The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies 

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Updated June 2, 2020 1k votes 281 voters 25.3k views 61 items

List Rules Only Netflix original Documentaries

Here are the best Netflix original documentary movies currently streaming online on Netflix, ranked from the most popular to the least by the Ranker community. This list shows every Netflix original documentary on Netflix Instant. Also check out the funniest Netflix original stand up comedy specials and the best Netflix original movies.

The latest and newest Netflix original documentaries feature some of the biggest issues in politics, news, entertainment, drugs, and history. From critically acclaimed Hollywood directors like Werner Herzog, Ava DuVernay, and more, must-watch Netflix original docs include Into the Inferno, 13th, My Beautiful Broken Brain, Extremis, and Tig.

Netflix is quickly becoming a successful independent movie studio by producing quality documentaries. Most anticipated Netflix documentary films include Strong Island.

Sometimes there's nothing better than to just binge watch Netflix originals and chill. Which Netflix original documentary is the best? From Hot Girls Wanted to What Happened, Miss Simone?, they're all here for the Ranker community to vote on. If there's a Netflix original documentary that you don't see, feel free to add it to the list, but make sure that it's currently streaming on Netflix. Vote up your favorites and vote down the ones you don't think are so good.

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13th is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
Ava DuVerna

Actors: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker

Released: 2016

13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
Wild Wild Country is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
Wild Wild Country (Netflix, 2018) is a documentary series directed by Maclain and Chapman Way. When Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA Osho, the world's most controversial guru, builds a utopian city ...more

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Bryan Fogel

Actors: Bryan Fogel, Nikita Kamaev, Grigory Rodchenkov

Released: 2017

Icarus is a 2017 documentary film directed by Bryan Fogel. While exploring the option of doping to win an amateur cycling race, Fogel happens upon a major international doping scandal when he ...more
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Evgeny Afineevsky

Actors: Bishop Agapit, Catherine Ashton, Serhii Averchenko

Released: 2015

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom is a 2015 documentary film directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations ...more
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Richard Ladkani

Actors: Andrea Crosta, Ian Stevenson, Prince William

Released: 2016

The Ivory Game is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani. The filmmakers spend 16 months undercover to examine the ivory trade, which has become a global ...more
Audrie & Daisy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
Bonni Cohen

Actors: Audrie Pott, Daisy Coleman, Paige Parkhurst, Melinda Coleman

Released: 2016

Audrie & Daisy is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. A look at the effects that online bullying has on the lives of teenagers and their community, ...more
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Chapman Way, Maclain Way

Actors: Kurt Russell, Todd Field, Rob Nelson

Released: 2014

The Battered Bastards of Baseball is a 2014 documentary film about the Portland Mavericks, a defunct Minor League Baseball team which operated from 1973 through 1977. Owned by actor Bing ...more

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Kitty Green

Actors: Hannah Cagwin, Aeona Cruz, Liv Bagley

Released: 2017

Casting JonBenet is a 2017 documentary film directed by Kitty Green. During a casting process for a fictional film, various Colorado-area actors are interviewed and tested for the roles of real ...more
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Orlando von Einsiedel

Actors: André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby

Released: 2014

Virunga is a 2014 British documentary film directed by Orlando von Einsiedel; it focuses on the conservation work of rangers within Virunga National Park, and the activity of a British company, ...more
What Happened, Miss Simo... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
Liz Garbus

Actors: James Baldwin, Stokely Carmichael, Walter Cronkite, Stanley Crouch

Released: 2015

What Happened, Miss Simone? is a 2015 biographical documentary film directed by Liz Garbus. Exploring the life of Nina Simone, the documentary combines previously unreleased archival footage and ...more
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Jeff Orlowski

Actors: Andrew Ackerman, Pim Bongaerts, Neal Cantin

Released: 2017

Chasing Coral is a 2017 documentary film directed by Jeff Orlowski. As coral reefs around the world vanish at an unprecedented rate, a team of divers, photographers, and scientists set out on a ...more
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Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus

Actors: Farrah Abraham, John Anthony, Rachel Bernard, Levi Cash

Released: 2015

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Werner Herzog

Actors: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer, Katia Krafft

Released: 2016

Into the Inferno is a 2016 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog. An exploration of active volcanoes in Indonesia, Iceland, North Korea, and Ethiopia, Herzog follows volcanologist and ...more
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Theo Love

Actors: Bo Butterworth

Released: 2019

The Legend of Cocaine Island is a 2018 documentary film, directed and produced by Theo Love. An urban legend about a duffel bag of cocaine buried in the Caribbean leads a misfit band to hatch a ...more

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Jacob LaMendola

Actors: Tasha Boggs, Juan Catalan, Melissa Catalan, Larry David

Released: 2017

Long Shot is a 2017 documentary short film directed by Jacob LaMendola. When Juan Catalan is arrested for a murder he insists he didn't commit, he builds his case for innocence around raw ...more
Fyre: The Greatest Party... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
Chris Smith

Actors: Billy McFarland, Ja Rule

Released: 2019

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Chris Smith, released on Netflix on January 18, 2019. An exclusive behind the scenes look at the ...more

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Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Actors: Necia Freeman, Patricia Keiller, Scott Lemley

Released: 2017

Heroin(e) is a 2017 documentary short film directed by Elaine McMillion. Three women fight to break the cycle one life at a time.
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Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme

Actors: Roger Stone

Released: 2017

Get Me Roger Stone is a 2017 American documentary film directed by Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme. Inspired by a New Yorker article by writer Jeffrey Toobin, the filmmakers embarked ...more
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Myles Kane, Josh Koury

Actors: Gerald Foos, Edward Sabol, Gay Talese

Released: 2017

Voyeur is a 2017 documentary film directed by Myles Kane and Josh Koury. Journalism icon Gay Talese reports on Gerald Foos, the Colorado motel who allegedly secretly watched his guests with the ...more
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Orlando von Einsiedel

Actors: Khalid Farah, Mohammed Farah, Abu Omar

Released: 2016

The White Helmets is a 2016 British short documentary film directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. The film follows the daily operations of a group of volunteer rescue workers of the Syrian Civil ...more
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Chris Smith

Actors: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Milos Forman

Released: 2017

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is a 2017 American documentary film directed by Chris Smith. Alternating between contemporary interviews with Jim Carrey and first-hand footage of the making of ...more
Conversations with a Kil... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Netflix Original Documentary Movies
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Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady

Actors: Ari Hershkowitz, Luzer Twersky, Etty

Released: 2017

One of Us is a 2017 documentary feature film directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Centering on the lives of three ex-members of Brooklyn's Hasidic community, the film explores their ...more
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Yance Ford

Actors: Yance Ford, Harvey Walker, Kevin Myers

Released: 2017

Strong Island is a 2017 documentary film directed by Yance Ford. Examining the violent death of the filmmaker's brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this ...more
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David France

Actors: Victoria Cruz, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera

Released: 2017

The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson is a 2017 documentary film directed by David France. This documentary uses never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews in a search for the truth ...more