For decades now, one of the buzziest things you’ll hear at a film festival is, “The best movies here are the documentaries.” It’s often a true statement, though maybe it’s not really about film festivals. For some of us, few things in the movie world can beat the vibrance of nonfiction — the excitement of filmmaking that’s suffused with realty, with life itself. Our list of the year’s best documentaries is a testament to the range of what nonfiction cinema has become. It’s history, it’s activism, it’s portraiture, it’s personal, it’s about science and music and literature and politics and royalty and family… and Pez. We invite you to compare your favorites with ours, and to sample the movies on this list you haven’t seen for the gems they are.
The Best Documentaries of 2022