Art & Copy | I watched this in college so it’s been a while, but it’s a great nerdy documentary about advertising. It’s like the behind the scenes of Mad Men if they actually showed more of the campaign doing and less of the drinking.

Audrie & Daisy | A Netflix documentary featuring two different girls and aftermath they both faced after being sexually assaulted.

Bill Cunningham New York | Hands down my favorite documentary ever. Bill Cunningham is a legend and the film does a great job of showing who the man is behind the camera! It also made me re-fall in love with the city. [Interesting to watch in comparison with Smash His Camera. Very much the same concept of photography… but why is Bill Cunningham applauded and Ron Galella not?]

Blackfish | I don’t really know how one-sided this is, but it’s still great. And definitely makes you think twice about animals in captivity.

Bully | Very sad… very, very sad. Such an epidemic, but I think it’s a good movie!

Burt’s Buzz | A strangely entertaining and mesmerizing film about Burt from Burt’s Bees. The film moves quietly while uncovering both Burt’s past and quirky personality.

Class Divide | This HBO documentary showcases income inequality as NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood undergoes gentrification, specifically focusing on children attending a wealthy school and the children who live in the public housing across the street.

Dear Zachary | Not the best filmed documentary, but it definitely is one of the better stories. Very heartfelt. … and the best plot twist ever.

Deli Man– The Movie | A sweet documentary about the last few remaining delis in NYC and the traditions that a few deli men are trying to preserve. Don’t watch on an empty stomach! You’ll be craving grandma’s recipes the whole time.

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me | Follow the last leg of Elaine Strich’s career in this raw documentary. Even battling health issues and plain old age, Elaine Strich hasn’t lost her thing. With old footage of her early career and an inside look at her life, this documentary is a must-see for all fans of the theater.

Exit Through the Gift Shop | I knew nothing about Banksy before he did that 30-day stunt in NYC. I went to see one of the first of the series in the middle of the night and then I watched the documentary. Wish I had watched the documentary first! Really great look at what “art” is and who an “artist” is.

Finder’s Keepers | This is a cringe-worthy, too crazy to be real film about a man who accidentally bought a man’s amputated leg (in a grill… ha). This is a must watch; high entertainment value and just a bizarre story that you won’t be able to turn away from.

First Position | One of my favorite documentaries. My sister and I went on a road trip to see it and were not disappointed. It’s borderline crazy what these kids/families do, but it’s a perfect little view of the ballet world. Half made me wish I had stuck with ballet and half made me relieved I quit.

Food Inc | I watched this in college and went cold turkey (hehe) vegetarian after! I think you have to be in the mood or desperate or wanting to eat healthier to watch.

Hot Coffee | Remember the McDonald’s coffee law suit?! And how everyone thought it was ridiculous to sue McDonalds over coffee?! Must watch this. It’s not what you think. (The pictures are horrifying.) Mainly, it’s about litigation and the politics behind it.

JIG | I’m obsessed with Irish dancing and wish I had done it…. The kids are super cute!

Katy Perry Part of Me | If you don’t fall in love with Katy Perry after you watch this, then we can’t be friends 😉 She legitimately rocks. It’s so sad to watch her go through a breakup throughout the film, but her hard work and dedication is enough to motivate you to do just about anything.

Life In A Day | I haven’t watched this in a while, but I just loved it. It’s one of those feel good documentaries and it really gets you in the end!

Maidentrip | This is about a 14 year old girl who wants to be the youngest to sail around the world. It’s such an interesting documentary because she films a lot of it herself… and she basically grows up before your eyes. Interestingly, her motives for why she wants to do it emerge throughout the film and I doubt she truly understand the psychology of it when she started and then realized with all the time to be by herself and think.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It | Super amazing. MJ has obviously had his issues, but there’s no denying the fact that he was #talented. Really talented. But also really obsessive about his craft.

Mitt | Of course this is political, but if you watch it (regardless of your politics) for a behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to run for president, it’s fascinating. It’s no wonder these guys go completely grey! (And you really realize how important family/support systems are!)

My Kid Could Paint That | Makes you really question what is a) prodigy b) talent and c) art. I don’t know who I felt the most worse for, the kid… the mom… or the guy doing the documentary. At one point, he turns the camera on himself and makes the hard decision to continue with the documentary even though it may ruin the family’s life as they know it.

Mudbloods | A must see for anyone who loves Harry Potter! Get an insider’s peek at the new sport on college campuses based on J. K. Rowling’s quidditch. It’s strange, humorous, and overall captivating.

The Price of Gold | This is one of the 30 for 30 ESPN things and it is amazing!!! The untold story of Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding… there’s more to the story than what the news showed!

Nursery University | Let’s just say… this made me want to move out of the city asap. And it also made me way more fascinated with the Upper East Side moms. Please note: preschool in NYC may actually be the definition of insanity. It’s also pretty funny and you find yourself rooting for some kids/parents. (And worried about their psych bills as teenagers.)

The Queen Of Versailles | Oh. This is like watching a train wreck. You want to close your eyes and turn it off, but you just can’t. What starts off as an over-the-top view of an insanely wealthy family turns seriously south as the documentary goes on. Financial ruin doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The Race to Nowhere | This is a documentary every parent should watch and I think it’s a good idea for students eighth grade through college to watch as well. The Race to Nowhere is filled with different stories all about education in the United States and the pressure both parents and students feel.

Salinger | In.Ter.Est.Ing. Makes you want to reread all the classics! Such a man of mystery.

The September Issue | I’m obsessed with Anna Wintour and just loved this one. Plain and simple, loved it. It also made me kind of depressed, when they’re interviewing her daughter. Made me think… is it worth it?

The Short Game | One of the best filmed documentaries I’ve seen, ever? Yes. It’s like Dance Moms but for golf. The kids are SO freaking cute and it’s just such a captivating, fun documentary.

Smash His Camera | Interesting documentary about celebrity and the obsession with celebrities. Based on a photographer who is a serious paparazzi and has captured so many iconic celebrity photos.

The Woman Who Wasn’t There | I find watching 9/11 footage really difficult, but other than that part, it’s such an intriguing documentary. Definitely a must-see!



I'm not sure if you've watched this yet, but it is on Netflix instant play if you want to see it. I have seen Waiting for Superman in classes and on my own a few times and absolutely loved it! It is very inspirational and involves NYC. Hope you like it!

Kaitie Burger

Have you seen Miss Representation? It's about the portrayals of gender in media. I watched part of it in a class in college but finished out the whole film on my own. Available on Netflix!

Emily Savidge

I loved watching JIG and First Position! I recommend watching Girl Models, it is on Netflix, not the best documentary, but it is crazy what those poor girls go through!

Katie B

If you enjoy documentaries, I would definitely watch "Running the Sahara". It's an incredible video about a group of runners who do literally just that, they run across the Sahara dessert from the west coast of Africa to the east coast.

Kaitlyn Worley

I am so glad you added this list! I love a good documentary!! You should definitely try "Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf's" and "Jiro dreams of sushi" sometime!!

Mika P.

Thanks for this list! I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi the other day and you HAVE to see it- it's the BEST documentary I've seen yet. So inspiring and powerful!


I third "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"… it is awesome! It made me want to eat nothing but sashimi for days! And Blackfish.. oh my. I cried like a baby after watching that. Looking forward to watching some of your recommendations!

Stephanie Bartolome

"Restrepo" and "Hell And Back Again" are amazing military documentaries. I've found that what men and women in the armed forces experience during combat is a highly sensitivee topic. In fact, it's something my ex-fiance deemed "off-limits" during our conversations. These documentaries offer a glimpse into the lives of these men and women during and after their deployments to war zones. Warning: keep tissues nearby. I didn't even realize I was crying during "Restrepo" till it was over.

Anchored State

Emma Bradford

I just watched a great documentary called 422. It's about the dancer who choreographer NYC Ballet's 422nd ballet!

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