15+ Best Celebrity Documentaries you Must See (2022)

With Instagram and gossip sites, we might assume that we have a good insight into the lives of the rich and famous – but they literally just brush the surface!

If you really want to see how your favorite celebs grew up and what their day-to-day lives really look like, these must-see documentaries give you just that.

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From Beyonce’s breathtaking comeback Coachella performance to Chris Brown’s confessional documentary, you’ll have a front seat for the very best celebrity entertainment – all from the comfort of your couch!

So, let’s dive right in and uncover the 16 best celebrity documentaries around.

1. Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce

Beyonce is one of the few celebs that has managed to keep her private life out of the limelight and rarely shares snippets of what happens behind cameras. That said, this Netflix documentary series shows us how Queen Bey prepared for her comeback after giving birth to her twins, Rumi and Sir with her epic Coachella performance.

This jaw-dropping documentary shows the star’s incredible work ethic, uncovers Beyonce’s controversial diet, her workout routine, and her commitment to leaving a legacy as the first black woman to perform on the main stage at the world’s most iconic music festival.

Watch it on: Netflix

2. Miss Americana – Taylor Swift

This 90-minute documentary takes us on a personal journey, showing how Taylor Swift has struggled with keeping up her ‘good girl’ persona, battled with eating disorders and spent years beating herself up over bad press.

Miss Americana shows the making of Taylor’s albumLover, her release of insecurities and her decision to take a stand in politics and actually express her thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, this documentary shows how Swifty stopped being a young girl and blossomed into a strong and powerful woman.

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Watch it on: Netflix

3. Gaga: Five Foot Two

This emotional celebrity documentary shows Lady Gaga in her most vulnerable state. We see the performer working on her most personal album yet – Joanne, and her blossoming relationship with producer, Mark Ronson.

We also get an insight into Gaga’s daily battle with a chronic illness; the star is open and honest about how she’s struggling with fibromyalgia and the daily treatments that she has to try and overcome the pain. A definite must-watch that’ll make you love Gaga, if you’re not already a fan.

Watch it on: Netflix

4. Simply Complicated – Demi Lovato

We all know how Demi Lovato struggled with alcohol and drug addiction from their numerous visits to rehab, but we’ve never had a real insight into what drove them to such a low point. Within this YouTube documentary, we see how Demi struggled with childhood stardom, their experience with bullying and addiction and their painful heartbreak.

The brutally honest documentary shows us unseen interviews and recordings of Demi that will make you a fan of the star, if you’re not one already…

Watch it on: YouTube

5. One Direction: This Is Us

If you didn’t watch the boys rise to fame on the UK’sX-Factor, then don’t worry! The documentary series ‘This Is Us’ shows how One Direction rose to fame, became a global sensation and stayed true to their roots at such a young age.

Although this doesn’t show struggles, heartbreak and intimate details like some of the other celebrity documentaries on the list, it does let us reminisce on One Direction’s music as the short-film follows 1D on their 2012-2013 tour.

Watch it on: Netflix

6. Katy Perry: Part of Me

Amid her breakup with her ex-husband, Russel Brand, we get a unique insight into Katy’s personal life. She shares her strict upbringing, her struggles to fame and shows how she pushes her limits to deliver her lifelong dream of performing to her fans.

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This music documentary follows the singer on her yearlong California Dreams tour, so if you’re a superfan, you get to relive some special moments of Katy Perry’s extravagant concert.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

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7. Jonas Brothers: Chasing Happiness

This family documentary shows how The Jonas Brothers grew their relationship from being just siblings to bandmates and how their brotherly bond was tested as they rose to fame. It gives an insight into the band’s breakup and what truly happened that led the brothers to press pause on their band.

We also get to watch their reunion and how the Jonas Brothers pull together to rise once more!

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

8. Amy

Amy Winehouse was a true musical talent that lived a troubled life. This British documentary gives us a real insight into Amy’s struggles and battle with drugs and alcohol. Showing us never-seen-before home videos and voicemails, we get a small glimpse of how the celebrity was living, how she spiralled and messed up gigs – leading to her death at the young age of 27.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

9. Look, Mom, I Can Fly – Travis Scott

You might know Travis Scott as Kylie’s baby daddy, but his documentary “Look Mom I Can Fly” shows Travis’s craftsmanship and dedication to his music.

With never-seen-before home videos, Travis takes us through a journey of his childhood and upbringing in Houston. We see how a small-town rapper made it big, won Grammys and collaborated with his favorite artists while staying humble. We also get to view touching moments of Travis with his daughter Stormi – proving that his greatest achievement in life (beyond his music) is his beautiful daughter.

Watch it on: Netflix

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10. Michael Jackson’s This is It

This creative music documentary walks us through the months working up to Michael’s comeback ‘This is It’ tour. Sadly, the King of Pop died just a few months before he was supposed to set the stage – but lucky for us – his choreographer directed this insightful documentary, showing us how Michael was preparing for his tour of a lifetime and gives a glimpse of who he really was – despite all the controversy he’s been placed under.

Watch it on: Netflix

11. Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life

Chris Brown is a talented musician whose reputation was tainted at a young age because of his altercation with his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna. This intimate documentary doesn’t excuse Chris’ controversial behavior or famous offences, but does give us an insight into his troubled relationship, his regrets and the love that he still has for RiRi.

Besides his personal life, we also get to see how Chris rose to fame and how he continues to develop his craft, push boundaries and make legendary music for all of his fans.

Watch it on: Netflix

12. Justin Bieber: Seasons

If you’re not a Belieber already, this 10-part documentary series is bound to make you one! A vulnerable Justin shows an in-depth insight into his life whilst talking openly about his mental health, the making of his album,Changes, and his relationship with his beloved wife, Hailey.

The short episodes will have you laughing, dancing and crying as you get to see Hailey and Justin tie the knot and sadly watch Justin Bieber uncover his struggle with a chronic disease and drug addiction.

Watch it on: YouTube

13. The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears

It doesn’t get more controversial than this celeb documentary. Although this one isn’t from the point of view of the popstar herself, it still gives us a shocking insight into what is going on behind Britney’s closed doors.

Framing Britney Spears will make you nostalgic seeing all of her iconic 90s moments, but it will also give you extreme sadness as you learn about the unfair conservatorship her father has over her. The documentary explores how the media, paparazzi, her family and even Justin Timberlake so poorly treated Britney which led to her publicized downfall.

Watch it on: Hulu

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14. Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well-acquainted with the ever-popular Billie Eilish. She’s on repeat on your radios, graced magazine covers, and now, she’s on your Apple TV+.

The World’s a Little Blurry follows Billie’s short yet intense experience of fame at the young age of just 19. From uncovering some intriguing behind-the-scenes moments, to divulging her struggles faced with fame, Billie Eilish’s documentary gives fans a deep insight into her life, far beyond what is normally shown on TV and Instagram.

Watch it on: Apple TV+

15. Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil

While Demi’s first documentary uncovered their years of alcohol and drug addiction, their most recent one, Dancing With the Devil gave us a shocking insight into their near-fatal overdose in 2018.

Informing viewers of the horrific things that went down including suffering from a heart attack and brain damage, Demi also makes more surprising revelations about the hardships they’ve endured the past few years.

Watch it on: YouTube

16. jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

Whether you love him or hate him, admit it – you’re fascinated by the life of the controversial Kanye West. Instead of reading about Ye’s infamous feuds or latest rants and raves on Twitter, you can catch up on his biography with the Netflix documentary, jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.

The eye-opening show reveals unseen archival footage from the past two decades of the rapper’s life including his rise to stardom, the death of his mother and his outrageous 2020 presidential campaign. For the first time ever, you might actually start to understand why Kanye is the way he is. If you’re nosy about his journey, this is your chance to delve into the highs and lows of Kanye West’s life.

Watch it on: Netflix

So, there you have it! The very best celebrity documentaries that have been released to date!Let us know which one is your favorite by dropping a comment in the section below!

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FAQs

What is considered the best documentary of all time? ›

Best documentaries of all time
  • Shoah (1985) ...
  • Sans Soleil (1983) ...
  • The Thin Blue Line (1988) ...
  • Night and Fog (1955) ...
  • Harlan County U.S.A. (1976) ...
  • Dont Look Back (1967) ...
  • The War Game (1965) ...
  • Nanook of the North (1922)
12 Oct 2022

Where can I find best documentaries? ›

OUR TOP TESTED PRODUCTS
  • Kanopy. Best for Educational and Family Content. ...
  • Netflix. Best for Blockbuster Documentaries. ...
  • CuriosityStream. Best for HD & 4K Documentaries. ...
  • Hulu. Best for Celebrity Biopics and Entertainment Insiders. ...
  • Amazon Prime Video. Best for Political Documentaries. ...
  • History Vault. ...
  • MagellanTV. ...
  • PBS Documentaries.

How are documentaries created? ›

Documentary filmmaking requires research to provide the context, footage and other visuals, narration, and interviews that will appear in the film. There are several types of research that documentary filmmakers might undertake, including archival research, academic research, and in-person interviews.

What's the best documentary on Netflix at the moment? ›

Here are 40 of the best documentaries currently streaming on Netflix right now:
  • Procession. Year: 2021. ...
  • Dick Johnson Is Dead. Year: 2020. ...
  • Shirkers. Year: 2018. ...
  • 13th. Year: 2016. ...
  • No Direction Home. Year: 2005. ...
  • Crip Camp. Year: 2020. ...
  • Becoming. Year: 2020. ...
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Year: 2019.
27 Sept 2022

What is considered the greatest movie ever made? ›

1. Citizen Kane (1941)

What are the 3 types of documentaries? ›

In this VOD we examine 3 different types of documentaries: Observational, Expository and Participatory. You will see examples of films that have used each of the 3 types of genre successfully.

What are the four types of documentaries? ›

In 1991, American film critic and theoretician Bill Nichols proposed that there were six different modes of documentary—poetic, expository, reflexive, observational, performative, and participatory—each containing its own specific characteristics.

Are there any good documentaries on Netflix? ›

Documentaries
  • Our Planet.
  • Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified.
  • I AM A KILLER.
  • Night on Earth.
  • Life in Color with David Attenborough.
  • Our Great National Parks.
  • Animal.
  • Greatest Events of WWII in Colour.

Does Netflix have good documentaries? ›

Netflix has a bountiful of great documentaries that cover a diverse range of subjects, from true crime to sports to even filmmaking.

Where can I watch high quality documentaries? ›

Hulu, Netflix, PBS Documentaries, and Prime Video offer the most complete device support.

What is the best true story on Netflix? ›

Gangsters, fighters, athletes, serial killers, celebrities and so much more–these films are the best of the based-on-a-true-story stories.
...
Dramas Based on Real Life
  • Sand Castle.
  • Blue Miracle.
  • Outlaw King.
  • Public Enemies.
  • Rise of the Footsoldier Part II.
  • Rogue Agent.
  • The Pursuit of Happyness.
  • Donnie Brasco.

What is the biggest hit on Netflix? ›

Global Top 10
#Films (English)Hours viewed
1The Good Nurse68,310,000
2The School for Good and Evil41,950,000
3The Stranger9,170,000
4Wild Is the Wind8,890,000
6 more rows

What is #1 in the US today on Netflix? ›

#5 this week. #6 this week. #7 this week. #8 this week.
...
Top 10 By Country.
#Films in the United StatesWeeks in Top 10
1The Good Nurse1
2The School for Good and Evil2
3All Quiet on the Western Front1
4Blade of the 47 Ronin1
6 more rows

What are the top 5 most viewed movies? ›

Most Watched Movies Of All Time
  • Titanic (1997) ...
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ...
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) ...
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) ...
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) ...
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) ...
  • The Lion King (1994)

What is the #1 rated movie in the world? ›

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

What is the highest grossing documentary film of all time? ›

All Time Worldwide Box Office for Documentary Movies
RankReleasedMovie
12009Michael Jackson's This Is It
21984Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
32004Fahrenheit 9/11
42010Jackass 3D
69 more rows

What is the most common type of documentary? ›

Expository Documentary Films

One of the most familiar and popular types of documentary is Expository Documentaries. These are designed to help convince, inform or persuade viewers. It uses a narrator throughout the film and often presents an argument for what is right or wrong.

What is a documentary about a person called? ›

▲ A film or broadcast about the life or a real person. biography.

What are mini documentaries called? ›

Like a longer format documentary, a Micro‐documentary is storytelling about a non‐fiction subject. The length of a Micro‐documentary might be anywhere from 2‐5 minutes. A Micro- documentary might also be referred to as a short film or Microdoc.

What were documentaries originally called? ›

The very first films (pre-1900's) were called "actuality films" because they captured short snippets of real "actual" events, such as a boat pulling up to the dock or workers leaving a factory. So in essence, the first movies ever made were documentaries, also called newsreels.

What are the 6 documentary modes? ›

Nichols (1991, 2017) identifies six modes of representation in documentary films. They are the expository, participatory, observational, performative, reflexive and poetic modes.

What is a short documentary? ›

Mini documentaries are essentially short documentaries. Whereas a feature-length documentary can run as long as a full-length motion picture, mini documentaries can be as short as a few minutes long, though they typically run between 10 - 30 minutes in length.

What does a good documentary have? ›

A good documentary shows people from a different perspective than they're used to seeing in the media. It opens people's minds and hearts to the struggles of other people in the world. It makes people question the way things are and the way they should be.

What are the 5 elements of a good documentary? ›

Documentaries are a unique form of storytelling that can be used to educate and inform audiences on a variety of topics. To make a documentary effective, it is important to include five essential elements: a strong story, compelling characters, interesting visuals, accurate information, and a clear message.

› Basic Concepts ›

According to Webster's dictionary, documentary consists of written down documents. The Wikipedia defines documentary as a non -fictional motion picture with...
Types of documentary films or documentary mode is a film theory. This was created by film critic Bill Nichol's in 2001 as a way of categorising the differen...
The documentary film genre is an important part of cinematic history. Let's look at the different types, characteristics, and examples of each. Documentary ...

Who is the most famous documentary narrator? ›

Sir David Attenborough

Attenborough is most well-known for presenting both the Life and Planet Earth series, a nine-part natural history documentary series that spanned decades.

Who is the greatest documentary filmmaker? ›

Top 15 Famous Documentary Filmmakers of All Time
  1. Michael Moore.
  2. Alex Gibney.
  3. Claude Lanzmann.
  4. Dziga Vertov.
  5. Charles Ferguson.
  6. Michael Apted CMG.
  7. Asif Kapadia.
  8. Steve James.
15 Oct 2021

What are the 3 types of documentaries? ›

In this VOD we examine 3 different types of documentaries: Observational, Expository and Participatory. You will see examples of films that have used each of the 3 types of genre successfully.

Who are the best documentary narrators? ›

Carl Sagan, Werner Herzog, David Attenborough, Jacques Cousteau, Tamara Bernier, and many more! Narrating a science documentary is no easy task. One has to make complex material viscerally and emotionally appealing. One has to get both facts and intonation correct.

What do you call the person who talks in a documentary? ›

1. In American English (AmE), narrator or possibly commentator.

What do you call the person who speaks in a documentary? ›

Documentarian Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster.

Who is No 1 director in world? ›

Steven Spielberg

Who is the best Hollywood director ever? ›

The 50 greatest directors and their 100 best movies
  1. Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) ...
  2. Orson Welles (1915–1985) ...
  3. John Ford (1895–1973) ...
  4. Howard Hawks (1896–1977) ...
  5. Martin Scorsese (1942–present) ...
  6. Akira Kurosawa (1910–1998) ...
  7. Buster Keaton (1895–1966) ...
  8. Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007)
30 Jun 2022

What is the highest grossing documentary film of all time? ›

All Time Worldwide Box Office for Documentary Movies
RankReleasedMovie
12009Michael Jackson's This Is It
21984Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
32004Fahrenheit 9/11
42010Jackass 3D
69 more rows

Does Netflix have good documentaries? ›

Netflix has a bountiful of great documentaries that cover a diverse range of subjects, from true crime to sports to even filmmaking.

What are the 6 types of documentaries? ›

In 1991, American film critic and theoretician Bill Nichols proposed that there were six different modes of documentary—poetic, expository, reflexive, observational, performative, and participatory—each containing its own specific characteristics.

What is the most common type of documentary? ›

Expository Documentary Films

One of the most familiar and popular types of documentary is Expository Documentaries. These are designed to help convince, inform or persuade viewers. It uses a narrator throughout the film and often presents an argument for what is right or wrong.

What is the most common mode of documentary? ›

Expository Mode. This tends to be the mode most familiar to us. It is frequently used in nature and TV documentaries. Expository documentaries use the 'voice of God' narration where by the author provides a scripted commentary to accompany or illustrate visuals.

What does a good documentary have? ›

A good documentary shows people from a different perspective than they're used to seeing in the media. It opens people's minds and hearts to the struggles of other people in the world. It makes people question the way things are and the way they should be.

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