Some Documentaries

by katiesmason | created - 31 Aug 2012 | updated - 20 Apr 2016 | Public

Some documentaries I like & you might like too

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1. Samsara (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Music

65 Metascore

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.

Director: Ron Fricke | Stars: Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi, Putu Dinda Pratika

Votes: 31,399 | Gross: $2.67M

2. Our Daily Bread (2005)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

86 Metascore

OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest - and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter | Stars: Claus Hansen Petz, Arkadiusz Rydellek, Barbara Hinz, Renata Wypchlo

Votes: 2,434

3. 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: 23,155 | Gross: $3.12M

4. Dark Days (2000)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer | Star: Marc Singer

Votes: 6,216 | Gross: $0.43M

5. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G | 99 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov, Doug MacAyeal

Votes: 16,632 | Gross: $0.94M

6. 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 Ray Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 20,618 | Gross: $1.21M

7. 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: 33,125 | Gross: $0.49M

8. 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: 59,573 | Gross: $1.61M

9. 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: 50,347 | Gross: $3.17M

10. 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: 14,464

11. 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: 18,324 | Gross: $1.34M

12. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, History

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: 50,962 | Gross: $2.96M

13. 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: 31,191

14. 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: 17,727 | Gross: $1.32M

15. 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: 33,922 | Gross: $0.68M

16. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, News

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: 59,111 | Gross: $2.07M

17. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 43,466 | Gross: $0.89M

18. Helvetica (2007)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Manfred Schulz, Massimo Vignelli, Rick Poynor, Wim Crouwel

Votes: 7,283 | Gross: $0.20M

19. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

Following the style of some of the world's most prolific street artists, an amateur filmmaker makes a foray into the art world.

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 60,495 | Gross: $3.29M

20. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

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

77 Metascore

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig | Stars: Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston, Laurie Allen

Votes: 8,987 | Gross: $0.33M

21. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011)

PG | 80 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash.

Directors: Constance Marks, Philip Shane | Stars: Kevin Clash, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Oz, Bill Barretta

Votes: 6,590 | Gross: $0.30M

22. 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: 8,051 | Gross: $0.41M

23. 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: 61,096 | Gross: $3.97M

24. 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: 46,151 | Gross: $8.41M

25. 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: 14,920 | Gross: $0.05M

26. 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, Lorraine Barrett, June Downs

Votes: 12,247 | Gross: $2.40M

27. 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: 32,017 | Gross: $2.55M

28. Benjamin Smoke (2000)

72 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

This highly unorthodox documentary follows the crooked path of Benjamin (no last name). He lives in a hidden neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia called "Cabbagetown." Drag-queen, speed-freak, ... See full summary »

Directors: Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen | Stars: Benjamin Dickerson, Tim Campion, Brian Halloran, Coleman Lewis

Votes: 210 | Gross: $0.04M

29. All Tomorrow's Parties (2009)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary, Music

A kaleidoscopic journey into the parallel musical universe of cult music festival All Tomorrow's Parties.

Director: Jonathan Caouette | Stars: Battles, Belle & Sebastian, Grinderman, Dirty Three

Votes: 604

30. Instrument (1999)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary

A collaboration between filmmaker Jem Cohen and the Washington D.C. band Fugazi, covering the 10 year period of 1987-1996. Far from a traditional documentary, this is a musical document; a ... See full summary »

Director: Jem Cohen | Stars: Brendan Canty, Joe Lally, Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto

Votes: 800

31. 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: 35,564

32. Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011)

TV-14 | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, History

76 Metascore

'Bobby Fischer Against the World' is a documentary feature exploring the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable, ... See full summary »

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Bobby Fischer, David Edmonds, Anthony Saidy, Susan Polgar

Votes: 6,533

33. The Bridge (I) (2006)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

58 Metascore

Filmmakers use hidden cameras to capture the various suicide attempts at the Golden Gate Bridge - the world's most popular suicide destination. Interviews with the victims' loved ones describe their lives and mental health.

Director: Eric Steel | Stars: Eric Geleynse, Chris Brown, Susan Ginwalla, Caroline Pressley

Votes: 10,748 | Gross: $0.18M

34. Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (2009)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary

Henri-Georges Clouzot's unfinished masterpiece, Inferno (1964), is reconstructed in this film which is part drama and part documentary.

Directors: Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea | Stars: Romy Schneider, Bérénice Bejo, Serge Reggiani, Jacques Gamblin

Votes: 1,494 | Gross: $0.02M

35. Bodysong (2003)

83 min | Documentary

Simon Pummell's epic movie tells the story of a human life, using found footage from the last 100 years of cinema, cut to a powerful score by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.

Director: Simon Pummell

Votes: 685

36. Jesus Camp (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard

Votes: 25,788 | Gross: $0.90M

37. Dreams of a Life (2011)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

62 Metascore

A filmmaker sets out to discover the life of Joyce Vincent, who died in her bedsit in North London in 2003. Her body wasn't discovered for three years, and newspaper reports offered few details of her life - not even a photograph.

Director: Carol Morley | Stars: Zawe Ashton, Alix Luka-Cain, Alistair Abrahams, Mandy Allen

Votes: 2,903 | Gross: $0.01M

38. 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: 15,301 | Gross: $0.22M

39. The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

R | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, War

64 Metascore

Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman

Votes: 10,996 | Gross: $0.32M

40. The Yes Men (2003)

R | 83 min | Documentary, Comedy

68 Metascore

Anti-corporate activists travel from conference to conference, impersonating member of the World Trade Organization.

Directors: Dan Ollman, Sarah Price, Chris Smith | Stars: Andreas Bichlbauer, Mike Bonanno, Andy Bichlbaum, Michael Moore

Votes: 5,525 | Gross: $0.20M

41. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography).

Directors: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen | Stars: Robert Evans, Eddie Albert, Peter Bart, Charlie Bluhdorn

Votes: 6,762 | Gross: $1.43M

42. 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: 20,023 | Gross: $0.41M

43. Tabloid (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

74 Metascore

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw

Votes: 6,447 | Gross: $0.68M

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

R | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

71 Metascore

Nick Broomfield's second documentary about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, focusing on her mental state on death row.

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

Votes: 6,168 | Gross: $0.10M

45. Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, History

72 Metascore

This is an unashamedly opinionated film. In Gore Vidal's America, the political coup has already happened. The right have triumphed and the human values of the liberals have been consigned ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas D. Wrathall | Stars: Gore Vidal, Howard Auster, James Best, Karen Black

Votes: 1,194 | Gross: $0.13M

46. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, Drama, Mystery