From free one-day delivery to music streaming and Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime has always strived to be the subscription you can’t live without. Amazon Prime Video is also one of the bigger and better streaming services with TV shows and movies including some of the best documentaries in the world.
Here is our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime, along with a few honorable mentions as documentaries come and go by the platform.
Best documentaries on Amazon Prime:
- pursuit of happiness
- Enron: The smartest guy in the room
- pumping iron
- All In: The Fight for Democracy
- Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary
- One Child Nation
- Hale County This Morning, This Evening
We’ll be updating our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime over time.
pursuit of happiness
It’s easy to think of a documentary on the Jonas Brothers. But it’s good! I mean, yes, he rose to fame by creating the Jonas Brothers group, earning dozens of awards, and selling over 17 million albums worldwide, and so on.
But the reality is set for the group. No one was happy, the three Jonas siblings split from the group. Chasing Happiness takes you through the rise of the Jonas Brothers, what led to their break-up, and what led to three brothers finding their way back to each other.
Enron: The smartest guy in the room
This classic 2005 documentary shows how Enron, a Texas-based energy company, became a giant corporation in the 1990s, claiming more than $100 billion in revenue in 2000. As this film expertly shows, it was all a scam, as it was revealed. Enron’s business in 2001 was largely based on accounting fraud. It went bankrupt later that year. The film shows how greed and lack of true accountability led to this and is a cautionary tale for any big business.
Before he became a major movie star and governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger first became known to mainstream audiences through this 1977 documentary. His numerous victories in major bodybuilding competitions made the world normal, and Hollywood in particular noted that not only did he have a huge body, but he had a really funny personality.
The documentary also featured Schwarzenegger’s biggest bodybuilding rival, Lou Ferrigno. He also rose to fame early on for playing the title character in The Incredible Hulk live-action TV series, which debuted shortly after the film’s release.
All In: The Fight for Democracy
This Amazon Prime Video original documentary takes a look at voter suppression in the United States. It centers on Stacey Abrams, who tried and failed to win Georgia’s governorship in 2018. Through her commentary, we see how many groups try to stop people from voting, from restrictive laws to gerrymandering of district lines and more. This is one of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary
Galaxy Quest There was a film that was promoted as a satire on Star Trek. It features a group of actors from a canceled science-fiction space show who are recruited by real space aliens to save their civilization. It was not a huge hit when it was released in 1999. However, it has since become a cult classic.
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This 2019 documentary is a behind the scenes look at the making of this film. However, it also shows that Galaxy Quest was really just the tip of the iceberg when it came to showing how fan and geek culture had started to take over all pop culture during that time.
One Child Nation
In 1979, the Chinese government passed a law that limited all families to having just one child. This was an attempt to stop the massive population explosion in the country. While the government abolished the one-child policy in 2015, the effects of that law are still being felt. This award-winning documentary takes a look at the results of China’s efforts at population control, including forced sterilizations and abortions by the government to abandon newborn babies. This is one of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime.
One of New York City’s most famous stereotypes is its massive used bookstore. In this documentary, we get an inside glimpse into this small but well-known industry in the city.
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We also learn how this type of business is slowly disappearing from New York City. However, the documentary does show how a new generation of used booksellers and used book readers are starting to take the business in a new direction. This is one of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
This Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary in 2019 is captivating for the reviews it has received. This is for many people either a five star or a one star watch. Those who like it appreciate the simple, honest view of black people in the Historic South. The pace of life is different, and this very true documentary doesn’t apologize for offering the same. What is challenging is that there is no narrative or clear narrative. But you will find yourself thinking about it as you watch, and weeks and months later. Listen, look, and give Hale County a chance for what it is.
Best Documentary on Amazon Prime: Honorable Mention
There are a few more movies that didn’t quite make it to our list for best documentaries on Amazon Prime:
- the endless Summer – This classic 1966 documentary introduced many to the real surfing lifestyle.
- life after the flash – The 1980 Flash Gordon film was to make its lead Sam J Jones a major movie star. This documentary shows how things took a different path for Jones.
- image revolution — It reveals how seven of Marvel Comics’ top artists collectively left in 1992 to form their own publisher, Image Comics, and how the comic book industry was never the same again.
That was our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime.