Documentaries that will change you!

by gillesasson | created - 04 Jul 2014 | updated - 07 Jul 2014 | Public
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1. The Staircase (2004– )

TV-14 | 384 min | Documentary, Crime

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Ron Guerette, Tom Maher

Votes: 3,924

2. Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Crime

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade | Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams, Michael Glover

Votes: 3,778

3. Cleveland Versus Wall Street (2010)

98 min | Documentary

On 11th January 2008, hired by the City of Cleveland, lawyer Josh Cohen and his team filed a lawsuit against 21 banks, which they held accountable for the wave of foreclosures that had left... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron

Votes: 192

4. Armadillo (2010)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary, War

72 Metascore

In February of 2009, a group of Danish soldiers accompanied by documentarian Janus Metz arrived at Armadillo, an army base in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Metz and ... See full summary »

Director: Janus Metz

Votes: 8,656 | Gross: $0.01M

5. 51 Birch Street (2005)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

Documentary filmmaker Doug Block had every reason to believe his parents' 54-year marriage was a good one. But when his mother dies unexpectedly and his father swiftly marries his former ... See full summary »

Director: Doug Block | Stars: Carol Block, Doug Block, Ellen Block, Karen Block

Votes: 746 | Gross: $0.08M

6. 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: 497

7. The Crash Reel (2013)

108 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

79 Metascore

Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the ... See full summary »

Director: Lucy Walker | Stars: Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Mason Aguirre, Daniel Amen

Votes: 4,381

8. 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: 21,222 | Gross: $3.12M

9. 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: 15,762 | Gross: $1.32M

10. 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: 17,604 | Gross: $0.41M

11. Pina (2011)

PG | 103 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Pina Bausch, Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo, Ruth Amarante

Votes: 12,842 | Gross: $3.52M

12. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood, Dick Clay

Votes: 12,520

13. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 14,358 | Gross: $0.67M

14. Comedian (2002)

R | 82 min | Documentary, Comedy

62 Metascore

A look at the work of two stand-up comics, Jerry Seinfeld and a lesser-known newcomer, detailing the effort and frustration behind putting together a successful act and career while living a life on the road.

Director: Christian Charles | Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Garry Shandling, Greg Giraldo

Votes: 5,782 | Gross: $2.74M

15. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)

Not Rated | 359 min | Documentary, Biography

A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Bob Dylan, B.J. Rolfzen, Dick Kangas, Liam Clancy

Votes: 10,340

16. 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: 55,376 | Gross: $3.97M

17. 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: 26,717

18. The Queen of Versailles (2012)

PG | 100 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.

Director: Lauren Greenfield | Stars: Jaqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Alyse Barker, Lorraine Barrett

Votes: 11,562 | Gross: $2.40M

19. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (2010)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

63 Metascore

William S. Burroughs: featuring never before seen footage as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues. Born the heir of the Burroughs' adding machine estate, he ... See full summary »

Director: Yony Leyser | Stars: Fred Aldrich, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra

Votes: 941 | Gross: $0.05M

20. Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus (2003)

82 min | Documentary

58 Metascore

Searching for The Wrong-Eyed Jesus is a captivating and compelling road trip through the creative spirit of the the Southern U.S. Director Andrew Douglas's film follows "Alt Country" singer... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Douglas | Stars: Harry Crews, Johnny Dowd, David Eugene Edwards, The Handsome Family

Votes: 1,028 | Gross: $0.08M

21. Grizzly Man (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter

Votes: 46,050 | Gross: $3.17M

22. 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: 14,392