Documentaries worth watching...

by kevinmbarry | created - 10 Jun 2011 | updated - 26 Jul 2011 | Public

Documentaries - A good documentary can challenge you, present a new perspective, or simply present the facts... The films in this List achieve that... So if you've got 90 Minutes and an inquiring nature, consider one of these films...

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1. A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006 Video)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, War

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A theatrical documentary on the planet's dwindling oil resources.

Directors: Basil Gelpke, Raymond McCormack, Reto Caduff | Stars: Wade Adams, Abdul Samad Al-Awadi, Fadhil J. Al-Chalabi, Roscoe Bartlett

Votes: 1,859

2. American Teen (2008)

PG-13 | 95 min | Documentary

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
66 Metascore

A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques.

Director: Nanette Burstein | Stars: Hannah Bailey, Jake Tusing, Megan Krizmanich, Colin Clemens

Votes: 3,924 | Gross: $0.94M

3. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
90 Metascore

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki | Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman, Elaine Friedman

Votes: 20,964 | Gross: $3.12M

4. Control Room (2004)

84 min | Documentary

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
79 Metascore

A documentary on perception of the United States's war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera's coverage.

Director: Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Samir Khader, Josh Rushing, George W. Bush, Hassan Ibrahim

Votes: 4,865 | Gross: $2.59M

5. Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 84 min | Documentary, History, War

7.9
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A documentary featuring letters written by U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Archive footage of the war and news ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Couturié | Stars: Tom Berenger, Ellen Burstyn, J. Kenneth Campbell, Richard Chaves

Votes: 1,571

6. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
82 Metascore

A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

Director: Kurt Kuenne | Stars: Kurt Kuenne, Andrew Bagby, David Bagby, Kathleen Bagby

Votes: 26,017

7. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary

7.7
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A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer, George W. Bush

Votes: 14,042

8. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G | 99 min | Documentary

7.8
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80 Metascore

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov, Doug MacAyeal

Votes: 15,198 | Gross: $0.94M

9. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
85 Metascore

The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 55,680 | Gross: $3.29M

10. Food, Inc. (2008)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb, Vince Edwards

Votes: 45,949 | Gross: $4.42M

11. Freakonomics (2010)

PG-13 | 85 min | Documentary

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
58 Metascore

A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki, Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Morgan Spurlock, James Ransone, Tempestt Bledsoe, Melvin Van Peebles

Votes: 6,195 | Gross: $0.10M

12. GasLand (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary

7.7
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An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved.

Director: Josh Fox | Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger, Richard Nixon

Votes: 9,755 | Gross: $0.03M

13. Hearts and Minds (1974)

R | 112 min | Documentary, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
68 Metascore

An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War.

Director: Peter Davis | Stars: Tin Chan, Chau Diem, Ngo Dinh Diem, John Foster Dulles

Votes: 4,569 | Gross: $0.03M

14. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Crime

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 61,947 | Gross: $4.31M

15. I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

PG | 85 min | Documentary

7.6
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70 Metascore

Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country's shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster.

Director: Patrick Creadon | Stars: Robert Bixby, Humphrey Bogart, Warren Buffett, George Bush

Votes: 1,774 | Gross: $0.82M

16. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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89 Metascore

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 45,989 | Gross: $2.96M

17. Marwencol (2010)

83 min | Documentary, Biography, Fantasy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
83 Metascore

After a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

Director: Jeff Malmberg | Stars: Mark Hogancamp, Emmanuel Nneji, Edda Hogancamp, Tom Neubauer

Votes: 2,628 | Gross: $0.11M

18. Maxed Out (2006)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
65 Metascore

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America's Gulf Coast, it laid bare an uncomfortable reality-America is not only far from the world's wealthiest nation; it is crumbling beneath a staggering ... See full summary »

Director: James D. Scurlock | Stars: Beth Naef, Mike Hudson, Louis C.K., Catherine Brown

Votes: 2,087 | Gross: $0.06M

19. Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Crime

8.0
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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.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade | Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams, Michael Glover

Votes: 3,733

20. No End in Sight (2007)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
89 Metascore

A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke, Ali Fadhil, Omar Fekeiki

Votes: 7,639 | Gross: $1.43M

21. Occupation 101 (2006)

90 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. political involvement.

Directors: Abdallah Omeish, Sufyan Omeish | Stars: James Akins, Arik Ascherman, Bishop Barltlett Jr., Phyllis Bennis

Votes: 1,615

22. Page One: Inside the New York Times (2011)

R | 92 min | Documentary

6.9
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68 Metascore

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.

Director: Andrew Rossi | Stars: David Carr, Sarah Ellison, Larry Ingrassia, Dennis Crowley

Votes: 3,082 | Gross: $1.07M

23. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

8.3
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A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood, Dick Clay

Votes: 12,265

24. Religulous (2008)

R | 101 min | Documentary, Comedy, War

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
56 Metascore

Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Bill Maher, Tal Bachman, Jonathan Boulden, Steve Burg

Votes: 54,699 | Gross: $13.00M

25. Sir! No Sir! (2005)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
74 Metascore

This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and subversion. It speaks ... See full summary »

Director: David Zeiger | Stars: Michael Alaimo, Edward Asner, Joe Bangert, Tom Bernard

Votes: 606 | Gross: $0.11M

26. Spellbound (2002)

G | 97 min | Documentary, Comedy, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz | Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar, Scott McGarraugh

Votes: 11,353 | Gross: $5.73M

27. The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

92 min | Documentary

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
75 Metascore

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith | Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson, John Dean

Votes: 2,057 | Gross: $0.45M

28. The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
78 Metascore

The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. Castigated as a pariah in his community, Farmer John bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and arson. He ... See full summary »

Director: Taggart Siegel | Stars: John Peterson, Anna Nielsen, John Edwards, Lester Peterson

Votes: 582 | Gross: $0.01M

29. The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007)

104 min | Documentary

8.3
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BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union', Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of 'BC ... See full summary »

Director: Brett Harvey | Stars: Adam Scorgie, Chris Bennett, Steve Bloom, Renee Bojee

Votes: 7,349

30. The War on Democracy (2007)

96 min | Documentary

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary ... See full summary »

Directors: Christopher Martin, John Pilger, Sean Crotty | Stars: John Pilger, Philip Agee, Salvador Allende, Jacobo Arbenz

Votes: 2,000

31. Touching the Void (2003)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron

Votes: 29,387 | Gross: $4.58M

32. War Photographer (2001)

96 min | Documentary, War

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
79 Metascore

Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.

Director: Christian Frei | Stars: James Nachtwey, Christiane Amanpour, Hans-Hermann Klare, Christiane Breustedt

Votes: 3,537

33. White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Using extensive interviews with survivors and archival footage, an examination reveals the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Director: Steven Okazaki | Stars: Harold Agnew, Shuntaro Hida, Kiyoko Imori, Morris Jeppson

Votes: 1,463

34. Winter Soldier (1972)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, History, War

8.2
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For three days in 1971, former US soldiers who were in Vietnam testify in Detroit about their war experiences. Nearly 30 speak, describing atrocities personally committed or witnessed, ... See full summary »

Stars: Rusty Sachs, Joe Bangert, Scott Shimabukuro, Kenneth Campbell

Votes: 836

35. Zeitgeist (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues.

Director: Peter Joseph | Stars: Chogyam Trungpa, Jordan Maxwell, George Carlin, Bill Hicks

Votes: 44,913