15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries

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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