If you’re looking for a way to fill a lazy summer night, look no further than our comprehensive guide to the best documentaries out there! Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller to watch with your significant other or an informative documentary on our country’s political landscape, we’ve got just the film for you. So sit back, grab a snack, and soak up these precious summer nights with one of our must-see documentaries!

1. Blackfish

After undergoing significant emotional trauma, captive killer whale Tilikum took the lives of three people, including two Orca trainers, during his captivity at SeaWorld. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite makes a case for why these deeply sensitive and highly intelligent animals should not be in captivity, and the startling truth of what happens when they are. Blackfish is a must-see for us!

2. O.J.: Made in America

This penetrating piece on one of modern America’s most talked about trials has all the makings of a wildly thrilling documentary: race, violence, fame and the criminal justice system. This five-part miniseries tells the story of how household name O.J. Simpson came to be the man he is today. From his football days at USC to his murder trial and subsequent acquittal, this film endeavors to give viewers a glimpse into the life of O.J. Simpson beyond the surface.

3. Weiner

Weiner follows seven-time Congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin as they navigate a tumultuous political campaign post-scandal. The fresh, comedic spin to an otherwise serious topic makes this film strikingly different from other political documentaries. Weiner promises to keep you cringe-laughing while exploring the inner-workings of a mayoral candidate attempting to get back into the public’s good graces.

4. Making a Murderer

This must-see documentary lives up to the hype and then some. Filmed over the course of 10 years, Making a Murderer covers the trial, conviction and subsequent exoneration of wrongfully accused Steven Avery. When Avery was accused of another murder two years later, the handling of the case was highly controversial given his recent wrongful conviction. The film offers startling insights into the flaws of the criminal justice system and how it can change one man’s life forever.

5. The Jinx

A House favorite, this six-part HBO documentary follows the life and (possible?) crimes of Robert Durst. Hailing from New York royalty, Durst had a deeply traumatic childhood which led to an even more harrowing adult life, including three murders for which he contends he is not responsible for. But the overwhelming evidence says otherwise. This thrilling story of a three-time accused murderer will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. (We highly recommend NOT doing any research before watching this one. Google could definitely provide some upsetting spoiler alerts!)

6. What the Health

Director Kip Anderson investigates the conspiracy between the government and big corporations that is making Americans more unhealthy than we have ever been before. In What the Health, Kip explores the harmful effects of eating a primarily meat and dairy-based diet and argues, instead, that an entirely plant-based diet would solve many of the (literal) ills of our society.

7. Before the Flood

Actor and notorious environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio chats with some of today’s foremost scientists and world leaders as he endeavors to find possible solutions to climate change and the dangers it poses to our planet. DiCaprio travels the globe to see how other countries are responding to climate change and explores how corporate corruption contributes to our rapidly deteriorating ecosystem. Both inspiring and informative, Before the Flood offers a harsh look at where our planet is headed and what we can do about it.

8. Spotlight

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe, this film tells the story of how some of the city’s most esteemed government and religious figures covered up decades of abuse. A year-long investigation by a group of Globe journalists yielded some disturbing insights into one of the most trusted institutions in the world: the Catholic Church. With the success of the Boston investigation, a wave of similar stories of abuse began to surface from around the globe. This chilling look at the dark underbelly of one of the most highly-regarded institutions in the world will leave you speechless.

9. Enron

Enron offers a behind-the-scenes look at the company that was responsible for perhaps the most famous case of corporate corruption in the 20th century. Once the seventh-largest company in the country, Enron’s fall came in 2001 when it was revealed that executives at the company had embezzled billions of dollars and profited from the California energy crisis of 2000. An insightful look at corporate corruption and greed, this is a can’t-miss for us!  (And, of course, based in our hometown of Houston.)

10. Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox’s innocence, or lack thereof, has been a hotly debated topic since she was first convicted of the murder of a fellow foreign exchange student in 2007. While the film is undoubtedly on Knox’s side, it does an excellent job of illuminating some of the most important facts and individuals involved in this decade-long case and forces viewers to face some hard truths about the flaws in our justice system.

11. Kumare

What inspires people to follow gurus? Creating a peek behind this curtain, lapsed Hindu Vikram Ghandi conducts an elaborate experiment to find out. Impersonating an Indian sage by the name of Kumare, he begins leading classes based on his actual philosophy that there is a guru inside us all. In a existential paradox, the guru is teaching that no guru is needed. As he teaches people to trust their inner wisdom, he surprises himself by seeing that hie is actually helping people make real changes in their lives. He sums up the experience with yet another paradox: “This is the story of the biggest lie I’ve ever told and the greatest truth I’ve ever experienced.” Kumare is well worth watching to examine the power of belief in a fresh light.

12. Trump: An American Dream

Donald Trump is one of the most polarizing presidents this country has ever seen. But his presidency often overshadows his fascinating upbringing and career. Trump: An American Dream takes viewers through the life of the 45th president of the United States before he entered the Oval Office, from building an empire to verging on financial ruin and everything in-between.

13. The Staircase

The Staircase is another of our favorite murder mysteries! This 13-episode miniseries tells the story of the death of Kathleen Peterson, the wife of author Michael Peterson, and the subsequent investigation that led to Michael becoming a leading suspect in the case. The series follows the investigation from Michael’s arrest to his trial and final verdict. A true crime thriller from start to finish, this is perfect for a cozy night-in with your significant other.

14.  Wild Wild Country

This Netflix original earned a near perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes for good reason. The documentary series tells the tale of an Oregon cult in the ’80s led by a guru named Rajneesh. Rajneesh and his followers, who referred to themselves as “Orange People,” butted heads with local ranchers which resulted in the most prolific case of illegal wiretapping and the first bioterror attack in our country’s history. Whether for the historical significance or rave reviews, we recommend that you binge this Netflix gem ASAP!

Do you have a favorite documentary not on this list? Please share with us in a comment below!