This list is made up of great documentaries of equal caliber, however I am listing these according to my preference so please just roll with it :)
5. Fog of War
This is a very informative documentary that accounts Robert S. McNamara's perspective and experiences as secretary of defence, while never arguing that he made mistakes in his conduction of war his arguments for the fatalities and for his actions he supports factualy and truthfully. He talks about his experiences in world war 2 along with his participation in the vietnam war and helps in clearing up many actions and the reasoning behind them. This is your typical documentary in that it shows mostly old footage of wars e.t.c. however what makes this so special is through the way the information is presented by Robert and how he argues his points so effectively.
4. Big River Man
This is an amazing and extremely entertaining film, I had not heard anything at all about Martin Strel before seeing the film and I enjoyed the film massively. Along with the man being a great and excentric individual he provides a great insight throughout the film into his motivation and the enviromental reasons behind swimming the Amazon however we also locals cultures and the area as a whole. This film will teach you a great deal however it will also make u laugh a great deal more. Best scene: When matt the american is describing Martin as he's swimming drunk, as "a fat drunk that is also like Jesus."
Morgan Spurlock explores how mcdonalds can take control of peoples lives and drive them to an incredibly unhealthy condition, and does this entertainingly while not missing any of the facts along the way. If you can walk away from this and eat a big mac minutes after, u worry me. :)
2. Guns, Germs and Steel
I managed to catch a showing of this on more4 about a year ago and it was fantastic it is a documentary based on the book by Jared Diamond it explores 13,000 years of history and shows how guns,germs and steel have affected cultures around the world both for some civilizations benefit, and for others destruction. It is presented both through sections of interviews and factual monologues, and through stories portraid effectively. There are quite a few arguments towards why much of the information is not factual, however how the documentary is presented is visually excellent.
1. The Cove
This is without a doubt my favourite documentary, it has a clear message and even though they are trying to accomplish something which seems almost impossible they manage it through a thrilling, almost espionage esque adventure. Behind all this however is an investigation into a conspiracy involving the killing of thousands of dolphins covertly in a secret cove in the town of Taiji in Japan. I urge you to see this film as soon as you can as it is fantastic and has a message that must be heard.
If u've got any suggestions feel free to comment =D