My Top 10 Films of 2013 (and bottom 5)

Well, it's that time of year again. Here are my favorite films that 2013 had to offer, in no particular order. I should note, that I was holding off on this until I saw Short Term 12, but since I keep getting skipped over in my Netflix queue, I don't see myself getting that DVD any time soon. *sigh*



1) American Hustle: Great cast, great story.

2) Prisoners: One of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time, I was on the edge of my seat through out the entire film. Plus, the experience I had watching this is one of the reasons I love the movie theater so much. The crowd gasping along with me was awesome, and just heightened everything.

3) Star Trek Into Darkness: Plot holes be damned, I love this movie. Plus the sound track is awesome.

4) The East: Don't forget this little indie gem. A clever story that should help the very promising career of Brit Marling.

5) The Hunt: Mads Mikkelson was fantastic, and this film was wonderfully frustrating. That is hard to achieve.

6) 12 Years A Slave: A powerful story that left me crying like a baby in the end. Terrific performances all around.

7) The Wolf of Wall Street: So. Fucking. Hilarious. Probably the most fun I've ever had in a 3 hour film. Actually, I know I said this list is in no particular order, but this one has to be my favorite of the year.

8) Her: This film was just so beautiful and very thought provoking. I'm still thinking about it a week later.

9) Blackfish: This is the first time a documentary has ever made my 'Best of' list, but this one is deserving. Very powerful stuff.

10) Stoker: This film is so beautiful and original, and it doesn't get the love it deserves.

Honorable Mention:

This Is The End - Hilarious.
The Bling Ring - Crazy.
The Dallas Buyers Club - All hail McConaughey and Leto.
Thor: The Dark World - Burdened with glorious Loki.
Catching Fire - Hell of an adaptation.
Gravity: A beauty on the big screen. 
What Maisie Knew - A good look on bad parenting.

The Bottom 5 Films of 2013: (I should note, I didn't see every new release out there, as I only go to movies I think I would enjoy. So yes, I know R.I.P.D is probably shit, but I didn't see it.)


1) Only God Forgives: My expectations for this movie where through the roof, and I was let down by one of the most pretentious and lazy pieces of film I've ever seen.

2) The Frozen Ground: If you're going to base a movie off of a true story, it shouldn't be painfully obvious which parts you made up for added drama.

3) Girl Most Likely: Really, Kristen Wiig? This movie was a mess.

4) Plush: This movie was too weird, even for me. Plus the ending is one of the most eye-rolling things I've seen in a long time.

5) Hello Herman: You probably haven't heard of this film. It stars Norman Reedus, and was released into a few theaters in early 2013, then disappeared. That's because it fucking sucks. It's a terrible attempt at a film with an important topic, and it fails all around.

30 comments:

  1. Haven't seen any in the bottom 5! Score!...? Love your top 10, very happy to see Star Trek there, it's my favourite of the year (well, I haven't seen Hustle or Wolf or DBC or pretty much most of the stuff I reaaaally want to see). Thanks for reminding Stoker, too, I keep hearing great stuff about it.

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    1. Stoker is wonderful. I hope you get to see Wolf, Hustle an DBC soon. I loved Stark Trek so much that I completely missed all the plot holes. I didn't even think about it til I started reading other Blogger's reviews. lol

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  2. I love your passion for Blackfish, even if I don't wholly agree, and I love that you made room for Stoker...such a great little film...and THE EAST! I wish you had seen Short Term 12. I just reviewed that yesterday. It's incredible!

    I won't be making my ballots until around May, which ensures that I see everything I need to see.

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    1. Thank you! :) I'm firmly on the Blackfish bandwagon, it just moved me so much. I wish I would've gotten to see Short Term 12 too, with the rate I'm going I won't get that DVD for months.

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  3. Great list! From the ones I've seen in there, I've enjoyed them all. And Star Trek gets too much flak. It was one of my favorites of the summer.... saw it in the theaters twice! (although tagging along with different groups of people)

    I'm glad I haven't seen any in the bottom 5 yet!

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  4. Very nice and varied list! Though I have to admit I am on the anti-STAR TREK side. I also love Brit Marling and liked THE EAST (though not quite as much as SOUND OF MY VOICE, which I adored). Amazingly, I have only seen one of your bottom five (ONLY GOD FORGIVES, a huge letdown) so I may need to seek out some of those out of morbid curiosity.... :)

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    1. I have Sound of my Voice and Another Earth in my Netflix queue, I think I should actually be getting Another Earth today, I look forward to it. I wouldn't seek out any of those. I actually paid to watch Hello Herman on iTunes and I want that $3.00 back so badly. lol

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  5. Great top choices. The Wolf of Wall Street was very entertaining (and if I have the time, I would go and watch it again!). It's awesome that Stoker made your cut, it's a great film. I've only seen Girl Most Likely, and it was certainly a step back from Wiig's other works.

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    1. I want to see Wolf again too, but those show times make it kind of hard. I'll be getting that on DVD immediately.

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  6. Very cool list. Yes After Drive I too was stoked to see Only God Forgives. Only to have it disappoint and upset me. I love your best of list and am glad you gave more praise to Stoker(Which oddly was left out of best cinematography)

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    1. I think if Stoker had been released during the actual Oscar season, it would be getting more love. It's seriously because everyone forgot about it. For awhile there, I was convinced I saw it last year.

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  7. Well I feel bad as I routinely root against the top 2 of your choices :P But I love Stoker love and Wolf being on the list.

    God, OGF was such shit.

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    1. But you're hilarious in your Hustle and Prisoners hate! And I actually agree with your main critic of Hustle - about Jennifer Lawrence being overrated. I can totally see it.

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  8. Wow, I guess I'm one of the few that actually liked Only God Forgives. I thought it was a very entrancing film about vengeance and death. I've only posted an "unofficial" list of the best films of 2013 as you will probably notice that Her is not in that list. Plus, there's several 2013 films that I want to see like Labor Day, Jeune & Jolie, Under the Skin, Short Term 12, All is Lost, and many others that I am taking into very serious consideration as I want to make a truly definitive list of the best films of 2013.

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    1. It was really hard for me to post without Short Term 12, because I'm pretty convinced it would be in there, but I just wanted to get this up, and I don't think Netflix will actually send me Short Term for awhile. I think Under The Skin got pushed to 2014, did you read the book?

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    2. I haven't though I heard the film isn't a straight adaptation of the book.

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    3. I heard that too. They even changed the names, I read it a few months ago, it's a pretty quick read, but I wasn't really impressed with the book as a whole. It got really interesting around the middle, then it went back to being a little boring.

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  9. Haha. Only God Forgives was the favorite film of the year, I'll will do my list soon, I still need to see certain films before I do such as Captain Phillips, Her and The Dallas Buyers Club. Blame different release dates on the last two, damn those studios for trying to maximize profits

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    1. Her was one I was waiting for too, and it was well worth it.

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  10. Great list! Glad to see 'Only God Forgives' make it, such an awful film. Interesting to see Star Trek Into Darkness on your list, I did love it though. My favourite blockbuster of 2013.

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    1. I had such a great time watching Star Trek that I had to include it. Indeed, my favorite blockbuster of the year. Thor 2 was a close second.

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  11. Hi Brittani,

    I am a little curious about the dislike of Only God Forgives. Perhaps I should correct myself: I can get different reasons why people don't like Only God Forgives (the violence, the lack of dialogue ...) but what I don't understand is how a statement such as "this did not appeal to my tastes" can so easily become "this movie was shit".

    Now ... no one has used that word here. Pardon me? It seems someone has.

    I often like to ask people who label a movie as pretentious, for example, what they thought the picture was about or set out to communicate. Sometimes the answer qualifies, to a certain extent, their previously given evaluation.

    KW.

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    1. Well, I do think Only God Fogives was shit. :) When I throw out the word "pretentious" in a review, I do so because to me, the film is trying to hard to be arty, and is thus lacking in everything else. OGF was obviously trying to be stylish, the lighting and the long takes give that away, but in doing so, they really just dragged everything out and added little to the plot. Some films can get away with little dialogue, but this one didn't The look on Gosling's face throughout suggested that he didn't know what the hell he was doing. That being said, I don't call every film that doesn't appeal to me "shit." I didn't like The Artist, but I'm not going to call it a bad film, it wasn't. I just didn't care for it.

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    2. Well ... I don't expect to pull you from your "OGF was shit" frame of mind. It's not like I loved the movie. I just don't think it was garbage. Having said that, can I make two further points before shutting up?

      First, with OGF, I noticed that many viewers were expecting a sort of "Drive" experience. What they got, instead, was the "Valhalla Rising" experience (Winding Refn's picture previous to Drive). I think that when a person enters with expectations that are high and have been predicated on seeing something like what they saw before (and liked), it is difficult not to feel disappointed when those expectations are not met. That, to me, lies in the subjective domain of the viewer and not, in my opinion, in the technical merits of a picture.

      Second, I really do think that OGF has a good story to tell (a troubled man, Julian, caught between the godlike Chang and a satanlike mother; characters existing, in my view, as opposite directions in which he, Julian, can move). Clearly the director chooses to communicate his story mostly through a medium other than words but I think, generally, he succeeds in what he sets out to do.

      All right ... that's it. Take care.

      KW.

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    3. Oh, don't feel like you have to shut up! I enjoy talking about movies with everyone. You're absolutely right about Drive. That's the only Refn film I've seen and that's why my expectations for this were so high, because Drive was so well done. OGF could've had a good story to tell if they actually would've told it instead of drifted through it.

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  12. I totally agree about the look of Stoker, which is just gorgeous. The sound design is also excellent. The East was interesting and had good acting from Brit Marling and Ellen Page. I lost a bit of interest in the last act but liked it overall. I'm not as with you on Star Trek Into Darkness due to the way it ended and some awkward plotting, but it has some great sequences.

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    1. Yeah, there was a lot of awkward plotting, but I noticed none of it until afterwards. I was just having a good time.

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  13. Prisoners. The Hunt. WOWS. Her. Love it! :)

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    1. I think I talked up Prisoners so much to some people that they hated it when they finally saw it. Whoops.

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