Documentaries have a way of leaving a lasting impact on us and giving us insight into a world we’ve never known, especially these 5 best documentary films.  All these films measure the potential of determination and perseverance in some way, and all the films will leave you talking and sharing stories of these interesting individuals for quite some time.

  1. “Man on Wire” The breathtaking story of Philippe Petit is one that transcends all genres.  The James Marsh directed documentary tells of Petit’s daring tight-rope walk across the twin towers in 1974. Since Petit was arrested immediately upon completing the walk, the documentary tells the story from a point-of-view that most resembles a heist movie.

  2. “Hoop Dreams” The documentary tells the story of two African America boys, William Gates and Arthur Agee, trying to live up, or even overcome, the titles and expectations expected of them. Steve James’s documentary  is one of the greatest documentaries of all time and should be seen by everyone, regardless if you are a fan of sports or not.

  3. “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” The worst part about this Seth Gordon directed documentary that so many people haven’t seen it or even given it a shot. Featuring Steve Wiebe’s multiple attempts to claim the world record in Donkey Kong and Billy’s constant denial of Steve’s accomplishments, the documentary creates a hero and a villain without a script. No matter if you’ve ever been into video games or not, this film should be at the top of your must-see list.

  4. “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse”  “Apocalypse Now” itself is a landmark in cinema, but, after viewing one of the best documentaries of all time, you can see what a landmark the film was for Francis Ford Coppola.  The film placed an enormous strain on his life, both professional and personally, and that’s never been more evident than in this documentary.

  5. Super Size Me”  It may not be a flawless documentary, but few films have had as much of a lasting impact as Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me.” The effects of what a diet composed of McDonald’s can do to the body frightened and shocked thousands of viewers leading to massive changes in McDonald’s policies.