15 Best Documentaries on Netflix

15 Best Documentaries on Netflix

Truth is sometimes weirder than made-up stories. When it comes to documentaries about amazing true stories, Netflix has some great options. Some of these movies, like 13th, American Factory, and Crip Camp, have been praised by reviewers. Some, like Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond and The Tinder Swindler, are so exciting that you’d think they’re real. No matter how you’re feeling, Netflix has a documentary that can compete with fantasy movies. Here is a list of the 10 best Netflix movies.

Virunga (2014)

The Oscar-nominated film Virunga shows how a director changed his focus to make the story more interesting. Orlando von Einsiedel wanted to make a movie about the efforts of people in Congo’s Virunga National Park to protect gorillas. But a rebel group called M23 started a fight in the area while he was recording. His plans for the movie changed because of this. Another subject of the film is a British oil company that wished to drill in the park. I really liked the movie Virunga. Virunga is a powerful movie that shows how people are harming nature and has some heroes we can cheer for.

Virunga (2014)
Emmanuel de Merode in Virunga (2014)

You can watch the movie here.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015)

Winter on Fire tells the story of Ukraine’s struggle during the Maidan Uprising in 2013 and 2014. Seven years before Russia attacked Ukraine in 2022, this took place. The video shows how Ukrainians from all over the country got together to protest their government. The trouble began when Viktor Yanukovych, their president, chose to trade with Russia instead of the European Union.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015)
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015)

The film show how polite protests turned into fights with cops. Along with others from various backgrounds, they pushed for change and progress in their country. Because Winter on Fire was so powerful, it was nominated for an Oscar. Additionally, the director, Evgeny Afineevsky, made a movie about the Russian attack called Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.

You can watch the movie here.

13th (2016)

Even though the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ended slavery and forced labor, this powerful documentary shows that these things still happen in different forms. It was made by the well-known director Ava DuVernay and won an Emmy. The film shows how badly Black Americans have been treated since the end of slavery in 1865. In the war on drugs, minorities are more likely to be hurt, and private companies make a lot of money in the jail system. DuVernay talks about many kinds of crime in her film, which is meant to show how one bad thing leads to another. It’s a strong urge to do something.

13th (2016)
Van Jones in 13th (2016)

You can watch the movie here.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

Many people who grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood still carry fond memories of the show and the kind lessons it taught. This movie is all about Fred Rogers, the man who taught us a lot and wore cardigans. It shows that he worked hard to keep his show on TV and that he always thought people should be nice and honest. Some people say that this video is like a warm hug when things are hard. It makes us remember how important it is to be kind, especially now.

Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
Fred Rogers in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

You can watch the movie here.

My Octopus Teacher (2021)

My Octopus Teacher won the big award for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars. An octopus and a director become friends in the movie. Craig Foster lived with an octopus for a year in a South African seaweed forest, where they both dived and hung out. His relationship with other people, especially his son, changes because of how he feels about her. It is hard to make a movie about sea animals that also teaches us about ties between people, but this group did an amazing job. We feel moved by, learn from, and motivated by their work.

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You can watch the movie here.

Found (2021)

Through the stories of three adopted American girls, this movie shows how China’s rule that each family can only have one child has changed those who live there. They learn that they are cousins and begin to research their family background. “Found” is interesting because it shows how the cousins see things from different points of view. One is happy living in the U.S., but the other wants to know more about her home country. The movie also shows respect for the people who take care of children who have lost their parents and for the emotional path of adoption. Bring tissues with you when you watch it!

Found (2021)
Found (2021)

You can watch the movie here.

Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020)

This special movie made by famous documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson (who also made Cameraperson) shows how closely connected life and death are. Kirsten’s father has memory problems in the movie, so she makes up different ways for him to die by accident, like falling down the stairs or being hit by a falling air conditioner. In a cute way, he acts these out for the camera. The movie isn’t really sad; it’s about how we think about death and how a daughter finds a special way to connect with her father before it’s too late. Reviewer says, you’ll enjoy seeing Kirsten’s funny plans and be moved by how much she loves her dad.

Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020)
Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020)

You can watch the movie here.

Disclosure (2020)

This movie called “Disclosure” is like a famous film from 1995 called “The Celluloid Closet”. It talks about how trans characters are shown in Hollywood movies and TV shows. It looks at how trans people have been treated in both good and bad ways. Not all movies were good. “The Crying Game” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” were two examples. But shows like “Pose” and “Orange Is the New Black” got better. There’s still work to be done, but “Disclosure” shows how attitudes have changed over time about transgender people. In the movie, real actors and artists talk about how these portrayals changed them and society as a whole.

Disclosure (2020)
Disclosure (2020)

You can watch the movie here.

Bad Vegan (2022)

New York’s food scene has never had a story like Sarma Melngailis’. She owned highly-regarded places like Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck, which were both vegan. People loved Sarma’s raw food, and he had a lot of famous customers. Later, when she started dating a shady guy, everything fell apart. This crazy story is told in four parts in the documentary Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. The documentary has a lot of action, including vegans who are trying to avoid the law and a crazy Domino’s order. Viewers should watch Bad Vegan right away if they like stories about dogs living forever and people dressing as meat.

Bad Vegan (2022)
Bad Vegan (2022)

You can watch the show here.

The Tinder Swindler (2022)

This documentary got nominated for an Emmy. It’s about a guy named Shimon Hayat who used Tinder to pretend to be a big deal in the gold business. He used charm to get a lot of women to give him a lot of money. The report came out at the right time because Hayut was still tricking more people when it did. But after this video, Tinder stopped letting him join. Tinder users who want to find love should be careful about what they click on. It’s clear that it’s very simple to think someone is real when they’re not.

The Tinder Swindler (2022)
Cecilie Fjellhøy in The Tinder Swindler (2022)

You can watch the movie here.

Our Father (2022)

Just think, if your whole life suddenly changed because of one email. As many people found out that there was a 90% chance that they all had the same dad, that’s exactly what happened. An Indiana doctor named Dr. Donald Cline, who was married, helped women get pregnant by using his own sperm instead of theirs from the early 1970s to 1989. As a result, many families were left confused, sad, and angry. “Our Father” tells the story of how these families became close as half-siblings.

Our Father (2022)
Our Father (2022)

You can watch the movie here.

To Kill a Tiger (2023)

The great documentary “To Kill a Tiger” came out in 2022. A Canadian film about a family in India. A 13-year-old girl was raped, and people in their small town are fighting for justice. Feelings are strong in this movie, and it teaches you a lot. Awarded many prizes at film festivals in 2023, it was up for an Oscar in 2024 for Best Documentary Feature. It was made possible by actor Mindy Kaling, actor Dev Patel, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and author Rupi Kaur. A notable movie called “To Kill a Tiger” tells a noteworthy tale. Fearlessly and kindly, director Nisha Pahuja made it.

To Kill a Tiger (2023)
To Kill a Tiger (2023)

You can watch the movie here.

Race to the Summit (2023)

Loved Free Solo? You’ll love Race to the Summit! The movie is about Ueli Steck and Dani Arnold, two climbers who are racing to see who can get to the top of the big mountains in the Swiss Alps the fastest. The beautiful views and how hard these climbers work will amaze you even if you’re not into climbing. You might want to skip it, though, if you’re afraid of heights, because those scenes will make your heart beat faster and leave you out of breath.

Race to the Summit (2023)
Race to the Summit (2023)

You can watch the movie here.

American Nightmare (2024)

This is a true crime TV show that Bernadette Higgins and Felicity Morris made. Denise Huskins was taken from her home in Vallejo, California, in March 2015, where she lived with her boyfriend Aaron Quinn. The show talks about what happened. The FBI and the cops in Vallejo thought Huskins and Quinn made it all up. People in the news even called Huskins “the real Gone Girl.” However, they learned it was true when an officer linked Huskins’ kidnapping to another break-in in Dublin, California. Matthew Muller was caught and found guilty because of this.

American Nightmare (2024)
American Nightmare (2024)

You can watch the movie here.

Lover, Stalker, Killer (2024)

A new movie called “Lover, Stalker, Killer” came out on February 9. Dave Kroupa is a real person, and the story is based on his life. His bad luck with online dating turned into a mess. This caused people to follow and bother him for years. A fire and a murder were also part of the story. The movie was directed by Sam Hobkinson, who also made “Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia.” A lot of it comes from talking to Kroupa, police officers, and other people who were involved in the case. Kroupa even plays himself in some scenes where they act out what happened.

Lover Stalker Killer (2024)
Lover Stalker Killer (2024)

You can watch the movie here.

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