22 mind-blowing documentaries worth watching in 2022

Whether you are a music lover or a true crime enthusiast, these stunning documentaries from yesteryear are worth your time.


Dear Zachary: Letter to Son about Father (2008)

Oscilloscope Snapshots / Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Truly one of the most devastating crime documentaries ever made. Dear Zachary This is an absolutely incredible story that will make your tear ducts work overtime.

Where to see: Dear Zachary is currently available for streaming on Tubi.


An amazing documentary about Jonathan (2019)

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Filled with twists and turns An amazing documentary about Jonathan focuses on the hugely successful comedian facing addiction and terminal illness … or not? As a good trick, this shocking documentary plays better when you know as little as possible.

Where to see: An amazing documentary about Jonathan currently airing on Hulu.


Hate: Ji Ji Allyn and the killer addicts (1993)

Skinny Nervous Guy Prod. / Via YouTube

Known as the highest grossing student film of all time, Hated describes the late punk rock provocateur JG Allin and his band Murder Junkies in all their vile, shamelessly offensive and brutal notoriety. Debut feature film of the future Joker and Hangover director Todd Phillips, Hated extremely obscene and not for the faint of heart, but you are unlikely to see this stunning no-frills subculture anywhere else.

Where to see: Hated currently streaming on Tubi.


Cropsey (2009)

Cinema Purgatorio / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Matching the knowledge of a regional urban legend with the real story of convicted felon Andre Rand, Cropsey Is a gripping and challenging real crime story that draws you in and creates the atmosphere of a horror movie, despite the fact that the narrative is based on reality.

Where to see: Cropsey currently airs on Tubi, Vudu and The Roku Channel.


Grizzly (2005)

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An invariably interesting voice in popular science space, the gem of documentary work directed by Werner Herzog can be Grizzly, the gripping and ultimately tragic story of bear enthusiast and protector Timothy Treadwell as he tried to live peacefully among wild brown bears in Katmai National Park.

Where to see: Grizzly currently airing on Tubi and The Roku Channel.


They don’t have to grow old (2018)

Fathom Events / Courtesy of the Everett Collection

One of the most powerful documentaries ever made, Peter Jackson. They don’t have to grow old brings World War I footage to life more than 100 years ago with color, modern sound effects and frame rate adjustments. Jackson does incredible things with this film and as a result creates a living, breathing testimony to the fallen soldiers of the Great War.

Where to see: They don’t have to grow old is currently streaming on the Roku channel.


Overnight (2003)

Think Film / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Detailing the more nightmarish side of the Hollywood dream, Overnight follows director Troy Duffy as his inflated ego and extreme stubbornness are guiding his personal and professional life in a downward spiral throughout the production of his feature-length debut. The Boondock Saints

Where to see: Overnight currently airing on Tubi and Crackle.


Tread (2020)

Gravitas Ventures / Via YouTube

Fueled by entertainment, news footage and up-to-date interviews with members, Tread strikes a huge blow when you follow the real story of a man taken to the extreme and his unthinkable plan for revenge.

Where to see: Tread currently airing on Netflix and The Roku Channel.


King Kong: Handful of Quarters (2007)

Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

There isn’t much room for the good versus evil dynamic in traditional documentaries, but if you’ve been caught up in the Carol Baskin and Joe Exotic rivalry King of tigers, just wait until you see the ongoing battle between blue-collar PC gaming enthusiast Steve Wiebe and hairpin Billy Mitchell as they fiercely battle it out for the world record Donkey Kong v King Kong: A handful of quarters.

Where to see: King Kong currently available for rental through Video-on-Demand.


The Sunset Trilogy of Western Civilization (1981-1998)

Nu Image / Courtesy of Everett Collection

A trio of documentaries that made director Penelope Sphiris famous. The decline of Western civilization dives deeply into three different music scenes that originated in Los Angeles: the original punk rock scene, the 1980s hair metal craze, and the post-grunge krastpunk community of the late 1990s. With endlessly captivating interviews, stories and shadows from some of the biggest musicians in the world, and reflections on the tragedies that further define these eras. The decline of Western civilization must-see for any music lover.

Where to see: Parts one and two from The decline of Western civilization is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and the third is currently streaming on Tubi, Vudu and Roku Channel.


Capture the Freedmans (2003)

Magnolia Pictures / Everett Collection Courtesy

One of the most controversial documentaries of all time, Capture the Freedmans follows a father and son accused of unspeakable crimes in their community on Long Island. Using a narrative structure that later became famous in Making a killer, Capture the Freedmans questions the official police story, but never acquits the accused.

Where to see: Capture the Freedmans currently airing on HBO Max.


I think that we are alone now (2008)

Green media / via YouTube

V I think that we are alone now, director Sean Donnelly explores a couple of obsessive fans of 80s pop star Tiffany, displaying a loneliness and unrequited love not often seen in stories of those dangerously close to stalker territory.

Where to see: I think that we are alone now currently streaming on Tubi.


Thin blue line (1988)

Miramax Films / Via YouTube

Errol Morris’ groundbreaking documentary on the criminal trial of Randall Dale Adams, which critically examines the multiple inconsistencies in the case and the prosecutor’s wrongdoing, and showcases well-produced reenactments of the crime according to the testimony of all involved.

Where to see: Thin blue line currently aired on AMC +.


Anvil! Anvil’s story (2008)

VH1 Classic / Courtesy of The Everett Collection

A documentary about a Canadian heavy metal band, filmed by their former roadie. Anvil! Anvil’s story Is a commendable critical eye on the indomitable spirit of a band that never really succeeded among its peers. More than 20 years later, the group remains ambitious, embarking on a promising European tour and releasing their 13th album, which could be their last chance at musical stardom.

Where to see: Anvil! Anvil’s story currently available for rent on video on demand


Gray gardens (1975)

Portrait Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Defining feature of documentary history, Gray gardens remains an astonishing and exciting look at the reclusive duo of mother and daughter who lived in poverty in an abandoned mansion on Long Island. Selected for storage at the Library of Congress in 2010, Gray gardens remains the cornerstone of quirky documentary filmmaking.

Where to see: Gray gardens currently airing on HBO Max.


Behind the rug (1999)

Imagine Entertainment / via YouTube

Decades before viewers The dark side of the ring, the professional wrestling business was presented with an unprecedented amount of access to Behind the rug… Highlighting the careers of several famous wrestlers who sacrifice their bodies both inside and outside the ring, Behind the rug is a sensational and shocking testament to the most controversial era in wrestling history.

Where to see: Behind the rug currently available for rent on video on demand.


Wesley Willis: the father of rock and roll (2003)

Music Video Distributors / YouTube

Although the film is largely incoherent and “slice of life” in nature, Father of rock and roll is a glimpse of a day in the life of the late great Wesley Willis, a Chicago-based musician and entertainer whose harsh, surreal and often lewd songs have garnered loyal underground fans. This documentary on tackling mental health problems, homelessness and overweight is one of a kind and often heartbreaking.

Where to see: Wesley Willis: the father of rock and roll currently available for rent on video on demand.


Marvenkol (2010)

Film Guild / Everett Collection Courtesy

Sadly spoiled by a largely ignored fictional adaptation by Robert Zemeckis, Marvenkol Is a mesmerizing documentary based on a strange vanity that turns into an even more shocking real story.

Where to see: Marvenkol currently airing on Fandor and Kanopy.


American film (1999)

Sony Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Endlessly quoted, American film hilariously documents the story of Wisconsin-born filmmaker and Mark Borchardt as he attempts to complete an independent horror short. A very human story of determination in the face of many obstacles, American film it’s a movie to laugh at and even cheer on when all is said and done.

Where to see: American film currently available for rent on video on demand.


Three identical strangers (2018)

CNN Movies / via YouTube

A truly surreal story about three adopted men who discover that they are triplets. Three identical strangers it is a documentary that turns into dizzying twists and turns with revelations that make you dizzy.

Where to see: Three identical strangers currently airing on Hulu.


Murder act (2013)

Drafthouse Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

One of the most upsetting and mind-blowing documentaries in recent years. Murder act explores the Indonesian massacres of 1965 and 1966 through the eyes of two of their most famous participants in a completely unthinkable way. Murder act it is a very difficult hour, but ultimately an amazing achievement in documentary filmmaking.

Where to see: Murder act currently airing on Hulu and Tubi.


A group called “Death” (2012)

Drafthouse Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

A group called “Death” it is a startling look at a band that was defined “before its time” as a trio of African American brothers who were essentially punk rock pioneers who faced insurmountable difficulties because of their refusal to compromise. Rediscovered over thirty years later, A group called “Death” it’s a stellar story of undeniable talent and redemption that everyone should see.

Where to see: A group called “Death” currently broadcast on Fandor.

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