IMDb's Documentary Top 50

As seen by squeamish movie lover

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An official iCheckMovies list.

Favorited 149 times, disliked 15 times, added to 250 watchlists.

Strictly speaking, documentary films are non-fictional, factual works of art. Originally, the earliest documentaries were either short newsreels, instructional pictures, or travelogues (termed actualities) without any creative story-telling or staging. But they have branched out and taken many forms, and have sometimes become propagandistic and non-objective. Mockumentaries are comedic parodies of documentaries. Some documentaries have been considered propagandistic.

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  1. 1 -

    O.J.: Made in America

    2016, in 7 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

    2020, in 2 top lists
    Check
  3. 3 -

    Stop Making Sense

    1984, in 9 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    Shoah

    1985, in 18 top lists Check
  5. 5 +1

    Nuit et brouillard

    1956 — a.k.a. Night and Fog, in 17 top lists Check
  6. 6 -1

    Earthlings

    2005, in 1 top list Check
  7. 7 +1

    Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii

    1972, in 1 top list Check
  8. 8 -1

    Alone in the Wilderness

    2004, in 2 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a...

    2007, in 1 top list Check
  10. 10 -

    Senna

    2010, in 4 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

    2008, in 2 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Baraka

    1992, in 5 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    For Sama

    2019, in 3 top lists
    Check
  14. 14 -

    9/11

    2002, in 2 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    Home

    2009, in 1 top list Check
  16. 16 -

    Ilha das Flores

    1989 — a.k.a. Isle of Flowers, in 4 top lists Check
  17. 17 +1

    The Salt of the Earth

    2014, in 5 top lists Check
  18. 18 -1

    Samsara

    2011, in 4 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    The Cove

    2009, in 2 top lists Check
  20. 20 -

    Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

    2010, in 1 top list Check
  21. 21 -

    Sigur Rós: Heima

    2007, in 3 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    U2 3D

    2007, in 1 top list Check
  23. 23 -

    Chelovek s kino-apparatom

    1929 — a.k.a. Man with a Movie Camera, in 24 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    Hoop Dreams

    1994, in 15 top lists Check
  25. 25 -

    Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    2018, in 2 top lists
    Check
  26. 26 -

    The Look of Silence

    2014, in 4 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

    2015, in 1 top list Check
  28. 28 -

    Iron Maiden: Flight 666

    2009, in 1 top list Check
  29. 29 -

    Inside Job

    2010, in 4 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    The Act of Killing

    2012, in 9 top lists Check
  31. 31 +1

    They Shall Not Grow Old

    2018, in 1 top list
    Check
  32. 32 -1

    Koyaanisqatsi

    1982, in 12 top lists Check
  33. 33 +1

    Searching for Sugar Man

    2012, in 6 top lists Check
  34. 34 -1

    Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood...

    1996, in 2 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    Paris Is Burning

    1990, in 12 top lists Check
  36. 36 +4

    Harlan County U.S.A.

    1976, in 11 top lists Check
  37. 37 -1

    13th

    2016, in 3 top lists Check
  38. 38 -1

    Before the Flood

    2016, in 1 top list Check
  39. 39 -1

    American Utopia

    2020 — a.k.a. David Byrne's American Utopia, in 3 top lists
    Check
  40. 40 -1

    HyperNormalisation

    2016, in 1 top list Check
  41. 41 +3

    Le chagrin et la pitié

    1969 — a.k.a. The Sorrow and the Pity, in 11 top lists Check
  42. 42 -1

    Hearts and Minds

    1974, in 7 top lists Check
  43. 43 +2

    Pearl Jam Twenty

    2011, in 1 top list Check
  44. 44 -2

    Il mio viaggio in Italia

    1999 — a.k.a. My Voyage to Italy, in 2 top lists Check
  45. 45 -2

    Lake of Fire

    2006, in 1 top list Check
  46. 46 -

    The Times of Harvey Milk

    1984, in 8 top lists Check
  47. 47 +1

    The Art of Flight

    2011, in 1 top list Check
  48. 48 +1

    Foo Fighters: Back and Forth

    2011, in 1 top list Check
  49. 49 +1

    28 Up

    1984, in 6 top lists Check
  50. 50 -3

    No End in Sight

    2007, in 1 top list Check
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Last updated on May 20, 2024; source