10 documentary films of the last decade that you need to watch

  • 10 documentary films of the last decade that you need to watch

You've all seen, or at least heard about, the likes of Supersize Me, Bowling For Columbine and An Inconvenient Truth, but there are many great documentaries that don't involve people gorging themselves on McDonald's, or Al Gore threatening us with global warming scare stories.

Here are ten brilliant documentaries from the past ten years that will broaden your mind and have your hungry for info.

The Imposter (2012)

Nicolas Barclay, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy from Texas disappeared in 1997, only to turn up four years later in Spain.

How had he turned into a dark-haired, brown-eyed boy that was seven years older than Nicolas, and spoke with a French accent?

The Imposter tries to get to the bottom of the reappearance, and throws some stunning and unexpected twists at you while doing so.


Senna (2010)

Charting the career and life of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayton Senna, who is seen by many as the greatest driver ever to grace a Grand Prix circuit.

With focus on his white-hot rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost, we get a look behind the scenes at Senna's early life through to his untimely death in 1994.

The film was critically acclaimed and it won BAFTA Awards for Best Documentary and Best Editing and was nominated for Outstanding British Film.


Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

The Banksy directed film, which follows LA-based Frenchman Thierry Guetta, who spends his life video-taping everything and is obsessed with street art.

Eventually Guetta meets Banksy, and becomes a famous and successful street artist in his own right.

The film was nominated for Best Documentary Film Oscar despite continued speculation over whether it is a hoax 'prankumentary' or real.


Man On Wire (2008)

Crafted like a heist film, Man on Wire chronicles high-wire walker Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope between New York's Twin Towers.

With rare footage of the preparation and execution of the daredevil stunt, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play the wire-walking Frenchmen in The Walk, out later this year.


Life Itself (2014)

Based on the memoirs of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential film critics, Life Itself is full of interviews with Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorcese.

Paying tribute to the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and novellist famous for his work for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 to 2013.

Reviews of the film have praised it, regarding it as: "Rich in detail and warmly affectionate" and "a joyful yet poignant tribute to a critical cinematic legacy."


Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

Bagging the 2007 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, Taxi to the Dark Side recounts the brutal killing of an Afghan Taxi driver by American soldiers in a detention facility.

The film focuses on America and the CIA's policy on torture and upholding the rules of the Geneva Convention.

Despite getting into legal disputes, Taxi to the Dark Side was regarded as one of the best films of the year.


20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

When you're watching your favourite band or singer perform live, do you ever think about the background singers?

Most likely not, which is what 20 Feet From Stardom does - following the singers just out of the spotlight and finding out what lives they lead.

The documentary picked up a hatful of awards including critics' choice awards, film festival awards and the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.


Inside Job (2010)

Many people believe that the financial crisis that started in 2008 was caused by the corrupt big banks and was entirely preventable.

Inside Job looks at what the financial services industry had to play in the recession and how the consequences of the corruption affected millions of people worldwide.

The film bagged itself the Best Documentary Oscar, and while some critics praised its pace and humour, a few were angered by its left-wing leanings. 


Murderball (2005)

Wheelchair rugby is possibly the most violent team sport, as armour-clad wheelchair athletes tackle each other with enormous ferocity.

Oscar nominee, Murderball, follows the US wheelchair rugby team as they compete in the 2004 Paralympic Games and their fierce rivalry with Canada.

We get an insight into the lives and background of the wheelchair warriors who have been given a renewed passion for life after getting into the sport.


Blackfish (2013)

While orcas are really awesome and great at performing stunts at SeaWorld, people forget that they're called killer whales.

Blackfish draws attention to killer whales being kept in captive and the danger posed to the whales and their trainers.

The film focuses on an orca called Tilikum, who has been in captivity for over 30 years and, while it is a much-loved performer at the theme park, has killed three people.

The documentary was nominated for many awards and given largely positive reviews, but has received claims of inaccuracy from SeaWorld and orca trainers.

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