Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction… and more fun to watch, too.
We’re living in a golden era of documentaries, with the major streaming services all locked in an arms race to see who can pump out the most nonfiction content, and it’s led to some great movies and docuseries in recent years. Whether you’re a true crime obsessive, an expert on scammers or a cult aficionado, these documentaries have you covered with fascinating stories that are so filled with unbelievable twists, they have to be real. (Many of these docs are such great stories, in fact, that they’ve already been turned into scripted series.)
It can be tough to navigate the overwhelming avalanche of documentaries out there these days, though, so we here at TVLine are making it easy on you. Below, we’ve collected more than a dozen of the very best TV documentaries from the past couple years, all of which come with our personal seal of approval. We’ve got true crime (I’ll Be Gone in the Dark), we’ve got scams (The Tinder Swindler), we’ve got cults (Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults)… and we’ve got some that are a little of all three.
So read on to see which docs we’d add to your watchlist, and hit the comments to share your own favorites we may have missed.