Entertainment

The Best Documentary Movies of 2019  

Jason Bancroft
433 votes 70 voters 7.7k views 64 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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Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
American Factory is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. A Chinese company revitalizes a General Motors plant in Moraine, a suburb in Ohio.
2
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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.
3
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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.
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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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
6
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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.
7
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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
8
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vonlicorice added Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a 2018 Canadian documentary film directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky.
9
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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
10
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Hassan Fazili
Midnight Traveler is a 2019 international documentary film directed by Hassan Fazili. The Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili's head forcing him to flee the county with his ...more
11
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A.J. Eaton
David Crosby: Remember My Name is a 2019 American documentary directed by A.J. Eaton. The film is about the life of the musician David Crosby.
12
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Ryan White
Ask Dr. Ruth is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Ryan White. The documentary offers insight into the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer who survived the Holocaust and became ...more
13
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Garret Price
Love, Antosha is a 2019 American documentary film directed and produced by Garret Price. The documentary focuses on the life and career of the late actor Anton Yelchin, narrated by Nicolas
14
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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
15
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Oliver Murray
The Quiet One is a 2019 British documentary film directed by Oliver Murray. The documentary offers a behind the scenes look at the life and career of Bill Wyman, former founding member of the ...more
16
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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
17
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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
18
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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
19
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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
20
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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
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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mtolajian added Q Ball Michael Tolajian
23
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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.
24
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Asif Kapadia
Diego Maradona is a 2019 British documentary film directed by Asif Kapadia. A look at the life and career of the celebrated soccer player Diego Armando Maradona focusing around the time Maradona ...more
25
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Louie Psihoyos
The Game Changers is a 2019 American documentary film directed Louie Psihoyos.