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Crime Documentaries on Netflix

Last updated June 24, 2018

Serving Life Poster

Serving Life

2011 | NR | 4.2 out of 5 Stars

Filmed in a notorious Louisiana prison, this moving documentary chronicles the work of some inmates who find a sense of redemption for their past crimes by volunteering in the jail's hospice, offering compassion to other prisoners as they die.
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Ken Burns: Prohibition Poster

Ken Burns: Prohibition

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Ken Burns's fascinating multipart documentary examines the history of alcohol in America, including the events leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, the social and legal effects of prohibiting alcohol, and the repeal of Prohibition.
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Ken Burns: Prohibition Poster

Ken Burns: Prohibition

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Ken Burns's fascinating multipart documentary examines the history of alcohol in America, including the events leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, the social and legal effects of prohibiting alcohol, and the repeal of Prohibition.
Details about Ken Burns: Prohibition

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father Poster

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

2008 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's poignant tribute to his murdered childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle between the baby's grieving grandparents and Shirley Turner, Bagby's pregnant ex-girlfriend and suspected killer. Initially, Kuenne made this documentary as a memorial for Andrew's loved ones, but it morphs into an emotional legal odyssey when Turner goes free on bail and is allowed to raise her son.
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Crime After Crime Poster

Crime After Crime

2011 | NR | 4.1 out of 5 Stars

Convicted of killing her brutally abusive boyfriend in 1983, Deborah Peagler languished in prison for 20 years. When California legislation allowing incarcerated domestic-violence survivors to reopen their cases becomes law, a pair of novice attorneys agree to take on her case. Armed with evidence of their client's innocence, the two encounter a bewildering maze of bureaucratic procedures and political corruption as they seek justice.
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Terms And Conditions May Apply Poster

Terms And Conditions May Apply

2013 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

Through interviews with technology thought leaders and futurists -- including Mark Zuckerberg, Orson Scott Card and Margaret Atwood -- this timely documentary examines the erosion of privacy in the digital age.
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The Central Park Five Poster

The Central Park Five

2012 | NR | 4.0 out of 5 Stars

This piercing documentary examines the case of five teenagers, all African-American or Latino, who were convicted of the brutal rape of a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Years later, the confession of the real rapist set the jailed men free.
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Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God Poster

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

2012 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Alex Gibney explores the scourge of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, highlighting the landmark story of five deaf men who spoke out about a priest who molested more than 200 children between 1950 and 1974.
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American Drug War: The Last White Hope Poster

American Drug War: The Last White Hope

2007 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

With commentary from soldiers on both sides of the conflict, filmmaker Kevin Booth's incisive documentary wades into the murky waters of the American war on drugs, the longest and costliest war in U.S. history. Taking viewers from prisons and inner-city streets to the halls of Congress and his own kitchen, Booth attempts to sort out the intricacies of the national drug policy -- and the reasons for its unmitigated failure.
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West of Memphis Poster

West of Memphis

2012 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

After the 1994 conviction of three troubled teens for the murders of three younger boys, questions began to arise about the prosecution of the case, with numerous legal experts and celebrities demanding that previously ignored evidence be examined.
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How Weed Won the West Poster

How Weed Won the West

2010 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Kevin Booth (American Drug War) offers this documentary that chronicles the exploding popularity of medical marijuana dispensaries in California and the mixed response from law enforcement agencies. Focusing on the controversial story of Organica, a legal Los Angeles pot club that was raided in 2009, the film also includes insights from a range of medical marijuana advocates, including a former LAPD cop.
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Mafia's Greatest Hits Poster

Mafia's Greatest Hits

2012 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Looking back on the Mafia's greatest "hits," this gritty documentary series profiles the people at the center of America's most powerful organized crime group. Even the FBI can't curb the Mafia's influence, despite decades of tireless efforts.
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Mafia's Greatest Hits Poster

Mafia's Greatest Hits

2012 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This bare-knuckled documentary series explores the infamous characters at the heart of the American branch of the Italian crime organization. The FBI's relentless battle to counter the Mafia's influence provides a drama that stretches over decades.
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The Interrupters Poster

The Interrupters

2011 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This powerful documentary follows CeaseFire, a Chicago-based group -- staffed by former gang members -- that's dedicated to wiping out urban violence. The organization treats violence like an infection and seeks to eradicate the root cause.
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Mario's Story Poster

Mario's Story

2007 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Shot over the course of seven years, this documentary from filmmakers Susan Koch and Jeff Werner relates the inspiring true story of Mario Rocha, an East L.A. teen who unlocked his talent for writing while serving out a murder sentence behind bars. As his family and a team of pro bono attorneys labor on the outside to clear his name for a crime he didn't commit, Mario keeps himself grounded on the inside by writing poems, short stories and plays.
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The Thin Blue Line Poster

The Thin Blue Line

1988 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker Errol Morris's gripping investigation into the murder of a Dallas police officer was responsible for freeing the man who was originally -- and erroneously -- charged with and convicted of the crime.
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Brother's Keeper Poster

Brother's Keeper

1992 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

This documentary explores the odd world of the four elderly Ward brothers, illiterate farmers who have lived their entire lives in a dilapidated shack. When William dies in the bed he shared with his brother Delbert, the police arrest him for murder.
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The Imposter Poster

The Imposter

2012 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

A 13-year-old boy who vanished in Texas and shows up three years later in Spain now has the same tattoos, but looks different and speaks with an accent. An investigator sets out to unravel the mystery in this riveting documentary.
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Into the Abyss Poster

Into the Abyss

2011 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

Director Werner Herzog's compelling documentary examines the emotional aftermath of a triple murder in Texas, interviewing the two convicted killers, their relatives, the victims' families and law-enforcement officials involved in the case.
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Until the Light Takes Us Poster

Until the Light Takes Us

2008 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

Taking viewers deep inside the notorious "Inner Circle" that promoted murder, suicide and church burning in the Norwegian black metal subculture of the 1990s, filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell offer up a nuanced and fascinating documentary. Rare footage and interviews with musicians -- including Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell, Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes and Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg -- shed light on the controversial movement.
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Unraveled Poster

Unraveled

2011 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

Reflecting on his fortune and downfall while awaiting sentencing and under house arrest, attorney and white-collar criminal Marc Dreier reveals the series of events that led him to hatch a Ponzi scheme which lost $750 million.
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Girl 27 Poster

Girl 27

2007 | NR | 3.6 out of 5 Stars

Author-screenwriter David Stenn investigates a notorious Hollywood scandal more than 65 years after it occurred, a rape case involving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio execs and an underage dancer who refused to stay silent. Hired along with 120 other young girls to entertain MGM salesmen at a stag party in 1937, Patricia Douglas was violently raped and brought a landmark lawsuit against her attackers -- then mysteriously disappeared.
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Life with Murder Poster

Life with Murder

2010 | NR | 3.5 out of 5 Stars

When 18-year-old Jennifer Jenkins is shot dead at home, all evidence points to the guilt of her 20-year-old brother, Mason -- but the siblings' parents maintain an unwavering belief in their son's innocence. Director John Kastner's unflinching documentary chronicles Mason's 11-year march through the Canadian court system, from first interrogation to appeal attempts, and culminates in an unforeseen revelation.
Details about Life with Murder

Thieves by Law Poster

Thieves by Law

2010 | NR | 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Former heads of the Russian Mafia who have shrewdly transformed themselves into reputable businessmen reveal their past experiences influencing their nation's economy, building up immense wealth and strictly adhering to a private code of thieves. Granted unprecedented access and cooperation, director Alexander Gentelev presents an intriguing documentary that exposes a chilling chapter of Russia's hidden history.
Details about Thieves by Law

The End: British Gangsters Poster

The End: British Gangsters

2008 | NR | 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Take a close, hard look at the seedy underbelly of London's East End in the post-World War II era in this unflinching documentary, which profiles a violent group of local gangsters who openly discuss their shocking exploits and unique code of honor. With surprising candor, this intriguing look at criminal life explores how the neighborhood's aggressive and confrontational culture spawned so many lawbreakers.
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