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Crime Documentaries on Netflix

Last updated April 10, 2021

Benji Poster

Benji

2012 | NR | 4.3 out of 5 Stars

This gripping documentary tells the story of Ben Wilson, a good-natured and beloved teenage basketball phenom from Chicago's South Side whose life was tragically cut short by violence in November 1984.
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30 for 30: The Two Escobars Poster

30 for 30: The Two Escobars

2010 | NR | 4.2 out of 5 Stars

Discover the surprising parallels between star athlete Andres Escobar and international drug kingpin Pablo Escobar -- two renowned Colombians who loved the sport of soccer, achieved incredible levels of success and suffered brutally violent deaths.
Details about 30 for 30: The Two Escobars

Serving Life Poster

Serving Life

2011 | NR | 4.2 out of 5 Stars

Filmed in a notorious Louisiana prison, this moving documentary chronicles the work of some inmates who find a sense of redemption for their past crimes by volunteering in the jail's hospice, offering compassion to other prisoners as they die.
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Ken Burns: Prohibition Poster

Ken Burns: Prohibition

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Ken Burns's fascinating multipart documentary examines the history of alcohol in America, including the events leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, the social and legal effects of prohibiting alcohol, and the repeal of Prohibition.
Details about Ken Burns: Prohibition

Ken Burns: Prohibition Poster

Ken Burns: Prohibition

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Ken Burns's fascinating multipart documentary examines the history of alcohol in America, including the events leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, the social and legal effects of prohibiting alcohol, and the repeal of Prohibition.
Details about Ken Burns: Prohibition

26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story Poster

26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story

2012 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

A promising young boxer from a troubled family, Dewey Bozella was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1983 and spent more than 26 years in Sing Sing prison. This inspirational film follows his quest to fight one professional fight as a free man.
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Crime After Crime Poster

Crime After Crime

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Convicted of killing her brutally abusive boyfriend in 1983, Deborah Peagler languished in prison for 20 years. When California legislation allowing incarcerated domestic-violence survivors to reopen their cases becomes law, a pair of novice attorneys agree to take on her case. Armed with evidence of their client's innocence, the two encounter a bewildering maze of bureaucratic procedures and political corruption as they seek justice.
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Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father Poster

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

2008 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's poignant tribute to his murdered childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle between the baby's grieving grandparents and Shirley Turner, Bagby's pregnant ex-girlfriend and suspected killer. Initially, Kuenne made this documentary as a memorial for Andrew's loved ones, but it morphs into an emotional legal odyssey when Turner goes free on bail and is allowed to raise her son.
Details about Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

Solved: Season 3 Poster

Solved: Season 3

2010 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

The third season of this documentary-style series features true stories of ruthless killers in complex storylines. In each installment, a case unfolds through first-person accounts from America's elite law enforcement officers.
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Solved: Season 2 Poster

Solved: Season 2

2009 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

Bizarre true stories of brutal murder baffle investigators in this crime documentary series, from a churchgoing love triangle to a staged carjacking. As detectives sift through the evidence, the motives and suspects they uncover can be surprising.
Details about Solved: Season 2

Bastards of the Party Poster

Bastards of the Party

2005 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

Directed and hosted by Cle Sloan, a former member of Los Angeles' notorious gang, the Bloods, this documentary chronicles the history of black street gangs, from their first appearances in the 1940s to their present-day incarnations. Inspired by Mike Davis's book, City of Quartz, Sloan examines the culture from all sides, drawing on interviews with active and inactive gang members, former FBI agents and prominent community figures.
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The House I Live In Poster

The House I Live In

2012 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

This documentary shines a harsh light on America's "war on drugs" and its long-term impact on society. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki captures the stories of dealers, police officers, prison inmates and others affected by the crusade.
Details about The House I Live In

The Dhamma Brothers Poster

The Dhamma Brothers

2008 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

Donaldson Correctional Facility -- an overcrowded, violent maximum-security prison, the end of the line in Alabama's prison system -- is dramatically changed by the introduction and influence of an ancient meditation program.
Details about The Dhamma Brothers

The Central Park Five Poster

The Central Park Five

2012 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

This piercing documentary examines the case of five teenagers, all African-American or Latino, who were convicted of the brutal rape of a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Years later, the confession of the real rapist set the jailed men free.
Details about The Central Park Five

Solved Poster

Solved

2008 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

This Investigation Discovery series shines a light on high-profile homicide cases through the first-person accounts of detectives and FBI agents. Forensics experts assist law enforcement personnel by zeroing in on the evidence.
Details about Solved

Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw Poster

Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw

2001 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

In this never-before-seen footage, see Tupac at seventeen speaking out about injustice on the streets of Oakland. Directed by Academy Award nominee Peter Spirer, Thug Angel takes you beyond the drama of Tupac's notoriety in the press through new interviews with friends, collaborators and scholars as they look back on Tupac and define his legacy today.
Details about Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw

The Trials of Darryl Hunt Poster

The Trials of Darryl Hunt

2006 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

This poignant documentary tells the story of Darryl Hunt, a black North Carolina man who spent 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit: the rape and murder of a young white journalist.
Details about The Trials of Darryl Hunt

Stalked: Someone's Watching: Season 1 Poster

Stalked: Someone's Watching: Season 1

2011 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

Watch the harrowing stories of everyday people who became victims to relentless stalkers. From an emotionally abusive ex to a "friendly" neighbor to a harmless crush gone awry, hear from the victims themselves -- if they were lucky enough to survive.
Details about Stalked: Someone's Watching: Season 1

Cocaine Cowboys Poster

Cocaine Cowboys

2006 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

This penetrating documentary from director Billy Corben pulls out all the stops to explore the many dimensions of Miami's cocaine-trafficking boom of the 1980s, as told by the smugglers, cops and average citizens who were there. The film is an unflinching study of Miami's most notorious and lethal vice -- from how the drug was moved and its financial impact on the city to the havoc and violence that followed in its wake.
Details about Cocaine Cowboys

Stalked: Someone's Watching Poster

Stalked: Someone's Watching

2011 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

This documentary series follows the harrowing, emotional stories of stalking victims and examines the twisted psychology of the people who relentlessly pursue them. A criminal psychologist provides insight into the obsessive behavior.
Details about Stalked: Someone's Watching

The Ambassador Poster

The Ambassador

2011 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Mads Brügger poses as a diplomat in central Africa and secretly films his wheeling and dealing in a corrupt society. With forged diplomatic papers, he claims to be opening a match factory, but tries to gain access to the area's diamonds.
Details about The Ambassador

Burma VJ Poster

Burma VJ

2008 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Anders Østergaard's Oscar-nominated documentary profiles the courageous efforts of a renegade band of Burmese reporters (aka the Burma VJs) who -- in the face of a repressive regime and media censorship -- refuse to be silenced.
Details about Burma VJ

Mario's Story Poster

Mario's Story

2007 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Shot over the course of seven years, this documentary from filmmakers Susan Koch and Jeff Werner relates the inspiring true story of Mario Rocha, an East L.A. teen who unlocked his talent for writing while serving out a murder sentence behind bars. As his family and a team of pro bono attorneys labor on the outside to clear his name for a crime he didn't commit, Mario keeps himself grounded on the inside by writing poems, short stories and plays.
Details about Mario's Story

The Interrupters Poster

The Interrupters

2011 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This powerful documentary follows CeaseFire, a Chicago-based group -- staffed by former gang members -- that's dedicated to wiping out urban violence. The organization treats violence like an infection and seeks to eradicate the root cause.
Details about The Interrupters

How Weed Won the West Poster

How Weed Won the West

2010 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Kevin Booth (American Drug War) offers this documentary that chronicles the exploding popularity of medical marijuana dispensaries in California and the mixed response from law enforcement agencies. Focusing on the controversial story of Organica, a legal Los Angeles pot club that was raided in 2009, the film also includes insights from a range of medical marijuana advocates, including a former LAPD cop.
Details about How Weed Won the West



 





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