Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Roger Ebert’s List of the Best 2010 Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

For me, the big story of the movie of 2010 was the animated films and the documentaries — we had more great films in both categories than ever before. So I was delighted to see Roger Ebert’s list of the year’s best documentaries. The films he selected demonstrate the astonishing range of modes, moods, topics, and voices working in documentaries today. There is the devastating autopsy of the financial crisis (“Inside Job”) and the mind-bending examination of street art that explores art, commerce, and the gullibility of the celebrity culture in form and content. There is a movie about a serial killer and a movie about a literally colorful guy who waves his jacket at tourists on Chicago’s river boats (I loved that one). And I was delighted to see Roger’s comments on the new film from Errol Morris. It was the review of Errol Morris’ “Gates of Heaven” and “Vernon, Florida” on the Ebert and Siskel show that first got me interested in documentaries, and I have been very grateful to them ever since.


See also the list of top documentaries of 2010 from one of my favorite critic friends, Cynthia Fuchs.

  • FilmAlicia

    There’s a number of documentaries on both lists that I would like to see, but I was hoping “Marwencol” would be on either Eberts’ list or Fuchs’ list. I saw it at the AFI at Silverdocs in June and it was outstanding, and very moving.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks for mentioning the brilliant “Marwencol.” I’d also add “Floored.” It is thrilling to see the range and quality of documentaries that are finding distribution and audiences.

  • Free documentaries

    No Sun-Times review for “Casino Jack & the United States of Money” (no, definitely not the Kevin Spacey version), about the Jack Abramoff scandal that finally led Tom DeLay to prison this week?
    Alex Gibney may be sitting back and typecasting himself on the mainstream pop-documentary riff he established for “Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room”–rather overdoing the “cutesy irony” graphics and soundtrack songs–but Gibney does an effective job of finding the humorous incongruities of complicated money scandals for the masses, and the loopy self-indulgences of those involved…Sort of like where “Roger & Me”‘s style would’ve headed in a few years, if Michael Moore’s ego hadn’t gone nuclear.

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