Best Documentaries

by kiwirah | created - 31 Jan 2013 | updated - 01 Jan 2014 | Public

This list is in no particular order. All are documentaries which I enjoyed, please let me know what you think and I'm always open to suggestions.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Project Nim (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Nim Chimpsky, Stephanie LaFarge, Herbert Terrace, Wer LaFarge

Votes: 7,832 | Gross: $0.41M

2. Farmageddon (2011)

Unrated | 86 min | Documentary, News

62 Metascore

Farmageddon is the story of a mom whose son healed from all allergies and asthma after consuming raw milk, and real food from farms. It depicts people all over the country who formed food ... See full summary »

Director: Kristin Canty | Stars: Linda Faillace, Adam Helfer, Mark McAfee, Joel Salatin

Votes: 518 | Gross: $0.06M

3. The Invisible War (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

75 Metascore

An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca, Jessica Hinves

Votes: 6,279 | Gross: $0.07M

4. Sicko (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Documentary, Drama

74 Metascore

A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Tucker Albrizzi, Tony Benn, George W. Bush

Votes: 70,681 | Gross: $24.54M

5. Winged Migration (2001)

G | 89 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro

Votes: 10,976 | Gross: $10.76M

6. 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: 46,975 | Gross: $3.17M

7. 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: 44,348 | Gross: $0.87M

8. Bébé(s) (2010)

PG | 79 min | Documentary

63 Metascore

A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo.

Director: Thomas Balmès | Stars: Bayar, Hattie, Mari, Ponijao

Votes: 6,537 | Gross: $7.29M

9. 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: 30,461 | Gross: $4.59M

10. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

79 Metascore

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 52,214 | Gross: $77.44M

11. Food, Inc. (2008)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb, Vince Edwards

Votes: 47,049 | Gross: $4.42M

12. 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: 93,722 | Gross: $11.53M

13. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 75,853 | Gross: $23.81M

14. Jesus Camp (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard

Votes: 24,896 | Gross: $0.90M

15. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 57,366 | Gross: $3.29M

16. 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: 11,459 | Gross: $5.73M

17. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 132,596 | Gross: $21.24M

18. Michael Moore Hates America (2004)

R | 125 min | Documentary

Michael Wilson, like the subject of his film, is trying to get an interview with a multi-millionaire; however, in this case, that millionaire is Michael Moore himself.

Director: Michael Wilson | Stars: Mike Abraham, Pete Auger, Andrew Breitbart, Dinesh D'Souza

Votes: 3,777

19. 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: 47,960 | Gross: $2.96M

20. The Corporation (2003)

Not Rated | 145 min | Documentary, History

73 Metascore

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott | Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora, Nina Jones

Votes: 19,361 | Gross: $1.88M

21. 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: 54,677 | Gross: $2.06M

22. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 41,070 | Gross: $0.89M

23. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan

Votes: 26,486 | Gross: $0.30M

24. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

PG | 92 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.

Director: Chris Paine | Stars: Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Reverend Gadget

Votes: 11,751 | Gross: $1.68M

25. Vanishing of the Bees (2009)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, History

This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film examines our current ... See full summary »

Directors: Maryam Henein, George Langworthy | Stars: Ellen Page, Bret Adee, Dennis Cardoza, Henri Clement

Votes: 1,015

26. Religulous (2008)

R | 101 min | Documentary, Comedy, War

56 Metascore

Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Bill Maher, Tal Bachman, Jonathan Boulden, Steve Burg

Votes: 55,434 | Gross: $13.00M

27. Good Hair (2009)

PG-13 | 96 min | Documentary, Comedy

72 Metascore

Chris Rock explores the wonders of African-American hairstyles.

Director: Jeff Stilson | Stars: Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, Al Sharpton, Tanya Crumel

Votes: 5,141 | Gross: $4.16M

28. My Kid Could Paint That (2007)

PG-13 | 82 min | Documentary, Family, Mystery

74 Metascore

A look at the work and surprising success of a four-year-old girl whose paintings have been compared to the likes of Picasso and has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Director: Amir Bar-Lev | Stars: Marla Olmstead, Laura Olmstead, Mark Olmstead, Amir Bar-Lev

Votes: 2,969 | Gross: $0.23M

29. How to Die in Oregon (2011)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize a terminally ill person's request to end his or her life with medication. At the time, only Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands had ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Richardson | Stars: Harry Bruton, Ray Carnay, Cody Curtis, Paul Darley

Votes: 1,746

30. 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: 27,987

31. Planet Earth (2006)

TV-G | 533 min | Documentary

Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, five years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition.

Stars: David Attenborough, Sigourney Weaver, Huw Cordey, Doug Allan

Votes: 137,390

32. Murderball (2005)

R | 88 min | Documentary, Sport

87 Metascore

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Directors: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro | Stars: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan, Joe Bishop

Votes: 9,458 | Gross: $1.52M

34. Super High Me (2007)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy

Stand up comedian and marijuana user Doug Benson documents thirty days of pot free living and thirty days of non-stop use to compare the effects of both.

Director: Michael Blieden | Stars: Brian Unger, Gary Cohan, Robert Gore, Sean Tabibian

Votes: 12,355

35. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Sport

76 Metascore

Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team.

Director: Stacy Peralta | Stars: Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Jeff Ament

Votes: 11,226 | Gross: $1.29M

36. Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004)

R | 85 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Directors: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman | Stars: Kochi, Avijit Halder, Shanti Das, Manik

Votes: 14,326 | Gross: $3.41M

37. Fuck (2005)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

58 Metascore

A documentary on the expletive's origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use.

Director: Steve Anderson | Stars: Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Bill Maher, Reinhold Aman

Votes: 4,126 | Gross: $0.02M

38. Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

Wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today, as the source of human survival enters the global marketplace and political arena. Corporate giants, private ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Vartek | Stars: Jim Olson, Tony Clarke, Maude Barlow, Octavio Rosas Lando

Votes: 1,093

39. Women in Boxes (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Romance

About Magic Assistants. The one who distorts her body into impossible positions while the magician cuts her in pieces, sets her on fire and says TAA DAA. Who's the real magician?

Directors: Phil Noyes, Harry Pallenberg | Stars: Criss Angel, Gay Blackstone, Lance Burton, Cathy Daniel

Votes: 38

40. Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

PG | 111 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Charles Adam, Charles Adams, Jonathan Alter, Robert Balfanz

Votes: 10,180 | Gross: $6.41M

41. The Last Lions (2011)

PG | 88 min | Documentary, Family

69 Metascore

Fifty years ago there were close to half-a-million lions in Africa. Today there are around 20,000. To make matters worse, lions, unlike elephants, which are far more numerous, have ... See full summary »

Director: Dereck Joubert | Star: Jeremy Irons

Votes: 3,730 | Gross: $0.64M

42. I Am (III) (2010)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

38 Metascore

Director Tom Shadyac speaks with intellectual and spiritual leaders about what's wrong with our world and how we can improve both it and the way we live in it.

Director: Tom Shadyac | Stars: Tom Shadyac, Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Ray Anderson

Votes: 3,231 | Gross: $1.57M

43. The Gatekeepers (2012)

PG-13 | 101 min | Documentary, History, War

91 Metascore

A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

Director: Dror Moreh | Stars: Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom, Avi Dichter, Yaakov Peri

Votes: 5,103 | Gross: $2.42M

44. Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013)

Not Rated | 79 min | Documentary, News

68 Metascore

A documentary that exposes what corporations and governments learn about people through Internet and cell phone usage, and what can be done about it ... if anything.

Director: Cullen Hoback | Stars: Max Schrems, Moby, Mark Zuckerberg, Orson Scott Card

Votes: 5,427 | Gross: $0.06M

45. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 56,769 | Gross: $3.97M

46. We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

A documentary on the workings and beliefs of the self-described "hacktivist" collective, Anonymous.

Director: Brian Knappenberger | Stars: Anon2World, Anonyops, Julian Assange, Aaron Barr

Votes: 9,099

47. Hot Coffee (2011)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.

Director: Susan Saladoff | Stars: Chuck Allen, Judy Allen, Jay Angoff, David Arredondo

Votes: 3,471



Recently Viewed