My Favorite Documentaries

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1.
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
 
2.
They Killed Sister Dorothy (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Documentary on the killing of 73-year-old Catholic nun and activist Sister Dorothy Stang in February 2005... (94 mins.)
Director: Daniel Junge
 
3.
Grass (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century. (80 mins.)
Director: Ron Mann
 
4.
Punk: Attitude (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock. (90 mins.)
Director: Don Letts
 
5.
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities. (98 mins.)
 
6.
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
 
7.
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
 
8.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity. (90 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
9.
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
 
10.
Imagine: John Lennon (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A biography of the rock music star. (100 mins.)
Director: Andrew Solt
 
11.
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
 
12.
Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death... (124 mins.)
Director: Julien Temple
 
13.
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
 
14.
Best Worst Movie (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A look at the making of the film Troll 2 and its journey from being crowned the "worst film of all time" to a cherished cult classic. (93 mins.)
 
15.
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.)
 
16.
Cropsey (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (84 mins.)
 
17.
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
 
18.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States. (99 mins.)
Director: Marina Zenovich
 
19.
Love Letter to Edie (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary about actress Edith Massey in which she talks about her life and her career in film. (14 mins.)
Director: Robert Maier
 
20.
Kurt & Courtney (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain and his relationship with Courtney Love. (95 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
21.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Nick Broomfield's second documentary on Aileen Carol Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was executed in 2002 for killing six men in the state of Florida. This second installment includes the filmmaker's testimony at Wournous's trial. (93 mins.)
 
22.
Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
1992, Florida, USA. Aileen Wuornos is claimed to be the world's first female serial killer. (87 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
23.
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
 
24.
Strictly Background (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary spotlighting movie extras - the indispensable background actors in films. (84 mins.)
Director: Jason Connell
 
25.
I Need That Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A documentary feature examining why over 3000 independent record stores have closed across the U.S. in the past decade... (78 mins.)
Director: Brendan Toller
 
26.
Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this film examines the conditions that have lead to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles. (93 mins.)
Director: Stacy Peralta
 
27.
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
 
28.
One Nation Under God (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Focusing on the contemporary religious Right Wing proliferation of curative therapies for homosexuality... (83 mins.)
 
29.
Cocaine Cowboys (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago... (118 mins.)
Director: Billy Corben
 
30.
Deliver Us from Evil (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children. (101 mins.)
Director: Amy Berg
 
31.
For the Bible Tells Me So (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community. (95 mins.)
Director: Daniel Karslake
 
32.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union'... (104 mins.)
Director: Brett Harvey
 
33.
Kimjongilia (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
North Korean defectors tell their stories of repression, escape and hope. (75 mins.)
Director: N.C. Heikin
 
34.
Stagedoor (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Stagedoor is a documentary about the Stagedoor Manor summer camp, a theatrical program in the Catskills... (79 mins.)
Director: Alexandra Shiva
 
35.
How to Die in Oregon (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize a terminally ill person's request to end his or her life with medication... (107 mins.)
 
36.
There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV... (101 mins.)
Director: Liz Garbus
 
37.
The Imposter (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years. (99 mins.)
Director: Bart Layton
 
38.
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
 
39.
H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Torture chambers, acid vats, greased chutes and gassing rooms were just some of the devices of death designed by the Torture Doctor, H.H. Holmes in his castle of horrors. Follows Holmes' entire life as a criminal mastermind. (64 mins.)
Director: John Borowski
 
40.
The Woman Who Wasn't There (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The Woman Who Wasn't There is a psychological thriller that goes inside the mind of history's most infamous 9/11 survivor. (65 mins.)
 
41.
Following Sean (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, award-winning filmmaker Ralph Arlyck returns to San Francisco in search of Sean, the boy who was the subject of his controversy-sparking 1969 documentary. (87 mins.)
Director: Ralph Arlyck
 
42.
Dope Sick Love (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When you're a junkie, the money comes and goes--and so does the high. Do relationships stand a chance among addicts... (93 mins.)
 
43.
Crazy Love (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The bizarre true story of Linda Riss and Burt Pugach. (92 mins.)
 
44.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on the life and career of Joan Rivers, made as the comedienne turns 75 years old. (84 mins.)
 
45.
Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The true story of lifelong criminal and serial killer, Carl Panzram who wrote his autobiography for a jail guard in 1928. (81 mins.)
Director: John Borowski
 
46.
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.)
 
47.
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.)
 
48.
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.)
 
49.
The Punk Singer (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s. (81 mins.)
Director: Sini Anderson
 
50.
Hit So Hard (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A documentary that follows Hole drummer Patty Schemel as she struggles with fame and addiction. (103 mins.)
 
51.
I Am Divine (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon. (90 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
 
52.
Going Clear: Scientology and 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
 
53.
Kids for Cash (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Kids For Cash is a riveting look behind the notorious judicial scandal that rocked the nation. Beyond the millions paid and high stakes corruption... (102 mins.)
Director: Robert May
 
54.
Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana. (145 mins.)
Director: Brett Morgen
 
55.
Tig (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The personal Biography of Tig Notaro, a Stand-up comedian who was diagnosed with cancer. (95 mins.)
 
56.
Iris (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. (79 mins.)
Director: Albert Maysles
 
57.
Genocide (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A chilling, heartbreaking testament to the strength and suffering of the Jewish people and the courage and heroism of those who came to their aid... (90 mins.)
 
58.
Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A review of the wild New York City nightlife of the 90s. The cast of characters who made up the infamous Club Kids speak candidly about that era, culminating with Alig's release from incarceration. (135 mins.)
Director: Ramon Fernandez