The 100 Greatest Documentary Features

by solmaquina | created - 27 Mar 2012 | updated - 1 week ago | Public
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1. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, 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: 33,101 | Gross: $0.49M

10/10

2. 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: 50,330 | Gross: $3.17M

10/10

3. The Most Hated Family in America (2007 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

Louis meets the Phelps family, who protest against an America that tolerates homosexuality

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Stars: Louis Theroux, Lauren Drain, Steve Drain, Fred Phelps

Votes: 4,055

9.5/10

4. Louis and the Nazis (2003 TV Movie)

70 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed "the most dangerous racist in America"; Tom Metzger, his family and his publicity manager. Louis also meets 'Prussian Blue' an American white-nationalist preteen musical sibling duo.

Director: Stuart Cabb | Stars: Louis Theroux, April Gaede, Bill Gaede, Lamb Gaede

Votes: 1,748

9.5/10

5. Best Worst Movie (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A look at the making of the film Troll 2 (1990) and its journey from being crowned the "worst film of all time" to a cherished cult classic.

Director: Michael Paul Stephenson | Stars: George Hardy, Lily Hardy, Pita Ray, Micki Knox

Votes: 7,433 | Gross: $0.10M

8.5/10

6. Louis Theroux: Behind Bars (2008 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

For two weeks, Theroux visits the San Quentin State Prison.

Director: Stuart Cabb | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,805

8.5/10

7. Burden of Dreams (1982)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 5,978

8/10

8. Religulous (2008)

R | 101 min | Documentary, Comedy, War

56 Metascore

Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Bill Maher, Tal Bachman, Jonathan Boulden, Steven Burg

Votes: 56,665 | Gross: $13.00M

8/10

9. Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Viet Cong, recreating many events for the camera.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Dieter Dengler, Werner Herzog, Eugene Deatrick

Votes: 5,475

8/10

10. Louis Theroux: A Place for Paedophiles (2009 TV Movie)

45 min | Documentary

Louis visits Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, home to over 500 convicted paedophiles, and spends some time with those undergoing treatment.

Director: Emma Cooper | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,826

8/10

11. 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: 17,723 | Gross: $1.32M

8/10

12. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Porn (1998)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary

Louis visits the home of the American porn industry, the San Fernando Valley. His hopes of getting a part in a porn film begin with some nude shots in Jim South's modeling agency. A walk on... See full summary »

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Stars: Louis Theroux, Kaitlyn Ashley, Johnnie Black, Robert Black

Votes: 323

8/10

13. When Louis Met... Jimmy (2000 TV Special)

49 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux spends a week with the eccentric broadcaster and charity fundraiser Sir Jimmy Savile and attempts to get behind the public persona.

Director: Will Yapp | Stars: Louis Theroux, Jimmy Savile, Michael Buerk, Elizabeth Dawn

Votes: 624

8/10

14. O.J.: Made in America (2016)

TV-MA | 467 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.

Director: Ezra Edelman | Stars: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mike Albanese, Muhammad Ali, Marcus Allen

Votes: 16,121

8/10

15. Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family (2019)

59 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux returns to visit the Westboro Baptist Church in the wake of the death of its leader.

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Stars: Steve Drain, Rachel Hockenbarger, Steven Holroyd, Fred Phelps

Votes: 355

8/10

16. Louis Theroux: Savile (2016 TV Movie)

75 min | Documentary

In light of numerous allegations of abuse and sexual violence against the late Sir Jimmy Savile, Louis Theroux re-examines his media relationship with the enigmatic public figure.

Director: Arthur Cary | Stars: Louis Theroux, Jimmy Savile, Kat Ward, Jonathan Ross

Votes: 1,617

8/10

17. Louis Theroux: The Night in Question (2019 TV Movie)

59 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux heads to the USA to meet college students accused of sexual assault.

Director: Lottie Gammon | Stars: Louis Theroux, Saif Khan, Margaret Valois, Jordan Draper

Votes: 387

8/10

18. Louis Theroux: A Different Brain (2016 TV Movie)

59 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux meets people living with the long-term effects of a brain injury.

Director: Jamie Pickup | Stars: Louis Theroux, Earl Linton, Yasmin Precious, Patricia Linton

Votes: 693

8/10

19. America's Most Hated Family in Crisis (2011)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

Louis returns to the Phelps family to find that several members have left the cult, and that they are being sued.

Director: Emma Cooper | Stars: Louis Theroux, Lauren Drain, Steve Drain, Betty Phelps

Votes: 2,264

8/10

20. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Black Nationalism (1999)

Not Rated | 49 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux travels to New York to meet proponents of black nationalism.

Director: Kate Townsend | Stars: Louis Theroux, Khalid Muhammad, Al Sharpton

Votes: 221

8/10

21. Louis Theroux: Mothers on the Edge (2019 TV Movie)

59 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux visits specialist psychiatric units which treat mothers experiencing serious mental illness whilst allowing them to live alongside their babies.

Director: Mark Casebow | Stars: Louis Theroux, Robin Schacht, Trudi Seneviratne, Katherine Bundle

Votes: 252

8/10

22. Louis Theroux: Louis and the Brothel (2003 TV Movie)

80 min | Documentary

Louis stays with the residents of a soon to open brothel in Nevada for a few weeks.

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,458

8/10

24. 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 42 min | Documentary, Comedy

A look at the making of South Park: HUMANCENTiPAD (2011).

Director: Arthur Bradford | Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Anne Garefino, Frank C. Agnone II

Votes: 2,171

8/10

26. Louis Theroux: Extreme Love - Autism (2012 TV Movie)

58 min | Documentary

Louis travels to DLC Warren in New Jersey, an innovative autism school.

Director: Jamie Pickup | Stars: Louis Theroux, Nicky Ingrassia

Votes: 1,176

8/10

27. Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas (2007 TV Movie)

59 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux goes to the heart of gambling culture in Las Vegas.

Director: Stuart Cabb | Stars: Louis Theroux, Richard Wilk

Votes: 1,173

8/10

28. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Wrestling (1999)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary

Louis explores what it takes to be a professional wrestler, interviewing male wrestlers, a referee, and Randy Savage's wrestling valet Stephanie Bellars. Louis takes some practice training at the WCW Powerplant.

Director: Ed Robbins | Stars: Louis Theroux, Marcus Bagwell, Stephanie Bellars, Bam Bam Bigelow

Votes: 205

8/10

29. Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth (2009 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

British documentarian Louis Theroux examines the toll meth has taken on several addicts in Fresno, California.

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,016

8/10

30. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan

Votes: 27,066 | Gross: $0.30M

8/10

31. Louis Theroux: Extreme Love - Dementia (2012 TV Movie)

59 min | Documentary

Louis travels to Phoenix, Arizona - the capital of dementia care.

Director: Dan Child | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 750

8/10

32. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.

Director: Seth Gordon | Stars: Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Mark Alpiger, Adam Wood

Votes: 33,913 | Gross: $0.68M

7.5/10

33. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

91 Metascore

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan

Votes: 53,652 | Gross: $2.28M

7.5/10

34. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: UFOs (1998)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary

Louis investigates the strange world of UFO seekers, beginning with a group called the Alien Resistance Movement, before heading to Colorado, where many sightings have occurred, and then on to Nevada's infamous Area 51.

Director: Debbie Geller | Stars: Louis Theroux, Glenn Campbell, Robert Short

Votes: 251

7.5/10

35. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Swingers (1999)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux visits Southern California, home to a group of people known as swingers.

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Star: Louis Theroux

Votes: 220

7.5/10

36. 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: 10,937 | Gross: $0.11M

7.5/10

7.5/10

39. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Informercials (1999)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary

Louis investigates the world of home shopping channels.

Director: Ed Robbins | Stars: Louis Theroux, Sue Ferrara, Billy Mays, Rick Paap

Votes: 172

7.5/10

40. The Dead Will Walk (2004 Video)

75 min | Documentary

Feature documentary produced for the "Dawn of the Dead : Ultimate Edition" DVD set which profiles both the film and the career of director George A. Romero. Includes extensive interviews ... See full summary »

Director: Perry Martin | Stars: George A. Romero, Richard P. Rubinstein, Dario Argento, Christine Forrest

Votes: 191

7.5/10

41. Louis, Martin & Michael (2003 TV Movie)

75 min | Documentary

In 2001, Louis Theroux decides to set out on a journey to interview Michael Jackson. When Michael comes to the UK, Louis approaches Uri Geller but gets turned down. He then finds out that ... See full summary »

Director: Will Yapp | Stars: Louis Theroux, David Blaine, Uri Geller, Terry George

Votes: 641

7.5/10

42. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Self-Fulfillment (2000)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary

A satirical investigation into a Las Vegas based movement to inspire self-improvement through hypnosis.

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Stars: Louis Theroux, Ross Jeffries, Marshall Sylver

Votes: 141

7.5/10

43. Louis Theroux: Under the Knife (2007 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux gets under the skin of the plastic surgery patients of Beverly Hills.

Director: Emma Cooper | Stars: Stuart Linder, Louis Theroux

Votes: 1,290

7.5/10

44. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Body-Building (2000)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary

The Body-building episode was centered on USA body-building, but a lot of which was related to female fetish stuff, and specialty wrestling video producers.

Director: Alicia Kerr | Stars: Louis Theroux, Charles Peoples, Guy A. Grundy, David Paul

Votes: 178

7/10

45. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (1998–2000)
Episode: Rap (2000)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary

Louis visits America's South to see if he can make it as a gangster rapper.

Director: Kate Townsend | Stars: Louis Theroux, Master P, Dick McGee, D. Sparky

Votes: 174

7/10