Ivan Mazza's 250 best Documentaries of the 21st Century (Los 200 mejores documentales del siglo 21)

by ivan-mazza | created - 14 Jan 2011 | updated - 02 Jan 2018 | Public

La lista de los 250 mejores documentales del nuevo siglo. Para todos los que aman el cine, si no ven documentales, no saben lo que se están perdiendo, esta es una buena referencia para iniciarse dentro de uno de los mejores géneros cinematográficos. No hay ficción que se compare a muchas de estas historias...

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime

90 Metascore

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.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn | Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin, Ibrahim Sinik

Votes: 30,293 | Gross: $0.49M

2. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 57,589 | Gross: $3.97M

3. Grizzly Man (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter

Votes: 47,493 | Gross: $3.17M

4. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography

90 Metascore

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.

Director: Andrew Jarecki | Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman, Elaine Friedman

Votes: 21,970 | Gross: $3.12M

5. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

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 »

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 57,919 | Gross: $3.29M

6. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

82 Metascore

A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

Director: Kurt Kuenne | Stars: Kurt Kuenne, Andrew Bagby, David Bagby, Kathleen Bagby

Votes: 28,465

7. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig | Stars: Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston, Laurie Allen

Votes: 8,334 | Gross: $0.33M

8. Children Underground (2001)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary

85 Metascore

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director: Edet Belzberg | Stars: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu, Ana Turturica

Votes: 2,077

9. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 44,655 | Gross: $0.87M

10. Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Mystery

75 Metascore

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.

Directors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel | Stars: Vivian Maier, John Maloof, Daniel Arnaud, Simon Amédé

Votes: 11,741 | Gross: $1.51M

11. Jesus Camp (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard

Votes: 25,030 | Gross: $0.90M

12. Dirty Wars (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.

Director: Rick Rowley | Stars: Jeremy Scahill, Nasser Al Aulaqi, Saleha Al Aulaqi, Muqbal Al Kazemi

Votes: 8,601 | Gross: $0.38M

13. Deep Water (2006)

PG | 92 min | Documentary, History, Sport

80 Metascore

A documentary about the disastrous 1968 round-the-world yacht race.

Directors: Louise Osmond, Jerry Rothwell | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Simon Russell Beale

Votes: 2,704 | Gross: $0.27M

14. L'image manquante (2013)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

87 Metascore

Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia's Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979.

Director: Rithy Panh | Stars: Randal Douc, Jean-Baptiste Phou

Votes: 2,715 | Gross: $0.05M

15. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History

87 Metascore

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.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon

Votes: 21,238 | Gross: $4.19M

16. Citizenfour (2014)

R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography

88 Metascore

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Director: Laura Poitras | Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum

Votes: 47,029 | Gross: $2.80M

17. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 11,043 | Gross: $1.60M

18. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Crime, War

82 Metascore

Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg, Christopher Beiring

Votes: 13,477 | Gross: $0.27M

19. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 64,434 | Gross: $4.31M

20. Virunga (2014)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, War

95 Metascore

A team of brave individuals risk their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.

Director: Orlando von Einsiedel | Stars: André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby, Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo

Votes: 8,700

21. Winged Migration (2001)

G | 89 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro

Votes: 11,027 | Gross: $10.76M

22. Collapse (II) (2009)

Unrated | 82 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

A documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness.

Director: Chris Smith | Star: Michael Ruppert

Votes: 6,309 | Gross: $0.05M

23. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

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: 52,706 | Gross: $77.44M

24. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

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: 121,268 | Gross: $119.19M

25. Tower (2016)

TV-14 | 82 min | Documentary, Animation, Crime

92 Metascore

Animation, testimony, and archival footage combine to relate the events of August 1, 1966 when a gunman opened fire from the University of Texas clock tower, killing 16 people.

Director: Keith Maitland | Stars: Violett Beane, Louie Arnette, Blair Jackson, Monty Muir

Votes: 6,084 | Gross: $0.09M

26. Red Army (2014)

PG | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, History

83 Metascore

The story of the Soviet Union's famed Red Army hockey team through the eyes of its players.

Director: Gabe Polsky | Stars: Viacheslav Fetisov, Scotty Bowman, Herb Brooks, Don Cherry

Votes: 6,022 | Gross: $0.69M

27. Super Size Me (2004)

PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker, Dania Abu-Rmaileh

Votes: 94,450 | Gross: $11.53M

28. O.J.: Made in America (2016)

TV-MA | 467 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.

Director: Ezra Edelman | Stars: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mike Albanese, Muhammad Ali, Marcus Allen

Votes: 14,392

29. The Look of Silence (2014)

PG-13 | 103 min | Documentary, Biography, History

92 Metascore

A family that survived the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer | Stars: Adi Rukun, M.Y. Basrun, Amir Hasan, Inong

Votes: 9,760 | Gross: $0.11M

30. Tarnation (2003)

Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

Film-maker Jonathan Caouette's documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother -- a mixture of snapshots, Super-8 film, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more - culled from nineteen years of his life.

Director: Jonathan Caouette | Stars: Jonathan Caouette, Renee Leblanc, Adolph Davis, Rosemary Davis

Votes: 6,054 | Gross: $0.59M

31. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Not Rated | 121 min | Documentary, Crime

85 Metascore

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.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Gary Gitchell, Todd Moore, Dana Moore, Pam Hobbs

Votes: 8,036

32. Trouble the Water (2008)

Unrated | 93 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning.

Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin | Stars: Michael Brown, George W. Bush, Julie Chen, Ray Nagin

Votes: 1,825 | Gross: $0.52M

33. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

89 Metascore

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".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 48,504 | Gross: $2.96M

34. Where to Invade Next (2015)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Comedy

64 Metascore

To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Johnny Fancelli, Christina Fancelli, Lorena Lardini

Votes: 20,845 | Gross: $3.82M

35. Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

Director: Evgeny Afineevsky | Stars: Bishop Agapit, Catherine Ashton, Serhii Averchenko, Kristina Berdinskikh

Votes: 10,240

36. The White Diamond (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Graham Dorrington, Dieter Plage, Adrian de Schryver

Votes: 3,983

37. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

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: 76,499 | Gross: $23.81M

38. Five Broken Cameras (2011)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, War

78 Metascore

A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.

Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi | Stars: Emad Burnat, Soraya Burnat, Mohammed Burnat, Yasin Burnat

Votes: 5,425 | Gross: $0.11M

39. Food, Inc. (2008)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb, Vince Edwards

Votes: 47,343 | Gross: $4.42M

40. The Overnighters (2014)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Drama

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Jesse Moss | Stars: Jay Reinke, Andrea Reinke, Alan Mezo, Shelly Schultz

Votes: 2,192 | Gross: $0.11M

41. Waste Land (2010)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

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.

Directors: Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, João Jardim | Star: Vik Muniz

Votes: 7,944 | Gross: $0.19M

42. Spellbound (2002)

G | 97 min | Documentary, Comedy, Thriller

80 Metascore

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz | Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar, Scott McGarraugh

Votes: 11,561 | Gross: $5.73M

43. Weiner (2016)

R | 96 min | Documentary

84 Metascore

An examination of disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and today's political landscape.

Directors: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg | Stars: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, Jordan Zain Weiner, Barbara Morgan

Votes: 8,828 | Gross: $1.61M

44. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

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.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 41,533 | Gross: $0.89M

45. No End in Sight (2007)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary, War

89 Metascore

A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke, Ali Fadhil, Omar Fekeiki

Votes: 7,834 | Gross: $1.43M

46. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G | 99 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov, Doug MacAyeal

Votes: 15,849 | Gross: $0.94M

47. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

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