What Are The Best Netflix Original Documentaries Right Now? (20th August 2019)

Netflix has many Original documentaries and docu-series available on their streaming service – but how do you know which ones to watch? Well, here are the top 20 Netflix Original documentaries and docu-series (according to our own unique rating system) – why not take a look and let us know which are your favourites?

So, without further ado here are the top 20 Netflix Original documentaries as of today (20th August 2019):

1) Our Planet
New on Netflix Rating: 90%
Year: 2019
Duration: 1 Season
Genre: Family Watch Together TV, Science & Nature TV, American Programmes, Docuseries, Documentaries, Science & Nature Documentaries
Experience our planet’s natural beauty and examine how climate change impacts all living creatures in this ambitious documentary of spectacular scope.
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2) Virunga
New on Netflix Rating: 89.2%
Year: 2014
Duration: 1hr 40m
Genre: British Films, Documentaries, Science & Nature Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world and home to the last of the mountain gorillas. Here, an embattled team of park rangers that includes an ex-child soldier and a Belgian prince, risk their lives to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site from armed rebels, poachers, and even corporations trying to wrest control of Congo’s rich natural resources. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
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3) 13TH
New on Netflix Rating: 87.6%
Year: 2016
Duration: 1hr 40m
Genre: Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
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4) Chasing Coral
New on Netflix Rating: 87.25%
Year: 2017
Duration: 1hr 29m
Genre: Documentaries, Science & Nature Documentaries
Divers, scientists and photographers around the world mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs.
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5) HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé
New on Netflix Rating: 86.33%
Year: 2019
Duration: 2hr 17m
Genre: Biographical Films, Music & Musicals, Music & Concert Documentaries, Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé’s celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.
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6) The Square
New on Netflix Rating: 85.4%
Year: 2014
Duration: 1hr 44m
Genre: Middle-Eastern Films, Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
As the Egyptian Revolution unfolds, this acclaimed, eyewitness documentary immerses the viewer in the intense emotional drama of young people on the streets of Cairo claiming their rights and creating a society of conscience. As two governments topple, the personal stories of the freedom fighters unfold in an inspiring tribute to the power of citizenship.
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7) Cuba and the Cameraman
New on Netflix Rating: 85.25%
Year: 2017
Duration: 1hr 54m
Genre: Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Emmy-winning filmmaker Jon Alpert chronicles the fortunes of three Cuban families over the course of four tumultuous decades in the nation’s history.
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8) Winter on Fire
New on Netflix Rating: 84.8%
Year: 2015
Duration: 1hr 38m
Genre: Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Over 93 days in Ukraine, what started as peaceful student demonstrations became a violent revolution and full-fledged civil rights movement.
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9) Shirkers
New on Netflix Rating: 84.5%
Year: 2018
Duration: 1hr 37m
Genre: Biographical Films, Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries
In 1992, Sandi Tan and her friends shot a quirky film on the streets of Singapore. Then the footage disappeared, sending her on a hunt for answers.
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10) The Edge of Democracy
New on Netflix Rating: 84%
Year: 2019
Duration: 2hr 1m
Genre: Documentaries, Political Documentaries
Political documentary and personal memoir collide in this exploration into the complex truth behind the unraveling of two Brazilian presidencies.
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11) The White Helmets
New on Netflix Rating: 84%
Year: 2016
Duration: 40m
Genre: Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.
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12) The Battered Bastards of Baseball
New on Netflix Rating: 83.8%
Year: 2014
Duration: 1hr 19m
Genre: Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, Sports Films
The jaw-dropping true story of a real-life “Bad News Bears,” this inspiring documentary recounts the history of the Portland Mavericks, an independent professional baseball team that broke attendance records in 1973 with a roster that included a blacklisted former Yankee pitcher, a left-handed catcher, the sport’s first female general manager, and young movie star Kurt Russell, whose actor father Bing was the scrappy team’s owner.
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13) Chef’s Table
New on Netflix Rating: 83.67%
Year: 2018
Duration: 6 Volumes
Genre: Food & Travel TV, American Programmes, Docuseries, Documentaries
In this Emmy-nominated series, meet culinary stars around the world who are redefining gourmet food with innovative dishes and tantalizing desserts.
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14) Grass Is Greener
New on Netflix Rating: 83.33%
Year: 2019
Duration: 1hr 37m
Genre: Rap & Hip-Hop, Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
It lit up jazz and hip-hop — and ignited a war on drugs steeped in racial injustice. Experts explore America’s complicated relationship with weed.
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15) Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
New on Netflix Rating: 83%
Year: 2019
Duration: 2hr 22m
Genre: Rock & Pop, Biographical Films, Music & Musicals, Music & Concert Documentaries, Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
In an alchemic mix of fact and fantasy, Martin Scorsese looks back at Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour and a country ripe for reinvention.
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16) Sense8: Creating the World
New on Netflix Rating: 83%
Year: 2015
Duration: 25m
Genre: American Programmes, Docuseries, Documentaries
Go behind the scenes and around the world with the “Sense8” cast and crew in this in-depth look at how the hit series is made.
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17) The Toys That Made Us
New on Netflix Rating: 83%
Year: 2018
Duration: 2 Seasons
Genre: American Programmes, Docuseries, Documentaries
The minds behind history’s most iconic toy franchises discuss the rise — and sometimes fall — of their billion-dollar creations.
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18) Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
New on Netflix Rating: 82.5%
Year: 2018
Duration: 1hr 45m
Genre: Biographical Films, Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Artists in LA discover the work of forgotten Polish sculptor Stanislav Szukalski, a mad genius whose true story unfolds chapter by astounding chapter.
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19) End Game
New on Netflix Rating: 82.33%
Year: 2018
Duration: 40m
Genre: Documentaries
Facing an inevitable outcome, terminally ill patients meet extraordinary medical practitioners seeking to change our approach to life and death.
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20) Street Food
New on Netflix Rating: 82%
Year: 2019
Duration: 1 Volume
Genre: Food & Travel TV, American Programmes, Docuseries, Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Embark on a global cultural journey into street food and discover the stories of the people who create the flavorful dishes.
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And the runners up…: Team Foxcatcher (2016)Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016)Hip-Hop Evolution (2018)Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017)The Defiant Ones (2017)Heroin(e) (2017)Kingdom of Us (2017)Making a Murderer (2018)ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium (2019)Time: The Kalief Browder Story (2017)

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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