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The Best Documentary Movies of 2018 

Ranker Film
Updated March 16, 2020 575 votes 163 voters 10.5k views 35 items

The best documentary movies this year exemplified what the genre does best. They highlighted a unique aspect of culture or human experience through a nuanced lens. If you're in need of suggestions for some informative and often surprising films, browse this list of 2018 documentary movies. 

These 2018 documentary films explore a wide array of topics. In Seeing Allred, women's rights attorney Gloria Allred tackles the allegations lobbied against Donald Trump and Bill Cosby. Minding the Gap chronicles the decade long friendship between three young men who bond over a love of skateboarding in a small Illinois town. Other good 2018 docs include Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Andre the Giant, and Three Identical Strangers.

Vote up the best new documentaries of 2018, and feel free to add your favorite documentary films released this year missing from the list.

Want to watch more documentaries? Check out this list of 2020 documentary movies.

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André René Roussimoff, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jason Hehir

André the Giant is a 2018 TV documentary film directed by Jason Hehir. The explores life of French professional wrestler and actor André René Roussimoff, better known as ...more
2
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Fred Rogers

Released: 2018

Directed by: Morgan Neville

Won't You Be My Neighbor? is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Morgan Neville. An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.
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Eddy Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran

Released: 2018

Directed by: Tim Wardle

Three Identical Strangers is a 2018 documentary film directed by Tim Wardle. In 1980, three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth.

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Michael Cera, James L. Brooks, Jim Carrey

Released: 2018

Directed by: Judd Apatow

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Judd Apatow. Featuring Michael Cera reading various excerpts from personal diaries, the film looks at the life ...more
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Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown

Released: 2018

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Whitney is a 2018 British documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald. Using never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives, and original ...more
6
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Nina Totenberg

Released: 2018

Directed by: Julie Cohen, Betsy West

RBG is a 2018 documentary film directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming ...more
7
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Kristen Bell, Wen Lei Bi, Rong Hou

Released: 2018

Directed by: David Douglas, Drew Fellman

Pandas is a 2018 documentary film directed by David Douglas and Drew Fellman. In the mountains of Sichuan, China, a researcher forms a bond with Qian Qian, a panda who is about to experience ...more
8
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Alex Honnold

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Free Solo is a 2018 documentary directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El ...more
9
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Alexander McQueen, Gary James McQueen, Janet McQueen

Released: 2018

Directed by: Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui

McQueen is a 2018 documentary film directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui. Mirroring the savage beauty, boldness and vivacity of his design, this documentary is an intimate revelation ...more
10
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Quincy Jones, Rashida Jones, Beyoncé

Released: 2018

Directed by: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones

Quincy is a 2018 documentary filmed directed by Alan Hicks and Rashida Jones. An intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones, a unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years who ...more
11
They Shall Not Grow Old ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Documentary Movies of 2018

Released: 2018

Directed by: Peter Jackson

They Shall Not Grow Old is a 2018 British documentary film directed by Peter Jackson. The film was created using original footage of World War I from the Imperial War Museums' archives, most of ...more
12
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Released: 2018

Directed by: Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman

Pick of the Litter is a 2018 documentary film directed by Don Hardy Jr. and Dana Nachman. Cameras follow a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide ...more
13
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Released: 2018

Directed by: Tiller Russell

Operation Odessa is a 2018 documentary film directed by Tiller Russell. The film tells the story of three friends who set out to hustle the Russian mob, the Cali cartel, and the DEA for the ...more
14
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Joan Jett, Billie Joe Armstrong, Miley Cyrus

Released: 2018

Directed by: Kevin Kerslake

Bad Reputation is a 2018 documentary film directed by Kevin Kerslake. Featuring archival footage and interviews with rock legends, the documentary explores the rise of Joan Jett in rock-n-roll ...more
15
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Steve Rubell, Ian Schrager

Released: 2018

Directed by: Matt Tyrnauer

Studio 54 is a 2018 American documentary directed by Matt Tyrnauer. 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across Studio 54's hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real ...more
16
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Limo Bob, Florian Homm, Tiffany Masters

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lauren Greenfield

Generation Wealth is a 2018 documentary film directed by Lauren Greenfield. A documentary that investigates the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen.
17
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Donald J. Trump, Michael Moore

Released: 2018

Directed by: Michael Moore

Fahrenheit 11/9 is a 2018 documentary film directed by Michael Moore. The film explores the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump.

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18
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Nadia Murad, Murad Ismael, Amal Clooney

Released: 2018

Directed by: Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders is a 2018 documentary film directed by Alexandria Bombach. Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi, tells her story of how she survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS.
19
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Gilda Radner, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lisa Dapolito

Love, Gilda is a 2018 documentary film directed by Lisa Dapolito. In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner looks back and reflects on her life and career with recently discovered audiotapes, ...more
20
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Flynn McGarry, Meg McGarry, Paris McGarry

Released: 2018

Directed by: Cameron Yates

Chef Flynn is a 2018 documentary film directed by Cameron Yates. After transforming his living room into a supper club using his classmates as line cooks, 10-year-old Flynn McGarry outgrows his ...more
21
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Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright

Released: 2018

Directed by: Roger Michell

Tea with the Dames is a 2018 documentary film directed by Roger Michell. Acting greats and Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith have let the cameras in on a ...more
22
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Donald J. Trump, Vladimir Putin, Jeremy Bash

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jack Bryan

Active Measures is a 2018 documentary film by director Jack Bryan. Russian president Vladimir Putin attacks the 2016 American presidential election in collaboration with the Trump campaign.
23
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Gloria Allred

Released: 2018

Directed by: Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain

Seeing Allred is a 2018 documentary film directed by Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain. Women's rights attorney Gloria Allred takes on the biggest names in American culture as coverage of ...more
24
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Eben Britton, Wendy Brown, Anjan Chatterjee

Released: 2018

Directed by: Alison Klayman

Take Your Pills is a 2018 documentary film directed by Alison Klayman. The film explores the rise of Adderall use among students, athletes, and working professionals.
25
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Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, Ryan Tedder

Released: 2018

Directed by: Murray Cummings

Songwriter is a 2018 documentary film directed by Murray Cummings. The documentary follows English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran during the making of his 2017 album "Divide."