10 Must-See Documentaries on Netflix

An earlier post flagged some good movies worth your time on Netflix. This one does the same but shines the spotlight on documentaries, an especially strong category on Netflix. These are current on Canadian Netflix as of May 2017 and clicking on blue titles will reveal a more detailed look at some very good films.

Sour Grapes: Welcome to the world of fine and rare wine auction markets, and how they were ripe for fraud. This doc centers on one particular counterfeiter who befriended the rich and powerful and swindled them out of millions of dollars.

13th: Ava DuVernay’s in-depth look at the prison system in the United States how it reveals America’s history of racial inequality. The system is busted. Get woke.

Jesus Camp: I’ve forced this one on a few people now because I think it’s daring and scary as fuck. It’s about a camp indoctrinating kids into evangelical Christianity and the extremism on display is alarming.

Muscle Shoals: A must-see for music lovers, it explores the studio itself and Rick Hall, the man behind it, responsible for making music that defined a generation, birthing the Muscle Shoals Sound, remaining influential and relevant today.

Peter and the Farm: One of the most authentic slices of life I’ve ever seen on film. Peter is an old man, the product of his addictions. He’s alone on his farm, resenting the land he once cherished, and counting down the days until he dies alone. Depressing but fascinating.

Tower: A look at the fateful day when a sharpshooter started killing people on a college campus in Austin, Texas. Effective story telling and a visual flair help piece together a narrative worthy of remembrance.

Raiders!: A somewhat gleeful fulfillment of a childhood dream. Friends who spent their youth remaking Raiders of the lost Ark reunite to film the one last scene that eluded them at the time due to budgetary and logistical reasons but is now within their grasp.

The Hunting Ground: An unflinching look at the campus rape epidemic: the boys who perpetrate it, the administrators who cover it up, and the girls and their families who lay devastated in its wake.

Miss Sharon Jones: Just as her singing career is exploding she’s sidelined by pancreatic cancer. It’s the worst year of her life, but she’s not the kind of woman who goes without a fight.

For The Love of Spock: A sweet tribute to his father, Leonard Nimoy, by a son in mourning for a father and a national icon. Learn about the man and his most famous character, and be touched by how much those two overlapped.

What are your Netflix picks?

32 thoughts on “10 Must-See Documentaries on Netflix

      1. 2loud2oldmusic

        I really liked the Twisted Sister, Tom Petty’s Runnin Down a Dream, the Eagles and there was one on Journey’s lead singer Arnel…don’t remember the name of it.


  1. The Vern

    I have seen Jesus Camp and really dug that one. I will check out 13th and The Hunting Ground soon. But those ones may make me start punching people. Especially guys who wear too much Axe body spray


    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, I think you’re right about those. Jesus Camp drove me crazy and made me scared, but then I kept making everyone else watch it!


  2. Dell on Movies (@w_ott3)

    13th is an amazing doc. Glad to see it get a push, here. I’ve also seen Raiders! and Miss Sharon Jones. Both of those are great, as well. In fact, Raiders! is one of the more fun docs I’ve seen in recent years. I’ve been meaning to watch Jesus Camp. Might have to do that sooner, rather than later.

    I’ve seen a number of other great docs on Netflix, too. I can’t say for certain they’re all still there, but that’s where I watched them:
    Batkid Begins
    Janis: Little Girl Blue
    What Happened, Miss Simone?
    A Ballerina’s Tale
    Life Itself


  3. J.

    I have all of them except Jesus Camp on my list (I’ve seen that one).

    Food, Inc. is an oldie, but I often recommend that one. There’s also Blackfish, Cropsey and West Of Memphis that I thought were great too.


  4. reocochran

    I am one who likes to watch documentaries, Jay. Some of these I would have to get at the library since I don’t have Netflix. My cable bill is standard and extra channels (still a big $90)! Thanks for letting me know since the library stocks up on this sort of film. 🙂


  5. daboogieblog

    A wide range of documentaries, just right for my taste and I think you gave some great recommendations accompanied by informing descriptions! If I may recommend one to you too that would be Propaganda Game, which gives insights in the propaganda system of North Korea.



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