best documentaries i've seen

by low-wip | created - 25 Jun 2011 | updated - 13 Apr 2012 | Public
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1. 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: 43,053 | Gross: $0.86M

2. 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: 45,615 | Gross: $2.96M

3. 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: 25,806

4. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

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

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 50,393 | Gross: $77.44M

5. Cocaine Cowboys (2006)

R | 118 min | Documentary, Crime, History

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

In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Corben | Stars: Jon Roberts, Al Sunshine, Sam Burstyn, Mickey Munday

Votes: 11,301 | Gross: $0.15M

6. 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: 50,095 | Gross: $1.61M

7. Baraka (1992)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

8.6
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A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion.

Director: Ron Fricke

Votes: 30,721 | Gross: $1.25M

8. 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: 32,118 | Gross: $0.68M

9. Isle of Flowers (1989)

13 min | Documentary, Short

8.5
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The ironic, heartbreaking and acid "saga" of a spoiled tomato: from the plantation of a "Nisei" (Brazilian with Japanese origins); to a supermarket; to a consumer's kitchen to become sauce ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Paulo José, Ciça Reckziegel, Douglas Trainini, Júlia Barth

Votes: 4,600

10. Earthlings (2005)

95 min | Documentary, Horror

8.7
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Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Director: Shaun Monson | Star: Joaquin Phoenix

Votes: 14,638

11. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

8.0
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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: 8,908 | Gross: $30.58M

12. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

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

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 17,912 | Gross: $1.21M

13. Murderball (2005)

R | 88 min | Documentary, Sport

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

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Directors: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro | Stars: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan, Joe Bishop

Votes: 9,319 | Gross: $1.52M

14. The Endurance (2000)

G | 97 min | Documentary, History

7.9
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85 Metascore

A retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton 's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916, featuring new footage of the actual locations and interviews with surviving relatives of key ... See full summary »

Director: George Butler | Stars: Liam Neeson, Julian Ayer, John Blackborow, David Cale

Votes: 1,651 | Gross: $2.45M

15. Touching the Void (2003)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

8.1
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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: 29,248 | Gross: $4.58M

16. 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: 4,548 | Gross: $0.03M

17. Ônibus 174 (2002)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Crime

7.9
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83 Metascore

Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all ... See full summary »

Directors: José Padilha, Felipe Lacerda | Stars: Sandro do Nascimento, Rodrigo Pimentel, Luiz Eduardo Soares, Anonymous

Votes: 7,128 | Gross: $0.22M