Documentaries You Need to See

by eraserdead | created - 20 Feb 2012 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

For more information on my cinematic opinions check out my blog: http://destroyallcinema.wordpress.com/

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1. 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: 5,402 | Gross: $0.11M

2. 7 Plus Seven (1970 TV Movie)

52 min | Documentary, Biography

Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born children after a seven-year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield

Votes: 2,265

3. 9/11: The Falling Man (2006 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 80 min | Documentary

The Falling Man is a documentary that examines one of the many images that were circulated by the press immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. The ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Singer | Stars: Steven Mackintosh, Iliana Guibert

Votes: 1,190

4. The 11th Hour (I) (2007)

PG | 95 min | Documentary

63 Metascore

A look at the state of the global environment including visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet's ecosystems.

Directors: Leila Conners, Nadia Conners | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kenny Ausubel, Thom Hartmann, Wangari Maathai

Votes: 5,342 | Gross: $0.70M

5. 97% Owned (2012)

130 min | Documentary

97% owned present serious research and verifiable evidence on our economic and financial system. This is the first documentary to tackle this issue from a UK-perspective and explains the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Oswald | Stars: Maddy Reilly, Ben Dyson, Anne Belsey, Noel Longhurst

Votes: 354

6. 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 102 min | Documentary, History

The morning of September 11, 2001 is shown through multiple video cameras in New York City, from the moment the first WTC tower is hit until after both towers collapse.

Directors: Nicole Rittenmeyer, Seth Skundrick | Stars: George W. Bush, Joe Napolitano, Kelly Edwards

Votes: 1,999

7. 1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, History, Music

David Markey's documentary of life on the road with Sonic Youth and Nirvana during their tour of Europe in late 1991. Also featuring live performances by Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland, The ... See full summary »

Director: David Markey | Stars: Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley

Votes: 1,228

8. 1999: The Lost Story - Tailing the Millennium (2014)

76 min | Documentary, History, Mystery | Post-production

A coast-to-coast look at conspiracy theories and the people who foster them, a quest for the truth behind them, and a conclusion that may be even more relevant today.

Director: Anna Zetchus Smith | Stars: Christopher Hitchens, Milton William Cooper, Chuck Missler, Alan Keyes

9. 2001: The Making of a Myth (2001 TV Short)

43 min | Documentary, Short

The geniality of the mythical Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" is explored and debated here by scholars, author Arthur C. Clarke and some members of the cast and crew who were ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Joyce | Stars: James Cameron, Arthur C. Clarke, Con Pederson, Douglas Trumbull

Votes: 261

10. Act of God (1980 TV Short)

25 min | Documentary, Short

Documentary film by Peter Greenaway made for Thames Television, in which people who have survived being struck by lightning relate their experiences against a typically Greenaway backdrop ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway

Votes: 125

11. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime

89 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: 29,934 | Gross: $0.49M

12. The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971)

32 min | Documentary, Short, Horror

At a morgue, forensic pathologists conduct autopsies of the corpses assigned.

Director: Stan Brakhage

Votes: 1,265

14. Age of Deceit: Fallen Angels and the New World Order (2012 Video)

Not Rated | 152 min | Documentary

Is there a connection between UFO's, alien abductions, channeling spirits, demonic possessions, the new age movement, secret societies, and satanism? In Age of Deceit: Fallen Angels and the... See full summary »

Director: Gonzo Shimura | Stars: Chris White, Douglas Hamp, Milton William Cooper, Henry Lamb

Votes: 38

15. A/k/a Tommy Chong (2006)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

Documentary about Tommy Chong's federal prosecution under the Bush administration for selling bongs over the Internet.

Director: Josh Gilbert | Stars: Lou Adler, Raven Bast, Paris Chong, Shelby Chong

Votes: 597

16. Alan Clarke: His Own Man (2000 TV Movie)

26 min | Documentary

British film-maker Alan Clarke was championed by the likes of Gary Oldman, Tim Roth and Ray Winstone - Stephen Frears even called him the best. And yet Clarke only ever made 3 feature films... See full summary »

Director: Andy Kimpton-Nye | Stars: Molly Clarke, David Hare, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth

Votes: 15

17. The Alchemical Dream: Rebirth of the Great Work (2008 Video)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary

In the mid-1990's Terence McKenna and Mystic Fire's Sheldon Rocklin teamed up to make this rich and exciting film. Little did they know that this would be their last film. Originally titled... See full summary »

Directors: Maxine Rochlin, Sheldon Rochlin | Stars: Terence McKenna, John Claude

Votes: 23

18. American Boy: A Profile of - Steven Prince (1978)

55 min | Documentary

Director Martin Scorsese talks to actor Steven Prince about his past. As the night goes on, Prince reveals some very amusing and moving stories of his experiences with drugs and violence.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Steven Prince, Julia Cameron, Mardik Martin, Kathi McGinnis

Votes: 772

19. The American Dreamer (1971)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

A documentary about actor/director Dennis Hopper, showing him at his home and studio putting together his film The Last Movie (1971).

Directors: L.M. Kit Carson, Lawrence Schiller | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Princess Lida Amun, L.M. Kit Carson, Lawrence Schiller

Votes: 297

20. American Drug War: The Last White Hope (2007)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Crime

The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Booth | Stars: Joe Arpaio, Jello Biafra, Osama bin Laden, Jeff Blackburn

Votes: 1,553

21. American Hardcore (2006)

R | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

69 Metascore

The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

Director: Paul Rachman | Stars: Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, James Drescher, Lucky Lehrer

Votes: 3,022 | Gross: $0.28M

22. American Juggalo (2011)

24 min | Documentary, Short, News

A look at the often mocked and misunderstood subculture of Juggalos, hardcore Insane Clown Posse fans, who meet once a year for 4 days at The Gathering of the Juggalos.

Director: Sean Dunne | Star: Vanilla Ice

Votes: 266

23. American Movie (1999)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Comedy

84 Metascore

Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.

Director: Chris Smith | Stars: Mark Borchardt, Mike Schank, Tom Schimmels, Monica Borchardt

Votes: 15,140 | Gross: $1.16M

24. American Pimp (1999)

R | 87 min | Documentary

59 Metascore

Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant, pimping in various U.S. cities, bringing a woman into their group, taking a ... See full summary »

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: John S. Dickson, Antonio Fargas, Heidi Fleiss, L. Hammond

Votes: 2,060 | Gross: $0.29M

25. American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

55 Metascore

Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.

Directors: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas | Stars: Bill Hicks, Dwight Slade, Mary Hicks, Steve Hicks

Votes: 4,519 | Gross: $0.09M

26. Louis Theroux: America's Medicated Kids (2010 TV Movie)

58 min | Documentary

Louis meets parents who have turned to medication to keep their children under control.

Director: Danny Horan | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,138

27. The Animator of Prague (1990 TV Movie)

26 min | Documentary

The life of Jan Svankmajer, a Czech surrealist animator, filmmaker and artist whose work inspired other influential filmmakers like Terry Gilliam. Working under Communist regime was a blessing and a curse for a creative young artist.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Michael O'Pray, Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 53

28. Another State of Mind (1984)

78 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary on punk rock.

Directors: Adam Small, Peter Stuart | Stars: M. Otis Beard, Dennis Danell, Brent Liles, John Macias

Votes: 643

29. The Antics Roadshow (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary

A look at famous pranks and acts of activism which have become iconic.

Directors: Banksy, Jaimie D'Cruz | Stars: Kathy Burke, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno, Rémi Gaillard

Votes: 349

30. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 14,639 | Gross: $0.67M

31. Arirang (2011)

100 min | Documentary, Drama

Documentary on director Kim Ki-Duk looking back at his film career.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Star: Ki-duk Kim

Votes: 996

32. The Aristocrats (2005)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Comedy

72 Metascore

One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville.

Director: Paul Provenza | Stars: George Carlin, Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Chris Albrecht

Votes: 15,526 | Gross: $6.38M

34. Back to Room 666 (2008)

15 min | Documentary, Short

What is the future of cinema? In 1982, in Cannes, Wim Wenders invited many movie makers to answer this question. 26 years later, the question remains, but Wenders is now on the other side of the camera.

Director: Gustavo Spolidoro | Stars: Wim Wenders, Michelangelo Antonioni, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog

Votes: 51

35. B.B. King: The Life of Riley (2012)

Not Rated | 123 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

The untold true American story of an orphan boy from the heart of the Mississippi Delta who rose to music stardom around the world and inspired a generation of fans against all odds.

Director: Jon Brewer | Stars: Morgan Freeman, B.B. King, Bill Cosby, Albert King

Votes: 541

36. Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten (1984 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 46 min | Documentary

The film focuses on a group of Miskito in Nicaragua who used child soldiers in their resistance against the Sandinistas.

Directors: Werner Herzog, Denis Reichle | Stars: Werner Herzog, Denis Reichle

Votes: 663

37. Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005 Video)

R | 52 min | Documentary

An in-depth analysis of the "Video Nasty" scandal of the early 1980s in Britain.

Director: David Gregory | Stars: Chris Theobald, Norman Abbott, Barrie Gold, Bill Best

Votes: 251

38. A Band Called Death (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett | Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney, Robbie Duncan

Votes: 3,198 | Gross: $0.13M

39. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)

R | 97 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White

Votes: 3,170 | Gross: $1.20M

40. Beautiful Losers (2008)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

59 Metascore

This documentary follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world.

Directors: Aaron Rose, Joshua Leonard | Stars: Thomas Campbell, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson

Votes: 1,239 | Gross: $0.06M

43. Beyond the Mat (1999)

R | 102 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

73 Metascore

A heartfelt documentary focusing on the day-to-day lives of professional wrestlers, some on the rise, some on the wane, and others fighting for their lives.

Director: Barry W. Blaustein | Stars: Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Jake Roberts, Barry W. Blaustein

Votes: 7,372 | Gross: $2.05M

44. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: The Blind Watchmaker (1987)

47 min | Documentary

Add a Plot

Star: Richard Dawkins

Votes: 70

45. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

84 Metascore

A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Dave Chappelle, Yasiin Bey, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu

Votes: 8,337 | Gross: $11.69M

46. Blue Note - A Story of Modern Jazz (1997 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Music

"It must 'schwing!'" was the motto of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two German Jewish immigrants who in 1939 set up Blue Note Records, the jazz label that was home to such greats as Miles ... See full summary »

Directors: Julian Benedikt, Andreas Morell | Stars: Freddie Hubbard, Gil Melle, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver

Votes: 200

47. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Bob Marley: Rebel Music (2000)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

Profile of the life and music of the legendary reggae singer.

Director: Jeremy Marre | Stars: Rita Marley, Bob Marley

Votes: 175

48. Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time (2011 Video)

Not Rated | 151 min | Action, Biography, Sport

At his apex, Stone Cold Steve Austin was a pop culture phenomenon, the biggest superstar in the history of sports entertainment. Despite battling the rejection of being fired and a ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dunn | Stars: Steve Austin, Chris Adams, Arn Anderson, Ariane Andrew

Votes: 562

49. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

8