List of lists – best documentaries of 2015

Let’s go “meta” once in a while, this is the idea I had few days back when I thought it would be interesting to make a list of lists, of course about documentaries. So, for the fun of it, but also because it might turn out into something surprisingly fascinating, I’ve decided to collect as many lists about “best non-fiction/documentary of 2015” as possible, newspapers, blogs, websites, magazines, personal lists and anything else will go. As usual with best-of-the-year-lists, and it’s particularly true for non-fiction movies, the most insightful part of the endeavour will probably be to see what other people have watched, that is what documentaries were distributed in different countries (in theatres or in other formats) during 2015, more than agreeing or not with someone’s choices.

This page will be updated periodically

Indiewire_best_doc_2015

Indiewire – The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 (here the original article):

  • 20. “The Hunting Ground” (Andrea Pino)
  • 19. “Heart Of A Dog” (Laurie Anderson)
  • 18. “Prophet’s Prey” (Amy Berg)
  • 17. “Seymour: An Introduction” (Ethan Hawke)
  • 16. “The Seven Five” (Tiller Russell)
  • 15. “The Jinx” (Andrew Jarecki)
  • 14. “The Pearl Button” (Patricio Guzmán)
  • 13. “The Salt of the Earth” (Wim Wenders)
  • 12. “In Jackson Heights” (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 11. “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution” (Stanley Nelson)
  • 10. “Junun” (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • 9. “Dreamcatcher” (Kim Longinotto)
  • 8. ”Listen To Me Marlon” (Stevan Riley)
  • 7. “Best of Enemies” (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville)
  • 6. “The Look of Silence” (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • 5. “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” (Brett Morgen)
  • 4. “Amy” (Asif Kapadia)
  • 3. “(T)error” (Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe)
  • 2. “Meru” (Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi)
  • 1. “Cartel Land” (Matthew Heineman)

 

Men’s Journal – 13 must-watch docs of 2015 (original article here):

  • Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman)
  • Stray Dog (Debra Granik)
  • Winter of Fire (Evgeny Afineevsky)
  • Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
  • Listen to Me Brando (Stevan Riley)
  • Racing Extinction (Louie Psihoyos)
  • Going Clear (Alex Gibney)
  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • Meru (Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi)
  • Call Me Lucky (Bobcat Godthwait)
  • Best of Enemies (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville)
  • The Look of Silence  (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • All Things Must Pass (Colin Hanks) 

  

NonFics – The 6 Must See Musical Dicumentaries of 2015 (original here): 

  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n’ Roll (John Pirozzi) 
  • Junun (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • A Poem is a Naked Person (Les Blank)
  • Rubble Kings (Shan Nicholson)
  • Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke)

  
Paste – The 20 Best Documentaries of 2015 (here the article): 

  • 20. Finders Keepers (Bryan Carberry, J. Clay Tweel)
  • 19. What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus)
  • 18. The Wolf Pack (Crystal Moselle)
  • 17. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 16. Best of Enemies” (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville)
  • 15. The Nightmare (Rodney Ascher)
  • 14. Welcome to Leith (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker)
  • 13. Approaching the Elephant (Amanda Wilder) 
  • 12. We Come as Friends (Hubert Sauper)
  • 11. Stray Dog (Debra Granik) 
  • 10. Heart Of A Dog” (Laurie Anderson)
  • 9. Western (Bill Ross, Turner Ross)
  • 8. Brand: A Second Coming (Indi Timoner) 
  • 7. Iris (Albert Maysles)
  • 6. Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke)
  • 5. Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy Berg)
  • 4. In Jackson Heights” (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 3. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • 2. (T)error (Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe
  • 1. Cartel Land” (Matthew Heineman)

  
Screen Daily – critics’ top documentaries of 2015 (complete article here):

Fionnuala Halligan

  • My Nazi Legacy (David Evans)

Tom Grierson

  • (T)error (Lyric R Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe)

Allan Hunter

  • The Fear of 13 (David Sington)

Dan Fainaru

  • Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones)

Lee Marshall

  • Behemoth (Zhao Liang)

Jonathan Romney 

  • De Palma (Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow)

Lisa Nesselson

  • Where To Invade Next (Michael Moore)

Charles Gant

  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)

Wendy Ide 

  • Behemoth (Zhao Liang)

James Marsh

  • The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)

  
Awards Daily – Seven Great Documentaries of 2015 (here the original article): 

  • The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • Heart Of A Dog (Laurie Anderson)
  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Alex Gibney)
  • Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
  • Listen To Me Marlon” (Stevan Riley)

  
Philly.com – Best documentaries of 2015  (original article here): 

  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones)
  • Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • What Happened Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus) 
  • The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) 

  
Keyframe – The Best Documentaries of 2015 (here the original):

  • 1. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • 2. The Iron Ministry (J.P. Sniadecki)
  • 3. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 4. The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzmán)
  • 5. The Royal Road (Jenni Olson)
  • 6. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)
  • 7. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 8. What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus)
  • 9. Iris (Albert Maysles)
  • 10. Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)

  

Nonfics – The 15 Best Documentaries of 2015 (here the original): 

  • 15. Evaporating Borders (Iva Radivojevic)
  • 14. Best of Enemies (Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville)
  • 13. Finders Keepers (J. Clay Tweel and Bryan Carberry)
  • 12. The Nightmare (Rodney Ascher)
  • 11. In the Basement (Ulrich Seidl)
  • 10. The Iron Ministry (J.P. Sniadecki)
  • 9.  Stray Dog (Debra Granik) 
  • 8. Approaching the Elephant (Amanda Wilder)
  • 7. The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders)
  • 6. We Come as Friends (Hubert Sauper)
  • 5. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 4. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 3. The Russian Woodpecker (Chad Gracia)
  • 2. A Poem is a Naked Person (Les Blank)
  • 1. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)

  
Doc Soup – Top Ten Documentaries of 2015 (original article here):

  • 10. Hunting Ground (Kirby Dick)
  • 9. Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • 8. The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle)
  • 7. Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones)
  • 6. Almost There (Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden)
  • 5. Winter on Fire (Evgeny Afineevsky)
  • 4. Stand By for Tape Playback (Ross Sutherland)
  • 3. Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
  • 2. Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman)
  • 1. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)

  
Peter Bradshaw – Best documentaries of 2015 (read the original here): 

  • Amy (Dir. Asif Kapadia)
  • The Look of Silence (Dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • He Named Me Malala (Dir. Davis Guggenheim)
  • A Syrian Love Story (Dir. Sean Mcallister)
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Dir. Alex Gibney)
  • We Are Many (Dir. Amir Amirani)
  • The Last of the Unjust (Dir. Claude Lanzmann)
  • Beyond Clueless (Dir. Charlie Lyne)
  • Best of Enemies (Dirs. Morgan Grenville, Robert Gordon)
  • My Nazi Legacy (Dir. David Evans) 

  

Ray Pride – Fifteen Feature Documentaries For 2015 (original’s here

  • 1. The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer) 
  • 2. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 3. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson) 
  • 4. Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones) 
  • 5. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 6. The Iron Ministry (J. P. Sniadecki) 
  • 7. The Russian Woodpecker (Chad Gracia) 
  • 8. We Come As Friends (Hubert Sauper)
  • 9. Almost There (Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden)
  • 10. Iris (Albert Maysles)
  • 11. Listen To Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • 12. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson) 
  • 13. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)
  • 14. Sembène! (Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman)
  • 15. Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison of Belief (Alex Gibney)

  

3rd Annual Nonfics Year-End Poll (the complete list, 103 docs, here

  • 1. The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer) 
  • 2. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 3. Best of Enemies (Dirs. Morgan Grenville, Robert Gordon)
  • 4. Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • 5. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman) 
  • 6. Stray Dog (Debra Granik)
  • 7. Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman)
  • 8. Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
  • 9. Finders Keepers (J. Clay Tweel and Bryan Carberry)
  • 10. The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle)

  
The Film Stage – The Best documentaries of 2015 (here the original): 

  • Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • Ballet 422 (Jody Lee Lipes)
  • Best of Enemies (Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon)
  • Call Me Lucky (Bobcat Goldthwait
  •  Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman)
  • Cobain: Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
  • Democrats (Camilla Nielsson)
  • Finders Keepers (Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel)
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Alex Gibney)
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones)
  • The Hunting Ground (Kirby Dick)
  • In My Father’s House (Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg)
  • Iris (Albert Maysles)
  • Junun (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • Listen to Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
  • The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzmán)
  • The Russian Woodpecker (Chad Gracia)
  • The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado)
  • Stray Dog (Debra Granik)
  • We Come as Friends (Hubert Sauper)
  • Leith (Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker)
  • What Happened Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus)
  • The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle)

Ray Pride – Fifteen Feature Documentaries For 2015 (original’s here

  • 1. The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer) 
  • 2. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 3. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson) 
  • 4. Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones) 
  • 5. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • 6. The Iron Ministry (J. P. Sniadecki) 
  • 7. The Russian Woodpecker (Chad Gracia) 
  • 8. We Come As Friends (Hubert Sauper)
  • 9. Almost There (Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden)
  • 10. Iris (Albert Maysles)
  • 11. Listen To Me Marlon (Stevan Riley)
  • 12. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson) 
  • 13. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)
  • 14. Sembène! (Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman)
  • 15. Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison of Belief (Alex Gibney)

3rd Annual Nonfics Year-End Poll (the complete list, 103 docs, here

  • 1. The Look Of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer) 
  • 2. Amy (Asif Kapadia)
  • 3. Best of Enemies (287)
  • 4. Listen to Me Marlon (220)
  • 5. In Jackson Heights (193)
  • 6. Stray Dog (164)
  • 7. Cartel Land (159)
  • 8. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (146)
  • 9. Finders Keepers (139)
  • 10. The Wolfpack (138)
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