best documentaries

by minnnameow | created - 12 Nov 2016 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

my favourite documents, documentaries and biographies

//long list but really, these moved me, i learned from these or just loved the fealing i got

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1. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

Follows the routines of those employed at Studio Ghibli, including filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki as they work to release two films simultaneously, The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

Director: Mami Sunada | Stars: Hayao Miyazaki, Yumiko Miyoshi, Toshio Suzuki, Shinsuke Nonaka

Votes: 4,306

2. Armi Alive! (2015)

84 min | Biography, Drama

A film about the woman behind the design company Marimekko that consist of love, courage, passion and attempted suicides.

Director: Jörn Donner | Stars: Minna Haapkylä, Laura Birn, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Robert Enckell

Votes: 220

3. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 595,872 | Gross: $138.80M

4. Before the Flood (2016)

PG | 96 min | Documentary, News

63 Metascore

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

Director: Fisher Stevens | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ki-moon Ban, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mike Brune

Votes: 23,483

5. The Impossible (2012)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, History, Thriller

73 Metascore

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast

Votes: 178,887 | Gross: $19.02M

6. Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald (1993 TV Movie)

88 min | Biography

The story of the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of shooting President Kennedy. Via flashbacks, the story traces the woman's life from her days in Russia, the turmoil following ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Dornhelm | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Picardo, Frank Whaley, Bill Bolender

Votes: 179

7. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 363,741 | Gross: $35.89M

8. Suffragette (2015)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Drama, History

67 Metascore

In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting the right for women to vote, and is willing to meet violence with violence to achieve this end.

Director: Sarah Gavron | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep

Votes: 34,477 | Gross: $4.69M

9. 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: 44,053 | Gross: $8.41M

11. Coco Chanel (2008 TV Movie)

PG | 139 min | Biography, Drama

The life story of legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel.

Director: Christian Duguay | Stars: Daria Baykalova, Barbora Bobulova, Brigitte Boucher, Emilie Caillon

Votes: 3,324

12. Diana (2013)

PG-13 | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

35 Metascore

During the last two years of her life, Princess Diana embarks on a final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Cas Anvar, Charles Edwards

Votes: 17,662 | Gross: $0.33M

13. The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

R | 91 min | Biography, Drama

64 Metascore

The life of Bettie Page, a 1950s pin-up model and one of the first sex icons in America, who became the target of a Senate investigation due to her risqué bondage photos.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor, Chris Bauer, Jared Harris

Votes: 9,903 | Gross: $1.41M

14. Tom of Finland (2017)

Not Rated | 117 min | Biography, Drama

56 Metascore

Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of artist Touko Valio Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland), one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.

Director: Dome Karukoski | Stars: Pekka Strang, Seumas F. Sargent, Chris Myland, Alf Myreen

Votes: 4,461 | Gross: $0.38M

15. Desert Flower (2009)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama

54 Metascore

Waris Dirie, born 1965 in Somalia, flees at 13 when sold as 4th wife. She's maid at the Somalian embassy in London, then McDonald's, where she's discovered and becomes int'l top model. 1997, she speaks up against female genital mutilation.

Director: Sherry Hormann | Stars: Soraya Omar-Scego, Idriss Abdillahi Houfaneh, Awa Saïd Darar, Roun Daher Aïnan

Votes: 11,273 | Gross: $0.04M

16. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 394,480 | Gross: $169.71M

17. Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)

Not Rated | 105 min | Documentary, Music

64 Metascore

Tells the story of Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal | Stars: Whitney Houston, Tony Anderson, Burt Bacharach, Michael Baker

Votes: 3,685

18. Frida (2002)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

61 Metascore

A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.

Director: Julie Taymor | Stars: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Mía Maestro

Votes: 74,855 | Gross: $25.89M

19. Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary, Music

63 Metascore

This documentary goes behind the scenes with pop provocateur Lady Gaga as she releases a bold new album and prepares for her Super Bowl halftime show.

Director: Chris Moukarbel | Stars: Sandra Amador, Michael Bearden, Tony Bennett, BloodPop

Votes: 9,980

20. The Eternal Road (2017)

103 min | Drama, History

Based on true events an epic story of one man's struggle for survival. Jussi Ketola, returns to Finland from the great depression struck America only to face growing political unrest. One ... See full summary »

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila | Stars: Tommi Korpela, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Irina Björklund

Votes: 1,433

21. Holy Hell (2016)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

An inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Director: Will Allen | Stars: Will Allen, Dimitrius Pulido, Phillipe Coquet, David Christopher

Votes: 4,053 | Gross: $0.02M

22. White Rage (2015)

73 min | Documentary, Biography

White rage is a story about Lauri and through him many other victims of school bullying and separate childhood trauma. Lauri is a victim of 'white rage', which can lead at it's worst to school shootings.

Director: Arto Halonen | Stars: Lauri, Miro Mäkelä, Linus Tuomenvirta, Jouko Hokkanen

Votes: 244

23. Dreaming Murakami (2017)

58 min | Documentary

When Mette Holm begins to translate Haruki Murakami's debut novel Kaze no uta o kike, Hear the Wind Sing, a two-meter-tall frog shows up at an underground station in Tokyo. The Frog follows... See full summary »

Director: Nitesh Anjaan | Star: Mette Holm

Votes: 188

24. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Music

49 Metascore

The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy

Votes: 358,128 | Gross: $216.43M

25. Score: A Film Music Documentary (2016)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Music

67 Metascore

A look at the cinematic art of the film musical score, and the artists who create them.

Director: Matt Schrader | Stars: Marco Beltrami, Jon Burlingame, Leonard Maltin, Bill Field

Votes: 3,290 | Gross: $0.10M

26. J. Karjalainen: Beibi ollaan ikuisii (2018 TV Movie)

70 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Add a Plot

Director: Antti Leino | Star: J. Karjalainen

Votes: 47

27. Diana: In Her Own Words (I) (2017 TV Movie)

112 min | Documentary, Biography

This documentary uses the recordings Princess Diana made for the book that was written by Andrew Morton. In this documentary Diana narrates her life and the events that surrounded her.

Directors: Tom Jennings, David Tillman | Star: Princess Diana

Votes: 981

28. A Plastic Ocean (2016)

102 min | Documentary

A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. In this adventure documentary, Craig ... See full summary »

Director: Craig Leeson | Stars: David Attenborough, Sylvia Earle, Ben Fogle, Craig Leeson

Votes: 1,699

29. The First Monday in May (2016)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary

57 Metascore

Follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, "China: Through The Looking Glass," an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton.

Director: Andrew Rossi | Stars: Anna Wintour, Andrew Bolton, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld

Votes: 1,278 | Gross: $0.53M

30. Grass is Greener (2019)

97 min | Documentary

A look at America's complicated relationship with cannabis.

Director: Fab 5 Freddy | Stars: B-Real, Steven Hager, Damian Marley, Snoop Dogg

Votes: 674

31. Trouble with Sex (2005)

88 min | Drama, Romance

A sexy romantic drama in which, at the outset, the characters are leading their own lives in very different worlds, though each is beset by niggling discontentment. Michelle (Renée Weldon -... See full summary »

Director: Fintan Connolly | Stars: Aidan Gillen, Renee Weldon, Gerard Mannix Flynn, Declan Conlon

Votes: 125

32. Venus (2016)

80 min | Documentary

A film born out of sexual frustrations.

Directors: Mette Carla Albrechtsen, Lea Glob

Votes: 287



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