Best Documentary Movies of 2004
Super Size Me
Morgan Spurlock subjects himself to a diet based only on McDonald's fast food three times a day for thirty days without exercising to try to prove why so many Americans are fat or obese. He submits himself to a complete check-up by three doctors, comparing his weight along the way, resulting in a scary conclusion.
Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Born Into Brothels
Documentary depicting the lives of child prostitutes in the red light district of Songachi, Calcutta. Director Zana Briski went to photograph the prostitutes when she met and became friends with their children. Briski began giving photography lessons to the children and became aware that their photography might be a way for them to lead better lives.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
After bassist Jason Newsted quits the band in 2001, heavy metal superstars Metallica realize that they need an intervention. In this revealing documentary, filmmakers follow the three rock stars as they hire a group therapist and grapple with 20 years of repressed anger and aggression. Between searching for a replacement bass player, creating a new album and confronting their personal demons, the band learns to open up in ways they never thought possible.
The Power of Nightmares
A series of three documentaries about the use of fear for political gain.
Alone in the Wilderness
Dick Proenneke retired at age 50 in 1967 and decided to build his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park. Using color footage he shot himself, Proenneke traces how he came to this remote area, selected a homestead site and built his log cabin completely by himself. The documentary covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness.
WWE: The Rise + Fall of ECW
The Rise + Fall of ECW is a 2004 direct-to-video documentary produced by World Wrestling Entertainment. It chronicles the history of Philadelphia-based professional wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth
Comedian Dave Chappelle does what he does best in this outrageous and hilarious standup performance, which allows him to push the envelope far beyond what he does on his TV show. Taped in San Francisco at the famed Fillmore, Chappelle lets loose on such topics as black celebrities, what it's like to have raunchy fans of his TV show approach him while he's trying to enjoy Disneyland with his kids, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant... and crackheads, of course. It's comedy Chappelle-style and, for what it's worth, no one is safe from his barbs. But you already knew that!
Riding Giants is story about big wave surfers who have become heroes and legends in their sport. Directed by the skateboard guru Stacy Peralta.
A documentary on the once promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The friendship between respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor, escalated into bitter rivalry as the Dandy Warhols garnered major international success while the Brian Jonestown Massacre imploded in a haze of drugs.