Top Documentaries of the Current Decade

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Queen of Versailles (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. (100 mins.)
 
2.
Bully (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America. (98 mins.)
Director: Lee Hirsch
 
3.
Life Itself (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert. (120 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
4.
Life in a Day (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the twenty-fourth of July, 2010. (95 mins.)
 
5.
Hubble (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. (44 mins.)
Director: Toni Myers
 
6.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez. (86 mins.)
 
7.
Listen to Me Marlon (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend's story. (103 mins.)
Director: Stevan Riley
 
8.
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.)
 
9.
Stories We Tell (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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
 
10.
Blackfish (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales. (83 mins.)
 
11.
The Missing Picture (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia's Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979. (92 mins.)
Director: Rithy Panh
 
12.
American Masters (1985 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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.)
 
13.
The Salt of the Earth (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world. (110 mins.)
 
14.
Life, Animated (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcame great challenges by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood. (92 mins.)
 
15.
Amy (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. (128 mins.)
Director: Asif Kapadia
 
17.
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
 
18.
Housemaids (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Seven adolescents take on the mission of filming their family housemaids for one week and hand over the footage to the director to make a film. (76 mins.)
Director: Gabriel Mascaro
 
19.
The Wolfpack (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Confined in an apartment from a New York housing project, the six Angulo brothers learned everything they know about the world through watching films and spend their time reenacting their favorite movies with intricate homemade costumes. (90 mins.)
Director: Crystal Moselle
 
20.
Bears (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. (78 mins.)
 
21.
He Named Me Malala (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations. (88 mins.)
 
22.
The Hunting Ground (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. (103 mins.)
Director: Kirby Dick
 
23.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul." (101 mins.)
Director: Liz Garbus
 
24.
Citizenfour (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. (114 mins.)
Director: Laura Poitras
 
25.
Born to Be Wild (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
This heartwarming film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them-saving endangered species one life at a time. (40 mins.)
Director: David Lickley
 
26.
Only the Young (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A documentary on three teenagers living in a small desert town in Southern California. (72 mins.)
 
27.
Pina (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations. (103 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
 
28.
Teenage (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Teenagers did not always exist. In this living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices lifted from early 20th Century diary entries, a struggle erupts between adults and adolescents to define a new idea of youth. (78 mins.)
Director: Matt Wolf
 
29.
Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now. (91 mins.)
Director: Morgan Neville
 
30.
Tropicália (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Set against the turbulent atmosphere of the 1960s, Tropicália is a feature length documentary exploring... (87 mins.)
Director: Marcelo Machado
 
31.
Six by Sondheim (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An intimate and candid look at the life and art of the legendary composer-lyricist. (86 mins.)
 
32.
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.)
 
33.
Babies (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo. (79 mins.)
Director: Thomas Balmès
 
34.
Waiting for 'Superman' (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An examination of the current state of education in America today. (111 mins.)
 
35.
African Cats (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild. (89 mins.)
 
36.
Rich Hill (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Rich Hill intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them. (91 mins.)
 
37.
13th (2016 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. (100 mins.)
Director: Ava DuVernay