• Entertainment

The Best Documentaries About the U.S. Government

List RulesDocumentaries 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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  • 1

    The Phony Drug War: How the US Government Deals Drugs

    41
    15
  • 2

    Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11

    Stephen Marshall
    31
    13

    Released2003

    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

    America: Destroyed by Design

    22
    8
  • 4
    Richard Ray Perez, Joan Sekler
    14
    2

    ActorsDanny Glover, Clarence Thomas, Peter Coyote

    Released2002

    This documentary account of the events surrounding the 2000 U.S. presidential election examines the disputed vote in Florida and the myriad legal challenges by both political parties. Governor Jeb  ...more
  • 5

    Zeitgeist

    16
    7
  • 6

    Stupid in America

    12
    4
  • 7

    ActorsRobert De Niro, Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Willem Dafoe, Michael J. Fox

    Released1987

    During the Vietnam War, numerous U.S. soldiers wrote to friends and loved ones who were waiting back home for their safe return. This documentary takes a deeper look into the letters that were sent  ...more
  • 8

    The Crash of 1929

    14
    9
  • 9
    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 Timeline,  ...more
  • 10

    Hollywood and the Pentagon

    10
    4
  • 11
    Eugene Jarecki
    10
    4

    ActorsKenneth Adelman, Joseph Cirincione, Anh Duong, Gwynne Dyer, John S.D. Eisenhower

    Released2005

    Since World War II, the United States has been almost constantly involved in combat, active participants in a string of wars fought entirely on foreign shores. Eugene Jarecki's documentary examines  ...more
  • 12

    ActorsAaron Russo, Irwin Schiff, Katherine Albrecht, Joe Banister, Dave Champion

    Released2006

    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 Reserve  ...more
  • 13
    Robert Greenwald, Nonny de la Peña
    10
    4

    Released2004

    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 the  ...more
  • 14

    9/11 Mysteries

    13
    8
  • 15

    Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own

    10
    6
  • 16

    Released2007

    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
  • 17

    Improbable Collapse: the Demolition of Our Republic

    8
    3
  • 18
    surag addedMichael Moore
    16
    13

    Released2004

    Michael Moore's political documentary uses humor and connect-the-dots investigative journalism to question the Bush administration's motives for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film argues that  ...more

    #26 of 26 The Best Movies About 9/11#37 of 506 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time#156 of 336 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • 19
  • 20
    David Modigliani
    6
    1

    ActorsBeto O'Rourke, Amy O'Rourke, Cynthia Cano

    Released2019

    Running with Beto is a 2019 American documentary directed by David Modigliani. The film follows Beto O'Rourke's campaign in the 2018 United States Senate election in Texas.  ...more
  • 21
    Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross
    8
    4

    ActorsRiz Ahmed, Jason Salkey, Sher Khan, Adam James, Mark Holden

    Released2006

    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 citizens,  ...more
  • 22

    Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism

    7
    2
  • 23

    Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve System

    8
    4
  • 24

    In Lies We Trust

    8
    6
  • 25

    ActorsDan Rather, Cynthia McKinney

    Released2010

    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, Afghanistan,  ...more