Best Documentary Movies

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1.
9/11 (2002 Documentary)
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A real life documentary following the events of September 11 from an insider's view, through the lens of James Hanlon and two French filmmakers who were in Manhattan that one day. (112 mins.)
 
2.
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.)
 
3.
Blood Brother (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Documentarian visits best friend in India to see the mutual unconditional love that keeps his buddy bonded to a village hostel housing AIDS-afflicted children. (92 mins.)
Director: Steve Hoover
 
4.
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
 
5.
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
 
6.
The Cove (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health. (92 mins.)
Director: Louie Psihoyos
 
7.
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.)
 
8.
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
 
9.
Before Flying Back to Earth (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A short documentary about a hospital ward for children with leukemia in Lithuania. (52 mins.)
Director: Arunas Matelis
 
10.
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
 
11.
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
 
12.
Senna (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. (106 mins.)
Director: Asif Kapadia
 
13.
This Way of Life (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A lionhearted father struggles valiantly to create a life of idyllic simplicity for his family. (84 mins.)
Director: Thomas Burstyn
 
14.
Touching the Void (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. (106 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
15.
Inside Job (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown. (105 mins.)
 
16.
Grizzly Man (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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
 
17.
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
 
18.
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan. (106 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney
 
19.
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.)
 
20.
Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team. (91 mins.)
Director: Stacy Peralta
 
21.
The Other Dream Team (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The incredible story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, whose athletes struggled under Soviet rule, became symbols of Lithuania's independence movement, and - with help from the Grateful Dead - triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics. (89 mins.)
 
22.
Hoop Dreams (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. (170 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
23.
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
 
24.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
25.
Tupac: Resurrection (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Home movies, photographs, and recited poetry illustrate the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the most beloved, revolutionary, and volatile hip-hop M.Cs. of all time. (112 mins.)
Director: Lauren Lazin
 
26.
American Movie (1999 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before. (107 mins.)
Director: Chris Smith
 
27.
Sharkwater (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An investigation of sharks' importance to ecosystems and humankind's mass destruction of shark species worldwide. (89 mins.)
Director: Rob Stewart
 
28.
The Interrupters (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence. (125 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
29.
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
 
30.
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
 
31.
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A documentary shot over a decade with unprecedented access to photographer Gregory Crewdson that bares the artist's process. (78 mins.)
Director: Ben Shapiro
 
32.
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America. (86 mins.)
Director: Jon Foy
 
33.
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
 
34.
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.)
 
35.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
36.
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
 
37.
West of Memphis (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three. (147 mins.)
Director: Amy Berg
 
38.
The Invisible War (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military. (93 mins.)
Director: Kirby Dick
 
39.
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.)
 
40.
Jesus Camp (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham. (84 mins.)
 
41.
Pumping Iron (1977 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr... (85 mins.)
 
42.
Rize (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Rize chronicles a dance movement that rises out of South Central Los Angeles with roots in clowning and street youth culture. (86 mins.)
 
43.
Tyson (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A mixture of original interviews and archival footage and photographs sheds light on the life experiences of Mike Tyson. (90 mins.)
Director: James Toback
 
44.
Hot Coffee (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice. (88 mins.)
Director: Susan Saladoff
 
45.
The Thin Blue Line (1988 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas. (103 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
46.
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
 
47.
The Beckoning Silence (2007 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a near-death mountain climbing accident, Joe Simpson's injuries were so severe he was told he'd never climb again... (75 mins.)
Director: Louise Osmond
 
48.
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.)
 
49.
Takedown: The DNA of GSP (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A look at the life and career of Ultimate Fighting Champion's welterweight world champ Georges St-Pierre, also known as "GSP". (90 mins.)
 
50.
Brooklyn Castle (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school's champion chess team. (101 mins.)
 
51.
9/11: The Falling Man (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The Falling Man is a documentary that examines one of the many images that were circulated by the press... (80 mins.)
Director: Henry Singer
 
52.
Chasing Ice (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. (75 mins.)
Director: Jeff Orlowski
 
53.
Brother's Keeper (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert... (104 mins.)
 
54.
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
 
55.
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
 
56.
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
 
57.
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.)
 
58.
Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Twenty-four contestants compete in an endurance/sleep deprivation contest in order to win a brand new Nissan Hardbody truck... (98 mins.)
Director: S.R. Bindler
 
59.
American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. (102 mins.)
 
60.
Project Nim (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s. (93 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
61.
The Central Park Five (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime. (119 mins.)
 
62.
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
 
63.
Step Into Liquid (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Surfers and secret spots from around the world are profiled in this documentary. (87 mins.)
Director: Dana Brown
 
64.
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.)
 
65.
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
 
66.
Racing Dreams (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A feature documentary following three young racers as they compete in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series... (93 mins.)
Director: Marshall Curry
 
67.
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
 
68.
The Striking Truth 3D (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Documentary for charismatic Ultimate Fighting Champion Georges St-Pierre and dynamic MMA fighter David "The Crow" Loiseau... (82 mins.)
Director: Steven J. Wong
 
69.
High Ground (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A documentary that follows a team of veterans returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq as they set out to climb a towering Himalayan peak to overcome challenges and heal the mental and emotional ravages of war. (92 mins.)
Director: Michael Brown
 
70.
Faces of Death (1978 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
A collection of death scenes, ranging from TV-material to home-made super-8 movies The common factor is death by some means. (105 mins.)