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5 Favourite Documentaries?


Following on from the TV show and movie threads, I thought it would be interesting to hear what everyone’s 5 favourite documentary films are. I tend to watch a lot of these, and am always on the lookout for new recommendtions too.

My own 5 favourites are:

  1. King of Kong
  2. Blackfish
  3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  4. World at War
  5. Room 237

I heard ‘The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst’ was really good, but haven’t watched any of it yet- anyone seen it?


It’s awesome.
Just really well done and it’s basically like a Coen’s Brother movie…but in reality.

If they ever made a movie version of the novel Rant, it should be done that way


Google ‘Adam Curtis’, most of his stuff is up on Youtube and is fascinating.


I like this one.

  1. Roger & Me
  2. Senna
  3. The Civil War by Ken Burns
  4. Marley
  5. Behind the Music


The ones that come to mind first are (in no particular order):

  • Chariots of the Gods (probably the first documentary I ever saw, and one that really stirred people up at the time)
  • An Inconvenient Truth (which should be mandatory viewing worldwide)
  • The Civil War (actually, many Ken Burns docs should be on this list)
  • Super Size Me (a big reason why you won’t find me in a McDonalds)
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (because Graeme reminded me of it)

Honorable mention to Michael Moore’s Roger & Me.

EDIT: Gee, Ronnie beat me to the punch; can I change some of my answers?


When We Were Kings
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse
Grey Gardens


Future Shock: The story of 2000ad
The ascent of money series
World’s Worst jobs with Jerry Robinson
Blood of the Vikings
Men and Monsters with Jerry Robinson


I actually kind of want to see Amy not because I was into Winehouse’s music at all but because it’s done by the same guy that did Senna supposedly in the same style. All the footage was period footage, no talking heads.


Never Sleep Again, that Elm Street doc - mainly because the segment on Freddy’s Revenge is hilarious


Same here, I know a lot of people with no interest at all in motor racing were deeply moved by Senna. It’s an interesting way they’ve chosen to approach subjects with no commentary or narration but just footage edited to fit a narrative, I think it works very well.


Off the top of my head -

  • Stories we tell
  • Touching the Void
  • When we were Kings
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • The Kid Stays in the Picture

I haven’t seen Future Shocks yet, but really want to. I also remember liking the Fog of War about Robert McNamara. It was interesting to look at those moments in history from his perspective.


I’m one of those people with no interest in F1 who loved Senna, and really want to see Amy as a result even though I didn’t care for her music at all.

Other documentaries I love: Triumph of the Nerds/Nerds 2.0. Based on the book Accidental Empires by Robert X Cringely, the first series looks at the rise of the home computer, the second the dotcom boom and changes in the industry in the 4 or so years between the two series.

I Know that Voice: produced by John DiMaggio, this is a series of interviews with voice actors, running the range from TV and movie veterans to anime and game actors. They discuss their craft, how they do different voices, and most importantly the difference between being able to do distinct voice roles for a sustained period of time and doing an impression or a funny voice at a party.

Jodorowsky’s Dune: Chronicles Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to adapt Dune in the 70s, complete with many shots from the legendary production book that contains all the design work and storyboards, and includes interviews with Jodorowsky and his son (who was tapped to play Paul and underwent rigorous physical training at a young age for the role), Chris Foss, and HR Giger before he died.


I really want to see this one. I wish I would have caught it in the theater.


It appeared momentarily on Netflix one day but then I couldnt find it when I went to search for it. The same thing happened with Interstellar so it makes me hope it’ll turn up soon.


That’s what I thought. It was also on Youtube but then I figured out it was through some weird pay arrangement. Did realize that was possible before that instance.


That’s a recent addition. I’m sure it’s working out very well for them


Not much of a documentaries guy; I tend to watch them, retain the information and lose most of the film. Guess I’m not a good audience for them. What I do like are music documentaries, which are distinct from filmed concerts. Off the top of my head Woodstock is probably the most prominent. The Prince’s Trust concerts are good. Two that stand out are The Last Waltz, directed by Marty Scorsese and a passel of guests. That recorded the final concert of The Band. Some of the same folks showed up for George Harrison when he built The Concert for Bangla Desh. Fun moment: Ringo forgetting the words to his Song. It didn’t come easy at all!


Mark Kermode was incensed that Senna didn’t get an Oscar nomination and freely admitted he’d never seen a motor race in his life and didn’t plan to.


The Hamster Factor
Lost in La Mancha


Got to agree. Excellent concert movie / documentary.