Most Important Movies

Most Important Movies—For What You Need to Know

The Most Important must-see movies on this website contain important information you need to know that could affect your life.

These Most Important Movies are mostly Documentaries.

Fed Up

Documentary 2014 PG 90 minutes. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States. It presents evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem. It points to the monied lobbying power of “Big Sugar” in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue. This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes behind the obesity epidemic, including the marketing strategies of major U.S. food producers. How did 60% of the country get so fat?  2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight, with 1 in 3 adults considered obese. Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. The film includes touching video self-portraits by young people who belong to the almost 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, who are considered obese. The obese parents who raise obese children — why aren’t they in the least bit curious as to how they’ve become 300 pounders when their ancestors were all normal. This film is an expose of the food industry’s pedaling of sugar-rich junk food to kids and the epidemic of obesity that has resulted from it. It rightly points to the chief villain in our food choices–sugar–as addictive and toxic. Sugar is clearly added to food products that historically had none in an effort to elicit a crave factor, so you can’t stop eating them. See Full Review

Waging a Living

Documentary 2004 NR 85 minutes. This thought-provoking documentary tests the mantra “get a job” to see whether low-wage jobholders — otherwise known as the “working poor” — can pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Filmed in California, New York and New Jersey over a three-year period, the film tracks the ups and downs of four ethnically diverse Americans living below the poverty line as they face a persistent struggle to make ends meet. See Full Review

The Best Government Money Can Buy?

Documentary 2009 NR 76 minutes. Just how influential are lobbyists? Francis Megahy writes and directs this absorbing documentary about lobbyists’ role in American politics, the far-reaching implications of their spending on elections and their threat to democracy. In addition to exploring case studies from several industries such as health care and energy, the film features insights from Capitol Hill insiders, former White House officials and more. See Full Review

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Documentary 2010 NR 97 minutes. Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path — including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables — that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health. See Full Review

Forks Over Knives

Documentary 2011 PG 96 minutes. Focusing on research by two food scientists, this documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of animal-based and modern processed foods have led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases. See Full Review

Homo Toxicus

Documentary 2008 NR 87 minutes. Documentarian Carole Poliquin uses wit, intelligence and common sense to unravel bureaucratic red tape and illuminate the science of the more than 100,000 chemicals created since World War II that contaminate mammals, plants, fish and even human DNA. Poliquin examines the prevalence of estrogen-mimicking compounds resulting in a lower birth rate of human males and the mutations of various species, and how science and governments are reacting. See Full Review

Sick Around the World

Documentary Frontline 2008 NR 60 minutes. With the U.S. health care system needing urgent care, “Frontline” looks to other leading capitalist democracies to see how their health care systems operate and whether those systems might be a model for much-needed reform at home. But are Americans willing to accept taxation or socialized medicine? Will U.S. insurance providers undermine change? Correspondent T.R. Reid examines systems in the U.K., Japan, Switzerland, Germany and Taiwan. Four in five Americans say the U.S. health-care system needs “fundamental” change. Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health-care system, or are these nations so culturally different from us that their solutions would simply not be acceptable to Americans? Frontline correspondent T.R. Reid examines first-hand the health-care systems of other advanced capitalist democracies — UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Taiwan — to see what tried and tested ideas might help us reform our broken health-care system. See Full Review

Commanding Heights:
The Battle for the World Economy

Documentary 2002 NR 360 minutes. Based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, this three-part PBS documentary series is the story of how the new global economy was born. It traces the rise of free markets during the last century, as well as the process of globalization. There are three segments – 1. “The Battle of Ideas” (primarily between Capitalism and Communism);  2. “The Agony of Reform” (after the end of Communism)  3. “The New Rules of the Game” (of Globalization). See Full Review

The Corporation

Documentary 2003 NR 145 minutes. Filmmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott explore the genesis of the American corporation, its global economic supremacy and its psychopathic leanings, with social critics like Noam Chomsky and Milton Friedman lending insight in this documentary. See Full Review

Unconstitutional
The War on Our Civil Liberties

Documentary 2004 NR 66 minutes. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress passed a series of legislations known as The Patriot Act, which is designed to assist law enforcement in preventing future terrorist attacks. Take an inside look at this controversial bill through the eyes of legal analysts and constitutional experts as they examine the possible dangers The Patriot Act poses to our civil liberties and individual freedoms. See Full Review

Manufacturing Consent
Noam Chomsky and the Media

Documentary 1992 NR 167 minutes. Funny and provocative, this 1992 documentary explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. Chomsky illustrates how the media tacitly manipulates public opinion to further the agendas of the powerful. A compelling examination of the suppression of news about the U.S.-supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor brings home the point. See Full Review

Koch Brothers Exposed

Documentary 2012 NR 1hr. Koch Brothers Exposed reveals that the Koch Brothers have launched a large network attacking American values — from their environmental pollution, to their efforts to dismantle social security for working Americans. This revealing film investigates the richest 1% in America at its very worst — the Koch brothers’ racist, and anti-environmental, and anti-middle class politics. The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $50 billion, and they pledged to spend $60 million to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012. See Full Review

Citizen Koch

Documentary 2013 NR 1hr25m. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision, this film explores the mounting struggle between money and American democracy, probing the sources of money behind politics and how it bends the rules. The title of the movie refers to the link between the super-wealthy Koch brothers and the effects of the Citizens United decision. See Full Review

GMO OMG

Documentary 2013 NR 90 minutes. This provocative documentary follows one father’s search for answers to the question “What are we feeding our families?” and examines the risks of consuming genetically modified foods, or GMOs. A growing number but still relatively few people are aware of the pervasive and increasing presence of GMOs in our food supply and how hard it is to know whether what you are eating is a GMO or not, due to no labeling requirements. See Full Review

Food Matters

Documentary 2008 NR 80 minutes. With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. See Full Review

John Perkins: Speaking Freely Vol. 1

Lecture 2007 NR. Author and former economic consultant John Perkins takes aim at himself, confessing his shameful role in helping organizations such as World Bank and the IMF drive poor nations into crippling debt while enriching U.S. corporations. His social conscience awakened, Perkins finally got fed up and quit his job. Now, he runs a successful nonprofit group that works to help indigenous peoples protect and strengthen their environments and cultures. See Full Review

Let’s Make Money

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr 47m Let’s Make Money is not about how to make money. This film traces money as it goes through the global finance system — exposing policies and practices affecting the worldwide economy. This film is about the billions, trillions of dollars that go to selfish human greed and not to basic human need. This shows the planetary marketplace from all perspectives: wealthy investors, business owners, bankers, laborers, activists, government officials, impoverished people — from all around the globe. See Full Review\

The Oil Factor

Documentary 2005 NR 93 minutes. Despite official statements that U.S. wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are being waged in the name of terror, it’s hard to ignore that three-quarters of the world’s oil supply comes from these regions. Narrated by Edward Asner, this thought-provoking documentary explores the realities of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and sheds light on the United States’ true motives. Featured experts include Noam Chomsky and author Ahmed Rashid. Even though it briefly talks about oil and its future, its primary focus is the war in Iraq/ Afghanistan. Its title is elusive because it focuses almost entirely on the causes/effects of war in those countries. It does not talk about oil enough and gives no strong history of oil in these countries as well as America. This doc. should be retitled to something along the lines of “the unspoken history of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.” This the is most important MUST SEE documentary ever! Everyone should see this. Very factual. Please tell all your friends to see this. See Full Review

Sick Around America

Documentary Frontline 2009 NR 60 minutes. Few Americans in the early years of the 21st century would argue that the country’s healthcare system is healthy; however, fewer still would be likely to agree about how to fix it. This “Frontline” special attempts to find some answers. Traveling around the country, going inside insurance companies and taking a hard look at one state’s failed efforts at healthcare reform, the program tackles one of the toughest issues of modern times. See Full Review

Can You Afford to Retire?

Documentary Frontline 2006. The acclaimed PBS public affairs series investigates the looming financial catastrophe facing the baby boom generation — a group blessed with a long life expectancy but bedeviled by shrinking incomes. The erosion of traditional pillars of retirement income — Social Security, lifetime pensions and 401(k) plans — has many boomers working well into their retirement years, a trend that could eventually threaten the whole economy. See Full Review

Mea Maxima Culpa:
Silence in the House of God

Documentary 2012 NR 107 minutes. Filmmaker Alex Gibney explores the crime of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, highlighting the landmark story of five deaf men who spoke out about a priest who molested more than 200 children between 1950 and 1974. Investigative piece about a particular catholic school for the deaf in Wisconsin that ties into the larger scandal at the Vatican itself. Father Murphy of Milwaukee allegedly raped and abused more than 200 children over a 24 year period. See Full Review

GasLand

Documentary 2010 NR 107 minutes. In this Oscar-nominated documentary, director Josh Fox journeys across America to examine the negative effects of natural-gas drilling, from poisoned water sources to kitchen sinks that burst into flames to unhealthy animals and people. See Full Review

Gasland Part II
Documentary 2013 NR.  Expanding on his Oscar-nominated film about fracking, director Josh Fox explores long-term consequences of the controversial oil-extracting method, including earthquakes and poisoned water.

Commanding Heights:
The Battle for the World Economy

Documentary 2002 NR 360 minutes. Based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, this three-part PBS documentary series is the story of how the new global economy was born. It traces the rise of free markets during the last century, as well as the process of globalization. There are three segments – 1. “The Battle of Ideas” (primarily between Capitalism and Communism;  2. “The Agony of Reform” (after the end of Communism)  3. “The New Rules of the Game” (of Glogalization). See Full Review

Six Degrees Could Change the World

Documentary National Geographic The Age of Stupid 2007 NR 90 minutes. This sobering documentary examines the incremental effects of climate change across the globe. Each degree of temperature change means devastating new consequences, and some scientists believe mankind is just six degrees away from utter disaster. Heat waves, drought, rising ocean levels and armed conflict over resources are just some of the grim predictions. Is there anything that can be done to reverse this alarming trend? See Full Review

The 11th Hour

Documentary 2007 PG 92 minutes. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on the global environmental crisis paints a portrait of a planet at risk while also offering some exciting and radical solutions for making life on earth sustainable. Tapping the brains of leading scientists and thinkers — including Stephen Hawking and Mikhail Gorbachev — the film ultimately delivers a hopeful message: Our planet may be in crisis, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late change.

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