My Picks for the Top Ten Best Documentaries on Netflix


Graphic by: Emily Brewer

Lena Gripp, Assistant Opinion Editor

Documentaries allow us to see explore places we’ve never been before and experience different situations and instances in history.  Here is a list of my top ten recommendations for must-watch documentaries on Netflix.  Being that they’re all so great, I couldn’t decide what order to list them in, so I have laid them out in no particular order, each with a short description written by Netflix that will hopefully spark your interest! 


  • “This fascinating documentary examines the life of the performing killer whale Tilikum, who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity.”  

Inside the Criminal Mind

  • Episode 1 – “Serial Killers”: “Criminal profilers and neurological experts weigh in on what drives serial killers and whether certain people are predisposed to murder.” 
  • Episode 2 – “Kidnapping”: Why do they do it and how do they get away with it?  Step into the minds of history’s most heinous kidnappers, including Ariel Castro and Joseph Fritzl. 
  • Episode 3 – “Cult Leaders”: “Though cults take on many different forms, they all tend to have one thing in common: an all-powerful leader whose word cannot be questioned.” 
  • Episode 4 – “Crime Lords”: “Crime lords John Gotti, Pablo Escobar, El Chapo and Al Capone capture the public’s admiration despite – – or because of – – their heinous acts.” 

FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened 

  • The Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury music experience on a posh private island, but it failed spectacularly in the hands of a cocky entrepreneur. (Also check out Hulu’s coverage of the almost-festival, entitled, FYRE FUAUD) 

The Dirt 

  • “Outrageous acts.  Insatiable addictions.  Thundering rock ‘n’ roll.  Mötley Crüe’s down-and-dirty autobiography comes to life.” 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

  • Single mother Liz falls for Ted Bundy and refuses to believe the truth about his crimes for years.  A drama based on a true story.” (Also check out Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes) 

Behind the Curve

  • “Meet the growing, worldwide community of theorists who defend the belief that the Earth is flat while living in a society who vehemently.” 

NOVA: Day the Dinosaurs Died

  • “Drilling into the impact crater of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, a group of scientists unearths new evidence about the catastrophic events.” 

NOVA: First Face of America

  • During risky expeditions in an underwater cave, scientists unearth a 13,000-year-old skeleton to gain insight into the earliest known humans in America.” 

Abducted in Plain Sight

  • “In this true crime documentary, a family falls prey to the manipulative charms of a neighbor, who abducts their adolescent daughter.  Twice.”

The Keepers 

  • This docu-series examines the decades-old murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik and its suspected link to a priest accused of abuse.”