5. Making a Murderer (2015)
Unless you've been living under a rock, you will have heard about Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Two years after his exoneration he was found guilty of murder. So, did he do it? The ten-part docuseries covers his life extensively, beginning with his first brush with crime right up until the present day. It's the murder trial episodes that carry the most tension, as his defense team argues he was framed by the Manitowoc police department and back it up with some pretty convincing evidence. There's a reason this show has captured the public's interest.
4. Cartel Land (2015)
Zero Dark Thirty's Kathryn Bigelow executive produces this unflinching look into the Mexican drug trade. The bravery of director Matthew Heineman is commendable, as he troops into areas where two vigilante militia groups fight to reclaim their territory from the country's most notorious drug cartels. These ordinary citizens, the Arizona Border Recon and The Autodefensas, arm themselves in the name of justice. Both are desperate to stop the violence - but what happens when these self-appointed do-gooders become just as terrifying as the people they're trying to stop?
3. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
Mankind's desire to create stretches back a long way, which is what makes Werner Herzog's documentary so fascinating. The motivation of humans, and our innate need to express ourselves, can be traced back 32,000 years ago through a series of paintings in the Chauvet caves of France. The site is protected by authorities, who guard the world's oldest surviving paintings in the hopes of preserving them, and learning more about where we came from. This is the central mission of Herzog's documentary: that through the analysis of those pieces, we might discover the truth behind our distant ancestors' hopes and dreams.
2. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Region: UK, US
In 1977, Randall Dale Adams was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit. Private investigator Errol Morris learned of the shady circumstances leading to his incarceration after interviewing psychiatrist Dr. James Grigson, hoping to base a film around his experiences testifying in capital cases. This prompted Morris to dig deeper, and he ended up conducting new interviews with Adams and several eyewitnesses which helped re-create numerous key moments surrounding the shooting. Woven together in his 1988 documentary, the evidence that proves Adams' innocence is outstanding. The result? You'll have to watch to find out.
1. Twinsters (2015)
We all have at least one point during the day when we're steered toward YouTube. Usually for a good chuckle at a dog and a ferret that have become the best of friends through an amusing happenstance. But imagine if you clicked onto a video... and you were in it. Except, you don't remember filming it. That's sort of what happened to Samantha, a Parisian fashion student, who found herself watching a video of her doppelganger. Naturally she went on a quest to find this mysterious YouTube version of herself. Twinsters charts that fascinating journey (with a bit of a spoilery title) as she learns about the identical sister she never knew she had.