most entertaining documentaries from the 1990's till nowby walker-dale | created - 20 Dec 2012 | updated - 15 Jan 2013 | Public
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1. The Coconut Revolution (2000 TV Movie)
50 min | Documentary
This is the modern-day story of a native peoples' remarkable victory over Western Colonial power. A Pacific island rose up in arms against giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) - and won despite a military occupation and blockade.
Amazing eco Documentary, only 52 mins and can be found on youtube.
104 min | Documentary
BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union', Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of 'BC ... See full summary »
very one sided documentary, not as bad as a Michael Moore film though. It is still very entertaining and thought provoking
3. Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008)
PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Sport
An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.
Votes: 12,381 | Gross: $0.31M
as with the union it is a very one sided documentary. You get guided by the narrator on what to believe. Very entertaining.
4. Pumping Iron (1977)
PG | 85 min | Documentary, Sport
From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests in this ... See full summary »
This documentary is older than anything else on the list but as it is such a classic I needed to include it. Not only is it very interesting this documentary is a great example of how a documentary should be made.
5. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Votes: 20,870 | Gross: $3.12M
A very disturbing mystery, you never end up knowing the truth as it is very open ended.
6. Man on Wire (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography
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".
Votes: 45,587 | Gross: $2.96M
A very slow documentary but expertly made though.
7. Food, Inc. (2008)
PG | 94 min | Documentary
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.
Votes: 45,792 | Gross: $4.42M
Great behind the scenes look at the food industry in America. Not as gross as you would think but a lot more educational than many other documentaries.
8. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport
Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.
Votes: 32,107 | Gross: $0.68M
Very good movie with great characters. Even if the subject matter is not your cup of tea it is still worth a watch for the people involved.
R | 96 min | Documentary
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
Votes: 15,326 | Gross: $1.32M
The best movie about making a movie. highly recommended.
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.
Heartbreaking movie but an absolute must see.
11. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.
Votes: 8,907 | Gross: $30.58M
just shows you what you can get away with if you have religion to hide behind. A great movie about pain and corruption.
12. Religulous (2008)
R | 101 min | Documentary, Comedy, War
Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.
Votes: 54,587 | Gross: $13.00M
A documentary and a comedy, It can be a bit blunt but well worth the watch for entertainment purposes unless you are seriously religious.
13. Jesus Camp (2006)
PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary
A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.
Votes: 24,221 | Gross: $0.90M
a great example of brainwashing done in America to young children. Very frightening.
14. Ônibus 174 (2002)
R | 122 min | Documentary, Crime
Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all ... See full summary »
Votes: 7,129 | Gross: $0.22M
A bit slow but good enough to make this list. I live in South Africa so a lot of the material is not as shocking as it would be for an American viewer and this is all about shocking you.
15. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »
Votes: 55,398 | Gross: $3.29M
a nice look into the work of graffiti artists and where the line between art and vandalism is drawn.
16. The Cove (2009)
PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime
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.
Votes: 43,041 | Gross: $0.86M
If you have not seen it, see it. One scene is very shocking but after that it is a very informative piece of film making.
17. Sicko (2007)
PG-13 | 123 min | Documentary, Drama
A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.
Votes: 69,581 | Gross: $24.54M
one of the few Michael Moore documentaries which I can stomach. Very one sided and the viewer is lead through out the film with manipulated stats and omitting facts
Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
in my opinion the best crime documentary. there are two follow ups to this which are also worth a watch.
19. Catfish (2010)
PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary
Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.
Votes: 37,234 | Gross: $3.23M
a documentary revolving around the use of social media not perfect by any means but entertaining none the less. you won't learn anything here.
20. Enemies of the People (2009)
Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary
The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people in the late 1970s. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now. Enter Thet Sambath, an unassuming, yet cunning, ... See full summary »
Votes: 427 | Gross: $0.07M
so scary as it happened so recently and in front of the world media.
21. The Trials of Darryl Hunt (2006)
PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Crime
"The Trials of Darryl Hunt" is a feature documentary about a brutal rape/murder case and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not... See full summary »
Votes: 887 | Gross: $0.00M
another crime documentary in the same vain as the thin blue line.
22. Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land (2008)
Unrated | 84 min | Documentary, History, News
Using smuggled footage, this documentary tells the story of the 2007 protests in Burma by thousands of monks.
Votes: 2,190 | Gross: $0.05M
good eye opener but the country has changed a bit since 2008
23. Mugabe and the White African (2009)
90 min | Documentary
An intimate and moving account of one family's extraordinary courage in the face of overwhelming injustice and brutality.
Votes: 852 | Gross: $0.00M
What more can be said that he is a Dictator left to do what he wants with all the power and money he can pillage.
86 min | Documentary, History
Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.
If you don't know anything about this event this movie is very informative. It also has some crazy footage.
25. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)
PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.
Votes: 54,128 | Gross: $3.97M
a very interesting story with some great shots of Cape Town
26. Blood Into Wine (2010)
100 min | Documentary
Take a look inside the life of one of Rock music's most mysterious and interesting figures. With winemaking in his blood, multiplatinum recording artist Maynard James Keenan sets out to bring notariety to Arizona's burgeoning wine regions.
Anyone who is a fan of the band Tool or wine will enjoy this.
27. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010)
Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary
100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb ... See full summary »