13 Best Documentaries on Showtime

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Documentaries weren’t always someone’s go-to for a good movie. However, in recent years documentaries seem to have tapped into an array of interests for just about anyone. You’ll find crime documentaries, biographies of great men and women, or even how things get made. Wherever your hobbies are, there’s a documentary out there for you.

Showtime has its own list of great documentaries that you just need to check out. This article covers 13 of the best documentaries that Showtime has to offer.

13 Best Documentaries on Showtime

  1. Amy
  2. Whitney: Can I Be Me?
  3. The Kingmaker
  4. American Jihad
  5. Citizen Burn
  6. Marley
  7. Dark Net
  8. Zero Days
  9. The Death of Superman: What Happened?
  10. Kingdom of Silence
  11. Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
  12. David Bowie: Finding Fame
  13. General Magic

1. Amy

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Image from Amazon.com

Amy (2015) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.8/1095/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Hoopla, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

When a celebrity dies, it usually throws the country for a loop in the days following. Especially when the person is young. There is a sense of familiarity with celebrities. We know we don’t really know these people, but (especially when they start young) we have the unique ability to watch them grow up. From the sidelines, we’re cheering them on or worrying about them.

The documentary Amy is based on the life of Amy Winehouse. The story is told through videos, photos, interviews, and live performances throughout the singer’s life. It’s told in a way that feels incredibly intimate and personal. This is probably because the footage used in the film is from behind the scenes material given to the director by Amy’s family.

Amy’s father was unhappy with the film because he felt the documentary didn’t portray his daughter in a good way. He thought it would tarnish her foundation, which helps people struggling with substance abuse. Even after the film won an Oscar for Best Documentary, her father still wasn’t happy with the film. Despite his feelings about the film, it’s a worthy documentary for anyone looking to learn more about what led to Amy Winehouse’s death.

Watch the trailer for this documentary in the video below.

2. Whitney: Can I Be Me?

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Whitney: Can I Be Me? (2017) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
6.7/1087/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

Whitney Houston is an icon. She had an amazing voice that resonated with millions of people around the world. Her songs come on the radio and for the most part, you’ll recognize her immediately. 

This documentary about her life is a heartbreaking tale of her life. The film shows her struggles with drugs as tastefully as one can. It doesn’t make a point to disgrace her legacy. In fact, it brings to light the family abuse she suffered throughout her life and how that potentially led to her struggles with dangerous substances.

If you want to dive into the dark world of a singer icon, Whitney: Can I Be Me? is a great way to do that. Check out the trailer for the film in the video below.

3. The Kingmaker

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The Kingmaker (2019) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.6/1097/100Showtime Free Trial

There’s something truly fascinating about the politics of other countries and cultures. It’s also really interesting to see how the people in the shadows can influence the policies of that country. That is something you’ll see in this documentary about the former first lady of the Philippines

The film introduces the viewer to Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines. As the interviews with Imelda unfold, the story shows the deep levels of corruption that run long throughout the Marcos family. We’re shown just how much control the former first lady had over her husband and how that trickled down into the country’s policies.

It’s an incredible documentary about the politics of the Philippines and the delusions of a woman in a very high position of power within the country’s government. You can watch the trailer for the film in the video below.

4. American Jihad

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Image from Amazon.com

American Jihad (2017) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.1/10100/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

There’s no denying that the tragedy on September 11, 2001 has stayed with the United States. The terrorism that resulted from those brutal attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon has shaped the country into the one we know today. What isn’t always clear is how these terrorists are able to convert American citizens to their cause.

This documentary does an incredible job of shining a light on the cracks in American culture. American Jihad shows us how Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) members are able to reach out to members of the United States and convince them that they’re the good guys in the war on terror.

The film helps us understand the tactics used to convert members of the American people, which gives us an idea of how to prevent it in the future. It’s a fascinating film that will really get you thinking.

5. The Go-Go’s

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The Go-Go’s (2020) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.5/1097/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

There were a lot of changes to the music industry happening in the 80s. We saw a rise in a large number of iconic stars during this time, but one such group was The Go-Go’s. They weren’t the first female band. However, they were the first female band to play their own instruments. They weren’t just some pretty faces singing along with a band of men behind them.

This documentary follows the journey of the all-female band through their creation to their eventual breakup. It uses archival footage to tell us how they grew up and how they eventually found each other. The film goes into how they became so successful and they were such icons to the music industry.

Many fans believe the film didn’t do the band justice. They believe the film didn’t go into enough detail about the more important aspects of the band’s career and success. However, if you’re looking for a bird’s eye view of what made The Go-Go’s so great, this is a perfect documentary to watch.

Check out the trailer in the video below.

6. Marley

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Image from Amazon.com

Marley (2012) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
8.0/1095/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Hoopla, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

If you go on social media at all, you’ll realize it doesn’t take long before you come across some meme or inspirational quote from the music legend Bob Marley. He has a huge fan base that really took off after his death in 1981. If you’re a fan of Marley or just passively looking for more information about him, you won’t want to miss this documentary.

The film follows the entire life of reggae artist Bob Marley. It goes into great detail about his early life, music, and what makes him such an influential person even today. The documentary uses interviews from Bob Marley’s wife, children, and multiple girlfriends to give a clear picture of just who Marley was and how he lived his life.

This documentary will give you a whole new appreciation of the laid-back singer and the cultural sensation that he started. You can find the trailer in the video below.

7. Dark Net

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Image from Amazon.com

Dark Net (2016) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.1/1067/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

For a long time now, the internet has been growing and not always in the best ways. It can be a dangerous place to explore. There are plenty of predators on the internet that use these dark corners of the web to get to their victims. If you’re looking for a cautionary tale or just interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, this is a great documentary series to watch.

Dark Net takes an in-depth look at the parts of the internet that aren’t usually frequented by well-intended users. The series covers cyber hackers, illegal pornographic activity, and other forms of cybercrime. It can be overwhelming and leaves you feeling like the internet is a dark, dangerous place to be avoided. However, this documentary shows us how we need to be vigilant when it comes to those who would do harm by using such versatile resources.

You can watch the trailer for season one in the video below.

8. Zero Days

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Image from Amazon.com

Zero Days (2016) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.8/1092/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

The internet can be a dark and scary place, but what’s interesting about it is how governments can use it to dismantle their enemies. This kind of attack is known as cyberwarfare and it can stretch to the far reaches of the world without needing to leave the country. One of those attacks is known as the Stuxnet attack.

This documentary follows the events of the Stuxnet attack and how the United States used that in an attempt to destroy an Iranian nuclear facility. The film explains how the virus the United States used was developed and ultimately released. It also details how the virus got out of control and ended up doing more damage than was initially intended. 

If you have an interest in the foreign policies of the United States or simply want to stay familiar with foreign affairs, this is a must-watch. Watch the video below for the official trailer.

9. The Death of Superman: What Happened?

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The Death of Superman: What Happened? (2015) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.1/1085/100Only on Showtime Free Trial

When you think of Nicolas Cage, I can bet you don’t think of Superman. Well, it turns out that he was going to star as the famed superhero in a proposed film directed by Tim Burton. If you’re a big comic book fan, you’ve got to see this documentary!

While many fans disapproved of Nicolas Cage staring at their favorite superhero, this documentary shows how that was almost a reality. The film uses archive footage from the small amount of filming they were able to do in 1998. Viewers learn about the details of the film and what inevitably killed the project.

It’s a fun film to watch if you’re a big Superman fan. You might finish the documentary and feel immense relief that it never came to fruition. Check out the video below for the full trailer of this film.

10. Kingdom of Silence

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Image from Amazon.com

Kingdom of Silence (2020) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
6.8/1093/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

If you’re a fan of documentaries that shine a light onto injustices around the world, this is a documentary you’re going to want to watch. Being a journalist can be a dangerous job, especially during a war. Kingdom of Silence goes into detail about the events that led to one journalist’s untimely death.

Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post journalist who was brutally murdered during the complex US and Saudi Arabia relations. The film uses archived footage to show the journalist’s life through interviews with his foreign connections. Viewers will get an in-depth look at the Saudi rulers and fellow journalists Jamal had relations with and the jihadist connections he had.

If you want to know more about this man’s legacy, Kingdom of Silence is the documentary to watch. Check out the video below if you’re interested in watching the official trailer.

11. Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

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Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars (2017) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.4/1069/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

There’s something truly interesting about the life of a musician. This documentary about the life of Eric Clapton is a remarkable film, especially for those who aren’t familiar with who he was. You get a lot of information from this documentary.

The film gives viewers a deep look into the early years of Eric Clapton and how he got to be such a legendary musician. You get to see through archive footage how his mother’s past influenced his future with drugs and alcohol. There are interviews from influential people such as George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix included in the movie, which give you an even closer look at who Eric Clapton was as a person.

He made history with his music, and this documentary showcases how he was able to get there. So, if you love learning more about the history of music, this is a great documentary to watch. You can find the official trailer in the video below.

12. David Bowie: Finding Fame

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David Bowie: Finding Fame (2019) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.4/1069/100Showtime Free Trial
FuboTV, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

There’s no one quite like David Bowie. Whether you’re thinking of his portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King from the Labyrinth or if you’re remembering Ziggy Stardust, you can’t deny that David Bowie made an impression. If you’re a fan of his work, this is a documentary you’re going to want to watch.

This documentary follows the first five years of David Bowie’s career. Much of Bowie before the years of Ziggy was somewhat of a mystery before this film aired. It took Bowie a long time to find fame, but he knew that’s what he wanted. So, this film shows us the early years of that drive and passion for success.

Check out the video below for the official trailer of the documentary.

13. General Magic

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General Magic (2018) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.4/10100/100Showtime Free Trial
Hoopla, Amazon Prime (rent/buy)

Almost everyone these days has a smartphone. You might even be reading this article on one right now. Have you ever wondered where the idea of the smartphone came from? Was it all just a dream thought up by a Star Trek fan? This documentary can give you some of those answers.

General Magic takes the viewer on an in-depth journey into the first designs of the smartphone. The film uses archival footage to show how an unknown company from Silicon Valley came up with the concept of the smartphone and what happened when Apple seemingly took those designs from them.

Check out the trailer in the video below.

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