Top Documentaries About America

Monday, April 25 by Lee Grayson

The top documentaries about America don’t always show the positive side of life. In fact, most American documentaries focus on negative aspects and conditions that need changing. Documentaries give visual evidence of crimes, the human condition, and actions that the directors and producers hope the audience will be inspired to take action against. It’s a tough job to motivate people in a film, but many documentaries have been successful.

  1. “Fahrenheit 9/11″ Michael Moore takes charge of this top documentary which tours the causes on the American attack on September 11th in this 2004 film. The questions posed strike a nerve, especially for the families of the 9/11 victims.
  2. “Sicko” Michael Moore takes on the medical industry in this 2007 documentary that challenges the profit-making practices of hospitals, insurance companies and medical professionals while people die because they can’t get treatment or afford basic medical care. Moore traces the mega contributions made to American politicians and tracks their voting record in support of big drugs and big insurance.
  3. An Inconvenient TruthAl Gore outlines global warming in this top documentary released in 2006. The images expose the melting of the ice caps and features interviews with important researchers studying global warming.
  4. “Bowling for Columbine” Michael Moore takes on the gun lobby issue in this 2002 documentary that traces the availability of guns in America. Using the backdrop of the Colorad high school massacre at Columbine, Moore challenges the gun lobbyists motivations.
  5. “Super Size Me” McDonalds and the fast food industry are the topics of this 2004 documentary that shows just how much Americans love the artery clogging foods served at most fast food chains, more specifically McDonalds.
  6. Capitalism: A Love Story” Michael Moore questions why big business is allowed to go wild on the American people without safeguards or restraint in this 2009 documentary. The love story according to Moore is between the politicians and the modern American robber barons.
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  8. “The Fog of War” it’s nice to know when America commits to a war that kills thousands of soldiers and civilians that when the time comes to reflect, it turns out to be a massive mistake. This is the view of the very architect of the war plan Robert S. McNamara. The subtitle of this 2003 top documentary about America and war is: “Eleven lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara.”
  9. “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” While some Americans may have forgotten recent American history, the Enron meltdown took out a cast of over-hyped businesses who were allowed to overstate profits and operate on the fringes of moral business practices. This 2005 top documentary traces the meltdown and the excesses of the corporate executives who didn’t learn one lesson after the debacle.
  10. “Inside Job” Winner of the 2011 Academy Award for documentaries, this film tracks the economic melt down in the United States in 2008. The filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, reminded the Academy audience that even though the congressional investigations are done and the guilty parties have been identified, nobody has been arrested. The film explores the concept of the congressional backside covering of the wilding-money managers.
  11. “Who Killed the Electric Car?” The fate of the electric car and one car in particular, General Motors’ ‘EV1′, is the focus of this 2006 documentary by director Chris Paine. The documentary tracks the reasons for introducing the cars and the ultimate death of the leased car in a massive campaign to put an end to the production that included taking new cars to the junk yard smasher for disposal. Paine tracks down important film footage and squeezes some revealing statements from auto industry executives. By the time the narrative is done, it’s obvious the car industry cares not about consumers or the environment.
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  1. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    I strongly disagree with #3 Al Gore is not a scientist, he is a politician using this bogus story to win elections.

  2. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Everyone should see “The Battle for Whiteclay” . Documentary on Native Americans living on the Pine Ridge reservation and their exploitation by the liquor industry and the State of Nebraska.

  3. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Come on, y’all. Documentaries were being made before the olsen twins were born, you know. Barbara Kopple’s “Harlan County, USA” is the greatest documentary ever filmed, and says more about America and who we are than most of the movies on this list.

  4. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    How so? He hasn’t run for office again since! LOL

    Did you even see the movie?

  5. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    I agree with CuraHack. #3 An Inconvenient Truth is a terrible documentary. I would call it An Inconvenient BS!

  6. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    All these documentaries are great! Everybody should watch them, EXCEPT #3 An Inconvenient Truth. That movie is bunch of BS! I don’t understand how could Breakstudios select this piece of junk. On the other hand, I personally like Michael Moore’s documentaries. They are really good!

  7. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    I liked Inconvenient Truth. There was also that one about Natural Gas and “fracking”.
    Incident at Oglala, also good.
    But Michael Moore is the king of documentaries

  8. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Please make it possible to read your learned notes
    holger Terp

  9. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm

    James Mitchell

    Al GORE’s inconvenient truth is he is neither a politician or a film maker. He’s an anchorman. That is the truth.

  10. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Wonderful list – I will be sure to see the 3 I haven’t so far.

  11. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    you gotta love mike moore union built union pride working class roots MILLIONAIRE THAT RESPECTS HONESTY>>> GAVE HIM THE BRAVERY TO STAND TALL AND TELL THE TRUTH against all odds

  12. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Gore didn’t make the movie to win the elections. His presidency has nothing to do with the film. He tried to scare people as much as possible with his global warming collapse of the world. The movie was good but the information in it was bunch of lies and crazy theories.

  13. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    mother nature will cleanse herself when shes tired of being shited on

  14. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    Why We Fight, about the military-industrial complex, is a great documentary.

  15. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    It’s all about America: Freedom To Fascism, should’ve been on the list

  16. April 25, 2011 10:07 pm


    yes. you are smarter than most of the worlds scientist. bafoon

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