The Best Netflix Documentaries to Watch in 2023 - CNET

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Netflix documentaries person ever been solid, but successful nan past year they've taken things to a caller level. Still, it tin beryllium difficult to find nan best stuff, which is why we've made this list. 

We're starting pinch nan the champion caller documentaries released successful nan past 12 months. After that we've divided nan remainder of our picks by genre. We're up to day for January.

There's a batch to get through. Good luck and happy watching!

The Best New Documentaries connected Netflix


Break Point is nan latest successful what feels for illustration a zillion documentaries exploring nan each time play of sports. You cognize nan ones I mean -- All aliases Nothing, Drive to Survive. Cricket has one, AFL has 1 -- there's moreover a play 1 coming connected Netflix later this year.

Break Point focuses connected Tennis and -- thankfully -- picks nan champion athletes to attraction on. Watch this for nan legendary Nick Kyrgios astatine nan very least.


Pepsi, Where's My Jet? is 1 of my favourite types of documentary. It's an offbeat documentary connected a bizarre taxable pinch a formed of genuinely charismatic and insane people. 

The premise: In nan mid-'90s Pepsi had a constituent strategy designed to animate group to portion much Pepsi. One advertisement showed disconnected a Harrier Jet you could bargain pinch 7 cardinal of these points. John Leonard, a 21-year-old business student, recovered a loophole that allowed him to bargain points for 10 cents and tried to unit Pepsi to make bully connected their trading promise. Chaos ensues.


With nan Qatar World Cup virtually taking spot correct now, location couldn't beryllium a amended clip to get stuck into FIFA's murky behind-the-scenes behavior. This is simply a genuinely shocking documentary. Be warned: The allegations present are truthful chaotic you mightiness moreover consciousness compelled to extremity watching nan World Cup.


Untold is nan latest from nan folks down Wild Wild Country.

It's a sports documentary series, pinch each section going in-depth connected arguable sports topics. The first section focuses connected Malice astatine nan Palace, nan notorious hoops lucifer wherever Ron Artest waded into nan crowd and wailed connected fans backmost successful 2004.

Untold is now successful its 2nd season, and it is absolute must-watch stuff. The caller episodes are arguably amended than nan stellar first season. Maybe nan champion sports documentary bid connected Netflix


As bully arsenic Netflix documentaries are, there's been a inclination to resistance retired existent crime into these bloated multiepisode series. Thankfully Our Father is nan other of that. It's a lean, perfectly executed documentary focused connected Donald Cline, an Indiana fertility expert who utilized his ain sperm to inseminate a ridiculous number of women against their will.

This is an unthinkable piece, 1 of those stories that conscionable escalates and escalates to nan constituent wherever your jaw drops successful disbelief. 


Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (2022)

There are a batch of Netflix documentaries astir cults gone mad, but Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey mightiness beryllium nan astir disturbing of nan lot. Unlike Murder Among nan Mormons, which almost treated its taxable for illustration a screwball comedy, Keep Sweet is simply a very grim communicative astir a grim quality being successful Warren Jeffs. It's a awesome documentary, and among nan champion Netflix has produced, but it comes pinch a very hefty contented warning.


Stay connected Board: The Leo Baker Story (2022)

Skateboarding arsenic a athletics makes for a awesome documentary topic. Dogtown and Z Boys, All That Mayhem -- perfectly legendary.  Stay connected Board: The Leo Baker Story is different successful a agelong statement of classics.

It focuses connected Leo Baker, nan skater who came retired arsenic trans and had to discontinue competing astatine nan Olympics successful nan process. Amazing, must watch stuff. 

Michael Putland/Getty Images

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story (2022)

It's almost intolerable to overstate really celebrated Jimmy Savile was successful nan UK -- peculiarly successful nan 1980s. He was beyond a family name, successful galore ways he felt for illustration an eccentric uncle to nan nation.

Which made revelations that he had sexually assaulted hundreds of underage girls and boys each nan much horrific. This was a personification nan full of Britain had invited into their homes. 

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story does a awesome occupation of going done nan archives, combining footage that is utterly bizarre successful hindsight, and adding awesome interviews pinch immoderate of nan awesome players successful British TV during Savile's heyday. A fascinating, albeit disturbing documentary. Be warned: This is simply a difficult watch. 


Our Great National Parks (2022)

Barack Obama is making a beeline for David Attenborough's job. And we don't dislike nan idea!

Our Great National Parks is simply a world-class quality documentary successful nan style of awesome BBC shows for illustration Planet Earth. They've nailed it here. If you're a instrumentality of that type of show, this is wholly unmissable.


The Most Hated Man connected nan Internet (2022)

Netflix has been connected occurrence pinch its documentaries lately, and The Most Hated Man connected nan Internet is nan latest. From nan producers of Tinder Swindler and Dont F**k pinch Cats, it's a three-part documentary that tells nan communicative of Hunter Moore, 1 of nan astir notorious purveyors of "revenge porn." Definitely worthy watching this one. 


The Girl successful nan Picture (2022)

The Girl successful nan Picture is nan latest existent crime documentary from Netflix. It's up location pinch nan service's absolute champion work.

It feels like, aft a play of needlessly bloated multiepisode documentaries, Netflix has started trimming nan fat, releasing lean, incredibly compelling documentaries again. First Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey and Our Father, now this.

The Girl successful nan Picture tells nan communicative of a young girl, murdered astatine property 20. To opportunity excessively overmuch would spoil nan impact, but this is simply a layered, sadistic documentary pinch endless twists. It needs to beryllium seen to beryllium believed.


The Tinder Swindler (2022)

A documentary focused connected Shimon Hayut, aka nan "Tinder Swindler," a conman who utilized making love apps to defraud aggregate women crossed Europe to money a lavish lifestyle.

A somewhat different taxable compared to astir existent crime documentaries connected Netflix. Definitely worthy a gander.

True crime


I've watched plentifulness of existent crime documentaries connected Netflix, but thing has travel adjacent to The Keepers. A staggering story, told crossed generations, that's respectful of nan victims, yet compelling throughout.

It's a communicative astir nan unsolved execution of Catherine Cesnik, a nun who taught astatine a Catholic schoolhouse successful Baltimore, but The Keepers goes further than you mightiness expect and exposes a imaginable coverup of activity maltreatment allegations.


The existent crime documentary genre is utterly saturated astatine this point, but The Staircase stands out. 

Focusing connected Michael Peterson and nan decease of his woman Kathleen, The Staircase is much than conscionable a execution mystery. It's a drawn-out epic that takes spot complete literal decades, a documentary that follows Peterson and examines his each move, but someway still remains objective. 

It's a bully clip to watch aliases revisit this one, since HBO Max has conscionable launched a play miniseries based connected it.


House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths (2021)

One of nan much caller existent crime documentaries from Netflix, this is simply a good one.

Focusing connected nan bizarre deaths of 11 family members successful 1 location successful Burari, Delhi, India successful 2018, House of Secrets delves into nan theories down of nan strangest suicide/murder cases successful caller memory. Unmissable stuff. 


This Is a Robbery is astir Netflix arsenic it gets. A four-part bid focusing connected nan Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum successful Boston, this is fundamentally a documentary astir an creation heist. Remember Evil Genius? (Which is besides connected this list.) This Is a Robbery is very overmuch successful that style. The first section takes a while to get going, but beryllium diligent -- this 1 has a payoff.


Murder Among nan Mormons (2021)

Some of Netflix's much caller existent crime documentaries person been a spot bloated and... sorta bad?

Thankfully Murder Among nan Mormons is simply a return to form. Definitely watch this one. 


Who Killed Little Gregory (2019)

Who Killed Little Gregory is simply a documentary focused connected nan horrific execution of Grégory Villemin. It's arguably nan champion existent crime documentary connected Netflix. It's astir a murder, and attempts to lick that murder, but it's besides a instruction successful media practice and nan horrific sexism Grégory's mother had to look successful nan aftermath of her son's murder. 


American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020)

There are a batch of existent crime documentaries retired location (and connected this list) but American Murder: The Family Next Door sticks out. 

It tells nan communicative of Chris Watts, a seemingly regular feline who murdered his woman and children. The entree to footage is staggering and it's edited and produced successful a unsocial way, utilizing matter messages and societal media posts to show nan story. It's a horrific reminder of nan banal, incredibly communal beingness of home violence.


Making a Murderer (2015-2018)

With nan swath of existent crime documentaries and podcasts that came successful its wake, it's easy to hide that nan world erstwhile mislaid its corporate mind complete Making a Murderer. In a batch of ways it created nan template that galore Netflix documentaries now follow. A existent original.



In 2020, successful nan midst of a pandemic, Netflix dropped this portion of sports doc perfection. 

The Last Dance focuses connected nan Chicago Bulls during their '97-'98 NBA title-winning season, but really it's a jumping disconnected constituent for a documentary that tells nan life communicative of its cardinal star, Michael Jordan. 

As a result, galore criticized it for being a small excessively Jordan-focused, but The Last Dance was an arena documentary that lived up to nan hype. 


This Oscar-winning documentary is an absolute belter. 

Icarus starts retired arsenic an expose connected nan effect performance-enhancing narcotics person connected sports performance, but a series of events drags head Bryan Fogel into a web of geopolitics and conspiracies. To opportunity much would spoil it, but Fogel yet has created a documentary that had a very existent effect connected our cognition of sports arsenic a whole. In that respect, Icarus is simply a literal crippled changer.


Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019)

The absolute golden modular for long-running sports documentaries. Drive to Survive is truthful good, and truthful popular, that it's inspired a full caller level of liking successful Formula 1, particularly successful nan US. This show is awesome astatine elevating nan characters that inhabit nan sport. More shows for illustration this, please.


Athlete A is simply a awesome characteristic magnitude expose connected Larry Nassar, nan squad expert of USA Gymnastics, who had been sexually abusing female athletes for decades.

Be warned: This 1 is harrowing.


14 Peaks tells nan communicative of nan Nepalese mountaineer Nimsdai Purja and his extremity of climbing each 14 mountains supra nan tallness of 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) successful 1 year. It's incredible. Must-watch stuff.


Netflix mightiness person burned nan existent crime documentary into nan ground, but it's connected occurrence erstwhile it comes to sports. Bad Sport is nan latest introduction into this burgeoning subcategory, and it's awesome. Focusing connected unusual controversies successful sports history, Bad Sport is little astir awesome players doing awesome things, it's astir what happens erstwhile athletics goes bad, gets down successful nan dirt. All of these episodes are great. Hoping for a play 2. 


The River Runner is sorta for illustration Free Solo for kayaking. Consider that a compliment.

Focusing connected Scott Lindgren, a kayaking fable who was a pioneer of nan sport, this is simply a accepted communicative of an utmost sports prima overcoming odds, but it runs a small deeper than that. Fighting against a encephalon tumor and his ain individual demons, Lindgren is simply a compelling lawsuit study. Must watch stuff.


Naomi Osaka has go 1 of nan astir celebrated and talked-about athletes connected nan planet. This fascinating documentary explores different phases of her profession and offers unthinkable entree into nan life of a young female struggling pinch nan pressures of athletics and fame. A must-watch.


If you're looking for a somewhat much uplifting documentary, you could do acold worse than The Speed Cubers, a look astatine nan world of competitive... Rubik's Cubers? It's short, but packs an unthinkable affectional punch. Prepare yourself, this 1 mightiness break you.



Seaspiracy follows successful nan footsteps of aggregate documentaries focused connected nan effect of nutrient eating connected nan environment. This clip nan world sportfishing manufacture is successful nan crosshairs. As expected this 1 has stirred up a spot of contention from each stakeholders -- PETA, Greenpeace and conservation groups can't look to work together if Seaspiracy is meticulous aliases fair. Watch it and dress up your ain mind.


My Octopus Teacher (2020)

My Octopus Teacher follows Craig Foster, a filmmaker who spent a twelvemonth snorkeling and interacting pinch an octopus disconnected nan seashore of South Africa. It's a quality film, sure, but it's simultaneously a documentary designed to animate awe successful nan viewer. In short, octopuses are incredible. Little aliens connected Earth, essentially. This is nan communicative of a narration betwixt humans and nature, but it's besides an inspiring telephone to action: Don't disregard nan wonderment that exists each astir you.


David Attenborough quality documentaries are truthful pervasive, they're susceptible to aforesaid parody, but Our Planet is -- I judge -- nan precocious watermark. Only Planet Earth, different Attenborough doc, comes close. But I for illustration this one.


Time whitethorn dull its impact, but erstwhile Tiger King was first released connected Netflix, nan full world couldn't extremity talking astir it. 

Tiger King explores nan unusual underbelly of large feline breeding, focusing connected a formed of unforgettable (and yet dangerous) characters. It drags its assemblage to weird places. Season 2 is now disposable and while nan show has mislaid a batch of its bite, it's intriguing to drawback up pinch this formed of chaotic quality beings doing wild, wholly outlandish things. 



13th by Ava Duvernay is simply a staggering documentary that tells nan communicative of American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, galore of which still resonate today. 

In nan aftermath of nan Black Lives Matter movement, this should beryllium mandatory viewing.


In nan aftermath of nan Capitol siege, nan Facebook/Cambridge Analytica contention almost feels for illustration ancient history, but that doesn't make this documentary immoderate little important. If you haven't seen it, past watch it.


Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021)

Recently released, Operations Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal has a sanction arsenic agelong arsenic immoderate of Netflix's caller documentaries. Thankfully, this isn't arsenic bloated as, say, the caller Cecil Hotel doc, but it could still usage immoderate trimming. 

Operation Varsity Blues focused connected nan FBI investigation into assemblage admissions that put character Felicity Huffman into jail. Its director, Chris Smith, antecedently worked connected nan Fyre Festival documentary. This isn't rather arsenic compelling, but is still good worthy watching. 


Knock Down nan House (2019)

Regardless of your views connected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Knock Down nan House is an unthinkable underdog communicative that cannot beryllium missed. Focusing connected progressive female candidates during nan 2018 legislature superior campaigns, it's an insightful look astatine nan antiauthoritarian process. It's an inspiring reminder that we request to conflict successful bid to make nan voices of mean group count.


What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not gonna opportunity overmuch here. Nina Simone is simply a fable and this is possibly 1 of nan champion documentaries I've ever seen. 


Overlong and bloated, Wild Wild Country is nevertheless 1 of nan astir fascinating documentaries I've ever watched connected Netflix. 

It tells nan communicative of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who attempted to build a gigantic sprawling commune, for what was fundamentally a activity cult, successful nan United States. It's a unusual communicative that someway becomes alien pinch age. Much for illustration Tiger King, nan communicative plumbs depths you won't believe. At times it's a slog, but Wild Wild Country is perfectly worthwhile.


I perfectly adore this documentary. Five existent acclaimed board (including Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) thief show nan communicative of 5 celebrated movie board from nan '30s and '40s who did frontline activity during nan Second World War. It wraps their legacies alongside nan effect of nan warfare itself into a genuinely compelling communicative of Hollywood's aureate age.


An Oscar victor for Netflix, this documentary is nan first produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions team. 

American Factory tells nan communicative of Fuyao, a Chinese institution that built a mill successful Ohio that inhabits a now-closed General Motors plant. You person to watch this movie.


Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (2020)

By this constituent we each person immoderate benignant of knowing of Jeffrey Epstein's communicative but Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich does itself a awesome work by focusing connected nan stories of nan survivors of his abuse. 

The Cinemart/Hulu

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

Hulu besides has a awesome Fyre show documentary, but I for illustration this Netflix one. Unlike galore Netflix documentaries, which are stretched and bloated into multipart episodes, this documentary is sharp, nonstop and coagulated golden nan full measurement through.

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