Netflix: The Absolute Best Documentaries to Watch #GeekLeap

Netflix documentaries have been unimaginable since without end, however with many various exhibits to select from, it may be laborious to choose. That is why we have made this checklist.

We’re beginning with the the perfect new documentaries launched up to now 12 months. After that we have divided the rest of our picks by style. We’re updated for January.

There’s rather a lot to get by way of. Seize some popcorn and completely happy watching!

The Finest New Documentaries on Netflix


Pepsi, The place’s My Jet? is one in every of my favourite sorts of documentary. It is an offbeat documentary on a weird matter with a forged of really charismatic and insane individuals. 

The premise: Within the mid-’90s Pepsi had some extent system designed to encourage individuals to drink extra Pepsi. One advert confirmed off a Harrier Jet you may purchase with 7 million of those factors. John Leonard, a 21-year-old enterprise scholar, discovered a loophole that allowed him to purchase factors for 10 cents and tried to drive Pepsi to make good on their advertising promise. Chaos ensues.


An interesting documentary on an extremely compelling topic, Pamela, A Love Story is a reevaluation of Pamela Anderson, probably the most compelling celebrities of 90s. Directed by Ryan White it combines diary readings, interviews with Anderson herself alongside time spent with Anderson’s sons to create an unimaginable portrait of a misunderstood human being. Should watch stuff.


Nearly as good as Netflix documentaries are, there’s been an inclination to tug out true crime into these bloated multiepisode sequence. Fortunately Our Father is the alternative of that. It is a lean, completely executed documentary centered on Donald Cline, an Indiana fertility physician who used his personal sperm to inseminate a ridiculous variety of girls towards their will.

That is an unimaginable piece, a kind of tales that simply escalates and escalates to the purpose the place your jaw drops in disbelief. 


Break Level is the most recent in what appears like a zillion documentaries exploring the daily drama of sports activities. You understand those I imply — All or Nothing, Drive to Survive. Cricket has one, AFL has one — there’s even a golf one approaching Netflix later this yr.

Break Level focuses on Tennis and — fortunately — picks the perfect athletes to give attention to. Watch this for the legendary Nick Kyrgios on the very least.


With the Qatar World Cup actually happening proper now, there could not be a greater time to get caught into FIFA’s murky behind-the-scenes conduct. This can be a really surprising documentary. Be warned: The allegations listed here are so wild you may even really feel compelled to cease watching the World Cup.


Untold is the most recent from the oldsters behind Wild Wild Nation.

It is a sports activities documentary sequence, with every episode going in-depth on controversial sports activities subjects. The primary episode focuses on Malice on the Palace, the infamous basketball match the place Ron Artest waded into the gang and wailed on followers again in 2004.

Untold is now in its second season, and it’s absolute must-watch stuff. The brand new episodes are arguably higher than the stellar first season. Possibly the perfect sports activities documentary sequence on Netflix


Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey (2022)

There are a number of Netflix documentaries about cults gone mad, however Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey could be essentially the most disturbing of the lot. In contrast to Homicide Among the many Mormons, which nearly handled its matter like a screwball comedy, Maintain Candy is a really grim story a couple of grim human being in Warren Jeffs. It is a improbable documentary, and among the many finest Netflix has produced, but it surely comes with a really hefty content material warning.


Keep on Board: The Leo Baker Story (2022)

Skateboarding as a sport makes for an excellent documentary matter. Dogtown and Z Boys, All That Mayhem — completely legendary.  Keep on Board: The Leo Baker Story is one other in a protracted line of classics.

It focuses on Leo Baker, the skater who got here out as trans and needed to give up competing on the Olympics within the course of. Superb, should watch stuff. 

Michael Putland/Getty Photos

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story (2022)

It is virtually inconceivable to overstate how well-known Jimmy Savile was within the UK — notably within the Nineteen Eighties. He was past a family identify, in some ways he felt like an eccentric uncle to the nation.

Which made revelations that he had sexually assaulted lots of of underage ladies and boys all of the extra horrific. This was an individual the entire of Britain had invited into their houses. 

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story does an excellent job of going by way of the archives, combining footage that’s totally weird in hindsight, and including improbable interviews with among the main gamers in British TV throughout Savile’s heyday. An interesting, albeit disturbing documentary. Be warned: This can be a tough watch. 


Our Nice Nationwide Parks (2022)

Barack Obama is making a beeline for David Attenborough’s job. And we do not hate the thought!

Our Nice Nationwide Parks is a world-class nature documentary within the type of nice BBC exhibits like Planet Earth. They’ve nailed it right here. When you’re a fan of that kind of present, that is utterly unmissable.


The Most Hated Man on the Web (2022)

Netflix has been on hearth with its documentaries recently, and The Most Hated Man on the Web is the most recent. From the producers of Tinder Swindler and Dont F**ok with Cats, it is a three-part documentary that tells the story of Hunter Moore, probably the most infamous purveyors of “revenge porn.” Positively price watching this one. 


The Woman within the Image (2022)

The Woman within the Image is the most recent true crime documentary from Netflix. It is up there with the service’s best possible work.

It appears like, after a interval of needlessly bloated multiepisode documentaries, Netflix has began trimming the fats, releasing lean, extremely compelling documentaries once more. First Maintain Candy: Pray and Obey and Our Father, now this.

The Woman within the Image tells the story of a younger woman, murdered at age 20. To say an excessive amount of would spoil the impression, however it is a layered, brutal documentary with limitless twists. It must be seen to be believed.


The Tinder Swindler (2022)

A documentary centered on Shimon Hayut, aka the “Tinder Swindler,” a conman who used courting apps to defraud a number of girls throughout Europe to fund a lavish way of life.

A barely totally different matter in comparison with most true crime documentaries on Netflix. Positively price a gander.

True crime


I’ve watched loads of true crime documentaries on Netflix, however nothing has come near The Keepers. A staggering story, advised throughout generations, that is respectful of the victims, but compelling all through.

It is a story in regards to the unsolved homicide of Catherine Cesnik, a nun who taught at a Catholic faculty in Baltimore, however The Keepers goes additional than you may anticipate and exposes a possible coverup of intercourse abuse allegations.


The true crime documentary style is totally saturated at this level, however The Staircase stands out. 

Specializing in Michael Peterson and the dying of his spouse Kathleen, The Staircase is greater than only a homicide thriller. It is a drawn-out epic that takes place over literal a long time, a documentary that follows Peterson and examines his each transfer, however one way or the other nonetheless stays goal. 

It is a good time to look at or revisit this one, since HBO Max has simply launched a drama miniseries primarily based on it.


Home of Secrets and techniques: The Burari Deaths (2021)

One of many more moderen true crime documentaries from Netflix, it is a good one.

Specializing in the weird deaths of 11 members of the family in a single home in Burari, Delhi, India in 2018, Home of Secrets and techniques delves into the theories behind of the strangest suicide/homicide circumstances in latest reminiscence. Unmissable stuff. 


This Is a Theft is about Netflix because it will get. A four-part sequence specializing in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, that is basically a documentary about an artwork heist. Keep in mind Evil Genius? (Which can also be on this checklist.) This Is a Theft may be very a lot in that type. The primary episode takes some time to get going, however be affected person — this one has a payoff.


Homicide Among the many Mormons (2021)

A few of Netflix’s more moderen true crime documentaries have been a bit bloated and… sorta unhealthy?

Fortunately Homicide Among the many Mormons is a return to kind. Positively watch this one. 


Who Killed Little Gregory (2019)

Who Killed Little Gregory is a documentary centered on the horrific homicide of Grégory Villemin. It is arguably the perfect true crime documentary on Netflix. It is a couple of homicide, and makes an attempt to resolve that homicide, but it surely’s additionally a lesson in media illustration and the horrific sexism Grégory’s mom needed to face within the wake of her son’s homicide. 


American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door (2020)

There are a number of true crime documentaries on the market (and on this checklist) however American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door stands out. 

It tells the story of Chris Watts, a seemingly common man who murdered his spouse and kids. The entry to footage is staggering and it is edited and produced in a novel manner, utilizing textual content messages and social media posts to inform the story. It is a horrific reminder of the banal, extremely frequent existence of home violence.


Making a Assassin (2015-2018)

With the swath of true crime documentaries and podcasts that got here in its wake, it is easy to neglect that the world as soon as misplaced its collective thoughts over Making a Assassin. In a number of methods it created the template that many Netflix documentaries now comply with. An actual unique.

Sports activities 


In 2020, within the midst of a pandemic, Netflix dropped this piece of sports activities doc perfection. 

The Final Dance focuses on the Chicago Bulls throughout their ’97-’98 NBA title-winning season, however actually it is a leaping off level for a documentary that tells the life story of its central star, Michael Jordan. 

Because of this, many criticized it for being somewhat too Jordan-focused, however The Final Dance was an occasion documentary that lived as much as the hype. 


This Oscar-winning documentary is an absolute belter. 

Icarus begins out as an expose on the impression performance-enhancing medicine have on sports activities efficiency, however a sequence of occasions drags director Bryan Fogel into an online of geopolitics and conspiracies. To say extra would spoil it, however Fogel finally has created a documentary that had a really actual impression on our notion of sports activities as an entire. In that respect, Icarus is a literal recreation changer.


System 1: Drive to Survive (2019)

Absolutely the gold commonplace for long-running sports activities documentaries. Drive to Survive is so good, and so common, that it is impressed an entire new degree of curiosity in System 1, particularly within the US. This present is nice at elevating the characters that occupy the game. Extra exhibits like this, please.


Athlete A is a superb characteristic size expose on Larry Nassar, the crew physician of USA Gymnastics, who had been sexually abusing feminine athletes for many years.

Be warned: This one is harrowing.


14 Peaks tells the story of the Nepalese mountaineer Nimsdai Purja and his purpose of climbing all 14 mountains above the peak of 8,000 meters (26,000 ft) in a single yr. It is unimaginable. Should-watch stuff.


Netflix may need burned the true crime documentary into the bottom, but it surely’s on hearth in the case of sports activities. Unhealthy Sport is the most recent entry into this burgeoning subcategory, and it is superior. Specializing in unusual controversies in sports activities historical past, Unhealthy Sport is much less about main gamers doing main issues, it is about what occurs when sport goes unhealthy, will get down within the grime. All of those episodes are nice. Hoping for a season 2. 


The River Runner is sorta like Free Solo for kayaking. Think about {that a} praise.

Specializing in Scott Lindgren, a kayaking legend who was a pioneer of the game, it is a conventional story of an excessive sports activities star overcoming odds, but it surely runs somewhat deeper than that. Preventing towards a mind tumor and his personal private demons, Lindgren is a compelling case examine. Should watch stuff.


Naomi Osaka has grow to be probably the most well-known and talked-about athletes on the planet. This fascinating documentary explores totally different phases of her profession and presents unimaginable entry into the lifetime of a younger lady combating the pressures of sport and fame. A must-watch.


When you’re on the lookout for a barely extra uplifting documentary, you may do far worse than The Velocity Cubers, a take a look at the world of aggressive… Rubik’s Cubers? It is brief, however packs an unimaginable emotional punch. Put together your self, this one may break you.



Seaspiracy follows within the footsteps of a number of documentaries centered on the impression of meat consuming on the surroundings. This time the worldwide fishing business is within the crosshairs. As anticipated this one has stirred up a little bit of controversy from all stakeholders — PETA, Greenpeace and conservation teams can not seem to agree if Seaspiracy is correct or truthful. Watch it and make up your individual thoughts.


My Octopus Trainer (2020)

My Octopus Trainer follows Craig Foster, a filmmaker who spent a yr snorkeling and interacting with an octopus off the coast of South Africa. It is a nature movie, positive, but it surely’s concurrently a documentary designed to encourage awe within the viewer. Briefly, octopuses are unimaginable. Little aliens on Earth, basically. That is the story of a relationship between people and nature, but it surely’s additionally an inspiring name to motion: Do not ignore the marvel that exists throughout you.


David Attenborough nature documentaries are so pervasive, they’re susceptible to self parody, however Our Planet is — I consider — the excessive watermark. Solely Planet Earth, one other Attenborough doc, comes shut. However I favor this one.


Time might boring its impression, however when Tiger King was first launched on Netflix, all the world could not cease speaking about it. 

Tiger King explores the unusual underbelly of huge cat breeding, specializing in a forged of unforgettable (and finally harmful) characters. It drags its viewers to bizarre locations. Season 2 is now obtainable and whereas the present has misplaced a number of its chunk, it is intriguing to meet up with this forged of untamed human beings doing wild, utterly outlandish issues. 

Politics/historical past 


thirteenth by Ava Duvernay is a staggering documentary that tells the story of American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, lots of which nonetheless resonate at present. 

Within the wake of the Black Lives Matter motion, this must be obligatory viewing.


Within the wake of the Capitol siege, the Fb/Cambridge Analytica controversy virtually appears like historical historical past, however that does not make this documentary any much less essential. If you have not seen it, then watch it.


Operation Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal (2021)

Lately launched, Operations Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal has a reputation so long as a few of Netflix’s latest documentaries. Fortunately, this is not as bloated as, say, the latest Cecil Lodge doc, but it surely may nonetheless use some trimming. 

Operation Varsity Blues centered on the FBI investigation into school admissions that put actress Felicity Huffman into jail. Its director, Chris Smith, beforehand labored on the Fyre Competition documentary. This is not fairly as compelling, however remains to be effectively price watching. 


Knock Down the Home (2019)

No matter your views on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Knock Down the Home is an unimaginable underdog story that can not be missed. Specializing in progressive feminine candidates through the 2018 congressional major campaigns, it is an insightful take a look at the democratic course of. It is an inspiring reminder that we have to battle in an effort to make the voices of atypical individuals rely.


What Occurred, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not gonna say a lot right here. Nina Simone is a legend and that is possibly among the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. 


Overlong and bloated, Wild Wild Nation is however probably the most fascinating documentaries I’ve ever watched on Netflix. 

It tells the story of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who tried to construct a big sprawling commune, for what was basically a intercourse cult, in the US. It is a unusual story that one way or the other turns into stranger with age. Very similar to Tiger King, the story plumbs depths you will not consider. At instances it is a slog, however Wild Wild Nation is completely worthwhile.


I completely adore this documentary. 5 present acclaimed administrators (together with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) assist inform the story of 5 well-known film administrators from the ’30s and ’40s who did frontline work through the Second World Warfare. It wraps their legacies alongside the impression of the struggle itself into a very compelling story of Hollywood’s golden age.


An Oscar winner for Netflix, this documentary is the primary produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Greater Floor Productions crew. 

American Manufacturing unit tells the story of Fuyao, a Chinese language firm that constructed a manufacturing facility in Ohio that inhabits a now-closed Common Motors plant. It’s important to watch this film.


Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy (2020)

By this level all of us have some kind of understanding of Jeffrey Epstein’s story however Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy does itself an excellent service by specializing in the tales of the survivors of his abuse. 

The Cinemart/Hulu

Fyre: The Biggest Get together That By no means Occurred (2019)

Hulu additionally has an excellent Fyre competition documentary, however I favor this Netflix one. In contrast to many Netflix documentaries, that are stretched and bloated into multipart episodes, this documentary is sharp, direct and stable gold all the manner by way of.

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