The Staircase

The Staircase

This dramatization of a true crime documentary is a masterclass in storytelling

The Very Best


TV Show

United States of America
Crime, Drama
Colin Firth, Dane DeHaan, Juliette Binoche
65 min

What it's about

An exploration of the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling North Carolina family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson.

The take

The bizarre case of Kathleen Peterson's death, which has yet to be fully resolved to this day, has been the subject of many a media article. The press covered it relentlessly when it all started in 2001, then a critically-acclaimed documentary was released in 2004. This was followed up with a sequel in 2018, and now more than 20 years after the deed, a dramatization has come out in the form of a miniseries. You'd be forgiven for thinking the latter couldn't possibly have anything new to offer, but you would also be wrong. In fact, the series is a masterclass in storytelling. Led by an a-list cast (of which Colin Firth is the absolute standout) and told with such layered depth, The Staircase is a must-watch not just for true crime but for film and TV fans everywhere. 

Utilizing time jumps and crafty transitions, The Staircase isn't set at one particular time, which is fitting considering the trial lasted for 16 years. It also isn't centered on just the mystery or the family, but instead is just as interested in the making of the 2004 documentary that introduced (and humanized) the case to an even wider sect of people. If you're looking for a neat ending or some form of satisfying retribution, you won't find it here. But you will be getting an engrossing meditation on truth and its elusiveness

Active Streaming Deals

$50 Off DirecTV Stream



Active Streaming Deals

69% Off NordVPN + 3 months Free



Active Streaming Deals

50% Off Sling



Active Streaming Deals

49% Off ExpressVPN




Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?





A level of attention to aesthetics usually reserved for the most elaborate films, mixed with a complex and relevant story, make this series from Turkey unmatched in its quality


Stath Lets Flats

An utterly unique shot of ludicrous character comedy that ranks among TV’s very best



A psychological thriller that provides insight on what drove so many young people to ISIS.



Norway's most expensive show ever is a timely thrill ride with a grim geopolitical premise.



A well-acted fact-based thriller about untangling the grip of a close-knit community


Escape at Dannemora

Based on a true prison escape story, this slow-burn suspense thriller features once-in-a-lifetime performances by a star-studded cast


The Looming Tower

A well-written thriller miniseries about the rivalry between the CIA and the FBI and how they failed to prevent 9/11.


Wild Wild Country

Almost too outrageous to be true – this captivating true crime docuseries tells the unlikely story of an Indian cult in America



Critics lauded the angle and feminist edge of this grim true crime miniseries.


Feel Good

A charming Fleabag-esque take on LGBTQ+ love


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.