Documentaries That Delve Deeper

by holisticfox | created - 30 Dec 2015 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

Documentaries of many topics, all worth the watch... these are explorations of life, society, truth, mystery, and true crime... completely captivating and some are quite chilling.

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1. Making a Murderer (2015– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Crime

Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree who, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.

Stars: Dolores Avery, Steven Avery, Ken Kratz, Brendan Dassey

Votes: 79,728

2. Zeitgeist (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, History

Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues.

Director: Peter Joseph | Stars: Chogyam Trungpa, Jordan Maxwell, George Carlin, Bill Hicks

Votes: 46,943

3. Thrive: What on Earth Will it Take? (2011)

Unrated | 132 min | Documentary

An unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what's really going on in our world by following the money upstream - uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every ... See full summary »

Directors: Steve Gagné, Kimberly Carter Gamble | Stars: Foster Gamble, Duane Elgin, Nassim Haramein, Steven M. Greer

Votes: 2,626

4. Earthlings (2005)

95 min | Documentary, Horror

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Director: Shaun Monson | Star: Joaquin Phoenix

Votes: 16,578

5. Vaccine Nation (2008)

140 min | Documentary

This Gary Null, Ph.D. documentary challenges the assumption that vaccines are PERFECTLY safe. The use of heavy metals such as mercury, connections to autism and the high number of vaccines ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Null

Votes: 71

6. 911: In Plane Site (2004 Video)

52 min | Documentary

What "In Plane Site" accomplishes that no other video expose' on September 11th has to date, is it exposes the viewer to a barrage of news clips from a majority of the mainstream news ... See full summary »

Director: William Lewis | Stars: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell

Votes: 1,366

8. What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004)

Not Rated | 109 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

38 Metascore

A fictional photographer's quest to spiritually rediscover herself is interspersed with documentary footage of scientists and theologians discussing the philosophical aspects of quantum physics.

Directors: William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente | Stars: Marlee Matlin, Elaine Hendrix, John Ross Bowie, Robert Bailey Jr.

Votes: 12,916 | Gross: $10.94M

9. The Staircase (2004–2018)

TV-MA | 629 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

The high-profile murder trial of American novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife in 2001.

Stars: Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Ron Guerette, Tom Maher

Votes: 14,245

10. The Central Park Five (2012)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History

79 Metascore

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon | Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana

Votes: 6,431 | Gross: $0.27M

11. Killer Legends (2014)

TV-MA | 86 min | Documentary, Crime, History

Delving into our collective nightmares, this horror-documentary investigates the origins of our most terrifying urban legends and the true stories that may have inspired them.

Director: Joshua Zeman | Stars: Rachel Mills, Joshua Zeman, Stephen Winick, James Presley

Votes: 2,955

12. The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012)

Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

61 Metascore

An experimental documentary that uses archival footage, interviews, and fictionalized scenarios to tell the story of the people around Jeffrey Dahmer, during the summer of his arrest in 1991.

Director: Chris James Thompson | Stars: Andrew Swant, Pamela Bass, Jeffrey Jentzen, Pat Kennedy

Votes: 1,786

13. Cropsey (2009)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Crime, Horror

73 Metascore

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman | Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis, Dorothy D'Eletto

Votes: 7,277 | Gross: $0.05M

14. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

71 Metascore

Nick Broomfield's second documentary about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, focusing on her mental state on death row.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill | Stars: Aileen Wuornos, Nick Broomfield, Terry Humphreys-Slay, Leitha Prather

Votes: 6,085 | Gross: $0.10M

15. Tabloid (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

74 Metascore

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw

Votes: 6,336 | Gross: $0.68M

16. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Ray Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 20,291 | Gross: $1.21M

17. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood, Dick Clay

Votes: 14,143

18. H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer (2004)

Unrated | 64 min | Documentary, Crime, History

Torture chambers, acid vats, greased chutes and gassing rooms were just some of the devices of death designed by the Torture Doctor, H.H. Holmes in his castle of horrors. Follows Holmes' entire life as a criminal mastermind.

Director: John Borowski | Stars: Tony Jay, Harold Schechter, Thomas Cronin, Marian Caporusso

Votes: 1,590

19. Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000 TV Movie)

Unrated | 130 min | Documentary, Crime

The case of the West Memphis Three, its questionable circumstances and the parties involved are followed up years later.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Damien Wayne Echols, Melissa Byers, Norris Deajon, Tim Sullivan

Votes: 7,532

20. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Not Rated | 121 min | Documentary, Crime

85 Metascore

A further followup of the case of the West Memphis Three and the decades long fight to exonerate them that finally gained traction with new DNA evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Gary Gitchell, Todd Moore, Dana Moore, Pam Hobbs

Votes: 8,597

21. Of Dolls and Murder (2012)

Not Rated | 70 min | Documentary, Crime, Mystery

Of Dolls and Murder explores a haunting collection of dollhouse crime scenes and our universal fascination with murder. From CSI and real-life forensics, to the Body Farm and a crime ... See full summary »

Director: Susan Marks | Stars: John Waters, Jamie Bowen, Darrolyn Butler, Rajesh Chopra

Votes: 114

22. Inside Story: The Silence of the Lambs (2010 TV Movie)

91 min | Documentary

With interviews from cast and crew, including stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and director Jonathan Demme, you'll hear how a film with a young director trained in B-movies and cheesy ... See full summary »

Stars: Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Votes: 80

23. Biography (1987– )
Episode: Jack the Ripper: Phantom of Death (1995)

50 min | Documentary, Biography

In the annals of crime, perhaps no name evokes terror more than that Jack the Ripper. Although this anonymous killer committed his gruesome murders more than a century ago, his name lives ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Perkins, Brian Saxton, Lillian Harlan, Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett

Votes: 70

24. Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)

Not Rated | 165 min | Documentary, History

A reassessment of the tragedy at Waco that left 76 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect dead.

Director: William Gazecki | Stars: Dan Gifford, Clive Doyle, Jack Harwell, Joseph Penno

Votes: 3,045

25. Ethos (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson, Ethos explores the mechanisms in our systems that work against democracy, the environment and our own personal liberty.

Director: Pete McGrain | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Justin Lewis, Bill Hogan, Noam Chomsky

Votes: 1,145

26. Miss Representation (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.

Directors: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Kimberlee Acquaro | Stars: Pat Mitchell, Jackson Katz, Jim Steyer, Marissa Mayer

Votes: 3,392

27. Ancient Aliens (2009– )

TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary, History, Sci-Fi

Science and mythology - and how they are the same thing.

Stars: Robert Clotworthy, Giorgio Tsoukalos, David Childress, Jonathan Young

Votes: 8,393

28. Tiny Shoulders, Rethinking Barbie (2018)

91 min | Documentary

Barbie, the most popular doll ever created is a fashion icon and a target for feminists. This telling documentary features new footage, access to Barbie's biggest reinvention, and examines ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins | Stars: Richard Dickson, Kristina Duncan, Michelle Chidoni, Kim Culmone

Votes: 150

29. Primal Screen (2017– )

Not Rated | Documentary, Horror

Primal Screen is a documentary about a person's childhood fear of ventriloquist dummies and dolls due to the uncanny valley.

Stars: Patrick Albanesius, Ryan Alessi, Jon Alexi, Natisha Anderson

Votes: 46



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