Documentaries on Crime and Criminal Justice

by MrKaya | created - 10 Feb 2015 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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1. Serving Life (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

Actor Forest Whitaker narrates the story of a group of inmate volunteers who staff their own hospice inside a maximum security prison in Louisiana where the average sentence is more than 90 years.

Director: Lisa R. Cohen | Star: Forest Whitaker

Votes: 381

2. Nova (1974– )
Episode: Mind of a Rampage Killer (2013)

TV-PG | 52 min | Documentary, Biography

Can science help us understand these crimes?

Director: Miles O'Brien | Stars: Miles O'Brien, Jeff Williams, Andy Williams, Joshua W. Buckholtz

Votes: 206

3. Hope in Heaven (2005)

45 min | Documentary

Mila works at Heaven, a little bar on blowjob alley in Angeles City, the Philippines; once the site of the United States Clark Air Force Base, now one of the busiest and sleaziest sex ... See full summary »

Director: Meredith Ralston | Star: Kiefer Sutherland

Votes: 18

4. Who Cares (2012)

80 min | Documentary

Who Cares follows the stories of Courtney and Shelly, two former Edmontonian prostitutes.

Director: Rosvita Dransfeld

Votes: 52

5. 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: 132,853 | Gross: $21.24M

6. A Nightmare in Las Cruces (2011)

R | 103 min | Documentary

On February 10, 1990 two cowards walked into the Las Cruces Bowl and changed the lives of many people. Seven people inside the bowling alley were forced at gunpoint to the floor and told to... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Minn | Stars: Hafid Abdelmoula, Shannon Caruso, Charles Comer, Dora Cothern

Votes: 170

7. Nova (1974– )
Episode: Forensics on Trial (2012)

TV-PG | 54 min | Documentary, Biography

Nova investigates forensic science and examines how what is often perceived as rock solid forensic evidence can sometimes lead to wrongful convictions. It looks at a cases where false ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Tiffany | Stars: Bray Poor, Jessica Gabel, Robert Shaler, Roy Arthur Brown

Votes: 55

8. Narco Cultura (2013)

R | 103 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco traffickers have become iconic outlaws and the new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto ... See full summary »

Director: Shaul Schwarz

Votes: 2,287 | Gross: $0.14M

9. Playground (2009)

85 min | Documentary

A look into the sex trade of children.

Director: Libby Spears

Votes: 186

10. Cash Crop (2010)

83 min | Documentary

An epic West Coast adventure to the heart of the Emerald Triangle and America's #1 Cash Crop.

Director: Adam Ross

Votes: 83

11. Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded (2014)

R | 152 min | Documentary, Crime, History

In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago. Cocaine Cowboys is the true story of how Miami ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Corben | Stars: Mickey Munday, Jon Roberts

Votes: 1,090

12. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: Solitary Nation (2014)

TV-PG | 54 min | Documentary

From PBS and Frontline: An estimated 80,000 Americans are in solitary confinement - even people who haven't committed violent crimes - sometimes for years, or even decades. Using ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Edge | Stars: Will Lyman, Todd Fickett, Gordon Perry, Adam Brulotte

Votes: 60

13. Secrets of Britain (2013– )
Episode: Secrets of Scotland Yard (2013)

TV-PG | 54 min | Documentary, History

Revisit famous cases and explore the history of Scotland Yard, one of the world's oldest detective forces and a name synonymous with crime solving.

Director: Susannah Ward | Stars: Paul Binkley, John Chambers, Kate Colquhoun, Jeff Edwards

Votes: 162

14. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: Prison State (2014)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary

From PBS and Frontline: With unprecedented access, FRONTLINE investigates the impact of mass incarceration in America, focusing on a troubled housing project in Louisville, Kentucky, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Edge | Stars: Will Lyman, Demetria Duncan, Keith Huff, Christel Tribble

Votes: 45

15. Rubble Kings (2010)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary, Biography, History

62 Metascore

Through archival footage Nicholson tells the story of the real Warriors that walked the streets of New York City in the 1970s and the harsh reality of gang life in a city that seemed to be falling apart.

Director: Shan Nicholson | Star: Lloyd Murphy

Votes: 1,011

16. An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

'Our procedure has been always haunted by the ghost of the innocent man convicted. It is an unreal dream.' - Justice Learned Hand, 1923. The prospect of unjust imprisonment is a plight both... See full summary »

Directors: Al Reinert, John Dean, Nellie Gonzalez | Stars: Nellie Gonzalez, John Raley

Votes: 303

17. The Farm: Angola, USA (1998)

88 min | Documentary

Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate's perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die.

Directors: Liz Garbus, Wilbert Rideau, Jonathan Stack | Stars: Bernard Addison, Burl Cain, George Crawford, Wilbert Rideau

Votes: 688

18. 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: 16,152 | Gross: $0.70M

19. American Experience (1988– )
Episode: The Poisoner's Handbook (2014)

TV-14 | 113 min | Documentary, Biography, History

From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine ... See full summary »

Director: Rob Rapley | Stars: Iva Baumanova, Chris Bowers, Daniel Brown, Jiri Cap

Votes: 266

20. The Fear of 13 (2015)

96 min | Documentary, Crime, Mystery

A convicted murderer who has spent 23 years on Death Row tells his story.

Director: David Sington | Stars: Herbert A. Fuchs, Sammy Silverwatch, Nick Yarris

Votes: 5,581

21. Unabomber (1996 TV Movie)

49 min | Documentary

From airlines to universities to parking lots, Ted Kaczynski terrorized America with explosives meant to spread his anti-tech message. This film tells the story of the investigation that tracked him down.

Director: Joanna Head | Stars: Dilly Barlow, Ted Kaczynski

Votes: 42

22. The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

72 Metascore

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.

Director: Brian Knappenberger | Stars: Aaron Swartz, Tim Berners-Lee, Cindy Cohn, Gabriella Coleman

Votes: 14,020 | Gross: $0.05M

23. Interview with a Serial Killer (2014)

Short, Drama

Based on the real interview with Ted Bundy, a psychologist interviews a serial killer and asks him about the violent crimes he committed, what it's like to be on death row, and if he ... See full summary »

Director: Kyle Misak | Stars: Greg Wolfe, Tahachi Hardrick, Don Joseph Chase

Votes: 37

24. Monster: The Josef Fritzl Story (2010)

48 min | Documentary, Crime

Interviews with family members, doctors and victims of 73-year-old Josef Fritzl, who held his daughter captive in a basement for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.

Director: David Notman-Watt | Stars: Daisy Beaumont, Josef Fritzl, Elisabeth Fritzl, Rosemarie Fritzl

Votes: 1,550

25. Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (2014)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

71 Metascore

A look at James 'Whitey' Bulger, one of the most infamous criminals in American history.

Director: Joe Berlinger | Stars: Stephen Rakes, James 'Whitey' Bulger, Tommy Donahue, David Boeri

Votes: 2,683 | Gross: $0.08M

26. 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

27. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

71 Metascore

Nick Broomfield's second documentary on Aileen Carol Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was executed in 2002 for killing six men in the state of Florida. This second installment includes the filmmaker's testimony at Wournous's trial.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill | Stars: Aileen Wuornos, Nick Broomfield, Terry Humphreys-Slay, Leitha Prather

Votes: 5,724 | Gross: $0.10M

28. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

1992, Florida, USA. Aileen Wuornos is claimed to be the world's first female serial killer.

Director: Nick Broomfield | Stars: Jesse 'The Human Bomb' Aviles, Nick Broomfield, Cannonball, Steve Glazer

Votes: 2,319

29. Amanda Knox (2016)

TV-MA | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

78 Metascore

American exchange student Amanda Knox is convicted and eventually acquitted for the 2007 death of another student in Italy.

Directors: Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn | Stars: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, Raffaele Sollecito, Giuliano Mignini

Votes: 15,180

30. I am Jane Doe (I) (2017)

98 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

This intense documentary follows real cases of American girls enslaved in the child sex trade through ads in a newspaper's online classified section.

Director: Mary Mazzio | Stars: Jessica Chastain, John McCain

Votes: 1,081

31. Long Shot (2017 TV Short)

TV-14 | 40 min | Documentary, Short

When Juan Catalan is arrested for a murder he insists he didn't commit, he builds his case for innocence around raw footage from a popular TV show, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Director: Jacob LaMendola | Stars: Tasha Boggs, Juan Catalan, Melissa Catalan, Miguel Catalan

Votes: 2,787

32. Vägen tillbaka (2017 TV Movie)

58 min | Documentary

The director of Halden prison, Norway's most humane prison, visits american prisons trying to encourage to change the ways of rehabilitation in prison.

Directors: Tomas Lindh, John Stark | Stars: Christian, Walter Ball, Valentino Dixon, Tor

Votes: 161

33. The Confession Tapes (2017– )

TV-MA | 46 min | Documentary, Crime

A critical look into some true crime cases where American law enforcement made up for lack of actual physical evidence by using devious psychological tactics during interrogation in order to extract confessions from naive suspects.

Stars: David Burns, Loretta Fisher, Brian Hutchinson, Sarah Isaacs

Votes: 2,762

34. Making a Murderer (2015– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Crime

Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree who, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.

Stars: Dolores Avery, Steven Avery, Ken Kratz, Brendan Dassey

Votes: 72,870

35. Survivors Guide to Prison (2018)

TV-MA | 102 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

Today, you're more likely to go to prison in the United States than anywhere else in the world. So in the unfortunate case it should happen to you - this is the Survivors Guide to Prison.

Director: Matthew Cooke | Stars: Patricia Arquette, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Williams, Danny Trejo

Votes: 614 | Gross: $0.01M

36. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 19,244 | Gross: $1.21M



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