Is binge-watching still frowned upon if you're being educated by what's on the screen?
Documentaries can be incredibly thought-provoking, evocative, and emotional films to watch. Whether you're into true-crime, the human body, or wildlife, you're sure to find something suited to your interests from Netflix's wide selection.
We decided to sort through and pick out the very best (and most fascinating!) gems for you.
If anyone asks why you were MI. for the past week, just tell them you were learning things.
As arguably one of the most well-known documentaries on Netflix, "Blackfish" is worth a watch. (I mean, a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes means they did something right.) The stirring 2013 film follows the complex story of an orca named Tilikum, who lived in captivity at Sea World and ultimately killed three people.
Chances are you've heard a Bob Marley song in your lifetime. But do you know his backstory? Follow the reggae legend all the way back to his home in Jamaica in the 2012 documentary "Marley," and learn about his illegitimate children and cancer diagnosis. The film will give you a newfound understanding of one of music's most prolific artists.
3. "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"
Food-porn enthusiasts are sure to love this film, which chronicles Jiro Ono's path to becoming one of the best sushi chefs in the world. The narrative of the story is incredibly riveting and includes how Ono's dedication affects his family, most particularly, his sons.
This documentary, which came out last year and is named after the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery (except when considered punishment for a crime), is powerful, to say the least. Coming at just the right time in our social and political landscape, the film dives deep into the systemic race problem in America for African Americans, from Jim Crow to mass incarceration.
Cat-lovers will unite over "Kedi," which shows the daily life in Istanbul, Turkey, through the eyes of street cats. Even if you don't like cats, "Kedi" is a beautifully shot film.
6. "Under the Sun"
The way North Korea is portrayed in media makes it seem like an abstract and dystopian country. "Under the Sun" beautifully captures the human story that lies behind the country's militant wall by candidly following around a young North Korean girl named Zin-mi.
7. "Food, Inc."
Even if you don't swear off meat after watching this 2008 documentary on animal maltreatment in the food industry, you'll gain a new perspective on big business and corporations.
8. "Casting JonBenet"
"Casting JonBenet" is one of this year's hit documentaries. It takes the true-crime genre to new heights by exploring the 1996 murder of JonBenét Ramsey. Local actors are brought in to try out for a dramatization of the case, but in the end, their audition tapes are what make up the documentary. It's haunting, to say the least.
9. "The White Helmets"
With 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an Oscar win under its belt, "The White Helmets" is a must-watch documentary. It follows the daily lives of White Helmets, who are Syrian Civil Defense volunteer rescue workers, as they risk their own safety to help those in war-torn Turkey and Syria. Prepare to be inspired.
10. "Welcome to Leith"
This disturbing 2015 documentary takes a look at the small town of Leith, North Dakota, which is being overtaken by white supremacists. It gives a peek into a part of society overlooked by many Americans.
Thumbnail/banner image credit: Flickr user Ginny