Documentaries You Must See

by randocommando41 | created - 25 Mar 2011 | updated - 19 Jul 2014 | Public

A list of my favorite documentaries that I really enjoyed.

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1. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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: 45,587 | Gross: $2.96M

2. Facing Ali (2009)

R | 100 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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

Ten of Muhammad Ali's former rivals pay tribute to the three-time world heavyweight champion.

Director: Pete McCormack | Stars: George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, George Foreman, Joe Frazier

Votes: 2,868

3. In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

PG | 100 min | Documentary, History

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

The crew members of NASA's Apollo missions tell their story in their own words.

Director: David Sington | Stars: Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Stephen Armstrong, Viola Armstrong

Votes: 5,831 | Gross: $1.13M

4. Grizzly Man (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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87 Metascore

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.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter

Votes: 45,239 | Gross: $3.17M

5. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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

Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.

Director: Seth Gordon | Stars: Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Mark Alpiger, Adam Wood

Votes: 32,107 | Gross: $0.68M

6. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
84 Metascore

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 43,041 | Gross: $0.86M

7. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

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

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 20,869 | Gross: $7.83M

8. Sicko (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Documentary, Drama

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

A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Tucker Albrizzi, Tony Benn, George W. Bush

Votes: 69,581 | Gross: $24.54M

9. Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary

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

The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Director: Frank Pavich | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss

Votes: 16,946 | Gross: $0.65M

10. Senna (2010)

PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams, Ron Dennis

Votes: 50,074 | Gross: $1.61M

11. Farmland (2014)

TV-G | 77 min | Documentary

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
32 Metascore

Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. "Farmland" takes an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ... See full summary »

Director: James Moll | Stars: Brad Bellah, Leighton Cooley, David Loberg, Sutton Morgan

Votes: 115

12. Tyson (2008)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

7.5
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83 Metascore

A mixture of original interviews and archival footage and photographs sheds light on the life experiences of Mike Tyson.

Director: James Toback | Stars: Mike Tyson, Mills Lane, Trevor Berbick, Cus D'Amato

Votes: 11,201 | Gross: $0.89M

13. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
65 Metascore

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce

Votes: 37,234 | Gross: $3.23M

14. Roger & Me (1989)

R | 91 min | Documentary

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

Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Roger B. Smith, Rhonda Britton, Fred Ross

Votes: 23,903 | Gross: $6.71M

15. Super Size Me (2004)

PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
73 Metascore

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.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker, Dania Abu-Rmaileh

Votes: 91,224 | Gross: $11.53M

16. Marley (2012)

PG-13 | 144 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

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

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff

Votes: 11,855 | Gross: $1.41M

17. Undefeated (2011)

PG-13 | 113 min | Documentary, Sport

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

Chronicles three underprivileged students from inner-city Memphis and their volunteer coach who tries to help them beat the odds on and off the field.

Directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin | Stars: Bill Courtney, O.C. Brown, Montrail 'Money' Brown, Chavis Daniels

Votes: 6,180 | Gross: $0.56M

18. Restrepo (2010)

R | 93 min | Documentary, War

7.6
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85 Metascore

A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan.

Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger | Stars: The Men of Battle Company 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Juan 'Doc Restrepo, Dan Kearney, LaMonta Caldwell

Votes: 18,609 | Gross: $1.33M

19. Sharkwater (2006)

PG | 89 min | Documentary

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

An investigation of sharks' importance to ecosystems and humankind's mass destruction of shark species worldwide.

Director: Rob Stewart | Stars: Rob Stewart, Paul Watson, Erich Ritter, Boris Worm

Votes: 4,446 | Gross: $0.85M

20. 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: 55,398 | Gross: $3.29M

21. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

7.5
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75 Metascore

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 73,544 | Gross: $23.81M

22. Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

PG | 111 min | Documentary

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

An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Charles Adam, Charles Adams, Jonathan Alter, Robert Balfanz

Votes: 10,026 | Gross: $6.41M

23. More Than a Game (2008)

PG | 105 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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

This documentary follows NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his talented teammates through the trials and tribulations of high school basketball in Ohio and James' journey to fame.

Director: Kristopher Belman | Stars: LeBron James, Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton

Votes: 4,579 | Gross: $0.94M

24. Pulling John (2009)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary

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

John Brzenk is troubled by when to call it quits; should he retire when he is on top or wait until someone takes his title. After twenty-five solid years of total world domination, John ... See full summary »

Directors: Vassiliki Khonsari, Sevan Matossian | Stars: John Brzenk, Alexy Voevoda, Travis Bagent, Marcio Barboza

Votes: 674

25. Blindsight (I) (2006)

PG | 104 min | Documentary, Adventure

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

Six blind Tibetan teenagers climb the Lhakpa-Ri peak of Mount Everest, led by seven-summit blind mountain-climber Erik Weihenmayer.

Director: Lucy Walker | Stars: Gavin Attwood, Sally Berg, Sonam Bhumtso, Dachung

Votes: 601 | Gross: $0.09M

26. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

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

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 18,678

27. Gates of Heaven (1978)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

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

A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Lucille Billingsley, Zella Graham, Cal Harberts, Dan Harberts

Votes: 4,541

28. Brothers at War (2009)

R | 110 min | Documentary, War

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

An intimate portrait of an American family during a turbulent time. Jake Rademacher sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The... See full summary »

Director: Jake Rademacher | Stars: Jake Rademacher, Isaac Rademacher, Joe Rademacher, Mahmoud Hamid Ali

Votes: 551 | Gross: $0.15M

29. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

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

Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam, Jeff Anderson

Votes: 8,907 | Gross: $30.58M

30. Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004)

R | 85 min | Documentary

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
78 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Directors: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman | Stars: Kochi, Avijit Halder, Shanti Das, Manik

Votes: 13,322 | Gross: $3.41M

31. The Way We Get By (2009)

Unrated | 84 min | Documentary

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

On call 24/7 for the past six years, three senior citizens have made history by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine. Filled with unexpected turns, their ... See full summary »

Director: Aron Gaudet | Stars: Joan Gaudet, William Knight, Gerald Mundy

Votes: 279 | Gross: $0.11M

32. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

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

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 129,380 | Gross: $21.24M

33. 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: 29,232 | Gross: $4.58M

34. Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup (2009 Video)

Unrated | 99 min | Documentary, History, War

7.2
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Film in the Loose Change series.

Director: Dylan Avery | Stars: Osama bin Laden, Johnelle Bryant, George W. Bush, Laura Bush

Votes: 3,100

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

104 min | Documentary

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

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: 7,330

36. Through the Fire (2005)

103 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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

"Through the Fire" chronicles the journey of Coney Island basketball star, Sebastian Telfair, from famed Lincoln High School straight to the NBA.

Directors: Alistair Christopher, Jonathan Hock | Stars: Sebastian Telfair, Rick Pitino, Asher Beard, Nyan Boateng

Votes: 636 | Gross: $0.03M

37. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

7.5
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67 Metascore

Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Stevie Wonder

Votes: 117,970 | Gross: $119.19M

38. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

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

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 54,128 | Gross: $3.97M