It’s Oscar time again, and that means its time for my top ten movies of the year.
- 10. The Place Beyond the Pines
- 9. The Way, Way Back
- 8. Inside Llewyn Davis
- 7. Rush
- 6. All is Lost
- 5. Gravity
- 4. The Wind Rises
- 3. The Wolf of Wall Street
- 2. Captain Phillips
- 1. Short Term 12
An epic sprawling story of how bad decisions have consequences that can affect future generations.
My favorite of the slew of the indie comedies that came out this summer. Sam Rockwell steals the show and it’s great to see Jim Rash pop up in a few scenes.
A fun and quirky story of just how much rejection one can take. Great acting all around and another notch in the Cohen Brothers belt.
My surprise film of the year. Manages to create suspense out of cars racing in circles while staying away from all the cliches of the sports genre.
Robert Redford gives a great nuanced performance of a man going through absolute hell to survive when his situation continues to go from bad to worse.
An intimate story of love and loss set in the most beautifully horrific setting one can imagine: space. An absolute visual spectable and unmatched technical achievement. Believe the hype.
A beautiful tale of the sacrifices it takes to achieve your dreams. My favorite Miyazaki film since Spirited Away in 2001.
Scorsese’s ballsiest directing gig also features DiCaprio’s best performance yet. The funniest scene of 2013 involves Leonardo crawling down a flight of stairs in a half paralyzed state. Raunchy and hilarious.
Tom Hanks gives my favorite acting performance this year in the most intense film of 2013. Hanks puts on a pure acting showcase as he delivers a gut wrenchingly exposed performance in the final scene.
A heartbreaking and superbly acted account of the inner workings of a foster care facility. Far better written and acted than all of the over exposed Oscar-bait this year *cough 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Nebraska* , Short Term 12 is my favorite movie of 2013.
A magnificent thriller, and one of the most dumbfoundingly impressive technological feats in the 20 years since Jurassic Park put the world on notice about CGI.
–Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
[The] director’s last effort was another great science-fiction movie, “Children of Men,” which was borne of ideas. This one celebrates sensation. And it deserves to be one.
-Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
to carry sound, No air pressure…No oxygen…
Believe the hype. Gravity, the first film from Alfonso Cuarón since 2006, is one of the best movie going experiences one can have. A total visual spectacle from start to finish, this film will have you holding your breath for entire minutes at a time. Gravity is an intimate story of love and loss set in the most beautifully horrific setting one can imagine: space.
This is a MUST-SEE for anyone with even a passing interest in film, and here’s why:
- A technical marvel and achievement unmatched in film
- Absolutely breathtaking cinematography and effects
- The closest anyone will ever come to actually being in space (outside of attending space camp, maybe?)
- Completely and utterly immersive, you will lose yourself watching this
- The camera hangs on every scene with a very limited amount of cuts, essentially long “tracking shots” in space
- Just as heartfelt and sincere as it is horrifying
- Oscar caliber acting from Bullock and Clooney
- Unquestionably THE best use of 3D we’ve seen in film-making to date
Take it from the master of visual effects technology himself:
“Gravity is the best space movie ever”
See it in 3D, on the biggest screen you can find.
Almost more action movie than zombie movie, World War Z is less about the zombies than it is about the effect the outbreak has on the world. And it works.
-Tim Martain, The Mercury
A supremely well designed film, WWZ re-animates the zombie genre as Brad Pitt outsmarts the voracious undead in a compelling, creepy take on how the world might face its end.
-Simon Weaving, Screenwize
Fortunately, it did just that. Already eclipsing 160 million after it’s third weekend, it’s apparent that audiences weren’t concerned with any of the behind the scenes drama and just wanted to watch Brad Pitt vs the zombie apocalypse. So much so that sequel talks have already taken place, with Pitt set to produce and star in future installments.
Someone could probably use a breath mint
For the first two acts, the film essentially implements video game logic to progress through the story. The characters find clues in various locations that lead them to the next piece of the puzzle. The action climax of the movie takes place at an enormous set piece of Jerusalem, and is definitely one of the better action sequences we’ve had in any film this year so far. The third act (Lindelof’s contribution) slows the pace down substantially and sets a different tone for the end of the film. It is slightly jarring but is really fun to watch and does a good job wrapping up the character arcs and plot points the audience has become invested in.
His family, on the other hand, is almost entirely expendable and only exist to try to humanize Pitt a bit more and tug at the heartstrings a little. It doesn’t work. Most of what happens to the family in this movie is completely unrealistic and directly contradict the motiviations of quite a few different characters.
That’s a big pile of zombies
It’s that time of the year to put out the annual top ten list. After much scrutinizing, I finally feel like I’ve seen everything I need to fill out my top ten. Links to the films I’ve previously written a full review of are provided…I will start with the 6 honorable mentions I have this year, in no order:
…These honorable mentions are the films that were in consideration up until the last minute but just barely missed the cut.
- 10. Rust and Bone
- 9. The Impossible
- 8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- 7. Django Unchained
- 6. Cabin in the Woods
- 5. Safety Not Guaranteed
- 4. Zero Dark Thirty
- 3. The Dark Knight Rises
- 2. Life of Pi
- 1. Cloud Atlas
Powerful. Heartbreaking. Superbly acted. Rust and Bone tells the triumphant story of man’s will to survive against all odds
A fascinating true story of a family determined to survive a devastating natural disaster. This is a disaster movie that puts Roland Emmerich to shame, in both special effects and human emotion.
A refreshingly charming coming of age tale. Somewhere, John Hughes is watching this film and smiling.
A brutal, blood-soaked revenge tale from Quentin Tarantino. Wildly entertaining and hilarious. Revisionist history at its best.
I shouldn’t say anything about this movie. It is really good.
A great little indie/sci-fi film. An exploration of what it takes to trust someone rejected by society and believe in the impossible. Tremendous emotional payoff at the end.
Completely mesmerizing from start to finish. Outstanding acting and directing. The best and most tense final act of a movie you will see this year.
Blew me away. Obviously not as good as The Dark Knight but what is? If you say The Avengers, you’re wrong. Nolan has completed the perfect Batman trilogy.
Gorgeous, profound, visually spectacular and the best film I’ve seen in 3D to date. Life of Pi has it all. Come for the adventure, and stay for the enlightenment. Ang Lee’s best.
Six different stories weave their way through this epic tale and seamlessly connect both plotwise and thematically. Groundbreaking editing. So beautiful and ambitious. An absolute blast to watch. The best movie of the year.