Documentaries You Should See Now

by mamaspank | created - 30 Mar 2015 | updated - 07 Jan 2016 | Public
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1. Grey Gardens (1975)

PG | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.

Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Muffie Meyer | Stars: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers

Votes: 10,671 | Gross: $0.03M

2. The Beales of Grey Gardens (2006)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary

Utilizing hours of unseen archival footage, The Beales is a new take on the women of Grey Gardens.

Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles | Stars: Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouvier Beale, Albert Maysles, David Maysles

Votes: 900

3. 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: 22,323 | Gross: $3.12M

4. 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: 1,560

5. 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: 42,095 | Gross: $0.89M

6. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History

87 Metascore

The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon

Votes: 21,718 | Gross: $4.20M

7. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Sport

76 Metascore

Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team.

Director: Stacy Peralta | Stars: Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Jeff Ament

Votes: 11,412 | Gross: $1.29M

8. The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans's famous 1994 autobiography).

Directors: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen | Stars: Robert Evans, Eddie Albert, Peter Bart, Charlie Bluhdorn

Votes: 6,554 | Gross: $1.43M

9. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Ray Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 19,764 | Gross: $1.21M

10. Grizzly Man (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter

Votes: 48,227 | Gross: $3.17M

11. 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: 33,061

12. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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: 33,242 | Gross: $0.68M

13. Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade (2007)

R | 90 min | Documentary

1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.

Director: Lincoln Ruchti | Stars: Walter Day, Ben Gold, Steve Sanders, Kent Farries

Votes: 1,275

14. The Endless Summer (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Sport

The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.

Director: Bruce Brown | Stars: Robert August, Michael Hynson, Lord James Blears, Bruce Brown

Votes: 4,638

15. The Queen of Versailles (2012)

PG | 100 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.

Director: Lauren Greenfield | Stars: Jaqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Lorraine Barrett, June Downs

Votes: 11,920 | Gross: $2.40M

16. 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: 29,265

17. Crazy Love (I) (2007)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Romance

69 Metascore

The bizarre true story of Linda Riss and Burt Pugach.

Directors: Dan Klores, Fisher Stevens | Stars: Burt Pugach, Linda Pugach, Bob Janoff, Sylvia Hoffman

Votes: 2,309 | Gross: $0.30M

18. 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: 2,688

19. Just, Melvin: Just Evil (2000)

96 min | Documentary

An in-depth look at the director James Ronald Whitney's family history of incest spanning at least three generations and the devastating consequences that include drug abuse and alcoholism.

Director: James Ronald Whitney | Stars: James Ronald Whitney, Melvin Just

Votes: 1,457

20. Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2004)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

69 Metascore

Be Here to Love Me - Chronicles the fascinating and often turbulent life of Townes Van Zandt.

Director: Margaret Brown | Stars: Joe Ely, Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson

Votes: 1,119 | Gross: $0.13M

21. 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: 19,560 | Gross: $0.26M

22. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

TV-14 | 119 min | Documentary

A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

Director: Kenneth Bowser | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah

Votes: 2,488

23. Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade (2004 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 89 min | Documentary

Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Thurman | Stars: Sam Peckinpah, Kris Kristofferson, Fern Lea Peter, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 242

24. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009)

TV-MA | 86 min | Documentary

A year in the life of the White family, well known for Jesco White, the star of the "Dancing Outlaw" documentary.

Director: Julien Nitzberg | Stars: J. Parker Bazzle II, Big & Rich, Ponty's Camper, Derek Wayne Castle

Votes: 3,288

25. Boy Interrupted (2009)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

Boy Interrupted looks at the life of Evan Perry a 15-year-old boy from New York who committed suicide in 2005. The film made by his parents Dana and Hart examines how Evan's bipolar ... See full summary »

Director: Dana Heinz Perry | Stars: Evan Scott Perry, Dana Heinz Perry, Hart Perry, Nicholas Kopple-Perry

Votes: 1,672

26. 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: 1,644

27. The Bridgewater Triangle (2013)

91 min | Documentary, Crime, History

The Bridgewater Triangle sits within Southeastern Massachusetts, and includes a number of locations known for unexplained occurrences; the most prominent of which include the legendary ... See full summary »

Directors: Aaron Cadieux, Manny Famolare | Stars: Loren Coleman, Alan Alves, Christopher Balzano, Jeff Belanger

Votes: 168

28. 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: 10,419 | Gross: $0.18M

29. 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: 9,338 | Gross: $30.58M

30. The Staircase (2004– )

TV-MA | 629 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

The high-profile murder trial of American novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife in 2001.

Stars: Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Ron Guerette, Tom Maher

Votes: 12,837

31. 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: 3,431

32. The House of Suh (2010)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

A chilling exploration of the tragic history of the Suh family and the murder that shocked America - when the picture perfect son, Andrew, shot and killed his sister's fiancé at her bidding.

Director: Iris K. Shim | Stars: Bob J. Berlin, Myung Han, Carol Hogan, Kevin Koron

Votes: 405

33. Goodnight, Sugar Babe: The Killing of Vera Jo Reigle (2013)

87 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

The discovery of the mutilated body of a mentally challenged young mother begins a journey into madness that is so unbelievable the mastermind behind the crime ultimately got away with ... See full summary »

Director: J. David Miles | Stars: Lisa Baer, Danny Bixler, Desta Bixler, Jamie Bracy

Votes: 387

34. Incendiary: The Willingham Case (2011)

99 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite ... See full summary »

Directors: Joe Bailey Jr., Steve Mims

Votes: 67

35. Gone (II) (2011)

PG-13 | 85 min | Documentary

A veteran New York police officer embarks on a harrowing search to find her son, when he disappears under suspicious circumstances in Austria.

Directors: Gretchen Morning, John Morning

Votes: 104

36. Disappeared (2009–2018)

TV-PG | Documentary, Crime

The heartbreaking, mystifying and unbelievable stories of loved ones who have disappeared and the families that never give up hope. Some stories remain unresolved; some reveal tragic ... See full summary »

Stars: Christopher Crutchfield Walker, Kiff VandenHeuvel, Dennis Hindman, David Van Norman

Votes: 780



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