Great Documentaries.

by Phillrenteria | created - 28 Jul 2015 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

These are documentaries I've seen that I liked enough to honor in this list.

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1. Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (2017)

TV-14 | 95 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

The trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, and raised important questions about how big money can silence media. This film is an ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Knappenberger | Stars: Nick Denton, Hulk Hogan, Donald Trump, James G Wright

Votes: 3,263

2. Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back (1967)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez

Votes: 7,874

3. Hearts and Minds (1974)

R | 112 min | Documentary, History, War

68 Metascore

An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War.

Director: Peter Davis | Stars: Tin Chan, Chau Diem, Ngo Dinh Diem, John Foster Dulles

Votes: 5,049 | Gross: $0.03M

4. Double Headed Eagle: Hitler's Rise to Power 1918-1933 (1973)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

Lutz Becker lets newsreels, home movies and other archive footage tell the tale of Hitler's rise to power after WWI.

Director: Lutz Becker | Stars: Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler, Buster Keaton, Josephine Baker

Votes: 109

5. Imagine: John Lennon (1988)

R | 100 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A biography of the rock music star.

Director: Andrew Solt | Stars: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, George Harrison

Votes: 4,321 | Gross: $3.75M

6. For All Mankind (1989)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, History

An in-depth look at various NASA moon landing missions, starting with Apollo 8.

Director: Al Reinert | Stars: Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly, Russell Schweickart, Eugene Cernan

Votes: 4,789 | Gross: $0.77M

7. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay city supervisor.

Director: Rob Epstein | Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg, Tory Hartmann

Votes: 5,324 | Gross: $0.01M

8. A Brief History of Time (1991)

G | 80 min | Documentary, Biography

78 Metascore

A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, was one of the great minds of all time.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Stephen Hawking, Isobel Hawking, Janet Humphrey, Mary Hawking

Votes: 4,920 | Gross: $2.28M

9. The Civil War (1990)

TV-14 | 680 min | Documentary, History, War

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris, Jason Robards

Votes: 12,167

10. The West (1996)

537 min | Documentary, History, War

Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.

Stars: Peter Coyote, N. Scott Momaday, Murphy Guyer, John Trudell

Votes: 1,649

11. America Undercover (1983– )
Episode: Looking for Fidel (2004)

TV-MA | 57 min | Documentary

Oliver Stone's second documentary on/interview with Fidel Castro specifically addresses his country's recent crackdown on Cuban dissidents; namely, the execution of three men who hijacked a ferry to the United States.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Jimmy Carter, James Cason, Fidel Castro, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

Votes: 356

12. Jonestown: Paradise Lost (2007 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 100 min | Documentary, History

Cult leader Jim Jones leads his followers to a mass-suicide.

Director: Tim Wolochatiuk | Stars: Ted Biggs, Stephan Jones, Vernon Gosney, Tim Reiterman

Votes: 918

13. The War (2007)

TV-14 | 124 min | Documentary, History, War

A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families.

Stars: Keith David, Katharine Phillips, Tom Hanks, Paul Fussell

Votes: 4,399

14. Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009)

312 min | Documentary, History, War

Apocalypse: The Second World War(2009) is a six-part French documentary about the Second World War. The documentary is composed exclusively of actual footage of the war as filmed by war ... See full summary »

Stars: Mathieu Kassovitz, Martin Sheen

Votes: 8,040

15. The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006)

PG-13 | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

64 Metascore

A documentary on the life of John Lennon, with a focus on the time in his life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist.

Directors: David Leaf, John Scheinfeld | Stars: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stew Albert, Tariq Ali

Votes: 5,199 | Gross: $1.10M

16. World War II in Colour (2009– )

65 min | Documentary, War

Recounts the events of world War II in color.

Stars: Robert Powell, Erich von Manstein, Mamoru Shigemitsu

Votes: 3,918

17. South of the Border (2009)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

45 Metascore

A road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Tariq Ali, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Hugo Chávez

Votes: 2,757 | Gross: $0.17M

18. Third Reich: The Rise & Fall (2010– )

180 min | Documentary, History, War

THIRD REICH: THE RISE & FALL tells the story of Hitler's Germany through rarely seen films of the people who were there. Immersive and evocative, it takes viewers inside the Germany of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Tony Call, Dan Bittner, Geoffrey Cantor, Eliza Foss

Votes: 926

19. 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: 9,944

20. Prohibition (2011– )

360 min | Documentary, History

The story of the American activist struggle against the influence of alcohol, climaxing in the failed early 20th century nationwide era when it was banned.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Pete Hamill, Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Michael Lerner

Votes: 2,553

21. 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: 1,695 | Gross: $0.26M

22. Room 237 (I) (2012)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

An exploration of various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's horror film, The Shining (1980).

Director: Rodney Ascher | Stars: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan

Votes: 20,145 | Gross: $0.26M

23. The Untold History of the United States (2012–2013)

58 min | Documentary, History, War

Oliver Stone's re-examination of under-reported events in American history.

Stars: Oliver Stone, Alan Shearman, Jim Ward, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 7,422

24. The Central Park Five (2012)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History

79 Metascore

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon | Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana

Votes: 6,502 | Gross: $0.27M

25. The Square (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, News

84 Metascore

A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Director: Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Ahmed Hassan, Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour, Ramy Essam

Votes: 8,225 | Gross: $0.12M

26. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: United States of Secrets (Part One): The Program (2014)

TV-PG | 114 min | Documentary

From PBS and Frontline: Last year Edward Snowden downloaded tens of thousands of top-secret documents from a highly secure government computer network. The revelations that followed touched... See full summary »

Director: Michael Kirk | Stars: Will Lyman, Thomas Drake, Barton Gellman, Peter Baker

Votes: 236

27. History of the Eagles (2013– )

Not Rated | 187 min | Documentary

The life and times of the super successful American soft-rock band, Eagles.

Stars: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Don Felder, Joe Walsh

Votes: 2,309

28. American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (2013)

82 min | Documentary, Biography

78 Metascore

Grace Lee Boggs is an activist and philosopher in Detroit who has dedicated her life to the next American Revolution and the possibility of a better, more just future for all of humanity. ... See full summary »

Director: Grace Lee | Stars: Grace Lee Boggs, Danny Glover, Bill Ayers, James Boggs

Votes: 111

29. Frontline (1983– )
Episode: United States of Secrets (Part Two): Privacy Lost (2014)

TV-PG | 54 min | Documentary

From PBS and Frontline: In Part Two of United States of Secrets, FRONTLINE explores the role of Silicon Valley in the National Security Agency's dragnet. As big technology companies ... See full summary »

Stars: Will Lyman, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Ron Wyden

Votes: 175

30. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin' (2013)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

Add a Plot

Director: Bob Smeaton | Stars: Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, Al Hendrix

Votes: 404

31. 14 Tagebücher des Ersten Weltkriegs (2014)

52 min | Drama, History, War

100 years after its outbreak, this series lets viewers experience WWI solely through the eyes of those who lived it.

Stars: Udo Samel, George Morris, Claudia Besso, Mark Camacho

Votes: 220

32. No No: A Dockumentary (2014)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

68 Metascore

The life and times of major league pitcher Doc Ellis are explored in this revealing documentary.

Director: Jeffrey Radice | Stars: Larry Demery, Dock Ellis, Ron Howard

Votes: 1,395

33. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014– )

TV-14 | 795 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, George Will, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Votes: 1,902

34. Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)

TV-14 | 74 min | Documentary, Biography, History

72 Metascore

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas' 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty ... See full summary »

Director: One9 | Stars: Nas, Cornel West, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz

Votes: 2,578 | Gross: $0.11M

35. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary, History

79 Metascore

This documentary tells the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the 20th century's most alluring and controversial organizations that captivated the world's attention for nearly 50 years.

Director: Stanley Nelson | Stars: Blair Anderson, Omar Barbour, Julian Bond, Elaine Brown

Votes: 1,594 | Gross: $0.48M

36. Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary looking at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Spanky Taylor, David Miscavige

Votes: 35,215

37. Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal (2015)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Biography, History

77 Metascore

A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley.

Directors: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville | Stars: Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Dick Cavett, Noam Chomsky

Votes: 5,655 | Gross: $0.89M

38. Cartel Land (2015)

R | 100 min | Documentary, News

76 Metascore

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman examines the state of the ongoing drug problem along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Director: Matthew Heineman | Stars: Tim Nailer Foley, José Manuel 'El Doctor' Mireles, Paco Valencia, Chaneque

Votes: 17,121 | Gross: $0.70M

39. Hip-Hop Evolution (2016– )

TV-MA | 90 min | Documentary, Music

MC and journalist Shad Kabango meets with Hip-Hop's biggest stars to retrace how Hip-Hop became the world's most popular music, but realizes that Hip-Hop's true legacy is something much more profound.

Stars: Shad, LL Cool J, Alonzo Williams, Melle Mel

Votes: 4,013

40. Mifune: The Last Samurai (2015)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography

64 Metascore

A feature-length documentary about the life and films of legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, weaving together film clips, archival stills, and interviews with such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Narrated by Keanu Reeves.

Director: Steven Okazaki | Stars: Wataru Akashi, Kyôko Kagawa, Takeshi Katô, Hisao Kurosawa

Votes: 748 | Gross: $0.06M

41. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016)

Unrated | 106 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A compilation of found footage featuring music, interviews, and stories of The Beatles' 250 concerts from 1963 to 1966.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: The Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney

Votes: 10,255 | Gross: $2.93M

42. Five Came Back (2017)

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

The wartime contributions of five prominent Hollywood film directors during World War II are profiled.

Stars: Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, Lawrence Kasdan

Votes: 3,100

43. Andre the Giant (2018 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 85 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

A look at the life and career of professional wrestler André Roussimoff, who gained notoriety in the 1980s as Andre the Giant.

Director: Jason Hehir | Stars: Cary Elwes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal

Votes: 4,864

44. The Vietnam War (2017)

TV-MA | 990 min | Documentary, History, War

A comprehensive history of the United States' involvement in the bitterly divisive armed conflict in Southeast Asia.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Huy Duc, Duong Van Mai Elliott, James Willbanks

Votes: 15,401

45. Elvis Presley: The Searcher (2018)

TV-PG | 205 min | Documentary

Elvis Presley's evolution as a musician and a man.

Director: Thom Zimny | Stars: Steve Allen, Ann-Margret, Chet Atkins, Chris Bearde

Votes: 1,105

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

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography