🍒 Best Documentaries of So Far: Good Docuseries & Movies to Stream - Thrillist

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The Best Documentaries Tell Completely Engrossing Tales. From Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich to The Last Dance, documentaries tell.


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Best Netflix documentaries to watch now (July ) - Radio Times
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25 Best Documentaries of | New Documentary Movies
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While Netflix has a vast assortment of great feature films and series, their doc section is nothing to laugh at. Some of the very best documentaries.


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Last Updated: July 2, The element that most viewers tend to gravitate toward when it comes to documentaries is the essence of real life.


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We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. The Best Documentaries of So Far—And Where to Watch Them. Add.


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has become stranger than fiction, it shouldn't come as a surprise that some of the best stories told in were done through documentaries.


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Netflix. Night on Earth.


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Sundance Institute. Spaceship Earth.


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While Netflix has a vast assortment of great feature films and series, their doc section is nothing to laugh at. Some of the very best documentaries.


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The Best Documentaries Tell Completely Engrossing Tales. From Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich to The Last Dance, documentaries tell.


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When the famed Puerto Rican astrologer would appear on television, whether it was in a psychic hotline commercial, a daytime talk program like The Sally Jesse Raphael Show , or his own long-running extravaganza on Univision, he always looked immaculate. The film, produced by Higher Ground, the Obamas' company, is co-directed by sound designer Jim LeBrecht, who went to the camp in and the stay changed his life. Still, the indisputable star is Birba, a sweet pooch of unidentifiable breed whose elderly person feeds from his own dinner table and worries about leaving behind once he passes. Basically, we've all got TV to thank for that. Where to watch it : Netflix Watch the trailer. Premiere date: April 24 Director: Spike Jonze Why it's a great doc: The Beastie Boys Story is an amalgamation if you will -- a movie hybrid that's one part documentary, one part concert film, and one part live, two-man play. This series, a close look into the community of exotic animal keepers hiding in plain sight, has more crazy moments , twists, and real shockers in a single episode that it's legitimately difficult to keep track of every jaw-dropping revelation. At the beginning, we meet Detective Romulo, a private investigator seeking a dexterous senior citizen to go undercover and sniff out possible abuse occurring at a nursing home in Chile. Through incredible archival footage, the documentary shows how campers at Jened were given the freedom they so often lacked in the outside world. There's smoking, sex, partying, and a sense of pure community. Not all of the series is high-tech infrared camera shots taken at night; it finds the right balance between daytime animal behaviors and the dramatic, energetic shift into the dark. The other residents at the home quickly grow to love Sergio, calling him "the gentleman" and showering him with praise. No sports documentary will turn you into a cheerleader for its subject quite like this one. Ree allows both of them to tell their sides of the story while following their burgeoning friendship over the course of years. No one comes out of it unscathed. Where to watch it : TBD. Premiere date: February 3 Director: James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte Why it's a great doc: Some of the best documentary stories are the ones that feel so outrageous that they couldn't possibly be real. Since Tiger King came out, it's no longer a contest. These are also amazing stories, but you're left wishing that the filmmakers had spent a little more time delving into the history of Jened beyond this one generation. It's the perfect vehicle to debunk some of horror's longest standing dark rumors and theories with talking head interviews, from journalists and authors to high-profile producers and actors who starred in the films themselves. The narrative then swerves to life outside of this ostensible paradise, following activists like Judy Heumann, who staged protests that led to the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the contemporary interviews with participants are revealing, providing necessary context and welcome perspective, the documentary is at its best when it stays firmly rooted in the past, telling a story of counter-cultural idealism thwarted by competing egos and corporate interests. Barbora is desperate to know what became of her dark, hyper-realistic works, but she also finds a muse in Karl-Bertil, who is deeper than his "Crime Pays" T-shirt suggests. Where to watch it: Shudder Watch the trailer. Rarely hits at the box office, nonfiction narratives are particularly well-suited to on-demand viewing, however, offering those who spend hours binge-watching lighter fare the rare opportunity to feel like they're learning something as they sit on the couch. For horror fans, it's a must-watch; for everyone else, it's a fascinating entry point into the wide world of on-set conspiracy theories. It lacks the outrageous flash of its subject -- how do you compete with all those jewell-covered capes? The year-old man he chooses for the job, a thoughtful and polite retiree named Sergio, proves to be an effective agent even if he can't quite get the hang of FaceTime on his phone. For more documentaries to watch, check out our favorite documentaries of , , , and , and the best documentaries to stream on Netflix right now. A publicity stunt or a noble test? Their strength and tightly controlled gymnastics are awe-inspiring, and the rigor of it all is not for the faint of heart. The docuseries acts as a reminder for some, and an education for others, that it wasn't that long ago that the gay and lesbian communities were viewed as dangerous delinquents, frequently mentioned alongside the always-feared communist threat of the s. Just another night out on the town. Where to watch it: TBD Watch the trailer. Of course, quantity never equals quality, so we're dedicating our year to watching as many films and series to pluck out the very best that will expand your intellectual and emotional horizons. After a low point, Karl-Bertli starts rebuilding his life just as Barbora's starts to fray, her obsessions with turning misery into art becoming a burden. It's a sentiment most bar-goers can relate to: Why let the truth get in the way of a great story? It's not entirely sweet pups and their devoted owners, though. Chalk it up to streaming services new and old pouring billions of dollars into original content to satisfy their subscribers' insatiable lust for new movies and shows, or simply the glut of fascinating stories waiting to be told. Directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin know how to hook an audience: Every episode starts with an epiphany and ends on a cliffhanger as they get deeper into the world of big cats, the drama unfolding between someone like Joe Exotic, who at one point owned the largest private zoo in the United States, and his mortal enemy Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida.

Documentaries, like practically every other fare of genre, have flourished lately. Why it's a great doc: The theme song from Cheers succinctly summed up the communal appeal of the local bar: "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

The Beastie Boys Story takes the formula of a Behind the Music episode and elevates it with humor and heart. Where to popular documentaries 2020 it: TBD. Kirsten Johnson's film, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festivalis simply popular documentaries 2020 of the most beautiful, moving, personal, and probably even helpful pieces about loss that anyone has ever created.

The juxtaposition, in addition to newly discovered behaviors as animals like the famous polar bears are adapting to their altered ecosystems because of climate change, might seem like merely a gimmick with stunning camera work, but don't be fooled -- Night on Earth is the real deal. Directors Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw offer gorgeously shot windows into the serious business of scouring the forests for these delicacies. Jackson coined the term "The Last Dance" to reference this period of time which shows a conflicted, struggling team fighting through uncertainty as they worked to nab one last championship title before the winning lineup disbanded for good. Despite a somewhat cutesy score and some repetitive moments, The Mole Agent succeeds as a nimble comedy about old age, familial responsibility, and loneliness. You'll find streaming hits, obscure treasures, and theatrical releases, but they all share one common trait: They'll help you better understand the world, for better or for worse. Beyond being absolutely insane to watch, Tiger King pulls off the delicate task of telling this impossibly crazy story with both empathy and a critical eye. Release date: May 8 Director: Matt Wolf Recorder Why it's a great doc: Following in the footsteps of Pauly Shore's comedy Bio-Dome isn't easy, but documentary filmmaker Matt Wolf is up to the task with this non-fiction chronicle of the Biosphere 2 project launched in the late '80s. The setup is simple and the hangout vibe is a pleasure, but the story of how the the film was made, which goes mostly unacknowledged on screen, blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction in a way that gives the events a woozy texture. Episodes often take breaks to chat with real-life dark magick practitioners, for example, to perform the sorts of rituals on-camera that freaked so many people out in theaters, breathing some much-needed levity to a sometimes bleakly heady experience. From its wide perception as mental illness to the legalization of gay marriage, LGBTQ representation and acceptance has evolved exponentially over the seven decades since small screen entertainment began. It all builds up to the team's one big moment and a cathartic ending about camaraderie, sportsmanship, and the immense power of fleeting moments. Without any extra context, Dweck and Kershaw introduce us to the traders who make the industry a vicious one with a lot of money on the line. The six-episode docuseries shines a light on the Monopoly game McDonald's ran for over a decade, from to , and the baffling scam that coincided with the seemingly innocent contest. While some of these kinds of series touch on community and media reactions of violent murders and political scandals, this seven-episode anthology is squarely about that, stepping outside of the inner circle of each case and reflecting on the larger societal context and impact of major cultural moments, such as the tragic killing of Amadou Diallo in after being shot by NYPD 41 times and its fallout on the city's racist policing tactics, Jenny Jones and the lawsuits that came out of "gotcha" talk shows, the wild story of disgraced Illinois governor Roy Blagojevich whose swirling corruption scandal landed him on the Celebrity Apprentice. A farce or a tragedy? A bunch of older Italian men and their beloved dogs, who they treat like children. As a teen suffering from spina bifida, he felt like an outcast among his peers. By emulating Sergio's gentle demeanor, the filmmakers craft a portrait of the elderly that's both kind-hearted and morally righteous. The simple formula, which finds remaining Beastie Boys bandmates Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock and Mike Diamond aka Mike D sharing the story of their lifelong friendship with the late Adam Yauch aka MCA , and their rise, fall, and subsequent rise again as trend-setting icons in the music world. The scaled-down storytelling formula of the doc offers an off-the-cuff, intimate experience which shines a light on the ups and downs the group hit in their career -- from their embarrassing early days as Def Jam's hit party boy rap group to the experimental jam sessions that sparked an evolution that propelled the Beastie Boys to new heights, both creatively and spiritually. The Painter and the Thief mostly lets the viewer just live with these people and the tension that exists between them as it weaves in questions about muses, pain, and the act of creating art. Blending captivating footage of Mercado's flashy heyday, animated sequences, and interviews, the movie provides plenty of context and background information for younger viewers who perhaps only know Mercado as a meme or a distant memory. It's easy to imagine Barbora and Karl-Bertli as characters in a narrative feature, as we see their fortunes shift. Spaceship Earth captures both the spirit of utopian hope that powered the wildly ambitious research facility and the culture of secrecy that formed as media scrutiny of the project became more intense. The result of that footage plus recently filmed talking head interviews is The Last Danc e , an insightful, nostalgic episode throwback to a time when the Bulls ruled the playground. Premiere date: April 2 Director: Jay Cheel Why it's a great doc: Films commenting on other films always runs the risk of getting a little too meta for an average viewer, but Shudder has done wonders with its original documentaries about horror filmmaking: First with last year's Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror one of our favorite movies of , and now with Jay Cheel's series Cursed Films , tracking down the real stories behind some of Hollywood's most famously "cursed" productions, like The Crow , Poltergeist , The Exorcist , and others. Where to watch it: Netflix Watch the trailer. Plus, read about the best movies of so far. Release date: January 29 Director: Multiple Why it's a great doc : Another must-watch British nature docuseries, Night on Earth feels like an impossibly fresh take in the self-crowded Planet Earth space just by turning off the lights. Why it's a great doc: The Mole Agent is a documentary that sneaks up on the viewer. Release date: February 14 Director: Ryan White Why it's a great doc: Just two decades ago, the concept of two women kissing on television almost cost the career and livelihood of one of the most famous personalities in Hollywood today: Ellen Degeneres. Like in any compelling spy narrative, Sergio begins to question the nature of his given mission, growing frustrated by his handler's demands for simple, verifiable answers to complicated questions. Its stars? Below you'll find the best documentaries of including docuseries, the form that may have benefited more than any other from the streaming revolution. Instead of shunning the person who stole two of her pieces from a Norway exhibition, painter Barbora Kysilkova befriends the man, a career criminal named Karl-Bertil, a junkie who pilfered the art in the midst of a bender and has no memory of where he abandoned it. Where to watch it: HBO Watch the trailer. Funded by billionaire Ed Bass and spearheaded by artist-engineer John Allen, Biosphere 2 was an attempt to make science-fiction ideas a reality by sending a team of scientists to live in a large self-sustaining, glass-covered ecological structure in Arizona. In the interim period, Fox raised their children on her own, started a successful career, and began speaking out about the racial injustice inherent in America's penal policy. Focusing on the team's road to the cheerleading national championship, the six-part docuseries exposes the intensity of both the sport itself and the emotional pull behind it for the fascinating members and tough-love coach that make up the squad, homing in on several of the members' journeys to cheerleading. As much as it's an essential lesson in music history, the documentary is a touching tribute to Adam Yauch, who passed away from cancer in He guided the group on their path, profoundly changed his friends' lives along the way, and elevated hip hop with humor and heart. He was like a statue come to life. Where to watch it: On Netflix this summer. Release date: May 22 Director: Benjamin Ree Magnus Why it's a great doc: Norwegian documentary filmmaker Ree paints a remarkable portrait of two lives that become intertwined. Was it an experimental art project or a rigorous scientific study? Release date: January 8 Director: Greg Whiteley Last Chance U Why it's a great doc: Whatever you currently think about cheerleading, Netflix's six-part docuseries Cheer will make you reconsider your stance. Using home video from her subject and her own footage, beautifully rendered in black and white, Bradley constructs the story of a woman who has been fighting for 20 years for the release of her husband from prison. Ellen is just one of the many famous faces featured throughout the five-episode series: Oprah Winfrey, Tim Gunn, Lena Waithe and Wilson Cruz, who also acts as the show's executive producer, are all here, adding heartfelt context to the quickly-paced, deeply-analytical story being told. In one of the funniest and sweetest scenes, Sergio gets elected the home's equivalent of the prom king. At Jened he was a cool kid. The wardrobe, the hair, and the soul-piercing stare made him a star, the type of extravagant screen presence that stops a channel-surfer right in their tracks. Obviously, Michael Jordan resides at the center of the series; he not only carried the team, his legend adds to the gravitas of the story being told. An Australian regular takes acid; a cake gets smashed. Mucho Mucho Amor , a playful and brisk bio-documentary, celebrates his star-making qualities while also arguing that it was his universal message of peace and love that truly made him an icon.