With so many new and classic TV shows, movies and stand-up specials available, we can’t help but feel that Netflix’s documentary library doesn’t get enough attention. Sure, we’ve all heard about the must-see hits, but there are plenty more beneath the surface if you’re willing to look. With that said, here are five underrated documentaries we’ve discovered on Netflix that are worth your attention.
NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY
On June 12, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres — while high on LSD. Is that Jimi Hendrix stepping up to bat? And why is Richard Nixon serving as today’s home plate umpire? Director Jeffrey Radice’s documentary on Ellis’ infamous “no no” comes straight from the mouth of Ellis himself, who — as you can imagine — is the person you want to hear telling this story. Whether you’re familiar with Dock’s stunning achievement or not, it’s hard not to be captivated by “No No”.
WHO TOOK JOHNNY
“Who Took Johnny” examines the case of Johnny Gosch, a twelve-year-old who disappeared in 1982 while delivering newspapers. The documentary is narrated by Gosch’s mother, Noreen, who may or may not be as trustworthy as she initially seems. More than thirty years later, Gosch is still considered missing, but with witnesses present — including a convicted sex offender who claims he was at the scene — how can that be?
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + THE TENNESSEE KIDS
Director Jonathan Demme’s performance documentary follows pop superstar Justin Timberlake during the final two nights of his “20/20” tour in Las Vegas. The in-depth feature opens the curtains on JT and his massive ensemble, offering viewers a first-hand look at all the moving parts that go into a tour of this size. It’s a must-see doc for music fans.
THE CIVIL WAR
Ken Burns’ exhaustive Civil War documentary is like mostly everything he creates — moving and encapsulating. We’ve all read about the Civil War in school, but Burns’ piece offers viewers an opportunity to truly experience it. Given the recent events in our country, it’s a fitting time to stream this doc.
“Western” highlights yet another controversial topic in the U.S. right now in security at the Mexico-U.S. border — along with the effects of the drug wars that rage on to the south. The personal documentary focuses on Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico, towns located across the river from each other that are hampered by the U.S. government’s indefinite stoppage of cattle passage.