Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

23 Mind-Blowing Documentaries You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now

You absolutely need to watch these.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the best documentaries that are currently available on Netflix. Here are the must-see results.

1. Evil Genius (2018)

Duplass Brothers Productions

What it's about: Brian Wells, a pizza delivery driver in Pennsylvania, robbed a bank with a bomb strapped around his neck in 2003. He claimed he was being forced to commit the heist, and if he didn't follow through the real criminals would detonate the bomb. This true crime documentary series follows the investigation into the "pizza bomber" case and aims to figure out if Wells was indeed a victim or a co-conspirator of the crime.


2. Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much (2017)

Gravitas Ventures

What it's about: Ted Slauson, a math teacher from San Antonio, memorized thousands of products and prices that were featured on The Price is Right. He was in the show's audience nearly 100 times, legally helped contestants when big money, and even won some major prizes himself. This fascinating documentary follows this super-fan's journey throughout the last few decades, ultimately leading to him helping a contestant bid perfectly on the Showcase Showdown in 2008, which has since changed the way The Price is Right runs their game show.


3. Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

The Brain Factory

What it's about: Haunted houses are thrilling. One second they're making you laugh, and the next they're giving you nightmares. But some people make it their life's mission to take them even further with "extreme horror simulations." This fun yet terrifying documentary gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the scariest haunted houses in the world, as well as the people who create them.


4. The Fear of 13 (2015)


What it's about: Nick Yarris was convicted of murder in 1982 and was sentenced to death. He was imprisoned and awaited execution on death row for 22 years. But there was one problem: In 2003, DNA evidence proved that Nick Yarris was actually innocent. Yarris speaks directly to the camera in this gripping documentary, which uncovers the very raw and real events of his life and what it's like to be an innocent man on death row.


5. Paris is Burning (1990)

Off-White Productions

What it's about: This smart and beautiful documentary gives a behind-the-scenes look into "ball culture" in New York in the '80s. It portrays race, class, and sexuality in America by focusing on Drag Balls where "rival fashion houses come together to celebrate, vogue and compete for bragging rights." This absolute staple in queer culture inspired the hit TV show Pose, and it also has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.


6. Sour Grapes (2016)

Met Film

What it's about: Some people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a single bottle of wine. Rudy Kurniawan took advantage of that and sold over $35 million worth of ~fake~ wine to unsuspecting connoisseurs in 2006. He refilled empty bottles with cheap wine and then forged the labels, resulting in one of the weirdest, funniest, and most fascinating frauds in the world.


7. Blackfish (2013)

Magnolia Pictures

What it's about: This disturbing documentary follows the story of Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld who killed three people, and exposes the shocking truth and controversy behind keeping animals in captivity.


8. Chasing Coral (2017)


What it's about: Coral reefs around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. This documentary follows a team of divers and scientists as they uncover what's going on under the ocean's surface, how we can help, and what's going to happen if we don't. This movie currently has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, in case you need extra convincing to watch it.


9. Glow: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012)

Connell Creations

What it's about: This wild documentary chronicles the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or G.L.O.W.), the first women's professional wrestling show, which aired on TV for four seasons in the 1980s. This eye-opening narrative includes real (and sometimes brutal) footage from the show's prime, as well as new interviews with a lot of the female wrestlers. This also helped inspire the Emmy Award-winning show GLOW.

—Brandon Oliver, Facebook

10. Amanda Knox (2016)

Netflix / Via u

What it's about: Amanda Knox was living as an exchange student in Italy in 2007 when her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered. Knox was convicted of the murder, spent four years in prison, and was later acquitted. This documentary features interviews with Knox and several other key people who were involved in the investigation and trials, and it will make you question absolutely everything.


11. 13th (2016)


What it's about: Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 Academy Awards, Ava DuVernay's 13th is an honest and mesmerizing documentary about "the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States." It's educational and historic, and it should be mandatory viewing for everyone.


12. Icarus (2017)


What it's about: This wild, must-see documentary was sort of a fluke. It originally set out to reveal the truth about doping in sports, but it accidentally uncovered a major Olympic cheating scandal, alleging that Russia "conspired to cheat in the Olympics for decades." This gripping tale won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2018.


13. Street Food (2019)


What it's about: From the creator's of Chef's Table, this mouth-watering documentary series showcases some of the most authentic food throughout all of Asia: street food. Each episode highlights a different country's best vendors and dishes, a-la Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations (only without a host). The series somehow finds a way to encompass heart and pain and joy and triumph and sacrifice, all while making you want to travel and eat your way through the world.


14. Twinsters (2015)

Small Package Films

What it's about: Imagine being an identical twin but not even knowing you're an identical twin. That's exactly what happened to Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier. They were both adopted and lived separate lives until they were in their mid-20s and found each other on Facebook. This wild documentary chronicles the events of discovering they're twins, meeting each other in real life, and ultimately searching for their biological mother.


15. The Keepers (2017)

Wikipedia / Fair Use / / Film 45

What it's about: Sister Catherine Cesnik was a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School in Maryland when she disappeared in 1969. Two months later, her lifeless body was found near a garbage dump. This compelling documentary series investigates what really happened, as her old students believe "there was a cover-up by authorities after Cesnik suspected that a priest at the school was guilty of sexual abuse."


16. I am Jane Doe (2017)

50 Eggs Films

What it's about: Jessica Chastain narrates this powerful documentary that follows the legal battle between American moms and the site, an escorting site where underage girls were trafficked and sold for sex.


17. Casting JonBenét (2017)

Wikipedia / Fair Use / / Netflix

What it's about: Most people know about the unsolved murder of JonBenét Ramsey, a child pageant queen who was killed in her own home in 1996. This documentary retells those events via a casting process for a fake movie about the murder, where real-life actors portray the people (and, yes, even JonBenét) who were involved in the crime and investigation. It's a strange, innovative, and compelling glimpse into the unnerving case.


18. The Seven Five (2014)

Sony Pictures

What it's about: The 75th precinct of the New York Police Department has been described as "the deadliest precinct in the country" during the '80s. This documentary highlights one dirty cop in particular, self-proclaimed "cop and gangster" Michael Dowd, who was responsible for the biggest police corruption scandal in New York's history.


19. Team Foxcatcher (2016)

Madrose Productions

What it's about: John du Pont was a multimillionaire who built a training facility for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team. He became obsessed and paranoid with one wrestler in particular: Dave Schultz. This chilling documentary uses interviews and never-before-seen footage to showcase the downfall of John du Pont, who ultimately murdered Schultz. You might remember this story from the 2014 true crime drama Foxcatcher, in which Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo both received Oscar nominations for portraying the two real-life people.


20. Hot Girls Wanted (2015)


What it's about: This intensely honest documentary follows young women as they try to enter the amateur-porn industry. There's a realness to it that's equally shocking and heartbreaking, highlighting the dark side of what some people will do for money and fame.


21. Miss Representation (2011)

Girls' Club Entertainment

What it's about: This captivating documentary focuses on the struggles women face every day, specifically in reference to the way they're portrayed in the media. It intertwines stories from real teenage girls with famous women and activists (like Jane Fonda, Lisa Ling, and Condoleezza Rice), begging that the media changes for the better.

—Emma Gat, Facebook

22. Quincy (2018)


What it's about: Quincy Jones has lived an extraordinary life. He has an EGOT (including seven Oscar nominations and 28 Grammys), was an executive producer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and even discovered Oprah Winfrey before she was famous. He's an icon. This documentary, co-directed by the brilliant Rashida Jones, gives an intimate look into his entire life. It'll make you laugh, cry, and remind you just how unstoppable Quincy Jones is.

—Kelly McCormick, Facebook

23. And Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Magnolia Pictures

What it's about: Jiro Ono is known as the world's greatest sushi chef. He's the subject of this mouthwatering documentary, which focuses on the 85-year-old's life work. Not only is Ono the first sushi chef to receive three Michelin stars, but Japan literally considers him to be a national treasure.


BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form