The 11 Best Documentaries You Can Watch on Netflix Right Now

Once upon a time when we were wee lasses, nothing felt better than watching reruns of Friends and eating cold pizza on a beautiful Saturday morning and well into the afternoon. (It still feels pretty great. But, responsibilities.) Now adulting takes precedence, and a good Joey sandwich joke doesn’t always do the trick. We crave true crime mysteries, foodie fulfillment and human and animal rights awareness in the finest cinematic form possible. Whet your intellectual palate with these 11 documentaries available to stream on Netflix right now.

11 Must-See Fashion Documentaries

amanda knox documentary netflix

‘amanda Knox’

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and several other key players offer personal perspective and commentary on the gruesome murder case of college student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy.

the 11 best documentaries you can watch on netflix right now tig


When Tig Notaro was diagnosed with breast cancer a week after her mother died, she processed the information the only way she knew how—by getting on stage and performing stand-up. This heart-wrenching documentary recounts Notaro’s historic decision to bare her soul on stage and the tribulations she faced in her recovery.

the wolfpack netflix
Magnolia Pictures

‘the Wolfpack’

The Angulo brothers (all six of them) never left their Lower East Side Manhattan apartment. Not like when you don’t leave your apartment for a full 24 hours on Sunday, but as in truly never stepped foot outside of their family apartment for 14 years. They developed their understanding of the outside world based on films they watched, then meticulously recreated said films using homemade props and a whole lot of imagination. Until one day they become the subject of their own film when one of the brothers bravely escapes their four-bedroom-apartment captivity.

janis joplin little girl blue

‘janis: Little Girl Blue’

Before a long-haired, soulful woman named Janis Joplin grooved onto the music scene, rock-and-roll was a completely male-dominated art form. Janis: Little Girl Blue explores Joplin's rise to fame and her status as a feminist icon and mourns her tragic death.

the 11 best documentaries you can watch on netflix right now beautiful broken brain

‘my Beautiful Broken Brain’

Before she suffered a stroke that rendered her incapable of reading, writing or speaking, 34-year-old Lotje Sodderland was an articulate and passionate woman. My Beautiful Broken Brain details Sodderland’s powerful journey to regain her mental capacity and the surprising friendship she struck with famed director David Lynch.

iris netflix
Magnolia Pictures


This vibrant documentary celebrates 90-year-old interior designer and fashion icon Iris Apfel. Color us emerald green with couture-costume-jewelry envy.

Iris Apfel’s New Documentary Is an Accessory Lover’s Dream

the 11 best documentaries you can watch on netflix right now virunga


This gripping film shines a light on the treacherous realities of life in the Congo through the lens of a small yet mighty park ranger team tasked with protecting the Earth’s last mountain gorillas. Virunga is a story of people sacrificing their safety to build a better future for Africa. Bonus: Leonardo DiCaprio produced the film.

blackfish netflix
Magnolia Pictures


Blackfish is the moving story of Tilikum, a killer whale held in captivity. The film exposes the hidden horrors of Sea World and inspired people across the nation to confront and speak out against the mistreatment of animals for the sake of entertainment and, in turn, financial gain. Blackfish is heartrending and informative must-watch.

the queen of versailles
Magnolia Pictures

‘the Queen Of Versailles’

This 2012 doc has all the makings of a successful Bravo franchise: a beauty queen, an outlandish mansion and lots of pets. Queen of Versailles depicts the unexpected turn of events that lead Jackie and David Siegel's dream of building their own Palace of Versailles to crumble.

jiro dreams of sushi
Magnolia Pictures

‘jiro Dreams Of Sushi’

In this tale of intricate food porn, lauded sushi chef Jiro Ono continues to strive for sashimi-grade perfection while his eldest son, Yoshikazu, flounders under the shadow of his father's legacy.

man on wire netflix
Magnolia Pictures

‘man On Wire’

Warning: If you suffer from a fear of heights, it’s time to face your demons...or simply just watch the dramatized Hollywood film version, The Walk, starring cutie patootie Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Man on Wire chronicles tightrope walker Philippe Petit's 1974 walk between the now fallen Twin Towers.

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Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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