In the realm of streaming content, Netflix has been a treasure trove of documentaries, offering viewers a diverse array of topics, from gripping tales of online deception to awe-inspiring journeys into the cosmos. Here’s a list of 5 great documentaries to watch on Netflix right now!
1. The Tinder Swindler (2022)
Our journey begins with The Tinder Swindler, a documentary that unravels a story of online deception and broken hearts. Directed by Felicity Morris, this gripping film delves into the life of Simon Leviev, a man who used dating apps to orchestrate elaborate schemes that left a trail of heartbreak and financial ruin. Posing as the wealthy, charismatic son of a billionaire diamond mogul, Leviev gained the trust and affection of multiple women in order to get them to pay him millions of dollars in exchange of luxurious vacations, extravagant gifts and a lavish lifestyle that never came.
According to Fortune, Leviev managed to con his victims out of $10 million, and Felicity Morris’ film aims to raise awareness about the dangers of online scams. But it’s also a surprisingly gripping watch that will have your eyes glued to the screen, conflicted with feelings of shock but also curiosity as to how Leviev managed to pull off these schemes.
2. Sr. (2022)
If you know Robert Downey Jr. for his portrayal of Iron Man, you probably have no idea of who his father was. But the MCU star is here to tell you all about Robert Downey Sr. in a touching series that explores not only the late actor- filmmaker’s career and personal life – marked by a long battle with Parkinson’s disease – but also their father-son relationship. Sr. is a tough watch, touching upon themes like grief, loss, illness, and even death itself. But it’s also a surprisingly uplifting one, and an ode to the power of cinema.
If you’ve marvelled at Robert Downey Jr.’s work in Oppenheimer and are looking for another film of his to explore, look no further than Sr. We guarantee it’ll speak to your very core.
3. The Social Dilemma (2020)
As we navigate the digital age, The Social Dilemma helps us understand the dynamics between social media’s infamous algorithm, and the subtle ways in which it monitors our lives and dictates our choices. Jeff Orlowski’s documentary features interviews with former tech insiders and experts such as Tristan Harris, Jeff Seibert, Bailey Richardson, Joe Toscano and more, but what will really grip you about it is the way it gives the algorithm a face. With effective vignettes, The Social Dilemma shows us how social media are programmed to analyse our behaviour and react accordingly, in order to keep us hooked and engaged.
Though the film’s revelations are not as mind-blowing as the movie thinks they are, there is definitely an audience for it. If you don’t know much about how social media works, you’ll be thoroughly engaged, and it might even act as a wake-up call to the pervasive influence of technology has on society. There’s a reason The Social Dilemma was the first documentary to become the most watched movie on Netflix on its month of release, and we guarantee you won’t be able to stop talking about it.
4. Crip Camp (2020)
Nicole Newnham, James LeBrecht
Crip Camp offers a powerful and heartwarming exploration of the disability rights movement in the United States. The documentary begins with a group of young individuals with disabilities who find camaraderie and empowerment at a summer camp in the 1970s, and really delves into the lives of these campers, who later became advocates for disability rights.
Their journey is intertwined with the broader fight for equal rights and accessibility for people with disabilities. Crip Camp is not only an inspiring testament to the power of activism but also a celebration of the human spirit’s resilience and determination, and the power of community. It’s also a surprisingly entertaining, effortless watch, touching upon many important, relatable themes.
5. Rolling Thunder Revue (2019)
Our cinematic journey concludes with Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, a film that delivers just what its title promises. On paper, the documentary is about Bob Dylan’s iconic 1975 tour. But, in the best Scorsese tradition, it’s actually a mesmerizing dive into the world of music and performance.
Rolling Thunder Revue captures the energy and creativity of Bob Dylan’s tour through a blend of concert footage and behind-the-scenes moments, offering an intimate look at the legendary musician and the artists who joined him on tour. It’s a celebration of artistic expression and a tribute to the enduring influence of Bob Dylan’s music, and its greatest achievement is that it manages to perfectly capture Dylan as he really was – so much so that a good chunk of the film is told by the musician himself. If you’re a fan of music documentary, add it to your watchlist!
If you’re looking for a great documentary to watch on Netflix, the 5 films listed above are all enthralling, informative watches that are currently available to watch on the streaming platform.
The world of documentaries has always been a great source of inspiration for amateur filmmakers. If you have confidence in your talent and the ability to inspire others, using filmmaking tools to combine your homemade footage with a stock video can help you make your mark. Who knows? Someday, your work might even be featured on popular streaming platforms.