Documentary to Watch

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1. Detainment (2018)

R | 30 min | Short, Crime, Drama

Two ten year-old boys are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler. A true story based on interview transcripts and records from the James Bulger case, which shocked the world in 1993.

Director: Vincent Lambe | Stars: Ely Solan, Leon Hughes, Will O'Connell, David Ryan

Votes: 2,407

2. Period. End of Sentence. (2018)

26 min | Documentary, Short

Indian women fight the stigma surrounding menstruation and begin manufacturing sanitary pads.

Director: Rayka Zehtabchi | Stars: Ajeya, Anita, Gouri Choudari, Shabana Khan

Votes: 4,100

3. Lifeboat (II) (2018)

34 min | Documentary, Short

Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. LIFEBOAT puts a human face on... See full summary »

Director: Skye Fitzgerald | Stars: Aisha, Miriam

Votes: 677

4. Of Fathers and Sons (2017)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, War

70 Metascore

Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years.

Director: Talal Derki | Stars: Abu Osama, Ayman Osama, Osama Osama

Votes: 1,626 | Gross: $0.01M

5. Free Solo (2018)

PG-13 | 100 min | Documentary, Sport

83 Metascore

Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi | Stars: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin, Cheyne Lempe

Votes: 37,980 | Gross: $17.54M

6. The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

R | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, War

64 Metascore

Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman

Votes: 10,941 | Gross: $0.32M

7. Occupation 101 (2006)

90 min | Documentary

A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. political involvement.

Directors: Abdallah Omeish, Sufyan Omeish | Stars: James Akins, Arik Ascherman, Bishop Barltlett Jr., Phyllis Bennis

Votes: 1,675

8. Standard Operating Procedure (2008)

R | 116 min | Documentary, Crime, War

70 Metascore

Errol Morris examines the incidents of abuse and torture of suspected terrorists at the hands of U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Megan Ambuhl Graner, Javal Davis, Ken Davis, Anthony Diaz

Votes: 3,704 | Gross: $0.23M

9. 40 Years of Silence: An Indonesian Tragedy (2009)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

In one of the largest unknown mass-killings of the 20th century, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people were secretly and systematically killed in 1965 when General Suharto began a bloody... See full summary »

Director: Robert Lemelson | Stars: Budi, Nyoman Kereta, Lanny, Geoffrey Robinson

Votes: 40

10. Enemies of the People (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people in the late 1970s. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain unexplained. Until now. Enter Thet Sambath, an unassuming, yet cunning, ... See full summary »

Directors: Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath | Stars: Thet Sambath, Nuon Chea, Pol Pot, Khieu Samphan

Votes: 459 | Gross: $0.07M

11. Whores' Glory (2011)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

An examination of the lives, needs, troubles and hopes of prostitutes in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico.

Director: Michael Glawogger | Stars: Emma, Ning, Toh, Wat

Votes: 4,438 | Gross: $0.03M

12. The Square (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, News

84 Metascore

A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Director: Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Ahmed Hassan, Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour, Ramy Essam

Votes: 8,101 | Gross: $0.12M

13. The War Around Us (2014)

Documentary

In 2008 two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth - the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip on what was supposed to be a 24-hour ... See full summary »

Director: Abdallah Omeish | Stars: Ayman Mohyeldin, Sherine Tadros

Votes: 182

14. A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015)

TV-PG | 40 min | Documentary, Short

A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country's harsh judicial system.

Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy | Stars: Asad Jamal, Saba

Votes: 1,234

15. The Trials of Spring (2015)

90 min | Documentary, History, News

When 24-year-old Hend Nafea is arrested and tortured for demonstrating peacefully in Cairo's Tahrir Square, her pursuit of justice reflects post-revolution Egypt at an uncertain crossroads.

Director: Gini Reticker

Votes: 18

16. Prophet's Prey (2015)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

77 Metascore

When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, ... See full summary »

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Nick Cave, Elaine Anderson, Sam Brower, Andrew Chatwin

Votes: 1,302 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Trapped (IV) (2016)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

From 2011 to 2013, hundreds of regulations were passed restricting access to abortion in America. Reproductive rights advocates refer to these as "TRAP" laws, or Targeted Regulation of ... See full summary »

Director: Dawn Porter | Stars: June Ayers, Andrea Ferrigno, Gloria Gray, Dalton Johnson

Votes: 244

18. The Venerable W. (2017)

100 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

A view of the religious tensions between Muslims and Buddhist through the portrait of the Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, leader of anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Ashin Wirathu, U. Zanitar, Kyaw Zayar Htun, U. Kaylar Sa

Votes: 458

19. Dead Souls (2018)

495 min | Documentary

89 Metascore

A dozen aging survivors are interviewed from Jiabiangou, a complex of three work camps in Northwest China where supposed rightists were sent for re-education in the 1950s and 1960s under Mao Zedong.

Director: Bing Wang

Votes: 110

20. Trophy (2017)

Not Rated | 108 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

This in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels the complex consequences of treating animals as commodities.

Directors: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz | Stars: Tim Black, Philip Glass, Christo Gomes, John Hume

Votes: 509 | Gross: $0.02M

21. Shoah: Four Sisters (2018– )

Not Rated | 273 min | Documentary, History

93 Metascore

Four interviews done in the 1970s with women who survived the Holocaust.

Stars: Claude Lanzmann, Paula Biren, Ruth Elias, Ada Lichtman

Votes: 65 | Gross: $0.01M

22. Very Young Girls (2007)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Crime

Very Young Girls, whose title reflects the fact that in the United States the average age of entry into prostitution is just thirteen. The film takes us into the work of a former sexually ... See full summary »

Directors: David Schisgall, Nina Alvarez | Stars: Laura Guzman, Rachel Lloyd

Votes: 415

23. Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008)

Unrated | 72 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

A group of women rise up to peace to Liberia and help bring to power the country's first female head of state.

Director: Gini Reticker | Stars: Janet Johnson Bryant, Etweda Cooper, Vaiba Flomo, Leymah Gbowee

Votes: 466 | Gross: $0.08M

24. The Oslo Diaries (2018)

TV-14 | 97 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

A group of Israelis and Palestinians come together in Oslo for an unsanctioned peace talks during the 1990s in order to bring peace to the Middle East.

Directors: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan | Stars: Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, Uri Savir

Votes: 272

25. Girl Rising (2013)

PG-13 | 101 min | Documentary, Drama

59 Metascore

This film follows 9 girls from Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Egypt, Peru, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan on their journey to education.

Director: Richard Robbins | Stars: Amina, Azmera, Arindol Bagchi, Rekha Banerjee

Votes: 1,125

26. Half the Sky (2012)

Not Rated | 224 min | Documentary

HALF THE SKY is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world's women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. Our future is in the hands of women everywhere.

Director: Maro Chermayeff | Stars: America Ferrera, Nicholas Kristof, Diane Lane, Dipti Mehta

Votes: 251

27. Vessel (II) (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

68 Metascore

A fearless sea captain sails a ship through loopholes in international law, providing abortions on the high seas, and leaving in her wake a network of emboldened activists who trust women to handle abortion on their own terms.

Director: Diana Whitten | Star: Rebecca Gomperts

Votes: 204

28. He Named Me Malala (2015)

PG-13 | 88 min | Documentary

61 Metascore

A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, Khushal Yousafzai

Votes: 4,230 | Gross: $2.64M

29. Hot Girls Wanted (2015)

84 min | Documentary

A documentary about young women who have been drawn into the sex trade - and how easy it is for a web-savvy generation to end up making porn.

Directors: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus | Stars: Farrah Laurel Abraham, John Anthony, Rachel Bernard, Carrie Brooks

Votes: 14,025

30. The Resort (2012)

40 min | Documentary, History

A documentary about one of the first concentration camps during World War II used by the Nazis as propaganda tool in order to dispel rumors about extermination camps .

Director: Galina Kalashnikova | Stars: Inge Auerbacher, Eva Hermanova, Felix Kolmer, Marta Kotova

Votes: 13

31. The Rachel Divide (2018)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary

59 Metascore

Rachel Dolezal becomes a social phenomenon when she passes herself off as an African American and becomes the head of her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter.

Director: Laura Brownson | Stars: Rachel Dolezal, Franklin Dolezal, Siobhan Abrams, Vanessa Bayer

Votes: 1,424

32. Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994)

105 min | Documentary, Biography

A film about the work of the artist most famous for her monuments such as the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Civil Rights Fountain Memorial.

Director: Freida Lee Mock | Star: Maya Lin

Votes: 400 | Gross: $0.06M

33. Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (2018)

TV-MA | 105 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

An investigation into what happened to activist Sandra Bland, who died in police custody after a routine traffic stop.

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner | Stars: Sandra Bland, Robert E. Brzezinski, Brian Encinia, Cannon Lambert

Votes: 341

34. Daughters of Destiny (2017– )

60 min | Documentary

Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth follows a group of rural India's most disadvantaged children over the course of seven years.

Stars: Shilpa Anthony Raj, Abraham George, Ajit George, Mariam George

Votes: 544

35. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)

88 min | Documentary, Biography, History

70 Metascore

The life and career of the hailed Hollywood movie star and underappreciated genius inventor, Hedy Lamarr.

Director: Alexandra Dean | Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Mel Brooks, Jennifer Hom, Anthony Loder

Votes: 2,554 | Gross: $0.82M

36. Alison (II) (2016)

80 min | Documentary

Raped. Disemboweled. Nearly decapitated. Dumped on the outskirts of a nature reserve, dead - or so they thought. She needed a hero that night, so that's what she became. This is Alison's tale. A tale of monsters, miracles and hope.

Director: Uga Carlini | Stars: Christia Visser, De Klerk Oelofse, Alison Botha, Zak Hendrikz

Votes: 599

37. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, 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: 31,621 | Gross: $0.49M

38. Maidentrip (2013)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

70 Metascore

14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

Director: Jillian Schlesinger | Stars: Dick Dekker, Kim Dekker, Laura Dekker, Barbara Mueller

Votes: 3,515 | Gross: $0.07M

39. November 13: Attack on Paris (2018)

55 min | Documentary

Documentary chronicling the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.

Stars: Barouyr, Benoit, Philippe Boutinaud, Bernard Cazeneuve

Votes: 1,537

40. Human Flow (2017)

PG-13 | 140 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

Human Flow is director and artist Ai Weiwei's detailed and heartbreaking exploration into the global refugee crisis.

Director: Weiwei Ai | Stars: Israa Abboud, Hiba Abed, Rami Abu Sondos, Weiwei Ai

Votes: 2,062 | Gross: $0.53M

41. Fire at Sea (2016)

114 min | Documentary

87 Metascore

Capturing life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a frontline in the European migrant crisis.

Director: Gianfranco Rosi | Stars: Samuele Pucillo, Mattias Cucina, Samuele Caruana, Pietro Bartolo

Votes: 4,958 | Gross: $0.11M

42. Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2002)

Unrated | 104 min | Documentary, History

75 Metascore

A film about the state of Chinese occupied Tibet and its history of oppression and resistance.

Director: Tom Piozet | Stars: Edward Edwards, Ed Harris, Shirley Knight, Tim Robbins

Votes: 608 | Gross: $0.58M

43. The Last Judgement (1989)

68 min | Documentary, Biography

A humanistic and up-close film about Waleri Dolgow who murdered a Latvian union leader in 1984. We see his trial, his imprisonment, his confession and his change.

Director: Herz Frank

Votes: 42

44. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)

PG | 122 min | Documentary, History, War

79 Metascore

The secret smuggling of 9,300 Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Germany in the late 1930s.

Director: Mark Jonathan Harris | Stars: Judi Dench, Lory Cahn, Kurt Fuchel, Eva Hayman

Votes: 1,509 | Gross: $0.37M

45. Samsara (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Music

65 Metascore

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.

Director: Ron Fricke | Stars: Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi, Putu Dinda Pratika

Votes: 30,222 | Gross: $2.67M

46. The Raft (2018)

97 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

In 1973, five men and six women drifted across the Atlantic on a raft as part of a scientific experiment studying the sociology of violence, aggression and sexual attraction in human ... See full summary »

Director: Marcus Lindeen | Stars: Santiago Genovés, Fe Seymour, Maria Björnstam, Servane Zanotti

Votes: 550 | Gross: $0.04M