10 Enthralling Documentaries On Netflix For When You Want To Learn Something

by Lauren Schumacker

Choosing what to watch on Netflix is arguably rarely a quick and easy process. But sometimes, rather than watching reruns of your favorite show or a movie you've seen one hundred times, you might be in the mood for something different. You might even want to learn something. Luckily, one of your favorite streaming services has you covered. There are tons of enthralling documentaries on Netflix for when you want to learn something, no matter how much time you're willing and able to put in to the process. Just looking for something that'll be over in an hour and half or so? Netflix has that. More interested in a documentary series that'll dive deep into a subject or cover a wider breadth of stories? Netflix has that too.

As streaming services get seemingly more and more popular with viewers, they also seem to acquire (or develop) better scripted shows, movies, and documentaries. Documentaries and documentary series can teach you a lot and they can be just as fascinating, if not more so, than their counterparts. If you're looking for something that will tell you a story and keep you interested until the very end, these documentaries that you can find on Netflix will certainly do the trick.




This short documentary (it's only 11 minutes long) tells the story of Zion Clark, a young man born without legs who was given up for adoption, lived in a number of foster homes, and later worked to become a competitive wrestler.


All The Queen's Horses


Rita Crundwell worked for the town of Dixon, Illinois, becoming a successful horse breeder all while embezzling town funds to pay for her luxurious lifestyle.


The Short Game


You've heard of the PGA Tour and of the Masters, but did you know that every year kids compete in the golf world championship? This Netflix documentary tells the story of the seven-year-old golfers from around the world who descend upon a golf course in North Carolina each year to see who's the best of the best.


One More Shot


This documentary tells the story of one couple's journey navigating infertility and all the emotions that can come with it. The couple, Maya and Noah, also directed and produced the movie, with the help of a team, including a long-time friend of theirs.


Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown


Chef, food writer, and so much more, Anthony Bourdain, who passed away this summer, took viewers around the world on his show, Parts Unknown, diving into the food, culture, economy, political climate, and more, of places ranging from Myanmar and Peru, to Los Angeles's Koreatown, Massachusetts, Iran, and beyond. Bourdain's final episodes will air on CNN in the fall.


Blue Planet: A Natural History Of The Oceans


If you've ever wondered about the world's oceans, this documentary series, narrated by David Attenborough, will take you on an exploration of the animals, plants, and more that lie under the sea.




This Academy Award-nominated documentary directed by award-winning director Ava DuVernay tells the story of the growth of the United States prison system and its connection to the country's long-standing racial discrimination, prejudice, and inequality.


Marching Orders


When your college marching band is one of the best in the country, becoming — and staying — a member is a whole lot of work. This documentary series tells the story of these talented musicians and athletes striving to help their band live up to its golden reputation.




This documentary series, a collaboration between Netflix and Vox, attempts to give viewers an overview on topics that many might not know much about. From K-pop to cryptocurrency and beyond, if you're looking for an explanation about some of the topics you may have heard about before, this series will provide it. New episodes get added regularly, so there's always something new to check out.


The Toys That Made Us


Have you ever wondered about the backstory regarding Legos, Barbie, or Hello Kitty? Then this show, all about the toys and toy companies with which you grew up, is the show for you. You might get a bit nostalgic, but what's wrong with that, right?

Documentaries can give you more information about topics than you would have otherwise had, but no documentary can teach you everything there is to know on a subject. Still, watching a documentary just might inspire you to go searching for more.