Top 5 Mockumentaries


Documentaries often feel boring, stuffy, and self-righteous. Luckily, you can always count on brilliant, sarcastic smart-alecks to make fun of films of this genre, creating humorous, and often controversial satires! Our Top 5 Mockumentaries list provides a great introduction into the rich world of satirized documentaries, offering the five greatest examples of the style!

1) This is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap Mockumentary
  • Satirizes the wild personal behavior and musical pretensions of hard rock and heavy metal bands
  • The highest rated mockumentary on IMDB with an 8.0/10 score
  • Currently holds a 95% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Roger Ebert gave the film 4 stars out of 4 and wrote "This Is Spinal Tap is one of the funniest, most intelligent, most original films of the year. The satire has a deft, wicked touch”
  • Was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry

2) Waiting for Guffman

Waiting for Guffman Mockumentary
  • In the fictional small town of Blaine, Missouri, a handful of delusional residents prepare to put on a community theater production led by an eccentric director
  • Currently holds a 91% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Nominated for the American Film Institute’s 100 Years... 100 Laughs list
  • Much of the film’s dialogue was ad-libbed, with only a minimal script
  • Meryl Streep’s favorite movie!

3) Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous Mockumentary
  • Follows the contestants in a beauty pageant, held in the small fictional town of Mount Rose, Minnesota, in which various contestants begin to die in suspicious ways
  • Twisted and brilliant script, satirizing Midwestern culture and pageantry
  • Considered a cult classic today, and has a devoted following
  • Was the film debut of Amy Adams
  • The original title was "Dairy Queens", but it had to be changed after a Dairy Queen lawsuit

4) Man Bites Dog

 Man Bites Dog Man (mockumentary) - man point a gun
  • Follows a crew of filmmakers following a serial killer, recording his horrific crimes for a documentary they are producing. At first dispassionate observers, they find themselves caught up in the increasingly chaotic violence
  • Received the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association
  • Screened at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival where it won the SACD award for Best Feature and the Special Award of the Youth
  • Controversial content and extreme violence was off-putting to some viewers, and resulted in the film being banned in Sweden
  • The legacy of Man Bites Dog has influenced filmmakers drawing inspiration from the film’s premise of a camera crew following around a serial killer

5) Forgotten Silver

Forgotten Silver mockumentary
  • Purports to tell the story of 'forgotten' New Zealand filmmaker Colin McKenzie, and the rediscovery of his lost films, which presenter Peter Jackson claims to have found in an old shed
  • Originally marketed as a documentary, it fooled a huge number of people thanks to its convincing, pitch perfect tone
  • The television network that first broadcast the film received mountains of angry and even threatening mail
  • Contains fake interviews with famous individuals, such as Sam Neill and Harvey Weinstein
  • Thomas Robins, the actor who portrays Colin MacKenzie, is today more easily recognized by audiences as Déagol in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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