Best Documentaries of 2023

March 8, 2023
M.N. Miller 0
Lists, RSC Originals

Keep this list handy as we celebrate and list what is deemed the Best and Highest Rated Documentaries of 2023.

At Ready Steady Cut, we are constantly challenged to find the best documentary films. If you are still deciding what to watch next, bookmark this page as we list the Best and Highest Rated Documentaries of 2023! We’ve used Rotten Tomatoes as the benchmark, but we will also share the IMDb rating. We will share the review with you if we have reviewed it on our site. 

We will update this page every two months so audiences can keep up to date on the latest best, and most popular documentary films of the year and when/where they are playing. For another related list, check out our Best Documentary Films on Netflix in 2023

Best and Highest Rated Documentaries of 2023

8. Copenhagen Cowboy: Nightcall with Nicolas Winding Refn (2023)

Director Nicklas Kold Nagel accounts how Nicolas Winding Refn brought his neon-soaked fluorescent series Copenhagen Cowboy to life. 

Official Premise:  

“Show creator Nicolas Winding Refn and his team detail how they brought the stoic heroine and dark fairy tale version of Copenhagen’s netherworld to life.”

Director: Nicklas Kold Nagel

Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A (0 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

7. Making All Quiet on the Western Front (2023)

The short film includes shooting locations, military training, and mind-blowing prosthetic use throughout the eighteen-minute documentary.

Official Premise:  

“Go behind the scenes of Edward Berger’s WWII epic and see how the cast and crew crafted its amazing authenticity – from the sets to the STX prosthetics.”

Director: Ingo Becker

Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A (0 reviews)

IMDB Rating: N/A

6. Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld (2023)

Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld is a fascinating untold story about a city’s crime lords with untapped potential that is a “scary and extraordinary part of India’s history.”

Official Premise:  

“In 1990s Mumbai, a crime boss and his network wield unchecked power over the city — until the rise of “encounter cops,” who brazenly kill their targets.”

Director: Raaghav DarFrancis Longhurst

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% (1 review)

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

5. The Other Fellow (2022)

The Other Fellow is a  truly outside-the-box documentary that explores the effects of the digital age on identity and fandom.

Official Premise:  

“An energetic exploration of male identity via the lives, personalities, and adventures of a diverse band of men, real men across the globe all sharing the same name – James Bond.”

Director: Matthew Bauer

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%  (23 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

4. The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker (2023)

I remember the news stories of The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, but this documentary exposes the man behind the clickbait trappings. A “wild and sad story” that has to be seen to be believed.

Official Premise:  

“This shocking documentary chronicles a happy-go-lucky nomad’s ascent to viral stardom and the steep downward spiral that resulted in his imprisonment.”

Director: Colette Camden

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91% (11 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

3. Stand (2023)

At times powerful and inspiring, the Showtime documentary film Stand is an unconventional and eye-opening view of a once controversial figure that time has given Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf fresh pair of eyes by being viewed in a modern socially conscious age.

Official Premise:  

“A documentary of the Extraordinary Journey of Pioneer Activist and Basketball Prodigy Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.”

Director: Joslyn Rose Lyons

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%  (1 review)

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

2. Pamela, a Love Story (2023)

Pamela, a Love Story may be the first film that will have feminists and male chauvinist pigs unite in defense of the most celebrated blonde bomb shells since Marylyn Monroe. At Ready Steady Cut, we called director Ryan White’s film “unflinching and painfully human.”

Official Premise:  

“Follows the life of pop culture icon Pamela Anderson, including never-before-seen archival footage and personal journals.”

Director: Ryan White

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98% (44 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

1. A House Made of Splinter (2022)

Acquired by PBS, Simon Lereng Wilmont’s documentary film will premiere on PBS this summer. Rotten Tomatoes calls A House Made of Splinters, “Taking a brilliantly unobtrusive approach, A House Made of Splinters uncovers heartbreak and hope while observing the generational effects of war.”

Official Premise:  

“Children and staff in a special kind of home: an institution for children removed from their homes while awaiting court custody decisions. Staff does their best to make the time children have there safe and supportive.”

Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% (31 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

And that completes our Best and Highest Rated Documentaries of 2023. What’s your favorite documentary so far in 2023? Comment below.

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