Best Documentaries of 2023 (May Update)

May 5, 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

Last Updated: May 5, 2023.

Best and Highest Rated Documentaries of 2023

12. Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now (2023)

The London Evening Standard says, “Capaldi has never been one to shy away from his emotions in his songs, but his openness in this raw and unflinching documentary is a step beyond that, both brave and inspiring..”

Official Premise:  

“This intimate, all-access documentary chronicles Lewis Capaldi’s journey from a scrappy teen with a viral performance to a Grammy-nominated pop star.”

Director: Joe Pearlman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98% (9 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

11. Caught Out: Crime, Corruption, and Cricket (2023)

Firstpost says, “This documentary isn’t about gods or religions or temples, it’s about humans, it’s about human flaws; correction, human sins.”

Official Premise:  

“India’s biggest match-fixing scandal, the icons caught in its web and the journalists

who uncovered the corruption.”

Director: Supriya Sobti Gupta

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0% (not listed)

IMDB Rating: 5.9/10

10. Longest Third Date (2023)

At Ready Steady Cut, we said, Longest Third Date is a beautiful example that maybe not everything was so bad during the pandemic. In a time that was dour and hopeless, both Matt and Khani used a terrible situation to find love in one another.”

Official Premise:  

“When Matt and Khani match on Hinge, sparks fly. They spontaneously fly to Costa Rica for their third date and get stuck as the world shuts down in March 2020. An extended stay in paradise becomes the ultimate test of compatibility.”

Director: Brent Hodge

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80% (5 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

9. Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (2023)

Pornhub has a sexy, smutty history laid bare in this documentary. Complicated and compelling, it’s a must-watch.

Official Premise:  

“Follow the rise of the most famous adult entertainment platform and the recent backlash it has received.”

Director: Suzanne Hillinger

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83% (30 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 5.4/10

8. 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

7. 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

6. 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

5. 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

4. 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

3. 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

2. Judy Blume Forever (2023)

The Chicago Reader says, “Stirring, essential, and sincere, Judy Blume Forever is just as enjoyable as Blume’s oeuvre has always been and will always be.”

Official Premise:  

“Judy Blume and the generations of readers who have sparked to her work. It will examine her impact on pop culture and the occasional controversies over her frankness about puberty and sex.”

Director: Davina Pardo, Leah Wolchok

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% (54 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

1. 32 Sounds (2023)

Variety says, “A uniquely mind-expanding plunge into a dimension of the human experience so many of us take for granted, a rare and rewarding sonic journey with the potential to enrich our lives.”

Official Premise:  

“Explores the elemental phenomenon of sound and its power to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us.”

Director: Sam Green

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% (32 reviews)

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

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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