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

 
Born in China Movie Poster Image
Nature docu has gorgeous vistas, moments of peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Disneynature: 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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Wings of Life Movie Poster Image
Lovely, kid-friendly nature docu focuses on bees, birds.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Batkid Begins Movie Poster Image
Tremendously heartwarming, positive docu for all ages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Imba Means Sing Movie Poster Image
Vibrant, uplifting docu about African children's choir.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Cave of Forgotten Dreams Movie Poster Image
Docu about ancient cave art is tame but aimed at adults.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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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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AlphaGo Movie Poster Image
Thought-provoking docu on relationship of AI to humans.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Before the Flood Movie Poster Image
Looking at climate change, Leonardo DiCaprio finds hope.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Harry & Snowman Movie Poster Image
A man and horse save each other in moving docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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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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Magnus Movie Poster Image
Inspirational docu on the "Mozart of Chess"; some bullying.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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The Roosevelts: An Intimate History Movie Poster Image
Lots of historical detail in evenhanded, traditional docu.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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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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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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It's Not Yet Dark Movie Poster Image
Docu about man whose love of life crushes dire prognosis.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World Movie Poster Image
Amazing internet documentary full of compassion, curiosity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Pacific Warriors Movie Poster Image
Docu about Pacific Islander rugby team has mild profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Terms and Conditions May Apply Movie Poster Image
Important docu about how digital companies use private data.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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42 Grams Movie Poster Image
Fascinating portrait of a young chef has some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Armor of Light Movie Poster Image
Insightful docu poses questions about faith, gun reform.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Food, Inc. Movie Poster Image
Important but disturbing docu about food biz. Teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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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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Keepers of the Game Movie Poster Image
Engaging sports docu addresses deeper societal issues.
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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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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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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The Bad Kids Movie Poster Image
Moving doc about troubled teens has powerful themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Blackfish Movie Poster Image
Powerful, heartbreaking, disturbing doc about captive orcas.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Champions Movie Poster Image
Profoundly moving docu about dog rescue and recovery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Code Black Movie Poster Image
Powerful but bloody documentary about emergency medicine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Fire at Sea Movie Poster Image
Intense material in remarkable, multilayered documentary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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: 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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Searching for Sugar Man Movie Poster Image
Intriguing docu about missing musician; some language, pot.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Tower Movie Poster Image
Doc uses animation to tell intense story of 1966 shooting.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Embrace Movie Poster Image
Frank body image docu advocates acceptance.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Fresh Dressed Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu on hip-hop fashion's rise has profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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The Hunting Ground Movie Poster Image
Grim docu shines much-needed light on campus rape epidemic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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The Mask You Live In Movie Poster Image
Moving documentary examines what it means to be a man.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Oklahoma City Movie Poster Image
Intense docu on terrorist Timothy McVeigh has violence.
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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Recovery Boys Movie Poster Image
Intense, honest, and inspiring docu about opioid addiction.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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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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