Friday, December 27, 2013

The Best Films of 2013

12 Years a Slave. Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
It was a good, if not great, year for movies. That's not to say there were not a handful of films about which I was very enthusiastic. I never have difficulty putting together a list of 10 films that I love every year and 2013 was no exception.

In fact, a number of films in my top 10 were groundbreaking, whether due to their controversial content, visual style or taboo shattering stories. At least several of the films among my 10 favorites could adequately be described as "fearless."

On the other hand, it was yet another blah year for Hollywood mainstream filmmaking and there were a fair amount of disappointments this year.

So, I've not only compiled my top 10 films here, but also my 10 runners up (11-20), my worst movies of the year and several other items (biggest disappointments, most overrated, etc.) below.

The year's worst films included: "Maniac," "Movie 43," "The Canyons," "Grown Ups 2," "Evil Dead," "Texas Chainsaw 3D," "Clip," "Getaway," "Riddick" and "21 and Over."

Biggest Disappointments: Only God Forgives, Post Tenebras Lux, Bastards, Trance

Most Overrated: Upstream Color, Computer Chess, Leviathan, This Is the End

Best Performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave," Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine," Leonard DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street," Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips," Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color," Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle"

Best Performance in a Mediocre Movie: James Franco in "Spring Breakers"

Best Sex Scene Involving a Human Being and a Windshield: Cameron Diaz with car in "The Counselor."

Best Films of the Year:
20. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
19. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallee)
18. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
17. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
16. No (Pablo Larrain)
15. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
14. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
13. Mud (Jeff Nichols)
12. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)
11. 56 Up (Michael Apted)
10. The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt)
  9. The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance)
  8. Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)
  7. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)
  6. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
  4. Her (Spike Jonze)
  3. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
  2. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  1. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

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