Documentaries That You Should See...

by valley1 | created - 01 Sep 2013 | updated - 23 Apr 2017 | Public
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1. Score: A Film Music Documentary (2016)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Music

67 Metascore

A look at the cinematic art of the film musical score, and the artists who create them.

Director: Matt Schrader | Stars: Marco Beltrami, Jon Burlingame, Leonard Maltin, Bill Field

Votes: 3,367 | Gross: $0.10M

If you love film scores from some of the best movies ever made.. please check this amazing documentary out.

2. John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

An examination of the Oscar-winning director who brought to life some of cinema's most beloved motion pictures.

Director: Derek Wayne Johnson | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Luke Perry, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew McConaughey

Votes: 86

Fantastic doc on John G. Avildsen who brought to life such classics as Rocky and The Karate Kid films. The Sylvester Stallone and Ralph Macchio interview footage is intriguing

3. Back in Time (2015)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Family, History

An amazing look at the immense cultural impact of the Back to the Future trilogy 30 years after McFly and Brown went on an epic adventure.

Director: Jason Aron | Stars: Steven Spielberg, Michael J. Fox, Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Lloyd

Votes: 3,725

The official 'Back To The Future' 30th anniversary documentary that premiered on October 21, 2015!

4. Ghostheads (2016)

73 min | Documentary

A look at the intense fandom for the media franchise, Ghostbusters (1984)

Director: Brendan Mertens | Stars: Chace Ambrose, William Atherton, Dan Aykroyd, Brandon Balentine

Votes: 580

Launched to the world on Netflix on July 15th. The same day that new Ghostbusters movie hit theaters.

5. The Wrecking Crew! (2008)

PG | 101 min | Documentary, Music

67 Metascore

A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby.

Director: Denny Tedesco | Stars: Denny Tedesco, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark, Cher

Votes: 2,420 | Gross: $0.80M

Amazing doc about the musicians behind some of the greatest tunes that will surprise you.

6. The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)

80 min | Documentary, Sport

75 Metascore

The Battered Bastards of Baseball is one of baseball's last great, unheralded true stories. In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza") created... See full summary »

Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way | Stars: Todd Field, Kurt Russell, Rob Nelson, Jim Swanson

Votes: 2,625

Brilliant doc on the Portland Mavericks minor league baseball team owned by Bing Russell.

7. Zappa

Documentary | Post-production

An in-depth look into the life and work of musician Frank Zappa.

Director: Alex Winter | Star: Frank Zappa

This Lost Boy is out to prove that Frank Zappa was no Valley Girl

8. Zero Days (2016)

PG-13 | 116 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A documentary focused on Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: David Sanger, Emad Kiyaei, Eric Chien, Liam O'Murchu

Votes: 8,064 | Gross: $0.10M

9. Soaked in Bleach (2015)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Crime

50 Metascore

Tom Grant, a private investigator once hired by Courtney Love, reveals his take on the death of Kurt Cobain.

Director: Benjamin Statler | Stars: Daniel Roebuck, Sarah Scott, August Emerson, Tyler Bryan

Votes: 10,898

Fascinating perspective

10. Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019 Video)

90 min | Documentary | Post-production

The documentary that tells us the full story from where it all started through to the future of the Ghostbusters franchise.

Director: Anthony Bueno | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts, Harold Ramis

This doc has been several years in the making and appears to finally have the funding to get it completed. This is the behind the scenes for real fans.

11. The Wolfpack (2015)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Confined in an apartment from a New York housing project, the six Angulo brothers learned everything they know about the world through watching films and spend their time reenacting their favorite movies with intricate homemade costumes.

Director: Crystal Moselle | Stars: Bhagavan Angulo, Govinda Angulo, Jagadisa Angulo, Krsna Angulo

Votes: 11,199 | Gross: $1.30M

12. Command and Control (2016)

92 min | Documentary, History

77 Metascore

Documentary of 1980's near-launch of a nuclear missile from Arkansas, based on Eric Shlosser's award-winning book of the same name.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Harold Brown, Allan Childers, Bill Clinton, Greg Devlin

Votes: 686 | Gross: $0.05M

13. All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records (2015)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, History, Music

73 Metascore

'All Things Must Pass' is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Tower Records, and its legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.

Director: Colin Hanks | Stars: Russ Solomon, Chuck D, Chris Cornell, Heidi Cotler

Votes: 2,787 | Gross: $0.17M

14. Life Itself (2014)

R | 121 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel, Martin Scorsese

Votes: 14,201 | Gross: $0.81M

15. Citizenfour (2014)

R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, News

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: 48,627 | Gross: $2.80M

This is a whistleblowing doc that might make you realize 'you can't handle the truth' and we want Col. Jessep on that wall.

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: 57,338 | Gross: $2.06M

You'll never look at Seaworld the same way again

17. Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

TV-MA | 145 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

83 Metascore

An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Aaron Burckhard, Chad Channing, Don Cobain, Jenny Cobain

Votes: 26,408

18. The Overnighters (2014)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Drama

89 Metascore

Broken, desperate men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor risks everything to help them.

Director: Jesse Moss | Stars: Jay Reinke, Andrea Reinke, Alan Mezo, Shelly Schultz

Votes: 2,235 | Gross: $0.11M

19. Bears (I) (2014)

G | 78 min | Documentary, Family

68 Metascore

A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life's most important lessons.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey, Adam Chapman | Star: John C. Reilly

Votes: 5,990 | Gross: $17.77M

20. 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: 10,381 | Gross: $0.11M

21. 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: 31,647 | Gross: $0.49M

22. 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: 17,567 | Gross: $1.34M

23. Doc of the Dead (2014)

TV-14 | 81 min | Documentary

The definitive zombie culture documentary, brought to the screen by the makers of THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe | Stars: Kyle William Bishop, Charlie Adlard, Joanna Angel, Steven Barton

Votes: 1,184

24. Catfish (2010)

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

65 Metascore

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce

Votes: 38,892 | Gross: $3.23M

25. 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: 1,821 | Gross: $0.70M

26. Salinger (2013)

PG-13 | 120 min | Documentary

40 Metascore

An unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Director: Shane Salerno | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Judd Apatow, John Cusack

Votes: 2,329 | Gross: $0.58M

27. The Punk Singer (2013)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

75 Metascore

A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s.

Director: Sini Anderson | Stars: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, Joan Jett

Votes: 2,535 | Gross: $0.12M

28. 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: 4,555

29. Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014)

PG | 116 min | Documentary, Biography, Family

79 Metascore

As he struggles with Alzheimer's disease, country-music legend Glen Campbell embarks on his farewell tour in the U.S., Australia, and Europe.

Director: James Keach | Stars: Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ronald Petersen, Dave Kaplan

Votes: 1,390 | Gross: $0.37M

30. Drew: The Man Behind the Poster (2013)

Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary, Biography

59 Metascore

A documentary on legendary movie-poster artist Drew Struzan.

Director: Erik Sharkey | Stars: Greg Aronowitz, Timothy Bradstreet, Joanna Cassidy, Ernie Cefalu

Votes: 858

31. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

83 Metascore

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill

Votes: 11,461 | Gross: $4.95M

32. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

R | 130 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, John 'FuzzFace' McMahon, Alex Gibney

Votes: 7,190 | Gross: $0.16M

33. My Amityville Horror (2012)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Horror

48 Metascore

For the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975. George and Kathleen Lutz's story went on to inspire a... See full summary »

Director: Eric Walter | Stars: Daniel Lutz, Susan Bartell, Laura DiDio, Marvin Scott

Votes: 1,719

34. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

72 Metascore

Follows the court case of three members of the Russian feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot after their performance in a Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin | Stars: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Andrey Tolokonnikov

Votes: 1,803

35. Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden (2013)

TV-14 | 102 min | Documentary, History, War

Filled with testimony and recollections from actual C.I.A. agents, this in-depth account reveals the remarkable true story of the pursuit of the world's most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

Director: Greg Barker | Stars: Nada Bakos, Peter Bergen, Philip Mudd, Jose Rodriguez

Votes: 813

36. A Band Called Death (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett | Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney, Robbie Duncan

Votes: 3,317 | Gross: $0.13M

37. How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Crime

69 Metascore

Ten easy steps show you how to make money from drugs, featuring a series of interviews with drug dealers, prison employees, and lobbyists arguing for tougher drug laws.

Director: Matthew Cooke | Stars: 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, Susan Sarandon, David Simon, 50 Cent

Votes: 6,505 | Gross: $1.50M

38. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)

PG-13 | 113 min | Documentary, Music

69 Metascore

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a feature-length documentary film about the dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star.

Directors: Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori | Stars: Billy Altman, Jon Auer, Lester Bangs, Chris Bell

Votes: 1,188 | Gross: $0.11M

39. Blood Brother (2013)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Documentarian visits best friend in India to see the mutual unconditional love that keeps his buddy bonded to a village hostel housing AIDS-afflicted children.

Director: Steve Hoover | Stars: Rocky Braat, Steve Hoover, Anitha, Devi

Votes: 1,544 | Gross: $0.12M

40. Cutie and the Boxer (2013)

R | 82 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Director: Zachary Heinzerling | Stars: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Alex Shinohara, Ethan Cohen

Votes: 4,349 | Gross: $0.20M

41. Gideon's Army (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

87 Metascore

Follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.

Director: Dawn Porter

Votes: 744

42. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 11,414 | Gross: $1.60M

43. Room 237 (I) (2012)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

An exploration of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's horror film, The Shining (1980).

Director: Rodney Ascher | Stars: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan

Votes: 19,785 | Gross: $0.26M

44. Marley (2012)

PG-13 | 144 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

82 Metascore

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff

Votes: 12,629 | Gross: $1.41M

45. Zero Tolerance

Documentary, Family, Reality-TV | Announced

The real life story of several victims of bullying from around the world through the school life, some of the facts are compelling, disturbing, yet those who are in control have proved to turn a blind eye.

Director: Rick McLeod

46. Project Kronos

Sci-Fi | Abandoned

A space agency is on an interstellar space mission.

Director: Hasraf Dulull

47. Racing Extinction (2015)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, News

81 Metascore

A documentary that follows undercover activists trying to stave off a man-made mass extinction.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Elon Musk, Joel Sartore, Louie Psihoyos, Charles Hambleton

Votes: 7,020

48. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, History

74 Metascore

A look at the history of the American comedy publication and production company, National Lampoon, from its beginning in the 1970s to 2010, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage.

Director: Douglas Tirola | Stars: Danny Abelson, Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, Henry Beard

Votes: 1,955 | Gross: $0.06M

49. My Saga (2018)

Documentary

Star Wars has touched the lives of millions...Who'd have thought it would save one.

Directors: Adam Harris, Terry King | Stars: Perry King, James Arnold Taylor, Vanessa Marshall, Bonnie Piesse

Votes: 10

50. Looking for Charlie: Or, the Day the Clown Died (2016)

Documentary

A documentary which explores the lives and tragic deaths of Marceline Orbes and Francis "Slivers" Oakley, the suicidal clowns who inspired Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

Directors: Darren R. Reid, Brett Sanders | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mark Cousins, Darren R. Reid

51. Mighty

Documentary | Post-production

Mighty unravels the story of Roxy Music's enigmatic co-founder and original bass player Graham Simpson, who resurfaced in London after forty years anonymity.

Director: Miranda Little | Stars: Mike Figgis, Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Kari Ann

53. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016)

120 min | Documentary, History

85 Metascore

The history of Dawson City, the gold rush town that had a historical treasure of forgotten silent films buried in permafrost for decades until 1978.

Director: Bill Morrison | Stars: Kathy Jones-Gates, Michael Gates, Sam Kula, Bill O'Farrell

Votes: 1,266 | Gross: $0.13M

54. Dance with the Devil: The Legend of Cozy Powell

Documentary | Filming

A documentary charting the extraordinary life of British drummer Cozy Powell from his humble beginnings as a musician playing in small clubs to touring the world with some of the greatest ever rock groups.

Directors: Andrew Fawn, Lee Hutchings | Stars: Cozy Powell, Brian May, Suzi Quatro, Keith Emerson