Best Documentaries Ever

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Beatles Anthology (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands. (600 mins.)
 
2.
Baseball (1994 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game. (1140 mins.)
 
3.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star. (90 mins.)
 
4.
The Thin Blue Line (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas. (103 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
5.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. (120 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
6.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara. (107 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
7.
When We Were Kings (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire, "The Rumble in the Jungle," between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali. (88 mins.)
Director: Leon Gast
 
8.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs. (208 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
9.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son. (95 mins.)
Director: Kurt Kuenne
 
10.
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century. (90 mins.)
 
11.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before. (239 mins.)
 
12.
The War (2007 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families. (124 mins.)
 
13.
The Horse Boy (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A writer documents the journey his family takes to Mongolia to consult with nomadic shamans on the healing of their autistic son. (93 mins.)
 
14.
Nanook of the North (1922 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle. (78 mins.)
 
15.
No End in Sight (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country. (102 mins.)
 
16.
Planet Earth (2006 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, 5 years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition. (48 mins.)
 
17.
Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Twenty-four contestants compete in an endurance/sleep deprivation contest in order to win a brand new Nissan Hardbody truck... (98 mins.)
Director: S.R. Bindler
 
18.
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director. (96 mins.)
 
19.
Trumbo (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Through a focus on the life of Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this film examines the effects on individuals... (96 mins.)
Director: Peter Askin
 
20.
Seven Up! (1964 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A group of seven-year-old British children from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects... (39 mins.)
Director: Paul Almond
“ The entire series is excellent ” - kgustafson2167
 
21.
Sicko (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths. (123 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
22.
Monty Python: Almost the Truth - The Lawyer's Cut (2009 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Britain's top comedians pay tribute to the iconic series, Monty Python's Flying Circus. (107 mins.)
 
23.
History of the Eagles (2013 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The life and times of the super successful American soft-rock band, Eagles. (187 mins.)
Director: Alison Ellwood
 
24.
Muscle Shoals (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman". (111 mins.)
 
25.
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics. (225 mins.)
 
26.
Hoop Dreams (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. (170 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
27.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore's personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change in the most talked-about documentary at Sundance. (96 mins.)
 
28.
Grizzly Man (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. (103 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
29.
Religulous (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion. (101 mins.)
Director: Larry Charles
 
30.
American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. (102 mins.)
 
31.
Microcosmos (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on insect life in meadows and ponds. (80 mins.)
 
32.
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided. (75 mins.)
 
33.
Dont Look Back (1967 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan. (96 mins.)
Director: D.A. Pennebaker
 
34.
Genghis Blues (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva. (88 mins.)
Director: Roko Belic
 
35.
American Movie (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before. (107 mins.)
Director: Chris Smith
 
36.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board. (98 mins.)
Director: Kirby Dick
 
37.
A Decade Under the Influence (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary examining the decade of the 1970s as a turning point in American cinema. Some of today's best filmmakers interview the influential directors of that time. (138 mins.)
 
38.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie. (119 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Bowser
 
39.
Pearl Jam Twenty (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A documentary on the band Pearl Jam that marks their 20th anniversary in the year 2011. (109 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
 
40.
The Blues (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary series about the origin and history of The Blues.
 
41.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence. (150 mins.)
 
42.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy... (87 mins.)
Director: Banksy
 
43.
Beautiful People (1974 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Hilarious documentary on the wildlife of the Namib Desert. (92 mins.)
Director: Jamie Uys
 
44.
Visions of Light (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography)... (92 mins.)
 
45.
The Howlin' Wolf Story (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Don McGlynn
 
46.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Phil Spector is a pioneer of American music, a legendary producer to John Lennon and Tina Turner, and... (102 mins.)
Director: Vikram Jayanti
 
47.
Big River Man (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Martin Strel attempts to cover 3,375 miles of the Amazon River, the longest continuous swim in history. (100 mins.)
Director: John Maringouin
 
48.
Grey Gardens (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. (94 mins.)
 
49.
Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future. (92 mins.)
Director: Chris Paine
 
50.
Tyson (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A mixture of original interviews and archival footage and photographs sheds light on the life experiences of Mike Tyson. (90 mins.)
Director: James Toback
 
51.
Crumb (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family. (119 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
52.
Kevorkian (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After serving 9 years in prison for assisting a suicide, Jack Kevorkian was released from prison in 2007. What followed is the amazing final chapter in the life of one of the most controversial men of our times. (91 mins.)
Director: Matthew Galkin
 
53.
Super Size Me (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month. (100 mins.)
Director: Morgan Spurlock
 
54.
Lost in La Mancha (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground. (93 mins.)
 
55.
Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier. (91 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
56.
Rising Low (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
(88 mins.)
Director: Mike Gordon
 
57.
Catfish (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries. (87 mins.)
 
58.
War Photographer (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever. (96 mins.)
Director: Christian Frei
 
59.
Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida. (111 mins.)
 
60.
Startup.com (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com. (107 mins.)
 
61.
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary on the life and death of Hunter S. Thompson. (73 mins.)
Director: Tom Thurman
 
62.
Kurt & Courtney (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain and his relationship with Courtney Love. (95 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
63.
Catching Hell (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After the Chicago Cubs blow an opportunity to reach the World Series in 2003, Cubs fans blame the team's misfortune on fellow fan Steve Bartman, who interfered with a foul ball and prevented Moises Alou from making a catch. (102 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
64.
Young@Heart (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians. (107 mins.)
 
65.
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary on the Z Channel, one of the first pay cable stations in the US, and its programming chief... (120 mins.)
Director: Xan Cassavetes
 
66.
Tabloid (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary. (87 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
67.
The Civil War (1990 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War. (680 mins.)
 
68.
Overnight (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on the rise and stumble of Troy Duffy, the bartender-cum-filmmaker who was swept up by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to turn his script for The Boondock Saints into a feature film. (82 mins.)