Documentaries (to watch)

by areg08 | created - 01 Aug 2013 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
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1. 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: 49,948 | Gross: $2.96M

2. The Art of the Steal (2009)

Unrated | 101 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art.

Director: Don Argott | Stars: Julian Bond, David D'Arcy, Richard Feigen, Richard H. Glanton

Votes: 2,166 | Gross: $0.54M

3. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Octavio Calderon

Votes: 15,556 | Gross: $7.00M

4. 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: 6,732 | Gross: $0.05M

5. The Elephant in the Living Room (2010)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

The Elephant in the Living Room takes viewers on a journey deep inside the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world, as common household pets. ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Webber | Stars: Tim Harrison, Terry Brumfield, Russ Clear, Casey Craig

Votes: 964

6. The Gatekeepers (2012)

PG-13 | 101 min | Documentary, History, War

91 Metascore

A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

Director: Dror Moreh | Stars: Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom, Avi Dichter, Yaakov Peri

Votes: 5,269 | Gross: $2.42M

7. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

73 Metascore

A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Joe Cairo, David Carlo

Votes: 7,201 | Gross: $1.25M

8. Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup (2009 Video)

Unrated | 99 min | Documentary, History, War

An exploration of the viewpoint that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned by the United States government.

Director: Dylan Avery | Stars: Osama bin Laden, Johnelle Bryant, George W. Bush, Laura Bush

Votes: 3,343

10. March of the Penguins (2005)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Family

79 Metascore

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer, Jules Sitruk

Votes: 53,890 | Gross: $77.44M

11. Last Party 2000 (2001)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

37 Metascore

Filmed over the last six months of the 2000 Presidential election, Phillip Seymour Hoffman starts documenting the campaign at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, but spends ... See full summary »

Directors: Rebecca Chaiklin, Donovan Leitch Jr. | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Harper, Noam Chomsky, Harold Ford

Votes: 613

12. Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary, Biography

A look at the life and career of the technology business innovator and entrepreneur.

Directors: Sarah Hunt, Mimi O'Connor | Stars: Robert X. Cringely, Bill Fernandez, Demetri Goritsas, Dean Hovey

Votes: 727

13. Urbanized (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

A documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Rem Koolhaas, Jan Gehl, Ricardo Scofidio, Norman Foster

Votes: 1,951

14. Visual Acoustics (2008)

Unrated | 83 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world's greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Bricker | Stars: Frances Anderton, Wim de Wit, Beth Edwards Harris, Frank Escher

Votes: 575 | Gross: $0.10M

15. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011)

Not Rated | 192 min | Documentary, Biography

A documentary on Woody Allen that trails him on his movie sets and follows him back to Brooklyn as he visits his childhood haunts.

Director: Robert B. Weide | Stars: Woody Allen, Letty Aronson, Marshall Brickman, Josh Brolin

Votes: 4,880

16. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 32,499 | Gross: $1.72M

17. Powaqqatsi (1988)

G | 99 min | Documentary, Music

An exploration of technologically developing nations and the effect the transition to Western-style modernization has had on them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Christie Brinkley, David Brinkley, Pope John Paul II, Dan Rather

Votes: 7,223 | Gross: $0.59M

18. Naqoyqatsi (2002)

PG | 89 min | Documentary, Music

59 Metascore

A visual montage portrait of our contemporary world dominated by globalized technology and violence.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Belladonna, Marlon Brando, Elton John, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Votes: 5,018 | Gross: $0.13M

19. The Aristocrats (2005)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Comedy

72 Metascore

One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville.

Directors: Penn Jillette, Paul Provenza | Stars: George Carlin, Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Chris Albrecht

Votes: 15,700 | Gross: $6.38M

20. Touching the Void (2003)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

82 Metascore

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron

Votes: 31,843 | Gross: $4.59M

21. 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

22. Objectified (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Paola Antonelli, Chris Bangle, Andrew Blauvelt, Erwan Bouroullec

Votes: 3,276 | Gross: $0.01M

23. Inequality for All (2013)

PG | 89 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.

Director: Jacob Kornbluth | Stars: Robert Reich, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore

Votes: 6,342 | Gross: $1.21M

24. More Than Honey (2012)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

Director: Markus Imhoof | Stars: Fred Jaggi, Randolf Menzel, John Miller, Liane Singer

Votes: 3,779 | Gross: $0.07M

25. Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Mystery

75 Metascore

A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers.

Directors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel | Stars: Vivian Maier, John Maloof, Daniel Arnaud, Simon Amédé

Votes: 12,243 | Gross: $1.51M

26. We Cause Scenes (2013)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Comedy

The extraordinary story of a group of twenty-somethings who seized the streets of New York, transforming the meaning of comedy, performance and art through forming 'Improv Everywhere,' a prank collective ten years in the making.

Director: Matt Adams | Stars: Charlie Todd, Ben Folds, Daniel Berman, Milo Finch

Votes: 232

27. Visitors (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

Director Godfrey Reggio reveals humanity's trance-like relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species.

Director: Godfrey Reggio

Votes: 938 | Gross: $0.07M

28. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

76 Metascore

A series of interviews featuring linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky done in hand-drawn animation.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Noam Chomsky, Michel Gondry, Richard Feynman, Michèle Oshima

Votes: 3,165 | Gross: $0.13M

29. Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Director: Frank Pavich | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss

Votes: 19,441 | Gross: $0.65M

30. Fed Up (2014)

PG | 92 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

An examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it.

Director: Stephanie Soechtig | Stars: Michele Simon, Katie Couric, Bill Clinton, Michael Pollan

Votes: 10,985 | Gross: $1.54M

31. Journey to Space (2015)

45 min | Documentary, Adventure, Sci-Fi

An unveiling of a new era of unprecedented deep space exploration in dramatic giant screen film format.

Director: Mark Krenzien | Stars: Christian Gardner, Patrick Stewart, Gabrielle Gardner

Votes: 600

32. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015)

R | 128 min | Documentary, Biography

72 Metascore

A look at the personal and private life of the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Steve Jobs, Alex Gibney, Steve Wozniak, Michael S. Malone

Votes: 5,475 | Gross: $0.49M

33. 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: 48,855 | Gross: $2.80M

34. A Good American (2015)

TV-14 | 100 min | Documentary, Biography, History

63 Metascore

A Good American tells the story of the best code-breaker the USA ever had and how he and a small team within NSA created a surveillance tool that could pick up any electronic signal on ... See full summary »

Director: Friedrich Moser | Stars: William Binney, Jesselyn Radack, Kirk Wiebe, Diane Roark

Votes: 826

35. Cooked (2016– )

60 min | Documentary

As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.

Stars: Michael Pollan, Isaac Pollan

Votes: 2,293

36. 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: 3,050

37. Slacker Uprising (2007)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

Footage from Michael Moore's 60-city tour of college campuses and other venues showcases what the filmmaker calls "the birth of a new political generation."

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Eddie Vedder, Robert Ellis Orrall, Steve Earle

Votes: 2,631

38. 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: 39,892 | Gross: $14.36M

39. Leviathan (I) (2012)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry.

Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel | Stars: Brian Jannelle, Adrian Guillette, Arthur Smith, Asterias Vulgaris

Votes: 2,994 | Gross: $1.09M

40. 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), the "man behind the curtain", and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe | Stars: Marli Renfro, Alfred Hitchcock, Tere Carrubba, Alan Barnette

Votes: 2,485 | Gross: $0.04M

41. Heart of a Dog (2015)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

84 Metascore

Multimedia artist Laurie Anderson reflects on her relationship with her beloved terrier Lolabelle.

Director: Laurie Anderson | Stars: Laurie Anderson, Archie, Jason Berg, Heung-Heung Chin

Votes: 1,889 | Gross: $0.42M

42. Buena Vista Social Club: Adios (2017)

PG | 110 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Revisit with the remaining original members of the Buena Vista Social Club and explore their contribution to the unknown history of Cuba.

Director: Lucy Walker | Stars: Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, Barbarito Torres

Votes: 284 | Gross: $0.12M

43. Seymour: An Introduction (2014)

PG | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

83 Metascore

Meet Seymour Bernstein: a beloved pianist, teacher and true inspiration who shares eye-opening insights from an amazing life. Ethan Hawke helms this poignant guide to life.

Director: Ethan Hawke | Stars: Seymour Bernstein, Ethan Hawke, Sam Bachelor, Jiyang Chen

Votes: 932 | Gross: $0.58M



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