At the beginning of 2013, I started this list, when I had seen a film that could be a contender for my top ten, I added it. By August, my list was miserable and I was almost ready to write of the entire year. My list contained the likes of This is the End, World War Z, and Fast and Furious 6, Good movies for sure, but they didn’t quite seem like regular Top Ten films.
Many of 2013’s best films came out very late in the year, December was jam packed with Oscar contenders. Although, unsurprisingly, many of the best movies from 2013 were smaller, didn’t get a wide release, thus forcing me to wait until late in the year when they were released on DVD/Blu-ray.
Well now it’s January, I’ve seen over 130 movies from 2013, and I feel (almost) comfortable about my Top Ten list. I still marginally doubt myself; I haven’t seen Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, or Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. As always, foreign films like The Great Beauty (Rome), and Documentaries like The Act of Killing have been hard to see, but I plan on seeing them all. If for some reason I see a movie that I feel very passionate about, I will update my Top Ten. I don’t see it happening, but it may.
When it comes down to it, I don’t get paid for what I do. I do this because I am very passionate about movies, and I love every minute of it. This is my way of celebrating the best movies from the year, and letting people know what they should see, if they get the chance. As 2014 unfolds, I will be constantly uncovering 2013, with different lists like “The Worst Movies of 2013″, (Available by clicking) and the top ten movies from genres such as Action, comedy and more. Stay tuned for that.
I want to remind everyone that these are the best movies of 2013 “In my Opinion”. I shouldn’t have to say that, seeing as it’s my blog and everything is my opinion. These are the movies that will stick with me for a very long time.
So, without further ado, here are my Top Ten Movies of 2013:
10. Lone Survivor
Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Whalberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Bana
2013 had many great true stories, Saving Mr. Banks, Fruitvale Station, Rush, Captain Phillips and more, Lone Survivor is one that will stick with me for many years to come. Lone Survivor tells the true story of the four man Navy Seal team that went into Afghanistan in 2005 to track the whereabouts of Taliban leader Ahmed Shah.
Lone Survivor is an incredible story that showcases the bravery and patriotism of four Navy seals. The movie is two hours long, and an hour and a half of that is pure and tense action. The war scenes depicted in the film rivals the battle sequences in movies like Saving Private Ryan, but one thing I can say with confidence is that there are sequences in Lone Survivor you haven’t seen in a movie before.
Directed by: Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck
With the Voice Talents of: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, and Alan Tudyk
Last year it was Wreck it Ralph, This year it’s Frozen. Disney is back on top and I couldn’t be more delighted. What sets Frozen apart from other animated movies is its catchy music, emotional story and an ending that gets away from Disney’s habit of making it a man that saves the day.
Frozen also has one of the most memorable animated characters in years, a talking snowman, voiced by Josh Gad, that is uproariously hilarious. I left the theatre humming the songs, and I still find myself singing “Do you wanna build a Snowman?”
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Patt and the voice of Scarlett Johansson
Her is, by a long shot, the most thought provoking, unique and interesting movies of 2013. I haven’t found myself contemplating a movies theme and asking myself so many “What ifs?” in an extremely long time.
Her is the story of Theodore Twombly (Phoenix), who develops a relationship with his new operating system (Johansson). Her is set in a very interesting, not so distant future, but the problems and themes the movie addresses pertain to our own lives, in the present. Her is smart; Jonze’s script is a revelation.
7. The Spectacular Now
Directed by: James Ponsoldt
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bob Odenkirk and Kyle Chandler
At one point, before making this list and seeing everything else on said list, The Spectacular Now was my number one, and I didn’t think it would change. I’ve never dealt with alcoholism, and even if you haven’t The Spectacular Now will show you firsthand what it can be like. How it can affect the people in your life, and it what it can do to the person dealing with the disease.
The Spectacular Now is an excellent love story and one that is exceedingly emotional and heartbreaking. It is a story so real and well-acted, especially by Woodley and Teller, you feel as if you are friends with these characters. I left the theatre with a heavy heart, and I knew I had just seen a marvelous movie I would remember forever.
6. Short Term 12
Directed by: Destin Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Stephanie Beatriz, Raimi Malek
Short Term 12 tells the story of Grace, played by Brie Larson, tasked with the impossible duty of running a foster care facility for at-risk kids. Grace’s Co-worker/boyfriend, her troubled past and years of experience is no match for these kids who need more help than she can give.
The movie is about the kids in this facility, but it’s really about Grace, her troubled past and her unpredictable future, and how it all intertwines with the lives of the troubled kids she cares so much for. Brie Larson gives a spectacular, award worthy performance in an extremely heart-wrenching story.
5. Enough Said
Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
Starring: James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Toni Collette, Catherine Keener, and Ben Falcone
Enough Said may be the most surprising movie of 2013; I threw it on one night, expecting regular romantic-comedy fair; That’s not what I got. Enough Said is hilarious, incredibly sweet and wonderfully true to life, and on top of it all, Gandolfini and Dreyfus give the most touching performances of their careers.
Writer and director, Nicole Holofcener, weaves a few stories together, touching on relationships, parenthood, marriage, and more, with truthfulness and comedy. This is a movie I will re-watch several times, with a big smile.
4. All is Lost
Directed by: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
All is Lost is a gripping tale of survival, Redford plays an unnamed character stuck at sea after his sailboat crashes into a shipping container on the Indian ocean. It’s just Redford and the sea, but the entire movie is a white-knuckled thrill ride.
Redford gives the performance of his career, you don’t know his story, you don’t know why he’s out on the Ocean all alone, but you empathize for this man. Redford utters very few lines, there is no narration, it’s a fairly quiet movie, but Redford’s face says so much. All is lost is an incredibly well made movie, with a great score; it’s a survival story like no other.
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Cuarón made Children of Men, one of my favourite movies of all time. So, Gravity has been one of my most anticipated movies of all time, and I was not disappointed. Gravity came out early on in the year, and people raved about it, they immediately called it “a masterpiece”, they pushed it into overrated status. So now, those same people calling it a masterpiece have turned against it, almost to the point where they hate it. It’s a vicious cycle and I absolutely hate what’s happened to this movie.
Gravity is unquestionably astounding, I saw it in theatres twice and I can’t wait to own it so I can watch it again. Cuarón has made a movie worth they hype, it’s astounding, exciting, breathtaking and just incredible. Gravity is a Visual Masterpiece, something so incredible to watch that you’re immersed into the world. On top of it all, Bullock’s performance is astonishing. If it weren’t for Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine, Bullock could have had all the awards, and deserved them.
2. The Hunt (Jagten)
Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lasse foggelstrom and Annika Wedderkop
I had a chance to watch The Hunt early on in the year, I forget who suggested it, but I’m glad this movie crossed my path. The Hunt tells the story of Lucas, a kindergarten teacher, recently divorced and trying to maintain a relationship with his son. His entire life is turned upside down when he is wrongly accused of inappropriate behaviour with one of his kindergarten students.
The Hunt is extremely tense; director Thomas Vinterberg presents a situation and doesn’t shy away from unfolding the story, as truthful as possible. The Hunt is extremely well acted by the entire cast, especially by Mikkelsen who is as deserving of an Oscar as anyone else in the best actor category this year.
1. 12 Years a Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, and Benedict Cumberbatch
12 Years a slave, is without a doubt, the best movie of 2013. I haven’t seen a movie so perfect in an incredibly long time; Steve McQueen could quit directing right now and know he’s made the best movie of his career. 12 Years a Slave tells the incredible true story of Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) who is sold into slavery, even though he is a free man.
12 Years a Slave is raw and realistic, it doesn’t shy away from showing its audience the harshness of slavery. For two hours we watch Solomon Northup as he makes his way through the world of slavery, all the while it’s almost unbelievable that this is a true story. 12 Years a Slave has it right on every level, cinematography, production design, score, and of course, the acting. Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong’o are all the most deserving of an Academy Award, as they give performances like no other.
12 Years a Slave is THE BEST movie of 2013, and possibly the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I sat in the theatre for the entirety of the film, most of the time with my mouth agape at the horrors and absolute cinematic masterpiece unfolding upon the screen in front of me. I had to sit in my seat for all of the credits in near shock, and for fear that I had forgotten how to use my legs. While we should never forget about the horrors and tragedy of slavery, another movie on the subject seems redundant as nothing could live up to the phenomenal 12 Years a Slave.
The Next Ten:
11. Before Midnight 12. Mud
13. American Hustle 14. Dallas Buyers Club
15. World War Z 16. Captain Phillips
17. The Place Beyond the Pines 18. Rush
19. The Conjuring 20. Beautiful Creatures
Click for “The Worst Movies of 2013″
Thanks for Reading,
Mitch Burns, The Hollywood Persona