Best Documentaries since 2000

by bombadda | last updated - 28 May 2016 | Public
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1. Africa (2013)

Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Africa, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles and meet up with some of Africa's amazing wildlife.

Stars: David Attenborough, Simon Blakeney, James Aldred, Katrina Bartlam

Votes: 7,544

2. Life (2009)

TV-G | 473 min | Documentary

9.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

David Attenborough's legendary BBC crew explains and shows wildlife all over planet earth in 10 episodes. The first is an overview the challenges facing life, the others are dedicated to ... See full summary »

Stars: David Attenborough, Oprah Winfrey, Doug Allan, Michael Pitts

Votes: 29,360

3. Human Planet (2011)

TV-PG | 50 min | Documentary

9.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

Like all life forms, humanity partially adapts to types of natural environment, yet also tends to change them. Each episode examines how life differs for men and nature in some type of ... See full summary »

Star: John Hurt

Votes: 17,067

4. The Blue Planet (2001)

TV-G | 50 min | Documentary

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Mammoth series, five years in the making, taking a look at the rich tapestry of life in the world's oceans.

Stars: Pierce Brosnan, David Attenborough, Jason Roberts

Votes: 18,725

5. Planet Earth (2006)

TV-G | 533 min | Documentary

9.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

Emmy Award-winning, 11 episodes, five years in the making, the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and the first to be filmed in high definition.

Stars: David Attenborough, Sigourney Weaver, Huw Cordey, Doug Allan

Votes: 126,520

6. Natural World (1983– )
Episode: Living with Baboons (2012)

Documentary

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The wild Hamadryas Baboons of Ethiopia have a friend in biologist Mat Pines, they even pick the nits from his hair. He's been studying and living with them for five years in the remote and ... See full summary »

Director: Rob Sullivan | Stars: David Attenborough, Mat Pines

Votes: 13

7. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G | 99 min | Documentary

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov, Doug MacAyeal

Votes: 15,361 | Gross: $0.94M

8. Project Nim (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
83 Metascore

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Nim Chimpsky, Stephanie LaFarge, Herbert Terrace, Wer LaFarge

Votes: 7,670 | Gross: $0.41M

9. The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)

87 min | Documentary, Comedy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 4,743 | Gross: $0.19M

10. Ross Kemp on Gangs (2006– )

Documentary, Crime

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A look at the street gangs of El Salvador. The Documentary Film follows Ross as he meets gang members, accompanies the police on raids and experiences the everyday tragedies of gang-life.

Stars: Ross Kemp, Nikolaj Kurianovic, Chris Malgas, Sergey Maluta

Votes: 909

11. We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
66 Metascore

A documentary on the workings and beliefs of the self-described "hacktivist" collective, Anonymous.

Director: Brian Knappenberger | Stars: Anon2World, Anonyops, Julian Assange, Aaron Barr

Votes: 9,219

12. GasLand (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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: 9,732 | Gross: $0.03M

13. Senna (2010)

PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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, Alain Prost, Frank Williams, Ron Dennis

Votes: 50,051 | Gross: $1.61M

14. The Elephant in the Living Room (2010)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
69 Metascore

The Elephant in the Living Room takes viewers on a journey deep inside the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world, as common household pets. ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Webber | Stars: Tim Harrison, Terry Brumfield, Russ Clear, Casey Craig

Votes: 918

15. China Rises (2006– )

Documentary

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Add a Plot

Stars: Norman Garcy Yap, Michael Murphy

Votes: 68

16. The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007)

104 min | Documentary

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as 'The Union', Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of 'BC ... See full summary »

Director: Brett Harvey | Stars: Adam Scorgie, Chris Bennett, Steve Bloom, Renee Bojee

Votes: 7,330

17. Inside Job (2010)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Crime

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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: 61,507 | Gross: $4.31M

18. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011)

Not Rated | 161 min | Documentary

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A feature length documentary work which presents a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. This subject ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Joseph | Stars: Peter Joseph, Robert Sapolsky, Gabor Mate, Richard Wilkinson

Votes: 16,289

19. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
84 Metascore

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 43,028 | Gross: $0.86M

20. Earth (2007)

G | 90 min | Documentary

8.0
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72 Metascore

Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Stars: James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, Anggun, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 13,293 | Gross: $38.05M

21. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

PG | 96 min | Documentary

7.5
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75 Metascore

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush, George W. Bush

Votes: 73,514 | Gross: $23.81M

22. Food, Inc. (2008)

PG | 94 min | Documentary

7.8
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80 Metascore

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner | Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb, Vince Edwards

Votes: 45,771 | Gross: $4.42M

23. Nature's Most Amazing Events (2009– )

49 min | Documentary

9.0
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This is a documentary series looking at the most dramatic wildlife spectacles on our planet. We see the impact of the melting of the arctic ice in the summer, the annual return of the ... See full summary »

Stars: David Attenborough, Joe Stevens, Paul Beilstein, Steve Benjamin

Votes: 2,567

24. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography

7.5
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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: 38,984 | Gross: $0.89M

25. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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89 Metascore

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 45,557 | Gross: $2.96M

26. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
83 Metascore

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite | Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall

Votes: 51,866 | Gross: $2.06M

27. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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: 54,104 | Gross: $3.97M

28. Cutie and the Boxer (2013)

R | 82 min | Documentary, Biography

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
83 Metascore

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Director: Zachary Heinzerling | Stars: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Alex Shinohara, Ethan Cohen

Votes: 4,100 | Gross: $0.20M

29. Secret Life of Dogs (2013 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Special uncovers how the true success of the canine species is our mutually beneficial relationship.

Director: Barny Revill | Star: Martin Clunes

Votes: 111

30. Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)

Unrated | 85 min | Documentary

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary that follows Dr. Penny Patterson's current scientific study of Koko, a gorilla who communicates through American Sign Language.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Koko, Penny Patterson, Saul Kitchener, Carl Pribram

Votes: 568

31. Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (2011)

93 min | Documentary

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary that captures the greatest world record Tetris players as they prepare for the Classic Tetris World Championship. From the days of Thor Aackerlund and his historic victory at ... See full summary »

Director: Adam Cornelius | Stars: Thor Aackerlund, Pat Contri, Harry Hong, Jesse Kelkar

Votes: 1,254

32. Samsara (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 102 min | Documentary, Music

8.5
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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: 26,524 | Gross: $2.60M

33. Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

7.8
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74 Metascore

A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century.

Directors: Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov | Stars: Werner Herzog, Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev, Gennady Soloviev, Anatoly Tarkovsky

Votes: 6,207 | Gross: $0.34M

34. The Invisible War (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

7.6
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75 Metascore

An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca, Jessica Hinves

Votes: 6,151 | Gross: $0.07M

35. The Interrupters (2011)

Unrated | 125 min | Documentary, Crime

7.5
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86 Metascore

A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Tio Hardiman, Ameena Matthews, Toya Batey, Cobe Williams

Votes: 3,220 | Gross: $0.28M

36. Tabloid (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Crime

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
74 Metascore

A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw

Votes: 5,693 | Gross: $0.68M

37. The Universe (2007– )
Episode: Beyond the Big Bang (2007)

TV-14 | 90 min | Documentary, History

9.0
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The universe began with a massive expansion, billions and billions of years ago, and it continues to expand with every passing second. The idea that the universe, and man's very existence, ... See full summary »

Director: Luke Ellis | Stars: David Ackroyd, Maxie Santillan Jr., Brian Greene, Geoffrey Landis

Votes: 127

38. The Universe (2007– )

45 min | Documentary, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

This educational show explores many scientific questions and topics about the universe (Big Bang, the Sun, the planets, black holes, other galaxies, astrobiology etc.) through latest CGI, data and interviews with scientists.

Stars: Erik Thompson, Alex Filippenko, Laura Danly, Clifford V. Johnson

Votes: 4,399

39. Horizon (1964– )
Episode: The Death of the Oceans? (2010)

Unrated | Documentary

7.8
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Add a Plot

Director: Peter Oxley | Stars: David Attenborough, W. Jeffrey Bolster, Julian Caley, Matt Camisa

Votes: 26

40. Nova (1974– )
Episode: Hunting the Hidden Dimension (2008)

TV-G | 60 min | Documentary, Biography

8.1
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A look at fractal geometry, and how it is found just about everywhere in everything, and how the mathematics of fractals can be used to model and measure such things as mountains, ... See full summary »

Directors: Bill Jersey, Michael Schwarz | Stars: Ralph Abraham, Loren Carpenter, Dana Cartwright, Hayden Christensen

Votes: 103

41. When Björk Met Attenborough (2013 TV Movie)

48 min | Documentary

7.6
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Award-winning musician Björk and legendary broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough have admired each other's work for years but this is the first time they have discussed their ... See full summary »

Director: Louise Hooper | Stars: David Attenborough, Björk, Andy Cavatorta, Henry Dagg

Votes: 216

42. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)

TV-PG | 557 min | Documentary

9.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

An exploration of our discovery of the laws of nature and coordinates in space and time.

Stars: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stoney Emshwiller, Piotr Michael, André Sogliuzzo

Votes: 78,776

43. Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2006)

85 min | Documentary, Action, Drama

7.1
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64 Metascore

In the slum of Cité Soleil, President Aristide's most loyal supporters were ruling as kings. The five major gang leaders were controlling heavily armed young men; the Chiméres. The Secret ... See full summary »

Directors: Asger Leth, Milos Loncarevic | Stars: Winson '2Pac' Jean, Wyclef Jean, James 'Bily' Petit Frère, Éleonore 'Lele' Senlis

Votes: 1,687 | Gross: $0.05M

44. Grizzly Man (2005)

R | 103 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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87 Metascore

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter

Votes: 45,214 | Gross: $3.17M

45. Life in the Undergrowth (2005– )

50 min | Documentary

9.1
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David Attenborough's ground-breaking exploration of a group of organisms that are vast in number, yet often too small to be noticed: the invertebrates.

Star: David Attenborough

Votes: 3,017

46. First Life (2010– )

Documentary

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

David Attenborough goes back in time to investigate the origins of life.

Stars: David Attenborough, Hazel Barton, Jean-Bernard Caron, Bernard Degnan

Votes: 1,130

47. Terra (2015 TV Movie)

97 min | Documentary

8.4
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A visually stunning documentary that reflects human's relationship to other species on Earth as humanity becomes more and more isolated from Nature.

Directors: Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Michael Pitiot | Star: Vanessa Paradis

Votes: 927