5 Netflix Documentaries You Definitely Need To Watch

5 Netflix Documentaries You Definitely Need To Watch
Image: Netflix

Before streaming, finding a good documentary meant either scouring the local video store or plundering the depths of YouTube. These days, we’re spoiled for choice. Netflix has a huge library of docos on-demand so it can be hard to differentiate between the good and the bad. But that’s where we come in.

Here are five of the best.


Image: IMDB

Synopsis: Three women fight to break the cycle one life at a time.

Why Should You Watch It: It destroyed me. I could hardly cope with watching this one. Some people are too good for this world.


Image: IMDB

Synopsis: An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

Why Should You Watch It: Moving and terrifying, Ava DuVernay paints a grim picture of the war on drugs, the 13th amendment and the American prison system. Gut-wrenching and eye-opening.

Chasing Ice

Image: IMDB

Synopsis: Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Why Should You Watch It: Because it is a harrowing tale of how we are messing up the world.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

Image: IMDB

Synopsis: A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999).

Why Should You Watch It: Carrey is as raw as ever in retelling this story and the lengths he went to so he could adequately portray Kaufman. Shows how strong an artist Carrey is and how important it was to him. Really engrossing stuff.

Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom

Image: IMDB

Synopsis: A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

Why Should You Watch It: Unflinching in its depiction of the Ukrainian student riots of half a decade ago, it goes inside the revolution itself. You watch it unfold and witness the power of people rising up against the system. Powerful.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


  • just a cool little doco that makes you want to share a Guinness.

    To hell I will! If someone wants a Guinness, he or she can buy their own pint!


    • Guinness has had an unfair run in this thread for too long!

      (is there legs in a How To Scull A Guinness article?!?!?!?)

  • Except i cant trust any netflix documantaries anymore, espacially since they just straight up sold organic lobby propaganda and avertising to us as documantaries in thier documentaries about food

    Wich im glad to see none of wich have been featured on this list, but if they wouldnt do the most basic bits of fact checking for those documentaries how can i trust them to be telling the truth with these ones?

    How do i know some intrest group isnt just paying them to spin something at me again like they did with thier food documentaries?

    • “How do i know some intrest group isnt just paying them to spin something at me again?”

      Congratulations, you have discovered critical thinking! Now apply this to every piece of media, news, advertisement, or political ideology you come across. Everyone is trying to spin something. You will not find any documentary that is free from all bias and editorial intent, anywhere. All you can do is remember that and choose to trust, but verify.

  • Cant reccomend Winter On Fire enough. By far one of the best doco’s on there. Fair warning though its quite graphic in someparts and you will witness people being killed.

    • I left it off this one, it was generating a lot of buzz before the Oscars – absolutely a must watch.

  • I’m liking the Dirty Money series at the moment. Will add these to the list ! Good stuff Jacko.

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