Best Documentaries

Ranked list

10 ____GENIUS
9-9.9 __AMAZING
8-8.9 __GREAT
7-7.9 __VERY GOOD
6-6.9 __GOOD
5.5-5.9 __NOT BAD
4.5-5.4 __AVERAGE
3-4.4 __MEDIOCRE
2-2.9 __POOR
1-1.9 __VERY POOR
0-0.9 __DIRE
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1.
A Brief History of Time (1991 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, is one of the great minds of all time. (80 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
“ 10 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
2.
Second Skin (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An intimate, fascinating look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging, hugely popular genre of computer games. (94 mins.)
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
3.
The Dungeon Masters (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
An evil drow-elf is displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A sanitation worker lures friends into a Sphere of Annihilation... (87 mins.)
Director: Keven McAlester
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
4.
Word Wars (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble. (80 mins.)
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
5.
High Score (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Although technology continues to evolve, a group of die-hard gamers refuses to abandon the classic arcade games of yesteryear... (52 mins.)
Director: Jeremy Mack
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
6.
Monster Road (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Monster Road explores the wildly fantastic worlds of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford... (80 mins.)
Director: Brett Ingram
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
7.
Monster Camp (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Welcome to Monster Camp, the true story about a world where people transform into creatures, heroes... (81 mins.)
Director: Cullen Hoback
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
8.
Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
'Bobby Fischer Against the World' is a documentary feature exploring the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer... (93 mins.)
Director: Liz Garbus
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
9.
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
“ 9.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
10.
Tim's Vermeer (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer. (80 mins.)
Director: Teller
“ 9.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
11.
Special When Lit (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
What made more money than the entire American movie industry through the 50s and 60s? Pinball. Special... (97 mins.)
Director: Brett Sullivan
“ 9.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
12.
Jodorowsky's Dune (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel. (90 mins.)
Director: Frank Pavich
“ 9.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
13.
Marwencol (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard. (83 mins.)
Director: Jeff Malmberg
“ 9.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
14.
I Like Killing Flies (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A documentary on the oddball Greenwich Village eatery, Shopsin's. (80 mins.)
Director: Matt Mahurin
“ 9.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
15.
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
“ 9.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
16.
The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Alan Moore writer, artist and performer is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels. (80 mins.)
“ 9.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
17.
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
“ 9.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
18.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A homeless musician finds meaning to his life when he starts a friendship with dozens of parrots. (83 mins.)
Director: Judy Irving
“ 9.5 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
19.
Reel Rock 8 (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
(2013) Four award-winning films from Big UP Productions and Sender Films. (135 mins.)
“ 9.5 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
20.
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
“ 9.5 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
21.
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26. (105 mins.)
“ 9.4 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
22.
I Got Next (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
I Got Next" is a documentary on the fighting game community. It follows four prominent players, Justin Wong... (97 mins.)
Director: Ian Cofino
“ 9.4 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
23.
Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life. (90 mins.)
Director: Lincoln Ruchti
“ 9.3 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
24.
Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue... (90 mins.)
Director: Vikram Jayanti
“ 9.3 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
25.
The King of Arcades (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Follow the rise and fall of the King of Arcades as one man pursues his dream against all odds. (100 mins.)
Director: Sean Tiedeman
“ 9.2 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
26.
Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary that captures the greatest world record Tetris players as they prepare for the Classic Tetris World Championship... (93 mins.)
Director: Adam Cornelius
“ 9.1 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
27.
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
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
28.
Indie Game: The Movie (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world. (94 mins.)
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
29.
A Man Named Pearl (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar. It offers a message... (78 mins.)
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
30.
Alone in the Wilderness (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
Documentary tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula... (57 mins.)
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
31.
In the Realms of the Unreal (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist. (81 mins.)
Director: Jessica Yu
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
32.
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
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
33.
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
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
34.
Between the Folds (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami... (56 mins.)
Director: Vanessa Gould
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
35.
Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Renowned cult film director John Waters narrates this quirky exploration of the Salton Sea, the massive... (74 mins.)
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
36.
Future by Design (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Future by Design shares the life and far-reaching vision of Jacque Fresco, considered by many to be a modern day Da Vinci... (86 mins.)
Director: William Gazecki
“ 9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
37.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast... (88 mins.)
Director: Tamra Davis
“ 8.9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
38.
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
“ 8.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
39.
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
“ 8.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
40.
Drakmar: A Vassal's Journey (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A coming of age saga about a 14-year old boy whose life alternates between the medieval fantasy kingdom of Adria and the real world trials of a challenging adolescence. (75 mins.)
“ 8.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
41.
Trekkies (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Denice Crosby takes a first look at the huge fans of Star Trek and how the series from around America has affected and shaped their lives. (86 mins.)
Director: Roger Nygard
“ 8.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
42.
Darkon (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Skip Lipman, a suburban stay at home dad, embarks on an epic quest to topple a mighty empire in a full-contact Live Action Role Playing Game known as Darkon. (93 mins.)
“ 8.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
43.
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A behind-the-scenes look at the fans who gather by the thousands each year in San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con, the world's largest comic book convention. (88 mins.)
Director: Morgan Spurlock
“ 8.5 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
44.
Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Shows how the classic board game has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, and follows the colorful players who come together to compete for the coveted title of Monopoly World Champion. (88 mins.)
Director: Kevin Tostado
“ 8.4 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
45.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
“ 8.3 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
46.
Extraordinary People (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
This is a documentary on one extraordinary (even by savant standards) person: Daniel Tammet. Daniel exhibits... (60 mins.)
“ 8.2 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
47.
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
“ 8.2 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
48.
My Architect (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974. (116 mins.)
Director: Nathaniel Kahn
“ 8.2 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
49.
Beautiful Losers (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This documentary follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world. (90 mins.)
“ 8.1 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
50.
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.)
“ 8. ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
51.
Winged Migration (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents. (98 mins.)
“ 7.9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
52.
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.)
“ 7.9 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
53.
Beyond the Game (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Documentary about Worldchampionship 2007 WarcraftIII players, leading roles for Dutch player "Grubby" and Chinese player "Sky". (75 mins.)
Director: Jos de Putter
“ 7.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
54.
Superheroes (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A journey inside the world of real life caped crusaders. From all over America, these self-proclaimed crime fighters, don masks, homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere. (90 mins.)
Director: Michael Barnett
“ 7.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
55.
Tarnation (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more -- culled from 19 years of his life. (88 mins.)
“ 7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
56.
Get Lamp (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
With limited sound, simple graphics, and tiny amounts of computing power, the first games on home computers...
“ 7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
57.
Tabloid (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary. (87 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
“ 7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
58.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash. (80 mins.)
Director: Constance Marks
“ 6.8 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
59.
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.)
“ 6.7 ” - Scrabblescrobble
 
60.
Zoo (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A look at the life of an Enumclaw, Washington man who died as a result of an unusual encounter with a horse. (75 mins.)
Director: Robinson Devor
“ 6.6 ” - Scrabblescrobble