Best Documentary Movies of 2005

1.

Earthlings

6.0

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by: Shaun Monson
Release date: 2005-09-24
2.

Grizzly Man

5.4

Werner Herzog's documentary film about the "Grizzly Man" Timothy Treadwell and what the thirteen summers in a National Park in Alaska were like in one man's attempt to protect the grizzly bears. The film is full of unique images and a look into the spirit of a man who sacrificed himself for nature.

Starring: Timothy Treadwell, Kathleen Parker, Warren Queeney, Willy Fulton, Sam Egli
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Release date: 2005-08-12
3.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

5.4

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Starring: Peter Coyote, John Beard, Jim Chanos, Dick Cheney, Carol Coale
Directed by: Alex Gibney
Release date: 2005-04-22
4.

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan

5.1

A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star.

Starring: Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 2005-07-21
5.

49 Up

4.2

49 Up is the seventh film in a series of landmark documentaries that began 42 years ago when UK-based Granada's World in Action team, inspired by the Jesuit maxim "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man," interviewed a diverse group of seven-year-old children from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Michael Apted, a researcher for the original film, has returned to interview the "children" every seven years since, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and now again at age 49.In this latest chapter, more life-changing decisions are revealed, more shocking announcements made and more of the original group take part than ever before, speaking out on a variety of subjects including love, marriage, career, class and prejudice.

Starring: Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield
Directed by: Michael Apted
Release date: 2005-09-15
6.

Why We Fight

4.1

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

Starring: Ken Adelman, John Ashcroft, Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush
Directed by: Eugene Jarecki
Release date: 2005-01-01
7.

Street Fight

4.1
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This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which the Cory Booker attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James
Starring: Cory Booker, Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, Cornel West
Directed by: Marshall Curry
Release date: 2005-01-01
8.

Murderball

4.1

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Starring: Joe Bishop, Keith Cavill, Andy Cohn, Scott Hogsett, Christopher Igoe
Directed by: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
Release date: 2005-07-22
9.

Erasure Live! The Tank, the Swan, and the Balloon

4.0

British synthpop legends Erasure perform live at the Manchester Apollo on 8 June 1992, as part of their Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour.

Starring: Andy Bell, Vince Clarke, Annick Clarisse, Veronique Clarisse, Sadie Fletcher
Directed by: David Mallet
Release date: 2005-10-28
10.

Workingman's Death

4.0
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Is heavy manual labour disappearing or is it just becoming invisible? Where can we still find it in the 21st century? Workingman's Death follows the trail of the HEROES in the illegal mines of the Ukraine, sniffs out GHOST among the sulphur workers in Indonesia, finds itself face to face with LIONS at a slaughterhouse in Nigeria, mingles with BROTHERS as they cut a huge oil tanker into pieces in Pakistan, and joins Chinese steel workers in hoping for a glorious FUTURE.
Directed by: Michael Glawogger
Release date: 2005-11-25
11.

Gallipoli

4.0
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The Gallipoli campaign of World War I was so controversial & devastating, it changed the face of battle forever. Using diaries, letters, photographs and memoirs, acclaimed director, Tolga Ornek, traces the personal journeys of Australian, New Zealand, British and Turkish soldiers, from innocence and patriotism to hardship and heartbreak.
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Sam Neill, Zafer Ergin
Directed by: Tolga Örnek
Release date: 2005-03-18
12.

The Fearless Freaks

4.0
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Equal parts punk and psychedelia, the Flaming Lips emerged from Oklahoma City as one of the most bracing bands of the late 1980's. The Fearless Freaks documents their rise from Butthole Surfers-imitating noisemakers to grand poobahs of orchestral pop masterpieces. Filmmaker Bradley Beesely had the good fortune of living in the same neighborhood as lead Lip Wayne Coyne, who quickly enlisted his buddy to document his band's many concerts and assorted exploits. The early footage is a riot, with tragic hair styles on proud display as the boys attempt to cover up their lack of natural talent with sheer volume. During one show, they even have a friend bring a motorcycle on stage, which is then miked for sound and revved throughout the performance, clearing the club with toxic levels of carbon monoxide. Great punk rock stuff. Interspersed among the live bits are interviews with the band's family and friends, revealing the often tragic circumstances of their childhoods and early career.
Starring: Beck, Bradley Beesley, Steve Burns, Dolly Coyne, Kenny Coyne
Directed by: Bradley Beesley
Release date: 2005-05-25
13.

Live 8

3.9
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On 2 July 2005 an estimated 3 billion people came together in the fight against extreme poverty. LIVE 8 - 10 concerts featuring over 1000 musicians from across the globe - asked people not for their money, but for their voice.
Starring: Paul McCartney, Richard Ashcroft, Elton John, Pete Doherty, Dido
Release date: 2005-11-07
14.

Mad Hot Ballroom

3.9

Eleven-year-old New York City public school kids journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves and their world along the way. Told from their candid, sometimes hilarious perspectives, these kids are transformed, from reluctant participants to determined competitors, from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen," on their way to try to compete in the final citywide.

Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo
Release date: 2005-05-13
15.

The Aristocrats

3.9

One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville.

Starring: Jason Alexander, Chris Albrecht, Hank Azaria, Shelley Berman, Steven Gary Banks
Directed by: Paul Provenza
Release date: 2005-01-01
16.

Hiroshima

3.9

The documentary recounts the world's first nuclear attack and examines the alarming repercussions. Covering a three-week period from the Trinity test to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the program chronicles America's political gamble and the planning for the momentous event. Archival film, dramatizations, and special effects feature what occurred aboard the Enola Gay (the aircraft that dropped the bomb) and inside the exploding bomb.

Starring: John Hurt, Shuntaro Hida, Robert Austin, George Anton
Directed by: Paul Wilmshurst
Release date: 2005-08-05
17.

Punk: Attitude

3.9
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A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock.
Starring: Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Jim Jarmusch, Wayne Kramer, Glenn Branca
Directed by: Don Letts
Release date: 2005-07-04
18.

Dave Chappelle's Block Party

3.8

The American comedian/actor delivers a story about the alternative Hip Hop scene. A small town Ohio man’s moves to Brooklyn, New York, to throw an unprecedented block party.

Starring: Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Common, Yasiin Bey, Bilal
Directed by: Michel Gondry
Release date: 2005-09-12
19.

Fuck

3.7
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A documentary on the expletive's origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use.
Starring: Reinhold Aman, Steven Bochco, Pat Boone, Benjamin C. Bradlee, Drew Carey
Directed by: Steve Anderson
Release date: 2005-11-07
20.

Inside Deep Throat

3.7

In 1972, a seemingly typical shoestring budget pornographic film was made in a Florida hotel, "Deep Throat," starring Linda Lovelace. This film would surpass the wildest expectation of everyone involved to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. It caught the public imagination which met the spirit of the times, even as the self appointed guardians of public morality struggled to suppress it, and created, for a brief moment, a possible future where sexuality in film had a bold artistic potential. This film covers the story of the making of this controversial film, its stunning success, its hysterical opposition along with its dark side of mob influence and allegations of the on set mistreatment of the film's star.

Starring: Dennis Hopper, Peter Bart, Warren Beatty, Carl Bernstein, Linda Lovelace
Directed by: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Release date: 2005-02-11

Also check Best documentary movies of 2004.

Check out our top containing the Best Documentary Movies of 2005. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

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