7 Netflix Docs to Amp Up Your Watch List With

Ahh Netflix documentaries. For a brief moment in time, we become forensic investigators, a celebrity’s best friend or the next Steve Irwin. Here are seven Netflix documentaries you must catch when your inner couch potato is feeling a little more than just another Friends re-run.


  1. Evil Genius

Holy cow. I’m a total sucker for a good crime docu-series and this one takes the cake. If you are into suspenseful true crime and aren’t feeling up to this Ted Bundy kick it seems everyone’s been on lately, Evil Genius, will knock your socks off (and just maybe convince you to order your next Domino’s haul for in-store pickup instead of delivery). We follow the story of an attempted bank heist in Eerie, PA in 2003. Armed with a rifle, a local pizza delivery man holds up a teller, but there is just one catch: he has a bomb strapped around his neck. What happens next is a whirlwind tale involving a sadistic scavenger hunt, an eccentric shut-in’s twisted efforts to sway police, and the eerily (pun intended) brilliant, complex mind of a mathematician.   


2. Forks Over Knives

    So you want to be a vegan? Well, you’ve come to the right documentary. Forks Over Knives is that one film the convinces (or if you’re currently vegan, reinforces) you to adopt a plant based diet. Two doctors, both hailing from farm country, set out on a journey to make an example of their patients. We are introduced to several individuals who are plagued with physical ailments that will ultimately lead to death. Yet, after a few months of consuming whole foods and no animal by-products, they are essentially cured. After seeing the results of each patient, it might be enough to make you at least consider the dining hall vegan pizza option instead of that BBQ Ranch calzone. However, beware, you are going to hear the terms “whole foods, plant-based diet” A LOT, and honestly after watching this you’ll probably twitch next time someone asks if you want to go grocery shopping at the actual Whole Foods in Tenleytown.


3. Period. End of Sentence.

This is a must-see, female empowerment documentary! This film follows a group of brave Indian women as they make and sell their own pads and educate young girls on menstruation. In a strong patriarchal society, periods are extremely taboo and access to proper hygiene products is limited to the wealthy. By manufacturing their own pads, these badass ladies go door-to-door handing out their cotton goods to make periods more comfortable and allowing village girls freedom to take on the world.


4. What Happened Miss Simone?

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll only want to listen to Civil Rights Era protest songs for the next week and a half. What Happened Miss Simone? gives you an insightful point-of-view of Nina Simone beyond her music career by tackling her abusive marriage, mental health and her own faults as a mother. From personal interviews of Simone, her daughter and those who knew her, we are intimately introduced to a side of the famed singer that was typically hidden from the world. All at once, this strong figure of the racial revolution become vulnerable, meek and a victim of discrimination as well as her own dwindling mental condition. This documentary makes you question what it means to be a hero, and to what extent can human faults affect how you view a person of such great influence.


5. The Staircase

    Court drama AND murder?– sign me up please! This is another true crime docu-series (I told you I was a total sucker, didn’t I?) following novelist Michael Peterson, who may or may not have pushed his own wife down a staircase. After a glass of wine by the pool, Kathleen Peterson decides to head in early for the night, but instead of making it up the stairs, she has a nasty trip down them, resulting in her death. But this was allegedly no accident, and Michael Peterson is soon seen as a suspect. The investigation that happens next uncovers secret scandals of Michael, Kathleen, the local police force and those seeking to prosecute Peterson. Much like Evil Genius, every episode will have you on the edge of your seat. There were so many times I thought I had this case all wrapped up, but be warned folks; you’ll never quite figure out whose side you’re really on.


6. 13TH

    Slavery is still alive and well in America. 13th is a hard-hitting documentary centering on the history of how our judicial system found loopholes to keep black Americans in shackles through the war on drugs, petty arrests and the militarization of the police force. Our prisons are filled with a majority of African-Americans, a fact which only makes sense as the film dissects our nation’s recent history of drug criminalization. Interviews with politicians and scholars reveal just how corrupt our legal system is by relaying different methods that law enforcement have to keep black Americans behind bars. The Nation’s history is pieced together by the decade spanning from the early 1900s to America’s current climate.You’ll walk away from this one (or more realistically, close your laptop a little aggressively) after this one.



7. Behind the Curve

    There’s been a lot of talk about the Flat Earthers, but have you ever actually TALKED to one? Or, what’s more, witnessed the community of thousands who hold conferences, host podcasts and sell merch to promote the idea that humans haven’t actually been bouncing around on a sphere this whole time? Behind the Curve follows the Flat Earth society, centering in on Mark Sargent, who catalyzed the movement and how he has become a legend among those who refuse to believe our planet is round. Overall, Behind the Curve delves into the personal stories of the Flat Earth Society and how they came to their conclusion based on “observation” and their own personal perception of the world, rather than, you know, science. This documentary does not discredit the concept of a flat Earth or call these peoples’ bluff, but follows a close-knit community. If you’re in the mood for a good, light-hearted laugh, this film fits the bill.



Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,  7