Top 10 Movie Mockumentaries

Script written by Craig Butler. Truth is stranger than fiction – and invented truth is stranger than both. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie mockumentaries. For this list, we’re focusing on feature-length mockumentaries – a type of film in which fictional events are presented documentary style to create a parody that’s either comical or serious. We’ve decided to exclude found footage films, so if you're looking for the “The Blair Witch Project” be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Found Footage Films. Special thanks to our users jkellis, Brian Silva, IrisFan FanIris, Marlon Jacques and lucacraig@gmail.com for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Mockumentaries


Truth is stranger than fiction – and invented truth is stranger than both. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 mockumentaries.

For this list, we’re focusing on feature-length mockumentaries – a type of film in which fictional events are presented documentary style to create a parody that’s either comical or serious. We’ve decided to exclude found footage films, so if you're looking for the “The Blair Witch Project” be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Found Footage Films.

#10: “Dark Side of the Moon” (2002)

Director William Karel’s “Dark Side of the Moon” purports to tell the “true” story of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing: you know the deal, that the whole thing was all faked by director Stanley Kubrick at the request of the CIA. Karel tricked many people, including Kubrick’s widow and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, into participating in his mockumentary. The result is doc-style film so skillfully done; many conspiracy theorists view it as a serious exposé of NASA’s duplicity.

#9: “Incident at Loch Ness” (2004)

Werner Herzog and Zak Penn collaborated on this film-within-a-film mockumentary. Herzog is supposedly filming a documentary on the Loch Ness Monster; Penn is an unscrupulous Hollywood producer who creates a fake Nessie to add drama to the proceedings. Except then the real Nessie shows up – maybe. “Incident at Loch Ness” is fascinating fun that examines the whole concept of reality – all as one big prank.

#8: “It’s All Gone Pete Tong” (2004)

This Canadian mockumentary looks at Frankie Wilde, an incredibly successful DJ who’s achieved wealth and fame. The problem: he’s going deaf because he’s constantly surrounded by loud music and drugs. “It’s All Gone Pete Tong” has some amazing sequences – particularly those in which Wilde hallucinates about a giant badger who represents his drug addiction. An emotional journey that’s both funny and frustrating, it’s an exciting comeback story – with a fake DJ at its core.

#7: “A Mighty Wind” (2003)

Christopher Guest has made a career of mockumentaries, and “A Mighty Wind” is one of his funniest – and surprisingly touching as well. In the film, three long-disbanded folk groups reunite for a special reunion concert. Poking fun at a wide range of subjects, from folk music to the 1960s to show business, “A Mighty Wind” is a great showcase for some of the most talented improvisational actors in film.

#6: “Man Bites Dog” (1992)

Belgium’s “Man Bites Dog” is an extremely dark comedy that follows a serial killer on his spree of death and mayhem. Befitting of its subject matter, “Man Bites Dog” is graphically violent; and the fact that the killer is presented as witty and charismatic, and that the fictional film crew becomes drawn into his world offends many. But “Man Bites Dog” makes serious, thoughtful points about celebrity and humanity in the modern world through its mockumentary style.

#5: “Waiting for Guffman” (1997)

Director Christopher Guest plays Corky St. Clair, a community theatre director in Blaine, Missouri. St. Clair is engaged to create a production in honor of the small town’s sesquicentennial – and the whole cast becomes excited when a Broadway producer announces his intent to see the show. Filled with odd characters and outlandishly quirky humor, “Guffman” lovingly captures the egoism and exaggerated drama of amateur theatricals, while also paralleling Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot.”

#4: “FUBAR” (2002)

Aging stoners get the mockumentary treatment in “FUBAR,” a Canadian film filmed digitally on a very, very low budget. Two mulleted, head-banging best friends are chosen as the subjects for a documentary about the common man. Between the beer chugging sequences or the trips to the doctor to battle testicular cancer, this mockumentary is an unexpected emotional rollercoaster. Touching on themes of friendship, loyalty, maturity and rocking out, “FUBAR” is both raucously funny and, at times, tender.

#3: “Best in Show” (2000)

The world of pompous dog contests gets the Christopher Guest treatment in “Best in Show,” which follows five canine entrants – and their owners – at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. With many of Guest’s perennial favorite actors filling the roles, this mockumentary earned high praise from critics. From a hyper-competitive yuppie couple to a small-town storeowner with a secret yen to be a ventriloquist, the dog owners are a mixed lot – and they make for some genuinely hilarious moments.

#2: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (2006)

Sacha Baron Cohen’s unique style of guerrilla mockumentary-making burst onto the big screen with “Borat.” It was so well received he continued the style in 2009’s “Bruno,” but “Borat” is the more successfully realized. Cohen’s title character is a journalist from Kazakhstan on a tour of the United States, which results in significant culture shock and silliness. Many of the interactions are with real people who believed Cohen was the character he portrayed – and this approach leads to some unexpectedly honest reactions – for better or worse.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “CB4” (1993)
- “I’m Still Here” (2010)
- “Zelig” (1983)
- “Bob Roberts” (1992)
- “Lake Mungo” (2008)

#1: “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)

Rob Reiner’s fictional “rockumentary,” “This Is Spinal Tap” was not the first mockumentary – but it laid the groundwork for all that came after it. The film follows the fictitious heavy metal band Spinal Tap on a problem-plagued U.S. tour. From its vision of a teeny-tiny Stonehenge set to an amp that memorably “go to 11,” “This Is Spinal Tap” is comic brilliance. So much so that the lead actors have continued to “reunite” the band periodically for some memorable concerts and recordings.

Do you agree with our choices? What other outrageous mockumentaries should we have added to this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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