My Fav Documentaries

by Chocolegz | created - 18 Apr 2013 | updated - 20 Jan 2016 | Public

in no order

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1. The Century of the Self (2002)

235 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations.

Stars: Adam Curtis, Ann Bernays, Robert Reich, Alfred Pritz

Votes: 4,466

2. A Band Called Death (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett | Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney, Robbie Duncan

Votes: 3,368 | Gross: $0.13M

3. Century of Cinema (1995–1998)
Episode: A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)

225 min | Documentary

Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics.

Directors: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Allison Anders, Kathryn Bigelow, Francis Ford Coppola

Votes: 4,492

5. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story (2012)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, History, Mystery

78 Metascore

While filming a documentary in Mississippi in 1965, Frank De Felitta forever changed the life of an African-American waiter and his family. In 2011, Frank's son returns to the Delta to examine the repercussions of that fateful encounter.

Director: Raymond De Felitta | Stars: Hodding Carter III, Frank De Felitta, Yvette Johnson, Leroy Jones

Votes: 123 | Gross: $0.01M

6. God Loves Uganda (2013)

TV-14 | 83 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

An account of the American Evangelicals' attempts to indoctrinate their Christian Right beliefs in Uganda.

Director: Roger Ross Williams

Votes: 1,130 | Gross: $0.05M

7. Still Bill (2009)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

76 Metascore

A portrait of soul legend Bill Withers.

Directors: Damani Baker, Alex Vlack | Stars: Bill Withers, Clarence Avant, Benorce Blackmon, Cornell Dupree

Votes: 548

8. Portrait of Jason (1967)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

Black gay prostitute Jason Holliday is rigorously interviewed on his story and character, revealing nuanced truths about life and art.

Director: Shirley Clarke | Stars: Jason Holliday, Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee

Votes: 812

9. Bukowski: Born into This (2003)

R | 130 min | Documentary, Biography

77 Metascore

Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man', 'Love Is a Dog from Hell', and the autobiographical novels, 'Women', 'Hollywood', and 'Post Office'.

Director: John Dullaghan | Stars: Charles Bukowski, Bono, John Bryan, Linda Lee Bukowski

Votes: 3,233 | Gross: $0.30M

10. Jazz (2001)

114 min | Documentary, History, Music

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington

Votes: 1,763

11. Frederick Douglass and the White Negro (2008)

Documentary

Frederick Douglass and the White Negro is a documentary telling the story of ex-slave, abolitionist, writer and politician Frederick Douglass and his escape to Ireland from America in the ... See full synopsis »

Director: John J. Doherty | Star: Aaron Edo

Votes: 8

12. 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: 58,358 | Gross: $2.07M

13. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006–2007)

TV-MA | 255 min | Documentary

An examination of the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Stars: Darleen Asevedo, Jay Asevedo, Shelton Shakespear Alexander, Lee Arnold

Votes: 4,029

14. The Atomic Cafe (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, History

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government-issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty | Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy, Brien McMahon

Votes: 3,762 | Gross: $0.02M

15. Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)

Not Rated | 167 min | Documentary, Biography, War

A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick | Stars: Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Paul Andrews

Votes: 4,162

16. Been Rich All My Life (2006)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Five sassy, tap dancing women aged 84 - 96. Meet the "Silver Belles".

Director: Heather MacDonald | Stars: Marion Coles, Elaine Ellis, Cleo Hayes, Fay Ray

Votes: 87 | Gross: $0.03M

17. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

90 Metascore

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.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn | Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin, Ibrahim Sinik

Votes: 32,498 | Gross: $0.49M

18. 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: 49,703 | Gross: $3.17M

19. Crumb (1994)

R | 119 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

93 Metascore

An intimate portrait of controversial cartoonist Robert Crumb and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb

Votes: 17,403 | Gross: $3.17M

20. Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle (2001)

52 min | Documentary

Documentary about the effects of market economy and globalization on director Raoul Peck's homeland, Haiti.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Serge Latouche, Bernard Maris, Gérald Mathurin, René Passet

Votes: 45

21. Burden of Dreams (1982)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 5,886

22. 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: 20,415 | Gross: $1.21M

23. Tongues Untied (1989)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary

A documentary about the experiences of black homosexual men living in the United States of America.

Director: Marlon Riggs | Stars: Marlon Riggs, Michael Bell, Kerrigan Black, Blackberri

Votes: 891

24. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

65 Metascore

A documentary on the influential musician Scott Walker.

Director: Stephen Kijak | Stars: Damon Albarn, Dot Allison, Marc Almond, Alan Bangs

Votes: 1,283

25. Beware of Mr. Baker (2012)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary

78 Metascore

Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

Director: Jay Bulger | Stars: Ginger Baker, Femi Kuti, Eric Clapton, Stewart Copeland

Votes: 3,113 | Gross: $0.11M

26. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

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 »

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 59,952 | Gross: $3.29M

27. Wattstax (1973)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

81 Metascore

Documentary covering a Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival with performances by Stax Records artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staples Singers, and more.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: The Dramatics, The Staple Singers, Kim Weston, Jimmy Jones

Votes: 713

28. Dark Days (2000)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer | Star: Marc Singer

Votes: 6,173 | Gross: $0.43M

29. The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987)

Not Rated | 122 min | Documentary, War

A documentary following Kenzo Okuzaki, a 62-year-old WW2 veteran notorious for his protests against Emperor Hirohito, as he tries to expose the needless executions of two Japanese soldiers during the war.

Director: Kazuo Hara | Stars: Kenzo Okuzaki, Riichi Aikawa, Masaichi Hamaguchi, Toshio Hara

Votes: 1,376

30. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Octavio Calderon

Votes: 15,727 | Gross: $7.00M

31. Soul Power (2008)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A filmed account of the Zaire 74 soul music festival, originally intended to be in concert with the famous Rumble in the Jungle bout in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974.

Director: Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte | Stars: Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Don King, Afrisa

Votes: 734 | Gross: $0.21M

32. Mama Africa (2011)

90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Documentary about Miriam Makeba.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Miriam Makeba, Bageot Bah, Harry Belafonte, Stokely Carmichael

Votes: 255 | Gross: $0.01M

33. Children Underground (2001)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary

85 Metascore

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director: Edet Belzberg | Stars: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu, Ana Turturica

Votes: 2,149

34. The Pyramid Code (2009– )

45 min | Documentary

The Pyramid Code is a documentary series of 5 episodes that explores the pyramid fields and ancient temples in Egypt as well as ancient megalithic sites around the world looking for clues ... See full summary »

Stars: Sally Jennings, Abd'el Hakim Awyan, John Anthony West, Carmen Boulter

Votes: 718

35. Hot Coffee (2011)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.

Director: Susan Saladoff | Stars: Chuck Allen, Judy Allen, Jay Angoff, David Arredondo

Votes: 3,588

36. Benda Bilili! (2010)

PG-13 | 85 min | Documentary, Music

77 Metascore

Kinshasa, DRCongo, 2005: Benda Bilili, poor paraplegic street musicians, get noticed by a French film team. Studio recordings get their music out on album and 2009, they have concerts in Europe.

Directors: Renaud Barret, Florent de La Tullaye | Stars: Leon Likabu, Roger Landu, Coco Ngambali, Cubain Kabeya

Votes: 737

37. Workingman's Death (2005)

Not Rated | 122 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

A documentary on the extremes to which workers will go to earn a living.

Director: Michael Glawogger

Votes: 1,608

38. Paris Is Burning (1990)

R | 71 min | Documentary

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Director: Jennie Livingston | Stars: Brooke Xtravaganza, André Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Duprée

Votes: 10,646 | Gross: $3.78M

39. 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: 6,423 | Gross: $0.07M

40. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History

73 Metascore

Footage shot by a group of Swedish journalists documenting the Black Power Movement in the United States is edited together by a contemporary Swedish filmmaker.

Director: Göran Olsson | Stars: Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Abiodun Oyewole

Votes: 1,697 | Gross: $0.26M

41. Rubble Kings (2010)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary, Biography, History

62 Metascore

Through archival footage Nicholson tells the story of the real Warriors that walked the streets of New York City in the 1970s and the harsh reality of gang life in a city that seemed to be falling apart.

Director: Shan Nicholson | Star: Lloyd Murphy

Votes: 1,035

42. Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this film examines the conditions that have lead to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles.

Director: Stacy Peralta | Stars: Jim Brown, Tony Muhammad, Kershaun Scott, Forest Whitaker

Votes: 2,587 | Gross: $0.07M

43. Bastards of the Party (2005)

95 min | Documentary

Surrounded by death and the brutal lifestyle that feeds it, a Los Angeles gangbanger explores the history of Southern California street gangs from the 1950s through the 1990s in an attempt ... See full summary »

Director: Cle Sloan | Stars: Daryl Gates, Fred Hampton, Joe Hicks, Ericka Huggins

Votes: 500

44. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

73 Metascore

A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Joe Cairo, David Carlo

Votes: 7,260 | Gross: $1.25M