The Documentaries I Have Seen Listed from Best to Worst

by Spin-IMDB | created - 15 Dec 2014 | updated - 16 Mar 2016 | Public
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1. 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: 30,048

2. Earthlings (2005)

95 min | Documentary, Horror

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Director: Shaun Monson | Star: Joaquin Phoenix

Votes: 16,417

3. 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: 6,508 | Gross: $1.50M

4. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan

Votes: 26,878 | Gross: $0.30M

5. 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: 135,875 | Gross: $21.24M

6. Why We Fight (2005)

PG-13 | 98 min | Documentary, History, War

68 Metascore

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

Director: Eugene Jarecki | Stars: Gore Vidal, John McCain, Ken Adelman, John Ashcroft

Votes: 9,587 | Gross: $1.44M

7. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (2010)

R | 117 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

An in-depth look at the rise and fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, including interviews with the scandalized, former politician.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Eliot Spitzer, Alex Gibney, Hulbert Waldroup, Lloyd Constantine

Votes: 2,116 | Gross: $0.19M

8. 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: 2,425

9. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.

Directors: Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn | Stars: Lisa Agabian, Manucher Alemi, Lindsey Allen, Kip Andersen

Votes: 18,421

10. The Nightmare (II) (2015)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Horror

68 Metascore

A look at a frightening condition that plagues thousands; sleep paralysis.

Director: Rodney Ascher | Stars: Siegfried Peters, Estrella Cristina, Stephen Joseph, Yatoya Toy

Votes: 6,133

11. Tricked: The Documentary (2013)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Crime

61 Metascore

This character-driven film considers the evolving sex trafficking landscape as seen by the main players: the exploited, the pimps, the johns that fuel the business, and the cops who fight to stop it.

Directors: John Keith Wasson, Jane Wells | Stars: Danielle Douglas, Slim, Rain, T.R.

Votes: 1,442

12. 12th & Delaware (2010)

TV-14 | 81 min | Documentary, Drama

The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on one corner in an American city.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady

Votes: 412

13. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 66,102 | Gross: $4.31M

14. 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: 38,968 | Gross: $3.23M

15. How to Die in Oregon (2011)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize a terminally ill person's request to end his or her life with medication. At the time, only Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands had ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Richardson | Stars: Harry Bruton, Ray Carnay, Cody Curtis, Paul Darley

Votes: 1,792

16. Small Town Gay Bar (2006)

Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary

The story of community in the Deep South that is forced to deal with the struggles of ignorance, hypocrisy and oppression.

Director: Malcolm Ingram | Stars: Jim Bishop, Terry Capps, Jackie Cox, Bill Curtis

Votes: 1,068

17. Kink (2013)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

A documentary on fetish website Kink.com.

Director: Christina Voros | Stars: Peter Acworth, Maitresse Madeline, Chris Norris, Tomcat

Votes: 1,105

18. The Hunting Ground (2015)

PG-13 | 103 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

An exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Andrea Pino, Annie Clark, Claire Potter, Melinda Manning

Votes: 5,662 | Gross: $0.41M

19. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006)

Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Horror

A documentary on the history of the slasher film.

Director: Jeff McQueen | Stars: Ed Green, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Joseph Stefano

Votes: 3,170

20. 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: 19,457 | Gross: $0.65M

21. Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005)

TV-14 | 86 min | Documentary

From 1970-1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch films.

Director: Stuart Samuels | Stars: John Waters, Ben Barenholtz, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alan Douglas

Votes: 1,369

22. Winnebago Man (2009)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

71 Metascore

Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video, Rebney's outrageously funny outtakes became an underground sensation and ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Steinbauer | Stars: Jack Rebney, Ben Steinbauer, Keith Gordon, Nick Prueher

Votes: 4,471 | Gross: $0.18M

23. 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: 42,724 | Gross: $0.89M

24. Cropsey (2009)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Crime, Horror

73 Metascore

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman | Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis, Dorothy D'Eletto

Votes: 7,251 | Gross: $0.05M

25. The American Nightmare (2000)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Horror

An examination into the nature of 1960s-'70s horror films, the artists involved, and how they reflected contemporary society.

Director: Adam Simon | Stars: George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Tom Savini, David Cronenberg

Votes: 1,754



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