It's a Guy Thing

The 30 Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

(That’s Not Tiger King)

In the last month or so an eccentric zoo owner and crazy cat lady dominated social media as the Netflix documentary series Tiger King blew away record viewing numbers with it’s over the top yet deeply tragic story of Exotic Cat owners, drugs and murder. Fortunately, Netflix has become a haven for great docu-series ranging from the wild to the sad to the extreme. Here are some of our favorites that aren’t Tiger King.

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts

RuPaul’s Drag Race has become one of the biggest reality show hits in the last 10 years and the story of Trixie Mattel is essential viewing for fans of the over the top series. This documentary provides an intimate portrait of RuPaul’s Drag Race alumnus Trixie Mattel, i.e. Milwaukee-raised Brian Firkus. It sheds light on Firkus’ personal relationship with the art of drag, his various professional endeavors, the ramifications of addiction, growing up gay in the Midwest, and the new type of celebrity that comes with drag fame. 

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Samin Nosrat is a cook, teacher, and author of the James Beard Award-winning New York Times Bestseller and in this series, Nosrat travels the world to explore and drive home the importance of the four basic tenants of cooking. Samin’s intoxicating personality is the real winner in the series and one can’t help but fall in love with her and her love for food. A great distraction from what is currently happening out in the world and an all-round feel-good show.

The Keepers

This is a docuseries that follows the story of Cathy Cesnik, a nun and Catholic teacher who went missing and was later discovered murdered. Director Ryan White dives into the life and untimely death of a Baltimore nun, whose unsolved murder still lingers nearly five decades after the fact. It’s a dark and often upsetting story that will linger with you weeks after the final episode.

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

In August 1969, half a million people from all walks of life converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York. They came to hear the concert of their lives, but most experienced something far more profound: a moment that came to define a cultural revolution. This wonderful documentary focusses less on the bands from Woodstock but more on the people that attended and captures their unique experiences with some of the best music in the background.

The Seven Five

The film looks at police corruption in the 75th precinct of the New York Police Department during the 1980s. The documentary focuses on Michael Dowd, a former police officer of 10 years, who was arrested in 1992, leading to one of the largest police corruption scandals in New York City history. The documentary uses footage from the Mollen Commission investigation in 1992 and also provides in-depth commentary from Dowd, Ken Eurell, and Adam Diaz, among others.

Sex, Explained

The Explained series has proven to be extremely popular in highlighting little known facts in an easy to understand way. Now the spin of from the main series sees a topic everyone can relate to and is a wonderful little series in going into topics most of us might not be that aware of. From the biology of attraction to the history of birth control, an exploration of the ins and outs of sex, Sex Explained is a fun easy watch that might actually teach you something.

The Accountant of Auschwitz

The Accountant of Auschwitz looks at the life of Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the SS to be tried for war crimes. Seventy years after WWII, Gröning goes on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp. It’s a gripping look at the race against time to prosecute the last living Nazi war criminals before it’s too late.


Even if you have no interest in cheerleading, this docuseries will take hold of your heart and never let go. It follows the story of the Navarro College competitive cheer squad as they go through the various emotions of being part of a longstanding legacy. With an inspirational troupe of teens and willingness to engage in the tougher trials facing the sport today, Cheer perfectly captures the highs and lows of what it takes to be a cheerleader.

Miss Americana

One of the biggest stars in the world right now gives us a unique and very rare behind the scenes look into her personal and professional life. Taylor Swift’s long-anticipated documentary shows what it takes to be a multiple award-winning musician and the pressures that follow when you are arguably the most well-known person on the planet.

Dirty Money

Dirty Money is a thrilling investigative series from Oscar Award-winning director Alex Gibney, which provides an up-close and personal view into untold stories of scandal and corruption in the world of business. It’s a deeply upsetting series seeing the horrible corruption that is thriving in our country today.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

The Netflix docuseries covers the downfall and conviction of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, but it also goes into some unexpected places, including speculation of his mental health and sexuality. The documentary features interviews with friends, NFL players, and insiders that tell the story of how a football player turned into a deadly criminal.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

This wonderful yet disturbing documentary series traces over the baffling disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann, who went missing while on vacation in Portugal with her family. Sadly McCann was never found, prompting an onslaught of theories that targeted everyone in the area, all the way down to McCann’s parents.

Evil Genius

If you’ve ever heard rumblings about a bank heist that resulted in a pizza guy being blown up with a collar bomb, Evil Genius tells the full, insane story about what happened back in 2003. Evil Genius is the four-part documentary that unwraps all the mystery behind the murder of Brian Wells and the string of events that led him to become involved in a deadly Pennsylvania bank robbery that made headlines across the nation.

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé

Beyonce is without a doubt the Queen of Music over the last few decades. The multiple award-winning singer allows us a rare behind-the-scenes look at her 2018 Coachella performance, from rehearsals right up until the performance itself. It’s a wonderful look at the months of preparation that goes into a once in a lifetime performance.

Abducted in Plain Sight

The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter. Their neighbor, Robert Berchtold, manipulated the parents and groomed their daughter, Jan, ultimately kidnapping her at the age of 12 and once again two years later. It’s a story that feels unreal at times yet captivating and ultimately a rather scary look at the sociopathic nature of Berchtold.

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

In 2019, there were two documentaries released about the disaster that was the Fyre Festival. The Netflix version looks at the fallout for mastermind Billy McFarland and the effect this festival had on the people in the Bahamas who helped put it all together. In one of the more memorable moments, McFarland’s business partner, Andy King, explains how he offered to go far and beyond the call of duty to get some boxes of Evian water bottles past customs.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

Chris Smith directs this behind-the-scenes look at Milos Forman’s 1999 biopic Man on the Moon, for which Jim Carrey won a Golden Globe for playing celebrated entertainer Andy Kaufman. The doc looks at Carrey’s process, a sometimes laborious Method Acting effort to capture Kaufman’s spirit in his performance and the moments that nearly broke Carrey as an actor and as a man.

Holy Hell

Director Will Allen looks at the Buddhafield cult — of which he himself is a member, allowing him incredible access for 22 years worth of footage. At the center of this unsettling documentary is The Teacher whose charisma and megalomania influenced his followers. It’s a terrifying look at the reality of cults and how easily manipulated desperate people can be.


Amy Winehouse was an incredible talent but plagued by numerous inner demons that eventually pushed her to the darker side of addiction. This documentary is an emotional depiction of the singer-songwriter’s talents, told by her family and friends who watched as her life spun out of control in the face of addiction.

Wild Wild Country

When a controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, it causes a massive conflict with local ranchers. This docuseries chronicles the conflict, which leads to the first bioterror attack in the United States and a massive case of illegal wiretapping. It is a pivotal but largely forgotten, time in American cultural history that tested the country’s tolerance for the separation of church and state.

The Pixar Story

Pixar has become arguably the most well-known creator of classic animated movies and changed the landscape forever with the release of the original Toy Story, which ushered in a new generation of family films that were fun for kids and compelling for adults. This fascinating documentary offers a look at the team of designers and creatives who made it all happen.

De Palma

Brian de Palma was at one stage in his career right up there with the best in the business, from classic and provocative titles like Carrie, Scarface and Body Double De Palma brought something new to the silver screen. Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow team up for this compelling portrait of writer-director and takes us on a journey in the thought pattern of this controversial director.

Oklahoma City

The 1995 bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building remains one of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in the United States. This PBS-produced doc examines the lead up to the disastrous event, and its complicated legacy in contemporary American history.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono is the 85-year-old master chef of Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat sushi restaurant that has earned three Michelin stars and worldwide acclaim. The documentary focuses on Ono as he continues to perfect his cuisine, and looks toward the future of the Ono legacy.


Leon Vitali’s first collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick was a memorable role in the 1975 drama Barry Lyndon, but it was his work behind the scenes as Kubrick’s personal assistant that serves as the subject of this compelling biographical documentary. For fans of cinema and Kubrick, this is an essential watch.

They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

The famed director Orson Welles changed cinema forever with his prestigious career, but his final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was unfinished and unseen for decades. Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of one of the most infamous movies in film history from one of the greatest directors ever.


Director Bryan Fogel intended to experiment with doping in order to win a cycling competition — only his investigations into the practice opened up a bigger, more sinister scandal in this Oscar-winning doc.

Casting JonBenet

Decades after the still-unsolved murder of JonBenét Ramsey, director Kitty Green goes to Boulder, Colorado to cast local actors in a film about the murder — only to discover the lasting impact the little girl’s murder has left on the area’s residents.

I Called Him Morgan

The turbulent relationship between jazz saxophonist Lee Morgan and his wife Helen is the subject of this fiery documentary. Told through Helen’s own narration from an interview before her death in 1996, the film is a somber recollection of an artist whose career was cut short in a tragic act of violence.

The Black Godfather

Clarence Avant grew up in the segregated south and went on to become a hugely influential behind-the-scenes figure in the entertainment industry. Director Reginald Hudlin interviewed more than 75 people over three years, including Quincy Jones, Kamala Harris, Bill Clinton, Bill Withers, and Barack Obama.