Best Documentary Movies of 2013




Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

Starring: Dean Gomersall, Samantha Berg, John Jett, John Hargrove, Carol Ray
Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Release date: 2013-06-07

Sound City


The history of Sound City and their huge recording device; exploring how digital change has allowed 'people that have no place' in music to become stars. It follows former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter David Grohl as he attempts to resurrect the studio back to former glories.

Starring: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Dave Grohl, John Fogerty
Directed by: Dave Grohl
Release date: 2013-01-18

The Pirate Bay: Away from Keyboard


TPB AFK is a documentary about three computer addicts who redefined the world of media distribution with their hobby homepage The Pirate Bay. How did Tiamo, a beer crazy hardware fanatic, Brokep a tree hugging eco activist and Anakata – a paranoid hacker libertarian – get the White House to threaten the Swedish government with trade sanctions? TPB AFK explores what Hollywood’s most hated pirates go through on a personal level.

Starring: Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde
Directed by: Simon Klose
Release date: 2013-02-08

20 Feet from Stardom


Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Starring: Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear
Directed by: Morgan Neville
Release date: 2013-06-14


Africa, co-produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and the Discovery Channel, focuses on wildlife and wild habitats in Africa, and has been four years in the making.
Release date: 2013-01-02

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain


Captures the laughter, energy and mayhem from Hart's 2012 "Let Me Explain" concert tour, which spanned 10 countries and 80 cities, and generated over $32 million in ticket sales.

Starring: Kevin Hart, David Terrell, David Jason Perez, Justine Herron, Harry Ratchford
Directed by: Leslie Small
Release date: 2013-07-03

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

Taking inspiration from Peter M. Bracke's definitive book of the same name, this epic 7-hour documentary (by the same team behind Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy) dives into the making of all 12 Friday the 13th films, with all-new interviews from cast and crew.
Starring: Corey Feldman, Sean S. Cunningham, Noel Cunningham, Dennis R. Murphy, Victor Miller
Directed by: Daniel Farrands
Release date: 2013-09-13

One Direction: This Is Us


Go behind the scenes during One Directions sell out "Take Me Home" tour and experience life on the road.

Starring: Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Release date: 2013-08-30

The Crash Reel


The Crash Reel tells the story of a sport and the risks that athletes face in reaching the pinnacle of their profession. This is Kevin Pearce’s story, a celebrated snowboarder who sustained a brain injury in a trick gone wrong and who now aims, against all the odds, to get back on the snow.

Starring: Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Scotty Lago, Jake Burton, Mason Aguirre
Directed by: Lucy Walker
Release date: 2013-06-10

Inequality for All


U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich tries to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.

Starring: Robert Reich, Dolly Parton, Tyne Daly, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore
Directed by: Jacob Kornbluth
Release date: 2013-01-19



A documentary that tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship — a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof.

Starring: Thomas Bridegroom, Shane Bitney Crone, Cindy Bitney, David Crone, Lizzy Mohl
Directed by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Release date: 2013-04-23

Blood Brother


Rocky Braat went to India as a disillusioned American tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV/AIDS, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face. Or the love he would find.

Starring: Rocky Braat
Directed by: Steve Hoover
Release date: 2013-01-20

The Class of '92


A documentary about the rise of six youth team players at Manchester United. From 1992 to 1999, the year of the Treble. Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham give their insight to breaking into the first team and the emotions of playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Starring: David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Gary Neville
Directed by: Benjamin Turner, Gabe Turner
Release date: 2013-12-01

I Am Divine


Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine (1945-1988) was the ultimate outsider turned underground hero. Spitting in the face of the status quos of body image, gender identity, sexuality, and preconceived notions of beauty, Divine succeeded in becoming an internationally recognized icon, recording artist, and character actor of stage and screen. Glenn went from the often-mocked, schoolyard fat kid to underdog royalty, standing up for millions of gay men and women, drag queens and punk rockers, and countless other socially ostracized misfits and freaks. With a completely committed in-your-face style, he blurred the line between performer and personality, and revolutionized pop culture.

Starring: Divine, John Waters, Ricki Lake, Lisa Jane Persky, Bruce Vilanch
Directed by: Jeffrey Schwarz
Release date: 2013-03-09

Tim's Vermeer


Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography? Spanning a decade, Jenison's adventure takes him to Holland, on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artista David Hockney, and eventually even to Buckingham Palace. The epic research project Jenison embarques on is as extraordinary as what he discovers.

Starring: Tim Jenison, Penn Jillette, Martin Mull, Teller, Philip Steadman
Directed by: Teller
Release date: 2013-12-06

24|7|365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine

An accident occurs and we dial 911, an ambulance arrives and we are taken to a fully equipped Emergency Room staffed with specifically trained Emergency Room Doctors. Forty years ago, that was not the case. How did we get here? Our film explores the dramatic history of modern Emergency Medicine, told by its maverick founders, in their own words. The historic take on the specialty allows us to contrast where Emergency Medicine is today with where it began, not too long ago.
Starring: Anthony Edwards, Angela Fusaro, Mel Herbert, Chadd Kraus, John Moorhead
Directed by: Dave Thomas
Release date: 2013-01-01

Muscle Shoals


In a tiny Alabama town with the curious name of Muscle Shoals, something miraculous sprang from the mud of the Tennessee River. A group of unassuming, yet incredibly talented, locals came together and spawned some of the greatest music of all time: “Mustang Sally,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Wild Horses,” and many more. During the most incendiary periods of racial hostility, white folks and black folks came together to create music that would last for generations and gave birth to the incomparable “Muscle Shoals sound.”

Starring: Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Cliff, Aretha Franklin
Directed by: Greg 'Freddy' Camalier
Release date: 2013-09-27



The extraordinary story of the planet’s most famous contemporary scientist, told in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to Hawking’s private life, this is an intimate and moving journey into Stephen's world, both past and present.

Starring: Stephen Hawking
Directed by: Stephen Finnigan
Release date: 2013-03-11

Good Ol' Freda


The story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.

Starring: Freda Kelly, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr
Directed by: Ryan White
Release date: 2013-09-06

The Short Game


Each year, the world’s best 7 year-old golfers descend on Pinehurst, North Carolina to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. The Short Game follows eight of these very young athletes on their quest to become the sport’s next phenom.

Starring: Edd Hall, Jennifer Van Horn
Directed by: Josh Greenbaum
Release date: 2013-09-20

Also check Best documentary movies of 2012.

Check out our top containing the Best Documentary Movies of 2013. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.