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Best Documentaries on HBO Max

HBO’s documentary roster is legendary and award-winning. From intimate portraits of famous people to thought-provoking examinations of the American experience, each film is eye-opening and well done.

  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

    January 25, 2015

    GOING CLEAR intimately profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, shining a light on how they attract true believers and the things they do in the name of religion.

  • We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company

    November 10, 2001

    Over a period of two years, Mark Cowen and his crew travelled to thirty U.S. states and ten European cities, to interview the veterans of Easy Company. The stories told by the veterans themselves, create a history of the Second World War from the point of view of this heroic company of men, made famous in the mini-series Band of Brothers.

  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    June 29, 2018

    For more than thirty years, and through his television program, Fred Rogers (1928-2003), host, producer, writer and pianist, accompanied by his puppets and his many friends, spoke directly to young children about some of life’s most important issues.

  • White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    August 6, 2007

    Steven Okazaki presents a deeply moving look at the painful legacy of the first — and hopefully last — uses of nuclear weapons in war. Featuring interviews with fourteen atomic bomb survivors - many who have never spoken publicly before - and four Americans intimately involved in the bombings, White Light/Black Rain provides a detailed exploration of the bombings and their aftermath.

  • Harlan County U.S.A.

    January 23, 1977

    This film documents the coal miners’ strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA.

  • Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

    January 19, 2018

    A funny, intimate and heartbreaking portrait of one of the world’s most beloved and inventive comedians, Robin Williams, told largely through his own words. Celebrates what he brought to comedy and to the culture at large, from the wild days of late-1970s L.A. to his death in 2014.

  • Hoop Dreams

    September 12, 1994

    Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominately white suburban school well-known for the excellence of its basketball program. Gates and Agee dream of NBA stardom, and with the support of their close-knit families, they battle the social and physical obstacles that stand in their way. This acclaimed documentary was shot over the course of five years.

  • Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

    March 10, 2010

    Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals is a 2010 television documentary film broadcast on HBO. The film chronicles the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that begin with the 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship Game and lasted throughout their lengthy, Hall of Fame careers in the NBA. The film makes an argument that without the massive media attention that was placed on the rivalry that Magic and Bird had, the NBA might not have made through the 1980s following the merger with the ABA, among other things.

  • Andre the Giant

    April 10, 2018

    An ambitious and wide-ranging documentary exploring Andre’s upbringing in France, his celebrated career in WWE, and his forays in the entertainment world.

  • For All Mankind

    November 1, 1989

    A testament to NASA’s Apollo program of the 1960s and ’70s. Composed of actual NASA footage of the missions and astronaut interviews, the documentary offers the viewpoint of the individuals who braved the remarkable journey to the moon and back.

  • Momentum Generation

    April 21, 2018

    In the 1990s, a motley band of teen surfers from the north shore of Oahu brought professional surfing to new heights. But as their stars rose, the competition threatened to tear their group apart.

  • Bleed Out

    November 13, 2018

    After a routine partial hip replacement operation leaves his mother in a coma with permanent brain damage, what starts as a son’s video diary becomes a citizen’s investigation into the future of American health care.

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