13 Best Amazon Prime Documentaries to Watch Right Now
When the credits roll on the best Amazon Prime documentaries, we can’t help but feel a little smarter, a little more worldly, and a little more “put together.” Some of our favourites include The Sound of 007 (2022), Time (2020), and Shane (2022) for cricket fans. However, one thing’s for sure when it comes to our list of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime, they both inform and entertain – double the value, double the fun – and no matter what you’re into we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your personal preferences on our comprehensive list, chosen by our editors.
RELATED: Check out the best Amazon Prime movies to watch right now.
Best Amazon Prime Documentaries at a Glance
From grand biopics to thought-provoking historic and political docos, you’ll find something that’ll tickle your fancy on our list below. Amazon Prime has some of the best new documentaries currently out, from Shane, a doco on the life and feats of the late great Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne to The Sound of 007, a deep-dive into the world of the iconic James Bond franchise. These are our favourites at a glance.
- The best Amazon Prime Documentary overall: Good Night Oppy
- If you’re into sports documentaries: Shane
- If you’re a movie buff: The Sound of 007
- If you want to learn about the music industry: A Man Named Scott
- If you’re after a feel-good story: Wildcat
With new Prime documentaries being added to the streaming service all the time, there’s always something new to discover. So, if you’re ready to become a little wiser and also have something cool and educated to say at your next social event, we’ve put together a list of the best documentaries currently available on Amazon Prime Video, let’s check out the complete list.
1. The Sound of 007 (2022)
The Sound of 007 is one of Amazon Prime’s new documentaries that delve into the world of one of the most iconic franchises of all time: James Bond. Directed by filmmaker Mat Whitecross, the doco specifically explores the history and impact of the theme songs that have become such a memorable part of James Bond movies over six decades. The documentary takes you on a sensory journey through generations of music, starting with the unforgettable theme from the 1962 film Dr. No. Starring none other than the most famous Bond actor Daniel Craig, as well as other actors who have played Bond over the years, if you’re a fan of Bond and its incredible music, The Sound of 007 is a must-see film!
Run time: 1 hr 28 min
Director: Mat Whitecross
Stars: Billie Eilish, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Michael Caine
2. Good Night Oppy (2022)
If you used to dream of being an astronaut (I did, and still do tbh), you’ll love Good Night Oppy, a documentary film from Ryan White that tells the amazing true story of Opportunity, a rover sent on a three-month mission to Mars that ended up surviving for an incredible 15 years. Narrated by the talented Angela Bassett (known for her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), this film features interviews with NASA engineers and scientists who played a part in creating the adorable rover. Through their stories, we get an inside look at the fascinating world of space exploration and the dedication and hard work it takes to make these missions a success.
Run time: 1 hr 45 min
Director: Ryan White
Stars: Angela Bassett, David Letterman, Jon Stewart
3. Time (2020)
Time is a powerful and poignant Amazon Prime documentary that explores the impact of incarceration on families through the lens of Sibil Fox Richardson, whose husband Rob is serving a 60-year sentence for bank robbery. The film uses home videos of the family to highlight the harsh reality of what it’s like to lose precious time with loved ones who are locked behind bars. Sibil’s story acts as a vehicle to shed light on the prison-industrial complex and the real, human toll it takes. The film made history at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where director Garrett Bradley became the first Black woman to win the U.S. Documentary Directing Award. Time is a must-see film that will leave a lasting impact on anyone who watches it.
Run time: 1 hr 21 min
Director: Garrett Bradley
Stars: Fox Rich, Rob Rich II, Freedom Rich
4. A Man Named Scott (2021)
Kid Cudi fans listen up – one of the best documentaries on Amazon Prime right now is A Man Named Scott – a music documentary that goes behind the scenes of Kid Cudi’s life before he became the renowned rapper he is today. The documentary specifically looks at his debut album ‘Man on the Moon’, which remains one of his most important and impactful works today. The album tackled sensitive topics not often spoken about such as depression and loneliness, which resonated with an entire generation and earned him a dedicated and loyal fanbase. A Man Named Scott gives fans an inside look at the making of the album and its lasting influence, featuring never-before-seen footage and behind-the-scenes extras.
Run time: 1 hr 35 min
Director: Robert Alexander
Stars: Kid Cudi, Jaden Smith, Blake Young
5. Wildcat (2022)
Wildcat is a breathtaking journey through the Amazon that tells the story of Harry Turner, a young English veteran who travels to a remote and scenic area to heal from his PTSD after being medically discharged from the army. In the Amazon, Turner meets American scientist Samantha Zwicker, and together they foster an orphaned baby ocelot (wild cat). While from the outset Wildcat appears to be a visually stunning nature documentary, it actually delves much deeper and beautifully explores the interconnectedness of our planet. At its core, Wildcat is an emotionally charged and inspirational film that explores the healing power of nature. If you’re a fan of wildlife documentaries or just looking for an uplifting and heartwarming story, Wildcat is a must-watch.
Run time: 1 hr 45 min
Director: Trevor Frost, Melissa Lesh
Stars: Samantha Zwicker, Harry Turner, Dante Cueva Altamirano
6. SOMM (2012)
With a unique style that combines both an introduction to wine appreciation and a competition-style format, Somm is for anyone who wants to learn more about what it takes to sit the Master Sommelier exam. The film follows a group of young American wine enthusiasts as they strive to earn the coveted title of Master Sommelier, with the exam having a meagre 8% pass rate. Viewers get an inside look at the world of wine and the dedication and passion required to become a Master Sommelier as the sommeliers travel to Italy and France to prepare for their high-stakes exam.
Run time: 1 hr 34 min
Director: Jason Wise
Stars: Bo Barrett, Shayn Bjornholm, Dave Cauble
7. Shane (2022)
Shane is a biopic of the late great Shane Warne, one of the greatest Aussie cricketers and spin bowlers of all time. A cricketing legend, Warney actually started his sports career as a (terrible) Aussie Rules player. After being kicked out for his lack of skills, he soon discovered his talent in the difficult art of spin bowling at the young age of 19. Shane was a master of his craft, but with all that success and fame came scandals involving betting, drugs, and infidelity that threatened his career and personal life. Shane isn’t so much a documentary as a highlight reel of Warne’s life and career, so if you’re a massive Warney fan, no doubt you’ll love and appreciate Shane.
Run time: 1 hr 30 min
Director: David Alrich, Jon Carey, Jackie Munro
Stars: Shane Warne, Manoj Badale, Steven Baker
8. Val (2021)
One of Hollywood’s most enigmatic actors, Val Kilmer secretly documented his life through home videos for over forty years, which he then turned into a doco on his life – as you do. He accumulated countless hours of footage ranging from 16mm home movies made with his siblings to behind-the-scenes moments while shooting Hollywood blockbusters like Top Gun, Tombstone, and Batman Forever. It’s both a peculiar and endearing documentary, inviting viewers to gain a fresh perspective on the elusive Val Kilmer.
Run time: 1 hr 49 min
Director: Leo Scott, Ting Poo
Stars: Val Kilmer, Jack Kilmer, Mercedes Kilmer
9. Life Off Grid (2016)
From 2011 to 2013, director Jonathan Taggart and producer Phillip Vannini travelled across Canada to visit 200 people who have chosen to live their lives “off the grid”. An interview-style documentary, the film features a diverse range of people, including environmentalists, artists, and homesteaders who share their experiences and motivations for living off the grid. The film also delves into the challenges and rewards of self-sufficient living, from building sustainable homes to generating their own power and growing their own food. At its core, Life Off Grid offers a fascinating glimpse into a unique way of life that is often misunderstood, while highlighting the importance of sustainability and self-reliance, a message that’s more important than ever.
Run time: 1 hr 26 min
Director: Jonathan Taggart
10. Dior and I (2014)
Dior and I follows the story of Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons during his first few months as the creative director for the luxury fashion house Dior. The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Simons’ debut haute couture collection for Dior, and the intense creative process involved. The Amazon Prime documentary blends past, present, and future and offers a fascinating insight into the high-pressure world of luxury fashion and one of the most iconic fashion brands of all time.
Run time: 1 hr 30 min
Director: Frédéric Tcheng
Stars: Christian Dior, Omar Berrada, Raf Simons
11. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
Dear Zachary is a truly heart-wrenching true-crime documentary that follows filmmaker Kurt Kuenne’s quest to piece together the clues surrounding the brutal murder of his best friend, Andrew Bagby, by his ex-girlfriend. It’s honest, heartfelt, infuriating and devastating all in one as Kuenne scrapbooks Andrew’s life together in a way that is both personal and poignant. Kuenne maintains tension and pacing without exploiting the material or dragging the audience through melodrama, making it a must-watch documentary. In fact, the film was so impactful that it even led to the introduction of “Zachary’s Bill” in Canada’s Parliament to protect children in custody disputes.
Run time: 1 hr 35 min
Director: Kurt Kuenne
12. Lorena (2019)
Lorena is a shocking four-part docuseries that chronicles the 1993 assault of John Bobbitt by his wife, Lorena. The series delves into the domestic violence and marital rape allegations that led to the infamous incident, as well as the subsequent media frenzy. Through archive footage and investigative journalism, director Joshua Rofé exposes the disgraceful treatment of the case by the media. You’ll be left feeling both frustrated and enlightened by Lorena, a truly astounding true-crime docu-series.
Run time: Four-part docu-series
Director: Joshua Rofé
Stars: Lorena Bobbitt, John Wayne Bobbitt, Kim Gandy
13. Lucy and Desi (2022)
Lucy and Desi delve into the complex relationship between the iconic Hollywood stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, from their early days as a new couple to their eventual passing. Directed by legendary comedian, writer and actor Amy Poehler, the documentary is pieced together through archival recordings and home movies, as well as interviews with those closest to the couple, including their children and colleagues like Norman Lear and Carol Burnett. Thankfully, Poehler does an excellent job of not sensationalising the story but instead relies on the captivating personas of the beloved TV stars to tell their story in a humanising light.
Run time: 1 hr 42 min
Director: Amy Poehler
Stars: Lucie Arnaz, Bette Midler, Carol Burnett
Key Things to Consider for Documentaries on Amazon Prime
- How Amazon Prime Video Rankings Work – Amazon Prime Video’s ranking system relies on customer feedback from verified purchases or rentals. Only logged-in users who have watched the content can leave a review, ensuring authentic ratings based on genuine viewing experiences. No fake reviews are allowed!
- Exclusives – Despite Netflix being Amazon Prime’s biggest competitor in terms of market share, Prime Video boasts the largest selection of streamable content among all other services. Moreover, Amazon Prime features plenty of exclusive documentaries that are only available on its platform.
- Cost of Amazon Prime Video – Amazon Prime TV in Australia is only $6.99 per month, which is about half of its competitors. There is only one subscription type for Prime Video (similar to the Disney+ subscription model). You can also choose a year subscription, for $59 paid upfront.
- Free Trial – Amazon offers a free 30-day trial when you first sign up, and you can easily cancel before the 30 days are up to avoid having to pay for the next month.
Prime Video Australia FAQs:
Does Amazon Prime have any documentaries?
From grand biopics to historical recounts, to personal journeys and political and socio-economic films, there are some truly inspirational and thought-provoking documentaries on Amazon Prime. And, Prime is always adding new documentaries to its collection, so there’s bound to be something that’ll pique your interest (and boost your brain cells).
What sports documentaries are on Amazon Prime Video?
Amazon Prime has some of the best sports documentaries you can stream online, including LeBron James: King of the Court, Conor McGregor: The Irishman, Dan Carter: A Perfect 10, The Test, All or Nothing series and Andy Murray: Resurfacing.
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