The Best Documentaries To Watch On Netflix In 2016-2017

Updated on February 7, 2017

Making A Murderer

The true story of a man imprisoned for 14 years for a rape he did not commit, proven innocent and released, and then shortly after accused of a crime that could mean LIFE in prison. If you haven’t heard of Netflix’s latest original, a true crime documentary series titled “Making a Murderer, you must be spending a little too much “me” time.

As soon as the series started streaming it seems just about everyone took the weekend to binge watch all 10 episodes, and best of all – we’ve all formed our own very strong opinions on the details of Steven Avery’s story and are ready argue our case as soon as we hear the word “Netflix.”

This show will leave you with many unanswered questions: “Was he framed?” “Did he do this?” “What is WRONG with the justice system?” All the topics I’ve spent hours debating iwht coworkers, friends, twitter followers..really anyone who will play lawyer with me for awhile.

Maing a murdered is so addicting it will have you calling in sick for work to get watch one more episode and then researching the case further when your done – great job Netflix!

The Hunting Ground

This emotionally charged documentary brings to light the growing issue of sexual assault on college campuses. With startling statistics such as “Harvard: 125 Reported Sexual Assaults, 10 Suspensions,” and “Stanford: 259 Reported Assaults, 1 Expulsion,” the film puts universities on trial for the tendency to try to sweep these crimes under the rug, ignore and blame victims, and do anything (including obstructing justice) to protect their school’s reputation.

Told through the eyes of victims such as Erica Kinsman, the woman who was recently granted $950,000 in a settlement for her sexual assault claim against 2015 quarterback Jameis Winston, it is story of courage, sisterhood, and finding the strength to stand up for your rights even when those who are supposed to protect us – the police, the school administration, your closest friends – have let you down. An important watch for today’s young college men and women, this film has circulated hundreds of college campuses and continues to do so. You can watch “The Hunting Ground” for free with a Netflix subscription.


Here are the full school sexual assault stats from "The Hunting Ground"

India's Daughter

India's Daughter

This is definitely not one to watch while you are getting ready for work, or while you get ready for a night out. “India’s Daughter” tells the story of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old female med student living in Delhi, India, who was attacked, gang raped, and murdered by a group of men while out to a movie with a friend.

Interviews with Singh’s heartbroken family are put side by side with prison interviews with her remorseless attackers and their team of morally inept lawyers. With victim-blaming lines such as “a woman should not be out after 9 o clock at night,” “she should not have fought back,” and the most disgusting of all: “A rape is the woman’s fault,” the words of her rapists and murderers will have you screaming at your television out of anger. (If it’s any consolation..the man who said these words has been sentenced to death.)

“India’s Daughter,” is certainly not an easy watch, but it is an important one. The film brings attention to the grotesque inequality faced by women in India, and calls for a change in a place where voices are silenced for speaking out.

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Blackfish

Blackfish (2013)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years..you’ve at least overheard a friendly debate over the film “Blackfish.” If you haven’t seen it yet, this is a fantastic time to take a few hours to sit down and learn about the tragic life of Tilikum/Shamoo. After three years of protests, petitions, and court battles, this year we finally watched the “Blackfish Effect” change the lives of Seaworld’s whales for the better, permanently.

One of the initial goals of the BF filmmakers was to end all orca breeding at Seaworld , and as of March 2016, the announcement was made that the killer whales currently at the park will be the last born into Seaworld’s tanks. The orca breeding program officially ends with this generation, activists rejoice! This achievement is of course the result of many hardworking individuals, not solely those behind the film “Blackfish,” however it was this low budget Sundance phenomenon that thrust his issue into the spotlight.

As an animal lover, I will warn that this film makes me very emotional and it is not “uplifting” by any stretch of the imagination. . As most films aim to entertain, Blackfish aims to make a difference. You will feel uncomfortable, angry, and disappointed in humankind. No evil act is spared, and this is on purpose. The filmmakers knew they had to make their audience question mankind in order to inspire change. “Blackfish” takes your faith in humanity hostage, and the overwhelming response to the film gives that faith right back. After watching, check out these articles about the amazing difference the documentary has made since its’ 2013 release.

Official Seaworld Announcement

Hot Girls Wanted

Hot Girls Wanted

Have you ever been..ya know, just hanging out watching some low budget porn online and got to thinking: “How does one become an amateur porn actress?"

Yeah…me neither.

However, if you have ever found yourself wondering about the amateur pornstar life – luckily for you Rashida Jones (yes, “Anne,” of “Parks and Rec”) has put together 82 minutes of interviews and behind the scenes footage that will give you every detail that may (or may not) want to know.

Answers to burning questions such as: "What choices have these young women made to get here?” “What’s life really like for these amateur pornstars?” “What must their friends and family think?”

The film seems to take the stance that these young women are victims of a male-dominated, demeaning industry that exploits women at whim. After learning of the degrading acts women are offered more money to perform, how frivolous actresses' personal health is treated, and how one pound past 115 or year past age 18 can end a career, I must agree.

The film follows three aspiring porn stars who have an entirely different (and much more upbeat) outlook on the amateur adult film industry. To them, a career in amateur porn is seen as a chance to become a celebrity, an escape from a life controlled by parents, college classes, and minimum wage jobs, and -most importantly- an opportunity to enjoy a flashy, high-end, independent lifestyle they could never afford otherwise.

“Hot Girls Wanted,” will have you scratching your head over the question “is it worth it?” as you watch these girls be publicly shamed into demeaning sexual acts they are not clearly uncomfortable with, lose the respect of their loved ones, and battle gruesome sexual health problems.. all in the name of temporary adult film "stardom."

The Imposter

The Imposter

This is a unique documentary that I find a lot of people haven't heard of which is a true shame because it is such a well done film. "The Impostor" is the stranger-than-fiction tale of Frederic Borquin, an adult french man also known as "The Chameleon," and his infamous impersonation of a missing American Boy.

Despite his older age, dark hair, dark skin, and French accent, Borquin manages to convince the Barclay family that he is their missing blonde-haired, blue- eyed 13 year old son, Nicholas. For over 5 months the chameleon lives in the Barclay's Texas home, playing the role of someone he has never met until suspicions finally arise within a one of the more perceptive family members.

The film will have you in disbelief over the fact that this is a TRUE story and the interviews are with ACTUAL members of the Barclay family who were somehow deceived for so long. Speaking to the power hope holds and its' ability to blind us from reality, "The Impostor" is definitely a hidden gem in your Netflix library you'll be glad you took the time to watch.

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DMT: The Spirit Molecule

The Spirit Molecule

DMT. Most of us haven't tried it, but isn't a little part of you curious to know a little more about the stuff? Well, here's your chance!

"The Spirit Molecule" takes you into every part of the mysterious would of hallucinogenic drugs. From the first experiments using DMT in the lab, to the therapeutic uses of today, to the party scene of the 70’s and 80’s, you'll learn all about these mind-altering substances: where they're made, the different “brands,” why they are good, why they are bad. You’ll Go behind the scenes with dealers, view actual footage of those experiencing the effects of hallucinogenic substances, and see live interviews with buyers, sellers, makers, and takers of the stuff.

One particularly interesting segment teaches you all about "Ayahuasca," a ritualistic hallucinogenic experience that can only be had in Peru that involves a lot of chanting, purging, and self-realization. “The Spirit Molecule” may not be an award-winner, but it’s an interesting and informative Sunday afternoon watch on a topic most of us don’t know much about.

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      Yolanda smith 

      2 years ago from dermott

      Some people can't handle tv they think what they see on TV they have to follow it

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