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What are the best HBO documentaries?

To be fair, HBO is more than just the award-winning fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones. It's also home to some of the best documentaries ever! While we all have our go-to feel-good movies, isn't just interesting to develop an interest in educational or curiosity-triggering shows? By that, we mean documentary shows. And when it comes to documentaries, the possibility is endless. Some delve into the lives of politicians who drew national attention. Some are feature-length documentary shows about athletes who proved their prowess in sports and beyond. And some are cringe-worthy shows about young kids who are accused of murdering people.

So, if true-crime shows centering around young boys who committed heinous murders tickle your fancy, this is the perfect opportunity to satisfy your mind's curiosity. To all the nerds out there, here is a curated list of the best HBO documentary shows to give you more knowledge on audacious topics that you may or may not be knowledgeable in. You know, some sort of validation. And of course, to people who believe learning and entertaining can be rolled into one hobby--binge-watching--this is also a simple treat for you. Interesting music, realistic visuals, and moving plots--they are all found here! Here's a simple challenge to all of you: find an HBO documentary show that you've always wanted to watch but never did because of time constraint or you just think it's boring. Find one, give your takeaway, and share it with everyone. Happy Watching!

10 comments
  1. 1Beware the Slenderman

    23

    Dubbed to be one of the best HBO documentaries of all time, Beware the Slenderman is a film that follows the story of two girls as they kill an imaginary monster named Slenderman.

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  1. 2Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

    16

    Directed by Joe Berlinger, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills become one of the best documentary shows on HBO following the interesting case of 3 murders by young boys.

  2. 3When the Levees Broke

    10

    Showcasing how the United States thrived and coped with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke is a must-watch HBO documentary film directed by Spike Lee.

  1. 4Mommy Dead and Dearest

    7

    Centering around the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, Mommy Dead and Dearest is an HBO documentary film on HBO that puts the spotlight on her daughter Gypsy Rose as a prime suspect.

  2. 5Capturing The Friedmans

    7

    Capturing The Friedmans is a documentary film released in 2003 which is about the 1980s investigation of Arnold and Jesse Friedman for child molestation. It will take us on the circumstances following the arrest of the two.

  3. 6The Cheshire Murders

    6
    The Cheshire Murders is a documentary film which looks deeper on the crime committed by ex-convicts Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky who invaded the family home of Jennifer Hawke-Petit in Cheshire, Connecticut. 
  4. 7Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

    6

    Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is a documentary film which probes reports of pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Chruch, particularly on a group of men abused when they were kids at a Milwaukee school for the deaf. 


  5. 8Going Clear

    6

    Based on the book of the same name written by Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief prides itself as a staple in different lists of the best docu films.

  6. 9There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

    6

    There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is a documentary film released in 2011 which investigates the 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash caused by the driver Diane Schuler that has killed her and seven others. 

  7. 10Andre the Giant

    5

    Andre the Giant is a sports documentary that revolves around the wrestler André Roussimoff who goes by the name Andre the Giant. The documentary on HBO is directed by Jason Hehir and stars  Cary Elwes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Robin Wright.

  8. 11Arthur Miller: Writer

    5

    Arthur Miller: Writer is a documentary directed by Arthur Miller's very own daughter Rebecca Miller. The documentary highlights the life of Arthur Miller through his insights and interviews that were filmed throughout the years.

  9. 12Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

    5

    Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland is a documentary from HBO. The documentary covers the investigation behind what occurred to then 28-year-old activist Sandra Bland who was arrested and three days later, found dead on her cell.

  10. 13 Jim: The James Foley Story

    5

    Jim: The James Foley Story is an HBO documentary which is an in-depth look at the life and work of American photojournalist James Foley, who was killed by ISIS terrorists in 2014. This is an Emmy winning documentary film. 

  11. 14The Jinx

    5

    The Jinx is a six-part documentary released in 2015 directed by Andrew Jarecki which focuses on real estate heir Robert Durst, who was the main suspect in the disappearance of three people, including his wife. 

  12. 15Thought Crimes: The Case Of The Cannibal Cop

    4
    Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr examines the case of Gilberto Valle, a New York police officer accused of conspiring to kidnap and cannibalize women. The HBO documentary features Gary Allen, Violet Blue, and James A. Cohen.
  13. 163 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

    4

    3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets is a documentary film which investigates the aftermath of the fatal encounter of 17-year-old Jordan Davis and his friends with David Dunn who fired 10 bullets at their car that caused his death. 

  14. 17The Crash Reel

    0

    The Crash Reel is a documentary eye-popping film about one unforgettable U.S. athlete, the champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement and appeal, as well as the high stakes, of participating in extreme-action sports. 

10 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    October 21, 2017
    "Jim: The James Foley Story is almost unbearably sad but this film, made by a childhood friend, does not focus on the gruesome death, but is rather a celebration of the life lived before that moment in the desert. The story of Jim's life is told by his parents and brothers and sisters from their family home in New Hampshire but the fellow hostages that came home alive reveal the inspiring moments given to them by Jim before his untimely death. The movie, though heart-wrenching, does show Jim's family growing closer, albeit through shared agony. Indeed this should be on the top five of the best HBO documentaries."
    Refering to:
    13
    Jim: The James Foley Story
  • #2
    A
    Anonymous
    July 17, 2018
    "Huhuhu I just can't believe things like this actually happen in real life. T.T Just can't imagine that things like what happened in this one of the best HBO documentaries actually happened to kids :/ Poor kids. Anyways, the documentary is an eye-opening, that we just can't trust people just because the connotation of their job sounds like they won't commit any crime. We should always take care of kids so it won't happen to them! this is a nightmare!"
    Refering to:
    7
    Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
  • #3
    A
    Anonymous
    September 14, 2019
    "The Cheshire Murders is a stunning and compelling documentary that HBO put out on the 2007 home invasion in Cheshire. I watched this documentary hoping to gain some insight on the crimes that took place for my college psychology class and could not be more impressed with the film makers ability to capture such a horrible crime. If you are interested in documentaries or crime in general, you must check out The Cheshire Murders!"
    Refering to:
    6
    The Cheshire Murders
  • #4
    A
    Anonymous
    October 16, 2017
    "This is an interesting series done in a documentary style format. I love the suspense, cliff-hangers, and drama. I also enjoy the lead character, as I feel he really brings the Robert Durst character alive. The only thing I do not like about this series is that it is on HBO. I have to pay extra to see the show. So I tried to watch other the best HBO documentaries on this list but i think this is the best so far. "
    Refering to:
    14
    The Jinx
  • #5
    A
    Anonymous
    January 9, 2019
    "I have watched tons of documentaries made by Alex Gibney. So I had high expectations when i found out that Gibney is the brain of this docu. I have always been curious of Scientology which is we all know is a controversial subject matter. Through this i discovered chilling facts about that church. Who would have thought that right? So yeah i am going to add this to my long list of the best hbo documentaries"
    Refering to:
    8
    Going Clear
  • #6
    A
    Anonymous
    November 8, 2017
    "This was really an eyeopening. Something similar happened to my friend. Nobody suspected her problem except for ones really close to her. Even they were blindsided when she drove up the wrong side of the freeway and killed herself and one of her boys. This is a very vivid and honest documentary on HBO. It hit very close to home for me, but I believe it is an important documentary."
    Refering to:
    9
    There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
  • #7
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    Anonymous
    October 24, 2017
    "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets is a disturbing but informative documentary on hbo about the loss of a high school student's life. When I watched this documentary I was able to see the perspective from both sides, which I appreciate. It's unbiased which leaves me to decide for myself what I think and feel. Heart-wrenching though. "
    Refering to:
    16
    3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets
  • #8
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    Anonymous
    July 17, 2018
    "I was having goosebumps the moment I watched this documentary from HBO. I have an 11-year-old daughter and no parent would ever want their child to be harmed or do something brutal to other people :( I just wished it never happened. Though mental illness should also be taken into consideration since it's a diff story."
    Refering to:
    1
    Beware the Slenderman
  • #9
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    Anonymous
    October 29, 2017
    "I was looking on HBO one night when I watched Capturing The Friedmans. It is one of the best and now famous HBO documentaries I've seen. I just found it absurd that kids are worshipping the Dad. The documentary is more of lacking of emotional intellect but the documentary is moving."
    Refering to:
    5
    Capturing The Friedmans
  • #10
    A
    Anonymous
    January 9, 2019
    "Aside from watching almost all the best documentaries on HBO i am also a true-crime docu fan. I basically have watched everything that was popular and made the news. But this tale is def a one of a kind story that is full of twists and turns"
    Refering to:
    4
    Mommy Dead and Dearest
This list is about What are the best HBO documentaries
RankAnswersTypeVotesPrice
1Beware the SlendermanMovies 23 Paid
2Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood HillsMovies 16 Paid
3When the Levees BrokeMovies 10 Paid
4Mommy Dead and DearestMovies 7 Paid
5Capturing The FriedmansMovies 7 Paid
6The Cheshire MurdersMovies 6 Paid
7Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of GodMovies 6 Paid
8Going ClearMovies 6 Paid
9There's Something Wrong with Aunt DianeMovies 6 Free
10Andre the GiantMovies 5 Paid
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