Best Documentary Movies of 2001

1.

Dogtown and Z-Boys

4.7
7.7/10

This award-winning, thrilling story is about a group of discarded kids who revolutionized skateboarding and shaped the attitude and culture of modern day extreme sports. Featuring old skool skating footage, exclusive interviews and a blistering rock soundtrack, DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS captures the rise of the Zephyr skateboarding team from Venice's Dogtown, a tough "locals only" beach with a legacy of outlaw surfing.

Starring: Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Henry Rollins, Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk
Directed by: Stacy Peralta
Release date: 2001-01-18
2.

Promises

4.3
8.4/10

Documentarians Justine Shapiro and B.Z. Goldberg traveled to Israel to interview Palestinian and Israeli kids ages 11 to 13, assembling their views on living in a society afflicted with violence, separatism and religious and political extremism. This 2002 Oscar nominee for Best Feature Documentary culminates in an astonishing day in which two Israeli children meet Palestinian youngsters at a refugee camp.

Starring: Moishe Bar Am, B.Z. Goldberg, Sanabel Hassan
Directed by: Carlos Bolado, B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro
Release date: 2001-01-01
3.

Children Underground

4.2
8.3/10
Children Underground
Children Underground follows the story of five street children, aged eight to sixteen who live in a subway station in Bucharest, Romania. The street kids are encountered daily by commuting adults, who pass them by in the station as they starve, swindle, and steal, all while searching desperately for a fresh can of paint to get high with.
Starring: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu, Ana Turturica, Marian Turturica
Directed by: Edet Belzberg
Release date: 2001-09-19
4.

War Photographer

4.2
8.0/10
War Photographer
Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.
Starring: James Nachtwey, Christiane Amanpour, Hans-Hermann Klare, Christiane Breustedt, Des Wright
Directed by: Christian Frei
Release date: 2001-01-01
5.

We Stand Alone Together

4.1
8.6/10
We Stand Alone Together
Compiled over two years, an 'on-camera oral history' of Easy Company, told by the veterans themselves. Accompanies the mini-series Band of Brothers.
Starring: James Alley Jr., Roderick Bain
Directed by: Mark Cowen
Release date: 2001-11-10
6.

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

4.1
8.0/10
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
With commentary from Hollywood stars, outtakes from his movies and footage from his youth, this documentary looks at Stanley Kubrick's life and films. Director Jan Harlan, Kubrick's brother-in-law and sometime collaborator, interviews heavyweights like Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen and Sydney Pollack, who explain the influence of Kubrick classics like "Dr. Strangelove" and "2001: A Space Odyssey," and how he absorbed visual clues from disposable culture such as television commercials.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Stanley Kubrick, Barbara Kroner, Steven Marcus, Alexander Singer
Directed by: Jan Harlan
Release date: 2001-05-02
7.

Rivers and Tides

4.0
7.9/10

Portrait of Andy Goldsworthy, an artist whose specialty is ephemeral sculptures made from elements of nature.

Starring: Andy Goldsworthy
Directed by: Thomas Riedelsheimer
Release date: 2001-02-13
8.

The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman

4.0
7.7/10
The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman
The second HBO documentary on former mafia enforcer Richard Kuklinski will chill you to the bone. Speaking in the monotonous drone of a man who has numbed himself with remorseless brutality, Kuklinski was first interviewed in 1991, five years after receiving consecutive life sentences for multiple murders. Specializing in the tidy use of cyanide, Kuklinski lived a double life, like the fictional hitmen in The Sopranos and Road to Perdition, passing as a “businessman” and devoted husband and father. While leading the life of a happy family man in the New Jersey suburbs Richard Kuklinski was also living a bizarre double-life as a Mafia hit man. Kuklinski tells first hand how he brutally murdered men at close range dismembered and disposed of them before returning home to his family. This film offers extraordinary insight into the cold-heart of a killer.
Starring: Richard Kuklinski
Directed by: Arthur Ginsberg
Release date: 2001-03-01
9.

Revolution OS

3.7
7.3/10
Revolution OS
REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement.
Starring: Susan Egan, Linus Torvalds, Richard M. Stallman, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens
Directed by: J.T.S. Moore
Release date: 2001-01-01
10.

Startup.com

3.7
7.0/10

Friends since high school, 20-somethings Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman have an idea: a Web site for people to conduct business with municipal governments. This documentary tracks the rise and fall of govWorks.com from May of 1999 to December of 2000, and the trials the business brings to the relationship of these best friends. Kaleil raises the money, Tom's the technical chief. A third partner wants a buy out; girlfriends come and go; Tom's daughter needs attention. And always the need for cash and for improving the site. Venture capital comes in by the millions. Kaleil is on C-SPAN, CNN, and magazine covers. Will the business or the friendship crash first?

Directed by: Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim
Release date: 2001-01-01
11.

Mau Mau Sex Sex

3.6
7.0/10
Mau Mau Sex Sex
A documentary about the history of exploitation films that focuses on the careers of legendary producers David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney.
Starring: David F. Friedman, Dan Sonney, Frank Henenlotter, Mike Vraney, Carol Friedman
Directed by: Ted Bonnitt
Release date: 2001-04-06
12.

A Tour of the Inferno: Revisiting 'Platoon'

3.6
7.3/10
A documentary about the making of Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film, Platoon (1986).
Starring: Oliver Stone, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger
Release date: 2001-01-01
13.

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy

3.5
6.3/10

Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy offers audiences a penetrating look inside the world of Ron Jeremy, America's most unlikely sex star and hero to millions. With nearly 25 years in the adult film industry and over 1,600 films to his credit, Ron Jeremy is huge. In his world, Ron reigns supreme-he's made millions of dollars and slept with thousands of beautiful women, and is indisputably the industry's biggest star. And everyone who's anyone knows Ron-a pop icon to millions, he is a beacon of hope for many American male, since he stands as living proof that pretty much anyone can get some. So how did such a classically unhandsome, big and hairy guy ever get to be suchia super stud? In one of the most fascinating and entertaining comedies of the last year, audiences finally get a chance to get inside the life and times of Ron Jeremy, and find out what's really behind the hardest working man in show business.

Starring: Ron Jeremy, William Margold, Al Goldstein, Al Lewis, Seymore Butts
Directed by: Scott J. Gill
Release date: 2001-01-01
14.

Walt: The Man Behind the Myth

3.3
7.7/10
Walt: The Man Behind the Myth
From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdom, he turned his dreams into entertainment for the ages. Now, learn his real story. Through exclusive footage and interviews with friends and family, this documentary traces the complicated life of legendary animator Walt Disney.
Starring: Walt Disney, Dick Van Dyke
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Isbouts
Release date: 2001-09-16
15.

Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

3.3
7.6/10
Documentary account of how a small community in Ashland, Virginia, try to resist plans to open up a Wal-Mart in their town.
Release date: 2001-10-02
16.

Drive-In Movie Memories

3.2
7.6/10

A nostalgic, informative history of drive-in movie theaters, featuring extensive archival photographs and interviews with Leonard Maltin, John Bloom, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Barry Corbin and many others... Drive-In Movie Memories is a film celebration of America's greatest icon of youth, freedom and the automobile. What began as an auto parts owner's business venture to make some easy money accidentally became a magical place where romance, fun and a sense of community flourished. This film chronicles the drive-in's birth and development, its phenomenal popularity with audiences of all ages, its tragic decline, and its inevitable comeback as a classic form of Americana.

Starring: Leonard Maltin, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Barry Corbin, Ewing Miles Brown, Jeanne Carmen
Directed by: Kurt Kuenne
Release date: 2001-08-31
17.

Missing Young Woman

3.2
7.6/10

This gripping documentary investigates the disappearance of young women from assembly plants that line the Mexican-American border.

Directed by: Lourdes Portillo
Release date: 2001-09-08
18.

The Code

3.2
7.5/10
The Code
The Code is a Finnish-made documentary about Linux, featuring some of the most influential people of the free software movement.
Starring: Eric Allman, Alan Cox, Miguel de Icaza, Jon 'maddog' Hall, Ari Lemmke
Directed by: Hannu Puttonen
Release date: 2001-09-26
19.

Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song

3.2
8.0/10
Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song
The films, affairs and struggles of the iconic star of The Blue Angel as told by Rosemary Clooney, Roger Corman, Deanna Durbin and many more.
Starring: Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach, André G. Brunelin, Rosemary Clooney, Hildegard Knef
Directed by: David Riva
Release date: 2001-12-27
20.

Cirque du Soleil - Baroque Odyssey

3.2
6.2/10
Cirque du Soleil - Baroque Odyssey
A unique and inspiring look into the heart of the Cirque du Soleil universe. This 10-year anniversary retrospective made in 1994 highlights the essence of Cirque du Soleil - the amazing energy and spirit that gave birth to the phenomenon and the breathtaking artistry that has captivated and delighted audiences around the world.
Release date: 2001-10-30

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