Best-Reviewed Documentaries 2016

Real life can be every bit as dramatic as fiction, and these documentaries give audiences an intimate look at politics, history, and the process of moviemaking.

The order of the list reflects the scores as of December 31, 2016, but the number displayed on the Adjusted Tomatometer may change as more reviews keep getting added after the end of the year.

#1

Weiner (2016)
97%83%

#1
Adjusted Score: 106759%
Critics Consensus: Weiner uses sharp insight and untrammeled access to offer a portrait of a political and personal collapse that's as queasy as it is undeniably compelling.
Synopsis: Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) runs for mayor of New York in 2013, but a new sex scandal ruins his... [More]

#2

Cameraperson (2016)
99%68%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105718%
Critics Consensus: Fresh and inventive yet immediately accessible, Cameraperson distills its subject's life and career into an experience that should prove immediately absorbing even for those unfamiliar with her work.
Synopsis: Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson exposes her many years behind the camera through a memoir made up of decades of footage shot... [More]
Directed By: Kirsten Johnson

#3

Tower (2016)
99%89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 105238%
Critics Consensus: Tower probes into a painful chapter of American history with sensitivity and grace -- and revisits its events from a valuable new perspective.
Synopsis: On Aug. 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and... [More]
Directed By: Keith Maitland

#4

De Palma (2015)
95%86%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100955%
Critics Consensus: De Palma may not make believers out of the director's detractors, but they'll likely share longtime fans' fascination with his career's worth of entertaining stories.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Brian De Palma discusses his body of work, including "Sisters," "Obsession," "Carrie," "Dressed to Kill," "Blow Out," "Scarface," "The... [More]
Starring: Brian De Palma

#5

13TH (2016)
97%90%

#5
Adjusted Score: 103961%
Critics Consensus: 13th strikes at the heart of America's tangled racial history, offering observations as incendiary as they are calmly controlled.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay