Watch and Learn: 50 Best Documentaries on Hulu Right Now
May 12, 2023
Documentaries are where education meets entertainment, so why not learn a little something during your next movie night?
Maybe you’re looking for a music doc like Dear Mama or Summer of Soul. Or, maybe you’re ready to take a nostalgic deep dive with a decades doc like Kid 90.
Are you a sports fan? Let us recommend Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Welcome to Wrexham or ESPN’s Inside the College Football Playoff.
Don’t think we forgot about you, true crime junkies. To you, we offer documentaries like The Secrets of Hillsong and Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence.
There’s something here for everyone. Start streaming and learn with the best documentaries on Hulu streaming now.
New Hulu Documentaries
1. The Secrets of Hillsong
What was once known as the place of worship for A-list celebrities is now known for its scandalous fall from grace. In this documentary series, FX and Vanity Fair take a deep dive into the unchristian-like misconduct of Hill Song’s founder, Carl Wentz, that led to the mega church’s predictable demise.
Watch: The Secrets of Hillsong
2. Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
Model and actress Brooke Shields is no stranger to the spotlight. She first broke onto the scene when she was a teen, becoming the youngest model to cover Vogue magazine at just 14 years old. Now, at 57, Brooke has discovered her power and is reflecting on the disturbing sexualization she experienced throughout her life, bringing to light the ways society exploits young women.
Watch: Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
3. Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence
Do you remember the spine-chilling 2010 cult case at Sarah Lawrence College? We’re looking at you, true crime junkies.
This Hulu docuseries dives deep inside the scandal surrounding now-convict Larry Ray and the college-aged victims he manipulated and trafficked. With Ray currently serving a 60-year sentence, those who survived him are stepping forward to tell their stories through exclusive photos and video clips.
4. Aaron Carter: The Little Prince of Pop (2023)
What happens when childhood superstars are discarded by the industry when they’re no longer young and profitable? In light of his untimely death in November 2022, Aaron Carter: The Little Prince of Pop examines the pop star’s life and the dark correlation between child superstardom, mental health, and fame.
5. RapCaviar Presents
Inspired by the Spotify playlist of the same name, RapCaviar Presents is a docuseries that features the biggest names in rap music and how their life stories highlight the way art and influence challenge social norms. Follow along as rap legends like City Girls, Coi Leray, and Tyler, The Creator shed light on today’s societal issues, including mental health, sexuality, and more.
Watch: RapCaviar Presents
6. Dear Mama
Dear Mama is a five-part docuseries that uses real footage and interviews, including never-before-seen content, to tell the story of rap legend Tupac Shakur and his short but impactful life through the lens of his mother, Afeni Shakur, who lived many lives of her own.
Watch: Dear Mama
7. Impact x Nightline: The Skinny Shot
Until recently, insulin medication was only prescribed to those with diabetes. Now, these semaglutide shots like Ozempic and Mounjaro are being prescribed to celebrities, influencers, and everyday people for weight loss, even if the patient isn’t overweight. While some call it a game changer for those struggling with obesity, the wildfire demand for the drug does come with implications: How does increased demand affect the supply for those with diabetes? What are the long-term effects of using insulin for weight loss? And, what happens when a patient stops using insulin?
ABC News takes a journalistic approach to weigh the pros and cons of “the skinny shot.”
8. Secrets of Playboy
Secrets of Playboy is a 12-episode documentary series that examines the height of the Playboy empire in the 1970s through a modern-day lens. Using archived footage and exclusive interviews, this docuseries uncovers the crime and consequences of Hugh Hefner’s fantasy world.
Watch: Secrets of Playboy
Best Documentaries on Hulu
9. God Forbid (2022)
God Forbid is a story about a 20-year-old pool attendant in Miami that finds himself caught in a scandalous affair with the Falwells — a prominent family in the Christian community. This exclusive documentary takes a deep dive past the family’s perfect facade and into the hypocritical lives of the Christian elite.
Watch: God Forbid
10. Aftershock (2022)
Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre are two bereaved fathers with similar stories: their partners died due to preventable childbirth complications. Aftershock shows the real-life heartbreak of these two families as they use their pain to fight the healthcare disparities in the Black community.
11. Leave No Trace (2022)
For some, the Boy Scouts created a community where they remember feeling safe while making life-long happy memories. For 82,000 others, it was an organization that stripped them of their innocence, forcing them to grow up way too soon.
Leave No Trace tells the heartbreaking stories of these men, exposing the dark secrets of the Boy Scouts of America.
Watch: Leave No Trace
12. 3212 Un-Redacted (2021)
Produced by James Gordon Meek, 3121 Un-Redacted is an ABC News documentary about the dark truth surrounding four fallen American soldiers and the Pentagon’s attempt to cover up what really happened.
Watch: 3212 Un-Redacted
13. A Glitch in the Matrix (2021)
Part sci-fi mind-bender, part true crime-horror story, A Glitch in the Matrix explores simulation theory in our modern world — where the lines between what’s real and what’s digital are blurred beyond comprehension.
Are we living in the Matrix? No matter what you believe, A Glitch in the Matrix will certainly make you think.
Watch: A Glitch in the Matrix
14. Summer of Soul (2021)
Presented by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Summer of Soul is a musical time capsule of a little-known moment in Black history. Transport back to the summer of ’69 in this powerful and important story that celebrates Black music, culture, and fashion at the now-iconic Harlem Cultural Festival.
Watch: Summer of Soul
15. Minding the Gap (2018)
Directed by Bing Liu, Minding the Gap is an Oscar®-nominated documentary that follows three young men who bond over skateboarding to escape their turbulent home lives in the Rust Belt of America.
Watch: Minding the Gap
16. The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story (2018)
For so many, Nickelodeon is the cornerstone of childhood nostalgia. From Rugrats to Hey, Arnold!, this documentary tells the story of the network’s humble beginnings as a small local TV channel and how it evolved into a cultural phenomenon that shaped an entire generation.
17. Kid 90 (2021)
Soleil Moon Frye is a former child star, best known for her role as the spunky and independent Punky Brewster. In this documentary, Soleil takes viewers behind-the-scenes with her own archived footage to show exactly what it was like growing up in Hollywood during the ’90s.
Watch: Kid 90
18. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016)
The band you know, and the story you don’t. Even if you’re not a fan of The Beatles, this must-see documentary produced by Ron Howard will have you hooked. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week takes a never-before-seen look into the world’s most beloved band during the height of their career.
19. The First Wave (2021)
Do you remember where you were when the world shut down in March 2020? Take a harrowing yet healing look back at The First Wave of the pandemic — a testament to the power of bravery and human connection.
Watch: The First Wave
20. The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For (2021)
Nothing says early 2000s fashion like a Von Dutch trucker hat. From Paris Hilton to Jay-Z, the biggest celebrities during that time more than likely have a Von Dutch-clad paparazzi photo hidden away in the depths of the internet.
The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For is a documentary that chronicles the unbelievably dark story behind the rise and fall of the once iconic brand.
21. Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (2018)
Very few pop culture phenomenons have stood the test of time or have made a societal impact quite like Barbie. This documentary features never-before-seen footage to tell women’s stories over the last 60 years through the lens of the most popular plastic doll on the planet.
22. Untouchable (2019)
The rise and fall of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is a horrifying story that shows what happens when people with the upper hand abuse their power. This documentary tells that story through the perspectives of the women who suffered physical and mental abuse by Weinstein, sparking the world wide #MeToo movement in 2017.
23. Spaceship Earth (2020)
Using a combination of archived videos from 1991 and current-day interviews, Spaceship Earth presents a behind-the-scenes look at a ground-breaking and controversial science experiment that happened 31 years ago.
Watch: Spaceship Earth
24. Batman & Bill (2017)
You probably know Bob Kane to be the creator of Batman, but the originator of the beloved comic book character may have been another “Caped Crusader.” Batman & Bill is a documentary set out to bring justice to Bill Finger, the uncredited innovator of Gotham’s heroic vigilante.
Watch: Batman & Bill
25. Enemies of the State (2020)
In 2009, Matt DeHart was persecuted by the American government for possessing child pornography, but DeHart claims he was framed — by the government. Why? DeHart was a “hacktivist” with a connection to the hacker group, Anonymous. With access to sensitive information and connections to the Wikileaks scandal, DeHart and his family became Enemies of the State. This documentary tells their story.
Watch: Enemies of the State
Love true crime? Check out these true crime documentaries streaming now on Hulu.
26. Jawline (2019)
Austyn Tester is a 16-year-old internet sensation, longing to escape his “dead-end” life in rural Tennessee. This surprisingly inspiring documentary takes a deeper look into the double-edged sword that is social media.
27. Stray (2020)
Stray is a truly unique documentary that tells the every-day stories of Istanbul through the eyes of three stray dogs, showing viewers what it’s like to live in danger and uncertainty while emotionally driving home the importance of connection and community.
28. Slay the Dragon (2019)
Gerrymandering — what exactly is it and what impact does it have on the American political system? Slay the Dragon follows political activists fighting to terminate gerrymandering from the United States election process.
Watch: Slay the Dragon
29. Some Kind of Heaven (2020)
The Villages is a Florida retirement community advertised as a place where residents can enjoy paradise on Earth. However, community members Anne, Reggie, Barbra, and Dennis aren’t falling for the propaganda. Follow along as the group struggles to find meaning and enjoyment while everyone around them has bought into the community’s manufactured happiness.
Watch: Some Kind of Heaven
30. Too Funny to Fail (2017)
You would think that a TV cast and crew containing comedy geniuses like Dana Carvey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Robert Smigel would be too funny to fail, right? They thought so too. In this documentary, Carvey reflects on his short-lived project, The Dana Carvey Show.
Watch: Too Funny to Fail
31. Flee (2021)
Amin Nawabi is an Afghan refugee with a heavy secret he has kept to himself for over 20 years. Flee tells Nawabi’s story through animation and voice overs, uncovering the painful truth that could jeopardize everything he’s worked so hard to achieve in his new life.
32. Homeroom (2021)
The year 2020 will go down as an unprecedented one for students all over the world. Homeroom is a documentary that focuses on an Oakland-area high school, highlighting the day-to-day struggles faced by students and how the pandemic has only made them worse.
33. Dead Asleep (2021)
Can a murder committed while sleepwalking be criminally charged? Dead Asleep is a true-crime documentary surrounding Randy Herman, Jr. and the murder he committed while he was fast asleep — or so he claims.
Watch: Dead Asleep
Want more true crime? Check out these must-watch true crime documentaries streaming now on Hulu.
34. MLK/FBI (2020)
MLK/FBI is the first documentary to break down the newly declassified government documents regarding the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Directed by Sam Pollard, this film explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists and its involvement in MLK’s murder.
35. Fyre Fraud (2019)
What do you get when you combine a greedy mogul, deceptive marketing, and an ill-planned event promised to be larger-than-life? None other than the infamous 2017 Fyre Festival failure. This tell-all documentary shows what can happen while chasing money and social media influence at all costs.
Watch: Fyre Fraud
36. WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (2021)
Is a scam with good intentions still a scam? Take a deep dive into the chaotic rise and fall of Adam Naumann’s company, WeWork — a series of co-working spaces he believed would change the world. WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn is an original Hulu documentary available to stream now.
37. Three Identical Strangers (2018)
A set of triplets were separated at birth and adopted by different families. At 19 years old, the brothers learned of each other for the first time, uncovering the harrowing truth behind their separation.
Watch: Three Identical Strangers
38. Collective (2019)
Director Alexander Nanau follows a team of newspaper investigators as they work to expose a case of extreme health care fraud in Romania that has been lining the pockets of business executives and politicians while killing innocent civilians.
Best Docuseries on Hulu
39. 1990s: The Deadliest Decade
Many of us look back on the 1990s with fond memories and nostalgia — a longing for the “good old days.” But, looking back, the ’90s held some of the most dark and fatal moments in history. The 1990s: The Deadliest Decade transports viewers back and provides a brief snapshot of the time, including the deadliest murders of that decade you may have forgotten about.
Watch: 1990s: The Deadliest Decade
40. Victoria’s Secret: Angels & Demons
What was once a staple clothing brand has become a relic of the past. Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is a Hulu Original documentary uncovering the hidden dark side of VS’s light pink illusion that led to the retail giant’s downfall.
41. Welcome to Wrexham (2022)
Whether you’re an AFC (Association Football Club) fan or not, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Welcome to Wrexham docuseries gives viewers an introduction to European football and a unique look at the working-class town of Wrexham, Wales.
Watch: Welcome to Wrexham
42. The Deep End
Some of her followers think she’s a miracle worker, while others see right through her. The Deep End follows the life, work, and controversy of spiritual influencer, Teal Swan.
Watch: The Deep End
43. Children of the Underground
Children of the Underground tells the true story of a vigilante, Faye Yager. She spearheaded an underground network to hide hundreds of mothers and their children from the men who abuse them.
Watch: Children of the Underground
44. Keep This Between Us
Keep This Between Us is a documentary that exposes a horrifying epidemic of high school teachers grooming their students told through the lens of a female victim and her relationship with a teacher she once trusted.
Watch: Keep This Between Us
45. McCartney 3,2,1
All you need is love and a music documentary. In this six-part Hulu Original docuseries, music fans go on a deep dive into 50+ years of music through the eyes of Paul McCartney and Rick Rubin.
And for Beatles fans? Discover never-before-seen, in-depth interviews with McCartney where he discusses the creation and inspiration for his music that became the soundtrack of our generation.
Watch: McCartney: 3,2,1
46. Mormon No More
Mormon No More is a TV docuseries about two former Mormon wives who found the courage to leave the church and their husbands so they can live a life true to themselves. Learn the heartbreaking but inspiring stories of Sal and Lena as they escape the only lives they’ve ever known to build a new life together.
Watch: Mormon No More
47. Dark Side of the 90’s
Dark Side of the 90’s is a 10-part docuseries that digs deep into some of the darker trends and pop-culture moments of the decade. From the controversial start of reality TV to the birth of the internet, this eye-opening yet nostalgic documentary series will transport you back in time.
Watch: Dark Side of the 90’s
48. The New York Times Presents
The New York Times Presents is a docuseries that uses unparalleled journalism to take viewers deep into the topics of the biggest news and pop-culture stories of our lifetime. From Britney Spears’ conservatorship and Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl scandal to social media influencers and even the popularity of vaping — this documentary series covers it all.
Watch: The New York Times Presents
49. Inside the College Football Playoff
Do you love sports documentaries? This four-part ESPN series gives fans an all-access pass into the top four college football teams of 2018 as they prepare for the semi-finals and national championship.
*Access ESPN+ content via Hulu and ESPN+; select content only available via the ESPN app and ESPN.com.
50. The Big Scary “S” Word (2020)
Socialism, or in this case, The Big Scary “S” Word, has been a taboo word in American culture for decades. How did that come to be? This documentary delves deep into the history of socialism and the modern socialist movement through interviews with prominent political figures including Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Watch: The Big Scary “S” Word
Can’t get enough of these real-life stories? There’s plenty more where that came from. Check out our list of these movies and shows based on true stories streaming now on Hulu.