100 Must-See Documentaries Streaming on Netflix This November


Netflix continues to add a lot of great new docs of their own to their streaming service, and that combined with the return of a number of favorites plus a grouping of World War II classics adds up to a whopping 24 additions to the Netflix 100 this month. As promised, it all begins with a new Werner Herzog film, Into the Inferno, which is kind of a sequel to Encounters at the End of the World, which is available again.

Other Netflix originals we think are worth checking out include the concert film Justin Timberlake + Tennesee Kids (see our ★★★★★ review) and The Ivory Game (available November 4th). Then there are the other new films, including shorts Extremis and The White Helmets, both of which were just shortlisted for the Oscar, and features Trapped, The Witness, Hooligan Sparrow (see our write-up here) and Presenting Princess Shaw, all Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominees, the last one my favorite music doc of the year.

Also The Chinese Mayor (see our ★★★★ review) and Pervert Park (see our ★★★★ review) are recent releases new to Netflix, while Jesus Camp, Beware of Mr. Baker, Best of Enemies and Evolution of a Criminal, the latter two briefly expired a month ago, are back. Under the Sun is another CCDA nominee that is coming, available on November 11, and the WWII docs The Battle of Midway, San Pietro, How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines, Report From the Aleutians, Tunisian Victory, Thunderbolt, Prelude to War and The Battle of Russia, the last two installments of the Why We Fight series, will be available on November 18.

Of course, all these new additions mean a lot to let go. Some are actually expired, namely Actress, The Whale, In the Shadow of the Moon and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (which should have been gone last month because it’s a miniseries). The rest are reluctantly by choice, and among them are a few Herzogs because he’s taking up too much room: Into the Abyss, Little Dieter Needs to Fly and Happy People: A Year in the Taiga.

The others removed, hopefully only temporarily: Sembene!, Seymour: An Introduction, Dior and I, Iris, Mala Mala, My Prairie Home, Print the Legend, Point and Shoot, The Last Man on the Moon, Our Last Tango, Western, Cartel Land, Young @ Heart, Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, Blackfish, How to Change the World, Batkid Begins and Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru.

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 (Into the Inferno is sort of a sequel to Encounters at the End of the World and The Look of Silence is sort of a sequel to The Act of Killing, for two example sets).

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.