15 Great Documentaries Streaming on Netflix Right Now

You may have seen House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and many of the latest comedies and dramas Netflix has to offer, I know I have.

However, sometimes I’m in the mood for a good documentary, because unlike feature films, they often spark a good conversation, whether it be at work, with friends or at family gatherings. We took the time to select some eye-opening documentaries that you can watch on Netflix right now!

1. Our Man in Tehran (2013)

An in-depth and intimate film about the events depicted in Ben Affleck’s ARGO. An easily digestable history lesson about the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when the US Embassy was seized by militants.  Six diplomatic employees found refuge at the Canadian Embassy, which prompted the Canadian government to work with the CIA to smuggle the fugitives out of Iran.

Available where: United States.

2. Hot Girls Wanted (2015)

An intimate and harrowing film about the amateur-porn industry, showing how young, cash-poor women, can be drawn into the sex trade.

Available where? Netflix Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

3. Blackfish (2014)

Gripping like a good thriller, Blackfish examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum, who caused the deaths of several people while in captivity. You’ll probably be recommending Blackfish to everyone you bump into for the next week or two after you watch it. We’re not gonna waste any more words on this one because the trailer says it all.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

4. Life Itself (2014)

A warm and affectionate documentary, chronicling the life of the world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert, based on his bestselling memoir.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,  Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

5. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

A 2015 documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the “High Priestess of Soul.”

Available where: All our supported countries.

6. Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

Oscar nominated film from 2010 by the world famous street artist Banksy, displays how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the street artist turn the camera back on its owner.

Available where: Netflix Spain, United Kingdom, United States.

7. 20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

2014 Oscar winner for best documentary feature, takes a look at the world of backup vocalists and the legends they support. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. Furthermore, special focus is given to special stand outs who endeavored to make a living in the art burdened with a low profile and more personal career frustrations, especially those who faced the very different challenge of singing in the spotlight themselves.

Available where: Netflix Spain, United Kingdom

8. Bigger Stronger Faster (2008)

Bro, do you even lift? Bigger Stronger Faster is a critically acclaimed documentary that explore the culture surrounding the use of anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs and how it relates to the American dream.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States.

9. Fed Up (2014)

An eye-opening documentary examining the underlying cause of childhood obesity, which has become an ever-more serious medical issue in America.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Jpana, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

10. Dear Zachary (2008)

Definitely not a “feel good” documentary, Dear Zachary is an intense and personal documentary about the murder of Dr. Andrew Bagsby, which was slain by his jealous ex girlfriend, who at the time was pregnant with his unborn child. His best friend decided to create a documentary that would both serve as a memorial about Dr. Bagsy and an introduction to the father which the boy would never know.

Available where: Netflix Canada and United States.

11. Somm (2012)

Do you think you know something about wine? These people know something about wine. SOMM is from 2013 and follows the attempts of four candidates to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.

Available where? Netflix Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States.

12. 50 Feet from Syria (2015)

A surgeon volunteers his services for two weeks at a Syrian refugee camp overflowing with the sick and wounded in this acclaimed short documentary.

Available where: Netflix United States.

13. Man on Wire (2008)

This 2009 Oscar winner takes a look at Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine, which he performed between the historic Twin Towers in New York. The film is crafted like a heist film (and who doesn’t like those?), presenting rare footage of his Philippe’s preparations alongside re-enactments and present-day interviews with the participants. His feat was recently made into a feature film called The Walk.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Austria, France, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland.

14. Je Suis Charlie (2015)

This documentary takes a hard look at what led to the 2015 terrorist assault on French publication Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

Available where: Netflix Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA.

15. 30 for 30: Bad Boys (2014)

In short, each documentary in the 30 for 30 series from ESPN is great, but one of our favorites is 30 for 30: Bad Boys. It’s a basketball documentary, which takes a look at the Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s and early 90’s and how they made their mark as the “bad boys” of the NBA, which made them both loved and hated.

Available where: Netflix United States.

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