Dinosaur 13 tells the real-life story of the Black Hill’s Institute in the tiny town of Hill City in South Dakota and their amazing discovery of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found.
The film follows the story of how the FBI seized the institute’s findings and the court case as the small institute attempt to get back what they see as rightfully theirs.
The film draws similarities to 2013’s smash hit documentary, Blackfish, but it is ultimately more engaging. This is due to the film’s ability to come to a conclusion; something Blackfish had the inability to do so.
While the film is a documentary it plays out much like a thriller building tension and suspense that really manages to interest and entice the audience right up to the last frame.
The film’s biggest downfall however is its second act which concentrates solely on the court case and is heavy in legal mumbo jumbo.
The film is saved by an excellent third act that centres around a tense Sotheby’s auction that is a lot more interesting than it may first sound.
The last few years has seen a renaissance of documentaries with the aforementioned Blackfish and the likes of The Act of Killing and The Imposter gaining great critical reception and Dinosaur 13 is a continuation of this resurgence of a truly interesting genre.