Documentaries Worth Watching

by James Collins | created - 04 Aug 2012 | updated - 04 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

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

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood, Dick Clay

Votes: 12,183

2. 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: 32,111 | Gross: $0.68M

3. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

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

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 29,287 | Gross: $1.72M

4. The American Nightmare (2000)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Horror

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

An examination into the nature of 1960s-'70s horror films, the artists involved, and how they reflected contemporary society.

Director: Adam Simon | Stars: George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Tom Savini, David Cronenberg

Votes: 1,670

5. Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000 TV Movie)

Unrated | 130 min | Documentary, Crime

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

The case of the West Memphis Three, its questionable circumstances and the parties involved are followed up years later.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Damien Wayne Echols, Melissa Byers, Norris Deajon, Tim Sullivan

Votes: 6,311

6. 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

7. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

PG | 92 min | Documentary

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

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.

Director: Chris Paine | Stars: Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Reverend Gadget

Votes: 11,604 | Gross: $1.68M

8. The Corporation (2003)

Unrated | 145 min | Documentary, History

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

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott | Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora, Nina Jones

Votes: 18,977 | Gross: $1.88M

9. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

PG | 86 min | Documentary

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

The story of the Disney Renaissance, an incredibly prolific, successful and prestigious decade lasting from 1984 to 1994 that saw the fallen Walt Disney Animation Studios' unexpected progressive triumphant return to excellence.

Director: Don Hahn | Stars: Roy Edward Disney, John Lasseter, Michael Eisner, Don Hahn

Votes: 1,968 | Gross: $0.08M

10. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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: 117,972 | Gross: $119.19M

11. Tabloid (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

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

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw

Votes: 5,701 | Gross: $0.68M

12. Cropsey (2009)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Crime, Horror

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman | Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis, Dorothy D'Eletto

Votes: 6,389 | Gross: $0.05M

13. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)

Unrated | 99 min | Documentary, Crime

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

Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States.

Director: Marina Zenovich | Stars: Andrew Braunsberg, Richard Brenneman, Douglas Dalton, Marilyn Beck

Votes: 4,416 | Gross: $0.06M

14. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Not Rated | 121 min | Documentary, Crime

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

A further followup of the case of the West Memphis Three and the decades long fight to exonerate them that finally gained traction with new DNA evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Gary Gitchell, Todd Moore, Dana Moore, Pam Hobbs

Votes: 7,348

15. 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: 29,233 | Gross: $4.58M

16. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary

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

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan

Votes: 26,132 | Gross: $0.30M

17. 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: 91,228 | Gross: $11.53M

18. 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: 11,298 | Gross: $0.15M

19. Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008)

TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary

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

A chronicle of the life, work and mind that created the Cthulhu mythos.

Director: Frank H. Woodward | Stars: Robin Atkin Downes, Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, Guillermo del Toro

Votes: 1,115

20. Terror in the Aisles (1984)

R | 84 min | Horror, Documentary, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A compilation of scenes from science fiction, crime drama and horror films of the 1930s through 1980s.

Director: Andrew J. Kuehn | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Nancy Allen, Fred Asparagus, Lainie Cooke

Votes: 1,516 | Gross: $10.00M

21. Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005)

TV-14 | 86 min | Documentary

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

From 1970-1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch films.

Director: Stuart Samuels | Stars: John Waters, Ben Barenholtz, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alan Douglas

Votes: 1,272

22. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
71 Metascore

A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Lee Scott, Don Hunter, Jon Hunter, Jeremy Hunter

Votes: 4,246

23. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006)

Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Horror

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

A documentary on the history of the slasher film.

Stars: Ed Green, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Herb Freed

Votes: 2,939

24. Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011)

R | 95 min | Documentary

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

A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.

Director: Alex Stapleton | Stars: Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Paul W.S. Anderson

Votes: 1,927 | Gross: $0.01M

25. Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)

R | 103 min | Documentary

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

The story of the Australian exploitation genre cinema of 1970s and 80s.

Director: Mark Hartley | Stars: Phillip Adams, Glory Annen, Christine Amor, Victoria Anoux

Votes: 3,478 | Gross: $0.02M

26. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

7.1
Rate this
    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: 37,235 | Gross: $3.23M

27. The People vs. George Lucas (2010)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
55 Metascore

An examination of the widespread fan disenchantment with George Lucas.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe | Stars: Joe Nussbaum, Daryl Frazetti, Doug Jones, Damian Hess

Votes: 4,013

28. Atlantis (I) (1991)

78 min | Documentary, Music

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Atmospheric soundtrack follows this compilation of nature footage that focuses on the Atlantic ocean and various life forms that live, mate and die in it.

Director: Luc Besson

Votes: 1,601 | Gross: $0.14M

29. Second Skin (2008)

94 min | Documentary

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

An intimate, fascinating look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging, hugely popular genre of computer games.

Director: Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza | Stars: Dan Bustard, Ashley Esqueda, Andrew Monkelban, Nick Yee

Votes: 702