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The 10 Best Documentaries on Netflix

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While I'm not one for reality tv, my taste in watching mediocre movies is pretty embarrassing. I'll enjoy pretty much any romantic comedy and often watch them multiple times. Maybe it's rom-com fatigue, but I've been gravitating towards films that offer a bit more depth and leave me feeling inspired. I've always enjoyed documentaries (I wrote a longer piece on Happyhere), so I thought I'd share ten of my all-time favorites.


1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi: A look at an unassuming sushi bar in a Tokyo subway that's been serving phenomenal cuts of fish to its customers for decades. This documentary examines how Jiro, the elderly proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, has dedicated his life to perfecting his craft. 


2. Somm: This documentary follows four expert sommeliers as they try and pass the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam, an intensely difficult test where the majority of people fail. There are only about 200 Master Sommeliers in the world and their ability to discern specific varietals/years/regions is astounding.

3. Bill Cunningham New York: An intimate take on the life and motivation behind the New York Times' longtime fashion and street style photographer Bill Cunningham. It's an incredibly moving story of a man and his passion for capturing the zeitgeist as he sees it. 

4. Spinning Plates: Less about the restaurants that they run, this documentary focuses on the drama that chefs juggle in their everyday lives. From the 3-star Michelin restaurant's head chef with cancer to the owner of a local Mexican-food joint who is behind on rent, this movie manages to dig deeper than a simple restaurant experience. 

5. Man on Wire: This story follows an eccentric Frenchman, Philippe Petit, as he illegally walks a tightrope between New York's two World Trade Towers in the 1970s. But, more than being a story about how he pulled it off, the film dives deep into his relationships and childhood, in an effort to explore how they contribute to making Phillipe a man with an unquenchable passion for risk taking. 

6. Tiny: A documentary about a couple who build their first home may sound like a snooze, but not when they're attempting to build a tiny version. The couple taps into a community of people who swear by living small, and set out to test the theory that less is more.


7. Sound City: Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl investigates the now-shuttered Sound City Studios, where some legendary albums from Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana were recorded.

8. Fed Up: An exposé on the sugar industry and how their lobbying power tapped government greed to make this generation's children the first in history to die before their parents. 

9. The Armstrong Lie: A documentary that was years in the making, this film swings from chronicling athlete Lance Armstrong's comeback, to his vehement denial of doping accusation, and his ultimate downfall and admission to those same charges. 

10. Good Ol' Freda: Hired when she was just 17-yearsold, Freda Kelly remained the secretary for The Beatles for over ten years and shares her inside knowledge of what made four of the most famous singers in the world, tick. 

I'd also love your suggestions for other documentaries I still need to see!

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