Documentary

The Best Documentary Movies of 2019  

Jason Bancroft
683 votes 86 voters 8.5k views 70 items

The best documentary movies this year exemplified what the genre does best. They highlighted a unique aspect of culture or human experience through a nuanced lens. If you're in need of suggestions for some informative and often surprising films, browse this list of 2019 documentary movies.

Fyre: The Greatest Part That Never Happened is a documentary from Netflix that explores what went wrong at a luxury music festival that was indefinitely postponed. Apollo 11 takes audiences through the first spaceflight mission to land men on the moon using archived footage that was previously unreleased to the public without narration or interviews. Look for other new and upcoming documentaries on this as the year continues. 

These 2019 documentary films explore a wide array of topics. Vote up the best new documentaries of 2019, and feel free to add your favorite documentary films released this year missing from the list.

list ordered by
1
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Feras Fayyad
The Cave is a Syrian-Danish documentary film directed by Feras Fayyad. Amani Ballour, a female doctor in Ghouta operates a makeshift hospital in a cave during the Syrian Civil War.
2
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Todd Douglas Miller
Apollo 11 is a 2019 American documentary film edited, produced, and directed by Todd Douglas Miller. It focuses on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first spaceflight to land people on the moon.
3
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Chris Smith
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Chris Smith, released on Netflix on January 18, 2019. An exclusive behind the scenes look at the ...more
4
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Dan Reed
Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by British filmmaker Dan Reed. Leaving Neverland describes how Michael Jackson allegedly began relationships with two young ...more
5
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Hail Satan? Penny Lane
Hail Satan? is a 2019 American documentary directed by Penny Lane. An examination of The Satanic Temple, including its origins and grassroots political activism.
6
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Alex Gibney
The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley is 2019 American documentary film, directed and produced by Alex Gibney. The story of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar tech company, its founder ...more
7
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Antoine Fuqua
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali is a 2019 documentary film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, based on the life of Muhammad Ali.
8
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Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
For Sama is a 2019 internationally produced documentary film directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts. Waad Al-Kateab has lived through five years of war in Aleppo, Syria where she has given ...more
9
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Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason
Fyre Fraud is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason that premiered on Hulu on January 14, 2019. A look at the whistleblowers, victims, and the lack ...more
10
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Theo Love
The Legend of Cocaine Island is a 2018 documentary film, directed and produced by Theo Love. An urban legend about a duffel bag of cocaine buried in the Caribbean leads a misfit band to hatch a ...more
11
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Rachel Lears
Knock Down the House is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Rachel Lears. The documentary is about four progressive Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula ...more
12
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Xavier Burgin
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Xavier Burgin. A look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the film ...more
13
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Richard Ladkani, Sean Bogle, Matthew Podolsky
Sea of Shadows is a 2019 Austrian documentary film directed by Richard Ladkani, Sean Bogle, and Matthew Podolsky. A look at how Mexican cartels and the Chinese mafia are threatening the ...more
14
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Beniamino Barrese
The Disappearance of My Mother is a 2019 Italian documentary film directed by Beniamino Barrese. An ex-fashion model attempts to disappear despite her son's determination to make one last film ...more
15
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Kim Longinotto
Shooting the Mafia is a 2019 Irish documentary directed by Kim Longinotto. The film explores the career of Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia and her documenting the life and crimes of the ...more
16
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Justin Folk
No Safe Spaces is a 2019 documentary directed by Justin Folk. The film looks at the controversies associated with political conservatives being invited to speak in university settings.
17
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Jack Bennett
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Jack Bennett.
18
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The Kingmaker Lauren Greenfield
The Kingmaker is a 2019 Dutch American documentary film directed by Lauren Greenfield. The film is about the controversial political career of Imelda Marcos who is the former first lady of the ...more
19
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Western Stars Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimny
Western Stars is a 2019 American concert film directed by Bruce Springsteen and Thom Zimny. The film features a live concert performance of the album Western Stars, backed by an orchestra and ...more
20
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Roger Ross Williams
The Apollo is a 2019 American documentary directed by Roger Ross Williams. An in-depth look at the history of New York City's Apollo Theater in Harlem.
21
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Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
Amazing Grace is a 2018 American documentary film, directed by Sydney Pollack, and Alan Elliott. American singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin performs various songs at the New Temple Missionary ...more
22
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Fab 5 Freddy
Grass is Greener is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Fab 5 Freddy. A documentary about America's relationship with cannabis.
23
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Khalik Allah
Black Mother is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Khalik Allah. From red light districts to lush rain-forests, 'Black Mother' is a loving and lyrical ode to Jamaica and its people, a ...more
24
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Leila Conners
Ice on Fire is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Leila Conners. The film explores potential ways to reverse climate change and the possible extinction-level event caused by arctic ...more
25
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vonlicorice added Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher
The Gospel of Eureka is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher. Evangelical Christians and drag queens explore the meaning of belief in this documentary.