Special Report

The 50 Best Documentaries of All Time

Source: Paul Hawthorne / Staff / Getty Images Entertainment

40. The Cats of Mirikitani (2006)
> IMDb average rating: 8.2 (733 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (932 votes)
> Director: Linda Hattendorf

On the streets of post 9/11 New York City, homeless Japanese-American artist Jimmy Mirikitani meets a young filmmaker who takes him in and begins the process of finding him a permanent home, while uncovering his amazing life story.

Source: Courtesy of Phase 4 Films

39. The Crash Reel (2013)
> IMDb average rating: 8.2 (4,780 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (2,107 votes)
> Director: Lucy Walker

“The Crash Reel” follows two childhood friends and rival professional snowboarders as they push each other to the limits, performing ever more dangerous stunts until one has a near fatal half-pipe crash and the other goes on to win an Olympic gold medal.

Source: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

38. No End in Sight (2007)
> IMDb average rating: 8.2 (8,345 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (8,140 votes)
> Director: Charles Ferguson

Through archival footage and interviews with key and behind the scenes players, this film explores the U.S. occupation of Iraq, revealing the lack of insight, planning, and expertise that led to the disastrous war effort.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

37. Long Strange Trip (2017)
> IMDb average rating: 8.2 (1,559 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (1,089 votes)
> Director: Amir Bar-Lev

This four-hour retrospective on the Grateful Dead covers their early days, their impact on the American cultural landscape, and how they dealt with the fame and intense adoration of their fans and followers.

Source: Courtesy of National Geographic Channel

36. LA 92 (2017)
> IMDb average rating: 8.2 (6,162 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (204 votes)
> Directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin

This film covers the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest following the acquittal of four LAPD officers who brutally beat Rodney King, as well as the targeting of Koreatown after a Korean store owner fatally shot 15-year-old Latasha Harlins.

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