The best mockumentaries of all time
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The best mockumentaries of all time

The best documentary films are informative and entertaining. In the realm of mockumentary movies, add the element of comedy, and we've got one special fictional package made out to chronicle a supposed real-life event, individual or group of people. Here's a glance at our favorite mockumentary films of all time.

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20. "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (2020)

"Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (2020)
Amazon Studios

We'll talk about the 2006 classic Borat film that started this all, but his 2020 sequel generated enough buzz in 2020. Our favorite journalist and television star (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Kazakhstan returned to have a little fun with some prominent international figures. Most notable, former New York City mayor-turned-national joke Rudy Giuliani. That generated plenty of buzz during the run-up to the 2020 election and drew plenty of attention to a movie that's good for plenty of laughs.

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19. "Get Ready to Be Boyzvoiced" (2000)

"Get Ready to Be Boyzvoiced" (2000)

We head to Norway for a highly underrated mock that is literally foreign to most fans of this genre of films. Get Ready to Be Boyzvoiced follows boy band Boyzvoice and its under-talented frontman M*Pete (Espen Eckbo), which found itself embroiled in a scandal and trying to save face and regain the popularity that it once enjoyed. There are plenty of fun-poking moments in the boy band genre and Eckbo shines bright in the lead role.

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18. "The Last Polka" (1985)

"The Last Polka" (1985)

As we'll see, veteran funnyman Eugene Levy has played a prominent role in the history of mockumentary filmmaking. One of the early pictures within the drama was The Last Polka, which was written by Levy and late buddy John Candy. The two comedy giants star as brothers Yosh (Candy) and Stan (Levy) Shmenge, the biggest polka act in the world that is about to play one last concert. Fellow SCTV regulars Rick Moranis and mockumentary staple Catherine O'Hara also make up the cast.

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17. "Mike Bassett: England Manager" (2001)

"Mike Bassett: England Manager" (2001)

Irishman Steve Barron made his name directing massively popular music videos such as "Billie Jean" and "Money for Nothing." With his satirical take on the misery, and often dysfunction, that's known as England's national soccer team, it's entertaining enough to make this list. Bassett, a lower-division manager, is surprisingly brought in to coach the team as it earns a World Cup spot, based on a technicality. The in-depth, behind-the-scenes look of the film is funny enough, by Ricky Tomlinson is quite good in the lead role. 

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16. "The Rutles - All You Need Is Cash" (1978)

"The Rutles - All You Need Is Cash" (1978)

Monty Python icon Eric Idle is the driving force behind this fictional, satirical Beatles knock-off band. The movie, through a series of sketches, mocked the over-the-top craziness that was Beatlemania and did so in that sideways, the comedic way only Idle, who starred as the Paul McCartneyesque Dirk McQuickly, can deliver. As we've seen and will continue to highlight, fictional bands make for stellar mockumentary fare -- and The Rutles are up there with the best.

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15. "7 Days in Hell" (2015)

"7 Days in Hell" (2015)
HBO Films

Director Jake Szymanski had enjoyed success on the mockumentary scene. Former Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg. Done similar to an HBO Sports documentary, the film hilariously follows tennis foes Aaron Williams (Samberg), the former orphaned turned the sport's bad boy) and child prodigy Charles Poole (Kit Harington), and their fictional historic Wimbledon match that goes on for days.

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14. "Tour de Pharmacy" (2017)

"Tour de Pharmacy" (2017)

More from Jake Szymanski and Adam Samberg, and two years after Days in Hell. This time, they tackle the world of competitive cycling , more specifically the fictional events surrounding the 1982 Tour de France and obvious doping among the competitors. Thus, leaving those "clean" athletes to compete in the race. Orlando Bloom is solid as Italian cyclist JuJu Peppi, along with Samberg as Nigerian Marty Hass. while big-time stars like Jeff Goldblum and Julia Ormond, as well as a cameo by disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong, provide the movie's best moments.

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13. "Mascots" (2016)

"Mascots" (2016)

Our first foray into the mind of Christopher Guest, who has directed some of the most renowned and beloved mockumentaries (as we'll see) of all time. His most recent came via Netflix. Mascots, which starred Guest regulars Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, and the late Fred Willard, follows the lives of fictional sports mascots competing for the prestigious Gold Fluffy Award. Mascots might not have enjoyed the high level of acclaim or popularity as Guest's other mocks, but a viewing is certainly time well spent.

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12. "Surf's Up" (2007)

"Surf's Up" (2007)
Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures

Throwing some playful mockery at those famed surfing documentaries, where it's man versus the perfect wave. For starters, it's animated, something truly innovative for the mockumentary genre. In this case, penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf) has dreams of becoming a surf king, and the film comically follows in the format of said documentaries that are filled with stunning visuals and gnarly dialogue.

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11. "Bob Roberts" (1992)

"Bob Roberts" (1992)
Paramount Pictures

Over the decades, Bob Roberts  has grown in cult classic status. Tim Robbins wrote, directed, and starred in this political satire about a ring-wing conservative folk singer running for the United States senate. However, Roberts (Robbins) might not be as wholesome and God-fearing as he comes off in public. This black comedy is told in a documentary format that follows his campaign but in that usual over-the-top mockumentary way. 

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10. "Brüno" (2009)

"Brüno" (2009)
Universal Studios

Sacha Baron Cohen's talent expands beyond Borat. Directed by Larry Charles, Brüno follows journalist Brüno Gehard, who covers fashion, and his lives life as if he was a male model. Cohen co-write and co-produced the film about another character from Da Ali Show. Cohen has gotten plenty of mileage out of those characters, and while Brüno hasn't reached the same level as Borat, he's well watchable, nonetheless.

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9. "Fear of a Black Hat" (1994)

"Fear of a Black Hat" (1994)

Not even rap could be spared from the world of mockumentary filmmaking. Fear of Black Hat is told from the perspective of sociologist Nina Blackburn (Kasi Lemmons), who is studying the world of rap and hip hop. Her subject matter is gangsta rappers N.W.H. (a play on real-life rap giants N.W.A.) -- Ice Cold, Tasty Taste, and Tone Def. The movie superbly covers all the stereotypes that come along with the genre, but in a humorous way that works well on all levels.

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8. "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" (2016)

"Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" (2016)

More rap/boy band acts to be mocked, and we're all the better for it. Andy Samberg is once again featured, this time playing Conner Friel, the leader of pop-rappers The Style Boyz. After his band breaks up, Conner goes solo and the fun really begins. Fellow Saturday Night Live  alums Maya Rudolph and Tim Meadows also star in a fun film that Samberg co-wrote and Judd Apatow served as one of the producers. 

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7. "For Your Consideration" (2006)

"For Your Consideration" (2006)
Warner Independent Pictures

We're starting to get into the really special Christopher Guest films. In For Your Consideration, which isn't a full-blown mock but should still qualify, Guest follows the production of the buzz-worthy film Home for Purim (later changed to Home for Thanksgiving) a period piece about a Jewish family coping with their mother's impending death. As well as potential Oscar nominations for has-been actors Victor Allan Miller (Harry Schearer), Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara) and Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who are each subtly humorous in their own way.

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6. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (2006)

"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (2006)

The film in which Sacha Baron Cohen won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Cohen's Borat travels America offending many with his antics, language, and beliefs. Not to mention trying to court Pamela Anderson's Baywatch character, C.J. Parker. While Borat tends to be an acquired taste for some, there's no denying how talented Cohen is when it comes to making this fictional goofball totally believable. 

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5. "Waiting for Guffman (1996)

"Waiting for Guffman (1996)
Sony Pictures Classics

More greatness from Christopher Guest. This time, we head to Blaine, Mo., where a theatrical production celebrating the town's 150th anniversary is all the rage. Eccentric director Corky St. Clair (Guest) is hilariously dealing with a novice cast that includes a town dentist (Eugene Levy) and peppy/ditzy Dairy Queen worker Libby Mae Brown (Parker Posey), with dreams of bringing the play to Broadway.

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4. "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999)

"Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999)
New Line Cinema

Mocking the world of teen beauty pageants could not be funnier than this Michael Patrick Jann flick. Kirsten Dunst is solid as the considerate and optimistic Amber Atkins, who is competing in the Sarah Rose Cosmetics Mount Rose (Minn.) American Teen Princess Pageant. Of course, Becky Leeman (Denise Richards) and her pageant-obsessed mother Gladys (Kirstie Alley) are standing in the way of Amber's victory. While Dunst and Alley are worth watching, Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney steal the show as Amber's beer-guzzling, white-trash mom and aunt, respectively.

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3. "A Mighty Wind" (2003)

"A Mighty Wind" (2003)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Who thought a tale about folk music could be so funny? And, another special moment from Christopher Guest. In the wake of the death of legendary folk music producer Irving Steinbloom, his three most popular acts, The New Main Street Singers, The Folksmen, and beloved duo Mitch & Mickey, are brought together by his family for a tribute concert -- and all the baggage that comes along the way. Guest stalwarts Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Jane Lynch, and the late Fred Willard particularly stand out.

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2. "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984)

"This Is Spinal Tap" (1984)
Getty Images

Regardless of the genre, Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap has long been hailed as a classic. Before Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean took the stage as The Folksmen from A Mighty Wind, they were Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnel, and David St. Hubbins, aka English heavy metal band Spinal Tap. This hilarious satire of a touring rock band that takes itself way too seriously has grown to iconic status and continues to be widely celebrated and influential nearly 40 years later. Turn it up to 11, and enjoy.

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1. "Best in Show" (2000)

"Best in Show" (2000)
Castle Rock Entertainment

It's tough to go against This Is Spinal Tap, but the laughs never seem to stop with Christopher Guest's Best in Show. The movie rides along with five dogs and their owners competing at the famed Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Once again, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, John Michael Higgins, Jennifer Coolidge, and Fred Willard are especially strong in their roles within one of a picture that just might be the gold standard among mockumentaries.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.

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