All 151 Oscar-Qualifying Documentaries for 2013 (Sorted by IMDb Rating Descending)



1. Lion Ark (2013)

91 min | Documentary, Action, Adventure

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
55 Metascore

More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the world's most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative meticulously compiled from film, interviews, ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Phillips | Stars: Remy Ballivan, Bob Barker, Martin Beltran, Diego Cortes

Votes: 28

2. Re-emerging: The Jews of Nigeria (2012)

93 min | Documentary, History

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
67 Metascore

Like many in Nigeria, Shmuel consistently heard that the Igbo people were once Jews. When an Internet café opens in his town, he begins to research this further and starts a journey ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff L. Lieberman

Votes: 5

3. Symphony of the Soil (2012)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, Adventure, History

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and ... See full summary »

Director: Deborah Koons | Stars: Ignacio Chapela, Dan Barber, Vandana Shiva, Daniel Hillel

Votes: 123

4. The Second Meeting (2013)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1999 as NATO forces bombard Belgrade city USAF pilot Dale Zelko begins his sortie into nearby Belgrade target flying his F-117 stealth bomber. On the opposite side a Serbian colonel ... See full summary »

Director: Zeljko Mirkovic | Stars: Zoltan Dani, Dale Zelko, Iren Dani, Lauren Zelko

Votes: 53

5. The Paw Project (2013)

58 min | Documentary, History, News

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

This is a David and Goliath story of one veterinarian's battle to protect her patients (tigers, lions and even house cats) from big corporations, with their big corporate money, that will ... See full summary »

Director: Jennifer Conrad

Votes: 217

6. A.K.A. Doc Pomus (2012)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
83 Metascore

Doc Pomus was the most unlikely of rock & roll icons. Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, ... See full summary »

Directors: William Hechter, Peter Miller | Stars: Willi Burke, Marshall Chapman, Shawn Colvin, Dion DiMucci

Votes: 79

7. Not Yet Begun to Fight (2012)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
78 Metascore

In the space between war and a new battle, NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT unfolds, offering an intimate look at the human cost of combat. A retired Marine Colonel reaches out to five men, a new ... See full summary »

Directors: Shasta Grenier, Sabrina Lee

Votes: 39

8. Blood Brother (2013)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
71 Metascore

Documentarian visits best friend in India to see the mutual unconditional love that keeps his buddy bonded to a village hostel housing AIDS-afflicted children.

Director: Steve Hoover | Stars: Rocky Braat, Steve Hoover, Anitha, Devi

Votes: 1,586 | Gross: $0.12M

9. Life According to Sam (2013)

TV-G | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A moving look at a couple's inspiring efforts to save their only son Sam from the rare and fatal premature-aging disease of progeria.

Directors: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix | Stars: Sam Berns, Leslie Gordon, Scott Berns, Francis Collins

Votes: 780

10. The Crash Reel (2013)

108 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
79 Metascore

Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the ... See full summary »

Director: Lucy Walker | Stars: Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Mason Aguirre, Daniel Amen

Votes: 4,658

11. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
91 Metascore

A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn | Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin, Ibrahim Sinik

Votes: 34,868 | Gross: $0.49M

12. How to Lose Jobs & Alienate Girlfriends (2014)

77 min | Documentary, Biography, Family

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

First time filmmaker follows his girlfriend and boss chase their dream as musicians. His insecurities flair while struggling to find a story, and begins challenging their flaws, on camera, jeopardizing the film, relationships and careers.

Director: Tom Meadmore | Stars: Tony Jackson, Amanda Medica, Tom Meadmore, Aaron Darcy

Votes: 12

13. The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013)

93 min | Documentary

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
60 Metascore

A cinematic documentary that illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world.

Director: Liz Marshall | Stars: Marcel Saba, Lori Reese, Perrie Wardell, Martin Rowe

Votes: 638 | Gross: $0.02M

14. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, News

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
83 Metascore

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite | Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall

Votes: 61,355 | Gross: $2.07M

15. The Square (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, History

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
84 Metascore

A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience.

Director: Jehane Noujaim | Stars: Ahmed Hassan, Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour, Ramy Essam

Votes: 8,560 | Gross: $0.12M

16. Inequality for All (2013)

PG | 89 min | Documentary

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
68 Metascore

A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.

Director: Jacob Kornbluth | Stars: Robert Reich, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Candice Bergen

Votes: 6,593 | Gross: $1.21M

17. Bridegroom (2013)

R | 80 min | Documentary

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
85 Metascore

Shane Bitney Crone's plans to marry Tom Bridegroom in California after the same-sex marriage law is passed takes a tragic turn when his partner of six years accidentally dies and Tom's family refuses Shane from attending the funeral.

Director: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason | Stars: Cindy Bitney, David Crone, Jessica Mitchell, Lizzy Mohl

Votes: 4,367

18. Tim's Vermeer (2013)

PG-13 | 80 min | Documentary, History

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
76 Metascore

Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Director: Teller | Stars: Tim Jenison, Penn Jillette, Martin Mull, Philip Steadman

Votes: 7,725 | Gross: $1.66M

19. Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
73 Metascore

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story depicts one man's wild, lifelong adventure of testing societal boundaries through his use of subversive art. This 98-minute film combines ... See full summary »

Director: Brad Bernstein | Stars: Tomi Ungerer, Maurice Sendak, Jules Feiffer, Michael Patrick Hearn

Votes: 298 | Gross: $0.03M

20. CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion (2018)

PG-13 | 98 min | Documentary

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An investigation into the way media portrayals impact the actual inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

Director: Jenni Gold | Stars: Helen Hunt, Ben Affleck, Geena Davis, Bryan Cranston

Votes: 92

21. Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington (2013)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

Documentary about deceased photojournalist Tim Hetherington directed by Sebastian Junger. Together with his friend and long-term collaborator Sebastian, Tim had travelled the world ... See full summary »

Director: Sebastian Junger | Stars: Chris Anderson, Peter Bouckaert, James Brabazon, Guillermo Cervera

Votes: 670

22. Sound City (2013)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Music

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Director: Dave Grohl | Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Vinny Appice

Votes: 12,112 | Gross: $0.42M

23. Let the Fire Burn (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
86 Metascore

A history of the conflict of the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, that led to the disastrously violent final confrontation in 1985.

Director: Jason Osder | Stars: Birdie Africa, Ramona Africa, Wilson Goode, William Brown III

Votes: 1,266 | Gross: $0.06M

24. The Revolutionary Optimists (2013)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
66 Metascore

Children are saving lives in the slums of Kolkata. Amlan Ganguly doesn't rescue slum children; he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their ... See full summary »

Directors: Maren Grainger-Monsen, Nicole Newnham | Stars: Amlan Ganguly, Kajal Kahar, Priyanka Mandal, Sikha Patro

Votes: 38

25. Muscle Shoals (2013)

PG | 111 min | Documentary, Biography, History

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
75 Metascore

A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman".

Director: Greg 'Freddy' Camalier | Stars: Rick Hall, Aretha Franklin, Keith Richards, Candi Staton

Votes: 3,471 | Gross: $0.70M

26. Revolution (II) (2012)

PG | 85 min | Documentary, Adventure, Family

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
53 Metascore

Filmmaker Rob Stewart advances the theory that though humans depend on the natural world for subsistence, humans are nature's greatest enemy.

Director: Rob Stewart | Stars: Nnimmo Bassey, Krystyna Bednarska, Adrienne Maree Brown, Lester Brown

Votes: 387

27. Fire in the Blood (2013)

87 min | Documentary, History

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
68 Metascore

An intricate tale of "medicine, monopoly and malice", FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the... See full summary »

Director: Dylan Mohan Gray | Stars: Zackie Achmat, Peter Mugyenyi, Bill Clinton, William Hurt

Votes: 643 | Gross: $0.03M

28. Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird (2013)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird is an insightful profile of the legendary cartoonist. For over fifty years, Gahan Wilson has been known for his ghoulish, twisted visions that combine ... See full summary »

Director: Steven-Charles Jaffe | Stars: Lewis Black, Stephen Colbert, Guillermo del Toro, Neil Gaiman

Votes: 35

29. Why We Ride (2013)

PG | 89 min | Documentary, Family, History

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The passion of the riders and the soul of their machines.

Director: Bryan H. Carroll | Stars: Jim Adams, Ernie Alexander, Kenny Alexander, Jay Allen

Votes: 824

30. Gasland Part II (2013)

Not Rated | 125 min | Documentary

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary that declares the gas industry's portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth, and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating ... See full summary »

Director: Josh Fox | Stars: Al Armendariz, Kindra Arnesen, Lon Burnam, Lois Capps

Votes: 1,608

31. A River Changes Course (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
77 Metascore

"We've worked so hard on this land," says Sav Samourn. "And now they've come to destroy it all. Sooner or later it will all be gone." In her directorial debut, award-winning filmmaker ... See full summary »

Director: Kalyanee Mam

Votes: 133

32. More Than Honey (2012)

Unrated | 95 min | Documentary

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
70 Metascore

An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

Director: Markus Imhoof | Stars: Fred Jaggi, Randolf Menzel, John Miller, Liane Singer

Votes: 3,987 | Gross: $0.07M

33. Call Me Kuchu (2012)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato - Uganda's first openly gay man - and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the ... See full summary »

Directors: Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall | Stars: David Bahati, David Kato, Gilles Muhame, Naome Ruzindana

Votes: 749 | Gross: $0.01M

34. Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary (2012)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, History

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
41 Metascore

The film chronicles the life and revolutionary times of the former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Director: Stephen Vittoria | Stars: Cornel West, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter

Votes: 444 | Gross: $0.04M

35. Casting By (2012)

TV-14 | 89 min | Documentary, Biography

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
70 Metascore

The surprising, never-before-told tale of the indispensable yet unsung Casting Director - Iconoclasts whose keen eye, exquisite taste and gut instincts redefined Hollywood.

Director: Tom Donahue | Stars: Deborah Aquila, Risa Bramon Garcia, Ellen Chenoweth, Marion Dougherty

Votes: 1,442 | Gross: $0.01M

36. Glickman (2013 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 84 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Glickman is an illuminating portrait of a man who overcame prejudice to forge a remarkable career in sports, setting the gold standard for athletes and sports broadcasters past, present and future.

Director: James L. Freedman | Stars: Seth Abraham, Marv Albert, Red Auerbach, Len Berman

Votes: 82

37. First Cousin Once Removed (2012)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
94 Metascore

Acclaimed filmmaker Alan Berliner chronicles the deeply personal story of his mother's first cousin--well-known poet/translator/professor Edwin Honig--on his journey into the depths of ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Berliner | Stars: Eli Berliner, Stuart Blazer, Susan Brown, Barbara Estrin

Votes: 339

38. Go Grandriders (2012)

80 min | Documentary, Adventure, Family

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
68 Metascore

Would you still dare to dream when you're 80 years old?

Director: Tian-Hao Hua

Votes: 191

39. Dirty Wars (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Crime, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
76 Metascore

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America's expanding covert wars.

Director: Rick Rowley | Stars: Jeremy Scahill, Nasser Al Aulaqi, Saleha Al Aulaqi, Muqbal Al Kazemi

Votes: 8,981 | Gross: $0.38M

40. Best Kept Secret (2013)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
100 Metascore

JFK High School, located in the midst of a run-down area in Newark, New Jersey, is a public school for all types of students with special education needs, ranging from those on the autism ... See full summary »

Director: Samantha Buck | Stars: Alyce Barnhardt, Carla Byrd, Robert Caspar, Johnson Green

Votes: 304

41. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 12,298 | Gross: $1.60M

42. Free China: The Courage to Believe (2011)

61 min | Documentary, Biography, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The fates of a woman living in Beijing and a man living in New York become inextricably linked because of a common conviction... The award winning "Free China: The Courage To Believe" tells... See full summary »

Director: Michael Perlman | Stars: Ethan Gutmann, David Kilgour

Votes: 380

43. Winter Nomads (2012)

90 min | Documentary, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
77 Metascore

A 600 kilometre winter trek for 800 sheep, accompanied by 3 donkeys, 4 dogs and led by two shepherds, Pascal and Carole.

Director: Manuel von Stürler | Stars: Carole Noblanc, Jean-Paul Peguiron, Pascal Éguisier

Votes: 249

44. Rising from Ashes (2012)

82 min | Documentary, Sport

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
58 Metascore

The impossible triumph of Team Rwanda.

Director: T.C. Johnstone | Stars: Jonathan 'Jock' Boyer, Adrien Niyonshuti, Tom Ritchey, Nathan Byukusenge

Votes: 231 | Gross: $0.04M

45. We Came Home (2013)

84 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

We Came Home is the story of Afghanistan through Afghan American musician, Ariana Delawari. Born in LA, the year the Soviets invade Afghanistan, her home's filled with refugees, Afghan ... See full summary »

Director: Ariana Delawari

Votes: 10

46. When I Walk (2013)

84 min | Documentary

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
80 Metascore

In 2006, 25-year-old Jason DaSilva was on vacation at the beach with family when, suddenly, he fell down. He couldn't get back up. His legs had stopped working; his disease could no longer ... See full summary »

Director: Jason DaSilva | Stars: Alice Cook, Jason DaSilva

Votes: 212

47. Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
55 Metascore

The story of Kevin Laue striving to be the first one-armed basketball player ever to receive a scholarship and play on an elite NCAA Division 1 basketball team.

Director: Franklin Martin | Stars: Kevin Laue, Barry Rohrssen

Votes: 27 | Gross: $0.03M

48. War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State (2013)

Not Rated | 67 min | Documentary

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State highlights four cases where whistleblowers noticed government wrong-doing and took to the media to expose the fraud and abuse.

Director: Robert Greenwald | Stars: Daniel Ellsberg, Franz Gayl, Seymour Hersh, David Carr

Votes: 192

49. Herblock: The Black & the White (2013)

95 min | Documentary

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
70 Metascore

Add a Plot

Director: Michael Stevens | Stars: Ken Auletta, Carl Bernstein, Lewis Black, Tom Brokaw

Votes: 130

50. The Missing Picture (2013)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
87 Metascore

Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia's Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979.

Director: Rithy Panh | Stars: Randal Douc, Jean-Baptiste Phou

Votes: 3,058 | Gross: $0.05M


1-50 of 140 titles. | Next »

Recently Viewed