IDA's Top 25 Documentariesby Jumping_Elephant | created - 13 Sep 2011 | updated - 13 Sep 2011 | Public
A list of 25 essential documentaries according to the International Documentary Association: http://www.documentary.org/content/top-25-docs
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1. Hoop Dreams (1994)
PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Votes: 21,010 | Gross: $7.83M
2. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 18,085 | Gross: $1.21M
6. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
PG | 96 min | Documentary
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.
Votes: 73,864 | Gross: $23.81M
8. Gimme Shelter (1970)
R | 91 min | Documentary, Music, Thriller
A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.
Votes: 9,094 | Gross: $0.25M
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History
Votes: 20,554 | Gross: $4.19M
10. Roger & Me (1989)
R | 91 min | Documentary
Votes: 23,955 | Gross: $6.71M
11. Super Size Me (2004)
PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 91,546 | Gross: $11.53M
13. Salesman (1969)
G | 85 min | Documentary, Drama
Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families.
14. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.
Votes: 29,487 | Gross: $1.72M
15. Sherman's March (1985)
Not Rated | 157 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »
16. Grey Gardens (1975)
PG | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.
Votes: 9,557 | Gross: $0.03M
17. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography
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.
Votes: 20,958 | Gross: $3.12M
R | 85 min | Documentary
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.
Votes: 13,514 | Gross: $3.41M
20. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
G | 105 min | Documentary, Music
Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
Votes: 14,454 | Gross: $7.00M
21. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War
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.
Votes: 118,295 | Gross: $119.19M
23. Grizzly Man (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography
Votes: 45,480 | Gross: $3.17M
24. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.