While the majority of teenagers binge on the endless shows on Netflix, I always find myself gravitating towards the documentary side of it. With documentaries ranging from campus rapes to murder investigations, there is something for everyone to watch. Here are the top five that everyone needs to see:

1. "The Hunting Ground"

This documentary goes beyond just addressing rapes on college campuses--it highlights how often colleges refuse to acknowledge the victim and defend the rapist. With heartbreaking statistics and inspiring movements led by the victims, "The Hunting Ground" is guaranteed to change your perspective on the rape culture present on college campuses.

The Weinstein Company

2."The Imposter"

Based on a real story, this film follows a family who is searching for their missing thirteen-year-old son. Eventually, they find their son--or at least they think they have. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll keep it at that, but everyone has to watch this documentary at least once. I’ve never been so creeped out in my whole life because of a documentary.

Film4 Productions


"Blackfish" centers around the abuse Orcas face under captivity. The documentary condemns how often people find entertainment in animal captivity at the expense of the animal’s pain. The film also explores how captivity influences the Orca’s behavior as it can be seen with Tilikum, an Orca who played a role in the death of three individuals. I haven’t been to Seaworld since watching this documentary, because it truly opened my eyes to the abuse the oppressed animals face for human entertainment.

CNN Films

4."Girl Rising"

After watching this documentary, I felt so empowered. The movie depicts nine girls from nine different countries as they overcome cultural obstacles to pursue their education. As a Pakistani-American girl, I related to several of the girls as they pushed aside what was expected by society to do what they loved: to learn. This is one of my favorite documentaries and is a must watch.

CNN Films

5. "Miss Representation"

This was one of the first documentaries I’ve watched and it truly changed me for the better. As a young female, it is so important to be cognizant of society and the obscure norms they place for women. The documentary explores the portrayal of women in mainstream media as well as in politics. "Miss Representation" includes several interviews from women and their experiences with the skewed image media portrays of them. Regardless of your gender, this documentary will leave you empowered and with a desire to bring change to the world.

Girls' Club Entertainment

While I only listed my personal favorite five, there are so many documentaries and films to fall in love with on Netflix. As cliche as this may sound, don’t judge a documentary by its title. Expand your knowledge by watching documentaries outside of your comfort zone; grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the beauty that is known as Netflix. 

Lead Image Credit: Netflix