Gregor's Top 50 Documentary

by Movie-Mate | created - 09 Nov 2013 | updated - 4 months ago | Public
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1. Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood (2010– )

Documentary, History

The history of Hollywood film from the medium's invention to the birth of the New Hollywood in 1970.

Stars: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Selznick, Gregory Orr, Samuel Goldwyn Jr.

Votes: 329

2. 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: 31,835 | Gross: $0.49M

3. The American Nightmare (2000)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Horror

An examination into the nature of 1960s-'70s horror films, the artists involved, and how they reflected contemporary society.

Director: Adam Simon | Stars: George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Tom Savini, David Cronenberg

Votes: 1,754

4. 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: 30,407 | Gross: $2.67M

5. 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: 17,155 | Gross: $3.17M

6. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Follows the routines of those employed at Studio Ghibli, including filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki as they work to release two films simultaneously, The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

Director: Mami Sunada | Stars: Hayao Miyazaki, Yumiko Miyoshi, Toshio Suzuki, Shinsuke Nonaka

Votes: 4,381

7. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R | 96 min | Documentary

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, George Lucas

Votes: 17,217 | Gross: $1.32M

8. 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: 7,229

9. Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

R | 128 min | Documentary

69 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore examines the current state of American politics, particularly the Donald Trump presidency and gun violence, while highlighting the power of grassroots democratic movements.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Jim Acosta, Roger Ailes, Brooke Baldwin, Ashleigh Banfield

Votes: 13,915 | Gross: $6.35M

10. The Red Pill (2016)

TV-14 | 108 min | Documentary

The Red Pill chronicles filmmaker Cassie Jaye's journey following the mysterious and polarizing Men's Rights Movement. The Red Pill explores today's gender war and asks the question "what is the future of gender equality?"

Director: Cassie Jaye | Stars: Cassie Jaye, Paul Elam, Attila Vinczer, Dean Esmay

Votes: 9,123

11. Bowling for Columbine (2002)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Salvador Allende

Votes: 135,875 | Gross: $21.24M

12. 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: 4,985 | Gross: $0.03M

13. Crazy Horse (2011)

Not Rated | 134 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

A look inside Paris' Crazy Horse, a club that boasts the greatest and most chic nude dancing in the world.

Director: Frederick Wiseman | Stars: Philippe Decouflé, Naamah Alva, Daizy Blu, Philippe Katerine

Votes: 683 | Gross: $0.16M

14. Side by Side (2012)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation.

Director: Christopher Kenneally | Stars: Derek Ambrosi, Michael Ballhaus, Andrzej Bartkowiak, Dion Beebe

Votes: 12,589 | Gross: $0.03M

15. 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: 4,455

16. A Letter to Elia (2010)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

A documentary on the late Elia Kazan.

Directors: Kent Jones, Martin Scorsese | Stars: Martin Scorsese, Elia Kazan, Elias Koteas

Votes: 812

17. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

PG | 81 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

Director: David Gelb | Stars: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Daisuke Nakazama

Votes: 31,296 | Gross: $2.55M

18. Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010 Video)

Not Rated | 239 min | Documentary, Horror

Explore the origins of "dream demon" Freddy Krueger in this award-winning documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the most frightening and imaginative horror franchise in motion picture history!

Directors: Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Stacey Alden, Erika Anderson, Marshall Bell

Votes: 3,830

19. Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013 Video)

Not Rated | 400 min | Documentary, Horror

A chronicle of the history of the Friday the 13th franchise.

Director: Daniel Farrands | Stars: Corey Feldman, Peter M. Bracke, Samantha Delutri, Kimberly Higgins

Votes: 1,630

20. Jackie Chan: My Story (1998 Video)

PG-13 | 74 min | Documentary

About Jackie Chan is written and filmed very much. A living legend, a unique creative personality, one of the biggest movie stars in the history of cinema, a man whose enthusiastic love for... See full summary »

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Charles Chan, Stanley Tong

Votes: 598

21. Jackie Chan: My Stunts (1999 Video)

94 min | Documentary

A documentary where Jackie Chan and his stuntman team show you the secrets of some of the great stunts they do in films. The film also takes you on the sets of "Who Am I?" and "Rush Hour".

Directors: Jackie Chan, Xavier Lee | Stars: Jackie Chan, Ken Lo, Bradley James Allan, Anthony Carpio

Votes: 1,048

22. Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Not Rated | 142 min | Documentary, Biography

The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

Director: Jan Harlan | Stars: Katharina Kubrick, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Kubrick, Barbara Kroner

Votes: 9,462

23. James Dean: Forever Young (2005)

PG | 88 min | Documentary

Documentary of the brief but memorable career of the now iconic James Dean. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film focuses much attention on his early work for television, and utilizes a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael J. Sheridan | Stars: Martin Sheen, Corey Allen, Pier Angeli, Ed Begley

Votes: 230

24. Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011)

R | 95 min | Documentary

A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.

Director: Alex Stapleton | Stars: Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Paul W.S. Anderson

Votes: 2,095 | Gross: $0.01M

25. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Unrated | 98 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Kirby Dick's exposé about the American movie ratings board.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Kirby Dick, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan

Votes: 26,878 | Gross: $0.30M

26. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

R | 122 min | Documentary, Drama, War

67 Metascore

Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Stevie Wonder

Votes: 123,190 | Gross: $119.19M

27. Citizenfour (2014)

R | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, News

88 Metascore

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Director: Laura Poitras | Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum

Votes: 48,920 | Gross: $2.80M

28. Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight - The Road to Gotham City (2005 Video)

18 min | Documentary, Short

A look at how the Batman franchise was revived by the film Batman (1989).

Director: Constantine Nasr | Stars: Peter Guber, Michael E. Uslan, Mark Canton, Stan Lee

Votes: 81

Part 1-6

29. Masters of Horror (2002 TV Movie)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary

More clips from horror movies, plus interviews with other horror legends.

Directors: Mike Mendez, Dave Parker | Stars: Dario Argento, Bruce Campbell, John Carpenter, Wes Craven

Votes: 496

30. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 15,126 | Gross: $0.67M

31. Shut Up & Sing (2006)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the Dixie Chicks in the wake of singer Natalie Maines' anti-George W. Bush statement at a 2003 concert.

Directors: Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck | Stars: Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, Clayton Allen

Votes: 4,642 | Gross: $1.22M

33. The Directors (1997– )
Episode: The Films of David Cronenberg (1999)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Biography

Add a Plot

Director: Robert J. Emery | Stars: Brooke Adams, Marilyn Chambers, David Cronenberg, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 33

34. Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade (2004 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 89 min | Documentary

Spattered with blood and controversy, Sam Peckinpah's Westerns revolutionized their genre. SAM PECKINPAH'S WEST: LEGACY OF A HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE goes in search of the man behind these ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Thurman | Stars: Sam Peckinpah, Kris Kristofferson, Fern Lea Peter, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 242

35. The Pixar Story (2007)

G | 87 min | Documentary

A look at the first years of Pixar Animation Studios - from the success of "Toy Story" and Pixar's promotion of talented people, to the building of its East Bay campus, the company's ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Iwerks | Stars: Stacy Keach, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, John Musker

Votes: 5,168

36. Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us (2005 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 56 min | Documentary

Directors Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discuss the science fiction movies of the 1950s that influenced them.

Director: Richard Schickel | Stars: Mark Hamill, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott

Votes: 385

37. Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days (2001 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography

Documentary about the moviestar's last months including her tumultuous love affairs, drug and alcohol dependency, depression and eventual firing from her final film, 20th Century Fox's "... See full summary »

Director: Patty Ivins Specht | Stars: James Coburn, Gene Allen, Steve Allen, Lauren Bacall

Votes: 710

38. Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993 TV Movie)

70 min | Documentary, Biography

Katharine Hepburn talks about her life from the start, through all her film years, her relationship with Spencer Tracy, and what she does with her time currently.

Director: David Heeley | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Dorothy Arzner, Lauren Bacall, John Beal

Votes: 491

39. My Best Fiend (1999)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography

70 Metascore

In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Justo González

Votes: 9,679 | Gross: $0.10M

40. Astaire and Rogers: Partners in Rhythm (2006 Video)

Documentary

A brief documentary looking at the much-beloved musical partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Director: Tara Tremaine | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ava Astaire-McKenzie, Richard Barrios, Pandro S. Berman

Votes: 27

41. Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)

95 min | Documentary, Biography

Documentary exploring the career of noted film directer William A. Wellman.

Director: Todd Robinson | Stars: Alec Baldwin, James Cagney, Mike Connors, Clint Eastwood

Votes: 191

42. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004)

Unrated | 78 min | Documentary

58 Metascore

Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Douglas Cheek, Walter Cronkite, Roger Ailes, Eric Alterman

Votes: 6,034 | Gross: $0.24M

43. 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: 7,749

44. All About Bette (1994 TV Movie)

48 min | Documentary, Biography

Add a Plot

Director: Susan F. Walker | Stars: Jodie Foster, Bette Davis

Votes: 336

45. 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year (2009 TV Movie)

TV-G | 69 min | Documentary

A look at the movies in the year 1939, considered by many to be one of the greatest years in film history.

Director: Constantine Nasr | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Leonard Maltin, Thomas Schatz, F.X. Feeney

Votes: 296

46. American Grindhouse (2010)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Action, Comedy

A documentary about the history of exploitation movies, from the silent movie era to the 1970s.

Director: Elijah Drenner | Stars: Robert Forster, Eric Schaefer, Eddie Muller, John Landis

Votes: 2,081 | Gross: $0.01M

47. Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (2009)

Unrated | 96 min | Documentary, Horror

An exploration of the appeal of horror films, with interviews of many legendary directors in the genre.

Director: Andrew Monument | Stars: Lance Henriksen, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, John Carpenter

Votes: 2,425

48. Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, History

A fast moving odyssey into the subterranean world of the rarely explored province of Filipino genre filmmaking.

Director: Mark Hartley | Stars: Roger Corman, John Landis, Pete Tombs, Mark Holcomb

Votes: 1,467