We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 movie documentaries released from 2000-2010. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. An Inconvenient Truth (2006) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
Climate change is a legitimate thing that’s happening to this planet. Some people don’t want to believe it, so former Vice President Gore brings the science, narrating a great doc about how climate change is affecting our species, our world, and our way of life.
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Starring: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
9. Sicko (2007) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
Moore is a confrontational person, always looking to rile people up in order to push his political agenda. In Sicko, he takes on the healthcare industry, including insurance and pharmaceuticals. With Obamacare on the chopping block, it’s becoming even more relevant than ever before.
Director: Michael Moore
Starring: Michael Moore, Tucker Albrizzi, Tony Benn
8. Spellbound (2002) 98% at Rotten Tomatoes
Spelling bees are serious business. Scholarships are at stake, and parents often push their kids to their limits to win at all costs. We’ve all participated in one in elementary school, but only the cream of the crop makes it to the national level with Scripps. Check out all the drama in this highly watchable documentary.
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Starring: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar
7. Freakonomics (2010) 66% at Rotten Tomatoes
Freakonomics is a great book and podcast series by economists Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt. Rethink the way you look at common ideas around abortion, corruption, paying for grades, and the origin of your name. Each segment has a different director, and together they form one great documentary.
Director: Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki, Morgan Spurlock
Starring: James Ransome, Tempestt Bledsoe, Melvin Van Peebles
6. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) 97% at Rotten Tomatoes
Believe it or not, there are still people vying for high scores in all those old arcade machines from the 1980s. King of Kong follows Wiebe in his quest to overthrow Mitchell’s Donkey Kong high score. It quickly became a cultural icon and is a must-watch documentary for any gamer.
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Mark Alpiger
5. Super Size Me (2004) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
Is McDonald’s actually bad for you? That’s the question Spurlock tackles in this film, where he lives on a diet of McDonald’s for 30 straight days. It led to a ton of spoofs and spin-offs, and made Spurlock almost as much of a household name as McDonald’s itself.
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Starring: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Chemeeka Walker
4. Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009) 81% at Rotten Tomatoes
What would have been a run-of-the-mill concert documentary took on a new life when Jackson lost his. The concert never happened, and this film instead serves as the story of his last days. Decades past his prime, MJ is still a consummate professional. It’s an inspiring documentary for anyone interested in the music industry.
Director: Kenny Ortega
Starring: Michael Jackson, Alex Al, Alexandra Apjarova
3. It Might Get Loud (2008) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes
Three legendary guitarists are gathered in a room to discuss their craft. From the beginning, when you see White craft a homemade electric guitar, you realize this is a wet dream for any guitar lover. By the time you reach the climax and are listening to the three playing “The Weight,” you’ve been schooled on everything you ever wanted to know about how these creative geniuses think.
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Starring: Jack White, Jimmy Page, The Edge
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
Banksy is a legendary street artist, and this movie seems to be about him. However, it ends up becoming more about the man trying to document him. Appearances by graf artists from around the world make this a great film for any artist to watch. There’s also a great Disneyland cameo where we learn security at the happiest place on earth is better than even the Gaza Strip.
Starring: Banksy Mr. Brainwash, Debora Guetta
1. The One Percent (2006) 56% at Rotten Tomatoes
Ever wonder what life would be like as a billionaire? Johnson does his best to shed a light on a world most of us will never know. The modern-day wealthy are typically private about their reality, but here we see even deeper into that world than we did in Born Rich, Johnson’s first documentary. It’s an interesting look into a lifestyle that’s out of reach for 99% of us.
Director: Jamie Johnson
Starring: Nicole Buffet, Jamie Johnson, Steve Forbes