Documentary movies

by meljendy | created - 15 Feb 2015 | updated - 29 Feb 2016 | Public
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1. We Were Here (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

94 Metascore

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber | Stars: Ed Wolf, Daniel Goldstein, Guy Clark, Eileen Glutzer

Votes: 1,840

2. Chasing Ice (2012)

PG-13 | 75 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.

Director: Jeff Orlowski | Stars: James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos, Kitty Boone

Votes: 7,738 | Gross: $1.33M

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: 6,349 | Gross: $0.07M

4. American Pharaoh (2014 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 55 min | Documentary

Follows Bradley - only the third American coach to manage a foreign team - his wife, Lindsay, his staff and his players. In gaining access to the training camps and providing in-depth ... See full summary »

Director: Hossam Abdoul-Magd

Votes: 9

5. 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: 49,389 | Gross: $2.96M

6. 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: 7,931 | Gross: $0.41M

7. Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary looking at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Spanky Taylor, David Miscavige

Votes: 34,413

8. Citizenfour (2014)

R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, Thriller

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: 48,042 | Gross: $2.80M

9. The Salt of the Earth (2014)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History

83 Metascore

The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.

Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders | Stars: Sebastião Salgado, Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Votes: 17,282 | Gross: $1.34M

10. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime

90 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: 31,138 | Gross: $0.49M

11. Night Will Fall (2014)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary, History, War

85 Metascore

Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps.

Director: André Singer | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Jasper Britton, Leonard Berney, George Leonard

Votes: 2,780

12. Last Days in Vietnam (2014)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, History, War

86 Metascore

During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, ... See full summary »

Director: Rory Kennedy | Stars: Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Stuart Herrington, Juan Valdez

Votes: 3,501 | Gross: $0.47M

13. 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: 30,823 | Gross: $2.55M

14. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 19,548

15. 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: 56,628 | Gross: $2.06M

16. The Square (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: 8,001 | Gross: $0.12M

17. 56 Up (2012 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 144 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years.

Directors: Michael Apted, Paul Almond | Stars: Michael Apted, Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield

Votes: 1,782 | Gross: $0.70M

18. Let the Fire Burn (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

86 Metascore

A history of the conflict of the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, that led to the disastrously violent final confrontation in 1985.

Director: Jason Osder | Stars: Birdie Africa, Ramona Africa, Wilson Goode, William Brown III

Votes: 1,155 | Gross: $0.06M

19. Dirty Wars (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.

Director: Rick Rowley | Stars: Jeremy Scahill, Nasser Al Aulaqi, Saleha Al Aulaqi, Muqbal Al Kazemi

Votes: 8,704 | Gross: $0.38M

20. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, History, News

86 Metascore

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Director: David France | Stars: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long, Bob Rafsky

Votes: 3,500 | Gross: $0.13M

21. Virunga (2014)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, War

95 Metascore

A team of brave individuals risk their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.

Director: Orlando von Einsiedel | Stars: André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby, Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo

Votes: 8,991

22. Human Swarm (2013 TV Movie)

Documentary

We all like to think of ourselves as individuals, but are we really driven by unseen forces that make us behave in predictable ways: a human swarm?

Director: Neil Ferguson | Stars: Jimmy Doherty, Wendy Barclay, Dave Britton, Gavin Donaldson

Votes: 5

23. The Human Scale (2012)

83 min | Documentary, News

50 Metascore

Half of the human population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this will increase to 80%. Life in a megacity is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, ... See full summary »

Director: Andreas Dalsgaard | Stars: Jan Gehl, Rob Adams, Robert Doyle, Lars Gemzøe

Votes: 656

24. Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe (2004)

Not Rated | 56 min | Documentary

REGULAR OR SUPER is a fascinating and informative introduction to the work of Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the 20th century's most influential architects, and a thought-provoking ... See full summary »

Directors: Patrick Demers, Joseph Hillel

Votes: 37

25. 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: 58,753 | Gross: $3.29M

26. Happy (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

Happy takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy.

Director: Roko Belic | Stars: Marci Shimoff, Ed Diener, Richard Davidson, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Votes: 3,016

27. The End (2004 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

One of the most powerfully intimate films ever made about the final stages of life, 'The End' is a profound and moving chronicle of five hospice patients whose stories are in turns honest, humorous, and heart-breaking.

Director: Kirby Dick | Star: Sonia Woodfield

Votes: 88

28. 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: 71,642 | Gross: $24.54M

29. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

R | 127 min | Documentary, Crime, News

61 Metascore

An examination of the social costs of corporate interests pursuing profits at the expense of the public good.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, William Black, Jimmy Carter, Elijah Cummings

Votes: 39,643 | Gross: $14.36M

30. Earth (2007)

G | 90 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Stars: James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, Anggun, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 13,837 | Gross: $38.05M

31. How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? (2010)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, Biography

51 Metascore

The film traces the rise of one of the world's premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

Directors: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado | Stars: Norman Foster, Deyan Sudjic

Votes: 641 | Gross: $0.01M

32. Kochuu (2003 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary, History

KOCHUU is a visually stunning film about modern Japanese architecture, its roots in the Japanese tradition, and its impact on the Nordic building tradition. Winding its way through visions ... See full summary »

Director: Jesper Wachtmeister | Stars: Tadao Andô, Sverre Fehn, Kristian Gullichsen, Toyo Ito

Votes: 74

33. Last Call at the Oasis (2011)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A documentary on the world's water crisis.

Director: Jessica Yu | Stars: Erin Brockovich-Ellis, Jay Famiglietti, Peter H. Gleick, Tim Barnett

Votes: 413 | Gross: $0.04M

34. The Untold History of the United States (2012–2013)

58 min | Documentary, History, War

Oliver Stone's re-examination of under-reported events in American history.

Stars: Oliver Stone, Alan Shearman, Jim Ward, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 6,896

35. Cosmos (2014– )

TV-PG | 557 min | Documentary

An exploration of our discovery of the laws of nature and coordinates in space and time.

Stars: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stoney Emshwiller, Piotr Michael, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 97,187

36. The Men Who Built America (2012)

TV-14 | 295 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Miniseries shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the ... See full summary »

Stars: Campbell Scott, H.W. Brands, Mark Cuban, Donny Deutsch

Votes: 3,000

37. Something Ventured (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Apple. Intel. Genentech. Atari. Google. Cisco. Stratospheric successes with high stakes all around. Behind some of the world's most revolutionary companies are a handful of men who (through... See full summary »

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine | Stars: Bill Bowes, Herbert Boyer, Po Bronson, Nolan Bushnell

Votes: 634

38. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 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: 65,337 | Gross: $4.31M

39. 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: 19,609 | Gross: $1.88M

40. I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

PG | 85 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country's shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster.

Director: Patrick Creadon | Stars: Robert Bixby, Humphrey Bogart, Warren Buffett, George Bush

Votes: 1,803 | Gross: $0.82M

41. 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: 15,326

42. GasLand (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary

An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved.

Director: Josh Fox | Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger, Richard Nixon

Votes: 9,946 | Gross: $0.03M

43. 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: 6,699 | Gross: $0.05M

44. Maxed Out (2006)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

65 Metascore

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America's Gulf Coast, it laid bare an uncomfortable reality-America is not only far from the world's wealthiest nation; it is crumbling beneath a staggering ... See full summary »

Director: James D. Scurlock | Stars: Beth Naef, Mike Hudson, Louis C.K., Catherine Brown

Votes: 2,116 | Gross: $0.06M

45. The Shock Doctrine (2009)

Not Rated | 79 min | Documentary

An investigation of "disaster capitalism", based on Naomi Klein's proposition that neo-liberal capitalism feeds on natural disasters, war and terror to establish its dominance.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Ewen Cameron, Janine Huard, Naomi Klein, Franklin D. Roosevelt

Votes: 2,514

46. Pina (2011)

PG | 103 min | Documentary, Music

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: 13,511 | Gross: $3.52M

47. Senna (2010)

PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

79 Metascore

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams, Ron Dennis

Votes: 55,392 | Gross: $1.61M

48. Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (2011)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Music

Rising from the ashes of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters became a Grammy-winning sensation on their own. Sixteen years of the band's history comes to life in this documentary, from their demo ... See full summary »

Director: James Moll | Stars: Shawn Cloninger, William Goldsmith, Jessy Greene, Dave Grohl

Votes: 5,532

49. Undefeated (2011)

PG-13 | 113 min | Documentary, Sport