Top Documentaries to Watch on Netflix Right Now

Laura Graham


Documentaries are often windows into the lives of others, offering an intimate glimpse into the stories that shape individuals. On Netflix, a treasure trove of documentaries covers various topics, from the riveting world of sports to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. Below is a curated a list of some of the best documentaries on Netflix, all featuring famous people whose journeys have left an indelible mark on the cultural mainstream.


Sly: A Cinematic Journey with Sylvester Stallone

Sly, directed by Thom Zimny, catapults viewers into the remarkable 50-plus-year career of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone. Released in November 2023, and premiering at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, this documentary explores Stallone's humble beginnings in New York. With a stellar cast of appearances, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Quentin Tarantino, Henry Winkler, and Talia Shire, Sly is a cinematic treat for fans of Stallone's classic films like Rocky and Rambo.



The Deepest Breath: Plunging into Freediving's Depths

The Deepest Breath, released in July 2023, dives deep into freediving, an extreme water sport that demands physical prowess and mental fortitude. Directed by Laura McGann, the documentary centers on Italian competitor Alessia Zecchini and safety diver Stephen Keenan unraveling the risks and rewards of this unsafe dangerous sport. This film takes viewers on an adventure beneath the ocean's surface, exploring the challenges and triumphs of those who push the boundaries of human capability.


Saint of Second Chances: A Baseball Legacy Unveiled

Baseball enthusiasts and documentary lovers will appreciate Saint of Second Chances, directed by Jeff Malmberg and Morgan Neville. Released in September 2023, this documentary delves into the Veeck family's legacy in professional baseball. With a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film scrutinizes the tumultuous relationship between Bill Veeck and his son Mike, examining the impact of familial dynamics on a storied baseball dynasty.



Becoming: Michelle Obama's Unfiltered Journey

Inspired by Michelle Obama's 2018 memoir Becoming, this is a powerful documentary directed by Nadia Hallgren. Released in May 2020, the film provides an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the former First Lady's book tour. Accompanied by moments with the Obama family and conversations with luminaries like Oprah Winfrey and Conan O'Brien, Becoming is a moving exploration of Michelle Obama's journey as an author and activist.


Pamela: A Love Story - Unfiltered Realities of an Icon

Directed by Ryan White, Pamela: A Love Story is a raw exploration of actress and cultural icon Pamela Anderson. Released in January 2023, the documentary utilizes personal diaries, home videos, and interviews to provide an unfiltered glimpse into Anderson's life. This film is a testament to her resilience in navigating fame, trauma, and tabloid scandals.



Sr.: A Son's Tribute to a Filmmaking Pioneer

Sr., directed by Chris Smith, is a poignant homage to the late filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. Produced by his son Robert Downey Jr., the documentary, released in December 2022, explores the unencumbered career of the progressive director. Through interviews with friends and colleagues, including Alan Arkin and Norman Lear, Sr. pays tribute to the visionary who shaped the comedic counterculture of the 1960s and 70s.


Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story - Breaking Barriers in Skateboarding

Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story, directed by Nicola Marsh and Giovanni Reda, is an unexpected journey into professional skateboarding. Released in August 2022, the documentary follows Leo Baker's ascent to the elite skateboarding ranks, exploring the sport's competitive nature and the inclusive space they've built for the LGBTQ+ community.



White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch - A Cultural Rollercoaster

Directed by Alison Klayman, White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch is a prolific documentary released in April 2022. This fast-paced exploration dissects the cultural phenomenon of the iconic brand, examining the decisions that propelled it to the heights of popularity before its eventual downfall. The documentary carefully examines a brand that shaped the fashion landscape of the late '90s and early 2000s.


The Sparks Brothers: Rediscovering a Musical Duo

Directed by Edgar Wright, The Sparks Brothers is a riveting documentary released in June 2021. The film sheds light on the pop-rock duo Ron and Russell Mael, known as Sparks, whose impact on music spans 50 years and 25 albums. Unlike traditional music documentaries, The Sparks Brothers focuses solely on the duo's musical journey, offering viewers an immersive experience of the world of Sparks.



Author Bio:

Laura Graham is a freelance writer who writes about film and entertainment.


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