Brian's 'Docs You Should Watch'by richards-brian-w | created - 03 Feb 2013 | updated - 28 Feb 2016 | Public
These are documentaries I've seen that I highly recommend, sorted from oldest to newest.
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1. Nanook of the North (1922)
Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary
In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.
3. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.
5. 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.
Votes: 9,622 | Gross: $0.03M
6. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 18,222 | Gross: $1.21M
7. Roger & Me (1989)
R | 91 min | Documentary
Votes: 23,981 | Gross: $6.71M
Not Rated | 150 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
10. Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary (1997)
PG | 98 min | Documentary
Twenty-four contestants compete in an endurance/sleep deprivation contest in order to win a brand new Nissan Hardbody truck. The last person to remain standing with his or her hand on the ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,404 | Gross: $0.49M
11. Trekkies (1997)
PG | 86 min | Documentary
Denice Crosby takes a first look at the huge fans of Star Trek and how the series from around America has affected and shaped their lives.
Votes: 4,555 | Gross: $0.32M
12. American Movie (1999)
R | 107 min | Documentary, Comedy
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.
Votes: 14,720 | Gross: $1.16M
15. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography
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.
Votes: 21,047 | Gross: $3.12M
PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History
Votes: 20,633 | Gross: $4.19M
17. The Corporation (2003)
Not Rated | 145 min | Documentary, History
Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.
Votes: 19,080 | Gross: $1.88M
18. Super Size Me (2004)
PG | 100 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 91,851 | Gross: $11.53M
19. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)
Not Rated | 141 min | Documentary, Music
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.
Votes: 15,015 | Gross: $1.22M
20. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War
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.
Votes: 118,593 | Gross: $119.19M
21. Grizzly Man (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography
Votes: 45,681 | Gross: $3.17M
26. Man on Wire (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography
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".
Votes: 46,296 | Gross: $2.96M
28. Best Worst Movie (2009)
Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 6,752 | Gross: $0.10M
29. Winnebago Man (2009)
85 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy
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 »
Votes: 4,240 | Gross: $0.18M
31. Waste Land (2010)
Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary
On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.
Votes: 7,741 | Gross: $0.19M
32. Marwencol (2010)
Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Fantasy
After a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.
Votes: 2,641 | Gross: $0.11M
33. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, History
A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.
Votes: 4,669 | Gross: $1.51M
34. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »
Votes: 55,927 | Gross: $3.29M
35. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
PG | 81 min | Documentary
A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.
Votes: 28,500 | Gross: $2.55M
36. How Beer Saved the World (2011 TV Movie)
TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary
This show traces the important role that beer has played in human history from the probable origins of the first beer at the dawn of history to the development of a special beer for use in zero gravity space missions.
38. 56 Up (2012 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 144 min | Documentary
Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last seven years.
Votes: 1,656 | Gross: $0.70M
39. The Queen of Versailles (2012)
PG | 100 min | Documentary
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.
Votes: 11,483 | Gross: $2.40M
41. A Band Called Death (2012)
Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.
Votes: 3,072 | Gross: $0.13M
42. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)
PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.
Votes: 54,806 | Gross: $3.97M
43. The Act of Killing (2012)
Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
Votes: 28,495 | Gross: $0.49M
Frontline (1983– )
League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis
TV-PG | 114 min | Documentary
An investigation of the health crisis threatening NFL players and the long-term fortunes of football.
48. Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)
PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Music
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.
Votes: 10,629 | Gross: $4.95M
49. Al midan (2013)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, History
A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.
Votes: 7,552 | Gross: $0.12M
50. Dirty Wars (2013)
Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.
Votes: 8,399 | Gross: $0.38M
51. Inequality for All (2013)
PG | 89 min | Documentary
A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.
Votes: 5,934 | Gross: $1.21M
52. Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Mystery
A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers.
Votes: 10,882 | Gross: $1.51M
55. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.
Votes: 29,629 | Gross: $1.72M
56. The Wolfpack (2015)
R | 90 min | Documentary, Biography
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.
Votes: 10,005 | Gross: $1.30M