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The Best Indie Movies 2013  

Ranker Film
474 votes 86 voters 12.2k views

List of the best indie movies of 2013, as ranked by movie enthusiasts and film critics. Usually the films that get the most attention are those with major studio backing and large marketing budgets. Therefore the biggest grossing movies are often ones starring superheroes, action stars, and familiar faces. Indie movies are usually labors of love, made on small budgets,with virtually no marketing. It’s very rare that indie movies get to shine like studio films. However, 2013 was a spectacular year for indie movies. Many of the 2013 indie movies made lots of money, got award season buzz, and attracted massive talent.

The best indie movies released in 2013 had a wide range of talent, scoring directors like Woody Allen and Joss Whedon. Films like Blue Jasmine, Frances Ha, and Twelve Years a Slave have received tons of Oscar buzz,especially for their lead actors. Movies like Short Term 12 and Fruitvale Station feature fresh actors, directors, and other talent that are just now seeing their first successful film.

What are the best indie movies of 2013? While there are plenty of options to choose from this year, the films on this list are the indie movies that will be remembered for decades to come. To vote on more films, check out Ranker's list of the best movies of 2013.

list ordered by
1
Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 American comedy-drama film edited, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan and Joel Coen. Set in 1961, the film stars ...more
2
Nebraska is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk
Nebraska is a 2013 American comedy-drama black-and-white road film directed by Alexander Payne and written by Bob Nelson. It stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, and Bob Odenkirk. The film ...more
3
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch
12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more
4
Mud is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Paulson
Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film
5
The Way, Way Back is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Steve Carell, Amanda Peet, AnnaSophia Robb
The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in their directorial debut. The film stars Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison ...more
6
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer
Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based on true events. The story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, ...more
7
Delete is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Brad William Henke, Keith Stanfield, Adam Shapiro
"A film about kids and the grown-ups who hit them." Quoting the description from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival
8
Before Midnight is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Athina Rachel Tsangari
Before Midnight is a 2013 American romantic drama film, the third in a trilogy featuring two characters, following Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. It was directed by Richard Linklater and ...more
9
The Spectacular Now is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Shailene Woodley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Spectacular Now is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The ...more
10
Frances Ha is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen
Frances Ha is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig also plays the title role. The film premiered at the Telluride Film ...more
11
Blue Jasmine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Blue Jasmine Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K.
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American dark comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. It tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite who falls into hard times and has to move in to her ...more
12
All Is Lost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Robert Redford
All Is Lost is a 2013 survival drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film stars Robert Redford as a man lost at sea. Redford is the only cast member, and the film has very few ...more
13
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, also known as Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2, is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film written, produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring ...more
14
Blackfish is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Blackfish is a 2013 Documentary film written by Eli B. Despres and directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
15
Twenty Feet from Stardom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
20 Feet from Stardom is a 2013 American documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville and was produced by Gil Friesen, a music industry executive whose curiosity to know more ...more
16
The East is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgård, Julia Ormond
The East is a 2013 English-language thriller film directed by Zal Batmanglij and starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, and Ellen Page. Writers Batmanglij and Marling spent two months ...more
17
Upstream Color is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Brina Palencia
Upstream Color is a 2013 film written and directed by Shane Carruth.
18
Much Ado About Nothing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg
Much Ado About Nothing is a 2012 American romantic comedy film adapted for the screen, produced, and directed by Joss Whedon, from William Shakespeare's play of the same name. The film stars Amy ...more
19
Stories We Tell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Stories We Tell is a 2012 Canadian documentary film written and directed by Sarah Polley and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The film explores her family's secrets—including one ...more
20
The Great Beauty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Sabrina Ferilli, Serena Grandi, Carlo Verdone
The Great Beauty is a 2013 Italian film co-written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Filming took place in Rome starting on 9 August 2012. It premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it ...more
21
The Iceman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
James Franco, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans
The Iceman is an American crime thriller film based on the true story of longtime notorious hitman Richard Kuklinski. Released in 2013 at the Venice Film Festival, the film was directed by Ariel ...more
22
The Act of Killing is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary film directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous and Christine Cynn.
23
The Bling Ring is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Lindsay Lohan, Emma Watson, Paris Hilton
The Bling Ring is a 2013 American satirical crime film based on actual events. Written, directed and produced by Sofia Coppola, it features an ensemble cast including newcomers Israel Broussard, ...more
24
Unfinished Song is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Unfinished Song
25
Fill the Void is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Movies 2013
Yael Tal, Yiftach Klein, Razia Israeli
Fill the Void is a 2012 drama film written and directed by Rama Burshtein.