100 Greatest Rock Documentaries

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Criteria: Influence, impact, historical importance, acclaim, direction, and popularity. Does not include films that are entirely comprised of concert footage.

Last Updated: 2015-05-06
Greatest Rock Documentaries
  1. Gimme Shelter (1970, Albert and David Maysles) (The Rolling Stones/Altamont Free Concert)
  2. Don't Look Back (1967, D.A. Pennebaker) (Bob Dylan)
  3. Let it Be (1970, Michael Lindsay-Hogg) (The Beatles)
  4. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988, Penelope Spheeris) (mid-80's glam metal scene in LA)
  5. The Kids are Alright (1979, Joel Stein) (The Who)
  6. Searching for Sugar Man (2012, Malik Bendjelloul) (Rodriguez)
  7. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002, Paul Justman) (The Funk Brothers)
  8. Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008, Sacha Gervasi) (Anvil)
  9. American Hardcore (2006, Paul Rachman) (hardcore punk)
10. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005, Jeff Feuerzeig) (Daniel Johnston)
11. Hype! (1996, Doug Pray) (grunge music)
12. The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006, David Leaf and John Scheinfeld) (John Lennon)
13. 1991: The Year Punk Broke (1993, Dave Markey) (American alternative music)
14. A Band Called Death (2012 Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett) (Death)
15. Meeting People is Easy (1998, Grant Gee) (Radiohead)
16. Dig! (2004, Ondi Timoner) (The Dandy Warhols/The Brian Jonestown Massacre)
17. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003, Jim Fields and Michael Gramaglia) (Ramones)
18. We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005, Tim Irwin) (Minutemen)
19. The Filth and the Fury (2000, Julien Temple) (Sex Pistols)
20. Buena Vista Social Club (1999, Wim Wenders) (Cuban musicians)
21. Imagine: John Lennon (1988, Andrew Solt) (John Lennon)
22. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991, Alek Keshishian) (Madonna)
23. The Beatles: Anthology (1996, Bob Smeaton and Geoff Wonfor) (The Beatles)
24. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013, Morgan Neville) (backup singers)
25. The Night James Brown Saved Boston (2008, David Leaf) (James Brown)
26. And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop (2004, Richard Lowe and Dana Heinz Perry) (hip hop music)
27. Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies (1994, Todd Phillips) (GG Allin)
28. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006, Stephen Kijak) (Scott Walker)
29. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006, Jonathan Demme) (Neil Young)
30. No Direction Home (2005, Martin Scorsese) (Bob Dylan)
31. Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who (Paul Crowder and Murray Lerner) (The Who)
32. Shut Up and Sing (2006, Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck) (Dixie Chicks)
33. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012, Drew DeNicola) (Big Star)
34. Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback (2006, Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios) (The Monks)
35. Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005, Sam Dunn, Scott McFadyen and Jessica Wise) (heavy metal music)
36. The Gospel According to Al Green (1984, Robert Mugge) (Al Green)
37. Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (2007, Julien Temple) (Joe Strummer)
38. A Life in the Death of Joe Meek (2008, Howard S. Berger and Susan Stahman) (Joe Meek)
39. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco (2002, Sam Jones) (Wilco)
40. Live Forever: The Story of Britpop (2003, John Dower)
41. Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010, Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen) (Rush)
42. 101 (1988, D.A. Pennebaker) (Depeche Mode)
43. Michael Jackson's This is It (2009, Kenny Ortega) (Michael Jackson)
44. Afro-Punk (2003, James Spooner) (African-American punk musicians)
45. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (1988, Nelson George) (Aretha Franklin)
46. Rattle & Hum (1988, Phil Joanou) (U2)
47. Some Kind of Monster (2004, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky) (Metallica)
48. New York Doll (2005, Greg Whiteley) (Arthur Kane)
49. Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box (2002, Joey Garfield) (beatboxing)
50. The Wrecking Crew (2008, Denny Tedesco) (The Wrecking Crew)
51. When You're Strange (2009, Tom DiCillo) (The Doors)
52. loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (2006, Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin) (Pixies)
53. It Might Get Loud (2009, Davis Guggenheim) (Jimmy Page/The Edge/Jack White)
54. Heavy Metal in Baghdad (2007, Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti) (Acrassicauda)
55. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981, Penelope Spheeris) (late 70's punk scene in Los Angeles)
56. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015, Brett Morgen) (Kurt Cobain)
57. You're Gonna Miss Me (2005, Keven McAllister) (Roky Erikson)
58. Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everyone Talkin' About Him?) (2010, John Scheinfeld) (Harry Nilsson)
59. Hit So Hard (2011, P. David Ebersole) (Patty Schemel)
60. Queen: Days of Our Lives (2011, Matt O'Casey) (Queen)
61. Joy Division (2007, Grant Gee) (Joy Division)
62. The Punk Singer (2013, Sini Anderson) (Kathleen Hanna)
63. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011, Michael Rapaport) (A Tribe Called Quest)
64. Upside Down: The Story of Creation Records (2010, Danny O'Connor) (Creation Records)
65. Back and Forth (2011, James Moll) (Foo Fighters)
66. Runnin' Down a Dream (2007, Peter Bogdonavich) (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
67. I Want My Name Back (2011, Roger Paradiso) (The Sugarhill Gang)
68. Beef (2003, Peter Spirer) (hip hop feuds)
69. The Compleat Beatles (1982, Patrick Montgomery) (The Beatles)
70. The Shield Around the K: The Story of K Records (2000, Heather Rose Dominic) (K Records)
71. The Fearless Freaks (2005, Bradley Beesley) (The Flaming Lips)
72. Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns (2003, AJ Schnack) (They Might Be Giants)
73. Under Great White Northern Lights (2009, Emmett Malloy) (The White Stripes)
74. Bad 25 (2012, Spike Lee) (Michael Jackson)
75. No Distance Left to Run (2010, Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace) (Blur)
76. Jandek on Corwood (2003, Chad Freidrichs) (Jandek)
77. Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2011, Ice-T) (hip hop)
78. Anyone Can Play Guitar (2010, John Spira) (Alternative rock scene in Oxford, England)
79. The Nomi Song (2004, Andrew Horn) (Klaus Nomi)
80. Made in Sheffield (2001, Eve Wood) (late 70's post-punk scene in Sheffield, England
81. Living in the Material World (2011, Martin Scorsese) (George Harrison)
82. Everyone Stares (2006, Stewart Copeland) (The Police)
83. Solitary Life (2003, Paul Bernays) (Richard Thompson)
84. Another State of Mind (1984, Adam Small and Peter Stuart) (Social Distortion/Youth Brigade)
85. MC5: A True Testimonial (2002, David C. Thomas) (MC5)
86. John Peel's Record Box (2005, Elaine Shepherd) (John Peel)
87. Bananaz (2008, Ceri Levy) (Gorillaz)
88. Paul Williams Still Alive (2011, Stephen Kessler) (Paul Williams)
89. Pearl Jam Twenty (2011, Cameron Crowe) (Pearl Jam)
90. Lord Don't Slow Me Down (2007, Baillie Walsh) (Oasis)
91. Sound City (2013, Dave Grohl) (Sound City recording studio)
92. Lemmy (2010, Greg Olliver and Wes Orshosk) (Lemmy Kilmister)
93. Grateful Dawg (2000, Gillian Grisman) (Jerry Garcia and David Grisman)
94. Nerdcore Rising (2008, Negin Farsad) (Nerdcore hip hop music)
95. Ain't In It For My Health (2010, Jacob Hatley) (Levon Helm)
96. Until the Light Takes Us (2009, Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell) (black metal scene in Norway)
97. Mistaken for Strangers (2013, Tom Berninger) (The National)
98. The Last Days of Left Eye (2007, Lauren Lazin) (Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez)
99. The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (2013, Shane Meadows) (The Stone Roses)
100. Spend an Evening with Saddle Creek (2005, Jason Kulbel and Rob Walters) (Bright Eyes/Saddle Creek Records)

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