THE BEST Documentaries

The Coach Who Never Punts

The Coach Who Never Punts

Football coach Kevin Kelley has an unusual strategy. No matter the field position, his team always goes for it on 4th down, and only does on-side kicks. He sites statistical analysis as the justification, but we think he’s just got balls.

GoPro’s Video Revolution

GoPro’s Video Revolution

CBS spoke with GoPro Founder and CEO Nick Woodman, who became a billionaire by selling cameras at a time when most other cameras are losing market share to smartphones, thanks to GoPro’s quality, durability and versatility.

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The World’s Cycling City

The World’s Cycling City

A short documentary by Streetfilms about Groningen. It’s a city in the Netherlands where people are encouraged to commute using bicycles, thanks to policies enacted during the 1970s and the cooperation of its citizens.

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth was a one-man show directed by Spike Lee, in which the former world heavyweight champion opened up and recounted both his highs and lows to live audiences. See it on HBO on 11/16/13.

1 (Trailer)

1 (Trailer)

1 is a documentary about the golden age of Formula 1 racing – a time filled with excitement and glory, but also blood and flames. Narrated by Michael Fassbender and featuring interviews with F1 experts, officials and racers.

Invasion: How Real is Watch Dogs?

Invasion: How Real is Watch Dogs?

Wondering why Watch Dogs is set in Chicago? The city has the most “extensive and integrated camera network” in the U.S. Polygon looks at the city’s multimillion dollar surveillance system and finds that fact is closing in on fiction.

Triforce Video Game Replicas

Triforce Video Game Replicas

Videogame prop maker Triforce is obsessed with the quality and fidelity of their products. That has earned them the respect of game developers, so much so that they’re now designing 3D models for games. See more of their work here.

Dear Mr. Watterson (Trailer 2)

Dear Mr. Watterson (Trailer 2)

Joel Allen Schroeder’s documentary about the legacy of Calvin & Hobbes will be in theaters soon and is available for pre-order. It doesn’t appear to have Mr. Watterson himself, but that’s to be expected. Also on iTunes.

Sign Painters (Trailer)

Sign Painters (Trailer)

(NSFW: Language) Sign Painters is a documentary by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon about an invisible – and slowly dying – artform. Features interviews with sign painters in the U.S. It also has a companion book. More here.

Design is One (Trailer)

Design is One (Trailer)

A documentary about Lella and Massimo Vignelli, two of the world’s most influential designers – despite not being household names, their work is almost everywhere. They’re even responsible for NYC’s iconic subway graphics and maps.

Lost & Found

Lost & Found

A brief documentary by Joey Bania about Blair Somerville, a New Zealander who creates “rustic automata.” His whimsical trinkets, sculptures and installations are made of found items, placed perfectly at the juncture of art and engineering.

Way of Life (Trailer)

Way of Life (Trailer)

Teton Gravity Research’s documentary about a community of alpine skiers and snowboarders. Way of Life was shot partly in 4K with the Red Epic mounted on a $750K camera rig. The song is The Prince is Coming by AraabMuzik.

20 Years Covering Combat

20 Years Covering Combat

(Graphic content) A short profile on Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic. Goran chronicles conflict-ridden areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, doing his part to open our eyes about the effects of war.

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I Am Street Fighter

I Am Street Fighter

World Warriors, put down your controller for a minute – or 1 hour and 12 minutes – and watch Capcom’s documentary about its prized creation. It features interviews with fans, creators and rivals. Thumbnail art is from Randis Albion.

The Globemaker

The Globemaker

A brief profile about Peter Bellerby and his company Bellerby & Co. Globemakers, preserving the art of handcrafting globes – taking commissions for movies, artists and other high profile clients. Documentary by Cabnine.

Narco Cultura (Trailer)

Narco Cultura (Trailer)

A documentary by Shaul Schwarz about drug traffickers in Mexico and narcocorrido. Mexico’s version of gangster rap, narcocorrido are ballads that glorify the life of drug traffickers. Chilling, surreal and profoundly depressing.

A Letter from Fred

A Letter from Fred

Green Shoe Studio held a singer-songwriter contest. They received an entry from 96-year old Fred Stobaugh. He wrote a song for his wife Lorraine, who recently passed away. Fred and Lorraine were married for 75 years.

The Imagineering Story (Trailer)

The Imagineering Story (Trailer)

The trailer for The Imagineering Story, a documentary about Walt Disney Imagineering. WDI is the creative group responsible for designing Disney’s world famous theme parks and other attractions. Coming in 2016.

The Secret Story of Toys

The Secret Story of Toys

A brief profile on a group of toy sculptors. Jason Frailey, Adrienne Smith and their colleagues make prototypes and molds of action figures, bobbleheads, busts and other toys and collectibles. Filmed by Anthony Ladesich.

Porcelainia

Porcelainia

76-year old artist Bobby Jaber is a retired chemistry and physics teacher. He creates mesmerizing sculptures inspired by science and mathematics. Be sure to stick to the very end for a funny scene. Filmed by Dave Altizer.

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The Mystery of Flying Kicks

The Mystery of Flying Kicks

(NSFW: Language) It’s not a martial arts film, but The Mystery of Flying Kicks is still worth watching. It explores the urban custom of throwing shoes up on power lines and the various reasons for and reactions to it.

Bankrupt by Beanies

Bankrupt by Beanies

A documentary about a man who became obsessed with collecting Beanie Babies, thinking that the little stuffed toys would be a foolproof investment in his kids’ future. Though they are probably worth more than our Pog collection.

The Magnetist

The Magnetist

A documentary about Micke, a cassette tape enthusiast. He’s not particularly interesting or talented. Then again, who is? A documentary about us would at most be as mundane as this one. And that’s why we couldn’t look away.

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Directed by Cullen Hoback, Terms and Conditions May Apply shows how the phrase “Internet privacy” has lost its meaning in light of the data gathering activities of online companies. Learn about privacy tools here.

NPR: Recycling Bottles

NPR: Recycling Bottles

NPR’s Planet Money visited a recycling plant and a bottle manufacturing facility in to see how used bottles are recycled. They found out that it takes less energy to turn recycled glass into bottles than if raw materials were used.

Richie Parker: Drive

Richie Parker: Drive

“I can’t say that there’s things I can’t do. Just things that I haven’t done yet.” Richie Parker is an automotive engineer at NASCAR racing team Hendrick Motorsports. He also has no arms. ESPN shares his story with us.

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