10 Best Documentaries You Can Watch on Netflix Right Now

Beyoncé at Coachella 2018, subject of the documentary 'Homecoming'
Beyoncé at Coachella 2018, subject of the documentary 'Homecoming' | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There’s something to be said for zoning out during these tumultuous times, but there’s a better case for getting educated, interested, and empowered. Fortunately, covering those bases can still involve watching some fantastic films. Here’s a list of the best documentaries on Netflix right now, on everything from music history to animal welfare.

1. 'Becoming'

Michelle Obama embarks on a 34-city book tour for her 2018 memoir, Becoming. Along the way, viewers get an inside look at the life of the former first lady.

2. 'American Factory'

From acclaimed documentary filmmaking team Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, American Factory captures the fascinating culture clash that ensues when a Chinese company comes to Dayton, Ohio to reopen an old General Motors plant.

3. 'Quincy'

An intimate profile of renowned music mogul Quincy Jones. This doc was co-created by Jones' daughter, Rashida

4. 'Blackfish'

By now a classic, Blackfish chronicles the heartbreaking story of Tilikum, an orca whale driven to aggressive, ultimately lethal behavior in captivity at SeaWorld. The documentary led to a public outcry over the theme park's treatment of its animals.

5. 'What Happened, Miss Simone?'

Directed by Liz Garbus, What Happened, Miss Simone? is an inspiring, emotional doc about the life of iconic musician and activist Nina Simone.

6. 'The Black Godfather'

From director Reginald Hudlin, The Black Godfather spotlights behind-the-scenes powerbroker Clarence Avant, who championed black talent, and in so doing, forever changed the entertainment and political landscape.

7. 'Homecoming'

Beyoncé’s historic Coachella set in full, with artful backstory on the lead-up to the rousing performance.

8. 'Icarus'

This Oscar-winning doc tells the mind-boggling story of the Russian Olympic doping scandal. The film is directed by Bryan Fogel, who essentially stumbled into this unbelievable footage. 

9. '13th'

Directed by Ava DuVernay, 13th takes an unflinching look at mass incarceration and the systematic criminalization of black Americans.

10. 'Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution'

This uplifting new doc tells the story of how a group of youths at a New York summer camp grew into a powerful activist movement in the 1970s.