Top Ten Punk Rock Documentaries

THC13
Listing the best documentaries on punk rock music and subculture.

The Top Ten

1 The Decline of the Western Civilization

Year: 1981



Director: Penelope Spheeris



Bands Featured: Black Flag, The Germs, The Bags, Circle Jerks, X, Fear, Catholic Disciple.


This film covers the Los Angeles punk scene and lifestyle in 1979 and 1980. - THC13

2 The Slog Movie

Year: 1982


Director: David Markey


Bands Featured: Wasted Youth, Black Flag, Circle One, T.S.O.L., Circle Jerks, Fear, Red Cross, Symbol Six, Cheifs, Sin 34.


Documents the Southern California punk scene during the early 80's featuring live performances, interviews and the daily lives of many punk bands and their members. - THC13

3 Clockwork Orange County (a.k.a. We Were Feared)

Year: 2012


Director: Jonathan W.C. Mills



Bands Featured: T.S.O.L., The Vandals, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Iggy Pop, Dead Kennedys, The Ramones, Descendents, Adolescents and more.



Documentary about the Cuckoos Nest; a world famous (in the punk rock world at least) venue in Costa Mesa, California. It's actually just an updated version of the 1981 documentary Urban Struggle. - THC13

4 Another State of Mind

Year: 1984


Director: Adam Small, Peter Stuart


Bands Featured: Social Distortion, Youth Brigade, Minor Threat.


This films follows Social Distortion and Youth Brigade on tour featuring road trip footage and live performances. They meet up with Minor Threat while in D.C. - THC13

5 American Hardcore

Year: 2006


Director: Paul Rachman


Bands Featured: Middle Class, Black Flag, Bad Brains, D.O.A., Adolescents, Circle Jerks, M.D.C., T.S.O.L., Void, Gang Green, Jerry's Kids, D.R.I., Articles of Faith, and many more.


This documentary shows the birth and evolution of Hardcore Punk Rock from 1978 - 1986. - THC13

6 The Punk Rock Movie

Year: 1978


Director: Don Letts


Bands Featured: Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Slits, Johnny Thunder and the Heartbreakers, X-Ray Spex, Generation X, Siouxsie and the Banshees and more.


Super 8 footage shot by Roxy's disc jockey Don Letts of punk bands performing at the Roxy in London 1977. - THC13

7 You Weren't There

Year: 2007


Director: Joe Losurdo, Christina Tillman


Bands Featured: Big Black, Articles of Faith, Naked Raygun, The Effigies, Strike Under, Subverts, Mentally Ill and more.


This film documents the Chicago punk scene from 1977 - 1984. - THC13

8 D.O.A. A Rite to Passage

Year: 1981


Director: Lech Kowalski


Bands Featured: Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Sham 69, X-Ray Spex, Generation X, and The Rich Kids.


Features interviews and concert footage of some of Punk's earliest bands from the mid-late 70's. - THC13

9 Punking Out

Year: 1978


Director: Maggi Carson, Julilusz Kossakowski, Ric Shore


Bands Featured: The Ramones, The Dead Boys, Richard Hell and the Voidoids


Documents the punk explosion at CBGB's in 1977 New York. - THC13

10 Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies

Year: 1993


Director: Todd Phillips


Bands Featured: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies


I'm not that much of a GG fan but if you want to see what a psychopath he was this is the one to watch. This film shows him defecating on stage and eating it, throwing feces at his audience, attacking his fans and band mates, chasing his whole audience out of the venue, a woman urinating in his mouth for his birthday, and him doing a "spoken word" at a college in which he walks in front of the class wearing nothing but a jock strap. He stands there silently and starts peeling a banana. He then shoves the peeled banana in his butt and asked the students, "You guys hungry? " and then throws chunks of the butt banana at the students. - THC13

The Contenders

11 A Band Called Death
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