Favorite Documentaries

by jcabig-228-971171 | created - 31 Oct 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016)

76 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

Trace the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang from childhood in Mao's China to global art world superstar, and join his quest to realize his lifelong obsession: Sky Ladder.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Ian Buruma, Guo-Qiang Cai, Wen-You Cai, Wenhao Cai

Votes: 791

2. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while... See full summary »

Director: Tamra Davis | Stars: Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger

Votes: 1,750 | Gross: $0.26M

3. Into the Inferno (2016)

104 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

An exploration of active volcanoes around the world.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer, Maurice Krafft, Katia Krafft

Votes: 5,119

4. 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: 47,116 | Gross: $3.17M

5. 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: 57,546 | Gross: $3.29M

6. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (2012)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, History

74 Metascore

A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Directors: Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre | Stars: Marina Abramovic, Ulay, Klaus Biesenbach, David Balliano

Votes: 5,123 | Gross: $0.09M

7. The Mystery of Picasso (1956)

PG | 78 min | Documentary

A filmed record of Pablo Picasso painting numerous canvases for the camera, allowing us to see his creative process at work.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Pablo Picasso, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Renoir

Votes: 1,706 | Gross: $0.27M

8. The Comedians of Comedy (2005)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Documentary

46 Metascore

Follow four comedians as they tour the States.

Director: Michael Blieden | Stars: Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianakis

Votes: 2,432 | Gross: $0.00M

9. Sour Grapes (2016)

TV-14 | 85 min | Documentary

Documentary about the fine and rare wine auction market centering around a counterfeiter who befriended the rich and powerful and sold millions of dollars of fraudulent wine through the top auction houses.

Directors: Reuben Atlas, Jerry Rothwell | Stars: Laurent Ponsot, Jay McInerney, Jefery Levy, Maureen Downey

Votes: 2,472

10. Cutie and the Boxer (2013)

R | 82 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Director: Zachary Heinzerling | Stars: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Alex Shinohara, Ethan Cohen

Votes: 4,244 | Gross: $0.20M

11. McQueen and I (2011 TV Movie)

71 min | Documentary, Biography

Profile of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

Director: Louise Osmond | Stars: Detmar Blow, Isabella Blow, Naomi Campbell, Tom Ford

Votes: 196

12. 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: 29,981 | Gross: $0.49M

13. Amy (III) (2015)

R | 128 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Russell Brand

Votes: 42,172 | Gross: $8.41M

14. Tower (2016)

TV-14 | 82 min | Documentary, Animation, Crime

92 Metascore

Animation, testimony, and archival footage combine to relate the events of August 1, 1966 when a gunman opened fire from the University of Texas clock tower, killing 16 people.

Director: Keith Maitland | Stars: Violett Beane, Louie Arnette, Blair Jackson, Monty Muir

Votes: 5,889 | Gross: $0.09M

15. Unacknowledged (2017)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary

"Unacknowledged" focuses on the historic files of the Disclosure Project and how UFO secrecy has been ruthlessly enforced-and why. The best evidence for extraterrestrial contact, dating ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Mazzola | Stars: Richard Doty, Giancarlo Esposito, Steven M. Greer, Edgar D. Mitchell

Votes: 4,217

16. Abstract: The Art of Design (2017– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Documentary

A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world.

Stars: Platon, Elisabeth Biondi, Ilse Crawford, Es Devlin

Votes: 3,033

17. I'm Still Here (I) (2010)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

48 Metascore

Documents Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper.

Director: Casey Affleck | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Antony Langdon, Carey Perloff, Larry McHale

Votes: 18,120 | Gross: $0.41M

18. I Called Him Morgan (2016)

92 min | Documentary, Drama, History

90 Metascore

An exploration of the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, who was implicated in his murder in 1972.

Director: Kasper Collin | Stars: Lee Morgan, Helen Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Larry Reni Thomas

Votes: 1,011 | Gross: $0.10M

19. Icarus (I) (2017)

TV-MA | 121 min | Documentary, Sport, Thriller

68 Metascore

When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller... See full summary »

Director: Bryan Fogel | Stars: Thomas Bach, Sebastian Coe, Bryan Fogel, Nikita Kamaev

Votes: 25,008

20. De fem benspænd (2003)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967)

Directors: Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier | Stars: Claus Nissen, Majken Algren Nielsen, Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez, Jacqueline Arenal

Votes: 7,383 | Gross: $0.09M

21. De Palma (2015)

R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

A documentary about writer and director Brian De Palma.

Directors: Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow | Star: Brian De Palma

Votes: 3,639 | Gross: $0.16M

22. Biggie and Tupac (2002)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

63 Metascore

Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.

Director: Nick Broomfield | Stars: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfield, Russell Poole

Votes: 4,137 | Gross: $0.09M

23. Spielberg (2017 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 147 min | Documentary, Biography

A documentary on the life and career of one of the most influential film directors of all time, Steven Spielberg.

Director: Susan Lacy | Stars: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Richard Dreyfuss, Bill Butler

Votes: 4,400

24. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (1988)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

Documentary on the making of "The Sacrifice."

Director: Michal Leszczylowski | Stars: Brian Cox, Erland Josephson, Andrei Tarkovsky

Votes: 476

25. A.K. (1985)

71 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary that shows the production of Ran and discusses the film techniques of Kurosawa himself.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Shigehiko Hasumi, Chris Marker, Akira Kurosawa, Tatsuya Nakadai

Votes: 712

26. Cameraperson (2016)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

86 Metascore

Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.

Director: Kirsten Johnson | Stars: Kirsten Johnson, Roger Phenix

Votes: 1,794 | Gross: $0.10M

27. Dont Look Back (1967)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez

Votes: 7,299

28. Dogville Confessions (2003)

52 min | Documentary

This film depicts the intense drama that takes place during the making of Dogville. Lars von Trier and Nicole Kidman work through this creative process under very extreme conditions.

Director: Sami Saif | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Paul Bettany, Blair Brown

Votes: 578

29. 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: 14,603 | Gross: $0.22M

30. Dirty Money (2018– )

60 min | Documentary

A Netflix Original Series documenting various stories about exposing the greed, corruption, and crime spreading through the global economy.

Stars: Alberto Ayala, A.J. Benza, Roddy Boyd, Jonathon Braun

Votes: 3,842

31. That Moment: Magnolia Diary (2000 Video)

73 min | Documentary, Drama

A very in-depth documentary that follows the very over-worked director Paul Thomas Anderson through a gruelling 80+ days of shooting for the film Magnolia (1999). Very funny behind the ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rance | Stars: Paul Thomas Anderson, Fiona Apple, William Arnold, Bobby Brewer

Votes: 356

32. Lenny Cooke (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

70 Metascore

Professional sports is known as a true meritocracy, a field in which the cream really does rise to the top, as there's simply too much money at stake to operate in any other fashion. In ... See full summary »

Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie | Star: Lenny Cooke

Votes: 334

33. The Defiant Ones (2017)

60 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

"The Defiant Ones" examines the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre - one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton - and their leading roles in a chain of transformative events in contemporary culture.

Stars: Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, Verna Griffin

Votes: 7,505

34. Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story (2017)

TV-14 | 80 min | Documentary, Music

A behind-the-scenes look at the prolific label's legacy and offer an in-depth look at the two-night anniversary extravaganza, that took place last May at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, in honor of the late rap great, The Notorious B.I.G.

Director: Daniel Kaufman | Stars: Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Lil' Kim, Mase, 112

Votes: 473

35. Citizenfour (2014)

R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography

88 Metascore

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Director: Laura Poitras | Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum

Votes: 46,660 | Gross: $2.80M

36. Risk (I) (2016)

TV-MA | 86 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

The story of WikiLeak's editor-in-chief Julian Assange as seen by documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Director: Laura Poitras | Stars: Julian Assange, Sarah Harrison, Jacob Appelbaum, Joseph Farrell

Votes: 1,605 | Gross: $0.20M

37. Wild Wild Country (2018– )

TV-MA | 401 min | Documentary, Crime

When the world's most controversial guru builds a utopian city deep in the Oregon desert, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal. A true story.

Stars: Ma Anand Sheela, Osho, Philip Toelkes, Jane Stork

Votes: 13,122

38. Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015)

Not Rated | 114 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

A captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most celebrated actresses of American and World cinema.

Director: Stig Björkman | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Alicia Vikander, Pia Lindström, Roberto Rossellini

Votes: 1,681 | Gross: $0.14M

39. A Constant Forge (2000)

Not Rated | 200 min | Documentary, Biography, Romance

A look at the life, times, and art of independent film pioneer John Cassavetes through interviews with his family, friends, and admirers of his work.

Director: Charles Kiselyak | Stars: Seymour Cassel, Carol Kane, Jon Voight, Ben Gazzara

Votes: 376

40. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

PG | 98 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

A decade after An Inconvenient Truth (2006) brought climate change to the heart of popular culture, the follow-up shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.

Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk | Stars: Al Gore, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Laurent Fabius

Votes: 6,167 | Gross: $3.50M

41. Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist (2018)

TV-MA | 192 min | Documentary, Crime

The extraordinary story of the "pizza bomber heist" and the FBI's investigation into a bizarre collection of suspects.

Star: Ann Smith

Votes: 11,240

42. Faces Places (2017)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

94 Metascore

Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

Directors: JR, Agnès Varda | Stars: Agnès Varda, JR, Jeannine Carpentier, Clemens Van Dungern

Votes: 6,563 | Gross: $0.95M

43. Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (2016)

TV-MA | 97 min | Documentary, Crime

Mysteries abound in the life of John McAfee. He made millions creating antivirus software, then reinvented himself as a yogi, a proponent of herbal medicine, and a serial entrepreneur. He ... See full summary »

Director: Nanette Burstein | Stars: Allison Adonizio, Nanette Burstein, John McAfee

Votes: 2,356

44. The Bleeding Edge (2018)

TV-14 | 99 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

A look at the unforeseen consequences of advanced technological devices used in the medical field.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Robert Bridges, Angie Firmalino, Rita Redberg, Stephen Tower

Votes: 1,288

45. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Filmmaker William Greaves auditioned acting students for a fictional drama, while simultaneously shooting the behind-the-scenes drama taking place.

Director: William Greaves | Stars: Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows, Jonathan Gordon, Bob Rosen

Votes: 1,214

46. Quincy (2018)

124 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

An intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. A unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended racial and cultural boundaries; his story is inextricably woven into the fabric of America.

Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones | Stars: Quincy Jones, Rashida Jones, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Clarence Avant

Votes: 1,504

47. The White Helmets (2016)

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

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: 5,707



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