2019 End of Year Review – Part 1: The Top Documentaries of the Year

After merging documentaries in with traditional films last year, we’ve chosen to bring back a separate section. Here are our top 5 documentaries from 2019 we’d highly recommend checking out.

5. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened


If you hadn’t heard of ‘Fyre Festival‘ before 2019, you certainly had once this hit Netflix documentary was released in early January. Covering the build up, disaster and aftermath of the shambolic, this is a superbly entertaining documentary with a lot to say about a modern society that values celebrity culture above all else.

4. Diego Maradona


Asif Kapadia is a superb documentary filmmaker and ‘Diego Maradona‘ is an engrossing movie about the iconic footballer’s life, centering on his most successful period when playing for the Italian club Napoli in the 1980s. Capping off an unofficial trilogy about tragic icons after ‘Senna‘ and ‘Amy‘, ‘Diego Maradona‘ will thrill and entertain even those with a limited interest in the sport he played.

3. Free Solo


The winner of the documentary prize at the Oscars this year is a gripping movie about one man’s attempt to climb El Capitan without any safety equipment. It’s a film that both informs about this type of rock climbing the whilst giving an insight into what drives people to undertake such dangerous endeavours, and it’s really really good.

2. For Sama


A powerful piece of work about the experiences of living in the midst of war, told through the perspective of a woman and her family trying to survive and build a life in such an environment. Intimate and personal, ‘For Sama is about the human cost of war and whilst undoubtedly a tough watch at times, it’s a vital insight into the environment these people are living in.

1. Apollo 11


As immersive a documentary as you’re likely to see, ‘Apollo 11‘ is a thorough and detailed retelling of the moon landings, covering every aspect of the mission to put the first man on the moon. The definitive account of mankind’s greatest achievement and a perfect companion piece to my favourite film of last year, ‘First Man‘.

Narrowly missing this list: The Biggest Little Farm

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