If you are looking for a documentary on Netflix, you have plenty to choose from. One might even argue that the overall quality of the original documentaries is better than their TV shows and movies.
In this post, I’ll share 10 popular documentaries on Netflix that you should watch. Some of them come in series and others are only one hour or so long.
Check them out!
10 Popular Documentaries on Netflix that You Should Watch
Have you ever wondered how the fish on your plate was caught up? Is shark fin really healthy as many people believe? If you care enough, or at least curious, about the fish that you eat every day, Seaspiracy is the best documentary on Netflix that you can watch.
The film begins with a frantic montage of attacks, weapons, and car chases. Only so we’re clear, it’s a documentary. But it’s not just dry statistics. It’s got some excitement.
Ali is the narrator of the documentary film. In the film, his investigation starts from single-use plastics, straws, plastic bags, packaging, etc.
The movie argues that all the focus on reducing those on social media and in our society, in general, is a bit of a distraction. It is because the main source of plastic pollution is actually the fishing industry with discarded nets and gear.
In the movie, Ali claims that the main solution would be to just eat less fish.
Furthermore, according to Seaspiracy, shark numbers have declined dramatically and are now vulnerable. One issue is shark finning, which is the practice of cutting off the fins of sharks and throwing the rest of the fish, which is also still alive, into the water.
2. The Social Dilemma
Do you use social media? Are you aware of what will happen to you when you are scrolling on social media? Is social media that bad? Are the people behind social media controlling us?
The Social Dilemma is a Netflix documentary that talks about the effects of machine learning in our society through social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
We all have heard the thing that social media networks are bad. Last time, we also heard about Facebook selling the users’ data to Cambridge Analytica. And there are many similar cases where social media use our data for advertisement purposes.
The Social Dilemma is kind of interesting because it shows a new argument. And it is really talking about the effects of machine learning and what that does to people.
In this Netflix documentary, you will see how machine learning controls the behavior of teenagers or adult people. It explains how powerful machine learning keeping individuals addicted and obsessed with giving up all of their attention and time to social media networks.
3. BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky
Blackpink is a Korean girl band and probably one of the most successful female K-pop girl-band in history. Here are some of their achievements:
- The most-viewed YouTube video ever in the first 24 hours.
- The first K-Pop group to hit 1 billion views.
- The most listened to female K-pop artist on Spotify.
- The most successful girl group concert of all time.
- The best charting K-pop girl group of all time.
- And many more.
This Blackpink Netflix documentary talks about the journey of each girl band member and how they got to be where they are now. Also, it talks about what the music industry is all about.
The story is quite inspiring. In this film, you will learn their struggle to reach their current position. Here, you can see that the training takes a really long time in a school kind of situation. There, they are picked on whether or not to be the famous ones. Or, the ones that get to showcase for the world, their music, and their dancing.
4. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
A Life on Our Planet is an extraordinary documentary by David Attenborough. Through the film, you will see that this man has lived the most incredible life. He has seen so much of the world and in particular of the wild. He also has had so much interaction with animals that many people would be dreaming of.
In this newest David Attenborough documentary, you probably will have a love and hate feeling at the same time. Here, he is going to show you the vision for the future if we don’t take any action to save our nature and animals from climate change.
David Attenborough refers to this film as his witness statement as to what is going on in the world. His cultural significance makes this documentary seems so much more personal than his other documentaries.
5. The Last Dance
The Last Dance is a 10-episode documentary series that charts the rise of the 1990s Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, and so many other incredible players.
In the Last Dance documentary, you will see how Michael Jordan was absurdly competitive. He cared so much about this game as the best, but also pushing his teammates very far to achieve their pinnacle.
One of the most fascinating things about this Netflix documentary is that they have access to footage from the 1998 season. It was shot on film and has been remastered. The footage is enlightening and there are many aspects of it that will give you chills.
In this documentary, you will also learn a shocking fact that Scottie Pippen, one of the greatest Basketball players of all time, was one of the most underpaid of all time.
Watch the Last Dance documentary on Netflix to learn more about the legendary Basketball players all of time.
ALSO CHECK: Secret Codes to Watch Hidden Movies on Netflix
6. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
This Netflix true-crime docu-series “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” dives into the mystery of how a young woman, Elisa Lam, disappeared. So if you are a fan of true crime, this will satisfy you.
In 2013, a college student, Elisa Lam was staying at Cecil when she vanished, igniting a media frenzy and mobilizing a worldwide group of internet sleuths to solve the case.
Elisa Lam is a Canadian resident looking for a bit of adventure so she came to California and ended up in Los Angeles.
The Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel has 4 episodes. The first two episodes introduce us to Elisa by means of her online posts. They will give you a small glimpse into her mindset and her motivations.
Also, you will get a decent insight into the Cecil Hotel itself. There’s some of its history as well as what it became when Elisa was visiting. There’s a huge change.
In the film, we have interviews with the hotel’s general manager at that time, maintenance workers, and even tourists who were staying there. Also, we have interviews with detectives who work the case.
Watch the true crime docu-series on Netflix for the complete story.
7. The Last Czars
The Last Czar is one of the best documentaries drama on Netflix about the fall of the Russian ruling House of Romanovs. A series of staged scenes with actors mixed with comments from experts on Russian history.
The authors are careful to state that it’s 80% drama and just 20% documentary.
Early in the show, we will be presented with the scene of the Royal viewing of the newly deceased Czar Alexander III. During the scene, we are introduced to the members of the royal family and the people will be following in this show.
Since it’s a documentary-style commentary, you will hear more explanations from them about Czar than the drama. For example, Cemal describes the Czars position as Field Marshal, Prime Minister, Pope, and Emperor. All wrapped into one. While Dr. Pablo De Orellana describes Czar as a medieval-style monarchy where the Czar has ultimate control over everything.
The Last Czars is a docu-series with 6 episodes. If you are a fan of world history and want to know about Russian history, especially during the 20th century, this is one of the best documentaries on Netflix that you should watch.
8. Street Food: Asia
“If someone has to taste a real food, authentic food, it has to be street food.”
This is the best documentary on Netflix that discusses about street food in Asia. In the docu-series of 9 episodes, you will be taken to different cities in Asia to taste the local food. The places are Bangkok (Thailand), Osaka (Japan), Delhi (India), Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Chiayi (Taiwan), Seoul (South Korea), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cebu (Philippines), and Singapore.
You can say that this Netflix documentary shows a chaotic paradise of food. You will see how people are so dedicated to cooking the same dish for over 40 years. In fact, they never went to a culinary school.
In the film, you will be brought to many hidden places where you can try the local food. And they seem so delicious and make you want to try and taste them yourself.
9. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan
Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan is a docu-series that seeks to tell the story of how Japan came out of its chaotic age of warring stage known as the Sengoku Jidai. Through the leadership of three powerful samurai lords who has come to be remembered as the great unifiers. They are Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The historians and experts who were sort of the talking heads or narrator of the series were excellent to keep things on track. They could give brief and clear explanations about the states period, the Sengoku Jidai
The Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan series goes throughout 6 episodes. Each episode goes to function as another leg of the journey through the period.
The first episode is all about the early rise of Oda Nobunaga going from the funeral of his father, Oda Nobuhide, to the civil war in Owari. The second episode continues Nobunaga’s story as he becomes a powerful yet controversial figure. He seizes Kyoto and comes to clash with warrior monks.
Watch Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan documentary on Netflix for the complete story.
10. This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist
This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist is an original documentary on Netflix true-crime series that has just been released in 2021.
Two robbers dressed as Boston police officers stole $500 million in paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 81 minutes on March 18, 1990. It was the most expensive art heist in history, one of the art world’s most enduring unanswered mysteries, made even more perplexing by its three decades of media coverage.
In the years since, leads for lost works by masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet have dead-ended or vanished in a quicksand of hearsay, criminals have died and investigators have withdrawn, and faint tracks ranging from dramatic (IRA arms deals) to more mundane (local mobsters) have gone icy cold.
Despite a $5 million reward, none of the works have been recovered, and no arrests have been made.
Watch the documentaries on Netflix now!
Have you watched the documentaries above on Netflix? Which of the best documentaries on Netflix according to you? Do you have any recommendation documentaries that we should watch? Please share your opinion.
I’ve been writing about tech since 2014. I found it fascinating to see the development of technology. My focus mostly is on app reviews, tips & tricks, and troubleshooting.