Brian's 'Docs You Should Watch'

These are documentaries I've seen that I highly recommend, sorted from oldest to newest.
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1.
Nanook of the North (1922 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle. (78 mins.)
 
2.
Man with a Movie Camera (1929 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. (68 mins.)
Director: Dziga Vertov
 
3.
Night and Fog (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. (32 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
4.
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
 
5.
Grey Gardens (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. (94 mins.)
 
6.
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
 
7.
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 B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
8.
Crumb (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family. (119 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
9.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence. (150 mins.)
 
10.
Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary (1997 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
 
11.
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
 
12.
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
 
13.
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
 
14.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
15.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (107 mins.)
Director: Andrew Jarecki
 
16.
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
 
17.
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.)
 
18.
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
 
19.
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.)
 
20.
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
 
21.
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
 
22.
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.)
 
23.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games. (79 mins.)
Director: Seth Gordon
 
24.
Zeitgeist (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues. (118 mins.)
Director: Peter Joseph
 
25.
Food, Inc. (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Kenner
 
26.
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
 
27.
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
 
28.
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.)
 
29.
Winnebago Man (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video... (85 mins.)
Director: Ben Steinbauer
 
30.
Beer Wars (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A contemporary David and Goliath story that takes you inside the cutthroat world of the big business of American beer. (89 mins.)
Director: Anat Baron
 
31.
Waste Land (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives. (99 mins.)
Stars: Vik Muniz
 
32.
Marwencol (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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
 
33.
Bill Cunningham New York (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer. (84 mins.)
Director: Richard Press
 
34.
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
 
35.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu. (81 mins.)
Director: David Gelb
 
36.
How Beer Saved the World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
This show traces the important role that beer has played in human history from the probable origins of the first beer at the dawn of history to the development of a special beer for use in zero gravity space missions. (60 mins.)
 
37.
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 2008 financial meltdown. (105 mins.)
 
38.
56 Up (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years. (144 mins.)
 
39.
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.)
 
40.
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Philosopher Slavoj Zizek examines the hidden themes and existential questions asked by world renowned films. (136 mins.)
Director: Sophie Fiennes
 
41.
A Band Called Death (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded. (96 mins.)
 
42.
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.)
 
43.
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. (117 mins.)
 
44.
Room 237 (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An exploration of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's horror film, The Shining. (102 mins.)
Director: Rodney Ascher
 
45.
Sound City (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California. (107 mins.)
Director: David Grohl
 
46.
Frontline (1983 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An investigation of the health crisis threatening NFL players and the long-term fortunes of football. (60 mins.)
 
47.
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.)
 
48.
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
 
49.
The Square (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience. (108 mins.)
Director: Jehane Noujaim
 
50.
Dirty Wars (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars. (87 mins.)
Director: Rick Rowley
 
51.
Inequality for All (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap. (89 mins.)
Director: Jacob Kornbluth
 
52.
Finding Vivian Maier (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers. (83 mins.)
 
53.
The Overnighters (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Broken, desperate men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor risks everything to help them. (102 mins.)
Director: Jesse Moss
 
54.
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
 
55.
Koyaanisqatsi (1982 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them. (86 mins.)
Director: Godfrey Reggio
 
56.
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
 
57.
Soaked in Bleach (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Tom Grant, a private investigator once hired by Courtney Love, reveals his take on the death of Kurt Cobain. (90 mins.)
 
58.
Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A film that claims to be a look at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology. (119 mins.)
Director: Alex Gibney