mightysparks's Favourite Documentaries

by DaveHedgehog | created - 11 Dec 2011 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

Haven't seen many docs, or liked many docs, but starting to watch more so I thought I'd get this list started.

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1. 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: 21,967 | Gross: $3.12M

2. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

83 Metascore

Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.

Director: Seth Gordon | Stars: Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Mark Alpiger, Adam Wood

Votes: 33,015 | Gross: $0.68M

3. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 31,186 | Gross: $1.72M

4. Touching the Void (2003)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

82 Metascore

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron

Votes: 30,791 | Gross: $4.59M

5. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

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.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood, Dick Clay

Votes: 13,277

6. Hotel Coolgardie (2016)

83 min | Documentary

On a dusty highway between Australia's most isolated city and its largest gold pit lies Coolgardie - where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign backpackers to work the ... See full summary »

Director: Pete Gleeson

Votes: 107

7. Best Worst Movie (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A look at the making of the film Troll 2 (1990) and its journey from being crowned the "worst film of all time" to a cherished cult classic.

Director: Michael Paul Stephenson | Stars: George Hardy, Lily Hardy, Pita Ray, Micki Knox

Votes: 7,054 | Gross: $0.10M

8. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay city supervisor.

Director: Rob Epstein | Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg, Tory Hartmann

Votes: 5,122 | Gross: $0.01M

9. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 19,426 | Gross: $1.21M

10. 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: 44,646 | Gross: $0.87M

11. 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: 6,076 | Gross: $0.09M

12. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 19,327

13. 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: 2,286

14. 21 Up (1977)

100 min | Documentary, Biography

Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults 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: 2,040

15. 28 Up (1984 TV Movie)

136 min | Documentary, Biography

Director Michael Apted interviews the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years.

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

Votes: 2,233

16. Forbidden Lie$ (2007)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, Drama

85 Metascore

A dramatized documentary investigating accusations that "Forbidden Love" author Norma Khouri made up her biographical tale of a Muslim friend who was killed for dating a Christian.

Director: Anna Broinowski | Stars: Norma Khouri, Malcolm Knox, Rana Husseini, Caroline Overington

Votes: 555

17. Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)

47 min | Documentary, Comedy

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

Director: Mark Lewis | Stars: Tip Byrne, H.W. Kerr, Glen Ingram, Bill Freeland

Votes: 1,101

18. 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: 48,489 | Gross: $2.96M

19. 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: 47,483 | Gross: $3.17M

20. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce

Votes: 38,331 | Gross: $3.23M

21. Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010 Video)

Not Rated | 240 min | Documentary, Horror

Explore the origins of "dream demon" Freddy Krueger in this award-winning documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the most frightening and imaginative horror franchise in motion picture history!

Directors: Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Stacey Alden, Erika Anderson, Marshall Bell

Votes: 3,653

22. Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields (2010)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Music

66 Metascore

Songwriter Stephin Merritt is known as "the Cole Porter of his generation" for his memorable melodies, lovelorn lyrics and wry musical stylings. Shot over a period of 10 years, "Strange ... See full summary »

Directors: Kerthy Fix, Gail O'Hara | Stars: Laura Ballance, Carrie Brownstein, Ethan Cohn, Sam Davol

Votes: 241 | Gross: $0.07M

23. 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

24. 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: 94,439 | Gross: $11.53M

25. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, Drama

83 Metascore

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite | Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall

Votes: 55,362 | Gross: $2.06M

26. 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: 121,250 | Gross: $119.19M

27. Crumb (1994)

R | 119 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

93 Metascore

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb

Votes: 16,470 | Gross: $3.17M

28. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006)

Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Horror

A documentary on the history of the slasher film.

Stars: Ed Green, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Herb Freed

Votes: 3,070

29. Titicut Follies (1967)

Unrated | 84 min | Documentary

Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman takes us inside the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Bridgewater where people stay trapped in their madness.

Director: Frederick Wiseman

Votes: 3,449



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