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Top Ten Documentaries

Hoop Dreams​
Hoop Dreams​

Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and Simon Schumann, and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

The Thin Blue ​Line​
The Thin Blue ​Line​

The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 American documentary film by Errol Morris, depicting the story of Randall Dale Adams, a man convicted and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Adams' case was reviewed, and he was released from prison approximately a year after the film's release.

image: lifehack.org
The Act of ​Killing​
The Act of ​Killing​

The Act of Killing (Indonesian: Jagal, meaning "Butcher") is a 2012 documentary film about individuals who participated in the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66. The film is directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn and an anonymous Indonesian.

Man on Wire​
Man on Wire​

Documentary chronicling Frenchman Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers in New York. Documentary chronicling Frenchman Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers in New York.

Capturing the ​Friedmans​
Capturing the ​Friedmans​

Capturing the Friedmans is a 2003 HBO documentary film directed by Andrew Jarecki. It focuses on the 1980s investigation of Arnold and Jesse Friedman for child molestation. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2003.

Crumb​
Crumb​

Crumb (film) Crumb is a 1994 documentary film about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb (R. Crumb) and his family. Directed by Terry Zwigoff and produced by Lynn O'Donnell, it won widespread acclaim. It was released in the USA on April 28, 1995, having been screened at film festivals the previous year.

Blackfish​
Blackfish​

Blackfish is a 2013 American documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. It concerns Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld and the controversy over captive killer whales. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2013, and was picked up by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films for wider release.

Grizzly Man​
Grizzly Man​

Grizzly Man is a 2005 American documentary film by German director Werner Herzog. It chronicles the life and death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell.

The Fog of ​War​
The Fog of ​War​

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a 2003 American documentary film about the life and times of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara illustrating his observations of the nature of modern warfare.

Bowling for ​Columbine​
Bowling for ​Columbine​

Bowling for Columbine is a 2002 American documentary film written, produced, directed, and narrated by Michael Moore. The film explores what Moore suggests are the primary causes for the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and other acts of violence with guns.

Grey Gardens​
Grey Gardens​

In retrospect, Grey Gardens – especially with its long afterlife of Tony-nominated musicals, Little Edie’s own (terrible) cabaret revue in 1978, and a 2009 HBO movie starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange – does seem to bid adieu to the golden age of 60s documentary that come into being after the introduction of cheaper and more portable cameras around 1960, and the simultaneous solidification of the ideas behind direct-cinema and cinema-verite.

The Imposter​
The Imposter​

The Imposter is a 2012 British-American documentary film about the 1997 case of the French confidence trickster Frédéric Bourdin, who impersonated Nicholas Barclay, a Texas boy who disappeared at the age of 13 in 1994.

Harlan ​County, USA​
Harlan ​County, USA​

Harlan County, USA is a 1976 Oscar-winning documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike", an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky in 1973.

image: pbs.org
Dear Zachary: ​A Letter to a Son About His Father​
Dear Zachary: ​A Letter to a Son About His Father​

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is a 2008 American documentary conceived and created by Kurt Kuenne. Kuenne's close friend Andrew Bagby was murdered by Shirley Jane Turner after Bagby ended their tumultuous relationship.

Super Size ​Me​
Super Size ​Me​

Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003, during which he ate only McDonald's food.

Exit Through ​the Gift Shop​
Exit Through ​the Gift Shop​

Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film is a 2010 British documentary film, directed by street artist Banksy. It tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art.

I Am Not Your ​Negro​
I Am Not Your ​Negro​

I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history.

O.J.: Made in ​America​
O.J.: Made in ​America​

O.J.: Made in America TV-MA | 7h 47min | Documentary, Biography, Crime | 4 August 2016 (Spain) A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.

source: imdb.com
The King of ​Kong​
The King of ​Kong​

Though this geeky arcade fighting flick may remain an acquired taste, The King of Kong feels like one of the more entertaining documentaries to emerge in years.

source: imdb.com
The Cove​
The Cove​

The Cove is a 2009 documentary film directed by Louie Psihoyos which analyzes and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan. It was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010.

image: youtube.com
When We ​Were Kings​
When We ​Were Kings​

When We Were Kings is more than just a documentary covering the match and Muhammad Ali’s fighting style. It also focuses on Ali’s persona and resolve. He was the heavyweight champion when the USA were fighting in Vietnam.

image: obriens.no
13th​
13th​

(film) 13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States;" it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime).

Jiro Dreams ​of Sushi​
Jiro Dreams ​of Sushi​

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a 2011 American documentary film directed by David Gelb. The film follows Jiro Ono (小野 二郎, Ono Jirō), an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant. Sukiyabashi Jiro is a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station.

image: jpninfo.com
Citizenfour​
Citizenfour​

The film follows award-winning documentary maker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald as they receive unprecedented access to Snowden and classified evidence of the government’s spying. The events covered in Citizenfour occur over an intense eight-day period in a Hong Kong hotel room in 2013.

Icarus​
Icarus​

Icarus: A Doping House of Cards Tumbles Down. In the new Netflix documentary, a filmmaker accidentally captures how one of the biggest scandals in sporting history came to light.

Stories We ​Tell​
Stories We ​Tell​

Sarah collected all the stories first. She went through all the period footage she had available. After that, she hired actors to recreate and reenact bits filmed on 8mm to complete the missing period footage. This explains why there is always "proof" of all the raconteurs stories. It works rather as flashbacks to place us in situation. Excellently done.

source: imdb.com
Kurt Cobain: ​Montage of Heck​
Kurt Cobain: ​Montage of Heck​

What Mr. Cobain deserves is a documentary that includes parts of the terrible film Morgen made but include the whole picture, his adolescence, his early years in forming a band, his time with The Melvins, how he created NIRVANA, the changes the band went through before becoming the band we know today.

source: imdb.com
image: collider.com
Jesus Camp​
Jesus Camp​

The controversial 2006 documentary about an evangelical church camp outraged secular audiences, but its subjects have mixed memories

How to ​Survive a Plague​
How to ​Survive a Plague​

The definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic—from the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE A riveting, powerful telling of the story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease.

Koyaanisqatsi​
Koyaanisqatsi​

Koyaanisqatsi (English: / k oʊ j ɑː n ɪ s ˈ k ɑː t s iː /), also known as Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 American experimental film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke.

Food, Inc
Food, Inc

Watch Food, Inc. (2008) online. Documentary providing an insight into the American food industry and how food is produced, unveiling uncomfortable facts regarding the production chain.

Fahrenheit ​9/11​
Fahrenheit ​9/11​

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a highly acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Michael Moore that critically examines George W. Bush’s presidency, the War on Terror, and the media coverage after September 11. Moore argues that the Bush Administration capitalised on the tragedy to push its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while the American media acted mindlessly supportive and failed to ...

image: porkrind.org
Searching for ​Sugar Man​
Searching for ​Sugar Man​

Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 Swedish–British–Finnish documentary film, about a South African cultural phenomenon, directed and written by Malik Bendjelloul which details the efforts in the late 1990s of two Cape Town fans, Stephen "Sugar" Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and if not, to discover what had become of him.

Shoah​
Shoah​

Shoah is a 1985 French documentary film about the Holocaust, directed by Claude Lanzmann. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann's interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps.

image: toptenz.net
Enron: The ​Smartest Guys in the Room​
Enron: The ​Smartest Guys in the Room​

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room tells the inside story of the spectacular rise and fall of one of the most scandal-ridden corporations in American history. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this film takes a look at the collapse of the once seventh-largest company in the United States, where executives misappropriated billions of dollars, leaving investors scrambling and ruining the life-savings of thousands of employees.

image: libcom.org
The Gleaners ​and I​
The Gleaners ​and I​

The Gleaners and I (French: Les glaneurs et la glaneuse; "The gleaners and the female gleaner", a reference to the director herself) is a 2000 French documentary film by Agnès Varda that features various kinds of gleaning.

The Look of ​Silence​
The Look of ​Silence​

The Look of Silence (Indonesian: Senyap, "Silence") is a 2014 internationally co-produced documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer about the Indonesian killings of 1965–66. The film is a companion piece to Oppenheimer's 2012 documentary The Act of Killing.

Casting ​JonBenet​
Casting ​JonBenet​

Casting JonBenét is not your typical true crime documentary du jour. Rather, it serves as a contrast to the numerous programs devoted to the villainy that aired on CBS, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime and Dr. Phil last year.

source: usatoday.com
Man With a ​Movie Camera​
Man With a ​Movie Camera​

Man with a Movie Camera (Russian: Человек с кино-аппаратом (Chelovek s kinoapparatom), Ukrainian: Людина з кіноапаратом (Liudyna z Kinoaparatom) – sometimes called A Man with a Movie Camera, The Man with the Movie Camera, The Man with a Camera, The Man with the Kinocamera, or Living Russia) – is an experimental 1929 Soviet silent documentary film, directed by Dziga Vertov and edited by his wife Elizaveta Svilova.

Faces Places​
Faces Places​

TheWrap's Best & Worst 2017: Critic Alonso Duralde picks the nonfiction films that made the world came alive this year

source: thewrap.com
Weiner​
Weiner​

Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner's catastrophic race for Mayor of New York City in 2013 is detailed in this behind-the-scenes documentary. Weiner became embroiled in his second widely publicized sexting scandal during the race, derailing his once-promising political career.

image: collider.com
Roger & Me​
Roger & Me​

Roger (/ˈrɒdʒər/, /ˈroʊdʒər/)[1] is a masculine given name and a surname. The given name is derived from the Old French personal names Roger and Rogier. These names are of Germanic origin, derived from the elements hrōd ("fame", "renown") and gār, gēr ("spear", "lance").

Paradise Lost: ​The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills​
Paradise Lost: ​The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills​

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is a 1996 American documentary film directed, produced and edited by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about the trials of the West Memphis Three, three teenage boys accused of the May 1993 murders and sexual mutilation of three prepubescent boys as a part of an alleged satanic ritual in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Jim & Andy: ​The Great Beyond​
Jim & Andy: ​The Great Beyond​

Michigan supposedly offered 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh a $42 million contract, which would him the highest-paid coach in the NCAA.

Salesman​
Salesman​

Documentary | Comedy | Drama 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7 / 10 x 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.

source: imdb.com
image: ifc.com
Cartel Land​
Cartel Land​

Cartel Land is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Matthew Heineman about the Mexican Drug War, especially vigilante groups fighting Mexican drug cartels. The film focuses on Tim "Nailer" Foley, the leader of Arizona Border Recon, and Dr José Mireles, a Michoacán-based physician who leads the Autodefensas.

image: movies.com
Inside Job​
Inside Job​

All in all, Inside Job is a well-argued and comprehensive critique of the factors leading to the financial crisis. The director has done a masterful job of explaining things in a simplified manner. It is an eye-opener and will leave you enthralled, fascinated and infuriated.

The Central ​Park Five​
The Central ​Park Five​

The Central Park Five is a 2012 documentary film about the Central Park jogger case, directed by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns, and her husband David McMahon. It was released in the US on November 23, 2012.

Bob Dylan: ​Dont Look Back​
Bob Dylan: ​Dont Look Back​

A classic documentary film that captures Bob Dylan as her transforms from folk prophet to rock trendsetter. Filmed during a British tour in 1965, the documentary employs a vérité style that was, and is, a great fit with Dylan’s persona.

image: sordc.com
Waltz With ​Bashir​
Waltz With ​Bashir​

Waltz with Bashir (Hebrew: ואלס עם באשיר ‎, translit. Vals Im Bashir) is a 2008 Israeli animated war documentary film written and directed by Ari Folman. It depicts Folman in search of his lost memories of his experience as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War.

image: topnews.in