We all love a juicy documentary, and with Netflix bashing out great ones regularly now, you may feel like you know exactly where to look to find the best shocking documentaries. But we’ve got news for you, there are more. Here are 15 of the best shocking documentaries to stream online, and exactly where to find them.
1. Murder Among The Mormons
An American true crime documentary, this docuseries follows Mark Hofmann. Joe Berlinger helped create this series which follows Hofmann’s infamous forgeries related to the Latter Day Saints. The series is 3 episodes long, and has a solid critical reception on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.
2. Leaving Neverland
This infamous Michael Jackson documentary focuses on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that they were sexually abused as children by the late singer Michael Jackson. Directed by Dan Reed in alignment with Channel 4 and HBO, the film released in 2019 and won multiple awards.
This heartbreaking documentary follows the life and death of Amy Winehouse. It was directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, in association with Film4. It discusses Winehouse’s life and her struggle with substance abuse both before and after her career blossomed.
4. A Life on Our Planet
David Attenborough, the nation’s Grandpa, worked on this documentary which acts as his “witness statement”. In which, he shares his concern for the current state of the planet and discusses not only our impact on the planet but what the world could look like if we fixed our systems.
5. The Ripper
The British true-crime docuseries directed by Jesse Vile and Ellena Wood. It is a four-part miniseries that recounts the events of the investigation of the Yorkshire Ripper between 1975 and 1980. The story is told through interviews with investigators, survivors, family members and journalists.
6. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Following the shocking life and behaviours of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, this Netflix miniseries is based on a book of the same name. It features interviews with several survivors of Epstein’s exploits, as well as staff members and a former police chief.
7. American Murder: The Family Next Door
Another true crime documentary, this film is directed by Jenny Popplewell. It tells the bizarre story of the 2018 Watts family murders which took place in Frederick, Colorado. The story is told through social media posts, text messages, home video footage and even law enforcement footage to show how the events unfurled.
8. Mothers on The Edge
In this 2019 documentary, Louis Theroux visits psychiatric units which treat mothers with extreme and serious mental illnesses, whilst allowing them to live alongside their children. The heartwrenching show sees Louis meet these mothers, and talk with them about their struggles.
9. The Wolfpack
This documentary is about a family who homeschooled and raised their seven children in their apartment in New York. It was directed by Crystal Moselle and won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
10. Crip Camp
This 2020 documentary is written, directed and co-produced by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht. It is also linked to both Michelle and Barack Obama. The film is about Camp Jened, a summer camp in 1971 for “loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities”. It focuses on the campers who turned into activists for the disability rights movements.
11. Murder to Mercy
This court-based documentary follows the case of Cyntoia Brown, who was 16 years old when she shot and killed a man, and was subsequently arrested for the crime. The film follows the appeals of her case, the details of the murder and Cyntoia’s experience.
Blackfish follows the story of Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld. It follows the controversy surrounding captive killer whales. It premiered in 2013, and has been ruthlessly breaking hearts ever since.
13. Don’t F**k With Cats
This bizarre, true crime docuseries shows the viewers an online manhunt. It is directed by Mark Lewis and was released in late 2019. The series shows an amateur investigation into animal cruelty that developed into a shocking story.
14. Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia
Fear City: New York vs The Mafia is a gripping docuseries about New York’s five families. It follows the FBI investigating the implementation of wiretaps and how they helped in combatting New York’s mafia problems.
15. Life and Death Row
This BBC documentary series tells the story of capital punishment, but through the eyes of the young people whose lives are shaped by it. It looks at the young victims of death row, and the cases they’ve fought to try and save themselves.