The 18 Best Titles Added to Netflix in 2018

January 19, 2019

We’ve made a lot of jokes about the end-of-year lists in our previous best movies of 2018 list.

We thought were being funny but now we’re out of jokes. There are no catchy sentences or ideas to start this list that we haven’t already used, I’m sorry. Just facts: these movies or shows (created or continued) in 2018 are absolutely amazing.

Our previous list doesn’t have anything that is on Netflix yet – this way together they compliment each other. One has things on Netflix, the other one, things available for streaming elsewhere. Once has jokes, the other one has references to the first one’s jokes. 

agoodmovietowatch is a website that offers an alternative to Netflix’ selection. Instead of letting Netflix’s corporate algorithms pick your next viewing, we aggregate movies and shows that were handpicked by humans. ALL movies and shows are highly-rated by both critics and viewers. This means that they’re good, very good even. Also, most of our picks didn’t make a huge splash at the box office, so there is little chance you’ve already seen them. Movies and shows you haven’t yet seen, which you will love – that’s our motto. 

 

18

Paul Giamatti, man. Ever watched Win/Win? What a performance. I didn’t think he could do any better than that. But here he did.

This movie is now on Netflix. It’s about a couple that is trying to have a kid but can’t. Their frustration grows, but so does their willingness to do whatever it takes to become parents. They try to adopt, go to fertility clinics and ultimately ask their niece to donate her eggs. To really work, such a plot requires well-written, multifaceted characters one can relate to. I did, and it really worked.

Our users say: This didn't work for me. It's a 90 minute movie stuffed into 2+ hours. Some great lines, but the plot points were all waiting for a conclusion that didn't really seem worth the time. (by Littlebigfan)

17

A captivating documentary series on the struggling state of the police department in Flint, Michigan; and by extension a large proportion of American cities. The town that had made the news for its water crisis is home to another crisis that dates back further: an exponential rise in crime.  The police department, however, keeps losing funding year over year, so much so that they can only have less than 9 one-officer cars patrolling the (large) city at any one time.  A sobering and impressive account that follows officers facing not only harrowing situations in a failing city, but also the constant fear of being laid-off.

16

Netflix is stopping at nothing to collect the best true crime stories around, a bit like an African dictator looking for aid programs. The latest addition is the incredible thriller mini-series, The Staircase. It originally aired in 2004, but Netflix took the same director and allowed him to add new episodes in 2018 to complete the story. The plot: A famous American novelist’s wife is found dead, and he is accused of killing her. His life comes under scrutiny as everyone asks whether she died in an accident or was murdered. If you liked their other hit, Making a Murderer,  you will love this. You should also definitely check out The Keepers or Netflix’s binge-worthy crime documentary, Evil Genius.

15

Don’t be surprised if you cry at every single episode of this show. I know that sounds crazy, given that Queer Eye is technically a reality TV show, but the levels of honesty and genuine care at play here are out of this world. Most of the time, it’s a fun show about gay guys making over straight guys in hopeless situations, featuring characters as hilarious and playful as Jonathan Van Ness, and as pleasant and insightful as Tan France. However, a lot of times, addressing those hopeless situations in the delicate way Queer Eye manages to do, it touches on heavy themes like loneliness, body image issues, sacrifice for one’s family, etc. This is a celebration of tolerance, empathy, and amazing craftsmanship by its creators that will not only make you go “why am I crying right now?” but also “why can’t I stop binge watching a reality TV show?”.

14

The 400 billion (!) dollar industry of medical devices is director Kirby Dick’s latest fascination (Oscar winner Twist of Faith, Oscar nominated The Invisible War). This is one of those documentaries that will raise your awareness about a topic from 0 to I-should-do-something, as the number of victims and the negative impacts these devices are having are astounding. Of course, just like with any other careless American industries, greed, money, and lobbying are the culprits. This is an important watch that will probably come in very handy when you or a close one needs a medical device.

13

Explained may well be Netflix’s first successful attempt at a weekly show, a brief and well-made set of summary videos on topics ranging from the wealth gap to monogamy to cryptocurrency. While the idea is anything but unique – the only thing Youtube might have more of than makeup videos are explanation videos – the production value, research, and obvious dedication that went into Explained really set it apart. Expect sharp and factual 15-minute takes on contemporary topics that deeply benefit from Vox’s experience making digestible content. In any case, the investment here is very small, at best you will come out more knowledgable on topics you hear the people around you talk about, and at worst you’ll shout “liberal snowflakes” at your TV for 15 minutes and move on. 

12

Bodyguard scored record viewing numbers for the BBC (the highest in 10 years).

That’s only the tip of the why-you-should-watch it iceberg. Watch the first 20 minutes, just the first 20 minutes, and you will understand. If you don’t feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster that’s about to derail by the end of the second episode, you should email me and I’ll try to get your Netflix subscription refunded.

The ONLY problem with this show, and it’s a big one, is the last episode. But it’s just that one, the last episode. I’m not going to tell you why. You’ll see. But the rest of the ride is hella sweet.

Our users say: Just superb from the opening frame forward. You will binge watch this. Call in sick if necessary. AGMTW staff is right about the last episode, but you will forgive all for the ride you've had. (by Littlebigfan)

11

There is footage and coverage to prove that the pizza bomber story actually happened but watching Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist everything is so intriguing it is almost impossible to believe. A pizza-delivery guy shows up to rob a bank with what he says is a bomb secured around his neck, something that he claims is part of a treasure hunt. By robing the bank, he will unlock the next set of clues that will allow him to defuse the bomb. Bank tellers comply but on the way out he is suddenly arrested by the police, who doubt his claims, handcuff him and keep him at a distance. The device he has around his neck then starts beeping. What follows is one of the most unusual investigations ever led by security forces, brilliantly framed by executive producers Duplass brothers. A perfect follow-up to their other amazing True-crime Netflix collaboration, Wild Wild Country, it’s a tight 4-episodes that is equally terrifying and intriguing.

TV SHOW
10

Maniac is really original. Original as in aesthetically weird, in a good way.

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone star in this tale set in an alternative world that is a blend of 1990s technology and fictional words and concepts. Their characters, suffering respectively from schizophrenia and heartbreak, participate in a drug test that was supposed to cure their problems.

Things don’t go as planned. This show is like if Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind had a child with Inception, and then that child grew up to marry Get Out. The child of that marriage is Maniac. A refreshing, original and beautifully creative miniseries well worth your time.

Our users say: Original does not mean good and weird does not mean special. So much weird stuff with no storytelling purpose, this show is trying way too hard to be something, that its nothing. In summation - Not that good, but also not bad. (by William Crookes)

TV SHOW
9

This is the type of show where you will laugh your ass off in one scene, and then find yourself moved to tears in the next. It’s so heartfelt, so smart, and so, so well-written. The premise of the show is the revelation of a Nobel laureate that he used his own semen in his trailblazing research on fertilization. This prompts his daughter to search for her unknown siblings. She is stuck with two particularly interesting sisters, one of whom is a lawyer who tries to sue their father. One additional plus for me personally is the Australian accent. I love it in a comedy/drama, ever since I watched The Let Down on Netflix.

8

This is an amazing documentary but be warned, the main character has some weird characteristics.

By coincidence, an art collector stumbles upon an undiscovered collection of sculptures and paintings that can only be described as the work of a genius. There was almost no reference to the artist, but upon research the collector finds that they are by a man called Stanislav Szukalski. He traces him down and finally locates him living anonymously in a California suburb. 

The documentary, Struggle: The Life And Lost Art Of Szukalski, is a collection of tapes from numerous interviews in the 1980s between the collector and Szukalski. He was helped by George DiCaprio, who would later produce this movie with his son Leonardo (!). 

In these interviews it becomes clear that Szukalski is pure genius. The funny thing is that he seemed to be well aware of this fact himself. 

Remember the weird characteristics I mentioned in that first sentence? Here we go. Szukalski’s past is full of a lot of antisemitism, sexism and bigotry. 

The question that lingers is how exactly can this forgotten-genius story be reshaped by the discovery of his twisted opinions. Can the artist be separated from the art? It’s a personal matter for the people who found Szukalski and later made this movie. It might never get as personal for you, but this movie will sure try to provoke an answer.

7

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is not only the best rom-com on Netflix, it’s one of the best rom-coms in recent memory, period. It has all the originality and freshness of Juno, the inclusiveness and relevancy of The Big Sick, and the sweetness of all your favourite 2000s romantic comedies. Lara Jean is a high-schooler who’s never been in a relationship and who, instead of communicating her feelings to her crushes, writes them letters that never get sent. Her world is turned upside down when those letters do end up in the hands of their recipients. Her first relationship, however peculiar, comes out of the incident. The acting is top notch, the characters are lovable and well-written. Just go watch it, OK? It’s a true triumph and an innocent-fun movie, there is no scenario in which you will be disappointed.

2018
6

Alfonso Cuaron is a master storyteller, Academy Award-winning director, and the man behind masterpieces such as Y Tu Mamá También, Gravity, Children of Men, and perhaps more importantly, the (uncontested) best Harry Potter movie (Prisoner of Azkaban, of course). In Roma, he tells a different story. His own.

Building on events from his childhood, he tells the story of a young domestic worker in the Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood. You get tales of class struggle, family dynamics and sexism in 1970s Mexico City.

The first hour is slow but so beautiful. All it does is prepare you for the events to come, and those who stick it out will be handsomely awarded. 

This is a stunning, wise and deeply personal movie. It’s everything we should ever ask from filmmakers at their prime.

5

If you’re looking for a funny yet original sitcom, look no further than Derry Girls. 

It takes place in 1990s Northern Ireland where civil unrest reigns. News of bombings is regular. This is a cause for concern for a lot of people, but for one group of teenage girls life continues as usual. Making fun of the first boy at their all girls school and being embarrassed by crushes are unshakable priorities. 

Derry Girls might have been a good show with just the 90s nostalgia and the political undertone, but the sharp and hilarious writing elevate it to greatness. It is truly one of the best sitcoms ever made. If you liked The End of the F***ing World, you will enjoy Derry Girls. They differ in plot but they both carry similar elements of dark and dry humour. 

Watch out for Sister Michael, she is hilarious. 

TV SHOW
4

A British comedy series that was originally called Scrotal Recall before it was bought by Netflix and rebranded. It’s about Dylan and his friends, he is a desperate romantic in his 20s who suddenly discovers he has chlamydia, and therefore must contact all his (numerous) past sexual adventures and relationships.
Every episode has the name of one of the girls he has to contact, and the story that goes with it. Dylan’s best friends are Luke, a hilarious seemingly confident but actually insecure, shallow business-school-type; and Eve, Dylan’s best friend who may have undisclosed feelings for him, she is a sarcastic, smart girl who is very well portrayed by Misfits star Antonia Thomas.
Lovesick is a charming little series, that portrays failed relationships but ends up being beautifully romantic. Something you can easily find yourself watching many episodes in one take.

3

An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller. It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa.  He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home. Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study.  This is when the show will blow your mind.  It’s a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.

 

2

This show has fantastic action sequences, the best I’ve seen in a historical drama.

Based on the best-selling historical novel series The Saxon Stories, this is a story of adventure, war and complex characters that intersect during the Danish invasion of Britain. 

Uhtred of Bebbanburg was a small who boy when he was kidnapped and then raised by violent Danes. He grows up to be a great warrior, but his half-Saxon and Danish roots make him the subject of skepticism on both sides.

Bold statement alert: There has never been a better alternative to Game of Thrones. While it’s not meant to be compared to Game of Thrones, the high production value, the multi-layered writing, and some great newcomer actors inevitably induce the same sense of addiction.

1

A Netflix documentary mini-series that follows the relocation of a cult from India to a small town in Oregon and the ensuing events. It’s a completely true story, but the events it portrays are so bizarre and unexpected that they have to be seen to be believed. The cult, led by a controversial Indian guru, drew worldwide attention to its beginnings in India and then to its conflict with the locals once it relocated to the United States. If you were a contemporary, you must know that the town is Antelope and the guru is Bhagwan or Osho, but if you were not, it is very unlikely you’ve even heard of it. What was a very significant moment in American media and history has been long forgotten, and is retold here in a captivating way. An extremely well-executed and a powerful account of a very unlikely story.