Highly Enjoyable Documentaries

by yudhist-riza | created - 08 Feb 2017 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

"Documentary film without nuanced journalistic sourcing risks being sensational, tendentious or broad-brushed" - Naomi Wolf

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1. 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: 26,986

2. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime

89 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: 29,045 | Gross: $0.49M

3. The Look of Silence (2014)

PG-13 | 103 min | Documentary, Biography, History

92 Metascore

A family that survived the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer | Stars: Adi Rukun, M.Y. Basrun, Amir Hasan, Inong

Votes: 9,218 | Gross: $0.11M

4. How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Crime

69 Metascore

Ten easy steps show you how to make money from drugs, featuring a series of interviews with drug dealers, prison employees, and lobbyists arguing for tougher drug laws.

Director: Matthew Cooke | Stars: 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, Susan Sarandon, David Simon, 50 Cent

Votes: 6,368 | Gross: $1.50M

5. The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest (2014)

TV-MA | 92 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

82 Metascore

When a legendary escape artist comes up for parole after 30 years behind bars, a chance for freedom must be weighed against his infamous past.

Director: Gabriel London | Stars: Scoot McNairy, Shea Whigham

Votes: 282

6. Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

TV-MA | 145 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

83 Metascore

An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Aaron Burckhard, Chad Channing, Don Cobain, Jenny Cobain

Votes: 24,639

7. The True Cost (2015)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

46 Metascore

The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

Director: Andrew Morgan | Stars: Livia Giuggioli, Stella McCartney, Vandana Shiva, Lucy Siegle

Votes: 4,566

8. Where to Invade Next (2015)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Comedy

64 Metascore

To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Johnny Fancelli, Christina Fancelli, Lorena Lardini

Votes: 19,376 | Gross: $3.82M

9. Cartel Land (2015)

R | 100 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman examines the state of the ongoing drug problem along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Director: Matthew Heineman | Stars: Tim Nailer Foley, José Manuel 'El Doctor' Mireles, Paco Valencia, Chaneque

Votes: 15,631 | Gross: $0.70M

10. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

95 Metascore

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Willie Best

Votes: 11,604 | Gross: $7.12M

11. Weiner (2016)

R | 96 min | Documentary

84 Metascore

An examination of disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and today's political landscape.

Directors: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg | Stars: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, Jordan Zain Weiner, Barbara Morgan

Votes: 8,438 | Gross: $1.61M

12. Do Not Resist (2016)

72 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

An account of the increasing use of military weapons and tactics by local law enforcement in the United States, counterpointed with civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.

Director: Craig Atkinson | Stars: James Comey, Dave Grossman, Rand Paul

Votes: 909 | Gross: $0.07M

13. Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

Director: Evgeny Afineevsky | Stars: Bishop Agapit, Catherine Ashton, Serhii Averchenko, Kristina Berdinskikh

Votes: 9,670

14. The Coming War on China (2016)

113 min | Documentary, History

The Coming War on China is John Pilger's 60th film for ITV. Pilger reveals what the news doesn't - that the United States and the world's second economic power, China (both nuclear armed) ... See full summary »

Director: John Pilger | Stars: Franklin Blaisdell, James Bradley, Bruce Cumings, Dana Rohrabacher

Votes: 511

15. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary, Comedy

66 Metascore

A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, Paul Brennan, Noam Chomsky

Votes: 13,936 | Gross: $0.64M

16. If a Tree Falls (2010)

84 min | Horror, Thriller

Siblings, Brad and Lisa Carpenter, along with two lifelong family friends, Will and Vanessa, set out to cross Eastern Canada enroute to an annual family reunion. Their road trip takes them ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Carrer | Stars: Ry Barrett, Breanne TeBoekhorst, Jennifer De Lucia, Daniel Zuccala

Votes: 208

17. RiP: A Remix Manifesto (2009)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary which examines copyright issues in the information age.

Director: Brett Gaylor | Star: Cory Doctorow

Votes: 1,150

18. 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: 56,544 | Gross: $3.29M

19. How to Change the World (2015)

110 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

77 Metascore

In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world's imagination. Using never before seen archive that brings their extraordinary world to life,... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Rothwell | Stars: Robert Hunter, Patrick Moore, Paul Watson, Rex Weyler

Votes: 824

20. Global Metal (2008)

93 min | Documentary, Music

A continued examination of the heavy metal subculture focusing on the adaptation and performance of heavy metal in various global communities, and how the increased import of Western cultural forms has impacted new global markets.

Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen | Stars: Tom Araya, Ken Ayugai, Rafael Bittencourt, Max Cavalera

Votes: 4,134

21. 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: 18,787 | Gross: $0.26M

22. Collapse (II) (2009)

Unrated | 82 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

A documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness.

Director: Chris Smith | Star: Michael Ruppert

Votes: 6,245 | Gross: $0.05M

23. My Buddha Is Punk (2015)

68 min | Documentary, Music

Kyaw Kyaw, a 25-year-old Burmese Punk, obsessively tries to develop the Punk scene in Myanmar. Although the former military dictatorship has experienced a number of democratic reforms, Kyaw... See full summary »

Director: Andreas Hartmann

Votes: 19

24. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, History

76 Metascore

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Director: Richard Press | Stars: Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Editta Sherman

Votes: 4,717 | Gross: $1.51M

25. Killswitch (2014)

Not Rated | 72 min | Documentary, Drama

The Internet is under attack. This award-winning documentary explores the threat Internet censorship imposes on free speech, innovation, and democracy.

Director: Ali Akbarzadeh | Stars: Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu, Peter Ludlow

Votes: 532

26. Requiem for the American Dream (2015)

73 min | Documentary, Biography, News

The academic and activist Noam Chomsky describes the systems that have led to financial inequality, and the current concentration of wealth and power.

Directors: Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott | Star: Noam Chomsky

Votes: 7,162 | Gross: $0.04M

27. Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers (2013)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Crime, History

66 Metascore

The world's most successful diamond thieves take us into the dark world of the international jewel trade.

Director: Havana Marking | Stars: Tomislav Tom Benzon, Daniel Vivian, Jasmin Topalusic, Rob Kennedy

Votes: 502 | Gross: $0.02M

28. Living in the Age of Airplanes (2015)

47 min | Documentary

Living in the Age of Airplanes is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents, it renews our appreciation for one of the most ... See full summary »

Director: Brian J. Terwilliger | Star: Harrison Ford

Votes: 398

29. The War Photographers (2013)

28 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

'The War Photographers' recounts the personal experiences of award-winning photojournalists who risk their lives covering conflict in the world's most dangerous war zones. Intimate ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Kochones | Stars: Alexandra Avakian, Carolyn Cole, William Dudley, Ashley Gilbertson

Votes: 9

30. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 62,882 | Gross: $4.31M

31. Off the Rails (2016)

TV-14 | 86 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

How one man's love of transport led to a lifetime of incarceration.

Director: Adam Irving | Stars: Charles Bilal, Courtney Brown, Sally Butler, Jervis Cameron

Votes: 209

32. Al midan (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, History

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: 7,660 | Gross: $0.12M

33. The White Helmets (2016)

TV-14 | 41 min | Documentary, Short, Comedy

As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.

Director: Orlando von Einsiedel | Stars: Khalid Farah, Mohammed Farah, Abu Omar, Raed Saleh

Votes: 5,364

34. 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: 6,771 | Gross: $0.20M

35. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2015)

79 min | Documentary

How might your life be better with less?

Director: Matt D'Avella | Stars: Dan Harris, Joshua Becker, Shannon Whitehead, Sam Harris

Votes: 6,343

36. Bottled Life: Nestle's Business with Water (2012)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

Do you know how to turn ordinary water into a billion-dollar business? In Switzerland there's a company which has developed the art to perfection - Nestlé. This company dominates the global... See full summary »

Director: Urs Schnell | Stars: Peter Brabeck, Res Gehriger, Hanspeter Müller

Votes: 760

37. Korengal (2014)

R | 84 min | Documentary, History, News

67 Metascore

Korengal picks up where Restrepo left off; the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war.

Director: Sebastian Junger | Stars: LaMonta Caldwell, Miguel Cortez, Stephen Gillespie, Aron Hijar

Votes: 2,898 | Gross: $0.06M

38. Restrepo (2010)

R | 93 min | Documentary, War

85 Metascore

A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan.

Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger | Stars: The Men of Battle Company 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Juan 'Doc Restrepo, Dan Kearney, LaMonta Caldwell

Votes: 19,474 | Gross: $1.33M

39. 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: 28,960 | Gross: $2.55M

40. When Two Worlds Collide (2016)

103 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

An indigenous environmental activist takes on the large businesses that are destroying the Amazon.

Directors: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel

Votes: 314 | Gross: $0.01M

41. The Cinema Travellers (2016)

96 min | Documentary

Showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year. Seven decades on, as their cinema projectors crumble and film reels become ... See full summary »

Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya

Votes: 91

42. 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: 46,512 | Gross: $4.42M

43. Kedi (2016)

Not Rated | 79 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

A profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat.

Director: Ceyda Torun | Stars: Bengu, Deniz, Duman, Gamsiz

Votes: 8,749 | Gross: $2.83M