25 Best Documentaries On Netflix Right Now (Updated March 2021)

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Last Updated: March eighth

Streaming video is the most effective factor that’s ever occurred to documentaries. People who would by no means have paid for a ticket to a theatrical nonfiction movie are actually, because of Netflix’s strong choice, scarfing down the stuff by the barrel. But the place to begin among the many plenty? Here are 25 of the most effective documentaries on Netflix proper now to get you going, protecting quite a lot of themes and actual tales.

Related: The Best Documentary Series On Netflix Right Now

best docs on netflix
Netflix

Fyre (2019)

Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

Even should you’ve already witnessed the insanity of this real-life horror story over on Hulu, you need to see it once more on Netflix. Hulu’s Fyre Fraud looks like extra of a thinkpiece directed on the millennials who had been suckered into shopping for tickets to an opulent music fest on a secluded island within the Bahamas. Netflix’s Fyre does a greater job of putting you within the motion, providing you with an actual really feel for the chaos and an understanding of how so many individuals may’ve been roped into this doomed enterprise.

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Netflix

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé (2019)

Run Time: 137 min | IMDb: 8/10

Beyoncé’s history-making Coachella efficiency was sufficient to briefly rename the music pageant Beychella final 12 months, and now followers who couldn’t afford to see Queen Bee carry out stay get a backstage move to the present with this doc. Are there killer performances, musical mash-ups, and dance routines? Sure. But what actually makes this music doc stand-out in addition to the expertise of its star is the intimate look followers are given into Beyoncé’s private life, from her shock being pregnant to her battle to get in form earlier than the occasion and all of the in-between insanity and heartbreak.

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Netflix

Get Me Roger Stone (2017)

Run Time: 82 min | IMDb: 7.4/10

To perceive the enigma that was the Trump marketing campaign, one should first perceive the person behind the historic presidential run. Roger Stone is a well-connected lobbyist, a Republican political trickster liable for the campaigns of former presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronal Reagan. He’s well-versed in navigating morally-murky waters to assist his horse win the race, and we see him just do that on this doc, which follows the mogul over a five-year interval as he crafts Trump’s winning-campaign.

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Netflix

Team Foxcatcher (2016)

Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

One of the strangest, most tragic sports activities tales in historical past is that {of professional} wrestler Dave Schulz and his buddy, John du Pont. Du Pont was inheritor to the multi-million greenback Du Pont household fortune and used his inheritance to fund an expert wrestling crew with the hopes of competing within the Olympics and different prestigious sports activities occasions. Mark Schulz was a wrestler struggling to get out of the shadow of his older brother’s extra promising profession. The two had been roped into du Pont’s scheme, coaching wrestlers for him, however the partnership rapidly soured and led to du Pont murdering Dave Schultz earlier than barricading himself in his household compound to keep away from arrest. It’s chilling, weird, and all of the extra riveting due to it.

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Netflix

The Battered Bastards Of Baseball (2014)

Run Time: 80 min | IMDb: 8/10

Another sports activities doc, this one a couple of rag-tag group of baseball gamers in Oregon, feels decidedly extra enjoyable than its wrestling counterpart. The doc follows the Portland Mavericks, a defunct minor league baseball owned by actor Bing Russell that performed for 5 seasons within the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. Kurt Russell, Bing’s son, additionally performed on the crew and served as its vp. The movie charts the Maverick’s origins, from underdogs to anti-establishment heroes.

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YouTube

Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell (2021)

Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7/10

Compiled from uncommon house movies from Christopher “Biggie” Wallace’s greatest buddy, Damion “D-Roc” Butler, this revealing doc provides followers a distinct have a look at the enduring rapper. Sean “Diddy” Combs and Biggie’s mother additionally give interviews, detailing elements of Biggie’s life we didn’t learn about, however probably the most compelling footage comes from D-Roc’s newbie movies. These clips give us an unfiltered have a look at a person who would turn into a legend.

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Netflix

thirteenth (2016)

Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 8.2/10

This 2016 documentary from Ava DuVernay gained an Emmy and was nominated for an Oscar throughout awards season two years in the past. The movie chronicles the justice system’s abuses in opposition to black folks, making a case for institutionalized racism being an issue in America that’s solely emboldened by the jail cycle. DuVernay boldly explores how prisons and detention facilities are making a revenue off of free jail labor, most of it executed by black males which begs the query, is slavery actually useless?

Netflix

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020)

Run Time: 85 min | IMDb: 7.4/10

Let’s be sincere, Taylor Swift may’ve delivered a shiny, stylized, superficial doc about her life to advertise her newest album, and her rabid fanbase would’ve eaten it up. Instead, the pop star took a threat and gave filmmakers no-holds-barred entry to her private {and professional} life, providing up intimate interviews with herself and her household, detailing troublesome struggles with physique dysmorphia and consuming problems, permitting cameras inside her sexual assault trial, revealing her mom’s most cancers analysis, and unearthing house video footage of her youth to create a fuller image of herself. It’s a movie that reveals the human beneath the icon. It’s daring, brutally sincere, and a few of Swift’s greatest work but.

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Netflix

Chasing Coral (2017)

Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 8.1/10

Few environmental warrior movies do extra for the trigger than Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Coral. The doc rounds up a crew of scientists, photographers, and divers from around the globe to attract consideration to an environmental disaster we’ve by no means seen earlier than — the vanishing of the world’s coral reefs. It works on two ranges: By giving us an underwater journey that makes an attempt to make clear the mysteries of the deep and highlighting an issue we are able to see with our personal eyes. There’s no denying this one, no trying away, and Orlowski’s crew takes full benefit of that.

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Netflix

Casting JonBenet (2017)

Run Time: 80 min | IMDb: 6.2/10

’90s crime nostalgia is alive and effectively on this pseudo-doc from director Kitty Green. Everyone is aware of how tiny pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey died — bludgeoned to dying within the basement of her household house — so Green is much less excited about rehashing the investigation into the little lady’s dying and extra excited about reenacting her life and ultimate moments. To do that, she enlists actors from the realm the place the household lived, all hoping to play JonBenet or her mother and father in an upcoming manufacturing. Over the course of the movie, these thespians are pressured to confront the fact of the Ramsey household’s state of affairs which in flip helps viewers to have a look beneath the floor of this tabloid trauma.

Netflix

Athlete A (2020)

Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.7/10

This well timed doc provides us a have a look at the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that rocked the world of gymnastics simply two years in the past from the standpoint of reporters on the Indianapolis Star in control of exposing it. A canopy-up spanning 20 years and involving higher-ups at each US Gymnastics and Michigan State the place Nassar served as a doctor and professor, this revealing investigation right into a sinister tradition that’s hidden behind the success of its high feminine athletes makes you rethink every little thing you considered the Olympic dream.

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Netflix

American Factory (2019)

Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 7.6/10

his marks the primary documentary to come back from Netflix’s high-profile producing take care of Barack and Michelle Obama. The movie takes a tough have a look at what occurred to a General Motors plant in Ohio when it was closed down in the course of the 2008 monetary disaster, inflicting 2,000 employees to lose their jobs and destroying the small city of Moraine, Ohio. Things solely get extra difficult when a Chinese billionaire involves city to remodel the plant right into a glass-making facility, promising 1000’s of latest jobs earlier than cultural divides threaten to derail the entire thing. It’s a captivating view of consumerism, the American workforce, tradition clashes, and the way folks can join with one another regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Netflix

Shirkers (2018)

Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.5/10

In 1992, Sandi Tan, alongside along with her associates, made Singapore’s first indie movie. She wrote and starred in it, a venture referred to as Shirkers, her two girlfriends produced and edited it, and a person named George Cardona directed. Cardona vanished in the future, taking all of the movie supplies with him, and propelling Tan on a decades-long journey to search out the reality. It’s an engrossing examine in betrayal and the risks of collaboration, and it really works largely as a result of Tan approaches it from a true-crime thriller angle, stripping it of any nostalgia that may tint her lense.

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Netflix

One of Us (2017)

Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7.1/10

This gripping documentary confronts some onerous truths about faith: its energy to unite and its energy to divide. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady comply with three members of New York’s notoriously insular Hasidic neighborhood as they attempt to break away from their faith whereas holding onto their households and sense of belonging.

best netflix docs - icarusbest netflix docs - icarus
Netflix

Icarus (2017)

Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 8/10

Bryan Fogel’s Academy Award-winning documentary Icarus wasn’t presupposed to contain Russians and doping scandal and cover-ups. Fortunately for Fogel, when the filmmaker determined to check his mettle by competing in one of many hardest biking competitions on the earth and selected to dope to assist his possibilities, he ended up assembly Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of Russia’s nationwide anti-doping laboratory. The result’s this practically 90-minute movie that chronicles Russia’s intensive historical past with doping and Rodchenkov’s struggle for his life after he blows the whistle on the nation’s dangerous practices.

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Amanda Knox (2016)

Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 7/10

It appears as if we’re all now extra conscious than ever of how completely screwed any of us may be immediately if the system locations us in its crosshairs for being within the unsuitable place on the unsuitable time and never behaving in a manner perceived to be “normal” within the speedy aftermath. Recent true crime documentaries like The Staircase, Making a Murderer and Serial have definitely performed an element in illuminating this horrifying and unlucky slice of actuality. We can now add Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn’s Amanda Knox to that listing. Prepare to be terrified and infuriated because the filmmakers element how an overzealous Italian prosecutor and a worldwide tabloid press thirsty for a sensational story joined forces to wreck a younger girl’s life, largely for their very own profit. As Daily Mail journalist Nick Pisa freely admits on digicam — with none hint of regret or disgrace — about his work protecting the case, “A murder always gets people going… And we have here this beautiful, picturesque hilltop town in the middle of Italy. It was a particularly gruesome murder; throat slit, semi-naked, blood everywhere. I mean, what more do you want in a story?”

Netflix

Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.8/10

Netflix delivers one other worthy installment within the true crime collection with this actually weird story of a naive, church-going household and the person who preyed upon them. The Brobergs lived in a small city in Idaho with their three younger daughters after they met Robert Berchtold, a seemingly-nice household man who doted on the ladies, particularly, a 12-year-old Jan Broberg. Over time, Berchtold started grooming Jan and manipulating her mother and father, participating in sexual acts with each her father and mom to trigger a rift within the household earlier than kidnapping her and brainwashing her into compliance. This saga went on for years and as unusual because it sounds, nothing can put together you for listening to the first-hand account of how this sociopath destroyed this loving household.

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Netflix

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.8/10

This documentary options never-before-seen footage of Jim Carrey in character as Andy Kaufman on the set of his 1999 movie Man on the Moon. Directed by Chris Smith, the movie exhibits Carrey, who was a celebrated comedic actor on the time, going methodology for his dramatic position because the good on-stage comic. There’s loads of behind-the-scenes drama on this one, together with Carrey’s backstage antics whereas taking pictures the film, however what’s actually fascinating in regards to the movie is watching the actor’s thorough course of and the way he’s approached his colourful careers.

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Netflix

The Great Hack (2018)

Run Time: 114 min | IMDb: 7/10

We stay in a world related with most of our interactions occurring on-line. It’s nice however, as this doc exhibits, it’s additionally terrifying. Terrifying as a result of the way in which our information adjustments fingers so rapidly and indiscriminately — so long as corporations shell out the money for it — skirts every kind of privateness legal guidelines and ethical boundaries. This doc, informed from the attitude of a journalist trying to get his search information, the large struggle with large tech to do it, and the way his journey connects to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that will have influenced a number of elections within the States and overseas, is filled with fascinating info and stunning tell-alls that would deliver this entire web empire down if folks lastly determine to begin listening.

Netflix

Knock Down The House (2019)

Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 6.9/10

This political doc made its manner from Sundance to Netflix and we couldn’t consider a greater time to look at it than main as much as the 2020 election. It follows the grassroots marketing campaign of the precise’s favourite punching bag, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, showcasing her charisma and approachability whereas additionally diving into extra intimate elements of her life, like her relationship along with her late father. It’s a feel-good story from Capitol Hill and actually, we want extra of that.

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Magnolia Pictures

Blackfish (2013)

Run Time: 83 min | IMDb: 8.1/10

The movie that turned the tide of public opinion on Sea World and satisfied Pixar to change the ending of Finding Dory, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s animal rights muckraker is extra than simply 83 minutes of theme=park shaming. In telling the story of Tillikum, the psychologically broken orca who spent his life in captivity and was concerned within the deaths of three folks, the film is an elegy for the freedoms that marine creatures like him had been as soon as capable of get pleasure from. Is there an moral method to view creatures like Tillikum up shut and private, and if that’s the case, ought to we belief a non-public firm to ship it to us?

Netflix

Extremis (2016)

Run Time: 24 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

Clocking in at 24 minutes, the Oscar-nominated Extremis actually would solely work as a brief, as its material is sort of unbearably heavy. Following terminal sufferers, their households, and their medical doctors, the tearjerker zeros in on the choice that many individuals are pressured to make: whether or not to finish a life or maintain struggling to carry on. Netflix’s first foray into brief documentary, it’s uncooked perception that may be tough for anybody who has been in related footwear or spent any time going through dire selections in a hospital.

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Netflix

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7.6/10

The alternately revolutionary and dispiriting saga of a combative, unapologetic and astoundingly gifted soul singer, Liz Garbus’s doc is a robust rendering of the struggles Nina Simone confronted all through her profession: the methods she grew to become trapped in downward spirals, first of spousal abuse after which of bipolar dysfunction; and of her determined, all-consuming urge to have an effect on change on the nation in the course of the Civil Rights period. What occurred? Watch for your self.

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Sender Films

The Dawn Wall (2017)

Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 8.1/10

We’re undecided why watching human beings dangling 1000’s of ft within the air with no security web or cable twine to tether them to Earth is so irresistible, however it’s, and this doc about free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing associate Kevin Jorgeson is likely to be Netflix’s most bingeable journey flick. The two males try to scale the not possible 3000ft Dawn Wall of El Capitan, the Everest free of charge climbers, and should you can abdomen over an hour of near-fatal slips, journeys, and falls, that is the doc for you.

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Netflix

The Bleeding Edge (2018)

Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 8/10

Warning: Netflix’s The Bleeding Edge will significantly piss you off. It may additionally make you swear off medical doctors for the remainder of your life. The movie is a deep dive into the medical gadget trade and the risks that lurk there for unassuming sufferers. Like the pharmaceutical trade, there are few legal guidelines regulating the creation and implementation of medical units — assume every little thing from contraception to orthopedic devices — and the doc exhibits how that is negatively affecting tens of millions of Americans yearly from the ladies unknowingly sterilized by an IUD gadget to a physician whose personal ortho-device slowly poisoned him. It’s a irritating watch, however a crucial one.

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Recent Changes Through February 2021:
Added: Blackfish
Removed: Catfish

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