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Dinosaur 13 Review

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When paleontologist Pete Larson uncovered the remains of the largest T-Rex ever found in the South Dakota badlands, it should be the crowning glory of his career. But as this documentary records, the result was a bitter legal battle.

★★★★

In 1990, in the Black Hills of Dakota, paleontologists unearthed Sue, only the 13th Tyrannosaurus rex fossil skeleton ever discovered and by far the most complete. Thanks to political-financial shenanigans, this career-making find led to a face-off between the government, a Native American landowner and an ambitious district attorney. Lead fossil-finder Peter Larson wound up facing jail even as the price on Sue’s bones inflated from $5,000 to over eight million. Todd Douglas Miller’s fascinating, moving, infuriating true story is shot through with enthusiasm and awe for the prehistoric past even as it chronicles a truly bizarre legal footnote.

Like The Cover and Man On Wire, this doc comes clad in the garb of a thriller. And a heck of a good one at that.