Scenes from 'Best Worst Movie,' 'Restrepo,' and 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work'
It's a "tremendously exciting" time for documentaries, says Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney. "There's no rules anymore except the rules that you set," explains the director of 'Casino Jack and the United States of Money,' which helped kick off a summer season full of rule-breaking true-life tales. "It's like fiction film. In fact, I would say, it's way ahead of fiction films."

Gibney's film opened as canny counter-programming against 'Iron Man 2.' In fact, there are more than a dozen exciting-looking documentaries this summer that belie the season's reputation as a time strictly for big-budget action filler. And they're not spinach movies, either; many are about famous people, so you can see them and satisfy your celebrity jones while still feeling virtuous about supporting indie non-fiction film instead of mass-market Hollywood product. Not that there aren't some potential box office hits on this list; 'Babies' is already a modest success, and one or more of these movies could be the next 'March of the Penguins' or 'An Inconvenient Truth.' Here are some docs to keep an eye out for as they open across the country this summer.