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The Best Documentaries About the U.S. Government 

Ranker Film
Updated March 17, 2020 840 votes 237 voters 24.4k views 70 items

List Rules Documentaries focusing on the U.S. government and U.S. government issues.

There are many documentaries on the United States government, covering topics from the controversies behind the branches of the government, how the democracy itself functions on a daily basis, historic White House cover-ups, the history of how the U.S. government began, biographies of former Presidents, and the issues of war. This list has them all. 

What are the best documentaries about the U.S. Government? No matter what aspect of the topic you're interested in, there's a United States government documentary on this list for you! These films have been ranked as the absolute best to watch for information on a variety of U.S. government topics. Many of these critically acclaimed films feature several different aspects of the government, including historical truths, conspiracy theories, and more.

This list features the best U.S. Government documentaries, including: Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam, 9/11 Mysteries, American Dictators, Hollywood and the Pentagon, The Crash of 1929, The End of America, Gasland, The Fall of the Republic and Hacking Democracy.

Vote up your favorite documentary about the U.S. government, add one that isn't on the list, or find an interesting film and learn something new about the American governmental system.
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list ordered by
1
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The Phony Drug War: How the US Government Deals Drugs

Released: 2007

2
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Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 Stephen Marshall

Released: 2003

Controversial documentary that highlights a series of alarming issues that were ignored by the mainstream media's coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
3
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America: Destroyed by Design

Released: 1998

4
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Richard Ray Perez, Joan Sekler

Actors: Danny Glover, Clarence Thomas, Peter Coyote

Released: 2002

Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election is a 2002 47-minute documentary made by Richard Ray Pérez and Joan Sekler and narrated by Peter Coyote about the contested 2000 presidential ...more
5
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The Crash of 1929

Released: 1990

6
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Zeitgeist

Released: 2007

7
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Released: 2006

9/11: Press for Truth is a 2006 documentary film about the September 11 attacks on the United States, directed by the American filmmaker Ray Nowosielski, and partially based on The Terror ...more
8
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Eugene Jarecki

Actors: Gore Vidal, Richard Perle, Graydon Carter, Chalmers Johnson

Released: 2005

Why We Fight, directed by Eugene Jarecki, is a 2005 documentary film about the military–industrial complex. The title refers to the World War II-era eponymous propaganda movies commissioned by ...more
9
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Bill Couturié

Actors: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Willem Dafoe, Michael J. Fox, + more

Released: 1987

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam is an American grammy Award–winning 1987 documentary, inspired by the anthology of the same title, directed by Bill Couturié. Using real letters ...more

More Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam 

#462 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #91 of 358 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time #3 of 51 The Best Documentaries About Vietnam

10
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9/11 Mysteries

Released: 2006

11
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surag added Michael Moore

Released: 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a 2004 documentary film by American filmmaker and director and political commentator Michael Moore. The film takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush and its ...more

More Fahrenheit 9/11 

#41 of 358 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time #255 of 322 The Best Political Films Ever Madelisted on The Best Movies About 9/11

12
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Aaron Russo

Actors: Aaron Russo, Irwin Schiff, Katherine Albrecht, Joe Banister, Dave Champion, + more

Released: 2006

America: Freedom to Fascism is a 2006 film by filmmaker and conspiracy theorist Aaron Russo, covering a variety of subjects, including: the Internal Revenue Service, the income tax, Federal ...more
13
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Stupid in America

Released: 2009

14
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Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross

Actors: Riz Ahmed, Jason Salkey, Sher Khan, Adam James, Mark Holden, + more

Released: 2006

The Road to Guantánamo, alternatively The Road to Guantanamo, is a British 2006 docudrama film directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross about the incarceration of three British ...more
15
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Robert Greenwald, Nonny de la Peña

Released: 2004

Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties is an American 2004 political documentary about the legal problems with the PATRIOT Act. It posits that the law, hastily passed in the wake of ...more
16
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Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own

Released: 2007

17
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Chris Pinto

Released: 2007

Explore the fascinating history behind the origins and focus of the world's most powerful nation: America. What is the meaning of the seemingly countless occult images in America's capitol? Was ...more
18
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Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg

Released: 2008

In a stunning indictment of sweeping policy changes during the Bush years, best-selling author Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth) makes a chilling case that American democracy is under threat. ...more
19
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Improbable Collapse: the Demolition of Our Republic

Released: 2006

20
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In Lies We Trust

Released: 2007

21
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Hollywood and the Pentagon

Released: 2003

22
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Actors: Bill Clinton

Released: 2004

23
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Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve System

Released: 2008

24
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John Pilger

Actors: Dan Rather, Cynthia McKinney

Released: 2010

The War You Don't See is a 2010 British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, ...more
25
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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism

Released: 2004