100 Must-See Documentaries Streaming on Netflix This July

(T)error (Tribeca Film Festival)

While not as terrible a loss as we had last month, July brings five significant departures from our list of recommended documentaries on Netflix. Actually, there are more films associated with two of them that are additionally disappearing, which is additionally disappointing.

One of those two is Ken Burns’s The Civil War, and most of his catalog has gone with it (coincidentally, SundanceNow’s Doc Club has a new spotlight on Burns, but his classic miniseries are not included). The one remaining, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, is very good, and I have added that to the list as a substitute.

The other is Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, and his The Trials of Henry Kissinger (which hadn’t been on the Netflix 100 list) is also now gone from the streaming service. Also now expired are Dawn Porter’s public defender doc Gideon’s Army and the abortion doc After Tiller.

Then there’s Maidentrip, which expires on July 8th. See while you can before then! A week after it leaves, the latest from Joe Berlinger, the self-help retreat “concert film” Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, debuts on Netflix as one of their original releases. I highlighted it as one to look out for in my FSR report from Full Frame.

The other three additions this month are (T)error, which is one of our favorites of 2016 (see our review) and brand new to Netflix, Al Pacino’s Shakespeare- and acting-focused Looking for Richard, which I hadn’t noticed began streaming a few months ago, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, which is back on Netflix following Ali’s death.

Also recommended this month, but not as part of the list since it’s not legit nonfiction: Real Life, Albert Brooks’s 1979 documentary spoof that was way ahead of its time. Check it out if you finish all 100 docs below.

Now a reminder of how the Netflix 100 titles are numerically arranged:

They are mostly ranked in order of my favor with some objective authority, but there are some clumps throughout the list that obviously fit together. Some are by director, some are by genre or subject matter and some are by series. In fact, I see this whole list as being best watched in order of the rankings.

There are a few double features in the bunch (Super Size Me and Super High Me and GasLand and FrackNation, for two example sets) and some groupings where I truly think the higher ranking title is best watched before a certain title or titles below it.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.