13 Best Documentaries on Amazon Prime

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Documentaries live to entertain, shock, and educate their audiences, and thankfully there are plenty to choose from on Amazon Prime. From a poignant look at a social experiment gone wrong in One Child Nation, to the shocking reality of what goes into your food in That Sugar Film, look no further. 

Below, you’ll find the 13 best documentaries that you can stream now on Amazon Prime.

  1. One Child Nation
  2. All In: Fight For Democracy
  3. Janis: Little Blue Girl
  4. The Witness
  5. The Imposter
  6. Unseen
  7. That Sugar Film
  8. Finders Keepers
  9. Chasing Happiness
  10. A Year On Ice
  11. Generation Wealth
  12. Hale County This Morning This Afternoon
  13. A Most Beautiful Thing

1. One Child Nation (2019) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
7.5/1098%

Filmmaker and mother Nanfu Wang explores China’s one-child policy in this stunning and heartbreaking documentary. Wang uncovers many of the untold stories and secrets that lay behind China’s most controversial social experiment. 

Generations of families have been forever affected by this now nullified policy, and this documentary elegantly tells this story. This is an essential watch that you don’t want to miss out on. 

2. All In: The Fight For Democracy (2020) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
6.5/10100%

This documentary explores the history of voter suppression and how some Americans are still dealing with it today. This film also follows the activism seen by people such as Stacey Abrams, who is working to ensure everyone’s voices are heard and every vote is counted. 

This illuminating documentary is a fun watch, but it will also inspire and educate its audience on what’s happening in certain parts of the U.S that prevent many from voting. 

3. Janis: Little Blue Girl (2015) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
7.4/1094%

If you’re a Janis Joplin fan, you won’t want to miss out on this incredible documentary about her rise to fame. Packed with archival interviews and home footage, it illuminates the young woman that climbed her way to stardom in the 1960s.

If you’re looking for a genuine and honest portrait of one of the most successful and talented women in rock n’ roll history, look no further than this documentary about the rise and fall of Janis Joplin. 

4. The Witness (2015) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
7/1090%

This true-crime documentary explores the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese and the alleged 38 witnesses who did nothing to help. This investigation is led by Kitty’s brother, Bill, who was only sixteen years old at the time of his sister’s murder. 

This chilling documentary not only explores more about Kitty’s life and what happened to her, but it takes a look at society as a whole, which may not always be empathetic as we’d like to hope. This film explores whether the events surrounding the murder were reported accurately and what the findings mean for us as a society. It’s a heartbreaking must-see and if you’re a fan of true crime and detective stories, you’ll want to add this to your watchlist right away. 

5. The Imposter (2012) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else To Watch 
7.5/1095%Kanopy (subscription), Shout Factory TV (subscription) 

This documentary chronicles the claims made by a con artist from Spain. This man insists that he’s the missing son of a grieving family in Texas, and he’s somehow able to pull it off. While the family is first overjoyed to have the person they believe to be their son back home, nothing is what it seems.

Filmmaker Bart Layton is able to carefully construct this unbelievable story into a movie that will leave audiences with their jaws on the floor. If you love true crime and mystery, this is another excellent film you’ll want to check off your list.

6. Unseen (2016)  

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else To Watch
6.9/1075%Peacock, Vudu 

In 2009, eleven bodies were found by Cleveland police in the home of a known sex offender. This documentary touches on many different themes, mainly discussing how and why these women’s disappearances went unnoticed for so long and how the police failed to protect their community.

This gut-wrenching film also explores how factors such as race, class, mental health issues, and addiction can lead to a lethal combination of violence and indifference. While it’s a hard watch, it’s a film that will definitely move you and make you think. 

7. That Sugar Film (2014) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Where Else To Watch 
7.5/10 68% Kanopy (subscription), Vudu, Hoopla 

That Sugar Film explores supposedly healthy foods and the alarming amounts of sugar you may find inside. This unique documentary thoroughly documents the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body and what everyone should know before they go to the grocery store. 

This humorous and informative film will be sure to educate you while also keeping you entertained. If you’re interested in health-conscious documentaries, make sure to add this one-of-a-kind film to your watchlist today. 

8. Finders Keepers (2015) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else To Watch 
6.8/1098% Plex

Believe it or not, this stranger than fiction story is just as real as it is hilarious. When entrepreneur Shannon Whistnant buys a grill at an auction, he’s shocked to discover there’s a mummified human foot inside. 

Once the story gets out there, the man whose foot it is contacts Whistnant, simply asking for his foot back. From there, this crazy small-town feud becomes the center of a media circus that is equal parts humorous and tragic.

9. Chasing Happiness (2019) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
7.8/10 No rating 

Before the Jonas Brothers began chasing happiness, the band broke up, leading them all down very different paths as brothers and musicians. In this behind-the-scenes film, we watch Nick, Kevin, and Joe reunite and create their first album in six years. 

If you want to see and hear the Jonas Brothers like never before, this honest and vulnerable documentary is perfect for you. 

10. Antarctica: A Year On Ice (2013) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else To Watch 
7.6/10 87%Hoopla, Kanopy (subscription)

A Year On Ice explores what it’s like to work and live in Antarctica, home to some of the harshest conditions imaginable. This film is unique because it’s not told from a scientist’s perspective, but the people who work and survive there day in and day out.

Filmed over a 15 year period, this extraordinary documentary is a must-see if you love stunning visuals and raw storytelling. 

11. Generation Wealth (2018) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
6.7/10 46% 

Generation Wealth serves as a mirror to our image-obsessed culture, as well as our obsession with the wealthiest people on the planet. Packed with raw and honest interviews, it will leave you with a whole new perspective on fame and money.  

While the lifestyles of the rich and famous may seem easy on the surface, this film explores many of the consequences that can happen at the hands of greed and capitalism. 

12. Hale County This Morning, This Evening 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating 
6.4/10 97% 

This intimate documentary takes a look at the residence of Hale County, Alabama. The small and precious moments captured gives audiences a poetic and unique glance at the black community in this area. 

Not only is this documentary visually stunning, but the real and raw stories and humans you met along the way make this film a must-see.  

13. What Haunts Us (2018) 

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else To Watch 
7.1/10100%Kanopy (subscription), Tubi 

Filmmaker Paige Goldberg Tolmach explores the dark history behind their beloved high school and the dark events that took place there. While speaking with former peers and staff members, Tolmach is able to uncover the truth behind a sexually abusive faculty member and how that continues to affect the students decades later. 

While it’s another hard watch, it’s a powerful documentary that gives survivors the chance to share their stories and shines a light onto the many suicides that have occurred due to the abuse.