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20 Of The Best Nature Documentaries, Revealed By Their Ratings

The Results:

RankDocumentaryAverage IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes rating (out of 10)
1David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)9.35
2Our Planet (2019)9.25
3Africa (2013)9.15
4Kiss the Ground (2020)9.10
5Blue Planet II (2017)9.05
6Virunga (2014)8.70
7My Octopus Teacher (2020)8.65
-8Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)8.50
Chasing Coral (2017)8.50
10Seaspiracy (2021)8.30


Racing Extinction (2015)8.20
Mission Blue (2014)8.20
A Plastic Ocean (2016)8.20
14Before the Flood (2016)7.95


The Ivory Game (2016)7.65
Trashed (2012)7.65
17There’s Something In The Water (2019)6.45
18RiverBlue (2017)6.40

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is the best nature documentary according to fans, with an impressive average rating of 9.35 out of a possible 10. Known for voicing environmental issues throughout the decades, the British natural historian shares his concerns about humanity’s harmful impacts on nature and his hopes for our planet's future.

Also narrated by the broadcasting veteran Sir David Attenborough, Netflix’s first nature documentary series Our Planet and Africa come in second and third place with an average rating of 9.25 and 9.15 out of 10, respectively. Both series focus on wildlife and habitats, with Our Planet also revealing the impacts of climate change in species and ecosystems.

Last but no less important is the documentary RiverBlue in 15th place with an average rating of 6.40 out of 10. Released in 2017, the film explores the paddler and conservationist Mark Angelo’s river journey around the world that uncovered the pollution impacts the global fashion industry has on our planet.

Directed by Elliot Page and Ian Daniel, There’s Something In The Water (2019) comes towards the bottom of the list in 14th place with an average rating of 6.45 out of 10. The Canadian documentary sheds light on the little known issue of environmental racism suffered by the Black Canadian and First Nations communities in Nova Scotia (Canada).


1. Analysing multiple articles listing the best documentaries to watch, took the most listed documentaries related to the environment and nature. All sources are listed in the second tab of this Google sheet.

2. They calculated the average rating index of the 20 most listed documentaries for each category by combining film ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

3. Where a documentary's ratings were not available on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, it was excluded from the study.

*According to Google Trends Worldwide on 16/07/2021.

Data commissioned by

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