30 Best Documentaries on Netflix for the Curious Minds

Who watches documentaries? Well, entertainment comes in many forms. Maybe you enjoy an excellent action-thriller or a comedy, but for some, documentaries are the food for the brain. They are insightful, based on facts, and considered to be a knowledge pool. Here are our top picks of the best documentaries on Netflix for those who appreciate the charm of an informative piece.

Now we know that these documentaries are only available in the US. If you live somewhere else, you might wonder how to get your hands on these fantastic selections. We came up with a solution to this problem. Select any of our tried and tested best Netflix VPN, connect to the US server, and enjoy American Netflix from anywhere.

Without further delay, let’s dive into the world of informative entertainment!

Documentaries on Netflix

1. 13th

The history of racial inequality in the US is the main focus of this documentary. As the issue is as old as times, there is a pressing need to highlight this issue on powerful platforms and look for approaches that can help resolve this problem.

The United States is considered to be the land of the free people. Does the attitude and mindset of the population is true to this motto? As it is only available in the United States, you want to connect to the US server of ExpressVPN for accessing this documentary and much more.

2. Abducted in Plain Sight

The story revolves around the mysterious disappearance of 12-year-old Jan Broberg. He lives in a small community in Idaho which was considered to be a church-going community.

A close family friend and trusted neighbor were found to be the culprit. The documentary focuses on the safety of the children and betrayal by the close relations.

3. Amanda Knox

Amanda Marie Knox, an American woman, murdered Meredith Kercher, a fellow exchange student, and Amanda’s roommate. Amanda was convicted for the murder and spent almost four years in the Italian prison in 2007.

In the year 2015, she was acquitted but the Supreme Court of Cessation. As the case was highlighted and extensively covered, this documentary provides additional information, making it one of the best documentaries on Netflix.

4. American Factory

The story is set in Ohio in the post-industrial era. It revolves around a Chinese Billionaire who opens a new factory. Locating in the abandoned General Motors plant, the factory is the first step towards achieving the goals and fulfilling the dreams.

Serving as an epitome of hope, it soon becomes the town’s talk, and the locals start feeling insecure. The clash of working-class America and high-tech China is the main focus of this documentary.

5. American Murder: The Family Next Door

This documentary revolves around Watt’s family killing that sends shockwaves around the globe in 2018. It focuses on the failed lie detector test, constantly changing investigators, and unfolding what happen to Shanann Watts and her daughters.

Chris Watt played the part of a concerned husband and father, but he confessed to killing his family as he wants to leave them for an affair at the end of the investigation. The investigators’ effort and enduring mystery of what happened to the Watt family make it one of the best documentaries on Netflix.

6. Athlete A

Who doesn’t know about Dr. Larry Nassar’s case? The global media coverage of the sexual abuse of young gymnasts remained in the news for a significant period of time. The documentary unfolds how reporters for The Indianapolis Star exposed the true face of Dr. Larry to the whole world.

7. Challenger: The Final Flight

This documentary focuses on Challenger’s fall (73 seconds after its launch), also titled the national disaster in 1986. The procession was broadcasted live when it went down was observed live by thousands killing six astronauts and a social studies teacher.

Investigating the cause of the disaster is the main focus of the series, making it one of the best documentaries on Netflix, so do give it a try.

8. Crip Camp

Persons with disabilities are treated differently and not in a good way. They are neglected and often look down upon. Crip Camp (Summer Camp) for disabled teens came as a breath of fresh air with this mindset.

The documentary highlighted what can happen if disabled individuals are treated wholly and how they can bloom after finding a place where they are accepted. The main idea of the title makes it one of the best shows on Netflix

9. Evil Genius

Titled as the ‘pizza bomber’ or ‘caller bomb’ case, this documentary focuses on the death of Brian Well and America’s most diabolical bank heist. Wells was forced t commit the robbery with bombs strapped to his neck.

The documentary interviews related individuals to know exactly what happened to Brian Well and how it was planned.

10. Five Came Back

Narrated by Maryl Streep, the documentary follows five American film directors serving as frontline workers during the Second World War. With over 100 hours of archival footage, it highlights the horrors of war never seen before.

If you are interested in the historical war and want to take a closer look, this documentary will be a perfect choice for you.

11. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Remember the hype of the Fyre party advertised by celebrities? Fyre was going to be a huge party, attended by multiple celebrities, and every other model was posting about it. With the scenery of the Bahamas, it was going to be a party everyone will remember.

The music festival took a disastrous turn when the attendees were left with no shelter and subpar food. Considered to be the biggest scandal, this documentary will leave you amazed.

12. High Score

Gaming consoles are pretty common these days, and we often find someone watching Netflix on PS4, but this was not the case in the 1970s. High Score is here to tell you the history of computer gaming. Covering the development and creation of video games in the ’80s and ’90s, High Score focuses on Computer Graphic Games’ history.

The early growth of home video game consoles and arcade games covers the rush of gaming entertainment.

13. Icarus

Focusing on the practice of doping in sports, Icarus highlights Fogel’s exploration of doping for winning an amateur cycling race. As winning can be addictive, other reports of doping in an international event caused an international scandal.

The mastermind that cheated the Olympics and influenced multiple Russian contenders to consider doping for winning the event is the documentary’s primary focus.

14. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

Jeffery played the role of a supervillain well. During the prosecution, all of the answers were denial, no matter how horrendous and horrible the charge is. His indifference to the suffering and impact of his actions mark him a cold-blooded criminal.

His crimes were hidden and manipulated through the aid of unlimited wealth. The documentary focuses on the struggling stories of the survivors affected by Jeffery’s crimes.

15. Knock Down the House

The documentary follows four females who decided to run for Congress in the United States election of 2018. The political campaing and the struggles faced by these women are the focus of the documentary.

You may not support the candidates, but you cannot deny that the documentary captures the campaigns’ ups, downs, and technicalities like never before.

16. Making A Murderer

The show recounts Steven Avery’s narrative, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who served 18 years in jail for the unjust conviction of rape and endeavored murder of Penny Beerntsen. The associated story is that of Brendan Dassey, denounced and indicted as an embellishment in the homicide.

As this story is full of emotions, mystery, suspense, and thrill, it is considered a must-watch and listed as one of the best shows on Netflix.

17. Miss Americana

Miss Americana follows Tylor Swift during a momentary stage in her vocation, as she wraps up her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour and starts making her 2019 collection Lover. The ups and down faced by the artist were the highlights.

The most impressive aspect of the documentary is the collection of mobile phone recordings, studio files, meetings, and a biographical collection of interviews. Even though it seems biased, the personal touch adds harm to the documentary series.

18. Murder Among the Mormons

Murder Among the Mormons is a crime series focused on the strange events and three bombs that rocked Salt Lake City. The documentary shows how religion is being manipulated, or blackmail in the name of religion is pretty standard.

Some forged documents and the ambition to hide the truth led to the bombings. Netflix is uncovering it for all to know. The topic and the hype related to the incidents make it one of the best documentaries on Netflix.

19. My Octopus Teacher

If you are looking for something exciting and closer to nature, My Octopus Teacher is perfect for you. The documentary revolves around an unusual bond between a wild octopus and Foster. He came across this curious octopus while freediving.

Foster follows the octopus for more than a year. With the style, grace, and techniques of hunting & preying, you will question the intelligence of this curious creature.

20. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

Who can fail to remember the scandal that shook the base of the American Education System in 2019? Some potential competitors tarnished rich guardians, limitless freedoms, 53 guilty, and the eagerness to get admission in a reputed college.

Regarding debasement or calamity in the education area – The College Admission Scandal is a highly embarrassing event. Operation Varsity Blue was the federal venture’s codename to research the conspiracy and identify who is responsible.

From accounts to the investigators’ meetings – Operation Varsity Blue is Netflix’s endeavor to show what turned out badly and why. The trailer will arouse your interest, and it will hook you to know more.

21. Our Planet

If you love and appreciate Mother Nature, this documentary is for you. Exploring the expansiveness of the variety of living organisms throughout the planet, from the distant Arctic wild to Africa’s immense scenes to wildernesses of South America to vast unexplored seas.

Get ready for a lifetime experience with ‘Our Planet’ as it focused on the wonders of the animal kingdom. Enjoy the creatures in their natural habitat rather than putting them behind the bar and exhibiting them as objects.

22. Pelé

It is the story of young Pelé and how he rises as one of the world’s finest soccer players. Another aspect of the documentary highlights the role of Vicente Feola in the success of Pelé. Rising from the ground with Vicente’s efforts and utilizing his street soccer skills, he leads Brazil to the 1958 World Cup.

The story is an inspirational one proving that you can achieve anything your dream with hard work and effective strategies. The highlights of the World Cup added this piece to the list of the best documentaries on Netflix.

23. Sunderland ‘Til I Die

Sunderland Until I Die is a sports documentary for sports lovers. Delivered by Fulwell 73 (named as a reverence to Sunderland A.F.C.

Delivered on 14 December 2018, the central part records Sunderland’s 2017–18 season, which saw the club playing in the EFL Championship, consigned from the Premier League the season earlier.

24. The Great Hack

Investigating how a data organization named Cambridge Analytica came to represent the dark side of online media in the wake of the 2016 US official election, as uncovered by columnist Carole Cadwalladr.

These were psychological projects intended to test the restrictions of human instinct, compassion, and ordinary good judgment. They estimated how far the deck should have been stacked before the noticed subjects intentionally obliged a position they knew not to follow.

25. The Keepers

The Keepers recounts the tale of Sister Catherine Cesnik, a 26-year-old religious woman living in Baltimore who was kidnapped and killed, harking back to the 1960s. However, the case was rarely addressed; however, it was connected to a terrible history of sexual abuse by a pastor called Father Joseph Maskell.

As the stories and incidents related to the religious figures are not highlighted, this documentary aims to provide all the available information to the audience. The topic and the documentary’s intent make it a suitable contender for the title of the best documentaries on Netflix.

26. The Last Dance

The ten episodes of the documentary gave a top to bottom gander at the Chicago Bulls’ administration through the last title season’s viewpoint in 1997-98. The Bulls permitted an NBA Entertainment group to chase after the group for that whole season, and a portion of that at no other time seen film is highlighted in the narrative.

What’s more, ESPN addressed more than 100 individuals near the group and characters who encountered the run, investigating all points of the Jordan marvel.

27. The Speed Cubers

The documentary portrays the friendship and competition of champion Rubik’s Cube solvers Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs. They, on the whole, have set and broken a considerable number of records in the specialty of speedcubing.

It investigates the background of the American Park and Australian Zemdegs during the approach to the World Cube Association’s 2019 titles in Melbourne, Australia. Feliks is a symbol in the world of Cube-solving, presently in his mid-20s and mulling over life after speedcubing.

28. The Staircase

Netflix’s most recent documentary, The Staircase, plunges into the twisty instance of Michael Peterson, a writer who was sentenced in 2003 for killing his wife, Kathleen Peterson. She was discovered in an unconscious state at the bottom of the stairs in their home.

The initial episodes were debuted in 2004, with eight scenes that firmly followed Peterson, his family, and the legal team preparing for the murder trial. After Peterson was delivered from jail forthcoming a retrial, two episodes were included in 2013.

As the documentary is only available on American Netflix, you can use a VPN service, preferably Surfshark, to connect to the US server and enjoy this documentary.

29. Tiger King

The documentary revolves around Joe Exotic and his private zoo full of wild tigers and lions. He was based in Oklahoma, where he pretends to care for his so-called pets. We didn’t know that he was abusing the animals with no veterinary care and an unhygienic environment.

Let us introduce you to Joe’s nemesis. Carole Baskin is the founder of the organization ‘Big Cat Rescue’ to improve the life of big cats born in captivity. As she highlighted the conditions of Joe’s zoo, he tried to accuse her of killing her husband and feeding him to the big cats.

As this plan was unsuccessful, he paid someone to kill her twice! The story and the topic of protecting animals make this series a suitable candidate for the best documentaries on Netflix. You can also utilize our list of best free VPNs for Netflix to access the show from anywhere.

30. What Happened, Miss Simone?

Nina Simone is a legend, a black power icon, dive-bar chanteuse, and a trained pianist. She lived the life of tortured melancholy, musical genius, and brutal honesty. She was at the peak of her career when she decided to highlight the social issues.

She lost a significant number of record contracts after pointing out the issue of racism. Simone highlighted the injustice in her songs, with so many lives lost due to racial biases and hate. Her songs became protest slogans, further angering the recording studios.

31. Seaspiracy

There is a sense of urgency that cannot be suppressed throughout the documentary is justified. As the creators travel from the UK to Australia to Asia, they get new information about destroying ocean life. The documentary focuses on the topic of how commercial fishing is hazardous for the environment.

The documentary highlighted various points; some of them are,

  • 50% of the famous ‘garbage patch’ comes from diving gears.
  • The fishing industry kills around 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises globally, each year.
  • Despite the claims, there is no such thing as sustainable fishing.

From crime to spam to disasters, enjoy our picks of the best documentaries on Netflix that cover every topic. If you have to curious mind and want the answers to highly publicized cases, these documentaries are a perfect watch for you.

All you need now is a comfortable couch, unlimited snack, and a VPN that works with Netflix like NordVPN (if you are outside the US because canceling Netflix subscription is never the solution). Happy streaming!

David Michaels


Coming from the field of software development and PC building, David Michaels knows the importance of protecting your online identity. He works tirelessly to assess VPN performance and does not hold back the criticism. He discusses streaming platform, technology, and internet privacy on weekdays while spending his weekend binge-watching Netflix and Traveling!

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