The 2017 Oscar Documentaries Are Worth Seeing


For some of us, the Academy Awards are like the Super Bowl. Every year, movie fans anxiously await the arrival of awards season, and there is no bigger night than the Oscars. This year's ceremony airs on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET, so there's not much time left to furiously fill out those predictions for who will walk away with the coveted golden statue. One category that has been receiving a lot buzz this year is Best Documentary Feature, because the nominees are nothing short of exceptional. And no matter which film actually takes home the prize, you should stream the 2017 Oscar-nominated documentaries and see for yourself why they all deserve to be honored.

There are five films in the Best Documentary Feature category and each of them tackles a serious societal issue or allows viewers to enter a world that they may not have had access to otherwise. There is a wide range of information covered within this handful of documentaries and every bit of it is handled with Oscar-worthy storytelling prowess. So whether you're trying to make sure your Oscar predictions are right or just want to learn more about the subjects each covers, here's where you can find each Best Documentary nominee.

13th — Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, & Howard Barish

13th is a compelling documentary that dives into the massive social and legal injustices facing people of color since the passing of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and lends the movie its title. 13th is actually a Netflix original film, so you can stream it there right now.

OJ: Made In America — Ezra Edelman & Caroline Waterlow

This documentary will suck you in from the second it starts. If you loved The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, then you'll definitely want to dive deeper into the real story behind O.J. Simpson's rise and fall. This documentary goes back to the very beginning of his football career and slowly takes the viewer to present day. You can catch the five-part ESPN docuseries on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the WatchESPN app.

Life, Animated — Roger Ross Williams & Julie Goldman

This one will pull at your heartstrings and then lift you right up. It is the inspiring tale of Owen Suskind, who stopped talking at the age of 3 and was diagnosed with autism. To his family's surprise, he had memorized Disney animated movies and used this skill to communicate into adulthood. You can catch this film on Amazon Prime, iTunes or Google Play.

I Am Not Your Negro — Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, & Hébert Peck

This amazing documentary examines the 1979 letter that author James Baldwin wrote about murdered civil right leaders such as Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is an eye-opening look into systematic racism and race relations in America. Unfortunately, the film is currently tough to find streaming online, though Amazon does say that it will be available to stream on Prime starting on June 13.

Fire At Sea — Gianfranco Rosi & Donatella Palermo

Fire At Sea follows a 12-year-old boy named Samuele who lives on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. This location is the very first stop for thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees who are fleeing their homes. The film shows what life is like among the chaos. You can stream Fire At Sea on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and iTunes.

Each of these incredible documentaries is worthy of an Oscar, but no matter which wins on Sunday night, you should check them all out — especially since they're so easy to find.