Best documentaries

by ivk1986 | created - 20 Feb 2017 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public
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1. 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: 937 | Gross: $0.58M

2. Nostalgia for the Light (2010)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A documentary about two different searches conducted in the Chilean Atacama Desert: one by astronomers looking for answers about the history of the cosmos, and one by women looking for the remains of loved ones killed by Pinochet's regime.

Director: Patricio Guzmán | Stars: Gaspar Galaz, Lautaro Núñez, Luís Henríquez, Miguel Lawner

Votes: 4,414

3. Sans Soleil (1983)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, Drama

A woman narrates the contemplative writings of a seasoned world traveler, focusing on contemporary Japan.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Florence Delay, Arielle Dombasle, Riyoko Ikeda, Charlotte Kerr

Votes: 8,646 | Gross: $0.03M

4. Frozen Planet (2011–2012)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

Focuses on life and the environment in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Stars: David Attenborough, Alec Baldwin, Chadden Hunter, Ted Giffords

Votes: 23,863

5. Planet Earth (2006)

TV-PG | 538 min | Documentary

Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, five years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition.

Stars: David Attenborough, Sigourney Weaver, Huw Cordey, Doug Allan

Votes: 155,038

6. Planet Earth II (2016)

TV-G | 298 min | Documentary

David Attenborough returns in this breathtaking documentary showcasing life on Planet Earth.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 82,008

7. Cosmos (2014–2020)

TV-PG | 557 min | Documentary

An exploration of our discovery of the laws of nature and coordinates in space and time.

Stars: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stoney Emshwiller, Piotr Michael, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 101,074

8. The Salt of the Earth (2014)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History

83 Metascore

The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.

Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders | Stars: Sebastião Salgado, Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Votes: 17,813 | Gross: $1.34M

9. Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance (2015)

100 min | Documentary, Biography

71 Metascore

Mr. Gaga tells the story of Ohad Naharin, renowned choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance.

Director: Tomer Heymann | Stars: Ohad Naharin, Tzofia Naharin, Olivia Ancona, Avi Belleli

Votes: 758 | Gross: $0.17M

10. 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: 50,216 | Gross: $2.96M

11. Africa (2013)

360 min | Documentary

Africa, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles and meet up with some of Africa's amazing wildlife.

Stars: David Attenborough, Simon Blakeney, James Aldred, Katrina Bartlam

Votes: 12,504

12. The Hunt (II) (2015)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary

The fascinating relationship between predators and their prey, and the strategies predators use to catch their food and prey use to escape death.

Stars: David Attenborough, Damien Boisseau

Votes: 3,292

13. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 20,448

14. 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: 34,809

15. Samsara (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Music

65 Metascore

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.

Director: Ron Fricke | Stars: Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi, Putu Dinda Pratika

Votes: 30,606 | Gross: $2.67M

16. Baraka (1992)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion.

Director: Ron Fricke

Votes: 33,903 | Gross: $1.33M

17. Human Planet (2011)

TV-PG | 50 min | Documentary

Like all life forms, humanity partially adapts to types of natural environment, yet also tends to change them. Each episode examines how life differs for men and nature in some type of ... See full summary »

Stars: John Hurt, Roger Munns

Votes: 21,650

18. Wild Russia (2008– )

TV-PG | 360 min | Documentary

An in-depth look at Russia's most natural wonders including Siberia, Kamchatka, the Artic, Caucasus, Primorye, and the Urals.

Stars: Christian Brückner, Jason Hildebrandt, Paterson Joseph, Hans Henrik Wöhler

Votes: 491

19. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio | Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel

Votes: 32,754 | Gross: $1.72M

20. George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)

Not Rated | 208 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr

Votes: 9,857

21. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

G | 90 min | Documentary, History

86 Metascore

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Jean Clottes, Julien Monney, Jean-Michel Geneste

Votes: 14,273 | Gross: $5.23M

22. Pina (2011)

PG | 103 min | Documentary, Music

83 Metascore

A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Pina Bausch, Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo, Ruth Amarante

Votes: 13,717 | Gross: $3.52M

23. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 11,589 | Gross: $1.60M

24. F for Fake (1973)

PG | 89 min | Documentary

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

Directors: Orson Welles, Gary Graver, Oja Kodar, François Reichenbach | Stars: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, François Reichenbach, Elmyr de Hory

Votes: 13,603

25. Gates of Heaven (1978)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Lucille Billingsley, Zella Graham, Cal Harberts, Dan Harberts

Votes: 5,134

26. Human (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 190 min | Documentary

A collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human.

Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand | Stars: Luis Cancu, Atman, Berthony, Bruno

Votes: 6,578

27. Under the Sun (2015)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

A propaganda documentary about North Korea that reveals a few hidden facts because the director continues filming between the scripted scenes.

Director: Vitaliy Manskiy | Stars: Lee Zin-Mi, Yu-Yong, Hye-Yong, Oh-Gyong

Votes: 4,012 | Gross: $0.07M

28. Blue Planet II (2017–2018)

TV-G | 364 min | Documentary

David Attenborough returns to the world's oceans in this sequel to the acclaimed documentary filming rare and unusual creatures of the deep, as well as documenting the problems our oceans face.

Stars: David Attenborough, Peter Drost, Roger Munns, François Morel

Votes: 25,116

29. Faces Places (2017)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

94 Metascore

Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

Directors: JR, Agnès Varda | Stars: Agnès Varda, JR, Jeannine Carpentier, Clemens Van Dungern

Votes: 9,004 | Gross: $0.95M

30. Jane (II) (2017)

PG | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

87 Metascore

The life and work of the renowned primatology scientist, Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Jane Goodall, Hugo Van Lawick, Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick

Votes: 3,397 | Gross: $1.72M

31. 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: 41,128 | Gross: $17.54M

32. 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary, Drama, Music

83 Metascore

Writer and musician Nick Cave marks his 20,000th day on the planet Earth.

Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard | Stars: Nick Cave, Susie Bick, Warren Ellis, Darian Leader

Votes: 10,349 | Gross: $0.28M

33. The Gleaners & I (2000)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

83 Metascore

Varda films and interviews gleaners in France in all forms, from those picking fields after the harvest to those scouring the dumpsters of Paris.

Director: Agnès Varda | Stars: François Wertheimer, Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski

Votes: 5,336 | Gross: $0.15M



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