Documentaries to Watch

by montanafilmmaker | created - 22 Feb 2014 | updated - 13 Oct 2015 | Public

Highly rated and recommended documentaries to see.

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1. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, History

89 Metascore

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".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 49,952 | Gross: $2.96M

2. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Crime, News

82 Metascore

Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg, Christopher Beiring

Votes: 14,008 | Gross: $0.27M

3. Narco Cultura (2013)

R | 103 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco traffickers have become iconic outlaws and the new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto ... See full summary »

Director: Shaul Schwarz

Votes: 2,323 | Gross: $0.14M

On DVD: Feb 25, 2014

4. The Iran Job (2012)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Sport

67 Metascore

A documentary that follows one year in the life of American pro basketball player Kevin Sheppard, who signed on to play for the upstart Iranian Super League team A.S. Shiraz.

Director: Till Schauder | Stars: Kevin Sheppard, Eunice Sheppard, Leah Sheppard, Gholam Reza Khajeh

Votes: 568 | Gross: $0.02M

5. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

R | 130 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, John 'FuzzFace' McMahon, Alex Gibney

Votes: 7,203 | Gross: $0.16M

6. This Is Not a Film (2011)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

90 Metascore

It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Directors: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi | Stars: Jafar Panahi, Igi, Mrs. Gheirat, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Votes: 4,379 | Gross: $0.08M

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

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography

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: 33,515 | Gross: $0.68M

8. Tabloid (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

74 Metascore

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw

Votes: 6,305 | Gross: $0.68M

9. Senna (2010)

PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

79 Metascore

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams, Ron Dennis

Votes: 56,523 | Gross: $1.61M

10. Into the Abyss (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall

Votes: 15,054 | Gross: $0.22M

11. Teenage Paparazzo (2010)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary

A documentary that examines the relationship between celebrity and society.

Director: Adrian Grenier | Stars: Med Abrous, Alec Baldwin, Nicholas Barber, Blair Berk

Votes: 2,014

12. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

84 Metascore

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 45,653 | Gross: $0.87M

13. The Human Experience (2008)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary

The story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Francis Kinnane | Stars: Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo, Matthew Sanchez

Votes: 905

14. Brooklyn Castle (2012)

PG | 101 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school's champion chess team.

Director: Katie Dellamaggiore | Stars: Je'Daiah Ballantyne, Michelle Ballantyne, Rochelle Ballantyne, Pamela Ballard

Votes: 873 | Gross: $0.22M

15. 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: 30,025

16. Restrepo (2010)

R | 93 min | Documentary, War

85 Metascore

A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan.

Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger | Stars: The Men of Battle Company 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Juan 'Doc Restrepo, Dan Kearney, LaMonta Caldwell

Votes: 21,063 | Gross: $1.33M

17. 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: 59,489 | Gross: $3.97M

18. The Gatekeepers (2012)

PG-13 | 101 min | Documentary, History, War

91 Metascore

A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

Director: Dror Moreh | Stars: Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom, Avi Dichter, Yaakov Peri

Votes: 5,269 | Gross: $2.42M

19. The Interrupters (2011)

Unrated | 125 min | Documentary, Crime

86 Metascore

A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Tio Hardiman, Ameena Matthews, Toya Batey, Cobe Williams

Votes: 3,337 | Gross: $0.28M

20. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

98 Metascore

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 22,629 | Gross: $7.83M

21. The Law in These Parts (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History

Can justice truly be served in the occupied territories given the current system of law administered by Israel for Palestinians?

Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

Votes: 345

22. My Country, My Country (2006)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

Documentary by Oscar winner Laura Poitras about the war in Iraq.

Director: Laura Poitras

Votes: 260

23. The Oath (2010)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

Tells the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Director: Laura Poitras | Stars: Osama bin Laden, Salim Hamdan, Abu Jandal, Troy Lebane

Votes: 759 | Gross: $0.04M

24. 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: 5,749



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