The Must See Documentaries

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1.
Bowling for Columbine (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
2.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (107 mins.)
Director: Andrew Jarecki
 
3.
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
 
4.
For All Mankind (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This movie documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours... (80 mins.)
Director: Al Reinert
 
5.
Lake of Fire (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A graphic documentary on both sides of the abortion debate. (152 mins.)
Director: Tony Kaye
 
6.
The Yes Men Fix the World (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events. (87 mins.)
 
7.
Collapse (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness. (82 mins.)
Director: Chris Smith
 
8.
Super Size Me (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
 
9.
GasLand (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved. (107 mins.)
Director: Josh Fox
 
10.
The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A year ago, 36-year-old Jonny Kennedy died. He had a terrible genetic condition called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)... (50 mins.)
 
11.
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
 
12.
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
 
13.
In the Shadow of the Moon (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The crew members of NASA's Apollo missions tell their story in their own words. (100 mins.)
Director: David Sington
 
14.
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
 
15.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games. (79 mins.)
Director: Seth Gordon
 
16.
Inside Job (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown. (105 mins.)
 
17.
Senna (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. (106 mins.)
Director: Asif Kapadia
 
18.
TT3D: Closer to the Edge (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
By vividly recounting the TT's legendary rivalries and the Isle of Man's unique road racing history... (104 mins.)
 
19.
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
 
20.
The Cove (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (92 mins.)
Director: Louie Psihoyos
 
21.
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
 
22.
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
 
23.
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan. (106 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
24.
Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Using smuggled footage, this documentary tells the story of the 2007 protests in Burma by thousands of monks. (84 mins.)
 
25.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
26.
When Louis Met... The Hamiltons (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(78 mins.)
Director: Will Yapp
 
27.
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.)
 
28.
102 Minutes That Changed America (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The morning of September 11, 2001 is shown through multiple video cameras in New York City, from the moment the first WTC tower is hit until after both towers collapse. (102 mins.)
 
29.
The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A series of three documentaries about the use of fear for political gain. (157 mins.)
 
30.
The Queen of Versailles (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. (100 mins.)
 
31.
Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary about the circumstances during a party at a University of Florida fraternity that led up to what may or may not have been a rape... (90 mins.)
Director: Billy Corben
 
32.
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.)
 
33.
West of Memphis (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three. (147 mins.)
Director: Amy Berg
 
34.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez. (86 mins.)
 
35.
Undefeated (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (113 mins.)
 
36.
Catastrophe (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Catastrophe or opportunity depends on your perspective as a victim or survivor. But from the perspective of species catastrophes are an important part of the engine of evolution as this highly scientific series explains.
 
37.
McCullin (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
To many, Don McCullin is the greatest living war photographer, often cited as an inspiration for today's photojournalists... (91 mins.)
 
38.
Gimme Shelter (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont. (91 mins.)
 
39.
Waltz with Bashir (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict. (90 mins.)
Director: Ari Folman
 
40.
Night Will Fall (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps. (75 mins.)
Director: André Singer
 
41.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon, Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes. (279 mins.)
 
42.
Blackfish (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales. (83 mins.)
 
43.
That Sugar Film (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Damon Gameau embarks on an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. (90 mins.)
Director: Damon Gameau
 
44.
The Seven Five (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Meet the dirtiest cop in NYC history. Michael Dowd stole money and dealt drugs while patrolling the streets of 80s Brooklyn. (104 mins.)
Director: Tiller Russell
 
45.
Earthlings (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (95 mins.)
Director: Shaun Monson
 
46.
Our Daily Bread (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest - and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas. (92 mins.)
 
47.
Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A film that claims to be a look at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology. (119 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
48.
Bitter Lake (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An experimental documentary that explores Saudi Arabia's relationship with the U.S. and the role this has played in the war in Afghanistan. (136 mins.)
Director: Adam Curtis
 
49.
The Century of the Self (2002 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations. (235 mins.)
 
50.
Five Broken Cameras (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army. (94 mins.)
 
51.
Pumping Iron (1977 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr... (85 mins.)