Cults The Best Documentaries About Cults  

Ranker Film
2.7k votes 1.5k voters 228.5k views 32 items

List Rules Documentary films about cults and religions.

This list of the best documentaries about cults has been voted on by movie lovers. This list includes popular and recognizable titles, along with a lot of independent films about cults, with videos. What is the best documentary about cults? This list will give you a good idea.

With every vote, the order of the list will be changed to see which documentary about cults comes out on top. If you don't see your favorite on the list, add it along with the titles below so that others may vote on it as well. The list currently includes titles such as The Endless Summer, Burden of Dreams and Mondo Cane.

Documentaries are nonfiction and made with the intention of displaying reality for historical purposes and to educate those watching the film. Most documentaries are driven by independent filmmakers and those passionate about the topics they are portraying. These documentaries about cults cover many different topics and types of cults.

Vote up your favorite cult documentaries below or add one that you found interesting that isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
376 43
Jonestown: The Life and Death ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, is a 2006 documentary film made by Firelight Media, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson. The documentary reveals new footage of the incidents ...more

2
534 80
Holy Hell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
carlybobarly added Will Allen, Dimitrius Pulido, Phillipe Coquet Holy Hell is a 2016 American documentary film by Will Allen about his experiences as a member of the Buddhafield cult for twenty-two years. The cult's leader, who has several names but is ...more

3
204 49
The Source Family is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Ahom Aquarian, Isis Aquarian, Elena Michaels The Source Family is a 2012 feature documentary film directed by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos that recounts the story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and the Source Family. The Source Family was a ...more

4
221 60
Jesus Camp is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer Jesus Camp is a 2006 American documentary film directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing about a charismatic Christian summer camp, where children spend their summers being taught that they have ...more

5
118 33
Children of God is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Sylvia Padilla, Miriam Padilla, Helen Mirren "Johnny, a white Bahamian artist from Nassau, is depressed and creatively uninspired. Under instructions from his teacher, he relocates to the rural island of Eleuthera, where he meets the ...more

6
110 31
I Escaped a Cult is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
I Escaped a Cult Brent Jeffs, Warren Jeffs, Rebekah Schmierer

7
59 9
Scientology and the Aftermath is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
AlyssaBartoshevich added Scientology and the Aftermath Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Chantal Dodson

In this hourlong docuseries, actress Leah Remini turns investigative reporter, she says, to "share the shocking truth about Scientology," the secretive, controversial church that Remini herself was a member of for years.

8
44 6
Wild Wild Country is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Shabana Malone added Wild Wild Country (Netflix, 2018) is a documentary series directed by Maclain and Chapman Way. When Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA Osho, the world's most controversial guru, builds a utopian city ...more

9
63 28
The Manson Family is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Sage Stallone, Jim Van Bebber, Marc Pitman The Manson Family is a 2003 American crime drama film. The film covers the lives of Charles Manson and his "family" of followers.

10
56 25
Sons of Perdition is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Bruce Barlow, Deloy Bateman, Michelle Benward "In the polygamist community cultivated by the notorious (and now incarcerated) "prophet" Warren Jeffs, women are a commodity, children are reared to be ignorant, and free thought ...more

11
43 23
The End of the World Cult is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
The End of the World Cult Michael Travesser

12
42 24
Gates of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Lucille Billingsley, Zella Graham, Cal Harberts Gates of Heaven is a 1978 documentary film by Errol Morris about the pet cemetery business. It was made when Morris was unknown and did much to launch his career.

13
29 18
Triumph of the Will is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Triumph of the Will is a 1935 propaganda film directed, produced, edited and co-written by Leni Riefenstahl. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, which was attended by more ...more

14
6 0
Going Clear: Scientology and t... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Sue Freer Kameka added Lawrence Wright, Mark Rathbun, Monique Rathbun Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 documentary film directed by Alex Gibney. Deconstructing the church's claims by presenting a condensed history of Scientology and its ...more

15
14 8
deprogrammed is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
blackdecaf added deprogrammed Balavanta Das, Hridayananda Das Goswami, Ted Patrick

16
19 15
Marjoe is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Marjoe Gortner, Sarah Kernochan Marjoe is a 1972 American documentary film produced and directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan about the life of evangelist Marjoe Gortner. It won the 1972 Academy Award for Best ...more

17
16 13
American Commune is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
American Commune is 2013 documentary film written by Rena Mundo Croshere, and directed by Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo.

18
25 23
Crumb is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Robert Crumb Crumb is a 1994 documentary film about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb and his family. Directed by Terry Zwigoff and produced by Lynn O'Donnell, it won widespread acclaim. It was ...more

19
12 10
Fall From Grace is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults

20
11 9
Burden of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Mick Jagger, Claudia Cardinale, Werner Herzog Burden of Dreams is a feature-length documentary and making-of directed by Les Blank, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, filmed in the ...more

21
12 11
Haxan: Witchcraft Through the ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
William S. Burroughs, Benjamin Christensen, Elith Pio This silent docu-horror masterpiece is a study of how superstition and the misunderstanding of diseases and mental illness led to the hysteria of witch-hunts.

22
8 8
Join Us is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Deborah Melz, Joaquin Sullivan, Raymund Melz

23
9 10
A Dog's Life is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Mondo cane is a documentary written and directed by Italian filmmakers Paolo Cavara, Franco Prosperi and Gualtiero Jacopetti. The film consists of a series of travelogue vignettes that provide ...more

24
8 10
Czech Dream is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Czech Dream is a 2004 documentary film directed by two Czech film directors, Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda. It recorded a large-scale hoax perpetrated by Klusák and Remunda ...more

25
2 3
God Willing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Carrie Kargel added Nina Persson, Janne Carlsson, Georgi Staykov God Willing is a 2006 romantic drama film directed by Amir Chamdin and co-written with Martina Stöhr and Erik Egler.

26
5 9
Soldier Child is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Soldier Child is a 1998 documentary film written and directed by Neil Abramson.

27
9 14
Overnight is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Rachel Blanchard, Anthony LaPaglia, James D'Arcy Overnight is a 2010 comedy romance film directed and written by Valerie Breiman.

28
9 15
Salesman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Melbourne I. Feltman, Kennie Turner, Margaret McCarron Salesman is a 1969 direct cinema documentary film directed by brothers Albert and David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin.

29
7 13
Dancin' Outlaw is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Dancin' Outlaw Jesco White Dancin' Outlaw is a 1991 documentary film directed by Jacob Young.

30
5 12
Darkon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Andrew Mattingly, Skip Lipman, Kenyon Wells Darkon is an award-winning feature-length documentary film that follows the real-life adventures of the Darkon Wargaming Club in Baltimore, Maryland, a group of fantasy live-action role-playing ...more

31
8 16
Heavy Metal Parking Lot is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a documentary short produced by Jeff Krulik and John Heyn in 1986.

32
6 15
The Endless Summer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Documentaries About Cults
Bruce Brown, Miki Dora, Robert August The Endless Summer is a seminal 1966 surf movie. Filmmaker/narrator Bruce Brown follows two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, on a surfing trip around the world. Despite the balmy climate ...more