Best True Crime Documentaries | Every Criminal Has A Story

true-crime documentaries

We all have heard the saying “No one is born Criminal from the Mother’s womb”. Well, the meaning is deep and the best way to understand the saying is through true crime documentaries. If you are looking for the best true crime documentaries then this article is for you. We have listed the best true crime documentaries for you to watch.

Let us get a quick idea about what a crime documentary is and how it is different from crime movies? Well, to be precise a crime movie will either show the criminal a hero or will make him the villain, it focuses majorly on the storyline whereas a true crime documentary is a video film that is either recorded as a movie or as a motion picture to keep a historic record. The major thing a documentary carries is the originality of the matter and the series of events that occurred. We have listed the best true crime documentaries for you.

The best true crime documentary movies are Amanda Knox, Fyre, Lost Girls, American Gangster, The Inventor, Snowden, The Most Hated Woman in America, Long Shot, Screwball, Strong Island, Foxcatcher, Abduct in Plain Sight, Athlete A, The Legend of Cocaine Island, I Called Him Morgan and Interview With The Serial Killer.

These are the best true crime documentary films that are made on true events. You will read more about these documentaries in full detail further in the article.

You may also love to read, 6 Best Documentaries on Amazon Prine in 2021. 

Best True Crime Documentaries

Given below is the list of the best true crime documentaries with the story, IMDb ratings, release date, and the story that made the documentary a crime documentary.

Amanda Knox

true-crime documentaries - Amanda Knox
Source: CNN

Amanda Knox is a true crime documentary film that is based on the true events that took place in the life of Amanda Knox. The movie was written by Wendy Battles and directed by Robert Dornhelm. The true crime documentary was produced by Roberto Manni and Randy Sutter under the production companies Pilgrim Films & Televisions, Craig Anderson Productions, and Project X Productions. The distributor of the film was Lifetime.

The documentary is about Amanda Knox who went to Italy to study the language. She shares her flat with three more ladies. One of them was murdered by a knife stabbed in the back. Knox, her boyfriend, and two of the roommates were taken for investigation. Her boyfriend was set free as a professor says he was with him drinking in the pub. The story moves further as Amanda tries to prove herself innocent. 

IMDb Rating: 5.7 

Release Date: 21 February 2011


true-crime documentaries - Fyre
Ian Thomas Malone

Fyre is one of the best true crime documentaries. It is an American documentary of McFarland and the Cute Festival of 2017. The movie was directed by Chris Smith and producer by Danny Gabai, Mick Purzycki, and Chris Smith under the production companies Jerry Media Library Films, Vice Studios, and MATTE Projects and was distributed by Netflix.

The story is about the fraud that happened through social media. The money collected for the Fyre Festival that never occurred makes it one of the best true crime documentaries of all time.

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Release Date: 18 January 2019

You may also be interested in the 10 Best Crime Thriller Movies of all Time.

Lost Girls

true-crime documentaries - lost girls
Source: The Michigan Daily

Lost Girls is an American crime movie that was directed by Liz Garbha and produced by Anne Carry and Kevin McCormick. The movie is made under the production companies Archer Gray and Langley Park Productions and was distributed by Netflix. The document is one of the perfectly written true crime documentaries.

The story is about a mother whose daughter is kidnapped and she forces the authorities to do the search. When the search begins police find the death of many young sex workers who were murdered by a serial killer.

IMDb Ratings: 6.1

Release Date: 28 January 2020

American Gangster

true-crime documentaries - American Gangster

American Gangster is one of the best true crime documentaries. It is the biography crime documentary of Frank Lucas. The documentary was directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Ridley Scott and Brian Grazer under the production companies Imagine Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and Relativity Media and was distributed by Universal Pictures.

The story is about Frank Lucas who in 1968 took the place of his boss who died of a heart attack. He started importing drugs directly from Thailand and started selling it in America. He also bribed various police officials for the smooth running of his crime. He got caught and was sent to imprisonment for 70 years but was released 15 years later in 1991.

IMDb ratings: 7.8

Release Date: 19 October 2007

The Inventor

true-crime documentaries - The Inventor
Source: watch Documentaries

The Inventor is an American documentary film that was directed by Alex Gibney and produced by Alex Gibney, Jessie Deeter and Erin Edeiken under the production companies Jigsaw Productions and HBO Documentary Films and was distributed by HBO. 

The movie is about Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos. The storyline of the movie is the testing lab Theranos invented by Elizabeth Holmes which made her the next Stephen Hawking. The movie also runs in the flashback where Thomas Elva Edison was inventing the bulb. The movie majorly focuses on the establishment and dissolving of the company by Elizabeth Holmes which makes the movie one of the best true crime documentaries.

IMDb Ratings: 7.1

Release Date: 18 March 2019

You may also love to read, 30+ Top Mind-Bending Movies in 2021.


true-crime documentaries - snowden
Source: TechCrunch

Snowden is one of the true crime documentaries that was directed by Oliver Stone and produced by Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff, Philip Schulz-Deyle, and Fernando Sulichin under the production companies Endgame Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment, and KrautPack Entertainment and was distributed by Open Road Films, Universum Film, and Pathé. 

The documentary is a biographical movie of Edward Snowden. The story of the movie is a top-ranked National Security Agency officer who leaves his job and sells the private information of the common man not to the military or terrorists but to the companies. This took him against the norms of various companies and the story progresses as he was called a traitor by some people and a hero by others. 

IMDb Ratings: 7.3

Release Date: 15 September 2016

The Most Hated Woman In America

true-crime documentaries - The most hated woman in America
Source: Netflix

The most hated woman in America is one of the true crime documentaries. The movie was directed by Tommy O’Haver and was produced by Max Handelman, Elizabeth Banks, and Laura Rister under the production companies Brownstone Productions and Untitled Entertainment and was distributed by Netflix. 

The movie is about an atheist woman Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her two sons Billy and Murray Jr. When she came to know that his son Billy is forced to sing the Lord’s prayer in the school. She started a campaign in which she demanded not to make singing prayers in school compulsory. As Billy grew up, he got married but seeing Billy’s devotion to his mother his wife divorced him and he became a full-time drinker. Soon Madalyn makes trust with David Waters and a series of events occur that lead them to broke the ally. Water demanded a share in the business but Madelyn refuses so, he kidnapped her and kill her.

IMDb Ratings: 6.1

Release Date: 14 March 2017

Long Shot

true-crime documentaries - long shot
Source; Roger Ebert

Long Shot is an American documentary that was directed by Jonathan Levine and produced by Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver under the production companies Summit Entertainment, Good Universe, Point Grey Pictures, and Denver + Delilah Productions and was distributed by Lionsgate.

The story is about a journalist who left his job because his newspaper owner has changed and the new owner does not match his principles. He was jobless and went to a charity function where she founds a politician lady who was his babysitter and crush when they were younger. They both talk to each other and she offers him to be his speechwriter to which he agrees. Later they both confess each other for their love and gave a press conference about their engagement.

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Release Date: 02 May 2019 


true-crime documentaries - Screwball
Source: Variety

Screwball is one of the sports true crime documentaries. The movie was directed by Billy Corban and written by Billy Corben and was written by Billy Corben and David Cypkin. The story is a crime documentary that exposes the MLB’s doping case. It was noticed that the players used the drugs and dope themselves before the baseball game which is considered illegal in fact doping before any game is illegal.

IMDb Ratings: 7.1

Release Date: 07 September 2018

Strong Island

true-crime documentaries - Strong Island
Source: Netflix

Strong Island is one of the true crime documentaries that was directed by Yance Ford and produced by Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford under the production companies  Yanceville Films and Louverture Films and was distributed by Netflix. 

The story is a personal story of the director Yance Ford who’s brother William, who was a teacher in New York was killed at the age of 24 by a nineteen-year-old white Chop Shop Mechanic Mark P. Reilly. The case was headed by a white jury and the murderer was set free by saying that it happened in self-defense.

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Release Date: 23 January 2017 

Also read, Top 20 Motivational Movies in 2021.


true-crime documentaries - Foxcatcher
Source: BBC

Foxcatcher is one of the  American Psychological true crime documentaries that was directed by Bennett Miller and produced by Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik, and Bennett Miller under the production Companies Annapurna Pictures and Like Story and was distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. 

The story is about two brothers who are Olympic medal winners in wrestling. One of them chose the family and the other went to an island where he was offered to join the team Foxcatcher. Later he invited his brother to the island and he comes with his family. A series of events occur and the invited brother was killed by the second brother and then the second brother was sent to jail.

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Release Date: 19 May 2014

Abduct in Plain Sight

true-crime documentaries - Abducted-in-Plain-Sight
Source: Midwest Film Journal

Abduct in Plain Sight is one of the famous true crime documentaries that was directed by Skye Borgman and producer by Skye Borgman, Emily Kincaid, and Stephanie Tobey under the production company Top Knot Films and was distributed by Netflix. 

The story is about a teenager Jan Borberg Felt who was kidnapped by her trustworthy neighbor. The story was first told in The Stolen Innocence: The Jan Borberg Story which was published by Jan and her mother. Later it was made to a film documentary in which the Felt herself appeared.

IMDb Ratings: 6.8

Release Date: 26 May 2017 

Athlete A

true-crime documentaries - athlete a

Athlete A is one of the American true Crime documentaries that was directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, produced by Serin Marshall, Jen Sey, and Julie Parker Benelli under the production company Actual Films and was distributed by Netflix.

The movie is based on the incident that left everyone stunned in the whole world. The documentary is started by a team investigating the journalists from The Indianapolis Star as they exposed the doctor Larry Nassar and accused him of sexually assaulting the young female gymnasts. The investigation includes the whole USA Gymnastics and the CEO Steve Penny.

IMDb Ratings: 7.6

Release Date: 24 June 2020

The Legend Of Cocaine Island

true-crime documentaries - The legend of cocaine island
Source: Variety

The Legend of Cocaine Island is one of the true crime documentaries that was directed and produced by Theo Love. The documentary was made under the name of Sidestilt and was distributed by Netflix. The story of the movie is about a man who has nothing to do with drug peddling. He was asked to search for the last stash of Cocaine on the island. He was given a picture and told to search for the bag, sell it and give a quarter to the people who gave him the photo. The man searched the cocaine and went to the parking to give the people their part and to his surprise, they were the undercover policemen. He was arrested by conspiracy and sent to jail.

IMDb ratings: 6.3

Release Date: 20 April 2018 

I Called Him Morgan

true-crime documentaries - I called him Morgan

I called him Morgan is one of the Swedish true Crime documentaries that was directed and produced by Kasper Collin. The documentary was made over a period of seven years and the editing part of the documentary took three more years.

The story is about Helen Morgan and her husband Jazz Great Lee Morgan who was a heroin addict. One February night in 1972, they both went to a restaurant where they had a fight and her husband pushed her out of the restaurant physically. To which she responded by taking out a gun from her handbag and shoot her husband. She waited for the police to come and arrest her. Several years later she was interviewed and her story was published. 

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Release Date: 01 September 2016

Interview With a Serial Killer

true-crime documentaries - Interview with a serial killer
Source: YouTube

Interview with a serial killer is short 44 minutes true crime documentary in which the serial killer Arthur Shawcross was interviewed in the jailhouse. The interview was directed by Christopher Martin and khel Misak and was produced by Christopher Martin. There are more interviews in the tv show with the serial killers that tell the mentality and abnormality of the killers. 

IMDb Ratings: 5.9

Release Date: 2009

You may also be interested in 19 Horror Movies Based on Real-Life Events.


If you are interested in watching true crime documentaries then these are the best crime documentaries to watch. But don’t get inspired by them. Many of these criminals are either in jail or are dead. Do write us your reviews in the comments section below.

Featured Image Source: Film Daily

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