8 Documentaries you NEED to watch on Netflix

By Mason Mallett | 8 Aug 2019 at 7:25pm

We all love a good fix of documentaries now and then, and with ever-increasing popularity, there is almost too much choice. Netflix, like many other streaming services, are keen on creating original content to keep us subscribers happy, and coming back for more, and so, that means even more documentaries for us (yipeee). And what better way to spend an evening than watching an educational documentary and feeling like you’re actually learning something after binge-watching hours of Friends? 

However, with so much choice, where do you start, and how do you sort the good’ns from the bad’ns? We’ve narrowed it down to our top 8 favourite documentaries that are on Netflix right now with everything from gritty prison documentaries to wonderful wildlife programmes, perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons. 

Fyre: The greatest party that never happened

fyre festival documentary netflix

Release date: January 2019

Fyre, the highly anticipated one-off documentary all about the disastrous ‘festival’ for the rich and famous truly didn’t disappoint. In this documentary, we learn the truth about the shocking revelation behind the planning of the infamous Fyre Festival and we see exclusive behind the scenes footage from some of the team working on the festival themselves. 

We also learn about how Billy McFarland, the co-founder of Fyre Festival fraudulently scams unknowing festival-goers, influencers and the hard-working people that pulled their back out to try to make the festival happen. This docufilm is pretty surreal, and really depicts the dark side of social media influencing. It’s a truly great watch, and will leave you questing 21st century morality. 

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Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

ted bundy tapes netflix

Release date: January 2019

This documentary shows a dark insight into serial killer Ted Bundy as he is interviewed on death row. Known as America’s most notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy killed over 30 people in the 1970s and now in this documentary we get to hear his chilling story. 

The four hour-long episodes are truly both disturbing and gripping, you’ll find yourself watching all four episodes in one sitting. It’s a hard watch, but if you love crime documentaries then this one’s for you.

Our Planet

Our Planet Netflix
Netflix

Release date: April 2019

Our Planet is another absolute belter from David Attenborough, but of course, we would expect nothing less from our national treasure, and everyone’s favourite nature documentary maker. This documentary series explores habitats from all over the world, and the disastrous effect climate change is having on each and every one of them. 

The breath-taking documentary is truly incredible and gets the message through loud and clear, that we need to make drastic changes to save our planet. The documentary is not only a great watch, but has been a massive influence and inspiration for the way people view climate change, and it has already had a positive impact in making changes for the better. 

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The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann Netflix

Release date: March 2019

This eight-part series attempts to unravel the truth of what really happened to three-year-old Madeleine McCann when she vanished from Praia de Luz in Portugal back in 2007. The documentary explores all avenues and shows both sides of the story, which will leave you questioning what happened on that fateful night and the months to follow. 

Our only criticism is that the series could have been made shorter, we often found that the information was repetitive, and somewhat dragged out in order to create the eight episodes. Other than that it’s a good watch if you want to know a little more about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Homecoming: A film by Beyoncé

beyonce documentary netflix

Release date: April 2019

If you’re a fan of Queen B then this is a must-watch. The one off two-hour documentary gives you an exclusive behind the scenes view into the planning that went into Beyoncé’s Coachella performance. If you’re thinking this is just another concert video then you’d be wrong, Homecoming not only shows off Beyoncé’s incredible talent, but also explores cultural movement, and it’s place in the 21st century. 

The Last Czars

The Last Czars TV Show Image

Release date: July 2019

For all of the lovers of history out there, The Last Czars will be right up your street. The documentary tells the story of the fall of the Russian Romanov dynasty in the early 20th century. With a combination of both dramatised segments and narration from historians in between scenes, this makes the documentary quite unique. At first this part historical drama, part documentary can be quite distracting, but as the series goes on the two really complement one another. 

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Abducted in Plain Sight

abducted documentary netflix

Release date: January 2019

Another crime documentary that tells the story behind the abduction of 12-year-old Jan Broberg in 1974. This bizarre story will have you questioning whether it is a complete work of fiction, but trust us – it’s a true story. This 1h30minute documentary is both shocking and chilling, but will have you fascinated as you try to comprehend what really happened. You’ll hear from the family themselves, as they recount what happened over those terrible years. 

This one isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a tough watch that can be quite disturbing in places, and all we can say is that it’s really, really, weird – probably the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something!).

Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons

Release date: Third series, December 2018

This is one for all those of you that stay up till 2am watching gritty prison documentaries. Inside the world’s toughest prisons should definitely be next on your watchlist. The documentary, presented by Raphael Rowe (who was wrongly imprisoned for 12 years for a crime he didn’t commit), gives us a real insight into some of the world’s toughest prisons. Rowe spends time in each of the prisons to give us a true insight into what it’s really like to be locked up behind the bars of some of these prisons. 

This is an easily binge-worthy documentary, that’s raw and authentic and will leave you wanting more!

Netflix will of course release more and more exciting documentaries, and when they do we will keep you up to date with all the best ones, so keep those eyes peeled!


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