Jarecki graduated from Princeton University in 1985. He is the co-founder and CEO of Moviefone, which provides film schedules over the internet and telephone and was sold to AOL in 1999. With Producer J. J. Abrams, Jarecki co-wrote the theme song to Felicity, "New Version of You," in 2000.
Jarecki's 2003 documentary about a family, Capturing the Friedmans, his first feature, began as an offshoot from a short film he was making about birthday party clowns, which was titled Just a Clown and released in 2004. Jarecki went on to direct the narrative feature All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella. The film, inspired by the life of millionaire Robert Durst and the unsolved disappearance of his wife Kathie, was released in 2010. Along with filmmaking partner Marc Smerling, Jarecki also produced the 2010 documentary film Catfish, and co-produced and directed the documentary miniseries The Jinx, which aired on HBO in 2015.