15 Best Documentaries on Hulu Right Now

January 4, 2019
12 min read

We are living in the golden age of documentaries. With the advent of digital technologies, even an iPhone can be used to shoot and make films. That has made the life of documentarians around the globe a lot easy. Though, that is just the technical aspect of movie-making. The more important aspect, storytelling, has also seen its scope and reach increase with every passing year. Now, documentarians don’t want to just tell stories of their locality or country; they are travelling to remotest corner of the earth in search of meaningful stories. What has also hugely worked in their favor is that they are now becoming more and more commercially viable. Historically, documentaries have never made money at the box office (except Michael Moore films). That’s why, when you look back 10 or 20 years ago, the number of documentaries produced were significantly less than they are now.  But with the emergence of online streaming services, nowadays, documentaries have found a new breathing ground. Netflix, of course, is leading the way, but Hulu is not far behind.

Today, we are going to list down the top documentaries movies on Hulu that you can watch right now. This list consists of all kinds of documentary films: from true crime documentaries to biographical documentaries. I would suggest not to miss any of these really good documentaries on Hulu. All of them are worth your time.

15. Becoming Bond (2017)

Most men have wondered how their life would be if they were James Bond. Other than the dangerous stuff, the fact that Bond is a womanizer and gets on with some of the most beautiful women is a fantasy most men wanna live. What would you do if you were offered a role for the film? Run and grab the opportunity, right? But George Lazenby was different and after doing one film, he said goodbye to fame and money turning down contracts of all seven films to follow. The documentary beautifully showcases how George, a poor Australian car mechanic, with sheer hard work and struggle, landed a role of one of the most masculine and suave characters in the movie industry and then left it all to pursue a normal life in his own country.

14. Tabloid (2010)

I liked this documentary because I had never heard of such a thing before. The direction is great letting you to actually experience the story. The film I think is a harsh reminder of how sex scandals affect the general public. How it becomes a topic of gossip. Anyway, coming to the documentary, it is about Joyce McKinney an American woman who raped a young Mormon Missionary by the name of Kirk Anderson. The incident quickly became known as Mormon sex in chains case and a popular Tabloid story in the U.K. The film is narrated by Joyce herself and is supplemented with various other interviews from key figures involved.

13. Too Funny to Fail (2017)

I wanted to see this documentary because I was curious as to what happened to ‘The Dana Carvey Show’ and why it was canceled. My curiosity arose when I heard Louis C.K. who was a writer on the show, talk about the show on Jimmy Falon. That was the first time I heard of it. Upon searching for the show I read somewhere that it was canceled very soon. My interest increased when I saw the cast. Somehow through Googling and searching, I ended up watching this documentary which satisfied my curiosity. The documentary delves into the development of the show and how some of the best minds in comedy gathered to make a hit show but ended up making a flop. Give it a watch, you will learn a lot.

12. Peace Officer (2015)

This was another documentary which gave me a different perspective on how things actually were and how I thought they were, based on what I usually saw. It is a revelation on how SWAT teams on the U.S.A were conceived and what was their actual aim. The story of how the idea of this documentary came into the mind of Scott Christopherson is kinda interesting too. He met William ‘Dub’ Lawrence a retd. Police Officer in a baseball game and was invited to his hangar where he conducted private investigations into police killings. William is the central figure in this documentary. He was motivated to begin his investigations when a SWAT team that he had founded ended up killing his son-in-law. The documentary is really something.

Read More: Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix

11. The Cage Fighter (2017)

This is a sports documentary of sorts. After you hear the story of Joe Carman you can’t help but wonder if he is a real-life Rocky Balboa with much higher risk since even if he wins the prize way to minimal in terms of money and fame. Joe Carman is a blue-collar worker who works in a boiler room in Seattle. He has been cage fighting since the age of 24. At night, or whenever he gets the time he trains himself as much as he can much to the dismay and disapproval of his family members. Why, you ask? Well, Joe is now 40 and most of his opponents are much younger than him. Any fatal injury may cause him permanent damage. The documentary delves into the life of Joe as he keeps on training unable to stop fighting which he says is the only time he is proud.

Read More: Best Documentaries on Netflix

10. Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014)

In ‘Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story’ we come face to face with Kristin, a transgender woman who earlier used to be Christopher Beck, a former U.S Navy Seal. She had devoted her life to serving her country by being on the Seal Team 1 and Seal Team 6 for 20 years. Thereafter she also worked for the United States Government and the Pentagon. Throughout her career, Kristin hid her true identity fearing that she might lose her job if she were to do so. But one and a half year after retirement Kristin decided to come out. She did so through LinkedIn and soon after appeared on Anderson Cooper 360. Many people did support her while others didn’t. Her closest relatives were completely shocked. This documentary showcases how Kristin struggled through her life hiding her identity and still struggles after coming out.

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9. Freakonomics (2010)

I love watching documentaries cause they can teach you a lot without delving themselves into fictitious story-telling. ‘Freakonomics’ is something one should watch if they are interested in learning more about human behavior and how the human mind works. The film shows how people react to certain situations and how changing certain parameters can bring about a noticeable difference in the result. The subjects that we get to see are how much effect does a person’s name have on their success. Why is their cheating in the world of Sumo wrestling? What reduced the crime rate in America from the 1990s onwards? And how incentives in form of cash can help struggling students better themselves in academics?

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8. Hungry for Change (2012)

If you want to change your lifestyle a little especially in the food department then do give this documentary a watch. It will open your eyes to many things that you didn’t know, not because you are lazy or ignorant but because you were not let to know and were rather deceived by the companies. The documentary is quite harsh on processed food products and artificial ingredients like artificial sweeteners etc. It also offers advice on how to change one’s mentality about food products and not to feel constantly guilty about their body which forces them to feel like they need to lose weight. This can cause stress which is bad for health. But if you are a meat lover this documentary might make you annoyed since there is an underlying message of boycotting meat.

Read More: Best Original Shows on Netflix

7. Cropsey (2009)

Well, this is one chilling documentary. The fact that urban legends can turn out be real is what got me. The film is directed by Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio. During their childhood, Joshua and Barbara along with their friends have often heard a scary urban legend being told to them by their parents. The urban legend is that of Cropsey who supposedly was a mental patient who ran away from the mental institution. He comes out at night and snatches children off the street. Cropsey sometimes sports a hook for a hand while at other times is seen with a bloody ax. It was told to children so that they would not wander near the abandoned buildings of Willowbrook Mental Institution. But then a 13-year-old child goes missing and the urban legend starts to sound real. Years later Joshua and Barbara investigate the urban legend and make chilling discoveries.

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6. Grizzly man (2005)

Even if you have not watched this documentary I am sure you have heard about the Grizzly bear activist named Timothy Treadwell who devoted his life to studying this endangered animals as well as trying to protect them. But he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard met their demise after a rogue bear attacked and killed them in Alaska. This documentary has been directed by Wener Herzog who got access to hundreds of hours of video footage shot by Timothy himself during his visits to Alaska and living with this dangerous animals. Timothy loved Grizzly’s and found solace in living with them. The documentary shows his time in Alaska, how he lived and finally his death when he and his girlfriend were attacked and eaten by a bear.

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5. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

This documentary is a nice little reminder of how biased and ignorant our society used to be and how religion and politics can be used to hurt a certain group of people. AIDS still is an incurable disease but at least people are much aware of it and preventions are taken so that people must not get this disease. The case was not so during the early years when this disease was considered a death sentence and it was thought that only the people in the LGBT communities are affected by it and they deserved to be. Activist groups like ACT UP and TAG worked hard to increase political awareness and get a fruitful response for this deadly disease. They faced a lot of problem including religious trouble and political indifference. But their hard work and determination has made AIDS a manageable situation, also forwarding the rights of the LGBT community.

Read More: Best Netflix Original Movies

4. LA 92 (2017)

I did know a bit about the 1992 Los Angeles Riots but never had any in-depth idea about the incident. This is another documentary which shows the society a mirror so that it can reflect on itself. It shows what we were as a society and makes us question whether we have changed for better or not. The documentary consists entirely of archival footage which showcases the riots, lootings, and other public disturbances that happened in 1992. This upheaval was the result of acquittal of four police officers who were involved in the violent beating of a black motorist by the name of Rodney King. The video footages also include1965 Watts Riots, the election of Tom Bradley, the shooting of Latasha Harlins and many other footages.

Read More: Best Short Films on Netflix

3. Jane (2017)

Who doesn’t know Jane Goodall? If you are an animal lover and regularly watch National Geographic and Animal Planet then I am sure you have at least heard of her. She is the one responsible for doing groundbreaking work relating to chimps. The film starts with Jane being just 26 and approached by scientist Dr. Leakey to mingle with a community of chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania. Jane didn’t have any degree or experience. This why Leakey chose her since he wanted someone who has an open mind and doesn’t have any preconceived notion. Jane knowing that this is once in a lifetime opportunity agrees and begins her research work. After seeing the old  Jane Goodall for so long it is kinda strange to see her young. Anyway, the film consists of footage from as early as the 1960s. It is a great documentary for any animal lover.

Read More: Best Documentaries on Netflix

2. Weiner (2016)

This documentary is centered around Anthony Weiner who was once a respected and major congressman. He had many political allies and was a close friend to the Clintons. But he had to resign in the year 2011 after a sexting scandal came into the light where he was accused of sending sexually expletive images to women. After continuously denying the allegations Anthony finally admitted to having done so to at least six other women in the past three years. He apologized for his denial and resigned. Two years later during his comeback campaign again a similar scandal arose. Unfortunately, this was the time when his comeback was being filmed which resulted in this documentary. Man, he was seriously out of luck. Rather than having a comeback documentary it became a documentary which shows the disgrace of a politician. Also, ‘Weiner for Mayor’ is kinda suggestive, isn’t it?

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1. Batman and Bill (2017)

If you love Batman then this documentary is a must watch for you. The film is about Bill Finger, the man who was party to inventing the famous caped crusader. He was the one to provide the iconic origin story and creating the nemesis. But it was only years later that he received the credit he deserved after rallying of fans. The documentary is really fun as it shows the history of Batman including how the idea was conceived and many other unknown facts that many of us didn’t know. Overall, this is a documentary any superhero lover would love to watch.

Read More: Best Documentaries of All Time