The Top 50 Documentaries of All Time

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1

Hoop Dreams

1994    Steve James    Rated PG13

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

Held position in the past 45 days 0

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3

F for Fake

1973    Orson Welles    Not Rated

Avant-garde / Experimental    Biography    Con Artist / Hustler

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4

Stop Making Sense

1984    Jonathan Demme    Not Rated

Concert Film    Documentary    Music

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Down by 2 in the past 45 days 2

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6

Night and Fog

1955    Alain Resnais    Rated R

Documentary    Foreign Language Film    French New Wave

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7

The Last Waltz

1978    Martin Scorsese    Rated PG

Music    Concert Film    Biography

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8

The Thin Blue Line

1988    Errol Morris    Not Rated

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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10

Exit Through The Gift Shop

2010    Banksy    Rated R

Culture and Society    Documentary

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11

American Movie

1999    Chris Smith    Rated R

Biography    Documentary    Media Documentary

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12

The King of Kong

2007    Seth Gordon    Rated PG13

Biography    Culture and Society    Sports and Recreation

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13

Woodstock

1970    Michael Wadleigh    Rated R

Concert Film    Documentary    Music

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14

Grizzly Man

2005    Werner Herzog    Rated R

Animal Picture    Biography    Documentary

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15

Crumb

1994    Terry Zwigoff    Rated R

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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16

Man on Wire

2008    James Marsh    Rated PG13

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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17

Baraka

1993    Ron Fricke    Not Rated

Avant-garde / Experimental    Documentary

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19

The Fog of War

2003    Errol Morris    Rated PG13

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

Down by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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20

Dear Zachary

2008    Kurt Kuenne    Not Rated

Biography    Documentary    History

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22

Capturing the Friedmans

2003    Andrew Jarecki    Not Rated

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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23

Senna

2010    Asif Kapadia    Not Rated

Biography    Documentary    Sports and Recreation

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24

Roger & Me

1989    Michael Moore    Rated R

Culture and Society    Documentary    Social Issues

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26

Nanook of the North

1922    Robert J. Flaherty    Not Rated

Documentary    History    Silent Film

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27

Don't Look Back

1967    D.A. Pennebaker    Not Rated

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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28

Bowling For Columbine

2002    Michael Moore    Rated R

Culture and Society    Documentary    Law and Crime

Up by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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29

Sans Soleil

1983    Chris Marker    Not Rated

Avant-garde / Experimental    Culture and Society    Documentary

Up by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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30

Gates of Heaven

1978    Errol Morris    Rated PG

Culture and Society    Documentary

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31

Harlan County U.S.A.

1976    Barbara Kopple    Rated PG

Americana    Biography    Documentary

Down by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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32

The Times of Harvey Milk

1984    Rob Epstein    Not Rated

Biography    Documentary    History

Down by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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33

Spellbound

2002    Jeffrey Blitz    Rated G

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

Up by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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34

The Cove

2009    Louie Psihoyos    Rated PG13

Documentary

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35

Burden of Dreams

1982    Les Blank    Not Rated

Biography    Documentary    Media Documentary

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36

No Direction Home

2005    Martin Scorsese    Rated G

Biography    Documentary    History

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38

Searching for Sugar Man

2012    Malik Bendjelloul    Rated PG13

Biography    Documentary    Music

Down by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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40

Anvil! The Story of Anvil!

2008    Sacha Gervasi    Not Rated

Biography    Documentary    History

Up by 3 in the past 45 days 3

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41

When We Were Kings

1996    Leon Gast    Rated PG

Biography    Documentary    History

Down by 1 in the past 45 days 1

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42

Restrepo

2010    Tim Hetherington    Rated R

Culture and Society    Documentary    Military and War

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43

21 Up

1977    Michael Apted    Not Rated

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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45

Religulous

2008    Larry Charles    Rated R

Comedy    Documentary    Religious Comedy

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46

Beyond The Mat

1999    Barry W. Blaustein    Rated R

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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47

Pumping Iron

1977    George Butler    Rated PG

Biography    Culture and Society    Documentary

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48

The Imposter

2012    Bart Layton    Not Rated

Culture and Society    Documentary

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50

Jackass: The Movie

2002    Jeff Tremaine    Rated R

Based-on-Television    Comedy    Documentary

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