The Best Documentaries on HBO Max in 2023 [Updated 2023]


Documentaries provide a safe and captivating way for people to watch factual narratives and real stories. These real-life-presentation movies both delight and educate their viewers. They can also make you happy, sad, surprised, or shocked.

HBO Max is one of the most demanding streaming services among its customers, which has a sizable collection of films available. For years, HBO has been creating some of the best television entertainment in terms of the best HBO max movies and best HBO max shows. Besides, HBO Max and Discovery Plus are joining forces and undergoing a rebranding process to become Max, offering viewers a seamless and expanded entertainment ecosystem.

The documentaries on HBO and HBO Max are not only interesting, but they also speak to current cultural issues. In actuality, you can be sure that a documentary will be enjoyable if it carries the HBO Documentary Films banner.

In this blog, we have curated a list of the best documentaries on Max to enjoy your weekend and holiday season with your family and friends.

1. André the Giant (2018)


Director: Jason Hehir
Runtime: 85 minutes
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright

With a height of over seven feet, André René Roussimoff was a giant of a guy. He is best known to wrestling enthusiasts as André the Giant, the imposing, singlet-clad colossus of numerous historic WWF contests in the 1980s.

The real André, who had a life outside of his on-screen and ring personas, is explored in this HBO documentary. The medical issue that brought him to prominence dominates his biography, although it’s also a factor in his global success.

2. Class Action Park (2020)


Director: Seth Porges and Chris Charles Scott III
Writer: Seth Porges
Runtime: 89 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
Cast: John Hodgman, Faith Anderson, Alison Becker

The title of this HBO Max Original comes from a not-so-joking moniker for Action Park. It was a theme park in suburban New Jersey that was marketed to thrill-seeking teenagers in the 1970s and 1980s.

It appears that practically every ride at Action Park, sometimes known as “Traction Park,” was shoddily built or put together fast. In this documentary, now-famous individuals who attended Action Park as children and survived the experience relatively uninjured share their memories with the still-perplexed staff.

The plot of the film then takes a terrible and gloomy turn as it tells the tale of George Larsson Jr., a visitor who died while enjoying one of the site’s amenities. It is one of the best documentaries on HBO Max.

3. Beanie Mania (2021)


Director: Yemisi Brookes
Runtime: 80 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Cast: Colleen Ballenger, Lena Trivedi

The endlessly amusing documentary “Beanie Mania” recalls the seemingly unexplainable Beanie Baby craze of the late 1990s with nostalgia and awe. “Beanie Mania” locates some of the most important figures of this era, including owners of gift shops, active merchants, significant collectors, and fervent supporters.

They make an effort to justify why people went crazy about the products that they spent several dollars on. While some succeeded financially, many others failed. With a humorous view, “Beanie Mania” explores their experiences.

4. The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020)


Director: Frank Marshall
Writer: Mark Monroe
Runtime: 110 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: Barry Bibb, Maurice Bibb, Robin Bibb

“The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” illustrates the emergence and prolonged prominence of the band, probably most famous for their disco hit songs. The “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack is one of their most famous.

They also made a sequence of Beatles-Esque tunes in the ’60s and were highly sought-after composers and producers of the ’80s. The movie also takes a look at Barry Gibb’s career and personal life as the lead singer of the Bee Gees and former sex icon, in addition to being the only alive Gibb and Bee Gee.

5. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)


Director: Morgan Neville
Writer: Morgan Neville
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: R
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Cast: Anthony Bourdain, Asia Argento, David Chang, Anderson Cooper, Trevor Noah, Iggy Pop

In spite of the fact that Anthony Bourdain, a former chef with a rock music perspective, developed and projected a polished picture of himself, “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” contends that his millions of supporters didn’t have any idea about him whatsoever.

This is especially in the wake of his sad death in 2018. With the help of Bourdain’s own witty words, Oscar-winning cinematographer Morgan Neville tells the compassionate but fair life narrative of his protagonist, charting his rise from a lowly cook in New York City to an accomplished traveler and historian of cuisine and joy.

6. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019)


Director: Alex Gibney
Writer: Alex Gibney
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Cast: Erika Cheung, Tyler Shultz, Dan Ariely, Roger Parloff, Ken Auletta

Theranos was destined to fail from the start, according to the devastating exposé in “The Inventor,” which was directed by one of the greatest contemporary docu-journalists, Alex Gibey.

You can watch HBO Max outside USA The film includes encounters with media personalities, authors, ex-Theranos personnel, and Elizabeth Holmes. “The Inventor” is a scary glimpse at the lengths individuals will go for riches, irrespective of who gets wounded along the process.

It explores both the personality of its CEO and why people initially bought into Theranos’ claim. It is one of the best documentaries on Max.

7. Everything Is Copy (2015)


Directors: Jacob Bernstein, Nick Hooker
Runtime: 89 minutes
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg

In “Everything Is Copy,” Nora Ephron, a media personality, director, and screenwriter, explores the dictum that inspired her to publish details of her private life.

The movie also asks why this norm was broken during Ephron’s final years of cancer treatment since many individuals in her life were unaware of her condition until it was too late.

The documentary, which features cameos from partners like Meryl Streep and Mike Nichols, illuminates one of the outstanding contemporary authors with a perfect blend of hilarity and tragedy. It is one of the best documentaries on HBO Max.

8. Grey Gardens (1975)


Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysels, David Maysels, Muffie Meyer
Runtime: 95 minutes
Rating: PG
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Cast: Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers

The scope of “Grey Gardens” is limited, but it is one of the grimiest and most depressing films ever made. The titular East Hampton manor, which is in serious ruin, serves as the setting for virtually the whole story. Just the mother and daughter who reside there in utter filth are the two main characters.

However, “Grey Gardens” reveals the sinister reality concealed by the Kennedy family’s aura of mystery. “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Beale spend their days in the dilapidated mansion, amidst trash and filth, remembering their bygone glory days as aristocrats before life and death dealt them numerous fatal blows.

9. Hoop Dreams (1994)


Director: Steve James
Runtime: 172 minutes
Rating: PG-13
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
Cast: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates

As many individuals as “Hoop Dreams” inspires could also have their hearts broken. Moviemakers recognize two adolescent basketball prodigies from a Chicago residential area in the urban core.

Given that the system and the circumstances are stacked against them in multiple regards, both have difficulty moving on to the next phase.

Use your HBO Max free trial to watch William Gates and Arthur Agee who, like many young men, try to use athletics, where achievement is at least a big margin, to escape the poverty and criminality that are a part of regular existence.

10. Original Cast Album: Company (1970)


Director: D.A. Pennebaker
Runtime: 58 minutes
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: Elaine Stritch, Charles Braswell, Stephen Sondheim

“Original Cast Album: Company” by D.A. Pennebaker is a cult favorite among aficionados of documentaries and musical theater. The creation of “Company,” a groundbreaking piece by Broadway great Stephen Sondheim, is chronicled in the movie.

The cast, assembled to record the official CD, follows Sondheim through a rigorous and meticulous procedure in which they play for 15 hours until Sondheim is pleased with the results.

Stream HBO Max on LG TV and this movie offers an interesting look at both Sondheim’s and those of his collaborators’ creative processes.

11. Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018)


Director: Marina Zenovich
Runtime: 116 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
Cast: Robin Williams, Steve Allen, Robert Altman

The adored entertainer and Oscar-winning star Robin Williams was highlighted in this film four years after his untimely demise from Lewy body dementia. It attempted to reveal the background and driving forces of a truly original artist.

Williams is portrayed in “Come Inside My Mind” as a tormented, lonesome, and frail man who was dedicated to producing the best and most acclaim-getting comedy he could.

12. George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Runtime: 2 episodes, 206 minutes total
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr

“The Quiet Beatle” was the nickname given to George Harrison. He was therefore the most enigmatic and underappreciated part of the Fab Four yet one of the most well-known individuals worldwide for the second part of the 20th century.

Throughout this two-part documentary, the innovative music and forward-thinking spirituality of George Harrison are highlighted in a chronicle that covers the icon’s lifetime from his early years in Liverpool through Beatlemania until his unfortunate passing in 2001.

13. Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)


Director: Alex Gibney
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: NR
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Jason Beghe, Paul Haggis, Mike Rinder

Even though many facets of Scientology are currently widely known, “Going Clear” was revolutionary when it was first released for shedding light on the incredibly secretive cult.

The movie, which is based on Lawrence Wright’s book, gives an extensive and exhaustive background of Scientology’s doctrines and the influence they have had on its adherents, including well-known people like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Although experts and ex-members reveal Scientology in frightening and harsh relief, the documentary is always very entertaining. Surely, it is one of the best documentaries on Max.

14. Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017)


Director: Erin Lee Carr
Runtime: 82 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: Arnott, Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy Rose Blanchard

The Act is one of the terrifying true best crime documentaries on HBO Max miniseries. Even more eerie is the Blanchards’ true story, which is presented in the HBO original film “Mommy Dead and Dearest.”

In this documentary, filmmaker Erin Lee Carr explores the reasons behind Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s murders of Dee Dee, her mother, and her primary caretaker.

She learns about the daughter’s physical, emotional, and psychic maltreatment as well as her mother’s Munchausen by proxy syndrome, which was supported by a complex web of falsehoods. She also learns about the daughter’s illicit and destructive young love.

15. Nanook of the North (1922)


Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Runtime: 78 minutes
Rating: NR
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Cast: Allakariallak, Alice Nevalinga, Cunayou

This documentary, which is silent with textual intertitles, explores the daily lives of the Inuit people who live on Canada’s east coast on the Ungava Peninsula.

Allakariallak, also known as Nanook, and his family are the main characters in the story, which takes place as they travel through tundra, ice floes, and canals in search of a game to hunt.

They show how to erect an igloo and go around using dog sleds and boats. Although certain sequences were manufactured for the benefit of the film, this simply widens the discussion about what a documentary actually is, particularly at a time when the genre was still in transition.

16. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021)


Director: Marilyn Agrelo
Runtime: 107 minutes
Rating: PG
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Jon Stone, Joan Ganz Cooney, Joe Raposo

The background of this arduous, remarkable series is covered in the documentary “Street Gang,” which was based on the lengthy and interesting book of the same title by Michael Davis.

“Street Gang” chronicles the rise of Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Grover, and the others to fame as cultural icons and children’s television heroes, from their 1960s beginnings to their contemporary accomplishments.

17. The War Room ( 1993)


Director: Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Heather Beckel

The 1992 presidential race was a momentous one since it included three major contenders for the first time in years and resulted in Bill Clinton, a Democrat, becoming the first president of the Baby Boomer generation after Republicans held the White House for 12 years.

Additionally, “The War Room” follows a documentary team that was integrated into the Clinton campaign if you want to learn more about that significant political period.

The movie focuses on strategists George Stephanopoulos and James Carville as they guide an improbable candidate to victory while overcoming a variety of obstacles along the way, such as adultery scandals and weak primary performances.

18. The Janes (2022)


Director: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 1 hour, 41 minutes
IMDb rating: 6.6/10
Cast: Heather Booth, Judith Arcana, Marie Leaner

Before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, a clandestine group of women using the alias “Jane” helped perform thousands of unlawful abortions.

Seven women were arrested in Chicago in 1972 as part of the notorious Jane network, but the full extent of the investigation was not made public until recently in one of the best documentaries streaming on HBO Max.

19. LFG (2021)


Director: Andrea Nix Fine & Sean Fine
Writer: Andrea Nix Fine
Run Time: 105 minutes
IMDB Rating: 5.4/10
Cast: Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Sam Mewis, Julie Foudy

The United States Women’s National Soccer Team members are being followed by LFG as they sue the United States Soccer Federation for salary discrimination on the grounds of gender discrimination.

Famous soccer players Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Jessica McDonald are featured in the documentary as they protest the association three months prior to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The players’ allegation of unfair employment will be heard in court in Los Angeles, according to U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner. Klausner, however, declined to recognize the lawsuit’s claim regarding unequal remuneration.

20. Beware the Slenderman (2016)


Director: Irene Taylor
Runtime: 117
Rating: TV-14
IMDB Rating: 3.2/10
Cast: Morgan Geyser, Anissa Weier, Angie Geyser

Despite being one of the most distressing documentaries on this list, it is intriguing and thought-provoking. In “Beware the Slenderman,” two young girls named Morgan and Annisa are shown stabbing their buddy as a result of learning about a fictitious monster called the Slenderman online.

The disturbing film examines the Slenderman legend and describes how two young girls may have such fervent faith in something that they would conduct a terrible act of violence. It is one of the best documentaries on HBO Max.


Since there is so much to be revealed, it is encouraging to see that documentaries are gradually returning to popularity.

Particularly now, when it’s more crucial than ever to understand other people’s perspectives and develop an understanding of various contexts and circumstances, you can easily watch the best documentaries on HBO Max.

View the many fascinating and educational documentary films and TV programs that have enthralled and entertained people by checking out the HBO Max price. The greatest HBO documentaries cover subjects like politics, social issues, famous historical individuals, and true crimes.

If any of these documentaries are unavailable in your region, you can use a VPN to access them. The best VPN for streaming is ExpressVPN.

Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris is a technology and entertainment writer whose main interests revolve around the art of writing and expression. He loves writing research-based articles in different niches and translating his thoughts into words that inspire others.

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