From free one-day delivery to music streaming, and Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime is always trying to be the subscription you can’t live without. Amazon Prime Video is one of the bigger and better streaming services around, too, with TV shows and movies, including some of the world’s best documentaries.
Here’s our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime, plus some honorable mentions as documentaries come and go from the platform.
The best documentaries on Amazon Prime:
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime over time.
1. Chasing Happiness
It’s easy to cringe at the thought of a documentary on the Jonas Brothers. But this is good! I mean, yes, they rose to fame by forming the Jonas Brothers group, accumulated dozens of awards, and sold over 17 million albums worldwide, and so on.
But reality set in for the group. No one was happy, with all three Jonas siblings splitting from the group. Chasing Happiness takes you through the rise of the Jonas Brothers, what led to their break-up, and what led to the three brothers finding their way to each other again.
Sriracha is the cult sauce that’s almost become a staple in households that know. Hot sauce isn’t usually much more than something that’s on the shelf or in the fridge, but Sriracha is more than that. With its green lid, and spicy red contents, the sauce is legendary, but the company behind it, Huy Fong Foods, is hardly a name brand. Until the Sriracha documentary. It’s just a heart-warming watch and at 33 minutes long, you’ll get through it in a sitting.
That reminds me, am I nearly out of Sriracha?
3. Video Games: The Movie
This may be the best documentary about the rise of video games in society. Narrated by Sean Astin, this 2013 documentary talks about the origins of video games, from the earliest titles like Pong, to the rise of home and arcade game consoles in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The documentary also shows how the entire video game industry almost imploded in the early 1980s, only to be recused by Nintendo’s consoles, and later by Sony’s Playstation consoles and games. It’s a fascinating look at the rise, fall, and rise of the industry.
4. All In: The Fight for Democracy
This Amazon Prime Video original documentary takes a look at voter suppression in the United States. It focuses on Stacey Abrams, who tried and failed to win the governorship of Georgia in 2018. Through her commentary, we see how many groups try to keep people from voting, from restrictive laws to gerrymandering of district lines and more.
Over a two-year period, Ohio was rocked to its core as 11 women went missing. It wasn’t until October 2009 when authorities finally discovered the 11 women littered around the home of Anthony Sewell. Some were discovered in shallow graves, others were discovered in spaces inside of the home.
However, the focus isn’t on Sewell and his atrocities. The focus is on the surviving victims of his sexual assaults and why Sewell’s killing spree went unnoticed for almost three years.
6. One Child Nation
In 1979, the government of China 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 ended the one-child policy in 2015, the effects of that law are still being felt. This award-winning documentary takes a look at the consequences of China’s attempt at population control, which included government forced sterilization and abortions, to abandoning newborn babies.
7. The Booksellers
One of the most well known stereotypes of New York City is its huge used book stores. In this documentary, we get an insider glimpse into this small but well-known industry in the city.
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 book sellers, and used book readers, are starting to rise up and take the business in a new direction.
8. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
This Academy Award nominee for best documentary in 2019 is fascinating for the reviews it gets. It’s either a five star or one star watch for many. Those who love it appreciate the simple, honest view it gives 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’s challenging is that there’s no narration, or obvious narrative. But you will find yourself thinking about this as you watch, and for weeks and months after. Listen, watch, and give Hale County, a chance, for what it is.
That was our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime.