attention and positive reviews in many countries.

23. American Murder: The Family Next Door(2020)

It is an American crime documentary movie. It was released in the United States on September 30, 2020, and is directed by Jenny Popplewell. 

It is available on Netflix. This documentary is the most viewed documentary on Netflix till now. 

IMDB rating of American Murder is 7.2/10.

24. Free Solo (2018)

In the 91st Academy Awards, Free Solo won the Best Documentary Feature. It is directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. 

This documentary speaks about the rock climber Alex Honnold on the free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park 2017. 

It won the Peoples Choice Award in the Documentaries category. 

25. Making a Murderer

It is filmed over 10 year period. Dolores Avery, Steven Avery, and Laura Nirider are starred in this documentary. 

In this documentary, Steven Avery exploring the corruption in local law enforcement and he becomes a suspect of that corruption. 

It is a crime documentary TV series directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. 

There are 2 seasons with an IMDB rating of 8.6/10.

26. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013)

It is an adventure documentary with an 8.8/10 IMDB rating.

It won the 12 Primetime Emmy Award and Peabody award in 2013.

In this documentary Anthony Bourdain traveling across the world and exploring their culture and lifestyle. 

It was released on April 14, 2013. This documentary was telecasted in 2 seasons with an IMDB rating of 8.8/10.

27. The Story Of Late Night (2021)

It features the stories about the host such as Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, David Letterman, O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. 

The Story Of Late Night was released on May 2, 2021, in the United States and produced by Cream Productions. 

This TV show is telecasted on the CNN channel.

28. The Act Of Killing

This documentary movie won the best documentary award in European Film Award. 

It is based on the Indonesian Killing of 1965-1966. It was the 14th Greatest film released since 2000. 

The Act Of Killing was placed 19th for best documentaries made by the British Film Institute. 

It is directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.

29. Amy (2015)

Amy is directed by Asif Kapadia. It is based on the biography of Amy Winehouse. 

Amy is a singer and songwriter. 

Amy Wine house, Mitch Winehouse, and Mark Ronson are starred in this documentary. She is a talented songwriter since her teenage.

This documentary covers her struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse.

It was released on July 3, 2015. This film has 30 nominations and won 30 awards including the European film awards. 

The IMDB rating of Amy is 7.2/10. Amy can be streamed on Hulu.

30. Blackfish (2013)

Blackfish is available on Netflix. It was nominated for Best Documentary Award in BAFTA Award. 

It is the story of the killer whale Tilikum, and its danger to humans and other whales. It killed three people and the consequence of Captivity is spoken in this film. 

It was directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and was released on July 23, 2013, in Ireland and available in English and Spanish language. 

This film earned $2,073,582. It was premiered 2013 Sundance Film Festival and is now streamed on Netflix.

31. Cameraperson (2016)

Cameraperson was also known as Оператор. It is an autobiography. 

This film tells about the carrier and life of a famous cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. 

It includes the footage shot in different countries. Cameraperson is available in English, Arabic, Bosnian, Dari, Hausa, and Fur languages. 

It was directed by Kirsten Johnson. This film was nominated for various categories and won many awards. 

Cameraperson was telecasted at Sundance Film Festival as well. 

32. Cusp (2021)

This film is based on the three teenage girls who confront dream corners at the end of summer in Texas town. 

This documentary got many positive reviews from film critics. It got a 6.9/10 IMDB rating. 

It was directed and produced by Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill. 

Cusp was released on January 30 2021 and premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

33. Disclosure (2020)

It is an American Documentary Film. It was produced and directed by Sam Feder. This film was released on Netflix on June 19.2020.

Disclosure speaks about the depth of Transgender people and their lives in American culture. It features many Transgender. 

It was nominated in many categories and won GLAAD Media Award for the best documentary movie. 

34. How To Survive A Plague (2012)

How to survive a plague was directed by David France. He is a journalist by his profession and covered AIDS from the Beginning. 

He dedicated himself to his partner Doug Gould. She died in 1992 due to Aids-related pneumonia. 

This documentary was taken using 700 hours of news coverage, demonstrations, and meetings with Act UP members. 

It was released on November 13 and got an IMDB rating of 7.6/10. 

How To Survive A Plague is available on Amazon.

35. Kedi (2016)

This film portrays the personalities and lives of cats in Istanbul. These cats have a complicated relationship with the Istanbul people. 

Kedi is a Magical and Remarkable Documentary. The country of origin of Kedi is Turkey And United States. 

Kedi has an IMDB rating of 7.1/10. This documentary was directed by Ceyda Torun. 

This film won Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary in Critics' Choice Documentary Awards 2017.

All the above-mentioned Documentary movies will make you make this pandemic colorful. 

Many of the above-mentioned documentaries are present in many languages. 

Hope you find this list of Documentary movies interesting. Do like and share this list with your friends and other members.

Read more:


Sanjeyan N




Read More