These 30 Thought-Provoking Documentaries on Hulu Are Actually Worth Your Time

Updated 10/21/19

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By now, it should come as no surprise that we're fans of documentaries here at MyDomaine. We've previously shared the travel documentaries that have inspired us to alter our vacation plans, the food documentaries that have motivated us to pick up chef's knives, and the health documentaries that have opened our eyes to the startling reality of the sugar industry in America. In short, we're always searching for nonfiction films to add to our queues.

That's why we recently expanded our sights beyond Netflix and HBO Go's offerings to scroll through Hulu's library of films in the genre. Spanning a behind-the-scenes look at the journalists behind one of the most respected newspapers in the country to an inspirational story of a high school step team, the best documentaries on Hulu altered how we view the world—and we think they'll have a similar effect for you, too.

Here are our picks for the best documentaries on Hulu right now.

01 of 30

Jane (2017)

Jane

 IMDb

Director Brett Morgan's lauded documentary presents Jane Goodall's groundbreaking chimpanzee research in a whole new light. Featuring never-before-seen footage from National Geographic's archive, Jane chronicles the scientist's determination to break into the male-dominated field, her relationship with her cameraman and husband, and the bonds she made with the primates she studied.

Available on: Hulu

02 of 30

Page One: Inside The New York Times (2011)

Page One: Inside The New York Times
Page One: Inside the New York Times - Poster Art. Magnolia Pictures

In Page One, director Andrew Rossi chronicles a year in the life of The New York Times, focusing on the evolution of the iconic print newspaper in an increasingly digital world. This documentary gives viewers a glimpse into how some of the world's most distinguished reporters analyze and report on complex truths.

Available on: Hulu

03 of 30

Step (2017)

step

 Amazon

Following a high school step team, Step delves into the lives of a group of young women chasing their dreams—to win a championship and be accepted into college. If you need another reason to add this inspirational documentary to your watch list, know that Michelle Obama is a fan.

Available on: Hulu

04 of 30

Tabloid (2011)

Tabloid

 IMDb

The subject of 2010's Tabloid sounds more like a fictional psychological thriller than a true crime narrative. In this gripping documentary, filmmaker Errol Morris tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming pageant queen who's accused of kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary in England.

Available on: Hulu

05 of 30

Whose Streets? (2017)

whose streets

 Hulu

The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 inspired the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, to push back and sparked a powerful revival of the civil rights movement. In Whose Streets?, residents turned activists are the ones in front of the camera relaying their firsthand accounts of the months following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in their community.

Available on: Hulu

06 of 30

Dancing in Jaffa (2014)

Dancing in Jaffa

 IMDb

World-renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine undertakes the task of teaching 10-year-old Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli children to dance in Dancing in Jaffa. Touching on complex issues of racial segregation, prejudice, and identity, the film shows how dance can bring people together despite their differences.

Available on: Hulu

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City of Gold (2016)

City of Gold

 IMDb

Get a glimpse into Pulitzer Prize–winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold's view of Los Angeles. Filmmaker Laura Gabbert captures the diversity, colorful neighborhoods, and experimental culture of L.A. through the lens of food in City of Gold. Fans of Anthony Bourdain's CNN series Parts Unknown and Netflix's Chef's Table won't want to miss this one.

Available on: Hulu

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Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (2016)

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

 Amazon

This unbelievable true crime documentary explores the case of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez, four Latina lesbians who were wrongly convicted of gang-raping two young girls. In fact, Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four garnered so much public support that the women were finally exonerated.

Available on: Hulu

09 of 30

A Place at the Table (2013)

A Place at the Table

 IMDb

Created by the producers of Food, Inc., the documentary A Place at the Table examines the hunger crisis in the United States. Confronted with the startling fact that one in four children don't know where their next meal is coming from, you'll never look at your plate the same way again.

Available on: Hulu

10 of 30

4 Little Girls (1997)

4 Little Girls

 HBO

Spike Lee's film about the 1963 bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls should be considered required viewing for everyone in America. Lee's 4 Little Girls exposes a defining moment in the civil rights movement that's often overlooked by traditional education curriculums. Stream it now.

Available on: Hulu

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One Strange Rock (2018)

One Strange Rock

 Netflix

Will Smith hosts this documentary, which explores and reveals how life is able to thrive on Earth. One Strange Rock follows eight astronauts sharing their perspectives on earth.The ten-episode series explains how earth is both habitable and lethal, and mass extinctions are necessary for a prosperous planet.

Available on: Hulu

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Leaving Neverland (2019)

Leaving Neverland

 HBO

In this HBO documentary, two men abused by Michael Jackson recount their experiences. You might see the iconic entertainer in another light after this.

Available on: Hulu

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The September Issue (2009)

The September Issue

Roadside Attractions

 

Deemed "the real Devil Wears Prada" by VogueThe September Issue is a must-watch film for anyone with an Amazon Prime account. The documentary follows Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour as the publication prepares the famed fall issue. It's a fun watch for even those who don't consider themselves sartorially savvy.

Available on: Hulu

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Fyre Fraud (2019)

Fyre Fraud

 Hulu

If you caught Netflix's Fyre, you need to watch Hulu's documentary on the infamous Fyre Festival. It takes you inside the 2017 influencer scam, and features an exclusive interview with Billy McFarland. Trust us—you don't want to miss this one.

Available on: Hulu

15 of 30

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

They Shall Not Grow Old

 Warner Bros.

If you're a history buff, you'll love this documentary about WWI. It utilizes digital technology to restore archival footage from the Imperial War Museum. It's a firsthand look at WWI, with the story being told by the men who were there.

Available on: Hulu

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Cannabis Evolution (2019)

Cannabis Evolution

 IMDb

Marijuana is known to help treat both physical and mental illnesses, but there are still plenty of people who are resistant to its effects. This documentary addresses the facts and the myths to help you understand the truth about the drug.

Available on: Hulu

17 of 30

The Iceman Tapes (1992)

The Iceman Tapes

 HBO

Things are not always as they seem, and this chilling documentary about a serial killer/family man will prove this point. It’s not for the faint of heart, as you’ll hear about some of the 100 murders Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski reportedly committed from police officers, medical examiners, and his wife. Oh yeah, and you’ll hear from Kuklinski himself as to exactly how he did it.

Available on: Hulu

18 of 30

Amazing Grace (2018)

Amazing Grace

 IMDb

Music lovers, this ones for you. This documentary is the live recording of Aretha Franklin's album, Amazing Grace, at The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972. It will give you chills.

Available on: Hulu

19 of 30

Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

 IMDb

Revisit the life and legacy of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" star and host, Fred Rogers, in this documentary. It's both emotional and moving, so have some tissues handy.

Available on: Hulu

20 of 30

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Capturing the Friedmans

 IMDb

When filmmaker Andrew Jarecki learned that one of his subjects, a professional clown, was the son and brother of two men convicted of child sexual abuse in a 1980s criminal trial, he used home videos as well as interviews to compile a documentary to explore it.

Available on: Hulu

21 of 30

Madonna and the Breakfast Club (2019)

Madonna and the Breakfast Club

 Amazon

Any '80s fan will appreciate this documentary, which tells the untold story of Madonna's struggles in her pre-fame years in New York City. Learn about her then-boyfriend, musician Dan Gilroy, and their first band, Breakfast Club.

Available on: Hulu

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Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo

 IMDb

This movie documentary chronicles Alex Honnolds free solo climb of 32,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Trust us, your palms will be sweating the entire time.

Available on: Hulu

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Jawline (2019)

Jawline

 IMDb

Ever wondered how YouTube stars are made, or how young influencers reach almost celebrity-like status? This documentary follows a 16-year-old boy living in rural Tennessee. A rising social media star, he tries to escape his life and upbringing by building a following based on teen girl lust.

Available on: Hulu

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Addicted to Sexting (2015)

Addicted to Sexting

 IMDb

This documentary is compelling, and often humorous. It examines the rise of sexting from different perspectives, and how the social phenomenon effects the lives of those engaged in it.

Available on: Hulu

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Iris (2014)

Iris

 Amazon

Renowned documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles offers an intimate look into the life of self-described "geriatric starlet" and NYC-based style icon Iris Apfel in the film Iris. "It's a delight to spend time in Apfel's company, and thanks to Albert Maysles, we can," writes Walter Addiego in SF Gate.

Available on: Hulu

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RBG (2018)

RBG

 Amazon

Get an intimate look into Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this documentary. Filmmakers explore how she changed the world for women, making it an especially poignant film.

Available on: Hulu

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Apollo 11 (2019)

Apollo 11

 IMDb

If you're interested in space, you'll be fascinated by this documentary. The film was created from newly-discovered footage and over 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. It'll take you right to the heart of the NASA's Applo 11 mission.

Available on: Hulu

28 of 30

Ballet 422 (2014)

Ballet 422

 IMDb

Follow a choreographer as he creates and dances New York City Ballet's 442nd original piece. If you loved Black Swan, or just want an intimate glimpse into the ballet world, this is it.

Available on: Hulu

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Food Choices (2016)

Food Choices

 Amazon

Explore the impact food choices have on our health, our planet's health, and the lives of other living species in this documentary. It explores misconceptions about diet, and takes an in-depth look at the consumption of animal products.

Available on: Hulu

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The Gospel According to André (2017)

The Gospel According to André

 IMDb

Fashionistas, here you go. This intimate portrait of Andre Leon Talley, an icon in the world of fashion, will give you a firsthand look at this roots. You'll learn how he grew up to be one of the most influential tastemakers of our time.

Available on: Hulu

Up next: Here are 30 romance movies to add to your queue.

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