Netflix has become a powerhouse for documentary films, offering a vast selection of thought-provoking, inspiring, and educational content. Whether you’re a fan of true crime, fascinated by history, or eager to learn about the natural world, Netflix’s documentary collection has something for everyone. So, why should you dive into the world of documentaries? Because they not only entertain but also enlighten and inform, giving you a deeper understanding of the world we live in. Let’s explore the 8 best documentary movies on Netflix that you shouldn’t miss.

Documentary Movies on Netflix

Nature and Wildlife Documentaries

Our Planet

Overview: Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, “Our Planet” takes viewers on a breathtaking journey through some of the Earth’s most diverse natural habitats.

 

Why Watch: The stunning visuals and powerful message about conservation make it a must-watch for anyone who cares about the planet.

 

Night on Earth

Overview: This series uses cutting-edge technology to showcase the lives of nocturnal animals across the globe.

 

Why Watch: It’s a fascinating look at the secret lives of creatures that thrive in the dark, providing a fresh perspective on nature.

 

True Crime Documentaries

Making a Murderer

Overview: This gripping series follows the controversial case of Steven Avery, who was exonerated for a crime after serving 18 years in prison, only to be accused of another crime shortly after.

 

Why Watch: It’s a deep dive into the American criminal justice system, raising important questions about fairness and truth.

 

The Staircase

Overview: Chronicling the case of Michael Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife, this documentary offers a detailed look at the legal battle that ensued.

Why Watch: The storytelling is compelling, and the case itself is full of twists and turns that keep you hooked.

 

Historical Documentaries

13th

Overview: Directed by Ava DuVernay, “13th” explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the nation’s prisons.

 

Why Watch: It’s an eye-opening examination of systemic racism and its impact on modern society.

 

The Vietnam War

Overview: This extensive documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick offers a comprehensive look at one of the most controversial conflicts in American history.

 

Why Watch: Its detailed narrative and personal accounts provide a profound understanding of the war and its lasting effects.

 

Biographical Documentaries

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Overview: This film tells the story of Nina Simone, the legendary singer and civil rights activist, through her own words and archival footage.

 

Why Watch: It’s a poignant portrait of an artist who used her music to fight for justice and equality.

 

The Social Dilemma

Overview: This documentary examines the dangerous human impact of social networking, with insights from tech experts who were instrumental in creating it.

 

Why Watch: It’s a must-watch for understanding the manipulative nature of social media and its effects on society.

 

Political Documentaries

Knock Down the House

Overview: This inspiring documentary follows the campaigns of four progressive women running for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

 

Why Watch: It’s an uplifting story of grassroots activism and the fight for political change.

 

The Great Hack

Overview: Delving into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this documentary explores how data is used and abused in modern political campaigns.

 

Why Watch: It’s a sobering look at the power of data and the impact of digital manipulation on democracy.

 

Science and Technology Documentaries

The Ivory Game

Overview: This hard-hitting film exposes the dark world of ivory trafficking and its devastating impact on elephant populations.

 

Why Watch: It’s a powerful call to action for wildlife conservation and against illegal poaching.

 

American Factory

Overview: This documentary follows the story of a Chinese billionaire who reopens a factory in post-industrial Ohio, highlighting the cultural clashes and economic challenges that ensue.

 

Why Watch: It offers a unique perspective on globalization, labor, and the intersection of American and Chinese cultures.

 

Social and Cultural Documentaries

Crip Camp

Overview: Produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, this film tells the story of a groundbreaking summer camp for disabled teenagers and its role in the disability rights movement.

 

Why Watch: It’s an inspiring and heartwarming look at a pivotal moment in the fight for equality and inclusion.

 

My Octopus Teacher

Overview: This beautiful documentary chronicles the unusual friendship between a filmmaker and an octopus living in a South African kelp forest.

 

Why Watch: It’s a touching and visually stunning film that showcases the wonders of the natural world and the bonds we can form with it.

 

Sports Documentaries

The Last Dance

Overview: This series chronicles the career of Michael Jordan, with a focus on his final season with the Chicago Bulls.

 

Why Watch: It’s a fascinating look at one of the greatest athletes of all time and the determination and drive behind his success.

 

Icarus

Overview: Starting as an investigation into doping in cycling, this film takes a shocking turn into a major international scandal involving Russian sports.

 

Why Watch: It’s a thrilling and eye-opening exposé on the lengths to which some will go to achieve victory.

 

Conclusion

From the breathtaking beauty of our planet to the complexities of human society, Netflix’s documentary collection offers something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a deep dive into true crime, a journey through history, or an inspiring biographical story, these films are sure to engage and enlighten. So grab your popcorn, get comfortable, and start exploring the best documentaries Netflix has to offer.