My Favorite Documentaries

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1.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
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Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
2.
Bus 174 (2002 Documentary)
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Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man... (150 mins.)
 
3.
Grizzly Man (2005 Documentary)
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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
 
4.
Marwencol (2010 Documentary)
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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
 
5.
Of Time and the City (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A filmmaker looks at the history and transformation of his birthplace, Liverpool, England. (74 mins.)
Director: Terence Davies
 
6.
March of the Penguins (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. (80 mins.)
Director: Luc Jacquet
 
7.
Armadillo (2010 Documentary)
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In February of 2009, a group of Danish soldiers accompanied by documentarian Janus Metz arrived at Armadillo... (105 mins.)
 
8.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006 Documentary)
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Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment. (96 mins.)
 
9.
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.)
 
10.
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
 
11.
Nostalgia for the Light (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life... (90 mins.)
 
12.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink. (141 mins.)
 
13.
Tarnation (2003 Documentary)
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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.)
 
14.
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
 
15.
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
 
16.
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007 Documentary)
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Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan. (106 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
17.
Inside Job (2010 Documentary)
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Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown. (105 mins.)
 
18.
Man on Wire (2008 Documentary)
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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
 
19.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
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An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
20.
Super Size Me (2004 Documentary)
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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
 
21.
Stories We Tell (2012 Documentary)
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A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers. (108 mins.)
Director: Sarah Polley
 
22.
The Act of Killing (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. (115 mins.)
 
23.
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius. (90 mins.)
 
24.
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
 
25.
Catastroika (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The creators of Debtocracy, analyze the shifting of state assets to private hands. They travel round the world gathering data on privatization and search for clues on the day after Greece's massive privatization program. (87 mins.)
 
26.
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
 
27.
Waltz with Bashir (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict. (90 mins.)
Director: Ari Folman
 
28.
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
 
29.
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.)
 
30.
Pina (2011 Documentary)
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A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations. (103 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
 
31.
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on the workings and beliefs of the self-described "hacktivist" collective, Anonymous. (93 mins.)
 
32.
Samsara (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. (102 mins.)
Director: Ron Fricke
 
33.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
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A documentary on Woody Allen that trails him on his movie sets and follows him back to Brooklyn as he visits his childhood haunts. (90 mins.)
 
34.
The Code (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Finnish-made documentary about GNU/Linux, featuring some of the most influential people of the free software (FOSS) movement. (58 mins.)
Director: Hannu Puttonen
 
35.
Baraka (1992 Documentary)
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A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion. (96 mins.)
Director: Ron Fricke
 
36.
Zeitgeist (2007 Documentary)
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Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues. (118 mins.)
Director: Peter Joseph
 
37.
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
 
38.
Revolution OS (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
While Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world, not every computer user is a fan of their products... (85 mins.)
Director: J.T.S. Moore
 
39.
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
 
40.
Earth (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth, following the migration paths of four animal families. (90 mins.)
 
41.
The House I Live In (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy. (108 mins.)
Director: Eugene Jarecki
 
42.
Psywar (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Psywar explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the elitist theory of democracy; and the relationship between war, propaganda, and class. (99 mins.)
Director: Scott Noble
 
43.
30 años de oscuridad (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When the Spanish Civil War came to an end, Manuel Cortes was unable to flee the country. After a long journey... (85 mins.)
 
44.
Our Daily Poison (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An in-depth investigation into everyday products and the system charged with regulating them. Robin... (113 mins.)
 
45.
The Century of the Self (2002 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations. (235 mins.)
 
46.
The Pinochet Case (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
True story of the saga that was hoped to be the long-awaited justice brought to bear upon Augosto Pinochet... (110 mins.)
 
47.
The Back of the World (2000 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
This documentary looks at "the back of the world": small children working as quarrymen in Peru, Kurdish political refugees from Turkey, and families and inmates awaiting the end on Mississippi's Death Row. (89 mins.)
Director: Javier Corcuera
 
48.
Red Hollywood (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A documentary that examines the films made by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist and offers a radically difference perspective on a key period in the history of American cinema. (118 mins.)