Documentaries

by writingarises | created - 25 Dec 2012 | updated - 29 Mar 2014 | Public
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1. The Silent Enemy (1930)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama

A documentary about the life of Indians in Northern Canada.

Director: H.P. Carver | Stars: Chief Yellow Robe, Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, Chief Akawanush, Mary Alice Nelson Archambaud

Votes: 157

2. The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation (1999)

88 min | Documentary, Biography, History

66 Metascore

Traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997. Three actors provide dramatic ... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Workman | Stars: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Dennis Hopper, Allen Ginsberg

Votes: 718 | Gross: $0.36M

3. Gang of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets (1989)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

Maria Beatty's documentary exploring the insights and influences of the American Beat Poets. The film conveys their consciousness and sensibility through interviews with William Burroughs, ... See full summary »

Director: Maria Beatty | Stars: William S. Burroughs, Jim Carroll, Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima

Votes: 10

4. Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

72 Metascore

A documentary on the mysterious and influential pianist.

Directors: Michèle Hozer, Peter Raymont | Stars: Cornelia Foss, Glenn Gould

Votes: 357 | Gross: $0.17M

5. Silent Clowns (2006)

60 min | Documentary, Biography

A profile of some of the greatest stars of silent comedy.

Stars: Paul Merton, Neil Brand, Vic Armstrong, Sanjeev Bhaskar

Votes: 43

6. 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: 3,172 | Gross: $1.20M

7. Somewhere Between (2011)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

A documentary on four teenage girls living in different parts of the US and united by one thing: all four were adopted from China due to family situations colliding with the country's "One Child Policy".

Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton

Votes: 398 | Gross: $0.19M

8. The House I Live In (2012)

Not Rated | 108 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Director: Eugene Jarecki | Stars: Eugene Jarecki, Michelle Alexander, Mark W. Bennett, Joe Biden

Votes: 4,963 | Gross: $0.21M

9. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

PG | 81 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

Director: David Gelb | Stars: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Daisuke Nakazama

Votes: 29,895 | Gross: $2.55M

10. Dalpaengee eui byeol (2011)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

Young-Chan comes from planet of snail where deaf blind people live slow and quiet lives. When Young-Chan came to Earth, nobody understood his language and he was desperate. Then an angel ... See full summary »

Director: Seung-jun Yi | Stars: Cho Young-Chan, Kim Soon-ho, Choi Jungah

Votes: 320 | Gross: $0.00M

11. Abendland (2011)

90 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

This documentary about Europe at night makes you reflect on service processes and infrastructures that never sleep.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Votes: 152

12. The Sheik and I (2012)

104 min | Documentary, Comedy

51 Metascore

When an American filmmaker is commissioned to make a film for a Middle East Biennial on the theme of 'art as a subversive act,' his film is banned for blasphemy, he is asked to destroy every copy, and he is threatened with arrest.

Director: Caveh Zahedi | Stars: Caveh Zahedi, Beckett Zahedi, Michael Patten, ZuZu Snyder

Votes: 113

13. The Ambassador (2011)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Danish journalist Mads Brügger goes undercover as a Liberian Ambassador to embark on a dangerous yet hysterical journey to uncover the blood diamond trade in Africa.

Director: Mads Brügger | Stars: Mads Brügger, Heather Schmid

Votes: 3,524 | Gross: $0.03M

14. Det røde kapel (2006– )

59 min | Documentary, Comedy

A Danish-Korean theater group, Simon Jul Jørgensen and Jacob Nossell travel to North Korea with their manager Mads Brügger, presenting absurd sketch comedy. A rare glimpse into a closed world.

Stars: Jacob Nossell, Simon Jul Jørgensen, Johan Stahl Winthereik, René Sascha Johannsen

Votes: 347

15. The Patron Saints (2011)

72 min | Documentary

Laced with black humor, The Patron Saints is an unorthodox documentary about a home for the aged and disabled. By turns lyrical and unsettling, the directors eschew more traditional ... See full summary »

Directors: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky

Votes: 16

16. Kuichisan (2011)

76 min | Drama

A story from the lost town of Koza - a silver paradise.

Director: Maiko Endo | Stars: Raizo Ishihara, Eleonore Hendricks, Chizuru Lee, Maiko Endo

Votes: 18

17. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, History, News

86 Metascore

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Director: David France | Stars: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long, Bob Rafsky

Votes: 3,403 | Gross: $0.13M

18. 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: 4,277 | Gross: $0.03M

19. Me at the Zoo (2012)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

Chris Crocker is a video blogger from a small town in Tennessee. The film traces a line through a tapestry of web comments, response videos, fans, and haters to map the controversial rise of an Internet folk hero.

Directors: Chris Moukarbel, Valerie Veatch | Stars: Glenn Beck, Beyoncé, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Chris Crocker

Votes: 315

20. The Waiting Room (III) (2012)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary

84 Metascore

Go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients.

Director: Peter Nicks | Star: Sean Bennett

Votes: 731 | Gross: $0.24M

22. Project X (2012)

R | 88 min | Comedy

48 Metascore

3 high school seniors throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the night progresses, things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.

Director: Nima Nourizadeh | Stars: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Dax Flame

Votes: 174,010 | Gross: $54.73M

23. Ballroom Dancer (2011)

78 min | Documentary, Drama

Slavik (34) from Ukraine, former world champion in Latin American dancing is making a last and final comeback with Anna, his ten years younger new dance partner and girlfriend. Slavik is ... See full summary »

Directors: Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed | Star: Vyacheslav 'Slavik' Kryklyvyy

Votes: 162

25. Bad 25 (2012)

Not Rated | 131 min | Documentary, Music

65 Metascore

A documentary on Michael Jackson and the legacy of his record Bad.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Michael Jackson, Glen Ballard, John Barnes, Jennifer Batten

Votes: 1,719

26. In film nist (2011)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

90 Metascore

It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Directors: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi | Stars: Jafar Panahi, Igi, Mrs. Gheirat, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Votes: 4,176 | Gross: $0.08M

27. Only the Young (2012)

Not Rated | 72 min | Documentary, Comedy, Romance

71 Metascore

A documentary on three teenagers living in a small desert town in Southern California.

Directors: Elizabeth Mims, Jason Tippet | Stars: Garrison Saenz, Kevin Conway, Skye Elmore, Samantha MacDonald

Votes: 367 | Gross: $0.01M

28. Leviathan (I) (2012)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry.

Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel | Stars: Brian Jannelle, Adrian Guillette, Arthur Smith, Asterias Vulgaris

Votes: 2,852 | Gross: $1.09M

29. The Vanishing Spring Light (2011)

112 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

Add a Plot

Director: Xun Yu

Votes: 21

30. Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012)

Not Rated | 108 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. Documenting this once in a life time performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.

Directors: Will Lovelace, Dylan Southern | Stars: James Murphy, Chuck Klosterman, Keith Wood, Nancy Whang

Votes: 2,435 | Gross: $0.51M

31. Room 237 (I) (2012)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

An exploration of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's horror film, The Shining (1980).

Director: Rodney Ascher | Stars: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan

Votes: 19,191 | Gross: $0.26M

32. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

TV-MA | 84 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

74 Metascore

An artist's shortsighted film about a failed relationship is reedited into a more collaborative, more inclusive work of art.

Director: Terence Nance | Stars: Alisa Becher, Jc Cain, Dexter Jones, Namik Minter

Votes: 534 | Gross: $0.07M

33. Shilton Ha Chok (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History

Can justice truly be served in the occupied territories given the current system of law administered by Israel for Palestinians?

Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

Votes: 336

34. Kumaré (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

Director: Vikram Gandhi | Stars: Vikram Gandhi, Toby, Greg, Molly

Votes: 4,418 | Gross: $0.13M

35. Into the Abyss (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall

Votes: 14,596 | Gross: $0.22M

36. The Clock (2010)

1,440 min

Scenes from various films and TV programs that feature clocks, or some verbal mention of time, combine to make a 24 hour timepiece movie.

Director: Christian Marclay

Votes: 193

37. Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

72 Metascore

A documentary on the life and current times of artist Wayne White.

Director: Neil Berkeley | Stars: Wayne White, Mimi Pond, Paul Reubens, Mark Mothersbaugh

Votes: 1,011

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: 5,407 | Gross: $0.11M

39. Off Label (2012)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Drama, History

44 Metascore

A road trip through medicalized America, examining the pervasiveness of pharmaceutical drugs through the lives of eight very unique characters.

Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri | Stars: Michael Oldani, Jusef Anthony, Robert Helms, Jordan Rieke

Votes: 68

40. Inori (2012)

72 min | Documentary

Inori is a great Japanese / spiritual / scientific documentary. Uncovering deep Human Being truths. A must watch

Director: Pedro González-Rubio

Votes: 83

41. 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: 2,268

42. Seven Up! (1964 TV Movie)

40 min | Documentary, Biography

A group of seven-year-old British children from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. Director Michael Apted plans to reinterview them at seven-year ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Almond | Stars: Douglas Keay, Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield

Votes: 2,963

43. 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: 2,020

44. This Is Cinerama (1952)

G | 115 min | Documentary

A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind has attempted to create the illusion of depth & movement by artistic, mechanical and ... See full summary »

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Gunther von Fritsch, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Michael Todd Jr. | Stars: Lowell Thomas, Kathy Darlyn, Toni Valk

Votes: 387 | Gross: $41.60M

45. 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: 2,210

46. 56 Up (2012 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 144 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

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

Directors: Michael Apted, Paul Almond | Stars: Michael Apted, Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield

Votes: 1,722 | Gross: $0.70M

47. Paul Williams Still Alive (2011)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

6.9