The 28 best documentaries to watch on Netflix


Operation Varsity Blues is the newest in a protracted listing of top of the range Netflix documentaries.


Netflix’s unimaginable again catalogue of documentaries could also be its finest function.

From Oscar-winning documentaries like Icarus right through to crowd-pleasing viral hits like Tiger King, Netflix has documentaries on virtually each doable matter. We have determined to focus on a few of our favourites.

They’re in no specific order, and it is unattainable to characterize the broad spectrum of what is accessible. We have simply known as out the documentaries we expect you’ll be able to’t miss.

Homicide Among the many Mormons


A few of Netflix’s newer true crime documentaries have been a bit bloated and… sorta unhealthy?

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

Operation Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal


Just lately launched, Operations Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal has a reputation so long as a few of Netflix’s current documentaries. Fortunately, this is not as bloated as, say, the current Cecil Lodge docu, however it may 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 continues to be nicely value watching. 

The Final Dance


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 successful season, however actually it is a leaping off level for a documentary that tells the life story of its central star, Michael Jordan. 

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

Tiger King


Time might boring its impression, however when Tiger King was first launched on Netflix, your entire world could not cease speaking about it. 

It is a present that strikes quickly from the weird to the downright unbelievable. Tiger King explores the unusual underbelly of huge cat breeding, specializing in a forged of unforgettable (and in the end harmful) characters. It drags its viewers to bizarre locations. Utterly unforgettable.


This Oscar-winning documentary is an absolute belter. 

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



Launched in Feb 2021, Pele is a incredible have a look at the World Cup run of probably the most celebrated soccer gamers in all of historical past.

Better of all, it is a documentary that does not pull punches. It asks arduous questions of Pele, together with his silence throughout a navy coup that remodeled Brazil right into a dictatorship for many years. It is about soccer, for positive, however Pele’s historical past is the historical past of a whole nation, this documentary understands that.

My Octopus Trainer


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, primarily. 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.

Knock Down the Home


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

The Staircase


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

Specializing in Michael Peterson and the loss of life 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 by some means nonetheless stays goal. 

Our Planet


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 choose this one.

Wild Wild Nation


Overlong and bloated, Wild Wild Nation is nonetheless probably the most 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 primarily a intercourse cult, in the US. It is a unusual story that by some means turns into stranger with age. Very similar to Tiger King the story plumbs depths you will not consider. At instances it is a slog, however Wild Wild Nation is totally worthwhile.

Sunderland ‘Til I Die


Prime Video offers you entry to the (admittedly) nice All or Nothing sequence, which supplies you behind the scenes entry to prime Premier League golf equipment like Man Metropolis and Spurs, however each of these come throughout buffed and polished. You by no means actually get true behind the scenes entry.

Sunderland ‘Til I Die is totally different. It is gritty, brutal and offers you entry to the worst components of what it means to run a soccer staff. It virtually hurts to look at.

Making A Assassin


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

5 Got here Again


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 throughout the Second World Warfare. It wraps their legacies alongside the impression of the battle itself into a very compelling story of Hollywood’s golden age.

The Keepers


I’ve watched loads of true crime documentaries on Netflix, however nothing has come near The Keepers. A staggering story, informed 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.



13th by Ava Duvernay is a staggering documentary that tells the story of American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, lots of which nonetheless resonate at this time. 

Within the wake of the Black Lives Matter motion, this needs to be necessary viewing.

Challenger: The Ultimate Flight


This have a look at the explosion of NASA’s Area Shuttle Challenger would not deliver something new to the desk, however it’s a well-produced, well-made look again on the tragic occasions of 1986. 

It does nice work, with nice entry and a few intimate interviews with these left behind. Effectively value a watch.

The Velocity Cubers


In case you’re on the lookout for a barely extra uplifting documentary, you can do far worse than The Velocity Cubers, a have a look at the world of aggressive rubix… cubers?

Athlete A


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.

Who Killed Little Gregory


Who Killed Little Gregory is a documentary centered on the horrific homicide of Grégory Villemin. It is arguably the perfect true crime documentary on Netflix. It is a few homicide, and makes an attempt to resolve 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. 

American Manufacturing unit


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

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

American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door


There are a number of true crime documentaries on the market (and on this listing) 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 youngsters. The entry to footage is staggering and it is edited and produced in a singular means, utilizing textual content messages and social media posts to inform the story. It is a horrific reminder of the banal, extremely frequent existence of home violence.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy


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

Fyre: The Biggest Social gathering That By no means Occurred

The Cinemart/Hulu

Hulu additionally has a fantastic Fyre competition documentary, however I choose this Netflix one. In contrast to many Netflix documentaries, that are stretched and bloated into multi-part episodes, this documentary is sharp, direct and stable gold your entire means by means of.

What Occurred, Miss Simone?


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

Amanda Knox


Lots of people have forgotten about this documentary however it’s a humdinger. Amanda Knox focuses on the well-known homicide Knox was accused of. However past that, this docu is a good examination of how media reporting can skew a case. The sexism right here was pretty brutal. 

Evil Genius


Telling the weird story of the “pizza bomber”, Evil Genius is unquestionably a kind of docu-series that ought to have been a film, however it’s compelling nonetheless. It thrives by specializing in the characters behind the crime. Effectively value a gander.

The Nice Hack


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

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