Best Documentaries on Netflix

Documentaries are a great way to turn family movie night into a learning experience. You can explore the world from the comfort of your own home with some of our favorite movies about real people, places, and projects. And streaming services like Netflix make it easier than ever to find great, "hidden gem" movies. But a wealth of movies on Netflix -- and documentaries' undeserved reputation for being boring -- can make it difficult to find real-life films that kids will love, too. Try this list to discover some of the best documentaries currently available on Netflix. We've got nature documentaries for animal lovers, biographies for history buffs, and tons of other inspiring films that will captivate kids -- and maybe even teach them something new. For even more incredible true stories, check out some of our other favorite documentary movies

Browse Best Documentaries on Netflix

Expedition China Movie Poster Image
Gentle docu about how crews capture footage of rare animals.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Ghost of the Mountains Movie Poster Image
Absorbing docu about snow leopards has mild peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Growing Up Wild Movie Poster Image
Intimate look at baby wildlife; some violence, peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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National Parks Adventure Movie Poster Image
Beautiful documentary celebrates "America's best idea."
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Dream Big: Engineering Our World Movie Poster Image
STEM-themed docu will inspire kids to become engineers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Short Game Movie Poster Image
Fabulous, kid-friendly docu about world's youngest golfers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Being Elmo Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu about the man behind the Muppet superstar.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable Movie Poster Image
Inspirational docu has themes of perseverance, gratitude.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Dancing with the Birds Movie Poster Image
Male birds build, dance, and sing to attract females.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Becoming Movie Poster Image
Enlightening journey with Michelle Obama on her book tour.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Chasing Coral Movie Poster Image
Awe-inspiring, poignant docu tracks decline of coral reefs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Bill Nye: Science Guy Movie Poster Image
More mature, still kid-friendly Bill Nye inspires.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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I Am Bolt Movie Poster Image
Winning docu celebrates world's fastest man; mild cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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I'll Push You: A Real-Life Inspiration Movie Poster Image
Touching friendship docu is full of positive messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Ladies First Movie Poster Image
Inspiring but cautionary docu about woman archer from India.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Last Man on the Moon Movie Poster Image
Awe-inspiring, insightful docu spotlights American astronaut
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Mercury 13 Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu about '60s female pilots who faced sexism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo Movie Poster Image
Riveting documentary about NASA pioneers in '60s and '70s.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Mountain Movie Poster Image
Ecology doc sparks senses with awe-inspiring cinematography.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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20 Feet from Stardom Movie Poster Image
Smart, thoughtful docu shines light on background singers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Inequality for All Movie Poster Image
Engaging economics docu encourages equality, activism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Jiro Dreams of Sushi Movie Poster Image
Subtitled docu about sushi chef inspires and enlightens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Period. End of Sentence Movie Poster Image
Indian women fight stigma of menstruation in short docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Undefeated Movie Poster Image
Inspiring football documentary about the power of teamwork.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Behind the Curve Movie Poster Image
Excellent, relevant docu about conspiracy theories.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Bobby Kennedy for President TV Poster Image
Honest, revealing docu shows many sides of political legend.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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He Named Me Malala Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, deeply affecting docu explores teen icon's life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Into the Inferno Movie Poster Image
Fascinating docu explores volcanoes and scientific passion.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Knock Down the House Movie Poster Image
Outstanding docu about underdog congressional hopefuls.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made Movie Poster Image
Story of kids' labor-of-love Indy remake is fun, moving.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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All in My Family Movie Poster Image
Honest docu on coming out to a traditional Chinese family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Cowspiracy Movie Poster Image
Provocative docu has some graphic scenes of animal cruelty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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For the Love of Spock Movie Poster Image
Moving Nimoy docu has some language, other iffy stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Forks Over Knives Movie Poster Image
Engaging docu promotes a vegan diet in nonjudgmental way.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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From One Second to the Next Movie Poster Image
Chilling tales hammer home dangers of texting and driving.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids Movie Poster Image
Engaging concert film has some cursing, provocative songs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 Movie Poster Image
Wrenching, must-see docu probes racial violence in LA.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu featuring musicians performing for inmates.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Parchís: The Documentary Movie Poster Image
Rise and fall of Spanish tween band; some mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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ReMastered: The Miami Showband Massacre Movie Poster Image
Incredible docu on horrific event; some violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff? Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu on attempted shooting of reggae icon.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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A Secret Love Movie Poster Image
Docu about women forced to hide relationship for 70 years.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Strong Island Movie Poster Image
Emotionally raw docu on racial injustice in America.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The White Helmets Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu has positive messages, some wartime violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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American Factory Movie Poster Image
Engaging doc about Chinese firm opening U.S. plant; cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Barbra: The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic Movie Poster Image
Streisand concert for fans old and new; some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Movie Poster Image
Passionate docu about iconic jazz musician; drugs, alcohol.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Ivory Game Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu shines light on efforts to save elephants.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower Movie Poster Image
Docu about brave teen taking on oppressive government.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Long Shot Movie Poster Image
Some cursing, big spoiler in unique true-crime docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Miss Representation Movie Poster Image
Earnest, illuminating documentary about women and the media.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium Movie Poster Image
Docu about slain folk singer has violence, profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke Movie Poster Image
Comprehensive docu on iconic soul singer; some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay? Movie Poster Image
Docu about the murder of influential DJ has strong language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Resurface Movie Poster Image
Moving docu on surf therapy has mature themes, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Vietnam War Movie Poster Image
Outstanding docu is insightful, objective, and violent.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution Movie Poster Image
Docu about life-changing camp has violence, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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End Game Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu treats dying as integral part of life cycle.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Feminists: What Were They Thinking? Movie Poster Image
Affecting docu about 1970s feminism; nude photos, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened Movie Poster Image
Mature doc about outrageous scam is funny, sad, instructive.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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The Great Hack Movie Poster Image
Docu traces exploitation of personal data on the internet.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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I Am Jane Doe Movie Poster Image
Wrenching doc about underage sex trafficking, legal battles.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Icarus Movie Poster Image
Eye-opening docu on Russian doping scandal; some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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13th Movie Poster Image
Searing docu decries racial bias; intense violence, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Amanda Knox Movie Poster Image
Docu on sensationalized murder trial has graphic depictions.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Audrie & Daisy Movie Poster Image
Painful, unflinching story of rape and bullying.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Bleeding Edge Movie Poster Image
Informative, eye-opening docu about medical-device industry.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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City of Joy Movie Poster Image
Grim yet inspiring docu of rape survivors in war-torn Africa
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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E-Team Movie Poster Image
Wartime docu can be grim but possibly inspiring to teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers Movie Poster Image
Poignant, violent story of child during Khmer Rouge's reign.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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LA Originals Movie Poster Image
Excellent hip-hop culture docu has swearing, drug use.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Recovery Boys Movie Poster Image
Intense, honest, and inspiring docu about opioid addiction.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Tell Me Who I Am Movie Poster Image
Intense docu about twin brothers has violence, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Virunga Movie Poster Image
Outstanding but shattering docu set in war-torn Congo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom Movie Poster Image
Brutal but inspiring docu about 2013-'14 Ukrainian uprising.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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