Best Documentary Movies of 2016

1.

O.J. Made in America

6.2
8.9/10

A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.

Starring: O.J. Simpson, Marcia Clark, Francis Lee Bailey, Peter Hyams, David Zucker
Directed by: Ezra Edelman
Release date: 2016-05-20
2.

Planet Earth II

5.9
9.5/10

David Attenborough presents a documentary series exploring how animals meet the challenges of surviving in the most iconic habitats on earth.

Release date: 2016-11-06
3.

13th

5.8
8.2/10

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.

Starring: Jelani Cobb, Angela Davis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Release date: 2016-10-07
4.

Before the Flood

5.8
8.3/10

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities across the planet.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Elon Musk
Directed by: Fisher Stevens
Release date: 2016-10-21
5.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

5.0
7.0/10

Werner Herzog's exploration of the Internet and the connected world.

Starring: Lucianne Walkowicz, Elon Musk, Lawrence Krauss, Werner Herzog
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Release date: 2016-03-04
6.

Supersonic

4.9
7.9/10

From award-winning director Mat Whitecross and featuring extensive unseen archive footage, Supersonic charts the meteoric rise of Oasis from the council estates of Manchester to some of the biggest concerts of all time in just three short years. This palpable, raw and moving film shines a light on one of the most genre and generation-defining British bands that has ever existed, and features candid new interviews with Noel and Liam Gallagher, their mother, and members of the band and road crew.

Starring: Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul Gallagher, Peggy Gallagher
Directed by: Mat Whitecross
Release date: 2016-10-02
7.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

4.9
7.8/10

The band stormed Europe in 1963, and, in 1964, they conquered America. Their groundbreaking world tours changed global youth culture forever and, arguably, invented mass entertainment as we know it today. All the while, the group were composing and recording a series of extraordinarily successful singles and albums. However the relentless pressure of such unprecedented fame, that in 1966 became uncontrollable turmoil, led to the decision to stop touring. In the ensuing years The Beatles were then free to focus on a series of albums that changed the face of recorded music.

Starring: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Larry Kane
Directed by: Ron Howard
Release date: 2016-09-15
8.

Amanda Knox

4.9
6.9/10

This gripping, atmospheric documentary recounts the infamous trial, conviction and eventual acquittal of Seattle native Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of a British exchange student in Italy.

Starring: Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, Giuliano Mignini, Nick Pisa, Valter Biscotti
Directed by: Brian McGinn, Rod Blackhurst
Release date: 2016-09-10
9.

Tower

4.9
8.0/10

Combining archival footage with rotoscopic animation, Tower reveals the action-packed untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.

Starring: Violett Beane, Chris Doubek, Blair Jackson, Louie Arnette, Josephine McAdam
Directed by: Keith Maitland
Release date: 2016-03-13
10.

My Scientology Movie

4.8
6.7/10

Following a long fascination with the religion and with much experience in dealing with eccentric, unpalatable and unexpected human behavior, the beguilingly unassuming Theroux won't take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church's headquarters is turned down. Inspired by the Church's use of filming techniques, and aided by ex-members of the organization, Theroux uses actors to replay some incidents people claim they experienced as members in an attempt to better understand the way it operates. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux.

Starring: Louis Theroux, Tom De Vocht, Marty Rathbun, Jefferson Hawkins, Andrew Perez
Directed by: John Dower
Release date: 2016-05-05
11.

A Billion Lives

4.7
8.8/10
A Billion Lives
In 20 years’ time, there will be nearly 1.6 billion smokers around the world. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit. The United Nations’ World Health Organisation expects a billion people will die prematurely from smoking this century. The products their doctors recommend are rarely effective and many are trapped. A new vapour technology was invented to give smokers a successful way to quit. But it was quickly demonised, and even banned in many countries. A perfect storm is brewing between smokers trying to quit, government regulators, and health charities funded by the powerful pharmaceutical industry. Director Aaron Biebert travelled across four continents interviewing doctors, scientists, and others working to save a billion lives. What he found was profound government failure, widespread corruption in the public health community and powerful subversion by big business.
Starring: Clive Bates, Delon Human, Oliver Kershaw, Jeff Stiers, John Summers
Directed by: Aaron Biebert
Release date: 2016-05-11
12.

Zero Days

4.7
7.8/10

Alex Gibney explores the phenomenon of Stuxnet, a self-replicating computer virus discovered in 2010 by international IT experts. Evidently commissioned by the US and Israeli governments, this malware was designed to specifically sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme. However, the complex computer worm ended up not only infecting its intended target but also spreading uncontrollably.

Starring: Joanne Tucker, Yossi Melman, Ralph Langner, Emad Kiyaei, Richard A. Clarke
Directed by: Alex Gibney
Release date: 2016-07-08
13.

Audrie & Daisy

4.5
7.2/10

A documentary film about three cases of rape, that includes the stories of two American high school students, Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman. At the time of the sexual assaults, Pott was 15 and Coleman was 14 years old. After the assaults, the victims and their families were subjected to abuse and cyberbullying.

Starring: Daisy Coleman, Jim Fall, Delaney Henderson, Darren White
Directed by: Jon Shenk, Bonni Cohen
Release date: 2016-09-23
14.

Gleason

4.4
8.4/10

At the age of 34, former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son expands to chronicle Steve’s determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition—utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible.

Starring: Rivers Gleason, Michel Gleason, Steve Gleason
Directed by: J. Clay Tweel
Release date: 2016-01-23
15.

One More Time with Feeling

4.3
8.3/10

Documents the writing, recording and performing of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ sixteenth studio album, Skeleton Tree.

Starring: Nick Cave, Susie Bick, Earl Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos
Directed by: Andrew Dominik
Release date: 2016-09-08
16.

HyperNormalisation

4.3
8.3/10

The extraordinary story of how we got to this strange time of great uncertainty and confusion—where those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed—and have no idea what to do. Where events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control—from Donald Trump to Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening—but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.

Starring: Adam Curtis, Muammar Gaddafi, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Ronald Reagan
Directed by: Adam Curtis
Release date: 2016-10-16
17.

Dancer

4.2
7.9/10

Sergei Polunin is a breathtaking ballet talent who questions his existence and his commitment to dance just as he is about to become a legend.

Starring: Sergei Polunin, Jade Hale-Christofi, Galyna Polunina, Vladymyr Polunin, Valentino Zucchetti
Directed by: Steven Cantor
Release date: 2016-09-16
18.

A Plastic Ocean

4.1
8.0/10

A documentary focused on plastic pollution in the world's oceans.

Starring: Craig Leeson, Tanya Streeter
Directed by: Craig Leeson
Release date: 2016-09-22
19.

Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids

4.1
7.9/10

For Justin Timberlake it's the final two dates of his 20/20 Experience World Tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Surrounded by the 25 band members of The Tennessee Kids and featuring show-stopping performances from one of the highest-grossing tours of the decade, the film is a culmination of the singer’s 134 shows and 2 years on the road.

Starring: Justin Timberlake
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Release date: 2016-09-13
20.

Houston, We Have a Problem!

4.1
7.9/10
Houston, We Have a Problem!
The cold war, the space race, and NASA’s moon landing are landmark events that defined an era. But they are also fodder for conspiracy theories. In Houston, We Have a Problem! filmmaker Žiga Virc adds new material to the discussion on both fronts. This intriguing docu-fiction explores the myth of the secret multi-billion-dollar deal behind America’s purchase of Yugoslavia’s clandestine space program in the early 1960s.
Starring: Josip Broz Tito, Slavoj Žižek, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton
Directed by: Žiga Virc
Release date: 2016-05-05

Also check Best documentary movies of 2015.

Check out our top containing the Best Documentary Movies of 2016. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

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