Netflix is killing it when it comes to its original documentaries.
Maybe that’s an unfortunate use of words since many of the films you can watch right now do happen to involve murder.
People do love their true-crime documentaries, and Netflix has a lot to boast about. Not only did the streaming giant win Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards this year, but it has stellar line up this month of original movies and others.
Amanda Knox (2016)
With exclusive interviews with Amanda Knox, this documentary chronicles the gruesome murder of her roommate who had her throat slit and the Italian investigation, the trial, and the appeals.
The documentary also looks at how our thoughts on women and sex as filtered through tabloid journalism influence our perception about what may have happened.
This documentary explores the controversial captivity of killer whales at Sea World and changes in the treatment of marine life because of it. The film follows the treatment of one psychologically damaged orca named Tillikum that was involved in the deaths of three people.
Cartel Land (2015)
Director Kathryn Bigelow, who also produced “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” examines the drug problem along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds with an Arizona border-control vigilante and a Mexican “Autodefensas” group and takes viewers on a nail-biting, dark, real-life, plot-twisting ride.
Casting JonBenet (2017)
This show turns the camera on local actors from JonBenét’s hometown who audition for roles of the Ramsey family in dramatized recreations about the 1996 murder and case. The documentary is creepy and looks at the murder’s lasting impact.
Chasing Coral (2017)
This documentary is beautiful, but a feel-good watch it is not. The crew had to invent some of their own equipment to capture the heartbreak of coral bleaching, which is what happens when ocean waters become too warm. Somehow the film makes the time lapse of immobile coral compelling.
Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
John Maloof found a box of photo negatives at a yard sale in 2007 taken by Vivian Maier. Who was she? Maloof starts a kickstarter campaign to find out and the documentary is the result.
Because one thing is certain from her more than 100,000 images taken on the streets. She was an incredible talent, which she hid from the world.
Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017)
The documentary explores the year leading up to the release of Lady Gaga’s 2016 album, “Joane” and, are you ready for this? Her chronic hip pain, her break up with Taylor Kinney, the Madonna feud, her meticulous nature, her breasts — she discusses her needs with a creative team while topless — are all in there.
Finders Keepers (2015)
This funny, tragic and weird story is about a battle over an amputated leg. It’s also oddly touching.
The fight over the leg bought in a storage-unit auction is between John Wood, the amputee, and Shannon Whisnant, an entrepreneur, who unwittingly bought it but then turned it into a tourist attraction.
Man on a Wire (2008)
He’s got one tall order of a dream. To string one very thin tight rope across the Twin Towers. You’ll get caught up in Philippe Petit’s impossible dream to not only walk between the now-collapsed towers but get up there in the first place.
There’s no agenda in this unflinching, powerful look at how the largest mass shooting caused a community in Connecticut to come together. It’s not easy to watch, nor should it be. It’s a deeply emotional film about an act of terrorism.
Welcome to Leith (2015)
The small town of Leith, North Dakota becomes a hub for neo Nazis when notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb moves to town. He almost succeeds in overtaking the government and manages to terrorize the residents with armed patrols before his arrest.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)
Nina Simone achieved fame as a singer, composer and an activist. But “the high priestess of soul” wanted more. The documentary chronicles Simone’s struggles with bipolar disorder, spousal abuse and Civil Rights causes through her performances.
Wild Wild Country (2018)
This six-part docu-series is about the Rajneesh cult that, in 1981, bought thousands of Oregon acres to build a Utopian city. Devotees of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh love his free love and radical meditation philosophy.
The Oregon locals not so much. His presence there sparks multiple lawsuits, a federal investigation, attempted murder and the largest bio-terrorism attack in U.S. history.
The Wolfpack (2015)
The Angulo brothers become minor movie stars out of this film. This is kind of ironic because before this, the six boys and their sister were confined to within the four walls of their small, New York City apartment where they acted out in costume the roles of movies like “The Dark Knight.”
The movie falls short on exploring what being held prisoner with their father as the warden did to the family psychologically, but the documentary is entertaining.
Like All the Moms?