What were the critics’ picks for Best Documentaries for 2022?
Caitlin Cooper surveyed Variety, Deadline, Sundance and more to provide links to their selections.
Among them are prize-winning indies such as All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Bad Axe, and All that Breathes.
Dominating the competition are Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream for HBO Max, and Nat Geo‘s Fire of Love for Disney+.
Read the write-ups below, updated with the Oscar and BAFTA noms announced in January:
What They Picked! Best Documentaries of 2022
- Screen Daily‘s 2023 Oscar & Bafta Documentary Contenders
- A.V. Club‘s Best Documentary Films of 2022
- Deadline‘s Top 10 Documentaries of 2022
- Nonfics‘s Best Documentaries of 2022
- Rolling Stone‘s Pick of the 13 Best Documentaries of 2022
- POV Magazine‘s Best Documentaries of 2022
- Variety‘s Best Documentaries of 2022
- Screen Daily‘s Top Documentaries of 2022
- IndieWire‘s Best Documentaries and Docuseries of 2022
- IDA Award nominees
- The 2023 Sundance Finalists
The noms for the Academy Award for best documentary feature all garnered other accolades from the industry throughout the last year:
- Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes
- Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
- Simon Lereng Wilmont’s A House Made of Splinters
- Sara Dosa’s Fire of Love
- Daniel Roher’s Navalny.
Noms for best documentary short are The Elephant Whisperers (directed by Kartiki Gonsalves), Haulout (Maxim Arbugaev & Evgenia Arbugaeva), How Do You Measure a Year? (Jay Rosenblatt), The Martha Mitchell Effect (Anne Alvergue) and Stranger at the Gate (Joshua Seftel).
- All That Breathes
- All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
- Fire of Love
- Moonage Daydream by Brett Morgen
$852 Million Missed Out
The obvious bias is towards American theatrical-length projects.
Television specials and series are generally not considered for these lists, even though they comprise both the backbone and flesh of the unscripted economy.
Don’t miss my post on the cruel odds operating against indies in the Sundance Documentary Economy.