Best Documentary Movies of 2002

1.

Bowling for Columbine

5.6
7.9/10

Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? Talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi. From a look at the Columbine High School security camera tapes to the home of Oscar-winning NRA President Charlton Heston, from a young man who makes homemade napalm with The Anarchist's Cookbook to the murder of a six-year-old girl by another six-year-old, Bowling for Columbine is a journey through America, through our past, hoping to discover why our pursuit of happiness is so riddled with violence.

Starring: Michael Moore, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Clark, Charlton Heston
Directed by: Michael Moore
Release date: 2002-10-09
2.

Lost in La Mancha

5.2
7.4/10

Fulton and Pepe's 2000 documentary captures Terry Gilliam's attempt to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote off the ground. Back injuries, freakish storms, and more zoom in to sabotage the project (which has never been resurrected).

Starring: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni, Philip A. Patterson, René Cleitman, Nicola Pecorini
Directed by: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
Release date: 2002-02-11
3.

The Life of Mammals

4.8
9.1/10
The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals is a nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough. A study of the evolution and habits of the various mammal species, it was the fourth of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth. Each of the ten episodes looks at one (or several closely related) mammal groups and discusses the different facets of their day-to-day existence and their evolutionary origins.
Release date: 2002-11-20
4.

Jackass: The Movie

4.6
6.6/10

Johnny Knoxville and his crazy friends appear on the big screen for the very first time in Jackass: The Movie. They wander around Japan in panda outfits, wreak havoc on a once civilized golf course, they even do stunts involving LIVE alligators, and so on. While Johnny Knoxvile and his pals put their life at risk, they are entertaining people at the same time. Get ready for Jackass: The Movie!!

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Release date: 2002-10-21
5.

Spellbound

4.6
7.5/10

This documentary follows 8 teens and pre-teens as they work their way toward the finals of the Scripps Howard national spelling bee championship in Washington D.C.

Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz
Release date: 2002-11-13
6.

The Century of the Self

4.5
8.9/10
The Century of the Self
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful mean of persuasion for both governments and corporations.
Release date: 2002-03-17
7.

Iron Maiden - Rock In Rio

4.5
9.0/10
Iron Maiden - Rock In Rio
Rock in Rio is a double DVD set (also available on VHS & UMD[1]) of heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. Besides showing the entire performance at the Rock in Rio show, the second disc also includes three special features with interviews with band members, a short documentary on the day in the life of Iron Maiden, and photos by official photographer, Ross Halfin.
Starring: Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Janick Gers
Directed by: Dean Karr
Release date: 2002-07-16
8.

9/11

4.2
8.4/10

An on-the-scene documentary following the events of September 11, 2001 from an insider's view, through the lens of two French filmmakers who simply set out to make a movie about a rookie NYC fireman and ended up filming the tragic event that changed our lives forever.

Starring: Tony Benatatos, Jamal Braithwaite, Joseph Casaliggi, James Hanlon, Joseph Pfeifer
Directed by: Rob Klug, Gédéon Naudet, Jules Naudet, James Hanlon
Release date: 2002-03-10
9.

An Evening with Kevin Smith

4.2
8.3/10

Kevin Smith interacts in Q&A sessions throughout various college stops in the USA.

Starring: Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith
Directed by: J.M. Kenny
Release date: 2002-12-17
10.

Stevie

4.0
7.9/10

In 1995 Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' to ten years earlier.

Starring: Steve James, Stephen Fielding, Tonya Gregory, Bernice Hagler, Verna Hagler
Directed by: Steve James
Release date: 2002-09-09
11.

The Short Films of David Lynch

4.0
7.4/10
The Short Films of David Lynch
The Short Films of David Lynch (2002) is a DVD collection of the early student and commissioned film work of American filmmaker David Lynch. As such, the collection does not include Lynch's later short work, which are listed in the filmography. The films are listed in chronological order, with brief descriptions of each film. The DVD contains introductions by Lynch to each film, which can be viewed individually or in sequence. # 1 Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Times) # 2 The Alphabet # 3 The Grandmother # 4 The Amputee # 5 The Cowboy and the Frenchman # 6 Premonitions Following an Evil Deed
Starring: David Lynch, Catherine E. Coulson, Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Nance, Frederic Golchan
Directed by: David Lynch
Release date: 2002-06-01
12.

The Kid Stays in the Picture

3.9
7.3/10

Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans, based on his famous 1994 autobiography.

Starring: Robert Evans, Norma Shearer, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Hemingway, Catherine Deneuve
Directed by: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen
Release date: 2002-08-16
13.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

3.9
7.8/10

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers.

Starring: Richard 'Pistol' Allen, Jack Ashford, Bob Babbitt, Benny 'Papa Zita' Benjamin, Eddie 'Bongo' Brown
Directed by: Paul Justman
Release date: 2002-11-15
14.

The Weather Underground

3.9
7.5/10
The Weather Underground
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous.
Starring: Lili Taylor, Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Brian Flanagan, David Gilbert
Directed by: Sam Green, Bill Siegel
Release date: 2002-01-01
15.

Dark Side of the Moon

3.9
7.6/10
Dark Side of the Moon
A French documentary or, one might say more accurately, a mockumentary, by director William Karel which originally aired on Arte in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. The basic premise for the film is the theory that the television footage from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was faked and actually recorded in a studio by the CIA with help from director Stanley Kubrick.
Starring: Stanley Kubrick, Richard Nixon, Buzz Aldrin, Lois Aldrin
Directed by: William Karel
Release date: 2002-10-16
16.

Comedian

3.8
6.9/10
Comedian
A look at the work of two stand-up comics, Jerry Seinfeld and a lesser-known newcomer, detailing the effort and frustration behind putting together a successful act and career while living a life on the road.
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Orny Adams, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Sherrod Small
Directed by: Christian Charles
Release date: 2002-10-25
17.

Space Station 3D

3.7
7.5/10

Some 220 miles above Earth lies the International Space Station, a one-of-a-kind outer space laboratory that 16 nations came together to build. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this extraordinary structure in this spectacular IMAX film. Viewers will blast off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Russia for this incredible journey -- IMAX's first-ever space film. Tom Cruise narrates.

Starring: Tom Cruise, James Arnold, Michael J. Bloomfield, Robert D. Cabana, Leroy Chiao
Directed by: Toni Myers
Release date: 2002-04-17
18.

Cinemania

3.7
7.1/10

This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. These human encyclopedias of cinema see two to five films a day, and from 600 to 2,000 films per year. This is the story of their lives, their memories, their unbending habits and the films they love.

Starring: Jack Angstreich, Eric Chadbourne, Bill Heidbreder, Roberta Hill, Harvey Schwarz
Directed by: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak
Release date: 2002-07-06
19.

Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet

3.7
7.3/10
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
Ten Minutes Older is a 2002 film project consisting of two compilation feature films entitled The Trumpet and The Cello. The project was conceived by the producer Nicolas McClintock as a reflection on the theme of time at the turn of the Millennium. Fifteen celebrated film-makers were invited to create their own vision of what time means in ten minutes of film.
Starring: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Marko Haavisto, Ana Sofia Liaño, Chloë Sevigny
Directed by: Chen Kaige, Víctor Erice, Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki, Spike Lee, Wim Wenders
Release date: 2002-05-18
20.

Devil's Playground

3.6
7.0/10

The Devil's Playground is a fascinating and moving documentary about a little-known aspect of Amish life. Amish are not permitted to join the church until their late teens, and have to do so of their own volition. The film explores Rumspringa, wherein young Amish are given the opportunity to explore the "English" way of life.

Starring: Velda Bontrager, Mark Bontrager, Dewayne Chupp, Dylan Cole, Matt Eash
Directed by: Lucy Walker
Release date: 2002-01-01

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