Even if Hulu makes it easy to find documentaries, it’s not easy to find one you might be interested in watching. Documentaries cover a wide swath of topics, including politics, crime, and everything in between. To save you some time, we’ve rounded up the 12 best documentaries on Hulu you can watch right now — check them out below.
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The best documentaries on Hulu:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best documentaries on Hulu regularly as new ones hit the streaming service.
1. Three Identical Strangers
Is human behavior determined by the environment or your genes? One of the best documentaries on Hulu tries to figure this out. Psychiatrists Peter B. Neubauer and Viola W. Bernard, separated a set of triplets during infancy under the guidance of the Jewish Board of Guardians and Louise Wise adoption agency.
The three brothers were intentionally placed in families with different parenting styles and economic levels. They eventually reconnect and try to piece together how they were separated at birth.
2. Crime + Punishment
As a police officer, do you walk the streets of New York City and look to be a positive force? Or, do you walk those same streets and look at everyone as potential arrests? According to the so-called NYPD12, it’s much more of the latter.
Even though quotas were outlawed for years, commanders still pushed their officers to make a certain number of arrests. For a dozen current and former NYPD officers, enough was enough: it was time to shed some light on the quotas. In doing so, they also shed light on the struggles of going against the same people they served alongside. This is one of the best documentaries on Hulu to learn more about our police system.
3. Free Solo
Professional rock climber Alex Honnold is unlike anyone you’ve met. Whereas other rock climbers rely on gear to get to the top, Honnold uses nothing but his hands, feet, and mind. He’s a free soloist climber who’s ready to face the biggest challenge of his professional career: climbing the face of El Capitan.
Success means Honnold would accomplish one of the greatest athletic feats in the history of mankind. Failure means death. It’s all or nothing for Honnold, as he tries to reach a point in human development not reached by many others in this Hulu documentary.
4. Minding the Gap
What do an African-American, Caucasian, and Chinese-American have in common? This Hulu documentary tells the story of skateboarders Zack Mulligan, Keire Johnson, and filmmaker Bing Liu. As boys, the trio was brought together for their love of skateboarding while growing up in the town of Rockford, Illinois.
If only things remained that simple. Even though their love for skateboarding never changed, everything around them did. As one deals with the struggles of fatherhood, the others dealt with struggles at home and the effects of holding everything in.
She’s considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, a UN Messenger of Peace, an honorary member of the World Future Council, and has received several honorary doctorate degrees. Jane Goodall has and is still living a full life, which we can clearly see in this Hulu documentary.
It wasn’t simple to get to where she is today, however. The male-dominated scientific consensus on chimpanzees was difficult to challenge. Then again, Goodall was up for the challenge and ready to change how we understood the natural world.
6. Batman and Bill
Batman has become one of the most popular fictional characters in history. Until recently, the creation of the Caped Crusader was always credited to one man, Bob Kane. However, this documentary reveals that writer Bill Finger was just as important as Kane in the creation of Batman and many of his supporting characters. Batman and Bill follows the efforts of an author who wrote a biography of Finger, along with Finger’s surviving family members, to get DC Comics and Warner Bros. to give Finger the credit he has deserved for over 80 years.
7. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
The Beatles took the world by storm and became one of the most popular bands in existence. Even today the band keeps its record as #1 with over 183 million units sold.
This documentary tells the story of The Beatles, as well as revealing their philosophy, their way of life, and what their music meant to the members. It’s a must-watch for any Beatles fan, as well as easily being one of the best documentaries on Hulu.
Whichever side of the fence you live on, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy cannot be denied. In recent years, Justice Ginsburg has become a pop culture icon to the point where she’s now referred to as “The Notorious R.B.G.”
However, it wasn’t all like that, which you can see in this Hulu documentary. It only seems like yesterday when Ginsburg graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School. She then made it a habit to go against the US Supreme Court as she fought for gender equality and women’s rights. It wasn’t easy for Ginsburg, but nothing in her professional career was.
9. I Am Greta
Greta Thunberg became an international focus on the climate change debate in 2018. The teenager from Sweden decided to not attend school as a way to protest how climate change is being handled by governments. The reaction was swift, with many praising her efforts, while others claiming she had no business commenting on these matters. This Hulu documentary portrays Thumberg’s public and private life, including her sailing journey across the Atlantic in 2019 to visit the US and speak at the United Nations.
10. Food, Inc.
The image of an American farmer growing crops and raising animals to be sold at markets and directly to you is not an accurate image. Instead, we have a handful of corporations controlling the entire process.
It’s not all terrible, since we have tomatoes that won’t go bad, seeds resistant to insecticides, and larger chickens. We also have the seen and unseen side effects, such as obesity and diabetes, new strains of E. Coli, and the compromised lives of workers and farmers. Food can look beautiful, but what happens behind the scenes often isn’t. We can see what happens behind the scenes in this documentary, which is one of the best ones to watch on Hulu.
11. Fyre Fraud
If there was ever a scam to define the millennial generation, Fyre Festival was it. The promise of dancing the weekend away on a private island with social media influencers and the rich was too much to pass up for hundreds of people.
However, it was all a ruse. Cabanas, high-end food, and a star-studded lineup of artists gave way to tents, mishandled baggage, a lack of personnel, and numerous lawsuits. It didn’t take long to Fyre Festival to become a hot topic, but the same goes for its downfall.
12. We Are Freestyle Love Supreme
Lin-Manuel Miranda has achieved fame and acclaim for writing two hit musicals, In The Heights and Hamilton. However, he got his start in an improv hip-hop group called Freestyle Love Supreme. This documentary looks at how this group, which also included Wayne Brady and Daveed Diggs, got started. It helped Miranda to create the songs for his musical, and in 2019 the group came together to perform on Broadway.
These are our picks for the best documentaries on Hulu. We’ll update this post with new titles once they make it to the streaming service.