Top 10 Best Documentaries on Channel 4 to Watch This Year

Channel 4 is renowned for its thought-provoking and enlightening documentaries that delve into a wide range of topics, from social issues to politics to nature. As we enter 2023, there’s never been a better time to explore the diverse range of documentaries available on Channel 4. In this article, we have compiled a list of the ten best documentaries on Channel 4 that you must watch this year. From investigative journalism to breathtaking cinematography, these documentaries offer a unique and powerful glimpse into our world.

  1. Life on Earth—1979
  2. George Michael: Outed—2023
  3. When We Were Kings—1996
  4. Hoop Dreams—1994
  5. The Leader, His Driver, and The Driver’s Wife—1991
  6. Bowling for Columbine—2002
  7. Super Size Me—2004
  8. Fahrenheit 9/11–2004
  9. The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off—2004
  10. Faking it—2000

Life on Earth – 1979

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
David AttenboroughJanuary 16, 1979DocumentaryDavid Attenborough9.1/10

Life on Earth is a documentary series that takes us on a journey through the wonders of nature. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this series explores the diversity of life on Earth, from the smallest microorganisms to the largest mammals. It showcases the beauty and complexity of the natural world, and how everything is interconnected in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. With stunning visuals and insightful commentary, Life on Earth is a must-watch for nature lovers and those who are curious about the world around them.

George Michael: Outed—2023

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Michael OgdenMarch 6, 2023 (United Kingdom)DocumentaryOlly Alexander, Holly Johnson, Richard Coles7.1/10

This powerful documentary takes an intimate look at the 1998 arrest of pop icon George Michael, when he was caught in a compromising situation in a Los Angeles public toilet. 

With rare archival footage and insightful commentary, George Michael: Outed is a timely and important exploration of the intersection of celebrity, sexuality, and social justice.

When We Were Kings – 1996

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Leon GastOctober 25, 1996Documentary, SportMuhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King8.0/10

The documentary When We Were Kings depicts the legendary boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, known as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” which took place in 1974. The film captures the excitement and energy of the event, as well as the political and cultural significance of the fight in the context of the time. Featuring interviews with Ali, Foreman, and other key figures, When We Were Kings provides an inside look into one of the most iconic moments in sports history.

Hoop Dreams – 1994

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Steve JamesOctober 14, 1994Documentary, Drama, SportWilliam Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates8.3/10

Hoop Dreams is a documentary that follows the lives of two African American high school students in Chicago as they pursue their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

The film explores the challenges and obstacles that they face both on and off the court, including issues of race, class, and family. With a powerful and emotional narrative, Hoop Dreams is a thought-provoking film that offers a glimpse into the realities of the American Dream.

The Leader, His Driver, and The Driver’s Wife – 1991

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Nick BroomfieldOctober 18, 1991Documentary, CrimeEugene Terre’Blanche, Nick Broomfield, J.P Meyer7.1/10

“The Leader, His Driver, and The Driver’s Wife” is a documentary that tells the story of a dictator in Central Africa and his driver’s wife, who becomes his mistress. The film offers a rare look into the political and social realities of a country ruled by a tyrant, and the consequences of one woman’s choices. With a unique perspective on power and corruption, “The Leader, His Driver, and The Driver’s Wife” is a fascinating and gripping documentary.

Bowling for Columbine – 2002

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Michael MooreOctober 11, 2002Documentary, Crime, DramaMichael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson8.0/10

Bowling for Columbine is a documentary that explores the roots of gun violence in America. Through interviews with survivors of the Columbine High School shooting, as well as political figures and gun enthusiasts, the film delves into the complex and controversial issue of gun control. With a mixture of humor and outrage, Bowling for Columbine is a powerful and thought-provoking film that challenges viewers to consider the impact of gun violence on American society.

Super Size Me – 2004

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Morgan SpurlockMay 7, 2004Documentary, ComedyMorgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker7.2/10

Super Size Me is a documentary that follows filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he eats nothing but McDonald’s food for a month. The film explores the impact of fast food on Spurlock’s health, as well as the larger issues of obesity and corporate responsibility. With a mixture of humor and shock, Super Size Me is a compelling and eye-opening film that raises important questions about the fast food industry.

Fahrenheit 9/11 – 2004

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Michael MooreJune 25, 2004Documentary, Drama, WarMichael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck7.5/10

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary film that takes a critical look at the events surrounding the September 11 attacks and the subsequent actions of the United States government, particularly the administration of President George W. Bush. Directed by Michael Moore, the film presents a powerful and thought-provoking examination of the controversial issues surrounding the War on Terror.

The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off – 2004

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Patrick Collerton2004DocumentaryEdna Kennedy, Jonny Kennedy, Nell McAndrew8.7/10

The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off is a heart-wrenching and inspiring documentary that tells the story of Jonny Kennedy, a man born with a rare genetic disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). The film follows Jonny’s journey, from his struggles with the painful and debilitating condition to his determination to raise awareness and find a cure.

Faking it – 2000

DirectorRelease DateGenreCastIMDb Rating
Lance JefferyJanuary 1, 2000DocumentaryMichael Kitchen, Tamara Czartoryski-Borbon, Donna Berlin7.7/10

Faking It is a fascinating documentary that explores the world of art forgery and the people who dedicate their lives to creating convincing imitations of famous works of art. The film takes a deep dive into the motivations of the forgers and their techniques for creating fake masterpieces. Through interviews with art historians and experts, the film raises questions about the true value of art and the role of authenticity in the art world.


Channel 4 continues to be a major player in the world of documentary filmmaking, providing a platform for powerful stories that deserve to be told. With such a wealth of documentaries available on the channel, it can be challenging to know where to start. However, our list of the ten best documentaries on Channel 4 provides a fantastic starting point for anyone looking to explore this fascinating and thought-provoking genre. Whether you’re interested in social issues, politics, or nature, there’s a documentary on Channel 4 that is sure to captivate and inspire you.

Sanya Rehman

Sanya Rehman is our digital marketing guru, turning streaming buzz into booming business with her savvy strategies and contagious enthusiasm. She’s the secret sauce behind our viral success!
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