The Fear Of 13

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Reviews Counted: 14

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 446


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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Critic Reviews for The Fear Of 13

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

  • "The Fear of 13" is the classic stranger-than-fiction scenario, but it's also a testament to the power of storytelling, which can make the truth sound like embellishment.

    Mar 29, 2016 | Full Review…

    Scott Tobias

    Top Critic
  • The story of Nick Yarris is an extraordinary one - but this documentary about him is a missed opportunity.

    Nov 12, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This gripping documentary reels you in, closer and closer, finally playing its hand in the closing moments.

    Nov 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It could only make sense in the twisted world of American justice. A death row prisoner's life was saved because he wrote to a judge begging to be executed.

    Mar 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • David Sington's The Fear of 13 is many things -- blisteringly immediate, compelling, emotionally devastating -- but at times it may have you pondering whether it fits into any traditional "documentary" category.

    Nov 17, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Not so much an interviewee as a monologuist, Yarris leads us on a labyrinthine journey that has as much to say about the art of storytelling as it does about the iniquities of crime and punishment.

    Nov 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fear Of 13

I don't generally review Documentaries, but sometimes a documentary comes along that is so compelling, people need to know about it. The Fear of 13 is the biography of a man, that most of us have never heard of, Nicholas Yarris. His was one of the first cases taken on by the Innocence Project and he is a prime example of not only the system failing to help someone, but a reason that it should scare the hell out of you. Yarris wasn't a great guy, when he was pulled over in the wrong place at the wrong time. Given his criminal history and inability to pay for a proper defense, Yarris was the perfect target for an over zealous District Attorney. Despite being based on completely circumstantial evidence, Yarris was convinced of murder and sentenced to death row. His life was troubled on the outside, but what happened in prison made it seem like a walk in the park. For twenty years, Yarris's cries fell on deaf ears, and it wasn't until he gave up and said, just kill me already, that someone finally noticed him. Nicholas Yarris's story is the kind of thing you can't make up and someday, I'd love to see a movie version of it. This man was never considered innocent and he wasn't proven guilty, yet he was forced to endure government sanctioned torture, the likes of which we couldn't possibly imagine. This is an eye opening documentary that must be seen by all and afterwards it may just change your opinion on our criminal justice system.

Todd Smith
Todd Smith

Super Reviewer


Fantastic. This is an absolutely fascinating documentary...really Oscar-caliber.

Stephen Skudlarek
Stephen Skudlarek

Super Reviewer

This was a well made film/documentary that explores the prison life of a death row inmate. The music and sound in this film are melded with the story perfectly and they keep you intrigued with the story so it isn't all listening to the actor's narration. The film misses the mark in keeping the viewer excited. The story starts to meander and you find yourself getting slightly bored as things progress. The main conflict of his prison life seems to be glossed over with many questions remaining unanswered. Overall, it seems like a special you would catch on the ID network.

Hayden Boudreaux
Hayden Boudreaux

Super Reviewer


A moving, surprising and compelling film in so many ways, and Nick Yarris has an incredible literary eloquence that makes everything he says sound fascinating (or fake even, to be honest), while the film is smart to just let him talk throughout without any sort of interference.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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