List of the best documentaries on Netflix in 2018. There is easily something on Netflix for everyone. No matter what you are looking for, you will be able to find something to suit what you want to watch. Over the last few years, Netflix has been building its collection of documentaries steadily. From Oscar and Emmy nominated documentaries that shine a light on segments of society to true crime documentaries that make you question both sides of the story. Here is our list of 36 of the best documentaries on Netflix that you can watch in 2018.
When filmmaker Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller. Dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic gold are all part of the exposure of the biggest scandal in sports history. There is a reason this is the top of our list. Easily one of the best documentaries on Netflix at the moment.
In America today, where competition is ceaseless from school to the workforce and everyone wants a performance edge, Adderall and other prescription stimulants are the defining drugs of this generation.
One of the best documentaries on Netflix, this docuseries tackles the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a beloved nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore. After disappearing on Nov. 7, 1969, Cesnik’s body was found nearly two months later — but to this day, the killer remains unnamed. In the ’90s, the case returned to the spotlight after one of Cesnik’s former students accused the high school’s chaplain of sexual abuse, and claims that she was taken to Cesnik’s then undiscovered corpse and threatened. Director Ryan White pieces together the story through conversations with friends, relatives, journalists, government officials and Baltimore citizens, hoping to uncover the truth.
When a controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, it causes a massive conflict with local ranchers. This docuseries chronicles the conflict, which leads to the first bioterror attack in the United States and a massive case of illegal wiretapping. It is a pivotal, but largely forgotten, time in American cultural history that tested the country’s tolerance for the separation of church and state. A truly engaging and shocking documentary into something very few people know actually happened. We included this in our list of best documentaries on Netflix as we could not believe it was true either.
Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with new re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit’s 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Plotting his feat like a master cat burglar, Petit enlists the help of a motley group of friends as he calculates every detail, from acquiring building access to stringing up the wire, and manages to pull off an astounding crime.
In August 2003, an attempted bank robbery in Erie, Pa., made news headlines across America when the robbery-gone-wrong turned into a public murder. The attempted robber was a pizza delivery driver who had a bomb locked around his neck. Known as the “pizza bomber” case, a manhunt ensued to find out who was responsible for the crime. Authorities eventually arrested Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong for the delivery man’s death. She was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but this four-part Netflix original documentary series sets out to prove that there’s more to the conspiracy and murder than what was previously thought.
There’s a cliche that says “the rich get richer,” and while that may be true it’s not always done through legal or moral methods. One of the best documentaries on Netflix, this docuseries takes a look at stories of scandal and corruption in business, exposing acts of corporate greed and corruption.The episodes feature firsthand accounts of the unscrupulous activities from the perspectives of both the perpetrators and their victims. Some of the tales that are told include a car company that cheats emissions tests to save money and the drama and shady deals that abound in Donald Trump‘s business empire.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. You can read our review of 13th here!
A worthy addition to our list of the best documentaries on Netflix, this one is a must watch for sports fans. This Netflix original series follows college football teams that aren’t major programs and don’t get much national attention. After a couple seasons of profiling recruits at East Mississippi Community College, which has won several NJCAA national titles, the reality series shifts its focus to Independence Community College. The Kansas school doesn’t have the same type of gridiron pedigree as EMCC — it’s trying to rebound from more than a decade of losses — but the players are dealing with many of the same challenges that the EMCC squad faced — both on and off the field.
When is a confession not a confession? When it’s involuntary, coerced or downright false. Those are the claims made by the subjects featured in this true-crime series. Each episode goes inside a case in which a murder suspect made a confession but later backtracked. Episodes include interviews with investigators, lawyers, wrongful conviction experts and people close to those involved in the cases. Audio and video recordings of the suspects’ interactions with members of law enforcement are also presented to help determine the legality of the confessions.
An in-depth look into computer design and modern contemporary design with some of the world’s most highly regarded designers. If you are a fan of Nike, the episode about Tinker Hatfield is a most watch.
Fueled by his own rough upbringing, Snoop Dogg creates a youth football league to keep at-risk kids off the streets and focused on their goals. Filled with many emotional moments, this docuseries has a deserved place on our list of the best documentaries on Netflix.
Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career — Bill Cosby and Donald Trump — as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight. We included this in our list of the best documentaries on Netflix as it is topical and an important documentary to watch.
For some people, the favorite memories from their childhoods are playing with toys, some of which become iconic through the years as multiple generations of people play with the venerable playthings. This series takes a look at some of America’s greatest toy franchises, including the people and companies that created them, telling the stories of the rise — and, sometimes, fall — of the billion-dollar creations. Some of the featured toys are original creations, such as Barbie, while others are based on pop-culture franchises, including the “Star Wars” line.
Now that GLOW is fantastic Netflix original in its own right, its worth learning about the history behind the Netflix hit. This engaging documentary chronicles the 1980s phenomenon “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” which elevated its female grapplers to star status.
Finding Vivian Maier is the critically acclaimed documentary about a mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage. He artistic genius was only discovered after her death.
In this Emmy-nominated series, meet culinary stars around the world who are redefining gourmet food with innovative dishes and tantalizing desserts. Easily one of the best documentaries on Netflix at the moment. If you are a foodie, there are 4 series of this documentary, each one more salivation worthy then the last.
Already featured in our article, 9 of the best animal documentaries on Netflix, we feel that this should be listed her again. He may have passed now but the story of Tilikum and Seaworld carries on. In this documentary, Tilikum, a captive killer whale that has taken the lives of several people, underscores problems within the sea-park industry, man’s relationship to nature, and how little has been learned about these highly intelligent mammals.
When Shannon Whisnant finds an amputated leg in a used grill, he tries to capitalize on the mass-media frenzy. But then the limb’s owner shows up. Strange, weird and 100% true. You seriously couldn’t make this stuff up.