10 Best Documentaries You Can Stream Today | TheReviewGeek Recommends

We all need a jolt of inspiration from time to time to shift our perspective. Luckily, some of the most powerful, thought-provoking stories are just a click away. You can dive into a whole new world of ideas right from your couch.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the most compelling, life-changing documentaries available to stream instantly. Whether you’re looking to reignite your sense of wonder about the world or gain insight into the human experience, these films are guaranteed to move and motivate you. So grab some popcorn, get comfy, and prepare to have your mind blown.

Best Documentaries

For the Love of Winning: Hoop Dreams

This 1994 documentary follows the lives of two African American high school students from inner-city Chicago over five years as they chase their dreams of becoming pro basketball players.

William Gates and Arthur Agee come from tough neighbourhoods where opportunities are scarce. But their talent and passion for basketball fuels the hope for a better future. We watch in anticipation as they navigate the recruiting process, hoping for that big break.

Best Documentaries

The Danger of Willful Ignorance: The Corporation

The Corporation is a chilling exposé of corporate power and influence. This documentary examines how corporations have become the dominant institutions of our time, gaining rights once limited to individuals and wielding them to maximize profits above all else.

Using case studies and interviews, the film reveals how corporations manipulate the legal system and sway public opinion to serve their bottom line. It shows the dangers of letting businesses regulate themselves and make decisions based solely on self-interest.

Best Documentaries

Greed Is Not Good: Inside Job

One of the most eye-opening documentaries you can watch today is Inside Job, the story of how the financial crisis of 2008 was fueled by corporate greed and lack of regulation.

Released in 2010, this Oscar-winning film provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial meltdown. Through in-depth interviews with politicians, journalists, and financial insiders, the film reveals how the crisis was entirely avoidable. It exposes the toxic culture of deregulation and greed that allowed banks to engage in wildly irresponsible behaviour.

Best Documentaries

Inconvenient Truths: An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore’s 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into the mainstream. This sobering film outlines the catastrophic effects of human-caused global warming if we fail to take action.

With a series of compelling charts, graphs, and graphics, Gore makes a persuasive case that our planet is undergoing a dangerous and potentially irreversible transformation due to the massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere. As the atmosphere warms, the film highlights consequences like rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, worsening wildfires, and the spread of diseases.

Best Documentaries

The Human Cost of Progress: Man on Wire

The 2008 documentary Man on Wire tells the story of Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Petit’s “coup” was an act of beauty that brought the towers to life and gave them a soul.

Director James Marsh masterfully recreates the events leading up to Petit’s historic walk. We see Petit assemble his team and plan the logistics in secret for years. Preparations included sneaking equipment into the towers, securing cables across the void, and evading security guards. The reenactments and old footage place you right in the middle of the action, making your pulse race with suspense.

Best Documentaries

Exposing the Truth: Blackfish

The 2013 documentary Blackfish exposed the cruel treatment of orcas at SeaWorld which led to sweeping changes. The film follows the story of Tilikum, an orca captured as a calf who was involved in three human deaths during his captivity.

Using interviews with former trainers and whale experts, Blackfish argues that keeping orcas in captivity and training them to perform leads to psychological trauma and aggression. The tanks are too small, family bonds are broken, and boredom and stress cause health issues. The attacks on humans were a result of this mistreatment, not because orcas are inherently dangerous.

Best Documentaries

A Broken Justice System: 13th

The documentary 13th explores the loopholes in the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery, except as punishment for a crime. The film argues that this exception has led to the mass incarceration of African Americans in the U.S. due to systemic racism in the justice system.

With archival footage and interviews with activists, politicians, and political commentators, director Ava DuVernay shows how African Americans have been unjustly criminalized. She examines how political rhetoric on being “tough on crime” and the War on Drugs led to harsher sentencing for minor drug offences and nonviolent crimes that disproportionately impacted the black community.

Best Documentaries

The Fight Against Industrial Agriculture: Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. is a seminal documentary from 2008 that investigates the highly mechanized industrial farming system that produces most of the food we eat. This eye-opening film explores the unintended consequences of factory farming and the corporate control of our food supply.

Using interviews with farmers, food safety advocates and industry whistleblowers, Food, Inc. reveals the environmental, health, and ethical costs of industrial agriculture. The film follows the supply chain of industrial food production and examines the impact that mass production of poultry, beef, and vegetables has on food safety, the environment, and public health.

Best Documentaries

Protecting the Planet: Racing Extinction

This 2015 documentary from Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos exposes the mass extinction of species and the dangerous practices that are accelerating it. The film follows undercover activists trying to document the illegal wildlife trade and the effects of ocean acidification.

Some of the most eye-opening parts show how many species are endangered or at risk of extinction from human activity like poaching, pollution and habitat destruction. The film argues that we must make big changes to protect biodiversity and ensure a livable planet for future generations.

The Deepest Breath (Documentary)

Underwater Risk-Taking: The Deepest Breath

The Netflix documentary gives the viewers a very raw and real picture of the courage and do-or-die attitude needed for the sport of Freediving. Directed by Laura McGann, the documentary centers on Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini who with the help of safety diver Stephen Keenan is risking her all to break a world record. 

The Deepest Breath subtly encapsulates the message that with gallantry comes the responsibility to be careful. Those who have always been fascinated by the blueness of the ocean will instantly fall in love with what the film has to show.

There we have it, our list of 10 best documentaries. What do you think about our picks, and what will you be watching next? Let us know in the comments below:

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