With films that extrapolate on key moments in history, explore some incredible personal stories and some that you would not believe were real if not for the film, there were plenty of great documentaries to watch in 2022.

Here are our picks for the Top 5 Documentaries of 2022.

– Ashley Hobley

5.) The Tinder Swindler

Felicity Morris

From one of the producers of Don’t F**** With Cats comes The Tinder Swindler. A documentary that shares the same style and flashy editing style with many text messages and computer screens being shared on-screen for dramatic effect. It keeps it all lively, but at the centre of any good documentary is a story, and The Tinder Swindler focuses on an evil man who uses dating apps to get money out of women and con them into long games where he can use their money to live his jet setting lifestyle. It’s a pyramid scheme of women, and as you watch The Tinder Swindler and learn more about it and how this scheme works, the more horrifying it becomes that he gets away with it, let alone for how long.

– Dylan Blight

4.) Untold: The Race of the Century

Chapman Way, Maclain Way

Australia’s victory in the 1983 America’s Cup is an integral part of our country’s sporting history but I had only a general idea of what happened. Now with this entry in Netflix’s standalone sports documents series, I and many others can learn how this unlikely was achieved.

With interviews with many of the important figures, like Australian skipper John Bertrand and his American counterpart Dennis Conner, as well as former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in one of his final interviews, the documentary explains the sport of sailing to the layman and showcases the incredible ingenuity and hard work that went into making history. I found myself feeling emotional by the film’s conclusion and now consider this a must-watch for any Australian sports fan.

– Ashley Hobley

3.) Wildcat

Trevor Frost, Melissa Lesh

Wildcat is interesting because I never once felt like what either of the two subjects was doing was just for the sake of research. And although you may think it would make watching a film about an-ex soldier with PTSD and the young wildlife rehabilitationist he meets attempts to raise and then let free a baby ocelot, it’s not; it’s more interesting for the fact. These two people have met in the jungle, running away from things in their “real life”, and although they are trying to do some good, they evidently need as much help as the baby ocelot. Wildcat is adorable to watch at times as you get plenty of close-up footage of the baby Ocelot, but it can only be hard to watch as it deals with suicide and abuse. 

– Dylan Blight

2.) Flee

Jonas Poher Rasmussen

The buzz around Flee had reached a fever pitch by the time it was released in Australian cinemas in February. The film follows a series of interviews director Jonas Poher Rasmussen has with his friend Amin Nawabi about how he fled from Afghanistan as a child, spending many years in Russia before finally finding refuge in Denmark.

Animated to recreate Amin’s story and to keep his identity a secret, Flee is a great example that animation is a medium, not a genre, as we are taken on Amin’s journey dealing with Russian police and being human trafficked across borders. A remarkable story brought to life in an underappreciated medium, a really special film.

– Ashley Hobley

1.) NavalNy

Daniel Roher

In recent history, Alexei Navalny was the closest to a legitimate threat to Vladimir Putin. As such, it appears he tried to have Navalny killed in 2020 with a lethal nerve agent while he was on a flight. Somehow Navalany survived, and those headlines were enough to keep most of us engaged reading the news some years ago, but there is more to the story, and ‘Navalany‘ dives right into it. By being along for the journey as he works to recover and eventually return to Russia, this film gives the best insight into just “why” Alexi returned, especially after he publicly calls out Putin as the man who attempted to kill him. Navalny is a gripping documentary, with one scene, in particular, being one of the most insane things you could watch in 2022. You’ll think it’s fiction, but it’s real.

– Dylan Blight

Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled this Top 5 list. The movies nominated must have had a theatrical release in a cinema, VOD or on a streaming platform between December 27th 2021 – December 27th 2022.