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15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries

posted by Mark on May 7th, 2009

camerashootWhere to Watch Documentary Movies Online for Free

Here are the best sites we’ve found to watch documentary movies online for free, without any of that torrent downloading mess. Who knows, maybe they can help you with research on a term paper — or at least help you procrastinate writing said term paper. (Note: there’s a lot of stuff available if you go directly to Google Video and YouTube, but good luck browsing through the randomness for documentaries unless you know what specific movie you’re looking for.)

filmtalks

15. FilmTalks
Selection:
Around 300 videos embedded from other sites, presented with Digg-style voting
Categories: Unsorted
Notable Films: Maxed Out, Cocaine Cowboys, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Why We Fight, Super Size Me, Koyaanisqati, Steal This Film
Video Availability: OK

documentarywire14. Documentary Wire
Selection: Around 180 videos embedded from other sites, mostly Google Video
Categories: 2012, 9/11, Big Brother/Police State, Body, Mind & Soul, Business/Economy, Climate/Environment, Comedy, Election Fraud, Free Energy, Gardening/Farming, Health/Food/Drugs, Law, Money & Banking, NWO/World Government, People/Biography, Religion, Self Sufficiency/Survival, War on Terror, Zionism
Notable Films: An Inconvenient Truth, Supersize Me, Sicko, Jesus Camp, Earthlings, Bigger Stronger Faster
Video Availability: OK

babelgum13. Babelgum
Selection:
Around 400 videos small independent productions of varying length hosted on site
Categories: Unsorted
Notable Films: All relatively unknown
Video Availability: Excellent

moviesfound12. Movies Found Online
Selection:
Over 300 videos embedded from other sites, mostly Google Video
Categories: Art/Lifestyle, Business/Media, Culture/Society, Food/Health, History, Music/Movies, Nature/Environment, Paranormal/Mystery, People/Biographies, Politics/Government/Corporate, Religion/Spirituality, Space/Science/Technology, War on Terror, Warzone, 9/11
Notable Films: Who Killed the Electric Car?, The U.S. vs. John Lennon, 4 Little Girls, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Bowling for Columbine, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Video Availability: OK

docuview11. Docu-View
Selection:
Around 300 videos embedded from other sites, mostly Google Video
Categories: Anthropology, Art, Biology, Computers, Conspiracy, Cosmology, Crime, Economy, Environment, Geography, Health, History, Mathematics, Military, Mystery, Nature, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Science, Sex, Technology, Terrorism
Notable Films: A Brief History of Time, Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?, Why We Fight, Bowling for Columbine, Crumb, Hoop Dreams, Jesus Camp, Sicko, Style Wars, Super Size Me, This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Video Availability: OK

internetarchive10. Internet Archive
Selection:
Thousands of vintage documentaries, shorts, educational films and newsreels hosted on site
Categories:
Various collections; not always easy to browse
Notable Films: Africa Speaks, Steal This Film, lots of public domain and special collections of historical value
Video Availability: Excellent

joost9. Joost
Selection:
Over 200 legally licensed films hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Hoop Dreams, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, Trembling Before G-d, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, several dozen National Geographic specials
Video Availability:
Excellent

hulu8. Hulu
Selection:
Around 70 doumentary films and over 300 TV episodes, all legally licensed and hosted on site
Categories:
Unsorted
Notable Films:
Confessions of a Superhero, The Buena Vista Social Club, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, Super Size Me, Dig!, The Impaler
Video Availability:
Excellent

guba7. GUBA
Selection:
Around 3,500 videos hosted on site, less than 100 of which are “feature length” (90+ minutes)
Categories:
Aviation, Conspiracy, General, Military; mostly unsorted and difficult to search
Notable Films:
Various Discovery Channel, History Channel and BBC programs.
Video Availability:
Excellent

pbs6. PBS Video
Selection:
Close to 100 high-quality (both video and content-wise), proprietory PBS productions hosted on site
Categories:
Arts & Literature, Cinema, Culture, Health & Wellness, History, Home & How-To, Nature & Environment, News & Public Affairs, Performing Arts, Region, Science, Technology
Notable Films:
Episodes of American Experience, American Masters, FRONTLINE, Nature and NOVA
Video Availability:
Excellent

onlinedocs4u5. Online Documentaries 4 U
Selection:
Close to 250 videos embedded from other sites
Categories:
Activist, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Atheism, Biography, Biology, Countries, Economics, Education, Environment, Evolution, Film, Food, Future, General Science, Genetics, Health, History, Human Biology, IT, Language, Life Extension, Mathematics, Medicine, Murder, Music, Nature, New Age, Palaeontology, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Society, Space, Supernatural, Technology, War
Notable Films:
The Secret, The Business of Being Born, What Would Jesus Buy?, Religulous, Koyaanisqatsi, Cosmos, An Unreasonable Man, Super Size Me
Video Availability:
Good

surfchannel4. SurfTheChannel
Selection:
Links to over 3,000 videos on other sites, from TV show episodes to movies
Categories:
Animals, Anime, Art & Animation, Auto, College & Education, Culture and Style, Documentary, Film & Movies, Funny, Gaming, Life & Style, Music, News/Gossip/Politics, People & Family, Sports, Tech & Gaming, Television, Travel
Notable Films:
God Grew Tired of Us, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Shut Up and Sing, Religulous, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, A Brief History of Time, Sicko, Style Wars
Video Availability:
OK

snagfilms3. SnagFilms
Selection:
Over 650 legally licensed videos hosted on site
Categories: Campus, Environment, Health, History, International, Life & Culture, Music & Arts, Politics, Science & Nature, Sports & Hobbies, Women’s Issues
Notable Films: Confessions of a Superhero, Hoop Dreams, The Times of Harvey Milk, Dig!, Life After Tomorrow, A Century of Black Cinema
Video Availability: Excellent

freedocsonline2. Free Documentaries Online
Selection:
Around 280 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: Anthropology, Astronomy/Space, Biography, Biology/Environment, Cosmology/Physics, Crime/History, Lifestyle/Society, Mystery/Conspiracy, Politics/Religion, Science/Technology
Notable Films: Cocaine Cowboys, Man on Wire, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Religulous, Planet Earth, Microcosmos, Baraka, Taxi to the Dark Side, Bowling for Columbine, The Yes Men
Video Availability: Excellent

topdocfilms1. Top Documentary Films
Selection:
Around 500 videos embedded from other sites
Categories: 9/11, Art & Artists, Biography, Comedy, Conspiracy, History, Military & War, Mystery, Nature & Wildlife, Other, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Sports
Notable Films: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Tupac: Resurrection, Planet Earth, The Bridge, Africa Addio, Bigger Stronger Faster, Super High Me, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, An Inconvenient Truth, Mad Hot Ballroom, Born Into Brothels, Why We Fight, Shut Up & Sing, Maxed Out, March of the Penguins, Step into Liquid, Grizzly Man, When We Were Kings, Rize
Video Availability: Good

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67 Responses to “15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries”

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  6. Documentary Wire Says:

    Thanks! :)

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  8. Jane Says:

    What a great list. I knew of internet archives – which I use a lot for the video biographies and personal history documentaries that I make. But the others are new to me. Thanks.

  9. Watch great documentaries online for free - SmartBean Says:

    [...] the referenced article at: http://aceonlineschools.com/15-best-websites-for-free-documentaries/Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of 15 sites hosting documentaries for free [...]

  10. Shahriar Says:

    ..This is a great site for various professionals………I wish all the best…….and encourage this endeavor………..

  11. Terea Says:

    The World of Tomorrow (1984) Lance Bird, Tom Johnson?

  12. MAJOR Says:

    Thanks for the useful list. Another good one with online movies also: http://freedocumentries.blogspot.com/

  13. Blue Montoya Says:

    There are tons of movie streaming sites online, also check out movies-play

  14. David Says:

    Thanks! There are some really great sites here. Another favorite of mine is geek-documentaries.com if that helps.

  15. Andreas Says:

    really nice list you´ve gathered. My favourite among them are probably Hulu and Pbs. A site you missed is Online Documentaries which in my meaning is the best in updating the site regularly!

  16. Blatant World Says:

    Great list, some excellent sites there!
    Please also check out our Documentary section – 250 films available to watch for free. Many interests catered for.

  17. documentaries online Says:

    To watch documentaries online i recommend you http://www.documentariestv.net may be the site with the biggest collection of documentaries online updated daily.

  18. Streaming-Madness.net Says:

    Great post!

    You might want to check out http://www.streaming-madness.net and add it to your list if you think its usefull.

    Keep up the good work!

    SeeYA

  19. Frances Nassar Says:

    I actually got to this site by searching for movies to stream Online. Will you do an article on the best movies to view online thanks

  20. Jammie Gilgour Says:

    “kill ‘em. no other way. maybe you are able to "talk" to them and ask them not to come in? LMAO…”

  21. John Ottawa Says:

    than watch it for free online.

  22. Jacob Says:

    come true.

  23. Sonics Says:

    Most of them also provide some movie link to watch free movies….geez …..thanks for sharing…please post some more if you have.

  24. Julia Says:

    solved properly asap.

  25. John Frum Says:

    There’s also http://documentarystorm.com , I think its one of the best documentary sites i’ve seen so far!

  26. Neo Johnson Says:

    This page is really cool:
    http://documentaries-lectures.com/
    There are more categories than on other sites.
    It also has some lectures, not only documentary films.
    There are some cool categories like; 2012, 9/11, UFO etc.
    I recommend it for all truth seekers and for everyone else :-)

  27. Documentaries Says:

    I would recomand Human Restore . com , not only that is my website but there are a lot of documentaries that there is not on the other websites you mentioneted in your post.

  28. streaming documentary Says:

    Very good list !
    i have also some new website for documentaries i hope u like it Streaming Documentary

  29. Affordable Online Degree Says:

    I have used few of them, like HULU. I like HULU, its great.

  30. Buy Backlinks Says:

    Great list thanks for the information, I needed it.

  31. Farware Says:

     Here’s another documentary site that I am visiting often recently: http://freedocumentariesonline.tv/

  32. gabi Says:

     Another great site where you can watch online documentaries: http://video-documentaries.comhttp://video-documentaries.com

  33. gabi Says:

     Another great site where you can watch online documentaries:  http://www.video-documentaries.com

  34. Frank Says:

    thanks! Good article!

  35. DOCMASTER Says:

    you forgot http://docmasters.tv they have loads of niche content

  36. Production Says:

    To watch a brand new documentary film I am <fishead( for a limited time go to FHmovie.com

  37. banwait Says:

    There is one more website where you can watch documentaries online its http://www.moviethrong.com Which provides online links for bollywood and punjabi movies also.

  38. Paul Says:

    Great list! I prefer http://www.documentarytube.com over topdocumentaryfilms but guess that’s just me?!

  39. Katie Says:

    nice selection, but I love 
    http://www.documentaryjungle.com/, they have more recent documentries and video quality so much better.

  40. amy Says:

    i agree with you katie, thanks for the info

  41. Frankie Says:

    please add http://www.loedocumentaries.com to your list

  42. Patrickhenk71 Says:

    Great list!  Another couple ones I use a lot as they seem to post up more rare and hard to find documentaries you don’t find on all the mainstream sites are

    http://documentary.operationreality.org

    and

    http://documentary-underground.com

    There was another one I used to visit quite a bit but I can’t seem to find the link atm, I’m not sure I think it might have been shut down.  I’ll post it up though aif I find it was a really good site.

  43. Mila Says:

    Awesome list, thanks! I didn’t even think to try Hulu.

  44. Techieblgrl Says:

    I use DISH Online for 99% of my online watching. You get the same kind of things that are available on normal TV channels so you can watch documentaries from channels like Animal Planet, History Channel, or National Geographic Wild in addition to movies and normal shows. I’m so glad I work for DISH because I don’t think I would’ve found out about their site otherwise. It’s cool because anyone can use it but if you’re a DISH customer, you can log in and access more content. My favorite part is that everything is available instantly so you don’t have to download anything or wait for the show to come on during its regular time.

  45. James Says:

    good info here, the amount of daily uploads there are phenomenon, compared to other sites.

  46. SomeRandomDude Says:

    http://www.thedocumentarysite.com

  47. Timmy Says:

    Hi guys, also check out http://www.documentaryz.com/

  48. Shan Says:

    You have forgotten http://www.docolovers.com

  49. Mixxspot Says:

    Great list.. Thanks.. Also check http://www.documentaryfolder.com

  50. Jacob L Petzold Says:

    Another good resource is http://it-films.com for educational and documentary style films.

  51. Chez Says:

    http://ddocumentary.com should be on this list.

  52. Fesheca Says:

    A newer site, that focuses on Ancient History, Mysteries, UFOs is: 
    http://www.DocumentaryMagic.com  I like it because it stays away from most of the political and government conspiracies.  

  53. Fesheca Says:

    It’s not very good for documentary seekers, Dish Online only has 127 free videos in the documentary genre.  Otherwise, you need to pay the normal monthly fee that everyone else does with Dish Network, whether watching them online or on the TV.  If you like TV series, there’s plenty of those there, but many of us threw away our televisions long ago, and don’t care for those type of shows.   

  54. C Ashley Says:

    Thank-you Fesheca, we just posted our 600th full-length Documentary, & it’s updated several times a month.  We hope to make it to 1,000 or more by the end of the year.  We try to focus on the Mystery side of the documentary category, instead of the others.  

  55. Scruff Mgruff Says:

    Scruff says check outIt-Films.com its jammed packed with educational films and documentaries. And also take a bit out of crime.

  56. Antlers Says:

    You should also check out http://www.lucidtree.com – interesting movies and nicely put together.

  57. Mike B Says:

    Some good 1’s
    here if you like your conspiracy stuff -> http://www.conspiracydocumentaries.com

  58. Mike B Says:

    Some good 1’s
    here if you like your conspiracy stuff –> http://www.conspiracydocumentaries.com

  59. private tutor birmingham Says:

    Lots of Good information in your post, I favorited your blog post so I can visit again in the future, Thanks.

  60. ryankett Says:

    Amazing how few vids these sites had back then, they all have thousands now.

  61. Dr Epic Says:

    It-Films has documentaries of wild and epic proportions!

  62. Sol Aris Says:

    plz edit this post there are much better documentary websites out there! Documentary Addict: http://documentaryaddict.com

  63. Ktop Says:

    Good list, here’s 1 more for the collection – http://www.documentaryboss.com

  64. Alexandru Matei Says:

    AllDocumentaries.org http://www.alldocumentaries.org/ has over 3000 documentaries in their database and the website is continuously growing.

  65. Jesper Says:

    I use Documentarycentral.eu – I find that site gets updates most frequently

  66. ConspiracyTube Says:

    If you like conspiracy documentaries, UFO or paranormal documentaries then check out our site: http://www.conspiracytube.co

  67. morpheus Says:

    http://www.stackdocumentaries.com

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