100 Must See Documentaries

by djhybrid | created - 10 Oct 2016 | updated - 23 May 2017 | Public

100 Must See Documentaries

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1. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Sport

76 Metascore

Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team.

Director: Stacy Peralta | Stars: Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Jeff Ament

Votes: 12,411 | Gross: $1.29M

2. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Documentary, Crime

88 Metascore

Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Director: Charles Ferguson | Stars: Matt Damon, Gylfi Zoega, Andri Snær Magnason, Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Votes: 71,023 | Gross: $4.31M

3. America Unchained (2007)

75 min | Documentary

Dave Gorman attempts to travel coast to coast across America without giving any money to 'The Man' by avoiding large chains and multi-nationals and instead seeking out independent businesses in order to find the true spirit of the country.

Directors: Andy Devonshire, Stef. Wagstaffe | Stars: Dave Gorman, Stef. Wagstaffe, Andy Devonshire

Votes: 314

4. Music Nation (2014– )
Episode: Jungle Fever (2014)

Documentary

Charts the rise and fall of one of Britain's most vibrant, unforgettable scenes, featuring jungle veterans Fabio and Grooverider, DJ Hype, Kenny Ken, Brockie and more.

Director: Ollie Evans | Stars: Nicky Blackmarket, Clockwork, Andy Clockwork, Jungle Fever

5. Supermensch (2013)

R | 85 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

64 Metascore

The life and career of the legendary Hollywood insider, Shep Gordon.

Directors: Beth Aala, Mike Myers | Stars: Shep Gordon, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Alice Cooper

Votes: 3,176 | Gross: $0.21M

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

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

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: 34,970 | Gross: $0.68M

7. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

Following the style of some of the world's most prolific street artists, an amateur filmmaker makes a foray into the art world.

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 63,117 | Gross: $3.29M

8. The People vs. George Lucas (2010)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy

55 Metascore

An examination of the widespread fan disenchantment with George Lucas.

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe | Stars: Joe Nussbaum, Daryl Frazetti, Doug Jones, Damian Hess

Votes: 4,552

9. The Great Hip Hop Hoax (2013)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music

Scottish rappers Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain reinvent themselves as West Coast Homeboys after they were signed by Sony.

Director: Jeanie Finlay | Stars: Gavin Bain, Billy Boyd

Votes: 543

10. The Keepers (II) (2017)

TV-MA | 436 min | Documentary, Crime, Mystery

A seven-part docuseries about the unsolved murder of a nun and the horrific secrets and pain that linger nearly five decades after her death.

Stars: Gemma Hoskins, Abbie Schaub, Virginia Anzengruber, Jean Hargadon Wehner

Votes: 19,364

11. Making a Murderer (2015–2018)

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary, Crime

Filmed over a 10-year period, Steven Avery, a DNA exoneree who, while in the midst of exposing corruption in local law enforcement, finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.

Stars: Steven Avery, Dolores Avery, Laura Nirider, Kathleen Zellner

Votes: 88,453

12. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 20,348

13. The Money Masters (1996)

210 min | Documentary

The Money Masters is a 1996 documentary film that discusses the concepts of money, debt, taxes, and describes their development from biblical times onward.

Director: William T. Still | Star: William T. Still

Votes: 625

14. The Secret of Oz (2009)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, History

What's going on with the world's economy? Foreclosures are everywhere, unemployment is skyrocketing - and this may only be the beginning. Could it be that solutions to the world's economic ... See full summary »

Director: William T. Still | Stars: Andrew Nance, Brent Robinson, William T. Still

Votes: 235

15. More Than a Game (2008)

PG | 105 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

59 Metascore

This documentary follows NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his talented teammates through the trials and tribulations of high school basketball in Ohio and James' journey to fame.

Director: Kristopher Belman | Stars: LeBron James, Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton

Votes: 5,225 | Gross: $0.94M

16. Biggie and Tupac (2002)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

63 Metascore

Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.

Director: Nick Broomfield | Stars: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfield, Russell Poole

Votes: 4,606 | Gross: $0.09M

17. 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, Reginaldo Leme, John Bisignano, Neide Senna

Votes: 65,471 | Gross: $1.61M

18. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce

Votes: 41,360 | Gross: $3.23M

19. Super High Me (2007)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy

Stand up comedian and marijuana user Doug Benson documents thirty days of pot free living and thirty days of non-stop use to compare the effects of both.

Director: Michael Blieden | Stars: Brian Unger, Gary Cohan, Robert Gore, Sean Tabibian

Votes: 12,767

20. One Mile Away (2012)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary

This documentary produced by Rare Day and directed by award-winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock charts the attempts by two warring gangs in inner city Birmingham, the Burger Bar Boys (B21) and... See full summary »

Director: Penny Woolcock

Votes: 96

21. The Most Hated Family in America (2007 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary

Louis meets the Phelps family, who protest against an America that tolerates homosexuality

Director: Geoffrey O'Connor | Stars: Louis Theroux, Lauren Drain, Steve Drain, Fred Phelps

Votes: 4,348

22. Louis and the Nazis (2003 TV Movie)

70 min | Documentary

Louis Theroux travels to California to meet the man dubbed "the most dangerous racist in America"; Tom Metzger, his family and his publicity manager. Louis also meets 'Prussian Blue' an American white-nationalist preteen musical sibling duo.

Director: Stuart Cabb | Stars: Louis Theroux, April Gaede, Bill Gaede, Lamb Gaede

Votes: 1,920

23. Amy (III) (2015)

R | 128 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Russell Brand

Votes: 49,518 | Gross: $8.41M

24. American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

55 Metascore

Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.

Directors: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas | Stars: Bill Hicks, Dwight Slade, Mary Hicks, Steve Hicks

Votes: 4,779 | Gross: $0.09M

25. GasLand (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary

An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved.

Director: Josh Fox | Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger, Richard Nixon

Votes: 10,227 | Gross: $0.03M

26. Monsters Wanted (2013)

89 min | Documentary

A rare peek into an industry known for its macabre antics, Monsters Wanted follows Rich Teachout as he puts everything on the line to make his "scream park" a reality. There's nothing more terrifying thank following your dreams.

Directors: Brian Cunningham, Joe Laughrey | Stars: Richard Teachout, Janel Nash, Kenneth Schell, M. Shane Abell

Votes: 138

27. Through the Fire (2005)

103 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

65 Metascore

"Through the Fire" chronicles the journey of Coney Island basketball star, Sebastian Telfair, from famed Lincoln High School straight to the NBA.

Directors: Alistair Christopher, Jonathan Hock | Stars: Sebastian Telfair, Rick Pitino, Asher Beard, Nyan Boateng

Votes: 644 | Gross: $0.03M

28. The Man Who Souled the World (2007)

Documentary

THE MAN WHO SOULED THE WORLD tells the story of Steve Rocco, the irreverent genius who transformed the skateboard industry from corporate to skater owned with a do-it-yourself punk attitude... See full summary »

Director: Mike Hill | Stars: Jason 'Wee Man' Acuña, Celeste Baily, Cerina Leigh Baily, Larry Balma

Votes: 155

29. Presenting Princess Shaw (2015)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the collaborative relationship between New Orleans based songwriter/YouTube star Samantha Montgomery and composer/video artist Ophir Kutiel.

Director: Ido Haar | Stars: Kutiman, Samantha Montgomery

Votes: 543 | Gross: $0.06M

30. ESPN Films (2011–2021)
Episode: Unguarded (2011)

80 min | Documentary

The story of Chris Herren, a high school basketball star and NBA player; his career-long struggles with drug abuse; and his ultimate discovery of redemption and personal fulfillment through the game.

Director: Jonathan Hock

Votes: 21

31. I AM Hardwell Documentary (2013)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Music

Follow Hardwell on his journey to international super stardom, including his crowning as #1 DJ in the world!

Votes: 430

32. Sour Grapes (2016)

TV-14 | 85 min | Documentary

Documentary about the fine and rare wine auction market centering around a counterfeiter who befriended the rich and powerful and sold millions of dollars of fraudulent wine through the top auction houses.

Directors: Reuben Atlas, Jerry Rothwell | Stars: Laurent Ponsot, Jay McInerney, Jefery Levy, Maureen Downey

Votes: 5,134

33. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Adventure, History

67 Metascore

A famous prison escape sparks the idea for a cult-like race that has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary reveals the sports world's most guarded secret.

Directors: Annika Iltis, Timothy James Kane | Star: Lazarus Lake

Votes: 4,773

34. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Lee Scott, Don Hunter, Jon Hunter, Jeremy Hunter

Votes: 4,436

35. 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: 65,111 | Gross: $3.97M

36. The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)

87 min | Documentary, Comedy

71 Metascore

Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events.

Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno, Kurt Engfehr | Stars: Reggie Watts, Mike Bonanno, Andy Bichlbaum, Richard Ebeling

Votes: 5,127 | Gross: $0.19M

37. McLibel (2005)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

Directors: Ken Loach, Franny Armstrong | Stars: Helen Steel, Dave Morris, Bruce Alexander, Anita Anand

Votes: 2,066 | Gross: $0.00M

38. All This Mayhem (2014)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, Biography, History

All This Mayhem is a searing account of what happens when raw talent and extreme personalities collide. In this unflinching, never-before-seen account of drugs and the dark side of ... See full summary »

Director: Eddie Martin | Stars: Tas Pappas, Ben Pappas, Tommy Caudill, Lance Conklin

Votes: 3,178

39. When We Were Kings (1996)

PG | 88 min | Documentary, Sport

83 Metascore

A documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire, "The Rumble in the Jungle," between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali.

Director: Leon Gast | Stars: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King, James Brown

Votes: 15,593 | Gross: $2.67M

40. Gonzo (2008)

R | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

73 Metascore

A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Joe Cairo, David Carlo

Votes: 7,641 | Gross: $1.25M

41. Food Matters (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

Food Matters examines how the food we eat can help or hurt our health. Nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors, and journalists weigh in on such topics as organic food, food safety, raw foodism, and nutritional therapy.

Directors: James Colquhoun, Carlo Ledesma | Stars: Vicky Blewitt, Ian Brighthope, Jerome Burne, Phillip Day

Votes: 4,613

42. 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: 5,325

43. Sicko (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Documentary, Drama

74 Metascore

A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Tucker Albrizzi, Tony Benn, George W. Bush

Votes: 73,967 | Gross: $24.54M

44. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 45,975 | Gross: $0.89M

45. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (2011)

PG-13 | 88 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A behind-the-scenes look at the fans who gather by the thousands each year in San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con, the world's largest comic book convention.

Director: Morgan Spurlock | Stars: Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Eli Roth, Seth Rogen

Votes: 2,737 | Gross: $0.03M

46. 30 for 30 (2009– )
Episode: Once Brothers (2010)

TV-G | 79 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.4