26 Best Documentaries On Netflix – Must Watch [2021]

Looking for the best documentaries on Netflix? If you are, then you should read this post where we have assembled a list of best documentaries on Netflix right now.

Best Documentaries On Netflix

Documentaries are the best way to maintain historical records and information. It connects us to real-life events and is often used for education. Netflix is the best platform to watch meaningful documentaries, and we have put together a list of the 26 best documentaries to watch on Netflix right now.

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List of Best Documentaries on Netflix

Netflix is known for its diverse content. You will find almost every genre of movies and TV shows. Netflix also has a huge database of documentaries in it. We have put together a list of the 26 best documentaries for you to watch on Netflix.

1. The Great Hack

The Great Hack was featured on Netflix in 2019. In this 2 hour documentary, you can dig into the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. This documentary talks about the breach of online privacy and shows how data has become the most valuable resource in the world. Everything you see on your phone is not right, you can see what companies want you to see, but the truth is something else.

The Great Hack

This documentary reveals the origins of political and data science consultancy that used data to trick people. This scandal led Facebook to a massive $5 Billion fine and ruined its reputation.

Directed by: Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer

2. My Octopus Teacher

In this 85 minutes documentary, you can see how Craig Foster wins the trust of a deep-sea creature and makes an octopus a friend.

My Octopus Teacher

In this film, Foster finds a young octopus while diving at a remote location in False Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa. Foster curiously visited and tracked her activities every day for a year. Octopus also allows him into her world and shows how she lives, eats, and sleeps. This film is more than that and also worth a watch.

Directed by: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed

3. American Murder: The Family Next Door

American Murder is a true crime documentary. This crime story shows how Christopher Watts kills his pregnant wife and two daughters in cold blood. This horrifying incident took place in the town of Frederick, Colorado, in 2018.

American Murder-The Family Next Door

The motive of Chris murdering the whole family was having an affair with her wife Shannon with his co-worker Nichol Kessinger. Chris said he only wanted to kill his wife, but he strangled both his daughters in a fit of rage. This documentary is for those who don’t know about Watt’s family murders. It was an expertly executed and well-planned murder.

Directed by: Jenny Popplewell

4. The Last Dance

The Last Dance is an American sports documentary of legend Michael Jordan and his crew. In the late 90s, Jordan and David Stern allowed a film crew to follow his team’s sixth NBA title in eight years. He was a member of the Chicago Bulls.

The Last Dance

This documentary has ten episodes that follow Chicago Bulls’ sixth winning title from start to end. You can also witness the incredible career of Michael Jordan throughout the season. It is basically behind the scenes of his career. This season is full of unseen footage and fascinating bonding between their coach Phil Jackson. This title was the last season for some core members of the Chicago Bulls; that’s why it is called ‘The Last Dance.’

Directed by: Jason Hehir

5. Icarus

Icarus is an Oscar-winning documentary featured in 2017. The director of the documentary, Bryan Fogel, tries to uncover the harsh truth of doping in sports. So he hired some experts, including the head of Russia’s doping agency. Grigory was the main head who was helping him expose.

Icarus

The documentary took a dramatic turn when Grigory let slip Russian athletes using the same method to avoid doping tests. But this news went viral, and Grigory took off to the US. Through this documentary, you can see the glimpse of doping and how they evade detection by using dirty money.

Directed by: Bryan Fogel, Grigory Rodchenkov

6. Amanda Knox

This documentary film tells us the story of an American woman, Amanda Knox, accused of murdering Meredith Kercher. She spent almost four years with her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in an Italian prison after being falsely accused of the murder.

Amanda Knox

In this film, she also tells the horrific stories of her Italian police treatment and how they used sexism to accuse her. Later she was acquitted as her defense won an appeal on the original conviction. You can easily find it on this streaming service.

Directed by: Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst

7. Tell Me Who I Am

This documentary film is based on the story of twin brothers Alex and Marcus Lewis. Alex lost his memory after waking up from a coma. He was in a coma for three months after a motorcycle crash. He forgot his past life except for his identical twin brother Marcus.

Tell Me Who I Am

Marcus helped Alex restore his past life. But is that all true? Maybe Alex is living in the past created by Marcus. If he did, what’s the reason? Why don’t you give it a try to know the reason behind it?

Directed by: Ed Perkins

8. Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy

Back in the 80s, crack cocaine was spreading like a virus through America’s inner circle, especially in youths. People were ruining their lives by consuming these drugs. The addiction to crack was turning them into skinny, glassy-eyed, and zombie look-alike persons.

Crack- Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy

In this film, the director was trying to show the stories of consumers, dealers, and peoples whose life got ruined by this poison. America spent millions to get rid of it but did it work? Find out in this fantastic 90-minute documentary.

Directed by: Stanley Nelson

9. Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez was a well-known football player. He earned All-American honors at the University of Florida. Aaron tight ends $40 million with a $12.5 million signing bonus with New England Patriots. But who thought a player with such a bright future would take a tragic turn. He got arrested for his friend’s murder Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player.

Killer Inside- The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

He was also accused or linked for shooting six people. He was suffering from the worst case of CTE. Maybe that’s why he committed suicide in the prison where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. To know more, watch all three episodes on Netflix.

Directed by: Geno McDermott

10. Out of Thin Air

Iceland is a small and peaceful city. But back in the ‘70s, two men vanished over a space of several months. There was massive pressure on the police to find the culprits. So police arrested a gang of six peoples who confessed to the murder.

Out of Thin Air

But the trouble is, despite their convictions, the six weren’t sure if they were guilty or not. This is a fascinating documentary about how the human mind works if manipulated or mentally tortured. This case was known for creating false stories and testimonies by torturing prisoners.

Directed By: Dylan Howitt

11. Filthy Rich

The story of Filthy Rich is based on Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier, and convicted rapist from New York city. He was accused of raping dozens of underage girls. According to investigations and reports, Epstein was doing this inhuman activity over the decades. Epstein was first arrested in 2008 when a parent of a 14-year girl complained about a file for sexual abuse. He got arrested again in July 2019 after multiple charges of sex trafficking and rapes.

Filthy Rich

In this documentary, so many famous names came into the spotlight as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew because they were close to Epstein. But later, they came innocently as no evidence was found against them. So many unknown truths shown in this documentary. Find out everything in this 4-episode show.

Directed by: Lisa Bryant

12. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

Tiger King is the story of Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, popularly known as ‘Joe Exotic.’ He was a former Zoo Operator of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He claimed to be the most prolific breeder of Tigers in the US. Later he was convicted for 19 federal charges of animal abuse, including attempted murder for hire plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO, Carole Baskin.

Tiger King- Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

Joe Exotic was sentenced to federal prison for 22 years after being found guilty. This documentary also found gun and drug deals in this story.

Directed by: Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaiklin

13. Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Bikram Choudhury was a Yoga Guru in a basement in San Francisco in 1973. His hot yoga became a global empire in the late 90s. In his yoga class, every participant had to go through 28 strict postures and breathing positions for 90 minutes.

Bikram- Yogi, Guru, Predator

Apart from that, Bikram has a dark side. He allegedly harmed some practitioners and sexually assaulted some of them. According to investigations, some women came forward and accused him of sexual assault and rape.

Directed by: Eva Orner

14. Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak

We call it coincidence or prediction, but we had already been warned about an upcoming virus in a Netflix show Pandemic known as COVID-19. The show premiered before the global outbreak of this virus. Pandemic follows interviews of some medical scientists, professionals, and researchers.

Pandemic-How to Prevent an Outbreak

This six-part documentary series took a dig into the future global pandemic and thousands of infections. They also show how to prevent these things and how health-workers are working day and night to keep us safe.

Directed by: Isabel Castro, Danni Mynard. Doug Shultz, Ryan McGarry, and Arianna LaPenne

15. Blue Planet ll

This 8-part docuseries is the only environmental show on Netflix. This series’s main motto is to show life under the deep sea how oceans are necessary for global and climate change. This documentary is one of the best nature documentaries.

Blue Planet ll

Blue Planet is an educational series with two parts. You can see different kinds of sea creatures and endangered species under deep water.

Directed by: David Attenborough

16. Miss Americana

This documentary is based on famous pop music singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. This story is not about her music but more about her life for several years. In this documentary, you can see how Taylor figures out not to care about what people think about her, how she finds her true self and speaks for what she believes in.

Miss Americana

This inspiring documentary opens people’s eyes and perspective, especially for those who have big dreams.

Directed by: Lana Wilson

17. Gaga: Five Foot Two

Five Foot Two is recognizable for a controversial documentary released on September 22nd, 2017, is about an American singer-songwriter, Lady Gaga’s life story. Lady Gaga is the rock star of everyone’s heart, and she is known for many songs. She may not be at the dizzying commercial apex when she revolutionized the music business with her rhapsodic dance-pop.

Gaga-Five Foot Two

From struggles with relationships to health issues, from finding comfort in her inner circle to conquering her insecurities. Gaga: Five Foot Two is all about a lady finding herself as a superstar and an everyday woman. This documentary is totally worth your time.

Directed by: Chris Moukarbel

18. Knock Down the House

Knock Down the House was released in January 2019 and intimately follows four women from across the country running for the House of Representatives and Senate. All four progressive Democrats were endorsed by Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, who ran in that year’s midterm elections. They were running grassroots campaigns against men who had more considerable financial influences.

Knock Down the House

It addresses the fact that most congressional seats are held by wealthy men who do not understand the working-class’s plight, inspiring viewers who see them as the underdogs.

Directed by: Rachel Lears

19. Feminists: What Were They Thinking?

Netflix interviews some of the women photographed in her series to discover what they think of when they look at women’s current situation and find out how feminism has impacted their lives since it took place.

Feminists- What Were They Thinking

This is the best documentary to watch if you are looking for a thorough introduction to 2nd wave feminism. The documentary Feminists is all about how we continue to fight for what is right for women.

Directed by: Johanna Demetrakas

20. McQueen

Lee Alexander McQueen was a self-described “unremarkable” working East-End boy who took the fashion industry to the next level by storm with his exciting and groundbreaking shows. He becomes a global one-person fashion brand and one of the most iconic artists of the century. Director Ian Bonhôte has succeeded in capturing a story that will have you laughing, crying, and enthralled throughout the story.

McQueen

Directed by: Ian Bonhôte

21. Abducted in Plain Sight

Abducted in Plain Sight is a disturbing 2017 documentary Directed by Skye Borgman that began streaming on Netflix in January, about the abduction of a 12-year-old Jan Broberg, from Idaho. She was kidnapped TWICE by a well-known person of her family, her neighbor. The entire documentary is not easy to watch though it’s the details of Bob and Mary Ann’s (Jan’s mother and father) neglect of their daughter. That makes the audience upset or frustrated. A movie that once you start, you will not be able to stop, to know a little more dig deeper.

Abducted in Plain Sight

Warning: It contains spoilers, abduction, pedophilia, grooming, parental neglect, sexual abuse, threat, and suicide.

The documentary tells the story of the Broberg’s, a middle-class in Pocatello, who became close with a charming neighbor named Robert Berchtold. Berchtold became a fixture in their home, spending time with parents Mary Ann and Bob and daughters Jan, Susan, and  Karen. He kidnapped her twice, sexually assaulting her repeatedly, before fleeing to Mexico and legally marrying her (the legal age to marry in Mexico was 12 at the time).

In Abducted in Plain Sight, Berchtold played recordings of aliens to Jan after abducting her and convinced her she was part of an Alien mission, so she had to have sex with him to save an alien race. This documentary has moments that will leave you stunned and others that will leave you bubbling with anger.

Directed by: Skye Borgman

22. Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates

Netflix documentary Inside Bill’s Brain: was directed by Davis Guggenheim, Taking a look at Bill’s early life with Microsoft and his current work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Inside Bill

Inside Bill’s Brain aims not to entertain the audience but to justify Gates’ wealth and how he spends it and answering about information or misinformation that exists in the public domain, which makes the documentary fascinating. However, the series focuses on the Road to Success of Bill Gates, which is very inspiring for young minds that keep the viewer hooked.

Directed by: Davis Guggenheim

23. Five Came Back

Based on Mark Harris’ book, Five Came Back is a Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. This is a three-part docu-series that debuted on Netflix at the end of March 2017. An excellent documentary about five great American directors and their experiences and impact on the documentation and presentation of the Second World War, it is about how World War II changed Hollywood.

Five Came Back

The first act serves an expository function, giving each director the necessary emotional channel to give up their successful film careers to help make propaganda for the war effort. Reminding the audience how much every American had at pile during Word war two and why it means so much.

Directed by: Laurent Bouzereau

24. American Factory

It’s a documentary about a windshield factory in Dayton, post-industrial Ohio, and how it was transformed from a General Motors plant to a Chinese-owned plant. Filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert were there to film it, documenting the end of a particular American dream.

American Factory

The Obama’s production company Higher Ground got off to gold and glittering start. Trade unionists and labor activists proved to become a popular recommendation. Michelle Obama made her debut in this film. I recommend American Factory to those who want a little less melodrama and a little more empathy for the struggling rust belt.

Directed by: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

25. Ugly Delicious

A hashtag David Chang uses on Social Media to talk about delicious and flavorful food but might look unpleasant or unappealing in photos to people who aren’t familiar with it. Ugly Delicious is an original series on Netflix. It is a proper combination of travel, cooking, and history. The new foodie docu-series is just four episodes long.

Ugly Delicious

David Chang gathers a group of critics, chefs, and tastemakers to tell the story. If you are looking for inspiration for your meal, this show will help you learn about new ingredients and culinary techniques to keep your home cooking interesting.

You might like the ugly but delicious cuisines made by David Chang in the documentary.

Directed by: Eddie Schmidt, Jason Zeldes, Laura Gabbert, and Morgan Neville

26. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tape

Ted Bundy was introverted, differently-abled as a child, and insecure about his family’s relative poverty. Ted Bundy was executed 30 years ago after confessing to the murders of 30 women. Conversations with a Killer, directed by Joe Berlinger, is not easy viewing, given that it covers horrible crimes whose graphic details were not something you would like to discuss.

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tape

This unique and gripping doc series focuses on the man whose wise personality, good looks, and social graces defied the serial-killer stereotype, allowing him to hide in the corner as he committed the brutal physical abuse before being caught in 1978. If you’re interested in true crime and serial killers, in particular, you should add this nerve-racking doc-series to your list.

Directed by: Joe Berlinger

Conclusion:

Netflix has a huge collection of documentaries that you can watch anytime. These documentaries are impressive as well as entertaining, with a lot of things that can surprise you. All these will leave you shocked, intrigued, and puzzled. You will be able to find all the different types of documentaries here that will be as per your interest. You can check out the listed documentaries and see if it is as per your liking.

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