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Category Archives: Top Ten

It’s Oscar time again, and that means its time for my top ten movies of the year.

  • 10. The Place Beyond the Pines
  • An epic sprawling story of how bad decisions have consequences that can affect future generations.

  • 9. The Way, Way Back
  • 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.

  • 8. Inside Llewyn Davis
  • 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.

  • 7. Rush
  • 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.

  • 6. All is Lost
  • 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.

  • 5. Gravity
  • 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.

  • 4. The Wind Rises
  • A beautiful tale of the sacrifices it takes to achieve your dreams. My favorite Miyazaki film since Spirited Away in 2001.

  • 3. The Wolf of Wall Street
  • 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.

  • 2. Captain Phillips
  • 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.

  • 1. Short Term 12
  • 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.


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:

The Honorable Mentions

…These honorable mentions are the films that were in consideration up until the last minute but just barely missed the cut.

The Top Ten
  • 10. Rust and Bone
  • Powerful. Heartbreaking. Superbly acted. Rust and Bone tells the triumphant story of man’s will to survive against all odds

  • 9. The Impossible
  • 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.

  • 8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • A refreshingly charming coming of age tale. Somewhere, John Hughes is watching this film and smiling.

  • 7. Django Unchained
  • A brutal, blood-soaked revenge tale from Quentin Tarantino. Wildly entertaining and hilarious. Revisionist history at its best.

  • 6. Cabin in the Woods
  • I shouldn’t say anything about this movie. It is really good.

  • 5. Safety Not Guaranteed
  • 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.

  • 4. Zero Dark Thirty
  • 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.

  • 3. The Dark Knight Rises
  • 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.

  • 2. Life of Pi
  • 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.

  • 1. Cloud Atlas
  • 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.

Form Ninja Marla has written about her top ten films this week. Let’s take a look!!

    • 10. A Christmas Story (1983)

“I really want pink bunny pj’s. ‘Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.'”

    • 9. The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989)

“I love animals and adventure. This is one of my favorite childhood movies, that still makes me smile.”

    • 8. Donnie Darko (2001)

“The soundtrack is just as awesome as the film.”

    • 7. Grandma’s Boy (2006)

“I love my grandma and would enjoy living with her as well.”

    • 6. Frida (2002)

“One of my favorite artists, I love to celebrate her work.”

    • 5. Elizabeth (1998)

“My favorite time period with a strong woman leading.”

    • 4. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

“I want dancing, singing furniture.”

    • 3. Dirty Dancing (1987)

“Dancing, music, and an underdog love story…what else could you ask for?”

    • 2. The Sound of Music (1965)

“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes”

    • 1. Coming to America (1988)

“You might remember him as Joe the Policeman, from the ‘What’s Going Down’ Episode of ‘That’s My Mama'”

Marla is known for her love of animals, sports, long walks on the beach…and her enormous collection of flavored mustard.

She would rather be heard and not seen, so here’s a picture of her feline roommates.

Until next time…

This week: A list from FormFire’s resident Asian and intern, Jeff. He doesn’t like movies so he’s going with television shows.

    • 10. Family Guy (2001 – present)

“Family Guy provides humor for the days when I just need to feel my brain shrivel with crude and rude jokes that are sometimes borderline wrong.”

    • 9. Dexter (2010 – present)

“The show that makes you root for a serial killer. Crazy.”

    • 8. Workaholics (2011 – present)

“Pure ridiculousness.”

    • 7. White Collar (2009 – present)

“Love this show because of how smooth Neal Caffrey is. If I had to be a criminal, it would be him.”

    • 6. Psych (2006 – present)

“Instead of a detective show where everything is suspenseful (not that I don’t like those), Psych gives it a comedic twist by making Shawn, the protagonist, be a goofy guy who works for the Santa Barbara police department by claiming he has psychic abilities that helps with the investigations. The truth is that he made it all up, but he does have a knack for spotting details most others would have missed. Humor + Cops + detective work, what’s not to like?”

    • 5. Modern Family (2009 – present)

“Best ensemble of characters/actors possible. The kind of humor you can’t help but laugh at even when you’re watching it for the 15th time.”

    • 4. Futurama (1999 – present)

“What’s life without a little Sci-fi? Now mix that alien stuff with humor and a character everyone can relate with because he’s from the 21st century, and you get this awesome show.”

    • 3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005 – present)

“Danny Devito + Charlie Day = pure LOLs.”

    • 2. How I Met Your Mother (2005 – present)

“How could you not like Neil Patrick Harris? Challenge not accepted.”

    • 1. Community (2009 – present)

“This show makes me want to attend community college instead of Case Western just to see if I can have the ridiculous paintball wars on campus.”

Until next time…

Another off week here a FilmFire, so it’s time for a new list. I’ve decided to start a new series of the favorite films of FormFire employees. First up we have the top ten films from our favorite Quality Assurance Analyst, Joe Staff.

  • 10. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • “I can not tell you how many times I have watched this film. Andy Dufresne is my hero.”

  • 9. Gladiator (1998)
  • “The moment Commodus asks for Maximus’s name and he responds, ‘My Name is Gladiator’, I got chills.”

  • 8. The Shining (1980)
  • “The best horror movie ever made. Doesn’t need special effects to be scary.”

  • 7. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • “That rug really tied the room together man!”

  • 6. The “Hannibal Lector” series (1991, 2001, 2002)
  • “Anthony Hopkins is beyond creepy in the series. It is hard for me to pick a favorite so I just put the whole series down.”

  • 5. The “Bourne” series (2002, 2004, 2007)
  • “Each individual movie is good, but as a whole the story is amazing.”

  • 4. Training Day (2001)
  • “Denzel is pure evil in Training Day. You hate what he stands for, but you also want him to win.”

  • 3. Fight Club (1999)
  • “The first movie that is better than the book. Blew my mind the first time I saw it.”

  • 2. The Dark Knight (2008)
  • “Heath Ledger’s depiction of the Joker is absolutely perfect. My favorite character out of any film.”

  • 1. The Departed (2006)
  • “There is no real way to describe the greatness of this movie, other than DiCaprio is dreamy and a genius.”

Joe has quite the eclectic taste, in movies as well as clothing.

Until next time…

It’s an off-week here at FilmFire, just ramping up for The Dark Knight Rises this weekend. During the downtime, I’ve decided to write up a top ten list of my personal favorite films. Lists are fun and I like writing them. Reverse order:

  • 10. Hugo (2011)
  • Hugo is the perfect movie for film lovers. One of a few films that actually make good use of 3D. You can tell Scorsese poured his heart and soul into this one.

  • 9. Mission: Impossible – 2 (2000)
  • I realize this is everyone’s least favorite M:I film but I still love it. I understand its flaws but it’s so much fun I don’t care.

  • 8. Space Jam (1996)
  • I like sports because of Space Jam. I like movies because of Space Jam. I like music because of Space Jam. Space Jam is solely responsible for the person I am today.

  • 7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • I strangely have 2 Jim Carey films in my top ten, neither of which is a comedy. The more you think about this one, the better it gets.

  • 6. Memento (2000)
  • Christopher Nolan’s first major release and one of my all time favorites. Memento explores themes that had never been previously explored. The reverse structure of the narrative works perfectly within the context of the story.

  • 5.The Dark Knight (2008)
  • It’s going to be tough for something to come along and top The Dark Knight as my favorite comic book movie. Having the chance to walk through the set in Chicago makes this even more memorable for me. Has anything actually lived up to it’s own hype as well the The Dark Knight has?

  • 4.Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Still Tarantino’s best. So many memorable lines and scenes it’s hard not include in a favorites list.

  • 3.Toy Story 3 (2010)
  • I can’t name one thing Toy Story 3 could have done better. I was 9 years old when the original came out. Over 15 years later and I still love the franchise, as an adult with a master’s degree. I cried.

  • 2.Spirited Away (2001)
  • My personal favorite animated movie. Miyazaki breathes so much life into every frame. It has a sense of wonder like no other film I’ve seen.

  • 1.The Truman Show (1998)
  • The Truman Show has been my favorite film since it came out in 1998. Everything about it completely clicked with me. Jim Carey is great in it but Ed Harris is even better in his turn as Christof, the director of the show. Cue the sun.