You can't negate the power of the film game. True crime, history, sports Netflix has everything. Where do you even start?
You know where this is going. Check out this list for each genre of documentary on Netflix. Good luck and happy watching!
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)
, but I prefer this Netflix one. This documentary, which is split and bloated into multi-part episodes, is sharp, direct and solid gold the whole way through.
What Happened to Miss Simone? (2015)
Necessarily, there isn't going to be a lot of emphasis on Nina Simone, but this is perhaps one of the best documentary I've ever seen.
The Great Hack (2019)
After the Capitol siege, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy almost feels like ancient history, but this documentary does not make it any less significant. If you haven't seen it, then you may watch it.
A British Horror Story, According to Jimmy Savile
During Savile's birthday, a British Horror Story does a great job of looking at the archives, combining footage that is horrifying in retrospect. This is a frightening, although disturbing video.
Swindler for Tinder (2022)
Shimon Hayut, also known as "Tinder Swindler," was featured in a documentary about a conman who exploited dating techniques to defraud many women in Europe to live a lavish lifestyle.
A slightly different topic compared to the most comprehensive crime documentaries on Netflix. It's definitely worth a look.
The Raincoat Killer (2121)
It's rare to see a lean, clean direct true to crime show that does not drag things out or deliberately obscen facts for the sake of drama. But that's exactly why The Raincoat Killer is so good and unique.
The Raincoat Killer, a brutal serial killer in South Korea, is a comprehensive, engaging video. It's one of the best true crime documents on Netflix.
The Burari's Deaths in the House of Secrets (2021)
This is a fantastic one. House of Secrets investigates the bizarre death of 11 family members in a house in Burari, Delhi, India in 2018, which was unveiled. Unmissable stuff.
This Is a Robbery (2021)
This Is a Robbery is about Netflix as it gets. A four-part series focusing on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, this is basically a documentary about an art heist. (Which is also on this list.) This Is a Robbery is very much in the style of play. The first episode takes a while to get going, but this one has a payoff.
Assassination Among the Mormons (2021)
Some of Netflix's most recent true crime documentation have been a bit depressed and... kinda bad?
Murder Among the Mormons is a comeback. It's not uncommon to see this one.
The Family Next Door in America (2020)
There are a slew of equities on there, but American Murder: The Family Next Door is still out.
It reveals the story of Chris Watts, a seemingly regular guy who murdered his wife and children. It's staggering and fascinating, with text messages and social media posts to explain the story. It's a horrifying reminder of the terrible, sometimes overwhelming existence of domestic violence.
The Staircase (2017)
At this point, the true crime documentary genre is utterly saturated, but The Staircase stands out.
The Staircase, which is focused on Michael Peterson's death and his wife Kathleen, is more than a murder mystery. It's a drawn-out thriller that takes place over literal decades, and a documentary that follows Peterson and examines his every move, but somehow remains objective.
Who Killed Little Gregory (2019)
The film Who Killed Little Gregory is aimed at Gregory Villemin's horrific murder. It is arguably the best true crime documentary on Netflix. It is about a murder, and attempts to solve that murder, but it's also a lesson in media representation and the tragic sexism Gregory's mother faced in the wake of her own murder.
Making A Murderer (2015-2018)
It's easy to forget that the world once lost its collective belief about Making A Murderer. In a variety of ways, it created the template that many Netflix documentaries now follow. A real original.
The Keepers (2017)
I've seen a lot of true crime documentaries on Netflix, but nothing has come close to The Keepers. A shocking tale, told over generations, that is respectful of the victims, but compelling throughout.
It's a story about Catherine Cesnik, a nun who taught at a Catholic school in Baltimore, but The Keepers goes beyond you might expect and exposes a possible cover up of sex abuse allegations.
Seaspiracy follows in the footsteps of many documentaries focusing on meat eating on the environment. This time the global fishing industry is in the crosshairs. PETA, Greenpeace, and conservation organizations cannot seem to agree if Seaspiracy is accurate or fair. Watch it and make up your own mind.
My Octopus Teacher (2020)
My Octopus Teacher follows Craig Foster, a filmmaker who spent a year snorkelling and encountering an octopus off the coast of South Africa. It's a nature film, but it's a science documentary. It's a unique insight into the viewer. In short, the octopi are astounding. It's also a powerful call to action: Don't ignore the wonder that exists everywhere.
Our Planet (2019)
Nature documentaries by David Attenborough are so affluent to self parody, but Our Planet is I believe the high watermark. Only Planet Earth, another Attenborough docu, comes close. However, I prefer this.
Tiger King (2020-21)
Time may alter its potential, but when Tiger King was first released on Netflix, the whole world couldn't stop talking.
Tiger King examines the strange underbelly of big cat breeding, focusing on a cast of unfavorable (and ultimately deadly) characters. Season 2 is now available, but it's interesting to catch up with this cast of wild human beings doing wild, completely outlandish things.
Drive to Survive in Formula 1
Drive to Survive is a great way to get involved in Formula 1, especially in the United States. This program is excellent in boosting the characters that occupy the sport. More shows like this are great.
14 Peaks (2021)
Nimsdai Purja, a Nepalese mountaineer, recounts his goal of climbing all 14 mountains above the height of 8000 metres in a year. It's unbelievable. Must watch everything.
Bad Sport (2021)
The True Crime documentary might have been burned into the ground, but it is on fire when it comes to sports. Bad Sport is the latest entry into this enticing sub category, and it is amazing. It's less about major players doing major things, it's about what happens when sport goes bad, and falls in the dirt. All of these episodes are fantastic. We're hoping for a second season.
The River Runner (2021)
The River Runner is similar to Free Solo for kayaking. Consider that as a compliment. This is a traditional tale of an extreme sports star defeating odds, but it runs a little deeper than that. Lindgren is a powerful case study. Must watch stuff.
Untold is the latest from Wild Wild Country's supporters. It's a sports documentary series with each episode discussing controversial sports topics. The first episode focuses on Malice at the Palace, the famous basketball match where Ron Artest became famous after fighting on Mike Tyson's undercard. It's now available weekly and so far so good. It's roughly 30 people per episode, which is good.
The Last Dance (2020)
In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Netflix dropped this piece of sports doc perfection.
During the 97-98 NBA title winning season, The Last Dance focuses on the Chicago Bulls, but it's a jumping off point for a documentary that tells the key star, Michael Jordan. As a result, many criticize the film for being a little too Jordan-centric, but The Last Dance was a fun event that stood up to the hype.
Naomi Osaka (2021)
Naomi Osaka has become one of the most famous and talked about athletes on the planet. This fascinating documentary explores the various stages of her career and provides an incredible insight into the life of a young woman who is struggling with the stresses of sport and fame. A must watch.
Athlete A (2020)
Larry Nassar, the team's assistant at US Gymnastics, was sexually abusing female athletes for decades.Be warned, this one is horrifying.
This Oscar-winning documentary is a complete winner.
Icarus begins out as an explanation of the impact performance-enhancing drugs have on sports performance, but a sequence of events puts director Bryan Fogel in a spiral of geopolitics and conspiracies. To say more, Fogel ultimately has produced a documentary that had a major impact on our perception of sport as a whole. In that regard, Icarus is a literal game changer.
The Speed Cubers (2020)
If you want to get a slightly more uplifting documentary, then you might get far worse than The Speed Cubers, or a look at the world of competitive rubix... cubers? It's short, but has an incredible emotional punch. It's okay to prepare yourself, but this one may be a hit.
Politics and history
The College Admissions Scandal in Operation Varsity Blues (2021)
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal has been given a name as long as some of Netflix's recent documents. However, this isn't as bloated as, say, the, but it might still include some trimming. It was recently developed by Chris Smith, who previously worked on the Fyre Festival documentary. This isn't quite as compelling, but it is still worth watching.
Knock Down the House (2019)
Knock Down The House is an incredible underdog story that cannot be missed unless you focus on progressive female candidates during the 2018 congressional primary campaigns. It's a powerful reminder that we must fight to make the voices of ordinary people count.
Wild Wild Country (2018)
Wild Wild Country, though, is still one of the most sought-after documentaries I've ever seen on Netflix.
It tells the story of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajnees, who attempted to construct a gigantic, sprawling commune in the United States. It's a strange story that somehow becomes stranger with age. At times it's a slog, but Wild Wild Country is absolutely worth it.
The 13th (2016) Jurassicy
The 13th by Ava Duvernay is a remarkable documentary about American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, many of which are still resurrected today.
This should be mandatory viewing in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Five Came Back (2017)
I absolutely enjoy this documentary. Five current acclaimed directors (including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) assist you in tracing the narrative of five famous movie directors from the '30s and '40s who performed frontline work during the Second World War. It wraps their legacies along with the impact of the war itself into a truly compelling story of Hollywood's golden age.
American Factory (2019)
This documentary, which was a later Oscar winner for Netflix, is the first produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions team. Fuyao, a Chinese company that built a factory in Ohio and now owns a General Motors facility, tells the story. It's not a problem, therefore, this film is not a problem.
Filthy Rich, Jeffrey Epstein (2020)
By this point, we all have a certain understanding of Jeffrey Epstein's story, but Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich does itself a fantastic job by focusing on the stories of his victims.