What are the best Oscar-winning documentaries?

asked by Anonymous
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13 solutions
  1. 14



    Woodstock is a documentary movie directed by Michael Wadleigh together with seven editors including Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Stan Warnow in 1970. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. 


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    Irma Duarte
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "I don't usually care for documentaries, and the Oscar-winning documentary Woodstock was no exception. I was bored, and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I guess if I am comparing it to other documentaries I have seen, I would call it average. "
  2. 10

    #2American Dream

    American Dream

    American Dream is a documentary movie directed by Barbara Kopple and co-directed by Cathy Caplan, Thomas Haneke, and Lawrence Silk in 1990. It won Best Documentary at the 1991 Academy Awards and Sundance Film Festival. 


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    Dorothy Owens
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Oscar Nominees. Best Picture. Call Me by Your Name. Actor in a Leading Role. Timothée Chalamet. Actress in a Leading Role. Sally Hawkins. Actor in a Supporting Role. Willem Dafoe. Actress in a Supporting Role. Mary J. Animated Feature Film. The Boss Baby. Cinematography. Blade Runner 2049. Costume Design. Beauty "
  3. 9

    #320 Feet from Stardom

    20 Feet from Stardom

    20 Feet from Stardom is a documentary movie directed by Morgan Neville and produced by Gil Friesen in 2013 which follows the behind-the-scenes of backup singers. It won Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. 


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    Christopher Perkins
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "Fufils criteria, it is a documentary on background singers and won an Oscar. has 4.5/5 star reviews"


Did you know that Kukan and Target for Tonight from 1941 were the first awardees of the Academy Award for Documentary FeatureThis 1941 award given for feature-length documentaries was first given as Special Awards. Since then, the Academy Award for Documentary Feature has been awarded to deserving documentaries each year. Until now, it is every documentary filmmakers dream to be recognized by their target audience and of course by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Winning an Oscar or even being nominated is such a great moment in a filmmaker's career because it may lead to new opportunities for their next films. 

Documentary films are a lot more complicated to make compared to other movies. Documentaries tell a true story in its rawest form possible and aim to inspire viewers and spread awareness about a certain subject. Docus oftentimes leaves a certain emotion or effect to its viewers. They could be moving, angering or saddening. The best of the best documentaries have received recognition from award-giving bodies like the Academy. Some of the best Oscar-winning documentary films are Woodstock, American Dream, An Inconvenient Truth, Man on Wire, March of the Penguins, and Bowling for Columbine though there are times when critically acclaimed documentaries like Paris is burning, Fahrenheit 9/11, and The Thin Blue Line were never nominated.

  1. 8



    Undefeated is a sports documentary movie directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin in 2011. This film is about the high school football team Manassas Tigers of Memphis and won Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Academy Award.


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    Jeffrey Jackson
    Written on May 23, 2018
    "Undefeated is a sports documentary about a football team and a dynamic new coach. The coach leads the team to victory while doing everything he can to help them with their studies"
  2. 5

    #5Hearts and Minds

    Hearts and Minds

    Hearts and Minds is a war documentary movie directed by Peter Davis in 1974. This film is based on former President Lyndon B. Johnson and won the 47th Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


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    Kimberly Schultz
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "This movie is an eye-opening look into the turmoil that surrounded the Vietnam War. It doesn't only show what it did to those in Vietnam, but it also discusses how it affected America as a whole. This was especially courageous to produce right after the war ended, as the movie was released in 1974. Definitely important to watch. "
  3. 5

    #6An Inconvenient Truth

    An Inconvenient Truth

    An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary shown in 2006 about the horrors of climate change. It was directed by Davis Guggenheim as he follows former Vice President Al Gore's advocacy to educate people on global warming. 


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    Evelyn Kennedy
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "Enlightening documentary! It is a must watch for those who don't believe in climate change. It will definiately open your eyes to sad reality that the future generations will face."
  4. 3

    #7White Wilderness

    White Wilderness

    White Wilderness is an American-Canadian nature documentary movie directed by James Algar and narrated by Winston Hibler in 1958. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions and won the Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.


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    Brian Walsh
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "I bought this because I was curious how accurate it was and to find out what was known back when it was made. It's fun to watch and compare what we know now as compared to back then. It was a different time and the narrator makes that clear. "
  5. 1

    #8Bowling for Columbine

    Bowling for Columbine

    Bowling for Columbine is a documentary film directed and narrated by Michael Moore. This documentary tells the story of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


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  6. 1



    Citizenfour is a documentary movie directed by Laura Poitras in 2014 starring Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald. It won Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Academy Awards and Critics' Choice Movie Award. 


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    Aaradhya Gupta
    Written on May 24, 2018
    "This feature feels like a film you should not be able to watch. Snowdon allegedly revealed details no one was supposed to know about. I do not like the revealing nature of this documentary."
  7. 0

    #10March of the Penguins

    March of the Penguins

    March of the Penguins is a documentary film that runs for 1 hour and 26 minutes. It was directed by Luc Jacquet and released on June 24, 2005. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.



    Bertha Cano
    Written on February 14, 2019
    "March of the Penguins is a great documentary to watch with the family. The shots are breathtaking and it will touch your heart "
  8. 0

    #11Man on Wire

    Man on Wire

    Man on Wire is a BBC documentary which explores Philippe Petit's preparations for historically walking across a high wire between New York's Twin Towers. This documentary was directed by James Marsh.


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    He Zhang
    Written on February 14, 2019
    "First time I watched this and I immediately know why it won the Academy Award for best documentary feature. Before watching the docu, I thought Philippe Petit is just some suicidal guy who wants attention... but his daring stunt was actually proof that every person has that inner voice convincing us to chase our own dreams and find that great sense of fulfillment "
  9. 0

    #12The Cove

    The Cove

    The Cove is a 2009 award-winning documentary film directed by Louie Psihoyos, starring Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, and Hardy Jones. It exposes animal cruelty in a cove near Taijii, Japan with the help of a renowned dolphin trainer.


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    Jacob Perry
    Written on February 14, 2019
    "This may be Heartbreaking to watch but I really think this docu should be seen by everyone. It will definitely change the way you think about marine parks or facilities with dolphins"
  10. 0

    #13Inside Job

    Inside Job

    Inside Job is a 2010 American documentary film, directed by Charles Ferguson. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at Cannes Festival. It features the economic recession in the US brought about by the 2008 financial crisis.


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    Laura Medina
    Written on February 14, 2019
    "Others might find this boring but this is the most detailed and well-explained documentaries out there"


Best What are the best Oscar-winning documentaries
1WoodstockMovies 14 Paid
2American DreamMovies 10 Paid
320 Feet from StardomMovies 9 Paid
4UndefeatedMovies 8 Paid
5Hearts and MindsMovies 5 Paid
6An Inconvenient TruthMovies 5 Paid
7White WildernessMovies 3 Paid
8Bowling for ColumbineMovies 1 Paid
9CitizenfourMovies 1 Paid
10March of the PenguinsMovies 0 Paid

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