Best Documentaries

in no particular order
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1.
Hoop Dreams (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. (170 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
2.
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
 
3.
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
 
4.
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A year in the life of the White family, well known for Jesco White, the star of the "Dancing Outlaw" documentary. (86 mins.)
Director: Julien Nitzberg
 
5.
The Botany of Desire (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism and a student of food, presents the history of four plants... (120 mins.)
 
6.
The Aristocrats (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville. (89 mins.)
Director: Paul Provenza
 
7.
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
 
8.
The Beatles Anthology (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands. (600 mins.)
 
9.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. (120 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
10.
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
 
11.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star. (90 mins.)
 
12.
Planet Earth (2006 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, 5 years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition. (533 mins.)
 
13.
Microcosmos (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on insect life in meadows and ponds. (80 mins.)
 
14.
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.)
 
15.
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director. (96 mins.)
 
16.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board. (98 mins.)
Director: Kirby Dick
 
17.
Super Size Me (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
 
18.
Man on Wire (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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." (94 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
19.
Jesus Camp (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham. (84 mins.)
 
20.
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
 
21.
Woodstock (1970 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival. (184 mins.)
 
22.
Dont Look Back (1967 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan. (96 mins.)
Director: D.A. Pennebaker
 
23.
Sicko (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths. (123 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
24.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
 
25.
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
 
26.
The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love. (110 mins.)
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
 
27.
Shark Week (1987 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Documentary following sharks and shark attacks.
 
28.
National Geographic Explorer (1985 TV Series)
Episode: Inside North Korea (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Posing as a medical coordinator, Lisa Ling gains access to North Korea offering viewers a chance to see inside the "Hermit Kingdom". (120 mins.)
Director: Cara Biega
 
29.
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
 
30.
It Might Get Loud (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White. (98 mins.)
 
31.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs. (208 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
32.
Night and Fog (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. (32 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
33.
Roger & Me (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
34.
Murderball (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Paraplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. (88 mins.)
 
35.
Helvetica (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. (80 mins.)
Director: Gary Hustwit
 
36.
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
First-time filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sam Jones documents the recording of Wilco's album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." (92 mins.)
Director: Sam Jones