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The Best Recently Released Documentaries On Netflix

Updated August 27, 2020 358 votes 72 voters17 items

List RulesVote up the best new documentaries that have aired on Netflix in the past year.

One of the best things about Netflix is its constant stream of new content. Once we finish devouring a binge-worthy television series, there's always a new one that's bound to pull us in. In the realm of documentaries, Netflix has stepped up its game to bring us some hard-hitting, expertly crafted series. Here's a collection of recent documentaries on Netflix that you have to check out. 

Staying up to date on the new documentaries on Netflix allows you to engage in the cultural conversations surrounding the streaming service's most popular shows. How would you be able to understand these Tiger King memes if you haven't even seen the show yet? This list of new documentaries streaming on Netflix is full of shows that you won't be able to keep quiet about. From the shocking true crime series The Innocence Files to the mouth-watering Street Food, you'll want to share these titles with your friends, families, and co-workers. Another perk of watching Netflix documentaries fresh off the presses is the opportunity to be all caught up when a new season hits. Lucky for you, all of these series only have one or two seasons so far, making them a breeze to watch in a short period of time.

Keep reading to learn what makes these Netflix documentary series the best of the best, and vote up the shows that you enjoyed the most. 

  • Cheer
    Photo: Cheer / Netflix

    Competitive cheerleading will always be ripe for drama. There's no way around it. The bar is set so high, and any wrong move could send a five-foot teenager to the hospital. In Cheer, we follow the nationally-ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team in Corsicana, Texas as they work towards the National Cheerleading Championship. They're led by their spitfire coach Monica Aldama, who pushes them to new heights with each practice. 

    This Netflix original docuseries will keep you on the edge of your seat, while giving you a new appreciation for the sport of cheerleading. 

    • Premiered: 2020
    Love this docuseries?
  • Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
    Photo: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness / Netflix

    Netflix's buzz-worthy docuseries Tiger King hit the platform right when the world needed it most. Filled to the brim with bizarre oddities and jaw-dropping details, it truly needs to be seen to be believed. The show's main subject is Joe Exotic (also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage), the owner of an exotic cat breeding compound. Watch as he butts heads with other bigwigs of the big cat industry, including a woman named Carole Baskin.

    Exotic accuses Baskin of murdering her second husband and makes a music video about it. Then, he schemes over Baskin's own murder in a big way. Oh yeah, he also runs for president. If the memes surrounding this show haven't inspired you to watch it already, consider this your sign. 

    • Premiered: 2020
    Love this docuseries?
  • The creators of Planet Earth and Blue Planet bring their finesse to Our Planet, a breathtaking Netflix original docuseries. Filmed over the course of four years, Our Planet dares to go where many nature documentaries never reach. Its magnificent visuals are elevated significantly by the score, composed by Stephen Price (known for his work on Gravity). The theme music over the title credits even won a Primetime Emmy Award

    The most compelling part of Our Planet is its focus on how our natural world is both diminishing and reshaping due to climate change and human behavior. It's a call to action as much as it is a celebration of our natural world. 

      Love this docuseries?
    • Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
      Photo: Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez / Netflix

      Netflix's Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez investigates the baffling 2013 murder case involving the New England Patriots player. Drafted by the NFL at only 20 years old, Aaron Hernandez had a promising sports career ahead of him. That all changed when he was convicted for the ruthless murder of Odin Lloyd and two Boston-area men. This docuseries explores Hernandez' motivations, which run much deeper than anyone could have predicted. 

      This show is an effective blend of true crime and sports documentary, and should satisfy fans of both genres. 

      • Actors: Kevin Armstrong, Maria Cramer, Dan Wetzel
      • Premiered: 2020
      Love this docuseries?