Life Lately

Documentaries You Need to Add to Your Netflix Queue

January 25, 2016

Not going to lie, I’ve been patting myself on the back for surviving my first blizzard in New England. Granted I didn’t leave my apartment the entire time it snowed, but still. Courtney: 1, Jonas: 0.

And you know what I did all weekend as the snow kept coming down? Watched Netflix, of course. I’ve just started getting into The X-Files and I’m surprised by how much I like it considering that paranormal stuff usually kind of freaks me out… Instead, when I’m not catching up with Law & Order: SVU or rewatching Gilmore Girls, my favorite genre on Netflix tends to be documentaries. So after giving it a lot of thought, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite documentaries that I think y’all will like as well!

180 Degrees South


One of my coworkers recommended this documentary to me after I’d off-handedly said that I really wanted to travel to Patagonia someday. The movie is absolutely gorgeous and made me want to jump in a boat and sail down towards Central and South America the next day. Rather than being an extreme sports movie, 180 Degrees South instead seems to hold instead a message of conservatism, that humans can live symbiotically with nature if we go back to our roots. Which, as I was an Environmental Studies minor in college, I feel is an incredibly important lesson.



I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Blackfish since it first premiered. I’ve been passionate about animals and animal rights for what feels like forever now, so when I went to Sea World way back in the day (8-10 years ago) on a school trip I remember thinking that something wasn’t right with the way they treated the whales and the rest of the animals. If you haven’t seen the documentary yet, I’d highly recommend watching it and finding out what you can do to stop SeaWorld (and other aquariums) from abusing the animals.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father


Disclaimer: I cried multiple times while watching this documentary. The story takes the form of a tribute and visual letter to a murdered man’s baby son, created as a way for the filmmaker to come to terms with the death of one of his closest friends and to show the son just how great of a man his father was. This is one of those documentaries that takes your breath away (please don’t read any spoilers before you watch it!) and I felt like I was almost a different person after finishing it.

Fed Up


I’m one of those people who just really likes watching food documentaries. I think that the documentary Supersize Me started the obsession for me and now I’m hooked (Jiro Dreams of Sushi is next on my queue!). Fed Up focuses on the problem of childhood obesity in America, which I personally believe is one of the more pressing health issues in our country today. With all of the fast food and sweets available, and most of which are cheaper than buying fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, it’s almost no surprise that this problem has become such an epidemic. Definitely worth a watch if you’re interested in modern culture and how we view our food!

Making a Murderer


This is one of the most infuriating documentary series I’ve ever seen, and I’m definitely not the only one who thinks so due to the storm of internet anger over whether or not Steven Avery killed Teresa Halbach. After being framed for a rape that he did not commit, Avery spent almost 20 years in jail until he acquitted of the crime by DNA evidence. Then, on the day that he was supposed to receive a settlement from the police department who wrongfully imprisoned him, Avery was arrested for killing a local woman and put on trial for the crime. The documentary follows the twists and turns of the trial and leaves the viewer asking themselves one question–Did Steven Avery commit the murder or did the Manitowoc County Police Department set him up because of a vendetta they have against him?

Do you guys have any Netflix documentaries that you’ve loved? Let me know so I can add them to my watch list!


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  • Blackfish = all the feels! I’d never been to Seaworld and I will never go. The idea of whales being stuck in those tiny tanks never sat well with me. Also loved Fed Up. I’ve pretty much watched all the food related documentaries and that one was one of my favorites.

    • Blackfish breaks my heart every time I see it. And now I do everything that I can to help the whales!

  • DJ

    Now I can’t wait until my next Netflix bing (sort of has a ring to it, huh?)

    DJ | Style & Personal Development

    • I’m always down for a Netflix binge!

  • Mary


    We’ve been homebound for the past 2 days as well and been watching a lot of TV! Thanks for your list of documentaries. I’m going to check them out. A few weeks ago, I started watching the making of a murderer one and had to stop as it was just too disturbing for me! Your other recs look amazing though!

    Love, Mary

    • The premise behind Making a Murderer is definitely a scary one, especially since it actually happened! The other documentaries definitely aren’t as disturbing though!

  • WhatWouldVWear

    Those shows sound great but believe it or not: I don’ watch TV at all. I am more of a book nerd but I do appreciated the list of documentaries you have listed here! 🙂

    Happy Monday, love!

    xoxo, Vanessa

    • I would have so much more free time if I didn’t watch so much Netflix!! I’m a huge book nerd too and that’s another one of my favorite ways to decompress after work!

  • Oh I love food documentaries. I need to watch Fed Up. Thanks for sharing!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Food documentaries are the best!

  • Adding these to my watching list, thanks for sharing! With the weather going the way it is, I’ll probably get through these quickly.

    • I’ve been killing my Netflix queue lately with all of the snow we’ve been getting! I guess that this is like the human-version of hibernation haha

  • Danielle

    Good ones. Want to watch Fed Up for sure! And the rest of them as well! Thanks for letting us know about these! Happy Monday!


    • Fed Up is such a fascinating watch! I took a few nutrition classes in high school but I didn’t know much about the politics of how the food industry worked before watching this documentary!

  • Christine

    This is such a good list! I loved Making a Murderer but I’m still not sure if he’s innocent or guilty!

    • Me neither!! My opinion was that whether he committed the crime or not, the evidence was completely circumstantial and that he shouldn’t have been found guilty though.

  • I have definitely seen a few of these, but I would like to check out some of them! I love documentaries and it is so great to find another blogger who shares my obsession!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

    • Documentaries are the best! I love to expand my horizons and knowledge about everything from travel to politics, and documentaries are the perfect way to start doing that!

  • Netflix documentaries are my absolute favorite! I will def be checking some of these out. My most recent favorite is Twinsters – which is about twins separated at birth who find each other later in life.


    • I’ve never heard of that one but I’ll definitely check it out!! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • I am such an avid Netflix watcher! I should add these to my watch list!!

    The Style Scribe

    • I definitely get a little crazy when it comes to Netflix! I crush tv like nobody’s business when I don’t have anything to do!

  • Making a murderer was completed in just a few days for me! haha. so crazy!!! It’s like I’m waiting for an update on his case or something….LOL

    • Me too! And I would have finished it quicker too if I hadn’t had to go to work!

  • Public Lives, Secret Recipes

    Such a good roundup!! Thanks for sharing! xo

  • Kasie Chelanne

    Awesome roundup I haven’t heard of several of these and am excited to check them out!

    • I always love finding new documentaries on Netflix to watch! There are so many interesting ones to choose from!

  • Been hearing a lot about Making a Murderer. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    • Making a Murderer is amazing!! I’m really into true crime and so I binge watched it like nobody’s business!

  • Trang Do

    Thanks for sharing these!! It sounds interesting!

    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • I’m a big lover of documentaries and I feel like I’m always trying to get my friends to watch them too!

  • OMG! I and my family love watching documentaries and this post was just perfect! Thanks for sharing it xx
    ps. I literally noted all these shows on my note 🙂

    • I’m glad that you liked my suggestions!! Documentaries are some of my favorite movies to watch on Netflix!

  • My boyfriend and I recently Making a Murderer and we finished the entire series in about 4 days because it was just so addictive but I have to agree, also completely infuriating!

    I’m going to have to check out some of these other documentary series too.


    • Making a Murderer is basically all that my mom and I talk about these days!! And I definitely recommend checking out the rest of these documentaries too!

  • WhatWouldVWear

    I hope you’re staying warm on the East Coast. Great documentaries picks too! I’ve seen Blackfish and loved it. I am an animal lover myself and spreading awareness to animal rights is so important.

    xoxo, Vanessa

    • Blackfish is such an important documentary and I feel like it’s made such an impact on animal rights since it was released!! And thanks, we didn’t actually get hit too badly with snow where I live (only about 3-4 inches) luckily!

  • Cute Idea!! I love Blackfish but I haven’t seen the others! I will have to check them out!

    xo Lauren

    • Definitely! I love watching documentaries because they make me feel smarter than I actually am haha

  • documentaries are my fav! I need to try these!

    • Me too!! I’m always looking for new ones to watch on Netflix!

  • Aditi Oberoi Malhotra

    Some great recommendations! Thanks for sharing!!

    Adi xx

    • Thank you!! I always love sharing my favorite shows/movies on Netflix because it’s such a big part of my life haha

  • Making of a Murderer has been creating big waves in the UK too, thanks for the other recommendations as they sound really interesting

    • I probably got a little too into Making a Murderer and did a lot of research after I finished the series!

  • Thanks for these recommendations. This upcoming weekend is going to be devoted only to watching movies…that’s just what me and my partner decided. Can’t wait! 🙂
    Best regards from Italy,

    • I’m pretty sure that my boyfriend and I spend an embarrassing amount of Netflix when we’re together! It’s such a good bonding experience though, especially because I make him watch all of my favorite shows haha

  • Tiffany Griffin

    Omg, I’m obsessed with the series making of a murderer also!

    • Making a Murderer is amazing!! I totally bing watched it and then did a ton of research about the story afterwards!

  • I’ve heard so many things about Making a Murderer – I’m totally going to check it out. Especially because I love mystery/murder/prison doc types.
    I’m also going to watch Dear Zachary now – it looks fantastic!

    • Making a Murderer is such a great watch! Dear Zachary is amazing as well, but definitely a tear jerker!

  • The Sunday Mode

    I’m really glad I watched Making A Murderer, though you’re right it did completely infuriate me! I know the filmmakers apparently left a few important facts out of the doco though so now I’m so conflicted as to whether or not I think Steven did it…

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