Best Documentary Movies of 2014
In June 2013, Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her.
The Look of Silence
A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.
Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s oldest national park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and a contested ground among insurgencies seeking to topple the government that see untold profits in the land. Among this ongoing power struggle, Virunga also happens to be the last natural habitat for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. The only thing standing in the way of the forces closing in around the gorillas: a handful of passionate park rangers and journalists fighting to secure the park’s borders and expose the corruption of its enemies. Filled with shocking footage, and anchored by the surprisingly deep and gentle characters of the gorillas themselves, Virunga is a galvanizing call to action around an ongoing political and environmental crisis in the Congo.
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.
Finding Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier's photos were seemingly destined for obscurity, lost among the clutter of the countless objects she'd collected throughout her life. Instead these images have shaken the world of street photography and irrevocably changed the life of the man who brought them to the public eye. This film brings to life the interesting turns and travails of the improbable saga of John Maloof's discovery of Vivian Maier, unravelling this mysterious tale through her documentary films, photographs, odd collections and personal accounts from the people that knew her. What started as a blog to show her work quickly became a viral sensation in the photography world. Photos destined for the trash heap now line gallery exhibitions, a forthcoming book and this documentary film.
The surprising and entertaining life of renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert (1942-2013): his early days as a freewheeling bachelor and Pulitzer Prize winner, his famously contentious partnership with Gene Siskel, his life-altering marriage, and his brave and transcendent battle with cancer.
Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history.
An Honest Liar
An Honest Liar tells the incredible story of the world-famous magician, escape artist, and world-renowned enemy of deception, James 'The Amazing' Randi. The film brings to life Randi's intricate investigations that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers, and con-artists with quasi-religious fervor. A master deceiver who came out of the closet at the age of 81, Randi created fictional characters, fake psychics, and even turned his partner of 25 years, Jose Alvarez, into a sham guru names Carlos.
Free to Play
Follow three professional video game players as they overcome personal adversity, family pressures, and the realities of life to compete in a $1,000,000 tournament that could change their lives forever.
20,000 Days on Earth
A semi-fictionalized documentary about a day in the life of Australian musician Nick Cave's persona.
Roger Waters - The Wall
A concert film that the former Pink Floyd singer-songwriter made on various tour dates between 2010 and 2013, when he was playing his former group's 1980 double-album in its entirety.
That Sugar Film
One man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves.
Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King
A documentary filmmaker interviews the now-famous Trevor Slattery from behind bars.
The Weight of Chains 2
'The Weight of Chains 2' is a documentary film largely dealing with the effects of the Washington Consensus economic doctrine on the newly established former Yugoslav republics, but also with neoliberalism as an economic concept. Through interviews with Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone and many others, the author, Serbian-Canadian Boris Malagurski, attempts to analyze why so many people in the Balkans are disappointed with the systems imposed after the fall of socialism and how capitalism could be improved. Looking at the examples of Ecuador and Iceland, the film tries to uncover alternatives to the prevailing orthodoxies of Western economic dictates and help developing nations find their own way to shape their economies and their countries.
One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film
Where We Are: Live from San Siro Stadium features the entire 23 track concert filmed at San Siro Stadium in Milan in June 2014, as well as 24 minutes of bonus content including backstage footage of One Direction and their crew.
A documentary highlighting the Soviet Union's legendary and enigmatic hockey training culture and world-dominating team through the eyes of the team's Captain Slava Fetisov, following his shift from hockey star and celebrated national hero to political enemy.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
A documentary about the rise and fall of the Cannon Film Group, the legendary independent film company helmed by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.
Filmmakers Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey chronicle a year in the lives of an Alaskan brown bear named Sky and her cubs, Scout and Amber. Their saga begins as the bears emerge from hibernation at the end of winter. As time passes, the bear family must work together to find food and stay safe from other predators, especially other bears. Although their world is exciting, it is also risky, and the cubs' survival hinges on family togetherness.
Billy Elliot: The Musical Live
In County Durham, England, 1984, a talented young dancer, Billy Elliot, stumbles out of the boxing ring and onto the ballet floor. He faces many trials and triumphs as he strives to conquer his family’s set ways, inner conflict, and standing on his toes in a musical that questions masculinity, gender norms and conformity.
Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe
A look at the story behind Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from all of the Marvel films, the Marvel One-Shots and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays
In 700 Sundays, legendary comedian and actor Billy Crystal tells the stories of his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years, and finally adulthood. The Tony Award-winning show is a funny and poignant exploration of family and fate, loving and loss.
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
A documentary film detailing Glen Campbell's final tour and his struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Eat Drink Laugh: The Story of The Comic Strip
EAT DRINK LAUGH: The Story of The Comic Strip showcases the iconic New York comedy club where Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and hundreds of the best comedians of our time honed their craft. EAT DRINK LAUGH explores the struggles, triumphs, and incredible journey of the people who kept the comedy club’s doors open and the comedians who graced its stage with their unique voices night after night since 1976. Among the comics featured in the film are Richard Belzer, Billy Crystal, Gilbert Gottfried, Arsenio Hall, Carol Leifer, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis, Bill Maher, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Joe Piscopo, Colin Quinn, Paul Provenza, Paul Reiser, Ray Romano and Chris Rock.
In the shady campgrounds of Yosemite valley, climbers carved out a counterculture lifestyle of dumpster-diving and wild parties that clashed with the conservative values of the National Park Service. And up on the walls, generation after generation has pushed the limits of climbing, vying amongst each other for supremacy on Yosemite's cliffs. "Valley Uprising" is the riveting, unforgettable tale of this bold rock climbing tradition in Yosemite National Park: half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity -- and the laws of the land.
Documentary about the Detroit Pistons.
Merchants of Doubt
Spin doctors spread misinformation and confusion among American citizens to delay progress on such important issues as global climate change.
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia—many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.
The One Piece Podcast Goes To Japan
Back in May 2013, The One Piece Podcast managed to run a successful Kickstarter which funded a trip to Japan to film a One Piece documentary like none other. It has been a long road, but the wait is over. “The One Piece Podcast Goes to Japan” features interviews with some of the biggest names in the One Piece franchise, exclusive access to One Piece and Shonen Jump events, and even the thoughts and opinions of fans from around Japan!
Atari: Game Over
The Xbox Originals documentary that chronicles the fall of the Atari Corporation through the lens of one of the biggest mysteries of all time, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” Rumor claims that millions of returned and unsold E.T. cartridges were buried in the desert, but what really happened there?
Last Days in Vietnam
During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront a moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball
Hollywood veteran Bing Russell creates the only independent baseball team in the country—alarming the baseball establishment and sparking the meteoric rise of the 1970s Portland Mavericks.
The Culture High
The Culture High tears into the very fibre of the modern day marijuana debate to reveal the truth behind the arguments and motives governing both those who support and oppose the existing pot laws.
She's Beautiful When She's Angry
A documentary that resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women's movement from 1966 to 1971.
Night Will Fall
When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps in 1944-45, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army and newsreel cameramen, revealing for the first time the full horror of what had happened. Making use of British, Soviet and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein (later founder of Granada Television) aimed to create a documentary that would provide lasting, undeniable evidence of the Nazis’ unspeakable crimes. He commissioned a wealth of British talent, including editor Stewart McAllister, writer and future cabinet minister Richard Crossman – and, as treatment advisor, his friend Alfred Hitchcock. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US Governments, the film was shelved, and only now, 70 years on, has it been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums under its original title "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey".
Feature documentary about legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and her campaign to create a global network of protected marine sanctuaries
All This Mayhem
A searing account of what happens when raw talent and extreme personalities collide. In this unflinching, never-before-seen account of drugs and the dark side of professional skateboarding, brothers Tas and Ben Pappas' intense bond and charisma take them from the pinnacle of their sport into a spiraling world of self-destruction.
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
In its first 25 years only 10 people have finished The Barkley Marathons. Based on a historic prison escape, this cult like race tempts people from around the world to test their limits of physical and mental endurance in this documentary that contemplates the value of pain.
Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine
An intimate portrait of Matthew Shepard, the gay young man murdered in one of the most notorious hate crimes in U.S. history. Framed through a personal lens, it's the story of loss, love, and courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
Next Goal Wins
An inspirational story about the power of hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and an object lesson in what it really means to be a winner in life.
Brothers addicted to speed at any price. Documentary following the motorcycle road racing careers, and fate, of the Dunlop family.
Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip 2
In 2013 Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond embarked on what they hoped would be the perfect road trip. It started well and ended, quite frankly, very badly. Unbowed, the Top Gear pair are back for another crack and this time they're hoping to avoid inconveniences like apprehension by the French police. Welcome, then, to The Perfect Road Trip... 2. Once again, Clarkson and Hammond are seeking joy and perfection wherever it may be with a range of fast, beautiful and exciting cars unleashed on glorious roads amongst gorgeous scenery and drenched in Mediterranean sunshine. As part of their arduous research into perfection, the duo will also undertake some ridiculous challenges and hilarious stunts culminating in a strangely literal car race on the island of Capri. Top Gear - The Perfect Road Trip 2. This time it really is perfect. Except for the bits that aren't.
Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded
In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago. Cocaine Cowboys is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States. But it isn't the whole story - Pulling from hundreds of hours of additional interviews and recently uncovered archival news footage, Cocaine Cowboys has been RELOADED: packed with footage and stories that have never been told about Griselda Blanco, the Medellín Cartel, and Miami's Cocaine Wars, with firsthand accounts by hit man Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala, cocaine trafficker Jon Roberts, smuggler Mickey Munday, and others. Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded recreates Miami's Cocaine Wars like you've never experienced it.
An informational documentary that invites you to explore another side of pregnancy and childbirth which is not often shown in the mainstream media. In this documentary we take a look at the Midwifery Model of Care, show and tell what a birth center is and what one can expect with an out of hospital birth experience. We answer the most common questions and address the concerns most people have about out of hospital births. We also discuss C-section, VBAC, ICAN, Interventions, the importance of a proper diet during pregnancy and more. We hear three women share their personal birth stories; In and out of hospital experiences. This documentary is full of good information and is a must see for all women of childbearing age interested in pregnancy and childbirth, regardless of where they choose to give birth.
The Seven Five
Meet the dirtiest cop in NYC history. Michael Dowd stole money and dealt drugs while patrolling the streets of '80s Brooklyn.
The Dwarf in China
A dwarf, a dragon, and a golden egg. Yet the real fairy-tale of this film is the journey of Jeanmarie, the Dutch street performer. In an adventurous project, Jeanmarie teams up with youth worker Frank to travel through the last remaining untouched regions of China, performing his new show to local children. As they transport their wondrous music machine from village to village, they bring laughter and intrigue to all who witness their magical performance, reuniting reality with fantasy, Europe and Asia. In a film as imaginative and whimsical as Jeanmarie's play itself, this is a poignant tale of passion and conviction to follow and fulfil your dreams.
A LEGO Brickumentary
A look at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys.
Leave the World Behind
A music documentary following the breakup of Swedish House Mafia and their subsequent One Last Tour. The largest electronic tour in history, selling over 1 million tickets in one week. Director Christian Larson captures the band in a unique fly on the wall manner as they call it quits and seek closure by going on the tour they had always dreamed of. With breathtaking live moments, huge laughs and dark lows, the band start to unravel why they came to the decision to end the biggest achievement of their lives to date to save their friendship. The film maps out three of the biggest stars in a scene which has gripped youth the world over and the psychology of the band. A film not to be missed.
Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot
This documentary chronicles the life story of the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki and his inspiring journey from Germany to superstardom in the NBA.
Through a combination of hand-held and hidden camera footage, Lucent explores the darker side of Australia's pig farming industry, highlighting the day-to-day cruelty accepted by the industry as standard practice.