Top-US-Grossing Documentary Titles


1. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

7.5
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67 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Stevie Wonder

Votes: 115,163 | Gross: $119.08M

2. Jackass 3D (2010)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Action, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
56 Metascore

Johnny Knoxville and company return for the third installment of their TV show spin-off, where dangerous stunts and explicit public displays rule.

Director: Jeff Tremaine | Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn

Votes: 48,810 | Gross: $117.22M

3. Space Station 3D (2002)

Not Rated | 47 min | Documentary

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
69 Metascore

The first 3D live-action film to be shot in space. Using advanced 3D-technology, the film depicts the greatest engineering happening since a man landed on the Moon in 1969. Amongst these is... See full summary »

Director: Toni Myers | Stars: Tom Cruise, James Arnold, Michael J. Bloomfield, Robert D. Cabana

Votes: 1,327 | Gross: $93.23M

4. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
79 Metascore

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 48,004 | Gross: $77.41M

5. Everest (1998)

Unrated | 44 min | Documentary, Short

7.1
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An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return... See full summary »

Directors: David Breashears, Stephen Judson, Greg MacGillivray | Stars: Liam Neeson, Lhakpa Dorji, Dorje Sherpa, Ed Viesturs

Votes: 2,850 | Gross: $76.45M

6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

1.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.6/10 X  
52 Metascore

Follows Justin Bieber with some footage of performances from his 2010 concert tour.

Director: Jon M. Chu | Stars: Justin Bieber, Boyz II Men, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston

Votes: 74,486 | Gross: $73.00M

7. Jackass Number Two (2006)

R | 92 min | Documentary, Action, Comedy

7.1
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66 Metascore

Chris Pontius, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, and the whole crew return to the screen to raise the stakes higher than ever before.

Director: Jeff Tremaine | Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Bam Margera

Votes: 57,633 | Gross: $72.76M

8. This Is It (2009)

PG | 111 min | Documentary, Music

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
67 Metascore

A compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Michael Jackson, Alex Al, Alexandra Apjarova, Nick Bass

Votes: 33,682 | Gross: $71.84M

9. Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008)

G | 74 min | Documentary, Music

2.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.3/10 X  
59 Metascore

A 3-D concert film of the 2007 Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus tour.

Director: Bruce Hendricks | Stars: Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Kenny Ortega, Billy Ray Cyrus

Votes: 8,248 | Gross: $65.28M

10. Jackass: The Movie (2002)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy

6.6
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42 Metascore

Johnny Knoxville and his band of maniacs perform a variety of stunts and gross-out gags on the big screen for the first time.

Director: Jeff Tremaine | Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O

Votes: 69,516 | Gross: $64.27M

11. In Search of Noah's Ark (1976)

G | 95 min | Documentary, Family

4.7
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An investigation into the theory that Mt. Ararat in Turkey is the final resting place of Noah's Ark.

Director: James L. Conway | Stars: Brad Crandall, Vern Adix, Melvin Cook, Eryl Cummings

Votes: 209 | Gross: $55.73M

12. Hubble 3D (2010)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short

7.8
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79 Metascore

An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Director: Toni Myers | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, K. Megan McArthur, Scott D. Altman, Andrew J. Feustel

Votes: 3,527 | Gross: $51.76M

13. Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy

7.6
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Eddie Murphy in a stand-up performance recorded live. For an hour and a half he talks about his favourite subjects: sex and women.

Director: Robert Townsend | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Tatyana Ali, Billie Allen, James Brown III

Votes: 15,428 | Gross: $50.50M

14. Malcolm X (1972)

PG | 91 min | Documentary, Biography

7.4
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James Earl Jones narrates this fascinating and moving documentary about the life of the assassinated black leader through various sources.

Director: Arnold Perl | Stars: James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis, John Ali, Muhammad Ali

Votes: 346 | Gross: $48.10M

15. Deep Sea (2006)

G | 41 min | Documentary, Short

7.6
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78 Metascore

A 3-D digital exploration of the ocean's depths and its creatures.

Director: Howard Hall | Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet

Votes: 1,489 | Gross: $46.23M

16. Mysteries of Egypt (1998)

38 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

6.6
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53 Metascore

Egypt is and ever was a place of mystery. Many rumors spread around the great Pyramids of Gizeh (the only one of the seven wonders of the world left), their age ranges - in different ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Neibaur | Stars: Omar Sharif, Kate Maberly, Timothy Davies, Julian Curry

Votes: 430 | Gross: $40.59M

17. The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Documentary

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
76 Metascore

A concert film featuring four major African American stand up comedians.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac

Votes: 4,744 | Gross: $38.17M

18. Under the Sea 3D (2009)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short

7.6
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77 Metascore

An underwater look at the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas and the impact of global warming on the oceans.

Director: Howard Hall | Star: Jim Carrey

Votes: 1,473 | Gross: $35.12M

19. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)

R | 82 min | Documentary, Comedy

7.6
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Richard Pryor performs his stand-up comedy act on the Sunset Strip.

Director: Joe Layton | Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Cross, Julie Hampton, Jesse Jackson

Votes: 2,940 | Gross: $34.69M

20. Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005)

Unrated | 40 min | Documentary, Animation, Short

7.0
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71 Metascore

This program strives to give the viewer an impression of what it is like to actually be on the moon. It provides a romantic, inspirational depiction of the Apollo astronauts travels on the ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Cowen | Stars: Tom Hanks, John Corbett, Andrew Husmann, Bryan Cranston

Votes: 821 | Gross: $33.56M

21. 2016: Obama's America (2012)

PG | 87 min | Documentary

5.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
28 Metascore

A documentary that examines the question, "If Barack Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?"

Directors: Dinesh D'Souza, John Sullivan | Stars: Jay Bastian, Joe Biden, Cait Brasel, Gene Burris Jr.

Votes: 9,230 | Gross: $33.35M

22. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2013)

R | 75 min | Documentary, Comedy

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
53 Metascore

Filmed at a sold-out performance at Madison Square Garden, comedian Kevin Hart delivers material from his 2012 "Let Me Explain" concert tour.

Directors: Leslie Small, Tim Story | Stars: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Will 'Spank' Horton, Joey Wells

Votes: 6,472 | Gross: $32.23M

23. Earth (2007)

G | 90 min | Documentary

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
72 Metascore

Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Anggun, James Earl Jones, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 13,010 | Gross: $32.00M

24. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
86 Metascore

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.

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam, Jeff Anderson

Votes: 8,541 | Gross: $30.58M

25. Chimpanzee (2012)

G | 78 min | Documentary

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

A 3-months-old chimpanzee is separated from his troop and is then adopted by a fully-grown male.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Star: Tim Allen

Votes: 5,035 | Gross: $28.97M

26. One Direction: This Is Us (2013)

PG | 92 min | Documentary, Music

4.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  
49 Metascore

A look at Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis, and Harry's meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London's famed O2 Arena.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan

Votes: 22,289 | Gross: $28.87M

27. Chariots of the Gods (1970)

G | 92 min | Documentary

6.4
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Documentary based on the book by Erich Von Daniken concerning the ancient mysteries of the world, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter ... See full summary »

Director: Harald Reinl | Stars: Heinz-Detlev Bock, Klaus Kindler, Christian Marschall, Aleksandr Kazantsev

Votes: 1,039 | Gross: $25.95M

28. Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)

PG | 93 min | Documentary, Music

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
57 Metascore

The life, career and music of singer Katy Perry as we follow her on the California Dreams World Tour.

Directors: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz | Stars: Katy Perry, Adam Marcello, Casey Hooper, Patrick Matera

Votes: 12,503 | Gross: $25.24M

29. Born to Be Wild (2011)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short, Adventure

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

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.

Director: David Lickley | Stars: Birute Galdikas, Daphne Sheldrick, Morgan Freeman, Chris Fries

Votes: 2,600 | Gross: $25.11M

30. Sicko (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Documentary, Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
74 Metascore

A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Tucker Albrizzi, Tony Benn, George W. Bush

Votes: 67,856 | Gross: $24.53M

31. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
75 Metascore

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.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 69,594 | Gross: $23.81M

32. Beyond and Back (1978)

G | 93 min | Documentary

4.5
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A documentary that explores the subject of near death experiences.

Director: James L. Conway | Stars: Brad Crandall, Vern Adix, Linda Bishop, Janet Bylund

Votes: 117 | Gross: $23.78M

33. Kevin Hart: What Now? (2016)

R | 96 min | Documentary, Comedy

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

Comedian Kevin Hart performs in front of a crowd of 50,000 people at Philadelphia's outdoor venue, Lincoln Financial Field.

Directors: Leslie Small, Tim Story | Stars: Kevin Hart, Don Cheadle, Halle Berry, Ed Helms

Votes: 3,023 | Gross: $23.56M

34. Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (2007)

Unrated | 40 min | Documentary, Animation, Short

7.1
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Brings to life some of the most bizarre, ferocious and fascinating creatures to ever inhabit the ocean. Combines animation with recreations in a prehistoric adventure. A journey to the ... See full summary »

Director: Sean MacLeod Phillips | Stars: Jerry Hoffman, Jennifer Aguilar, Michael Ashcraft, Michael Ashcroft

Votes: 772 | Gross: $23.55M

35. In Search of Historic Jesus (1979)

G | 91 min | Documentary, Drama

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

This examination of historical sources speculates on the accuracy of the biblical depiction of Jesus.

Director: Henning Schellerup | Stars: John Rubinstein, John Anderson, Nehemiah Persoff, Brad Crandall

Votes: 81 | Gross: $22.44M

36. The Bermuda Triangle (1979)

G | 93 min | Documentary, Mystery, Sci-Fi

5.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A documentary that explores the legends, facts and folklore about the dreaded "Bermuda Triangle".

Director: Richard Friedenberg | Stars: Brad Crandall, Donald Albee, Lin Berlitz, Howard W. Bishop Jr.

Votes: 160 | Gross: $22.17M

37. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
72 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 125,506 | Gross: $21.24M

38. NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (2004)

PG | 40 min | Documentary, Short

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
58 Metascore

A big-screen look into one of America's most successful entertainment industries, NASCAR racing.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson

Votes: 534 | Gross: $20.03M

39. Océans (2009)

G | 84 min | Documentary, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
75 Metascore

An ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Part thriller, part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Jacques Perrin, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Aldo

Votes: 7,812 | Gross: $19.41M

40. Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (2002)

R | 113 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

5.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
40 Metascore

After undergoing a number of personal crises, a stand-up comic returns to the stage for a one-man show featuring stinging social commentary and very personal reflections about his life.

Director: David Raynr | Stars: Martin Lawrence, Nancy O'Dell, Paul Keeley, Art Cohan

Votes: 1,484 | Gross: $19.18M

41. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (2009)

G | 76 min | Documentary, Music

2.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  
45 Metascore

A 3-D concert film of the 2008 Jonas Brothers "Burning Up" concert tour, as well as documentary footage on the lives of the three brothers.

Director: Bruce Hendricks | Stars: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, John Taylor

Votes: 17,126 | Gross: $19.16M

42. Michael Jordan to the Max (2000)

46 min | Documentary, Sport

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
57 Metascore

Add a Plot

Directors: Don Kempf, James D. Stern | Stars: Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Doug Collins, Bob Greene

Votes: 1,762 | Gross: $18.64M

43. Galapagos (1955)

78 min | Documentary

6.8
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Add a Plot

Director: Thor Heyerdahl

Votes: 98 | Gross: $18.57M

44. Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun (1997)

G | 38 min | Adventure, Documentary, Short

5.9
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How to create the imagination of movement for fun parks is the theme of this documentary. Although engineers try and try to create machines that shake, tilt, turn, lift and drop people in a... See full summary »

Director: Ben Stassen | Stars: Paul Harper, Cassandra Peterson, Harry Shearer, Neil Armstrong

Votes: 125 | Gross: $18.36M

45. Bears (I) (2014)

G | 78 min | Documentary

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
68 Metascore

A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life's most important lessons.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey, Adam Chapman | Star: John C. Reilly

Votes: 5,286 | Gross: $17.77M

46. Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)

PG | 61 min | Documentary, Family

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
67 Metascore

James Cameron and Bill Paxton, director and actor of the 1997 film Titanic, travel to the final undersea resting place of the ill-fated ship of dreams.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Bill Paxton, Lori Johnston, Lewis Abernathy, John Broadwater

Votes: 4,218 | Gross: $17.04M

47. Galapagos (1999)

39 min | Documentary, Short

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Part adventure, part scientific expedition, part personal quest, and part fantastic voyage, this unprecedented non-fiction film takes audiences on a journey with marine biologist Dr. Carole... See full summary »

Directors: David Clark, Al Giddings | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Carole Baldwin, John E. McCosker, David Pawson

Votes: 337 | Gross: $16.95M

48. Wild Safari 3D (2005)

Unrated | 40 min | Documentary, Short

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

Add a Plot

Director: Ben Stassen | Star: Chuck Hargrove

Votes: 70 | Gross: $16.62M

49. Monkey Kingdom (2015)

G | 81 min | Documentary

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
72 Metascore

A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who ... See full summary »

Directors: Mark Linfield, Alastair Fothergill | Star: Tina Fey

Votes: 2,764 | Gross: $16.43M

50. African Cats (2011)

G | 89 min | Documentary, Adventure

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
61 Metascore

A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart, Mara

Votes: 5,231 | Gross: $15.42M