Top 50 Documentaries

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1.
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
 
2.
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
 
3.
The Last Waltz (1978 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band. (117 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
4.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch. (86 mins.)
Director: Stanley Nelson
 
5.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence. (150 mins.)
 
6.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
 
7.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams. (80 mins.)
Director: Sacha Gervasi
 
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.
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
 
10.
Crumb (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family. (119 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
11.
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
 
12.
American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. (102 mins.)
 
13.
Salesman (1969 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (85 mins.)
 
14.
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
 
15.
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The life and work of the enigmatic folk rock singer-songwriter. (116 mins.)
Director: John Scheinfeld
 
16.
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
 
17.
My Flesh and Blood (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Documentary following Susan Tom of Fairfield, California and her 11 adopted special needs children. (83 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Karsh
 
18.
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
 
19.
Encounters at the End of the World (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there. (99 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
20.
The Bridge (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary... (94 mins.)
Director: Eric Steel
 
21.
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
 
22.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before. (239 mins.)
 
23.
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
 
24.
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
 
25.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
26.
Touching the Void (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. (106 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
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.
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
 
29.
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
 
30.
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
 
31.
Winnebago Man (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video... (85 mins.)
Director: Ben Steinbauer
 
32.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (122 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
33.
Prodigal Sons (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Filmmaker Kimberly Reed returns home for her high school reunion, ready to reintroduce herself to the... (86 mins.)
Director: Kimberly Reed
 
34.
Dark Days (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City. (82 mins.)
Director: Marc Singer
 
35.
Lemmy (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the life and career of revered heavy-metal musician Lemmy Kilmister. (116 mins.)
 
36.
Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000 Documentary)
    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. (130 mins.)
 
37.
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.)
 
38.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
39.
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
 
40.
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
 
41.
The Horseman (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An old farmer runs his farm the old fashioned way with no tractor and no machines, only his horses and cattle. (82 mins.)
 
42.
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Rising from the ashes of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters became a Grammy-winning sensation on their own. Sixteen... (150 mins.)
Director: James Moll
 
43.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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
 
44.
Fuck (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on the expletive's origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use. (93 mins.)
Director: Steve Anderson
 
45.
The Parking Lot Movie (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The Parking Lot Movie is a documentary about a singular parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia. The... (74 mins.)
Director: Meghan Eckman
 
46.
Wordplay (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base. (94 mins.)
Director: Patrick Creadon
 
47.
Love Shines (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An atmospheric quest film, Love Shines follows Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith as he embarks on a last ditch effort to achieve a 'hit'... (89 mins.)
 
48.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu. (81 mins.)
Director: David Gelb
 
49.
Confessions of a Superhero (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Chronicles the lives of four mortal men and women who work as characters on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard. (92 mins.)
Director: Matt Ogens
 
50.
The White Diamond (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship... (88 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog