Joe Berlinger

Highest Rated: 100% Under African Skies (2012)
Birthday: Oct 30, 1961
Birthplace: Not Available
Since the release of his breakout documentary Brother's Keeper in 1992, storyteller and documentarian Joe Berlinger has been obsessed with scrutinizing the criminal justice system in small-town America and its sometimes frightening treatment of the socially abandoned. From the tragic figure of that film to the questionably murderous teens of the equally compelling Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hill, Berlinger's films often focus on those who live on the fringes of what is considered conventional morality and the suffering that it sometimes results in. Born in October of 1961, and initially opting for an advertising career, Berlinger met frequent future film collaborator Bruce Sinofsky when, after being inspired by Titicut Follies, he decided to enter the film industry by taking a job at Maysles Films. Quickly rising to the status of Executive Producer and becoming fascinated with the documentary approach to filmmaking, Berlinger and Sinofsky teamed for a humorous short film concerning the life of New York cabbies, Outrageous Taxi Stories, in 1989. Taxi proved a hit on the festival circuit, and the duo decided to go into business together with the creation of Creative Thinking International shortly thereafter. CTI soon gave way to Gray Matter Productions and that label's first release, the remarkable Brother's Keeper, more than lived up to the promise Taxi had hinted at. A touching and tragic tale of accused murder among the simple-minded brothers of the small Munnsville, NY, farming community, the film proved a valuable lesson for Berlinger in truly getting to know his subject matters. Spending nearly a year with the hermetic brothers and the community that rallied to the accused brothers' defense, Berlinger molded a truly fascinating view of small-town life and the often damning effects of media among those left defenseless by their innocence in the modern age. Shortly after bringing his real-world sensibilities to the small screen with work on television's popular Homicide: Life on the Streets, Berlinger returned to the theme of media influence on perception with the riveting and often disturbing documentary Paradise Lost (1996). On the surface concerning itself with the gruesome murder of three eight-year-old boys in rural Arkansas and their accused murderers -- three local teens whom the general populace had branded as "satanic" -- the film reached far deeper into the mindset of small-town America than any run-of-the-mill documentary. Raising numerous complicated questions regarding the interpretation and reaction to elements of society most people aren't willing to understand and their ultimate categorical dismissal and the ennui that often induces, Paradise Lost propelled Berlinger into the public psyche when it debuted to much acclaim on the HBO pay-cable service in 1996. As with Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost garnered numerous festival awards and showed a filmmaker with formidable storytelling skills. Four years later, after some minor work in television, Berlinger and company would return to the story that compelled viewers with a sequel (a somewhat rare occurrence in the world of documentaries), Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000). Returning to the haunting case and presenting evidence more horrifying than any work of fiction, Paradise Lost 2 followed the numerous appeals of the supposedly murderous trio that came to be known as the "West Memphis Three" and the harrowing facts that boiled to the surface following the initial trial. Constantly classifying himself as a storyteller in addition to a documentarian, it was no surprise that Berlinger soon began to seek fictional avenues for his film output. Approaching Artisan Entertainment in hopes of securing support for a low-budget noir-tinged thriller, Berlinger walked out of the studio ironically attached to direct the much-anticipated sequel to the indie-horror hit Blair Witch Project, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Though the film would take a mor

Highest Rated Movies



56% Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile Director 2019
No Score Yet Paris to Pittsburgh Executive Producer 2018
92% Intent to Destroy Screenwriter Director Producer 2017
45% Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru Producer Director 2016
79% Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger Producer Director 2014
50% Hank: Five Years From the Brink Director 2014
100% Under African Skies Producer Director 2012
No Score Yet Black Tide: Voices from the Gulf Director 2011
100% Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Producer Director 2011
No Score Yet Captive Beauty Producer 2010
95% Crude Producer Director Executive Producer $0.2M 2009
No Score Yet Gray Matter Executive Producer Screenwriter Director 2004
89% Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Executive Producer Producer Director $1M 2004
14% Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2 Burkittsville Tourist No. 1 2000
91% Paradise Lost 2 - Revelations Executive Producer Director Producer 2000
100% Paradise Lost: Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills Director Actor Producer 1996
100% Brother's Keeper Producer Director Screenwriter Executive Producer 1992


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No Score Yet Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders
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No Score Yet Great Performances
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No Score Yet Last Call With Carson Daly
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91% Homicide: Life on the Street
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