The Greatest Netflix Documentaries You Have to Watch


Netflix’s documentary slate is ridiculously good. To the purpose the place selecting one thing to look at could be tough! That is why we have made this record. Listed here are our picks for the very best documentaries on Netflix.

This is how we’re breaking issues down. We’re beginning with the newest and finest up prime, then the remaining listed by style. 

Good luck and pleased watching!

The Greatest Documentaries on Netflix

Netflix

The Most Hated Man on the Web

Netflix has been on hearth with its documentaries currently and The Most Hated Man on the Web is the newest. From the producers of Tinder Swindler and Dont F**okay with Cats, it is a three half docu that tells the story of Hunter Moore, one of the vital infamous purveyors of “revenge porn”. Undoubtedly value watching this one. 

Netflix

The Lady within the Image is the newest true crime documentary from Netflix. It is up there with its very best work.

It looks like, after a interval of needlessly bloated multi-episode documentaries, Netflix has began trimming the fats, releasing lean, extremely compelling documentaries once more. First Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey and Our Father, now this.

The Lady within the Image tells the story of a younger woman, murdered aged 20. To say an excessive amount of would spoil the affect, however this can be a layered, brutal documentary with infinite twists. It must be seen to be believed.

Netflix

Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey

There are a variety of Netflix documentaries about cults gone mad, however Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey is perhaps probably the most disturbing of the lot. Not like Homicide Among the many Mormons, which nearly handled its matter like a screwball comedy, Maintain Candy is a really grim story a few grim human being in Warren Jeffs. It is a implausible documentary, and among the many finest Netflix has produced, however it comes with a really hefty content material warning.

Netflix

Nearly as good as Netflix documentaries are, there’s been a bent to pull true crime out into these bloated multi episode sequence. Fortunately Our Father is the other of that. It is a lean, completely executed documentary centered on Donald Cline, an Indiana fertility Physician who used his personal sperm to inseminate a ridiculous quantity of ladies in opposition to their will.

That is an unimaginable piece. A type of tales that simply escalates and escalates to the purpose the place you are jaw is dropping in disbelief. 

Netflix

The true crime documentary style is completely saturated at this level, however The Staircase stands out. 

Specializing in Michael Peterson and the dying of his spouse Kathleen, The Staircase is greater than only a homicide thriller. It is a drawn-out epic that takes place over literal many years, a documentary that follows Peterson and examines his each transfer, however in some way nonetheless stays goal. 

It is a good time to look at or revisit this one, since HBO Max have simply launched a drama mini sequence primarily based on it.

Netflix

Barack Obama’s is making a beeline for David Attenborough’s job. And we do not hate the concept!

Our Nice Nationwide Parks is a world class nature documentary within the model of nice BBC exhibits like Planet Earth. They’ve nailed it right here. When you’re a fan of that kind of present that is fully unmissable.

Netflix

Components 1: Drive to Survive

Absolutely the gold normal for lengthy operating sports activities documentaries. Drive to Survive is so good, and so in style, that it is impressed a complete new degree of curiosity in Components 1, particularly within the US. This present is nice at elevating the characters that occupy the game. Extra exhibits like this please.

Netflix

This Oscar-winning documentary is an absolute belter. 

Icarus begins out as an expose on the affect performance-enhancing medicine have on sports activities efficiency, however a sequence of occasions drags director Bryan Fogel into an internet of geopolitics and conspiracies. To say extra would spoil it, however Fogel in the end has created a documentary that had a really actual affect on our notion of sports activities as a complete. In that respect, Icarus is a literal sport changer.

Netflix

I’ve watched loads of true crime documentaries on Netflix, however nothing has come near The Keepers. A staggering story, instructed throughout generations, that is respectful of the victims, but compelling all through.

It is a story in regards to the unsolved homicide of Catherine Cesnik, a nun who taught at a Catholic faculty in Baltimore, however The Keepers goes additional than you would possibly anticipate and exposes a possible cowl up of intercourse abuse allegations.

Netflix

Who Killed Little Gregory (2019)

Who Killed Little Gregory is a documentary centered on the horrific homicide of Grégory Villemin. It is arguably the very best true crime documentary on Netflix. It is a few homicide, and makes an attempt to unravel that homicide, however it’s additionally a lesson in media illustration and the horrific sexism Grégory’s mom needed to face within the wake her personal son’s homicide. 

Netflix

In 2020, within the midst of a pandemic, Netflix dropped this piece of sports activities doc perfection. 

The Final Dance focuses on the Chicago Bulls throughout their 97-98 NBA title profitable season, however actually it is a leaping off level for a documentary that tells the life story of its central star, Michael Jordan. 

In consequence, many criticized it for being somewhat too Jordan-focused, however The Final Dance was an occasion documentary that lived as much as the hype. 

Netflix

thirteenth by Ava Duvernay is a staggering documentary that tells the story of American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, a lot of which nonetheless resonate right this moment. 

Within the wake of the Black Lives Matter motion, this must be obligatory viewing.

True crime

Michael Putland/Getty Photos

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story

It is nearly not possible to overstate how well-known Jimmy Savile was within the UK — significantly within the Nineteen Eighties. He was past a family title, in some ways he felt like an eccentric Uncle to the nation.

Which made revelations he had sexually assaulted actually tons of of underage women and boys all of the extra horrific. This was an individual the entire of Britain had invited into their properties. 

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story does an incredible job of going by means of the archives, combining footage that’s completely weird in hindsight, and including implausible interviews with a number of the main gamers in British TV throughout Savile’s heyday. An interesting, albeit disturbing documentary. Be warned: This can be a troublesome watch, 

Netflix

The Tinder Swindler (2022)

A documentary centered on Shimon Hayut, AKA “Tinder Swindler”, a conman who used courting apps to defraud a number of girls throughout Europe to fund a lavish life-style.

A barely totally different matter in comparison with most true crime documentaries on Netflix. Undoubtedly value a gander.

Netflix

The Raincoat Killer (2021)

These days its uncommon to look at a lean, clear direct true to crime present that does not drag issues out, or intentionally obfuscate information for the sake of drama. However that is precisely why The Raincoat Killer is so good, and distinctive.

It is a complete, nice take a look at The Raincoat Killer, a brutal serial killer in South Korea. It is one of many higher true crime documentaries on Netflix.

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Home of Secrets and techniques: The Burari Deaths (2021)

One of many more moderen true crime documentaries from Netflix, this can be a good one.

Specializing in the weird deaths of 11 members of the family in a single home in Burari, Delhi, India in 2018, Home of Secrets and techniques delves into the theories behind of the strangest suicide/homicide instances in latest reminiscence. Unmissable stuff. 

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This Is a Theft is about Netflix because it will get. A four-part sequence specializing in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, that is basically a documentary about an artwork heist. Bear in mind Evil Genius? (Which can be on this record.) This Is a Theft may be very a lot in that model. The primary episode takes some time to get going, however be affected person — this one has a repay.

Netflix

Homicide Among the many Mormons (2021)

A few of Netflix’s more moderen true crime documentaries have been a bit bloated and… sorta dangerous?

Fortunately Homicide Among the many Mormons is a return to type. Undoubtedly watch this one. 

Netflix

American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door (2020)

There are a variety of true crime documentaries on the market (and on this record) however American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door stands out. 

It tells the story of Chris Watts, a seemingly common man who murdered his spouse and kids. The entry to footage is staggering and it is edited and produced in a novel manner, utilizing textual content messages and social media posts to inform the story. It is a horrific reminder of the banal, extremely widespread existence of home violence.

Netflix

Making A Assassin (2015-2018)

With the swathe of true crime documentaries and podcasts that got here in its wake, it is easy to overlook that the world as soon as misplaced its collective thoughts over Making A Assassin. In a variety of methods it created the template that many Netflix documentaries now observe. An actual unique.

Nature/science

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Seaspiracy follows within the footsteps of a number of documentaries centered on the affect of meat consuming on the atmosphere. This time the worldwide fishing trade is within the crosshairs. As anticipated this one has stirred up a little bit of controversy from all stakeholders — PETA, Greenpeace and conservation teams can not seem to agree if Seaspiracy is correct or honest. Watch it and make up your personal thoughts.

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My Octopus Trainer (2020)

My Octopus Trainer follows Craig Foster, a filmmaker who spent a yr snorkelling and interacting with an octopus off the coast of South Africa. It is a nature movie, positive, however it’s concurrently a documentary designed to encourage awe within the viewer. In brief, octopi are unimaginable. Little aliens on Earth, basically. That is the story of a relationship between people and nature however it’s additionally an inspiring name to motion: Do not ignore the surprise that exists throughout you.

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David Attenborough nature documentaries are so ubiquitous they’re weak to self parody, however Our Planet is — I consider — the excessive watermark. Solely Planet Earth, one other Attenborough docu, comes shut. However I desire this one.

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Time could uninteresting its affect, however when Tiger King was first launched on Netflix, all the world could not cease speaking about it. 

Tiger King explores the unusual underbelly of massive cat breeding, specializing in a forged of unforgettable (and in the end harmful) characters. It drags its viewers to bizarre locations. Season 2 is now accessible and whereas the present has misplaced a variety of its chew, it is intriguing to meet up with this forged of untamed human beings doing wild, fully outlandish issues. 

Sports activities 

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14 Peaks tells the story of the Nepalese mountaineer Nimsdai Purja and his purpose of climbing all 14 mountains above the peak of 8000 metres in a single yr. It is unimaginable. Should watch stuff.

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Netflix may need burned the True Crime documentary into the bottom, however it’s on hearth in terms of sports activities. Dangerous Sport is the newest entry into this burgeoning sub class, and it is superior. Specializing in unusual controversies in sports activities historical past, Dangerous Sport is much less about main gamers doing main issues, it is about what occurs when sport goes dangerous, will get down within the dust. All of those episodes are nice. Hoping for a season 2. 

Netflix

The River Runner is sorta like Free Solo for kayaking. Contemplate {that a} praise.

Specializing in Scott Lindgren, a kayaking legend who was an early pioneer of the game, this can be a conventional story of an excessive sports activities star overcoming odds, however it runs somewhat deeper than that. Combating in opposition to a mind tumour and his personal private demons, Lindgren is a compelling case examine. Should watch stuff.

Netflix

Untold is the newest from the parents behind Wild Wild Nation.

It is a sports activities documentary sequence, with every episode going in-depth on controversial sports activities subjects. The primary episode focuses on Malice on the Palace, the infamous basketball match the place Ron Artest waded into the group and wailed on followers again in 2004.

The second episode focuses on Christie Martin, the feminine boxer from the 80s who turned well-known after preventing on Mike Tyson’s undercard. 

It is launched weekly and, to date so good. It’s totally 30 for 30 — which is an efficient factor.

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Naomi Osaka has turn into one of the vital well-known and talked about athletes on the planet. This fascinating documentary explores totally different phases of her profession and provides unimaginable entry into the lifetime of a younger lady battling the pressures of sport and fame. A should watch.

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Athlete A is a good function size expose on Larry Nassar, the staff doc of US Gymnastics, who had been sexually abusing feminine athletes for many years.

Be warned: This one is harrowing.

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When you’re searching for a barely extra uplifting documentary, you may do far worse than The Pace Cubers, a take a look at the world of aggressive rubix… cubers? It is quick, however packs an unimaginable emotional punch. Put together your self, this one would possibly break you.

Politics/historical past 

Netflix

Within the wake of the Capitol siege, the Fb/Cambridge Analytica controversy nearly looks like historical historical past, however that does not make this documentary any much less vital. If you have not seen it, then watch it.

Netflix

Operation Varsity Blues: The School Admissions Scandal (2021)

Just lately launched, Operations Varsity Blues: The School Admissions Scandal has a reputation so long as a few of Netflix’s latest documentaries. Fortunately, this is not as bloated as, say, the latest Cecil Resort docu, however it might nonetheless use some trimming. 

Operation Varsity Blues centered on the FBI investigation into faculty admissions that put actress Felicity Huffman into jail. Its director Chris Smith beforehand labored on the Fyre Pageant documentary. This is not fairly as compelling, however remains to be effectively value watching. 

Sundance

Knock Down the Home (2019)

No matter your views on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Knock Down The Home is an unimaginable underdog story that can not be missed. Specializing in progressive feminine candidates in the course of the 2018 congressional main campaigns, it is an insightful take a look at the democratic course of. It is an inspiring reminder that we have to battle in an effort to make the voices of extraordinary folks depend.

Netflix

What Occurred, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not gonna say a lot right here. Nina Simone is a legend and that is possibly top-of-the-line documentaries I’ve ever seen. 

Netflix

Overlong and bloated, Wild Wild Nation is nonetheless one of the vital fascinating documentaries I’ve ever watched on Netflix. 

It tells the story of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajnees, who tried to construct a big sprawling commune, for what was basically a intercourse cult, in the USA. It is a unusual story that in some way turns into stranger with age. Very like Tiger King the story plumbs depths you will not consider. At occasions it is a slog, however Wild Wild Nation is completely worthwhile.

Netflix

I completely adore this documentary. 5 present acclaimed administrators (together with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) assist inform the story of 5 well-known film administrators from the ’30s and ’40s who did frontline work in the course of the Second World Struggle. It wraps their legacies alongside the affect of the conflict itself into a very compelling story of Hollywood’s golden age.

Netflix

One other Oscar winner for Netflix, this documentary is the primary produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Increased Floor Productions staff. 

American Manufacturing facility tells the story of Fuyao, a Chinese language firm that constructed a manufacturing unit in Ohio that inhabits a now-closed Common Motors plant. You need to watch this film.

Netflix

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy (2020)

By this level all of us have some kind of understanding of Jeffrey Epstein’s story however Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy does itself an incredible service by specializing in the tales of the survivors of his abuse. 

The Cinemart/Hulu

Fyre: The Biggest Occasion That By no means Occurred (2019)

Hulu additionally has an incredible Fyre pageant documentary, however I desire this Netflix one. Not like many Netflix documentaries, that are stretched and bloated into multi-part episodes, this documentary is sharp, direct and strong gold all the manner by means of.