If the current summer blockbuster movies blanketing your local cineplex each week aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s a handful of documentaries coming out soon that will save you.
From an inside look at a cult to the highly public breakdown of a political career, these nonfiction works tell compelling stories that are likely to be more fulfilling than your latest climactic world-resucing showdown.
Here are eight titles we think you should definitely check out in the coming months — and how to watch them.
The collapse of Anthony Weiner's political career is a strange story that late-night show hosts pray to the comedy gods for. This Sundance-winning doc gives us a fly-on-the-wall look at Weiner's attempt to rebound from his embarrassing social-media gaffe to become mayor of New York City. What follows is a bizarre insight into politics and one man's questionable methods to save face.
The Buddhafield started in the late 1980s in West Hollywood as a spiritual group led by a charismatic leader with a handful of followers who thought he was providing them with an enlightened life. Two decades later, many in the group figured out they were in a cult. Former member Will Allen now reveals what went on in his eye-opening documentary made up of footage he shot over the 21 years he was there.
Legendary filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus ('The War Room') document the pioneering work of animal protection attorney Steven Wise, who seeks personhood rights for animals, specifically four chimpanzees in New York. We see Wise's journey bringing the first lawsuit ever attempting to transform an animal from a 'thing' with no rights into a 'person' with legal protection. If the courts see corporations as people, why not chimps? That complex question makes 'Unlocking the Cage' gripping stuff.
Brian De Palma has made some of the most memorable films in the history of cinema. 'Carrie,' 'The Untouchables,' 'Scarface,' 'Mission: Impossible' -- the list is countless. Now directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow have sat the master down to talk about his career. The revealing self-analysis of his films explores the movies that worked, the ones that didn't, and why he's always felt like he's never been understood.
One of the most anticipated documentaries coming this year will be on TV. ESPN's critically-acclaimed five-part doc 'O.J.: Made In America' goes beyond the case of the century that we obsessed over in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.' Instead it captures the life of the legendary figure from his rise to fame on the football field at USC to his current incarceration. You really should not miss it.
One of the most talked-about documentaries from this year's Sundance Film Festival, this dive into the world of 'competitive endurance tickling' is nothing like what it seems and could easily turn into one of the most talked-about movies of the year, period. Without giving much away, we follow filmmaker David Farrier as he uncovers a different kind of story in the age of internet bullying. You won't believe where it's going.
Get the tissues out for this one. Director Roger Ross Williams ('God Loves Uganda') introduces us to Owen Suskind, an autistic boy whose life turned around thanks to Disney movies. Now becoming a young adult, Owen navigates the joys and hardships of life.
Known for his remarkable work on TV -- including the creation of 'All in the Family,' 'Good Times,' and 'The Jeffersons' -- Norman Lear used his storytelling talents to introduce issues of race and class into the living room. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady ('Jesus Camp,' 'Detropia') highlight the remarkable life of Lear and how his work helped change the world.
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