The Greatest Documentaries Ever Made

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Hearts and Minds (1974 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Davis
 
2.
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
 
3.
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
 
4.
No End in Sight (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country. (102 mins.)
 
5.
In the Year of the Pig (1968 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots... (103 mins.)
 
6.
The Corporation (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance. (145 mins.)
 
7.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore's personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change in the most talked-about documentary at Sundance. (96 mins.)
 
8.
Harlan County U.S.A. (1976 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike. (103 mins.)
Director: Barbara Kopple
 
9.
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
 
10.
Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Linguist, intellectual and activist, Noam Chomsky discusses and reflects on the state of world events including the War in Iraq... (74 mins.)
Director: Will Pascoe
 
11.
The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on the life of John Lennon, with a focus on the time in his life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist. (99 mins.)
 
12.
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
 
13.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara. (107 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
14.
The Myth of the Liberal Media (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Destroying the myth of the 'liberal media,' the documentary shows how corporate interests influence the news coverage of key events. (60 mins.)
Director: Sut Jhally
 
15.
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An examination of the social costs of corporate interests pursuing profits at the expense of the public good. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
16.
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda. (167 mins.)
 
17.
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
 
18.
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
 
19.
The Weather Underground (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous. (92 mins.)
 
21.
Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt? (1998 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Documentary covering the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black nationalist and journalist in Philadelphia... (74 mins.)
Director: John Edginton
 
22.
Imperial Grand Strategy (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Chomsky is back giving two 1-hour lectures at Merrimack College and University of Manchester. (120 mins.)
 
23.
War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception... (73 mins.)
 
24.
Eyes on the Prize (1987 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
A documentary about the American Civil Rights Movement from 1952 to 1965. (360 mins.)
Director: Henry Hampton
 
25.
The Panama Deception (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A film about the true reasons for the 1989 US invasion of Panama and big media complicity in these activities. (91 mins.)
Director: Barbara Trent
 
26.
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The life and times of Howard Zinn: the historian, activist, and author of several classics including "A Peoples History of the United States". Archival footage, and commentary by friend, colleagues and Zinn himself. (78 mins.)
 
27.
American Blackout (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A look at the career of U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney from Georgia and the historical suppression of black voters in the United States. (92 mins.)
Director: Ian Inaba
 
28.
Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Greg Palast has been following the Bush family around for years as an investigative reporter for the BBC. This is some of the information he has found, as recorded in his book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy". (61 mins.)
 
29.
Hacking Democracy (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
(82 mins.)
 
30.
This Is What Democracy Looks Like (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A filmed account of the street protests against the World Trade Organization Summit in Seattle, Washington, USA in 1999. (72 mins.)
 
31.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In April 2002, an Irish film crew is making a documentary about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, when a coup from the opposition is made. (74 mins.)
 
32.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life and work of Allen Ginsberg, the greatest of the Beat Generation poets is put in focus in this film (90 mins.)
 
33.
Why We Fight (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions. (98 mins.)
Director: Eugene Jarecki
 
34.
Standard Operating Procedure (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Errol Morris examines the incidents of abuse and torture of suspected terrorists at the hands of U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison. (116 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
35.
The Beat Generation: An American Dream (1987 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An investigation of the Beat Generation. (86 mins.)
Director: Janet Forman
 
36.
The People Speak (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at America's struggles with war, class, race and women's rights. based on Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." (113 mins.)
 
37.
 
38.
America: Freedom to Fascism (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A documentary that explores the connection between income tax collection and the erosion of civil liberties in America. (95 mins.)
Director: Aaron Russo
 
39.
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Robert Greenwald looks at war profiteering in Iraq by private contracting companies Halliburton, CACI, and KBR. (75 mins.)
 
40.
Deflating the Elephant: Framed Messages Behind Conservative Dialogue (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Author George Lakoff examines the lexicon of conservative politicians in the U.S. and how phrases such as "pro life", "no child left behind" and "the war on terror" dominated the national dialogue with polarizing results. (124 mins.)
Director: Aldo Vidali
Stars: Sean Penn
 
41.
Stealing America: Vote by Vote (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman shines a spotlight on the gritty reality of the last decade's most egregious incidents of U.S. electoral insecurity. (90 mins.)
Director: Dorothy Fadiman
 
42.
Iraq in Fragments (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stories from modern day Iraq as told by Iraqis living in a time of war, occupation and ethnic tension. (94 mins.)
Director: James Longley
 
43.
The Big Buy: Tom DeLay's Stolen Congress (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A look at the criminal investigation of Texas Congressman Tom DeLay on campaign fund-raising charges and his efforts to redraw the state's Congressional districts. (75 mins.)
 
44.
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The Murrow, Polk, and IDA Award-winning documentary Boogie Man is about Lee Atwater, a blues-playing... (86 mins.)
Director: Stefan Forbes
 
45.
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
 
46.
American Dream (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers... (98 mins.)
 
47.
Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
This documentary compiles a series of Noam Chomsky's interviews and lectures that address the events of 9/11. (74 mins.)
Director: John Junkerman
 
48.
The Atomic Cafe (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety. (86 mins.)
 
49.
The War on Democracy (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin... (96 mins.)
 
50.
The Big One (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
On his book tour, Michael Moore exposes more wrongdoing by greedy big businesses and callous politicians around America. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
51.
Occupation 101 (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. political involvement. (90 mins.)
 
52.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall. (110 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
53.
Winter Soldier (1972 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
For three days in 1971, former US soldiers who were in Vietnam testify in Detroit about their war experiences... (96 mins.)
 
54.
Berkeley in the Sixties (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary about militant student political activity in the University of California-Berkely in the 1960's. (117 mins.)
Director: Mark Kitchell
 
55.
The War at Home (1979 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Interviews with people involved with and leading the Madison, Wisconsin area resistance to the Vietnam war. (100 mins.)
 
56.
Noam Chomsky: Distorted Morality (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The noted scholar, political and social analyst Noam Chomsky presents his critique of America's "War on Terror" with his support for the fact that such a "War" cannot exist. (55 mins.)
Director: John Junkerman
 
57.
Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin' (1984 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
(74 mins.)
Director: Jim Brown
 
58.
Orwell Rolls in His Grave (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary analyzing the role of the modern American media and its effects on democracy. (84 mins.)