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Top Documentaries

Rank Title Year Director(s) Overall
Rank
1 The Man with the Movie Camera 1929 Dziga Vertov 174
2 Hoop Dreams 1994 Steve James 242
3 Shoah 1985 Claude Lanzmann 295
4 Night and Fog 1955 Alain Resnais 399
5 Nanook of the North 1922 Robert J. Flaherty 402
6 The Thin Blue Line 1988 Errol Morris 423
7 Triumph of the Will 1935 Leni Riefenstahl 470
8 When We Were Kings 1996 Leon Gast 479
9 Crumb 1994 Terry Zwigoff 499
10 F for Fake 1973 Orson Welles 539
11 Sans soleil 1983 Chris Marker 550
12 Bowling for Columbine 2002 Michael Moore 560
13 Koyaanisqatsi 1982 Godfrey Reggio 564
14 Olympia 1938 Leni Riefenstahl 573
15 Dont Look Back 1967 D.A. Pennebaker 608
16 The Sorrow and the Pity 1969 Marcel Ophüls 609
17 Stop Making Sense 1984 Jonathan Demme 617
18 Grey Gardens 1975 Ellen Hovde, Albert and David Maysles, and Muffie Meyer 662
19 Gimme Shelter 1970 Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin 677
20 Harlan County, U.S.A. 1976 Barbara Kopple 678
21 Waltz with Bashir 2008 Ari Folman 702
22 Grizzly Man 2005 Werner Herzog 706
23 The Last Waltz 1978 Martin Scorsese 741
24 Roger & Me 1989 Michael Moore 758
25 Woodstock 1970 Michael Wadleigh 762
26 Capturing the Friedmans 2003 Andrew Jarecki 823
27 Paris Is Burning 1990 Jennie Livingston 845
28 Man on Wire 2008 James Marsh 849
29 Salesman 1968 Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin 883
30 The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara 2003 Errol Morris 911
31 Titicut Follies 1967 Frederick Wiseman 920
32 Touching the Void 2003 Kevin Macdonald 962
33 American Movie 1999 Chris Smith 1004
34 Spellbound 2002 Jeffrey Blitz 1047
35 Murderball 2005 Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro 1053
36 Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse 1991 Fax Bahr, Eleanor Coppola, and George Hickenlooper 1057
37 The Gleaners & I 2000 Agnès Varda 1086
38 Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat 1896 Auguste and Louis Lumière 1144
39 The Times of Harvey Milk 1984 Rob Epstein 1148
40 Hearts and Minds 1974 Peter Davis 1189
41 Histoire(s) du cinéma Jean-Luc Godard 1190
42 Sherman's March 1985 Ross McElwee 1219
43 Fahrenheit 9/11 2004 Michael Moore 1294
44 To Be and to Have 2002 Nicolas Philibert 1305
45 28 Up 1984 Michael Apted 1312
46 Berlin: Symphony of a Great City 1927 Walter Ruttmann 1333
47 Burden of Dreams 1982 Les Blank 1350
48 Gates of Heaven 1978 Errol Morris 1353
49 High School 1968 Frederick Wiseman 1355
50 42: Forty Two Up 1998 Michael Apted 1376
51 Tongues Untied 1989 Marlon Riggs 1382
52 Chronicle of a Summer 1961 Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch 1391
53 Buena Vista Social Club 1999 Wim Wenders 1394
54 Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 Stacy Peralta 1407
55 Häxan: Witchcraft through the Ages 1922 Benjamin Christensen 1424
56 Listen to Britain 1942 Humphrey Jennings and Stewart McAllister 1426
57 Seven Up! 1964 Paul Almond 1493
58 Land without Bread 1933 Luis Buñuel 1521
59 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills 1996 Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky 1530
60 The Dream of Light 1992 Víctor Erice 1534
61 The Endless Summer 1966 Bruce Brown 1551
62 21 Up 1977 Michael Apted 1569
63 Fast, Cheap & Out of Control 1997 Errol Morris 1616
64 Man of Aran 1934 Robert J. Flaherty 1617
65 March of the Penguins 2005 Luc Jacquet 1644
66 49 Up 2005 Michael Apted 1656
67 DiG! 2004 Ondi Timoner 1681
68 Senna 2010 Asif Kapadia 1685
69 An Inconvenient Truth 2006 Davis Guggenheim 1692
70 Pumping Iron 1977 George Butler and Robert Fiore 1723
71 35 Up 1991 Michael Apted 1743
72 Seven Plus Seven 1970 Michael Apted 1749
73 When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 2006 Spike Lee 1758
74 The Hour of the Furnaces 1968 Octavio Getino, Fernando E. Solanas, and Santiago Álvarez 1760
75 Super Size Me 2004 Morgan Spurlock 1768
76 Primary 1960 Robert Drew 1789
77 The House Is Black 1963 Forugh Farrokhzad 1792
78 The King of Kong 2007 Seth Gordon 1892
79 Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002 Bing Wang 1895
80 Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory 1895 Louis Lumière 1926
81 The Act of Killing 2012 Joshua Oppenheimer 1940
82 The Battle of Chile: Part 2 1976 Patricio Guzmán 1948
83 The Battle of Chile: Part 1 1975 Patricio Guzmán 1954
84 The Battle of Chile: Part 3 1979 Patricio Guzmán 1955
85 Baraka 1992 Ron Fricke 1961
86 Bus 174 2002 José Padilha 1971
87 Tokyo Olympiad 1965 Kon Ichikawa 1980
88 Exit through the Gift Shop 2010 Banksy 1988
89 Tarnation 2003 Jonathan Caouette 2004
90 Madonna: Truth or Dare 1991 Alex Keshishian 2046
91 Los Angeles Plays Itself 2003 Thom Andersen 2058
92 Winged Migration 2001 Jacques Perrin 2076
93 Taxi to the Dark Side 2007 Alex Gibney 2085
94 No Direction Home: Bob Dylan 2005 Martin Scorsese 2088
95 Anvil! The Story of Anvil 2008 Sacha Gervasi 2108
96 Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids 2004 Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman 2109
97 Lessons of Darkness 1992 Werner Herzog 2124
98 Les Maîtres fous 1955 Jean Rouch 2135
99 Le Sang des bêtes 1949 Georges Franju 2142
100 One Day in September 1999 Kevin Macdonald 2158
101 Metallica: Some Kind of Monster 2004 Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky 2166
102 The Emperor's Naked Army Marches on 1987 Kazuo Hara 2167
103 The Corporation 2003 Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar 2170
104 Sicko 2007 Michael Moore 2174
105 Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 2005 Alex Gibney 2202
106 Dark Days 2000 Marc Singer 2214
107 Inside Job 2010 Charles Ferguson 2221
108 The Decline of Western Civilization 1981 Penelope Spheeris 2310
109 The Decline of Western Civilization II, The Metal Years 1988 Penelope Spheeris 2314
110 Wild Style 1983 Charlie Ahearn 2317
111 Night Mail 1936 Harry Watt and Basil Wright 2325
112 The Cove 2009 Louie Psihoyos 2346
113 Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about His Father 2008 Kurt Kuenne 2355
114 Monterey Pop 1968 D.A. Pennebaker 2357
115 Jesus Camp 2006 Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady 2370
116 Little Dieter Needs to Fly 1997 Werner Herzog 2375
117 In the Year of the Pig 1969 Emile de Antonio 2379
118 Land of Silence and Darkness 1971 Werner Herzog 2389
This page was last modified on June 21, 2016