Netflix And NOPE: The Most Disturbing Documentaries Netflix Has To Offer

If Netflix and Chill isn’t really your bag, how about you immerse yourself in some of Netflix’s most un-chill content, such as the following seven harrowing as all hell documentaries listed below?

From creepy imposters sliding their way into grieving families to wrongly convicted murderers and ill treated sea creatures, these Netflix epics are a bubbling cesspit of the mad shit this planet cooks up on the regs. Enjoy!

1. The Imposter

  • Release Year: 2013

It’s one of those tales you honestly have to see to believe, it’s that insane. In a nutshell, a Texan boy who disappeared aged 13 in 1994 reappears three years later as a 20-something French man, and the boy’s family buy it — despite the wealth of evidence clearly stating this guy is not their kid. There are some serious plot twists, creepy AF interviewees and will have you screaming at your screen from the get go.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
  • Awards: Shortlisted for an Academy Award and two BAFTA’s. Won the Filmmakers Award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Grand Jury’s Knight Documentary Competition at the Miami International Film Festival.

2. The Act of Killing

  • Release Year: 2013

This outstanding, unflinching documentary is so confrontational and nonconformist in its approach to the subject matter that it makes for seriously uncomfortable viewing. Focusing on the mass murder of communists carried out by the Indonesian army in 1965, the documentary gives actual death squad leaders the opportunity to reenact their murders in the style of their favorite movie genres: gangster, western and musical. As you might expect, the result is harrowing.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
  • Awards: Nominated for an Academy Award and won a BAFTA for Best Documentary.

3. Food, Inc

  • Release Year: 2009

Robert Kenner’s documentary is one so eye-opening and stomach churning you can’t help but be affected to the point of physical sickness. A disturbing exposé on the inner workings of the food industry and the terrifying veil drawn by America’s governing regulatory agencies. Not only will this one surprise you with shocking truths about the stuff you mindlessly shove down your throat, but it’ll make the future of the planet seem truly bleak.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
  • Awards: Nominated for an Academy Award and won two Emmy’s for Outstanding Informational Programming and Best Documentary.

4. Making a Murderer

  • Release Year: 2015

As Making a Murderer is told through a series format rather than feature length, it packs a brutal punch over 10 hour long episodes. A deep, harsh and totally engrossing critique of a flawed and corrupt judicial system, the narrative follows the conviction of Steve Avery — widely believed to be a miscarriage of justice — and how his family have struggled and fought to set him free. You’ll be screaming with outrage the whole way through.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
  • Awards: Won a Television Critics Award and recently nominated for three Emmy’s.

5. Blackfish

  • Release Year: 2013

Nothing short of devastating and utterly outrageous, this exposé into the treatment — or rather mistreatment — of orcas, or “killer whales,” existing in captivity is eye-opening and puts not only the ethics of certain entertainment parks into question but also our relationship to mammals as a whole. Filled with riveting interviews with trainers and experts plus a ton of never-before-seen footage, by the end of its 80 minutes not only will you be seething with anger but you’ll have a new found appreciation for these intelligent, majestic creatures.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
  • Awards: Nominated for a Best Documentary BAFTA.

6. The Thin Blue Line

Release Year: 1988

Similarly to Making A Murderer, this has been billed as the “the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder,” and follows the fascinating and controversial true story of the arrest and wrongful conviction of Randall Adams. Locked away in 1976 for the murder of a Dallas policeman, Adams was sentenced to death — the retelling of his experience was so disturbing and groundbreaking at the time that its format has been copied innumerable times since its release.

  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
  • Awards: Won a number of awards including New York Film Critics Circle Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.

7. Hot Girls Wanted

Release Year: 2015

This explicit Netflix documentary sheds a harrowing light on the inner workings of Florida’s amateur porn industry and the young women who end up trapped within it. Although the project has been scathed for its harsh critique of the porn industry without offering solutions on how to tackle the issues it spotlights, Hot Girls Wanted is nevertheless a sad look at how little control some of porn’s barely legal participants have over their own lives.

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
  • Awards: Nominated for one Primetime Emmy Award

What’s the most disturbing documentary you’ve ever seen?


Staff Writer at MP. Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona.