Bright Side

11 Binge-Worthy Documentaries to Immerse Yourself Into Whole New Worlds

With a wide range of science fiction movies that portray reality out of proportion, we often forget to think about the real events in the present moment. However, there are still some great documentaries that are ready to stretch our creative imagination to the next level and help us think about the infinite possibilities our world offers.

We at Bright Side handpicked 10 of the most thrilling, contemporary documentaries that’ll definitely make you want to glue yourself to the sofa. Keep in mind that the order of the documentaries is not related to the quality of the films.

1. Honeyland (2019)

One of the biggest surprises during the Oscar nominations in 2019, was when Honeyland received the attention it deserved. The Macedonian documentary portrays the life of Hatidže Muratova, the last bee-hunter in Europe. Settled in the village of Bekirlija, Hatidže is on a mission to save the bees and restore the balance of nature.

The documentary represents the exploration of an observational indigenous visual narrative that deeply affects our behavior toward our environment. The filming of Honeyland lasted 3 years, and film critics applauded the message of the movie that teaches us to preserve nature.

2. Cosmos: Possible Worlds (2020)

A successor to the popular Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the sequel, Cosmos: Possible Worlds is here to take us on another journey of limitless exploration. Neil DeGrasse Tyson returns as the host of this 13-episode American documentary. The documentary premiered on March 9th, 2020, taking audiences on spiritual voyages to explore the unknown in our vast universe.

The series explores previously uncharted realms, lost worlds, and the possible worlds that humanity may one day interact with. This is the perfect documentary to pick your brain and just make you wonder about our place in the universe.

3. Ice on Fire (2019)

Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this documentary places a focus on the global ecological crisis our planet has fallen into. Ice on Fire explores the many ways we can reduce carbon inputs to the atmosphere and other methods we can use to reverse the rise of global temperatures.

4. The Last Dance (2020)

This charts the rise of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, led by Michael Jordan, as one of the most notable dynasties in sports history. The Last Dance is one of the most popular documentaries currently being released, and rightly so. The documentary shares insights from Michael Jordan’s career and the Chicago Bulls, packed with unreleased footage from the 1997–98 Bulls season, his final season with the team.

5. Planet Earth II (2016)

This British documentary, narrated by the one and only Sir David Attenborough, allows us to experience the world from a unique perspective, the eyes of animals themselves. Premiering in 2016, Planet Earth II is a sequel to the 2006 documentary Planet Earth. The documentary sends a strong message to all of us, that we should nurture and cherish our wildlife as it is.

The documentary was so anticipated and became instantly popular, with the very first episode racking up 12.26 million views in the UK alone — the highest number ever for a nature documentary.

6. The Innocence Files (2020)

These hour-long episodes unravel the personal stories behind 8 cases of wrongful prosecution. The Innocence Project and the Innocence Network groups both worked to expose and bring justice to these cases. The Innocence Files showcase the stories of real humans who wrongfully served prison sentences. It is deemed as one of the strongest documentaries delving into criminal justice that will make you realize the way our society works.

7. Tiger King (2020)

Premiering in 2020, Tiger King is an American true crime documentary miniseries about the life of zookeeper Joe Exotic. The series places a specific focus on a small number of deeply integrated big cat conservationists. The documentary received positive criticism and was viewed by more than 34.3 million people within the first few days of its premiere. It's definitely worth a watch.

8. Our Planet (2019)

This documentary is focused on emphasizing diverse habitats all around the world. Throughout the episodes, you’ll get a glimpse of all of the planet’s wonders, from the remote Arctic wilderness, to the mysterious deep oceans, to vast landscapes and unexplored jungles. Once again in the narrator’s seat, Sir David Attenborough’s voice guides us through the marvels of Our Planet, reminding everyone how magnificent, yet fragile, our world is.

9. Home (2009)

Home is a documentary that depicts how our planet’s problems are all interconnected. The film is mostly made out of aerial shots filmed across 54 countries. This documentary focuses on the diversity of life and showcases the ecological imbalances caused by humanity.

10. One Strange Rock (2018)

Hosted by Will Smith, One Strange Rock tells the extraordinary story of Earth through the perspective of astronauts. The documentary delves into mysteries that scientists have been trying to solve for years, and it’s certainly great to understand what science in the modern world looks like.

11. Babies (2020)

Babies is a documentary that zeroes in on just what infants go through in their first years of life and how they discover the world surrounding them. Babies are much more complex than we ever thought, and this docu-series seeks to unravel the mystery of how these young creatures perceive the world during their first days and months.

Which one are you going to put on your must-watch list? Recommend other great documentaries in the comments below that might tickle our curiosity.

Preview photo credit Honeyland / IMDB