What are the Best Historical Documentaries?

Ordinary people transforming the world, daring heroes, and epic battles are what we all get when watching documentaries. Enjoying these history documents with your kids will make them curious about the past. Moreover, the docuseries shed light on historical figures you don’t get to hear about in your history class.

Best Historical Documentaries in 2023

This article digs deep into some of the best historical documentaries of our time. Get to learn what transpired in the lives of certain icons and what major events made headlines.

1. Who Killed Malcolm X?

Who Killed Malcolm X?

Human rights activist and Muslim minister Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965. Before his death, he was preparing to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in New York. Although authorities arrested two men connected with his death, this documentary on Netflix digs more profound into the mysterious element surrounding his death. The series delved so much into the hidden facts that led to the exoneration of the two men.

2. Apollo 11

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 is a beautiful, colorized piece of work. The documentary chronologically shows how Apollo 11 launched and landed on the moon. Seeing the vivid and real pictures of the entire mission leaves you wondering how the whole experience could have been. Plus, there’s no tiring condescending voice-over other than beautiful footage. If you love everything about galaxies and space travel, you cannot afford to miss this documentary.

3. Age of Samurai: Battle of Japan

Age of Samurai: Battle of Japan

Documentary dramas provide an exciting mix of over-exaggeration and natural acting, but in a way that makes the viewer understand the incredible history. The Age of Samurai depicts the events that happened in the 16thC Japan’s civil war. If you don’t like violence, you can steer off this one.

4. Challenger: The Final Flight

Challenger: The Final Flight

The four-part documentary tells a story of tragedy and inspiration. Challenger covers actual events in 1986 when a group of astronauts who assembled for an unconventional U.S. Space Shuttle mission perished. In addition, some sensitive information about what happened comes out when it’s revealed the Challenger cabin didn’t die in explosion but from falling into the Atlantic Ocean.

5. RBG


RBG gives a closer look into the career and life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The documentary shows how RBG served as the second woman at the Supreme Court when women lawyers couldn’t serve in such a position. Ginsburg challenged the status quo by charting her path and creating an opportunity for hundreds of women in America. The documentary has behind-the-scenes interviews that make you understand what Ginsburg fought for in a world that didn’t believe women could serve in higher offices.

6. Our Planet

Our Planet

If you want to learn about the different animal species around the globe, this is the best documentary. In this docuseries, you know about how climate change affects specific animals. You’ll understand how diverse the animal population is around the world. The film doesn’t stop there, but it goes ahead to give viewers ways in which to save our planet.

7. Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Books about Jackie Robinson have dominated public libraries for many years. The late Chadwick Boseman also played him in the movie “42.” This documentary tells the story of an activist, father, husband, sports personality, and the person he was. You learn how Robinson spoke against discrimination in and outside baseball. After retiring from baseball, he continued championing civil rights. Any history and baseball fanatic will enjoy every second of this documentary.

8. Mercury 13

Mercury 13

In 1961, a group of females who underwent serious training were asked to step aside so that only men could go for space travel. The only reason the female pilots couldn’t go to space was their gender. Mercury 13 shows how women came in second during that era, despite their effort in everything they did.


If your idea of a movie night also involves historical learning events, then you must sit put. Everyone enjoys watching documentaries because they provide so much information about significant historical events that took place on earth.


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