Best Documentary Films

by halrobot | created - 17 Feb 2013 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
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1. 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: 39,016 | Gross: $3.23M

2. 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: 33,561 | Gross: $0.68M

3. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 136,016 | Gross: $21.24M

4. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

67 Metascore

Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Stevie Wonder

Votes: 123,300 | Gross: $119.19M

5. 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: 72,097 | Gross: $24.54M

6. Super Size Me (2004)

PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker, Dania Abu-Rmaileh

Votes: 96,915 | Gross: $11.53M

7. The People vs. George Lucas (2010)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy

55 Metascore

An examination of the widespread fan disenchantment with George Lucas.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe | Stars: Joe Nussbaum, Daryl Frazetti, Doug Jones, Damian Hess

Votes: 4,326

8. Roger Toupin, épicier variété (2003)

97 min | Documentary

At the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal, Roger Toupin owns a corner grocer that has become an impromptu social club frequented by people who belong to a way of life that is fast disappearing... See full summary »

Director: Benoit Pilon

Votes: 70

9. Dérapages (I) (2012)

94 min | Documentary, Drama

Through the testimonies of friends and relatives of victims of road accidents, Paul Arcand portrays the driving habits of young people, who are sometimes victims and sometimes responsible ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Arcand | Stars: Paul Arcand, Jacques Villeneuve, Mikaël Borduras, Pier-Luc Asselin

Votes: 116

10. 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: 7,978 | Gross: $0.41M

11. Dig! (2004)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Director: Ondi Timoner | Stars: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood

Votes: 5,800 | Gross: $0.13M

12. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Not Rated | 141 min | Documentary, Music

74 Metascore

A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | Stars: James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo

Votes: 16,576 | Gross: $1.22M

13. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.

Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen | Stars: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, Trent Reznor

Votes: 3,714

14. This Is It (2009)

PG | 111 min | Documentary, Drama, Music

67 Metascore

A compilation of interviews, rehearsals, and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Michael Jackson, Alex Al, Alexandra Apjarova, Nick Bass

Votes: 37,213 | Gross: $72.09M

15. Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

71 Metascore

A look at the history of fame in the world through the eyes of pop star impresario, Rodney Bingenheimer.

Director: George Hickenlooper | Stars: Rodney Bingenheimer, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Exene Cervenka

Votes: 1,403 | Gross: $0.26M

16. 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: 8,808 | Gross: $0.33M

17. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 15,145 | Gross: $0.67M

18. It Might Get Loud (2008)

PG | 98 min | Documentary, Music

70 Metascore

A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White, Dallas Schoo

Votes: 11,947 | Gross: $1.61M

19. New York Doll (2005)

PG-13 | 75 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A recovering alcoholic and recently converted Mormon, Arthur "Killer" Kane, of the rock band The New York Dolls, is given a chance at reuniting with his band after 30 years.

Director: Greg Whiteley | Stars: Arthur Kane, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Nina Antonia

Votes: 1,604 | Gross: $0.22M

20. 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: 19,760 | Gross: $1.88M

21. Sound City (2013)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Director: Dave Grohl | Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Vinny Appice

Votes: 11,610 | Gross: $0.42M

22. 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: 7,319 | Gross: $0.10M

23. Crossfire Hurricane (2012)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Legendary British rock band The Rolling Stones mark their 50th year together.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ronnie Wood

Votes: 2,206

24. The Defiant Ones (2017)

60 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

"The Defiant Ones" examines the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre - one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton - and their leading roles in a chain of transformative events in contemporary culture.

Stars: Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, Verna Griffin

Votes: 9,533



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