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Dinosaur 13 (2014)

tomatometer

71

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 12

It's undeniably slanted and doesn't cover as much of the story as it should, but Dinosaur 13 makes for gripping documentary viewing, flaws and all.

63

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 6

It's undeniably slanted and doesn't cover as much of the story as it should, but Dinosaur 13 makes for gripping documentary viewing, flaws and all.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 428

My Rating

Movie Info

When Paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research made the world's greatest dinosaur discovery in 1990, they knew it was the find of a lifetime; the largest, most complete T. rex ever found. But during a ten-year battle with the U.S. government, powerful museums, Native American tribes, and competing paleontologists, they found themselves not only fighting to keep their dinosaur but fighting for their freedom as well.

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All Critics (42) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (12)

The storytelling raises more logistical and legal questions than it's equipped to answer. But what Miller does have, for anyone unfamiliar with Sue's fate, is a story with a suspenseful climax.

August 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In his eagerness to create a David-and-Goliath story, and with his distractingly pro-BHI bias, Mr. Miller fails to ask a lot of questions.

August 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fate of some very old bones may not sound like compelling cinema, but when they compose the 65-million-year-old skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex that was 41 feet long and 18 feet high back in the day, all bets are off.

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These events would have been better handled in a single installment of Dateline.

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Dinosaur 13" may not be the best documentary, but as a scientific soap opera, it's a doozy.

August 14, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lawsuit and trial at the center of the story - the largest criminal case ever tried in South Dakota, we're told - take up much of the running time, and never grow dull.

August 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We see much of both sides in Dinosaur 13.

August 29, 2014 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

After a promising half-hour or so, "Dinosaur 13" becomes less convincing and less involving, particularly as the real-life narrative peaks halfway through.

August 23, 2014 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

Yet another fine documentary outing for 2014.

August 22, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Independent
Irish Independent

Dinosaur 13 is a David and Goliath tale of a small group of scientists thrust into the center of a national debate over proprietorship, as well as right versus wrong.

August 22, 2014 Full Review Source: Under the Radar
Under the Radar

Cleverly assembled to tell a complex true story from a hugely engaging perspective, this documentary can't help but spark a sense of righteous rage in the audience.

August 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

What starts out as a really riveting story of passionate scientists and the find of a lifetime becomes an unfocused dig at the federal government.

August 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Nonfics

This is a bare-bones documentary, lacking in roar.

August 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The bittersweet end does genuinely unfair things to the heart strings. Do not miss.

August 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

The actions of both these vilified parties are so seemingly irrational that you're left feeling there must be some explanation, one that director Todd Douglas Miller either couldn't or wouldn't ferret out.

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Finding and Losing the World's Most Complete T-Rex

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

...no treat for kids enthralled by dinosaurs or Jurassic Park adventures, but another wake-up call about injustices that slip through a porous legal system and sock the powerless.

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

"Dinosaur 13" is "Kramer vs. Kramer" for paleontologists ...

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com

As a David and Goliath tale of the picked-on little guy battling big government, it resonates powerfully.

August 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

If it all feels too anomalous to seal its case against today's big legal and corporate predators, it never lacks for diverting turns and quirks.

August 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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