Documentaries

by gromit82 | created - 2 weeks ago | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

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1. 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: 19,436 | Gross: $1.21M

2. 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: 47,512 | Gross: $3.17M

3. Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)

Not Rated | 165 min | Documentary, History

A reassessment of the tragedy at Waco that left 76 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect dead.

Director: William Gazecki | Stars: Dan Gifford, Clive Doyle, Jack Harwell, Joseph Penno

Votes: 2,928

4. Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)

Not Rated | 169 min | Documentary, History

86 Metascore

A documentary on how Los Angeles has been used and depicted in the movies.

Director: Thom Andersen | Stars: Encke King, Ben Alexander, Jim Backus, Brenda Bakke

Votes: 1,818

5. The Target Shoots First (2000)

70 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

An NYU philosophy grad struggles to maintain artistic and personal integrity as a production manager for Columbia House.

Director: Christopher Wilcha | Stars: Christopher Wilcha, Marie Capozzi, Rick Hunt, John S. Wilcha

Votes: 173

6. The Atomic Cafe (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, History

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government-issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty | Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy, Brien McMahon

Votes: 3,555 | Gross: $0.02M

7. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R | 96 min | Documentary

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, George Lucas

Votes: 16,452 | Gross: $1.32M

8. Cinemania (2002)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. The filmmakers expose this delightfully deranged cult ... See full summary »

Directors: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak | Stars: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill

Votes: 2,144 | Gross: $0.01M

9. The Last Days (1998)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, War

In late 1944, even as they faced imminent defeat, the Nazis expended enormous resources to kill or deport over 425,000 Jews during the "cleansing" of Hungary. This Oscar-winning documentary... See full summary »

Director: James Moll | Stars: Bill Basch, Martin Basch, Randolph Braham, Alice Lok Cahana

Votes: 1,764 | Gross: $0.42M

10. 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: 28,477

11. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa

Votes: 15,094 | Gross: $7.00M

12. The Compleat Beatles (1982 Video)

119 min | Documentary, Music

The history of the great British rock band.

Director: Patrick Montgomery | Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

Votes: 1,047

13. The Long Way Home (1997)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, History, War

The story of the post World War II Jewish refugee situation from liberation to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

Director: Mark Jonathan Harris | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Israel Lau, Livia Shacter, Abraham Klausner

Votes: 608

14. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

98 Metascore

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 21,909 | Gross: $7.83M

15. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998)

PG | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

75 Metascore

The life and career of Hank Greenberg, the first major Jewish baseball star in the Major Leagues.

Director: Aviva Kempner | Stars: Reeve Brenner, Hank Greenberg, Walter Matthau, Alan M. Dershowitz

Votes: 738 | Gross: $1.70M

16. 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: 1,474 | Gross: $0.37M

17. The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography

The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people - many in the entertainment industry - over a span ... See full summary »

Director: Susan Warms Dryfoos | Stars: Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Cy Coleman

Votes: 206

18. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)

G | 83 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A homeless musician finds meaning to his life when he starts a friendship with dozens of parrots.

Director: Judy Irving | Stars: Mark Bittner, Judy Irving

Votes: 2,855 | Gross: $3.06M

20. Looking for Richard (1996)

PG-13 | 111 min | Documentary, Drama

Al Pacino's deeply-felt rumination on Shakespeare's significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of "Richard III."

Director: Al Pacino | Stars: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Frederic Kimball

Votes: 7,542 | Gross: $1.36M

21. 4 Little Girls (1997)

TV-14 | 102 min | Documentary, History

89 Metascore

A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Maxine McNair, Walter Cronkite, Chris McNair, Fred Lee Shuttlesworth

Votes: 2,420 | Gross: $0.13M

22. 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: 16,486 | Gross: $3.17M

23. 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: 11,562 | Gross: $5.73M

24. Arotzim Shel Za'am (2003)

72 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary about two Israeli rap music performers, one Jewish (Kobi Shimoni, known as Subliminal) and the other Arab (Tamer Nafar, known as TN).

Director: Anat Halachmi | Stars: Subliminal, Tamer Nafar, Yoav Eliasi, Suhell Nafar

Votes: 19

25. Everest (1998)

Unrated | 44 min | Documentary, Short

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: 3,000 | Gross: $87.18M

26. Dig! (2004)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Director: Ondi Timoner | Stars: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood

Votes: 5,665 | Gross: $0.13M

27. Deli Man (2014)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A look at the history of delicatessens in the United States.

Director: Erik Greenberg Anjou | Stars: Steve Auerbach, Adam Caslow, Alan M. Dershowitz, Fyvush Finkel

Votes: 434 | Gross: $0.48M

28. Wordplay (2006)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base.

Director: Patrick Creadon | Stars: Will Shortz, Ken Burns, Jon Stewart, Merl Reagle

Votes: 3,521 | Gross: $3.12M

29. Word Wars (2004)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary, Comedy

61 Metascore

A look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble.

Directors: Eric Chaikin, Julian Petrillo | Stars: Joe Edley, Matt Graham, Marlon Hill, Joel Sherman

Votes: 1,623 | Gross: $0.06M

30. Heavy Petting (1989)

R | 74 min | Documentary

Celebrity confessions about their first sexual experiences.

Directors: Obie Benz, Joshua Waletzky | Stars: David Byrne, Sandra Bernhard, Frances Fisher, Allen Ginsberg

Votes: 251 | Gross: $0.27M

31. Helvetica (2007)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Manfred Schulz, Massimo Vignelli, Rick Poynor, Wim Crouwel

Votes: 6,930 | Gross: $0.20M

32. 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: 21,979 | Gross: $3.12M

33. Grey Gardens (1975)

PG | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.

Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Muffie Meyer | Stars: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers

Votes: 10,372 | Gross: $0.03M

34. Startup.com (2001)

R | 107 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com.

Directors: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Tom Herman, Kenneth Austin, Tricia Burke

Votes: 3,138 | Gross: $1.28M

35. Green (I) (2000)

47 min | Documentary

The residents along a 100-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana have an unusually high cancer rate -- which may be connected to the 150 petrochemical factories which operate in the area.

Director: Laura Dunn

Votes: 10

36. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer, George W. Bush

Votes: 14,980

37. Michael Jordan to the Max (2000)

Not Rated | 46 min | Documentary, Sport

57 Metascore

A documentary that follows Michael Jordan's basketball career, stint in baseball, and his last championship season with the Chicago Bulls in 1998.

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

Votes: 1,902 | Gross: $18.64M

38. The 10th Judicial Court: Judicial Hearings (2004)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary

The proceedings of a Paris courtroom are the grist for this documentary. Drawn from over 200 appearances before the same female judge, the director chooses a dozen or so varied misdemeanor ... See full summary »

Director: Raymond Depardon | Star: Michèle Bernard-Requin

Votes: 509

39. A Sidewalk Astronomer (2005)

TV-G | 79 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

John Dobson, an 89 year old with a white ponytail and knack for comedy, is the inventor of the Dobsonian telescope mount, which revolutionized astronomy by making large, inexpensive ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Jacobs | Star: John Lowry Dobson

Votes: 34

40. The Boys of Baraka (2005)

R | 84 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Twenty 12-year-old black boys from one of the most violent ghettos in Baltimore, Maryland, are taken 10,000 miles away to an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya, to try to take ... See full summary »

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Devon Brown, Darius Chambers, Edward Bernard Green Jr., Richard Keyser

Votes: 744 | Gross: $0.32M

41. The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (2010)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

Takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album.

Director: Thom Zimny | Stars: Mike Appel, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons, Obie Dziedzic

Votes: 430

42. The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

PG | 251 min | Documentary, History, War

An in-depth exploration of the various reactions by the French people to the Vichy government's acceptance of Nazi invasion.

Director: Marcel Ophüls | Stars: Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster

Votes: 3,200

43. 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: 15,256 | Gross: $1.16M

44. Zmani (2001)

55 min | Documentary

This is a human story about people-wondering if they have used time to its fullest or if they could have done it any other way.

Directors: Eilona Ariel, Ayelet Menahemi | Stars: Yaacov Cohen, Mickey Halika

Votes: 6

45. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2014)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

71 Metascore

Caroll Spinney has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969; at 78-years-old, he has no intention of stopping.

Directors: Dave LaMattina, Chad N. Walker | Stars: Caroll Spinney, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Debra Spinney

Votes: 1,198 | Gross: $0.01M

46. Exporting Raymond (2010)

PG | 86 min | Documentary, Comedy

55 Metascore

A documentary on Phil Rosenthal's experiences during the making of "Voroniny," the Russian-language version of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

Director: Philip Rosenthal | Stars: Philip Rosenthal, Peter Boyle, Stanislav Duzhnikov, Eldar

Votes: 1,587 | Gross: $0.08M

47. When Comedy Went to School (2013)

83 min | Documentary, Comedy

49 Metascore

The birth of modern stand-up comedy began in the Catskill Mountains - a boot camp for the greatest generation of Jewish-American comedians.

Directors: Mevlut Akkaya, Ron Frank | Stars: Robert Klein, Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason

Votes: 88 | Gross: $0.37M

48. Hell House (2001)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »

Director: George Ratliff | Stars: Aria Adloo, Ashley Adloo, Amy Allred, Gabriel Allred

Votes: 1,497

49. Brainwashing 101 (2004 Video)

46 min | Documentary