Documentaries to see

by mjhsimon | created - 20 Sep 2015 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
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1. Last Days in Vietnam (2014)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, History, War

86 Metascore

During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, ... See full summary »

Director: Rory Kennedy | Stars: Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Stuart Herrington, Juan Valdez

Votes: 3,553 | Gross: $0.47M

2. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 59,918 | Gross: $3.97M

3. 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: 938 | Gross: $0.58M

4. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (2013)

39 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Aliza Sommer-Herz, aged 109 and the world's oldest Holocaust survivor, tells the story of how music saved her life: both during her time at Theresienstadt concentration camp and in the years afterwards.

Director: Malcolm Clarke | Stars: Aliza Sommer-Herz, Zdenka Fantlova, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Malcolm Clarke

Votes: 855

5. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

83 Metascore

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill

Votes: 11,573 | Gross: $4.95M

6. Let's Get Lost (1988)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Weber | Stars: Chet Baker, Carol Baker, Vera Baker, Paul Baker

Votes: 1,695

7. The Green Prince (2014)

PG-13 | 101 min | Documentary, Biography

67 Metascore

The son of a founding leader in the Palestinian organization, Hamas, becomes a spy for the Israelis.

Director: Nadav Schirman | Stars: Mosab Hassan Yousef, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Gonen Ben Yitzhak

Votes: 2,510 | Gross: $0.26M

8. Rabin, the Last Day (2015)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, History

66 Metascore

Itzhak Rabin's murder ended all efforts of peace, and with him the whole left wing of Israel died. The movie shows the last of his days as prime minister, and what led to his murder.

Director: Amos Gitai | Stars: Ischac Hiskiya, Yitzhak Hizkiya, Pini Mittelman, Michael Warshaviak

Votes: 335 | Gross: $0.03M

9. Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (2016)

93 min | Documentary

Documentary on the life and times of Ken Loach. His politics in British TV and Cinema and the chaos he has caused the establishment for 50 years.

Director: Louise Osmond | Stars: Ken Loach, Jim Allen, Lesley Ashton, David Bradley

Votes: 338

10. I Am JFK Jr. (2016)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

I Am JFK Jr. - A Tribute to a Good Man is an homage to America's fallen prince and the Kennedy legacy. It is the story of a young man destined for greatness, but determined to be good in a ... See full summary »

Directors: Derik Murray, Steve Burgess | Stars: Christopher Andersen, John Perry Barlow, Christiane Amanpour, Paul Begala

Votes: 98

11. Cameraperson (2016)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

86 Metascore

Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.

Director: Kirsten Johnson | Stars: Jacques Derrida, Kirsten Johnson, Roger Phenix

Votes: 2,014 | Gross: $0.10M

12. Miss Kiet's Children (2016)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

Immigrant children have to find their way in a new classroom, with a new teacher and a language they don't understand. An ode to the teacher every child deserves.

Directors: Peter Lataster, Petra Lataster-Czisch | Stars: Kiet Engel, Haya Khleif, Branche Jovanovski, Leanne Yahyaowi

Votes: 257 | Gross: $0.01M

13. Notes on Blindness (2016)

90 min | Documentary, Drama

75 Metascore

In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Middleton, James Spinney | Stars: John M. Hull, Marilyn Hull, Miranda Beinart-Smith, Jamie Bradley

Votes: 1,765

14. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: A Conversation with Gregory Peck (1999)

TV-14 | 97 min | Documentary, Biography

Famed and beloved actor Gregory Peck candidly delves into conversation and reflection about his on-screen roles and off-screen life.

Director: Barbara Kopple | Stars: Gregory Peck, Cecilia Peck, Veronique Peck, Colleen Sheehy

Votes: 484

15. Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire (1974)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary, Music

79 Metascore

Directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, "Bird on a Wire" follows Cohen on his 1972 European tour. Long lost 16mm prints were restored for this release, not seen since 1972.

Director: Tony Palmer | Stars: Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius, Bob Johnston, Udo Jürgens

Votes: 143

16. Bird on a Wire (1974)

95 min | Documentary, Music

The gravel-voiced songsmith moodily strolls through the byways of various European venues and is seen in concert performing.

Director: Tony Palmer | Stars: Leonard Cohen, Donna Washburn, Ron Cornelius, Peter Marshal

Votes: 345

17. White Walls Say Nothing (2017)

70 min | Documentary

In the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, political and social activism converge with street art to create a powerful combination of action, resistance, and beauty in the face of horror and hardship.

Directors: Gates Bradley, Jonny Robson

Votes: 10

18. The Patriarch's Room (2016)

83 min | Documentary

"Jaffa Gate Is Ours!" screamed the headlines in 2005. Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irineos was accused of selling church property to Jewish settlers. He denied all the accusations. But for the ... See full summary »

Director: Danae Elon

Votes: 11

19. The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel (2016)

82 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Not a great deal of archival material about Wilfrid Israel has survived but, with the aid of photographs, a few documents, eyewitness interviews, and archival material relating to the rise ... See full summary »

Director: Yonatan Nir

Votes: 8

20. Get the Picture (2013)

70 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Meet John G Morris, 95, a legend of photojournalism, whose unerring eye for the best shot has moved and changed the world. Morris, former Picture Editor of Life Magazine & New York Times ... See full summary »

Director: Cathy Pearson | Star: John G. Morris

Votes: 91

21. Letters From Baghdad (2016)

TV-PG | 95 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day, shaped the destiny of Iraq after WWI in ways that still reverberate today.

Directors: Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Michael Higgs, Eric Loscheider, Rachael Stirling

Votes: 305 | Gross: $0.36M

22. Get Me Roger Stone (2017)

TV-14 | 92 min | Documentary, Biography

75 Metascore

A documentary exploring the life and career of notorious Republican dirty trickster and longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, who helped create the real estate mogul's political career.

Directors: Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme | Stars: Roger Stone, Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Jeffrey Toobin

Votes: 5,700

23. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

95 Metascore

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X

Votes: 14,667 | Gross: $7.12M

24. Gatekeeper (2016)

39 min | Documentary, Short

Patrolling a popular tourist destination of steep cliffs that plummet into the Sea of Japan, a retired police officer vigilantly intercepts troubled souls looking to jump, his count of lives saved now over 500.

Director: Yung Chang | Stars: Misako Kawagoshi, Kenji Morioka, Yukio Shige

Votes: 46

25. 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: 18,377 | Gross: $12.32M

26. Eddie & Edith

Drama | Announced

Eddie and Edith are an old couple that meet in the park. Edith is very sick so Eddie and Edith make the most of there life before it's too late.

27. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (2016)

40 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

A brilliant but tortured 56-year-old artist channels her depression and anxiety into her work.

Director: Frank Stiefel | Star: Tom Wudl

Votes: 766

28. Knife Skills (2017)

40 min | Documentary, Short

What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Lennon

Votes: 406

29. Traffic Stop (2017)

TV-14 | 31 min | Documentary, Short

Traffic Stop tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalated into a ... See full summary »

Director: Kate Davis

Votes: 732

30. Itzhak (2017)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

A look at the life, work and religious heritage of violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Director: Alison Chernick | Stars: Itzhak Perlman, Toby Perlman, Alan Alda, Billy Joel

Votes: 211 | Gross: $0.61M

31. Together Forever - Secrets of 50+ Years of Marriage (2018)

96 min | Documentary, Animation, Comedy

Together. For a lifetime. Who can manage this? And who still wants this? What seems to be an oddity for us nowadays was the norm for the generation of our grandparents. This generation still experienced it - a traditional wedding night.

Directors: Nesrin Samdereli, Yasemin Samdereli | Stars: Hildegard Rotthäuser, Heinz Rotthäuser, Kamala Nagarayya, Hampana Nagarayya

Votes: 30

32. The Oslo Diaries (2018)

TV-14 | 97 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

A group of Israelis and Palestinians come together in Oslo for an unsanctioned peace talks during the 1990s in order to bring peace to the Middle East.

Directors: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan | Stars: Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, Uri Savir

Votes: 287

33. The Fourth Estate (2018)

TV-MA | 243 min | Documentary, History

A look at how The New York Times covered President Trump's controversial first year in office.

Stars: Dean Baquet, Elisabeth Bumiller, Maggie Haberman, Jeremy Peters

Votes: 665

34. The Accountant of Auschwitz (2018)

78 min | Documentary

Seventy years after WWII, Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the SS, goes on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Director: Matthew Shoychet | Stars: Oskar Gröning, Jeff Ansell, Hedy Bohm, Hans-Jürgen Brennecke

Votes: 1,180

35. Free Solo (2018)

PG-13 | 100 min | Documentary, Adventure, Sport

83 Metascore

Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi | Stars: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin, Cheyne Lempe

Votes: 41,455 | Gross: $17.54M

36. Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

85 Metascore

An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, John Rogers, Jim Rogers

Votes: 18,827 | Gross: $22.61M

37. I, Dolours (2018)

82 min | Documentary

Documentary about Dolours Price, one of very few women who rose to the top of the IRA and who was involved in bombings during the Troubles in the 1970s.

Director: Maurice Sweeney | Stars: Lorna Larkin, Lauren Beale, Gail Brady, Frank Cannon

Votes: 138

38. Chasing Portraits (2018)

78 min | Documentary, History

56 Metascore

One man's art. One woman's unexpected path to healing. An American woman's emotional quest to find the art of her Polish-Jewish great-grandfather, lost during World War II.

Director: Elizabeth Rynecki | Stars: Violetta Bachur, Shula Eliaz, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Tyler Knowlton

Votes: 9 | Gross: $0.00M

39. Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019)

PG-13 | 97 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

The origin story behind one of Broadway's most beloved musicals, Fiddler on The Roof, and its creative roots in early 1960s New York, when "tradition" was on the wane as gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion were evolving.

Director: Max Lewkowicz | Stars: Marc Aronson, Michael Bernardi, Jerry Bock, Danny Burstein

Votes: 130 | Gross: $0.34M

40. Germans & Jews (2016)

76 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

Germany is one of the most democratic societies in the world, and has the fastest growing Jewish community in Europe. This never could have been imagined in 1945. Through personal stories, ... See full summary »

Director: Janina Quint

Votes: 36 | Gross: $0.04M

41. Un beso a esta tierra (1995)

93 min | Documentary

In exploring the history of Jewish immigration to Mexico, A Kiss To This Land presents fragments of memories and oral histories together with vivid depiction of Jews in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s.

Director: Daniel Goldberg Lerner | Stars: Moisés Amkie, Zelig Schnadower, Susana Sevilla

Votes: 13

42. Cash & Marry (2009)

76 min | Documentary

Marko and Atanas are two friends whose lives would be sweet as strudel but for an annoying little problem with their papers. They need a European passport and they are prepared to do almost... See full summary »

Director: Atanas Georgiev | Stars: Atanas Georgiev, Lile Georgieva, Roland Kier, Marijana Kotevska

Votes: 77

43. The Number on Great-Grandpa's Arm (2018)

TV-PG | 19 min | Documentary, Short

A conversation between a boy and his great-grandfather, an Auschwitz survivor, is woven with historical footage and animation to tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe,... See full summary »

Director: Amy Schatz | Stars: Jack Feldman, Elliott Saiontz

Votes: 120



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