Social documentaries

by sandman_laza | created - 19 Feb 2016 | updated - 6 months ago | Public
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1. Vito (2011)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, History

The story of Vito Russo, founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of "The Celluloid Closet," and vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz | Stars: Phyllis Antonellis, George Bancroft, Richard Barrios, Edmund Bergler

Votes: 457

2. The Substance: Albert Hofmann's LSD (2011)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History

In 1943, the year in which the first A-bomb was built, Albert Hofmann discovered LSD, a substance that was to become an A-bomb of the mind. Fractions of a milligram are enough to turn our ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Witz | Stars: Trevor J. Roling, Hanspeter Müller, Mario Scarabelli, Albert Hofmann

Votes: 653

3. Making the Boys (2011)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Romance

71 Metascore

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement, the film explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to ... See full summary »

Director: Crayton Robey | Stars: Edward Albee, Joe Allen, Matt Baney, David Carter

Votes: 472 | Gross: $0.03M

4. Ethos (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson, Ethos explores the mechanisms in our systems that work against democracy, the environment and our own personal liberty.

Director: Pete McGrain | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Justin Lewis, Bill Hogan, Noam Chomsky

Votes: 1,138

5. Miss Representation (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.

Directors: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Kimberlee Acquaro | Stars: Pat Mitchell, Jackson Katz, Jim Steyer, Marissa Mayer

Votes: 3,346

6. Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2010 Video)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, History

A look at the history of the comic book publication that launched such legendary characters as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Director: Mac Carter | Stars: Christopher Nolan, Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Portman, Sam Huntington

Votes: 1,067

7. Fox News Reporting: The Right, All Along - The Rise, Fall and Future of Conservatism (2010– )

Documentary, History

A history of the American conservative movement from the 1930s to the present.

Stars: Brit Hume, Brent Bozell, William F. Buckley, Newt Gingrich

Votes: 10

8. Marijuana: A Chronic History (2010 TV Movie)

88 min | Documentary

A look at the strange history of marijuana in America, with a critical eye toward America's War on Drugs and its impact on society.

Stars: Gary Philp, Hal Sparks, Graham Hill, Mark A.R. Kleinman

Votes: 97

9. Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal (2010)

Documentary

"Murder by Proxy" is a feature-length documentary that examines the growing phenomenon of spree killings in the United States.

Director: Emil Chiaberi | Stars: Rick Retelle, Charlie Withers, Patrick Sherrill, Tracy Sanchez

Votes: 168

10. Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (2009)

R | 124 min | Documentary, Biography

55 Metascore

A look at the battles Hugh Hefner fought over the years against the U.S. government, the religious right, and militant feminists.

Director: Brigitte Berman | Stars: Larry Adler, Bobbie Arnstein, Joan Baez, Count Basie

Votes: 669 | Gross: $0.02M

11. Vancouver Vagabond (2009)

103 min | Documentary

A wacky and darkly candid autobiographical doc-drama of Heath Tait's start as an artist and animator struggling through the Gen-X 90's, attempting his indie career outside of Hollywood North, Canada.

Director: Heath Tait | Stars: Marty Andaluz, Georgia Anderson-Pound, Paul Armstrong, Leila Asdal

Votes: 6

12. Outrage (I) (2009)

R | 90 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

An indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Wayne Barrett, Elizabeth Birch

Votes: 1,552 | Gross: $0.04M

13. Waiting for Armageddon (2009)

Not Rated | 74 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

America's 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the world's future is foretold in Biblical prophecy - from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This astonishing ... See full summary »

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner, Franco Sacchi | Stars: Gary Bauer, Chip Berlet, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter

Votes: 342 | Gross: $0.01M

14. American Swing (2008)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary

59 Metascore

Chronicles the rise and fall of 1970s New York City nightclub Plato's Retreat.

Directors: Jon Hart, Mathew Kaufman | Stars: Bryce Britton, Irwin Corey, William Davidson, Dan Dorfman

Votes: 556 | Gross: $0.03M

15. Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Sport

80 Metascore

An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.

Director: Chris Bell | Stars: Chris Bell, Mike Bell, Mark Bell, Hank Aaron

Votes: 12,819 | Gross: $0.31M

16. The Strangest Dream (2008)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Biography

The biography of Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to leave the Manhattan Project, and would eventually win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Director: Eric Bednarski | Stars: Michael Jones, Joseph Rotblat, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Sandra Ionno Butcher

Votes: 17

17. Hippies (2007 TV Movie)

120 min | Documentary

The 1960's and 1970's were a time of change, a time of revolution, a time of the Hippies. Hippies reached across the nation and their effects are still felt today.

Director: Scott Reda | Stars: Martin A. Lee, Cary Grant, Roz Payne, Timothy Leary

Votes: 66

18. The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (2007– )

180 min | Documentary

Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the ... See full synopsis »

Stars: James M. Buchanan, Paul McHugh, Philip Mirowski, John Nash

Votes: 1,588

19. I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal (2007)

PG-13 | 105 min | Documentary, Biography

59 Metascore

A documentary on the Austrian-Jewish architectural engineer who became a Nazi hunter after surviving the Holocaust.

Director: Richard Trank | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Simon Wiesenthal, Asher BenNatan, Frederick Forsyth

Votes: 624 | Gross: $0.01M

20. For the Bible Tells Me So (2007)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary, Romance

73 Metascore

An exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community.

Director: Daniel G. Karslake | Stars: Imogene Robinson, Victor Robinson, Gene Robinson, Isabella 'Boo' McDaniel

Votes: 4,264 | Gross: $0.31M

21. A/k/a Tommy Chong (2006)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

Documentary about Tommy Chong's federal prosecution under the Bush administration for selling bongs over the Internet.

Director: Josh Gilbert | Stars: Lou Adler, Raven Bast, Paris Chong, Shelby Chong

Votes: 608

22. The Drug Years (2006– )

Documentary

A look at the rise of illicit drug use and its cultural influence in the second half of the last century.

Stars: Anthony DeCurtis, Martin Torgoff, John Leland, Corey Feldman

Votes: 318

23. Hammer & Tickle (2006)

89 min | Documentary, Comedy, History

George Orwell wrote that in a repressive political system every joke is a "tiny revolution." Jokes were an essential part of the communist experience because the monopoly of state power ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Lewis | Stars: Mikhail Gorbachev, Václav Havel, Wojciech Jaruzelski, Roy Medvedev

Votes: 92

24. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

R | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney | Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer, George W. Bush

Votes: 15,462

25. 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: 6,022 | Gross: $0.24M

26. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, History, Mystery

February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, granddaughter of William Randolph Heart, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), who first demanded a prisoner swap for Hearst, then, as it ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stone | Stars: Russ Little, Michael Bortin, Timothy Findley, Dan Grove

Votes: 446

28. Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal (2003 TV Movie)

83 min | Documentary

On May 19, 1984, an out of work ice cream truck driver from Southwestern Ohio broke the bank on CBS' hit game show of the mid-1980's "Press Your Luck" and made TV history by setting a ... See full summary »

Director: James P. Taylor Jr. | Stars: Peter Tomarken, Bob Boden, John Mueller, Bill Carruthers

Votes: 271

29. The Cockettes (2002)

R | 100 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

Documentary about the gender-bending San Francisco performance group who became a pop culture phenomenon in the early 1970s.

Directors: Bill Weber, David Weissman | Stars: Larry Brinkin, Peggy Cass, Pristine Condition, Jackie Curtis

Votes: 509 | Gross: $0.22M

30. Hooked: Illegal Drugs & How They Got That Way - Cocaine, the Third Scourge (2000 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary, Crime, History

Derived from South America's coca leaf, cocaine was touted as a cure-all in the late 19th century and was the secret ingredient in many medicines and elixirs such as Coca-Cola. But ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Yaroschuk | Stars: Pam Lingle, Mark Saunders, Tony Anderson, Darryl Inaba

Votes: 74

31. Hooked: Illegal Drugs & How They Got That Way - LSD, Ecstasy, and the Raves (2000 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 60 min | Documentary, History

How did the psychedelic drugs LSD and Ecstasy journey from a scientific discovery to a popular recreation to banned drugs? Mental health professionals once believed that LSD could treat ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Yaroschuk | Stars: Robert Klitzman, Trinka Porrata, Michael Montagne, Lloyd Bentsen

Votes: 68

32. Challenger: Go for Launch (2000 TV Movie)

50 min | Documentary

The tragic, defining moment in the American space program was watched by millions. This film produced 15 years after that tragic day takes the viewer into the minute detail of the launch ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Day | Stars: Alun Armstrong, Roger Boisjoly, George Bush, Grace Corrigan

Votes: 19

33. Grass (1999)

R | 80 min | Documentary, History

64 Metascore

The history of the American government's war on marijuana in the 20th century.

Director: Ron Mann | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Harry J. Anslinger, George Bush, Cab Calloway

Votes: 3,396 | Gross: $0.31M

34. Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997)

90 min | Documentary, History

In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and ... See full summary »

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini | Stars: Raymond Bilbool, Ronald Clint, Tommy Gallagher, Trisha Absher

Votes: 214

35. Herbert's Hippopotamus (1996)

69 min | Documentary

Documentary about the turbulent life, writings, and activism of philosopher Herbert Marcuse, visionary force for the youth movements worldwide during the '60s and 70s.

Director: Paul Alexander Juutilainen | Stars: Carlos Blanco, Iris Blanco, Angela Davis, Andrew Feenberg

Votes: 21

36. Spin (1995)

57 min | Documentary

Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities' contemptuous plans for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the... See full summary »

Director: Brian Springer | Stars: Larry Agran, Jim Bakker, Bill Beutel, Tom Brokaw

Votes: 462

37. Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol (1990)

87 min | Documentary, Biography

A look at the life, work, and impact of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), pop icon and artist, from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his death after a botched surgery. Warhol coined the word "... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Workman | Stars: Joan Agajanian Quinn, Jean Michel Basquiat, Irving Blum, Stephen Bruce

Votes: 297

38. Roger & Me (1989)

R | 91 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Roger B. Smith, Rhonda Britton, Fred Ross

Votes: 24,878 | Gross: $6.71M

39. Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | 87 min | Documentary, History

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg | Stars: Rita Mae Brown, Maua Adele Ajanaku, Red Jordan Arobateau, Ann Bannon

Votes: 673 | Gross: $0.02M

40. The Killing of America (1981)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Crime

A documentary of the decline of America. It features a lot a great footage (most exclusive to this film) from race riots to serial killers and much-much more.

Directors: Sheldon Renan, Leonard Schrader | Stars: Chuck Riley, Ed Dorris, Thomas Noguchi, Sirhan Sirhan

Votes: 1,614

41. Post No Bills (1991)

57 min | Documentary

Political heavy-weights populate this urgent and humorous documentary on the detonative mix of art and politics as embodied in the work of infamous "guerilla" poster artist Robbie Conal, a ... See full summary »

Director: Clay Walker | Stars: Robbie Conal, Daryl Gates, Ronald Reagan, Tim Robbins

Votes: 33

42. Let Fury Have the Hour (2012)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, Biography, History

53 Metascore

A documentary that chronicles how a generation of artists, thinkers, and activists used their creativity as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s.

Director: Antonino D'Ambrosio | Stars: Chuck D, Ian MacKaye, Shepard Fairey, Tom Morello

Votes: 79 | Gross: $0.00M

43. The House I Live In (2012)

Not Rated | 108 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Director: Eugene Jarecki | Stars: Eugene Jarecki, Michelle Alexander, Mark W. Bennett, Joe Biden

Votes: 5,044 | Gross: $0.21M

44. She's Beautiful When She's Angry (2014)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, History

80 Metascore

A documentary that resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women's movement from 1966 to 1971.

Director: Mary Dore | Stars: Chude Pamela Allen, Alta, Judith Arcana, Nona Willis Aronowitz

Votes: 1,353 | Gross: $0.42M

45. SOMM: Into the Bottle (2015)

90 min | Documentary

The history, politics, pleasure, and BS of wine told through opening ten very different bottles.

Director: Jason Wise | Stars: Silvia Altare, Brian Carmody, Ian Cauble, Jean-Louis Chave

Votes: 1,401

46. High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell (1995 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 60 min | Documentary

Documents 18 months in the lives of three crack addicts in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Directors: Maryann DeLeo, Richard Farrell | Star: Dicky Eklund

Votes: 653

47. Child of Rage (1990 TV Short)

27 min | Documentary, Short

This documentary tells the story of a six year old girl, Beth Thomas, labeled as "The Child Of Rage," tells her story of healing from Reactive Attachment Disorder as a result of being ... See full summary »

Stars: Joel Craiger, Ken Magid, Beth Thomas

Votes: 904

48. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

86 Metascore

Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children.

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam, Jeff Anderson

Votes: 9,422 | Gross: $30.58M

49. The N Word (2004)

86 min | Documentary