If you’re looking for something to watch for your next movie night, may we suggest a moving and thought-provoking documentary? We have a list for you. On it are complex stories from across the globe. They’re triumphant and heartbreaking, challenging and joyful. These films document life lived. They depict extraordinary people and events—so extraordinary, in fact, that they’ll stay with you long after the credits roll.
These great documentaries from the past 10 years are guaranteed to spark conversation. They’ll invite you to think deeply and consider new perspectives. If you’re in the mood to watch a doc, start (but don’t stop) with this list. On it are must-see films from Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay, Joshua Oppenheimer, Wim Wenders, Ai Weiwei, and Albert Maysles, for starters. If you like biographical films, check out Jane, Iris, or Finding Vivian Maier. If you’re a fan of Werner Herzog, check out Cave of Forgotten Dreams (if you haven’t already seen it, that is). Dive in to these docs—some of which are destined to be classics—and let us know your favorites.