When it comes to documentaries, you know you can never go wrong with Netflix, which boasts a huge collection of fascinating non-fiction content.

From headline-making titles like Tiger King and The Tinder Swindler, to true crime shows like Get Gotti and Crime Scene: the Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, there are docuseries for everyone's tastes.

Titles to choose from include thought-provoking film MH370: the Plane That Disappeared, which looks into the theories surrounding the vanishing of the Malaysian flight in 2014. Meanwhile, for those crazy about canines, Gunther's Millions is the story of a German Shepherd said to have inherited $400 million from his countess owner in 1992 – a fortune managed by family friend Maurizio Mian.

If those don't appeal, why not try Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, the chilling series that explores the crimes of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs? Or how about The Playlist, an in-depth look at the music streaming phenomenon that is Spotify? Or if natural history is more your thing, then newly arrived Our Universe narrated by Morgan Freeman should hit the button.

Whatever you're after, there are so many great documentaries to choose from on Netflix and we've listed our favourites down below for you to start watching.

Meanwhile, for those wanting something a bit different, we’ve also created shortlists of the best Netflix movies and the best Netflix series, as well as your guide to Disney Plus.

Showing items 1 to 24 of 71

  • MH370: The Plane That Disappeared

    • 2023
    • Documentary and factual
    • 12

    Summary:

    Documentary series about the disappearance of Flight MH370 in 2014 with 239 people on board

    Why watch MH370: The Plane That Disappeared?:

    This three-parter dives into the competing theories that attempt to explain what happened in 2014 when a Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur on a flight to Beijing, but never arrived. The crew and passengers’ loved ones give their thoughts, as do a plethora of journalists, internet sleuths and amateur experts whom some might call conspiracy theorists. Every possible explanation is unlikely; it’s up to you to decide which one is true.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

    • 2023
    • Documentary and factual
    • Crime/detective
    • 15

    Summary:

    Shocking tragedies shatter a tight-knit South Carolina community and expose the horrifying secrets of its most powerful family

    Why watch Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal?:

    A family of attorneys who wield a little too much power, brought down by a series of mysterious deaths? It sounds like the premise for a prestige drama but it’s real, and the history of the Murtaugh clan’s dominance of coastal South Carolina’s 14th district gives this true-crime documentary plenty to chew on.

    The intrigue begins with the death of a young family friend in a 2019 boating accident, but when the Murtaughs themselves are hit by violent tragedy, more than one historical incident is re-examined. Local observers are only too willing to speculate on camera about the family’s many secrets.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Money Shot: The Pornhub Story

    • Science and technology
    • Documentary and factual
    • 2023
    • Suzanne Hillinger
    • 94 mins
    • 18

    Summary:

    Featuring interviews with performers, activists and past employees, this documentary offers a deep dive into the successes and scandals of Pornhub.

    Why watch Money Shot: the Pornhub Story?:

    The website Pornhub is one of the major online phenomena of the past decade. It helped to pioneer free pornography on the internet, putting traditional producers and distributors out of business and making billions in the process. But as with so many things digital, the lack of regulation has caused problems in an industry already known for unethical practices. This documentary tracks Pornhub’s rise while asking whether it has the will or ability to tackle serious problems such as non-consensual material featuring victims of human trafficking.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Gunther's Millions

    • 2023
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    A dog with a trust fund isn't the strangest part of this story. Gunther's eccentric handler also lived a luxe life with a cult-like entourage.

    Why watch Gunther's Millions?:

    This Netflix docuseries boasts a very peculiar plot line. It tells the bizarre story of a German Shepherd named Gunther, who inherited $400 million from his owner Karlotta Liebenstein, a rich German countess. Following Karlotta’s death, she appointed her family friend Maurizio Mian to be Gunther’s caretaker and manage the multi-million dollar fortune – or at least that’s the story we’re told at the beginning of the documentary.

    Packing a lot into just four episodes, and with multiple twists and turns to what was already advertised as an incredibly bizarre story, and bold characters to match, Gunther’s Millions is sure to keep you entertained.

    Grace Henry

    How to watch
  • Pamela, a Love Story

    • Entertainment
    • Drama
    • 2023
    • Ryan White
    • 112 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    In her own words, through personal video and diaries, Pamela Anderson shares the story of her rise to fame, rocky romances and infamous sex tape scandal.

    Why watch Pamela, A Love Story?:

    Last year, Pamela Anderson was the subject of the hit series Pam & Tommy on Disney Plus – and now the former Baywatch star is telling her story on her own terms in a brand-new Netflix film.

    Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ryan White – whose previous credits include The Keepers and The Case Against 8 – Pamela, A Love Story is described by the streamer as “an intimate and humanising portrait of one of the world’s most famous blonde bombshells.”

    Patrick Cremona

    How to watch
  • Break Point

    • 2023
    • Sport
    • Documentary and factual
    • 15

    Summary:

    Producers of hit Formula 1 show Drive To Survive serve and volley a new 10-part documentary series, which goes behind the scenes of the ATP and WTA tours during the 2022 season to explore the emotional and physical demands of playing tennis at the highest level. Over the course of a year which saw Roger Federer and Serena Williams announce their retirements and Novac Djokovic denied the chance to defend his Australian Open title, cameras follow top players on and off the court as they seek to improve their rankings and avoid injuries. Participating athletes include Felix Auger-Aliassime, Paula Badosa, Matteo Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Ons Jabeur, Nick Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Aryna Sabalenka, Sloane Stephens, Iga Swiatek, Frances Tiafoe, Ajla Tomljanovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas

    Why watch Break Point?:

    The Netflix documentary F1: Drive to Survive is so good, you can watch it even if you don’t like motor racing; the same team are behind this series, which reveals just how tough life is as an elite tennis player. In a first season that happens to capture the retirement of Ashleigh Barty and Roger Federer, interviews (including with enfant terrible Nick Kyrgios) and behind-the-scenes footage gives a flavour of what it’s like to be competing for Grand Slams – or battling up the ranks, hoping to win a big title some day. As with the F1 show, we witness the adverse effects of intense pressure but also a lot of laughs.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street

    • 2023
    • Drama
    • Crime/detective
    • 15

    Summary:

    It follows the rise and fall of the American financier and ponzi schemer: Madoff.

    Why watch MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street?:

    His arrest in 2008 and subsequent conviction anointed New York financier Bernie Madoff as one of the biggest con artists of all time: his investment advice firm was in fact the largest Ponzi scheme of all time, worth nearly $65bn before the financial crash brought it down. This four-part documentary uses close access to the late Madoff’s associates, as well as the journalists who brought him down and dramatic reconstructions of the man in his pomp in his Manhattan offices, to tell a pacy tale about someone whose charisma and ambition were never compromised by any feelings of guilt.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • I Am a Killer

    • 2018
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 18

    Summary:

    Documentary series in which convicted murderers recount the events leading up to their crimes and reveal how they feel about their actions having now spent time on death row.

    Why watch I Am a Killer?:

    Mere weeks after Netflix dropped the third season of this controversial documentary, here’s a fourth. The concept is simple and stark: convicted murderers in the US are allowed to tell their own stories. Get past the fact that this means people guilty of horrendous crimes are portrayed more positively than normal, and you find compelling stories of remorse, or an absence of it, often combined with revelations about the adverse life circumstances that preceded the murderer’s actions.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari

    • Documentary and factual
    • 2022
    • Rory Kennedy
    • 99 mins
    • 12A

    Summary:

    Survivors' and rescuers' accounts and minute-by-minute footage fuel this gripping documentary about the deadly 2019 volcanic eruption in New Zealand.

    Why watch The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari?:

    Forty-seven people were on Whakaari aka “White Island”, a volcanic isle in north-eastern New Zealand, when it erupted on 9 December 2019. Twenty-two did not survive the event. This feature-length documentary painstakingly knits together smartphone footage taken by the tourists themselves, in addition to more traditional archive video and interviews, to create a minute-by-minute account of the disaster. Often, it captures quick decisions that saved lives; before that, it puts the island and its visitors into context to complete a full picture of an extraordinary, tragic day.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Last Chance U: Basketball

    • 2021
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    Explore an honest and gritty look inside the world of community college basketball.

    Why watch Last Chance U: Basketball?:

    This documentary series made its name covering college American football, but has successfully transitioned to basketball, a less spectacular but more intimate and intense sport. In both cases, the placing of cameras inside unglamorous local institutions, where talented players with difficult family lives know sport is their best shot at a better life, creates fine drama. This year we’re back at the East Los Angeles College, where an extraordinary coach named John Mosley continues to do his damnedest to give the kids in his charge a chance of achieving life-changing success.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Harry & Meghan

    • 2022
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    From their courtship to their exit from royal life, Harry and Meghan share their complex journey in their own words in this docuseries

    Why watch Harry & Meghan?:

    You can’t have escaped the media frenzy over the arrival of controversial documentary series Harry & Meghan, which promises unprecedented insight into the events that caused the wronged*/attention-seeking* (*delete depending on your point of view) couple to break away from the royal family.

    Acclaimed director Liz Garbus is behind the six-part series, which chronicles the early days of their relationship and the key factors that influenced their headline-making decision. The show includes interviews from friends and family, many of whom are speaking publicly for the first time, as well as commentary from historians on the royal family’s relationship with the press.

    How to watch
  • Our Universe

    • 2022
    • Documentary and factual
    • Nature
    • PG

    Summary:

    Follows different aspects of the natural world, from an expansive look into the origin of the Universe, to life on planet Earth and how its oceans function. Narrated by Morgan Freeman

    Why watch Our Universe?:

    Morgan Freeman grandly narrates a six-parter made by BBC Studios, which promises to meld wildlife footage with dazzling special effects to create a cosmic overview of how the natural world fits together. Beginning its tale with the birth of the Sun, it uses animation to explain how the Solar System came into being, while using the latest filming techniques to see animals up closer than ever. Prepare to be comprehensively wowed.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich

    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 2022
    • Maiken Baird
    • 102 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    Stories from survivors frame this documentary detailing the sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a socialite and accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein.

    Why watch Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich?:

    Following on from Netflix’s Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, this documentary looks at the most senior person in the late Epstein’s sex trafficking network to be held to account. Ghislaine Maxwell, an English socialite and daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, was sentenced to 20 years in prison back in July, having lured girls and women into abuse at the hands of Epstein and his associates. Here, while survivors tell their stories, observers give their view of a woman whose compulsion to please the monstrous men in her life meant she couldn’t or wouldn’t see that she was doing anything wrong.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Pepsi, Where's My Jet?

    • 2022
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    When a 20-year-old attempts to win a fighter jet in a Pepsi sweepstakes, he sets the stage for a David versus Goliath court battle for the history books

    Why watch Pepsi, Where's My Jet?:

    In 1995, Pepsi ran a promotion where cans and bottles contained tokens, in return for which you could “buy” merchandise. The company made two statements it would come to regret: tokens could be purchased for ten cents, and seven million tokens would get you a Harrier jump jet.

    A man called John Leonard noticed that this effectively meant Pepsi was selling jets for a fraction of their real cost – when Pepsi insisted the offer was obviously a joke, a landmark legal battle began. It’s covered in a fizzy four-part doc that will have you laughing as much as debating the outcome.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Earthstorm

    • 2022
    • Documentary and factual
    • Nature
    • 12

    Summary:

    Storm chasers, survivors and first responders recount their harrowing experiences with volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.

    Why watch Earthstorm?:

    “Storm chasing” used to be just an adrenalised pursuit for danger addicts, but as climate change causes more extreme weather around the world, it’s become a serious business. This series captures that change, meeting people who no longer merely film tornados or visit erupting volcanos for a thrill – they are there as floods, tidal waves and hurricanes devastate people’s lives. Tracking and documenting powerful natural forces still involves stunning sights, but is now an essential part of trying to keep those in the firing line safe – making this show sobering as well as spectacular.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Notre-Dame

    • 2022
    • Drama
    • 15

    Summary:

    It follows the story of the night of April 15, 2019 in Notre-Dame Cathedral alongside firefighters and the impact that it had on different characters across France.

    Why watch Notre-Dame?:

    The 2019 fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris caused shock and dismay around the world when we saw footage of the flames, but the event is cleverly parlayed here into a mosaic of smaller dramas, as disparate lives are profoundly affected. Firefighters balance the desire to preserve a priceless landmark with the need to preserve life, especially those who have lost colleagues or loved ones in the past. Among the wider circle of people facing epic decisions is a TV reporter who has seen terrible trauma on the job before. That emotional heft gives the spectacular fire-fighting scenes extra piquancy.

    Jack Seale

    How to watch
  • Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

    • 2022
    • Documentary and factual
    • Crime/detective
    • 18

    Summary:

    Examines the rise of Warren Jeffs in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and his shocking criminal case.

    Why watch Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey?:

    As chilling Netflix documentaries go, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is definitely up there, with the four-parter looking into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and its leader Warren Jeffs, who is serving time in prison on two counts of child sexual assault.

    Directed by Rachel Dretzin, the Netflix series features interviews with those who grew up in the FLDS community in Utah, documenting Jeffs’ rise to power, the coercive rules he introduced and his eventual conviction. Disturbing and heartbreaking, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a captivating docuseries that hooks you in right from the very start.

    How to watch
  • Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee

    • Science and technology
    • Documentary and factual
    • 2022
    • Charlie Russell
    • 106 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    Through raw, revealing footage and interviews with fugitive tech pioneer John McAfee, this documentary uncovers new layers of his wild years on the run.

    Why watch Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee:

    For those unfamiliar with the Netflix documentary’s subject, computer programmer John McAfee hit headlines in June last year after being found dead in his Spanish jail cell, shortly after the country’s court had authorised his extradition back to the US for tax evasion charges. However, the 75-year-old, who founded anti-virus software company McAfee back in 1987, had been on the run for nearly 10 years prior, with the Belize authorities wanting to question him over the murder of his neighbour Gregory Faull back in November 2012.

    Directed by BAFTA-winning documentarian Charlie Russell, the film tries to dive into who exactly McAfee is and whether he was a killer, following him as he bounces between various countries while speaking to the journalists and girlfriends that he dragged along the way. With some of the best documentaries being examinations of complicated characters, this film is a fascinating insight into an intelligent but dangerous man that’ll leave you wanting to run with the devil a little longer.

    How to watch
  • The Tinder Swindler

    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 2022
    • Felicity Morris
    • 114 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    Posing as a wealthy, jet-setting diamond mogul, an Israeli conman wooed women online then conned them out of millions of dollars. Now some victims plan for payback. Crime documentary, starring Simon Leviev, Cecilie Fjellhoy and Ayleen Charlotte.

    Why watch The Tinder Swindler? :

    The most talked-about documentary of 2022 so far, The Tinder Swindler tells the astonishing story of Simon Leviev – an Israeli conman who used the dating app Tinder to manipulate his dates into sending him money.

    The film speaks to victims of Leviev, who would be charmed by gifts and private jet trips before the fraudster told them he was being targeted by “enemies” and needed financial help. The headline-making documentary is simply a must-watch and will have you thinking twice before you swipe right.

    How to watch
  • Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

    • 2021
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    A four-part documentary series investigating the death of Chinese-Canadian tourist Elisa Lam at a hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

    Why watch Crime Scene: the Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel?:

    One of the more recent docuseries to air on Netflix, The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is also one of the most chilling. Elisa Lam, on holiday from Canada, disappeared at the hotel and was last seen acting strangely in the lift in footage that has been circulating since 2013.

    With so many possible explanations as to what happened to her, from the sinister to evil forces taking control of her, this show looks at them all and does its best to come up with a conclusion as to what happened. It actually ends up being a sad, tragic story rather than a sensational one and this mini-series is all the better for it. It also recounts the history of the hotel that was known as a dangerous place long before Elisa ever checked in.

    How to watch
  • Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

    • 2021
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 18

    Summary:

    True crime documentary series about one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, told from the [perspective of people determined to bring the culprit to justice

    Why watch Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer?:

    Los Angeles in the mid-80s was a particularly dangerous place to be and one of those reasons was the Night Stalker murders that took place for over a year from the spring of 1984. The crimes were gruesome and barbaric, the police had no idea who they were looking for, and the public was making it known how unsafe they felt. A gripping recounting of the events, this documentary talks to the people that helped track the killer down, and shows us what can happen when the public unite.

    How to watch
  • The Ripper

    • 2020
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    In the late 1970s, British police struggle to identify - let alone capture - the serial killer known throughout the world as the Yorkshire Ripper.

    Why watch The Ripper?:

    From a serial killer in Los Angeles in the 80s to one who struck in the midlands her in the UK, The Ripper is the story of the murders and crimes committed by Peter Sutcliffe – otherwise known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Sutcliffe murdered 13 people and harmed many more during his reign of terror and this is a look at those affected by his actions and those who were hellbent on seeing him brought to justice.

    How to watch
  • The Social Dilemma

    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 2020
    • Jeff Orlowski-Yang
    • 94 mins
    • 12

    Summary:

    Explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations. Documentary, starring Tristan Harris, Jeff Seibert and Bailey Richardson

    Why watch The Social Dilemma?:

    Arguably one of 2020’s most talked-about documentaries, The Social Dilemma is an unsettling look at the rise of social media and the damage it has caused, from the spreading of conspiracy theories, its use in political elections and its addictive design.

    Directed by Jeff Orlowski, this film features interviews with a number of technological bosses, from the co-creator of Facebook’s like button to a former Google design ethicist, which are spliced together with dramatised scenes starring Skyler Gisondo (Booksmart), Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom) and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men).

    How to watch
  • Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

    • 2020
    • Documentary and factual
    • News and current affairs
    • 15

    Summary:

    Survivors reveal the manipulation, abuse and emotional scars suffered at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Their stories expose a sex trafficking ring of powerful enablers leading up to his 2019 arrest.

    Why watch Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich?:

    Netflix’s hit four-part docu-series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich brings to life the stories that made newspaper headlines in 2019 when financier Jeffrey Epstein died in prison while facing charges of sex trafficking.

    But what sets this true-crime series aside from many others is that it prioritises the survivors rather than the perpetrator.

    Using footage of Epstein being interviewed for an earlier charge (and disdainfully refusing to answer questions) alongside comments from prosecutors, associates and investigators, plus film of Epstein’s homes (including his private island in the Caribbean), director Lisa Bryant’s documentary is a fascinating and horrifying look at how one man escaped justice for decades, possibly with the help of wealthy connections.

    How to watch
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