Best Documentaries

by skristin | created - 07 Jul 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. The Bridge (I) (2006)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

58 Metascore

People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 10,496 | Gross: $0.18M

2. 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: 49,843 | Gross: $2.96M

4. 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

5. 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: 29,899

6. 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: 42,593 | Gross: $0.89M

7. 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: 56,310 | Gross: $13.00M

8. Bully (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 98 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.

Director: Lee Hirsch | Stars: Ja'Meya Jackson, Kelby Johnson, Lona Johnson, Bob Johnson

Votes: 9,637 | Gross: $4.04M

9. These Amazing Shadows (2011)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

Tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.

Directors: Paul Mariano, Kurt Norton | Stars: Jeff Adachi, James H. Billington, Robin Blaetz, Brooks Boliek

Votes: 1,526

10. 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

11. 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: 57,339 | Gross: $2.06M

12. Chasing Ice (2012)

PG-13 | 75 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.

Director: Jeff Orlowski | Stars: James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos, Kitty Boone

Votes: 7,823 | Gross: $1.33M

13. Talhotblond: (2009)

R | 83 min | Documentary, Thriller

This is the true story of a love triangle that takes place entirely online. Lies lead to murder in real life, as a teenage vixen (screen name 'talhotblond') lures men into her web. ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Schroeder | Stars: Steve Clement, Thomas Montgomery, Ken Case, Rex Beaber

Votes: 2,702

14. 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

15. Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (2009)

Unrated | 96 min | Documentary, Horror

An exploration of the appeal of horror films, with interviews of many legendary directors in the genre.

Director: Andrew Monument | Stars: Lance Henriksen, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, John Carpenter

Votes: 2,408

16. The Invisible War (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

75 Metascore

An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca, Jessica Hinves

Votes: 6,388 | Gross: $0.07M

17. The Woman Who Wasn't There (2012)

Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary

The Woman Who Wasn't There is a psychological thriller that goes inside the mind of history's most infamous 9/11 survivor.

Director: Angelo J. Guglielmo Jr. | Stars: Tania Head, Elia Zedeno, Gerry Bogacz, Brendan Chellis

Votes: 1,602

18. The Final Member (2012)

R | 75 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

Thirty miles from the Arctic Circle, in the northern Icelandic town of Husavik, stands the Icelandic Phallological Museum - the world's only Penis museum. Over 40 years, the founder and ... See full summary »

Directors: Jonah Bekhor, Zach Math | Stars: Sigurður Hjartarson, Páll Arason, Tom Mitchell, Helgi Héðinsson

Votes: 1,075 | Gross: $0.01M

19. Talhotblond: (2009)

R | 83 min | Documentary, Thriller

This is the true story of a love triangle that takes place entirely online. Lies lead to murder in real life, as a teenage vixen (screen name 'talhotblond') lures men into her web. ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Schroeder | Stars: Steve Clement, Thomas Montgomery, Ken Case, Rex Beaber

Votes: 2,702

20. From One Second to the Next (2013)

34 min | Documentary, Short

Stories of serious traffic accidents caused by texting and driving are told by the perpetrators and surviving victims.

Director: Werner Herzog

Votes: 1,079

21. There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 101 min | Documentary

This documentary explores the depth behind the case of a woman whose vehicle collision killed numerous people, including herself. Was she really the reckless drunk, or the perfect suburban mother?

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Jesse Temple, Brad Katinas, Diane Schuler, Jay Schuler

Votes: 3,651

22. The Cheshire Murders (2013 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 118 min | Documentary, Crime, History

A documentary about a brutal home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut in 2007.

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner | Stars: Marilyn Bartoli, Deb Biggins, Michael Daluz, Jeremiah Donovan

Votes: 1,735

23. 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: 135,571 | Gross: $21.24M

24. Alive Inside (2014)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, News

67 Metascore

Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.

Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett | Stars: Dan Cohen, Louise Dueno, Nell Hardie, Norman Hardie

Votes: 2,820 | Gross: $0.15M

25. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

86 Metascore

Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam, Jeff Anderson

Votes: 9,440 | Gross: $30.58M

26. 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: 33,466 | Gross: $0.68M

27. 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

28. The Fear of 13 (2015)

96 min | Documentary, Crime, Mystery

A convicted murderer who has spent 23 years on Death Row tells his story.

Director: David Sington | Stars: Herbert A. Fuchs, Sammy Silverwatch, Nick Yarris

Votes: 6,065

29. 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: 3,324

30. Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man (2015)

TV-14 | 82 min | Documentary, Crime, Thriller

Charged. Convicted. Sentenced to Death. Innocent. Follows the 1st death row inmate exonerated by DNA in the US.

Director: Gregory Bayne | Star: Kirk Noble Bloodsworth

Votes: 51

31. Casting JonBenet (2017)

TV-14 | 80 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

In the months following the unsolved murder of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, responses were elicited from her Colorado hometown community, creating a work of art from the collective memories and mythologies the crime inspired.

Director: Kitty Green | Stars: Hannah Cagwin, Aeona Cruz, Liv Bagley, Shylee Sagle

Votes: 4,194

32. Amanda Knox (2016)

TV-MA | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

78 Metascore

American exchange student Amanda Knox is convicted and eventually acquitted for the 2007 death of another student in Italy.

Directors: Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn | Stars: Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, Raffaele Sollecito, Giuliano Mignini

Votes: 17,804

33. Tickled (2016)

R | 92 min | Documentary, Mystery

76 Metascore

Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

Directors: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve | Stars: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, David Starr, Kevin Clarke

Votes: 14,243 | Gross: $0.61M

34. 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

35. The Rachel Divide (2018)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary

59 Metascore

Rachel Dolezal becomes a social phenomenon when she passes herself off as an African American and becomes the head of her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter.

Director: Laura Brownson | Stars: Rachel Dolezal, Franklin Dolezal, Siobhan Abrams, Vanessa Bayer

Votes: 1,425

36. Bodysnatchers of New York (2010)

62 min | Documentary

Macabre mystery that unfolds as the lives of a handful of seemingly unconnected characters are drawn together by a crime involving over a thousand mutilated corpses.

Director: Toby Dye | Stars: Lee Cruceta, Anthony Dumaine, Michael Mastromarino, Dayna Ryan

Votes: 99

37. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)

TV-14 | 279 min | Documentary, Crime

Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.

Stars: Robert Durst, Andrew Jarecki, Gary Napoli, Debra Kay Anderson

Votes: 34,238

38. 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: 15,326

39. The Family I Had (2017)

77 min | Documentary, Crime

In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act.

Directors: Katie Green, Carlye Rubin | Stars: Ella Bennett, Kyla Bennett, Paris Lee Bennett, Charity Lee

Votes: 457

40. Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

TV-14 | 91 min | Documentary, Crime

The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter.

Director: Skye Borgman | Stars: Jan Broberg, Bob Broberg, Mary Ann Broberg, Susan Broberg

Votes: 10,581

41. Three Identical Strangers (2018)

PG-13 | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

81 Metascore

In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.

Director: Tim Wardle | Stars: Robert Shafran, Michael Domnitz, Howard Schneider, Ellen Cervone

Votes: 17,251 | Gross: $12.32M

42. 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: 22,630 | Gross: $3.12M

43. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019– )

TV-MA | 236 min | Documentary, Crime, History

A look inside the mind of serial killer Ted Bundy, featuring interviews with him on death row.

Stars: Stephen Michaud, Bob Keppel, Kathleen McChesney, Ward Lucas

Votes: 16,179

44. 13th (2016)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary, Crime, News

88 Metascore

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker, Dolores Canales

Votes: 20,363

45. The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019)

91 min | Documentary

54 Metascore

What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician - "The Amazing Johnathan" - becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.

Director: Benjamin Berman | Stars: The Amazing Johnathan, Eric André, Benjamin Berman, Simon Chinn

Votes: 609



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