It’s that time of the year again, when I pretend like I have a blog about movies when in fact all I use it for is to keep track of my top 10 movies for a given year.
So as 2013 has come to a close, I’ve reached 102 movies watched in theatres, an almost 50% decline from 2012, but that was an aim of mine to “cut down” on movies, that being said however I feel like I watched almost all the movies I wanted to watch in 2013, except for perhaps “Mud”, “Blue Jasmine” and “Spectacular Now” which could have made this list? I didn’t watch nearly as many documentaries as I liked, though. Something I could work on this year.
So here are ten I painstakingly singled out from my list as my “Top Ten” but there are at least another 5 more that could be easily substituted for any of these movies from #3 – #10! OK screw it, I’m including 2 extra movies…because it bugs me that I can’t include all I want to on a top 10. I also thought to include clips from movies vs images or trailers just because it was more fun to “research” them. Hence why this is coming in nearly a week after I started writing this blog post, I get so easily distracted on Youtube.
12. A Hijacking
While “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks is getting a lot of good buzz (it is a great thriller) my “Somalian pirate hijacking” movie of the year award goes to the Norwegian flick “A Hijacking” which plays the long game when it comes to dealing with the issue of the hijacking and the ensuing negotiations. Despite not being an in your face thriller with guns and a Navy SEAL team, this movie has all the elements of a fantastic thriller, and makes you care a lot more about all characters involved bot on board the ship and those far away working out a resolution. The great work put in by the cast certainly goes a long way in ensuring that this is as good a hostage negotiating movie as you would ever see. I’ve been lucky enough to watch quite a two epic Norwegian movies in 2013 and “A Hijacking” just beats out “Kon Tiki” to land on the final spot of this list.
So it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re attracted to women, you’re likely going to walk out of this movie in love with Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Heck even if you’re in to guys you might love her. And Joaquin Phoenix (who I’m not a big fan of) pulls out a fantastic performance where he’s acting off of a voice for the majority of the movie. This is such an original story set in a not too distant future that’s beautifully carved out by Spike Jonze to every intricate detail that’s both hilarious and probably the one movie on this list that’s bound to spark the most interesting discussions walking out of the movie theatre.
I was a little wary a Hollywood-ization of a Formula 1 story might be all big explosions and silly effects, although there certainly were a lot of CGI race scenes they didn’t distract from the story of the Lauda vs. Hunt. By far Chris Hemsworth’s best acting I’ve seen along with Daniel Brühl doing a great job as Lauda. As a big fan of F1 racing there might have been a little bias towards Rush landing on this list, but at the same time I would challenge anyone to watch this movie and not get a thrill out of it! Along with Moneyball, definitely the best sporting movie to come out in recent years.
While most of this movies’ marketing revolves around Ryan Gosling’s character this movie is a lot more than that, it actually showcases three plotlines all connected to each other via one pivotal scene (of which Goslings’ is one) and deals with the consequences of ones actions. Great acting by not only a strong leading cast but supporting pieces such as Ray Liotta, Rose Byrn, Eva Mendes, and a couple of young actors all make this one of the better crime dramas I’ve seen in a while!
8. 12 Years A Slave (I just realised if this was #12 on my list it would look something like “12. 12 Years A Slave” Anyways….)
Oh man, the feels walking out of this movie were certainly strong! The first movie I walked out of in 2013 thinking “Well that’s going on my top 3 for sure” (little did I know the end of the year I would have in cinemas). Like McQueen’s earlier “Hunger” and “Shame”, this was such a difficult movie to watch. He certainly knows how to cast them, with impeccable heart melting performance by Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o to counter Fassbender and Dano’s blood boiling performances. Thoroughly deserves the People’s Choice Award that it nabbed back at tiff 2013, I would not be surprised one bit to see this movie go a long long way in awards season (mainly because it is pretty obvious that McQueen definitely did not make this movie to be Oscar bait).
Such a simple well told beautiful father-son road trip movie that’s very watchable thanks to Alexander Payne taking the reins starring Will Forte and introducing me properly to Bruce Dern who I’m very happy to see is getting quite a lot of recognition for this role. Much like Winter’s Bone did before it, Nebraska displays a side to America, I would much rather not like to spend time in, but the whole setting of a population of people still stuck in time being farmers plays really well here. There’s some fabulous writing that also went in to this movie that is seen clearly in scenes like the one I’ve shared above.
It took a while for me to watch this movie, at a run time of 3 hours it wasn’t everyday I had time to devote to this which I knew would be a pretty heavy movie, and as a sucker for a properly done love story I really enjoyed its ups and downs and how no short cuts were taken to chronicle this love story between these two girls. Which means that it is slow at times, so perhaps wouldn’t be the first movie on my top 10 I would jump at for a re-watch. The performances by both Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos were very well deserved in winning the Palme d’Or and unlike Nebraska, this movie basks in lots of colour with blue being visible throughout the film as sort of an easter egg, which was a lot of fun to keep an eye out for. Most people talk about the pretty explicit sex scenes so I thought I’d include a video of real lesbians reacting to the sex scenes just for fun. So click here if you want to check that out.
There goes David O. Russell again, giving us a great movie with a whole bunch of not only clever characters, but ones that are incredibly enjoyable to watch on screen. It’s basically a white-collar criminal movie thriller with Bale as a scam artist and you just know that the whole movie is building up to a climax of a twist, the story moves along at great pace and sporting a fun soundtrack to go along with it.
So probably another slightly biased entry since I love, Disney, Mary Poppins and also Tom Hanks, but Saving Mr. Banks was a lot more than all that, it’s really two movies in one, one starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson with the other starring Colin Firth, and if both stories had come out as independent movies I would have enjoyed them greatly, but the meshing of the two here ended up giving the final movie a great touch and sure tugs at them heart strings the right way. It also doesn’t hurt that the movie is also in no short supply of the songs we all love from Mary Poppins!
Well a big in your face movie that was incredible to watch. Scorsese delivers another gem but the highlight by far was Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as Jordan Belfort, possibly the best leading role in my opinion of 2013, some of the scenes he does here are just fantastic. Scorsese also incorporates songs in a manner that really marks the scene as memorable (think of “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” from The Departed), one such example that really jumps out at me is a rendition of “Mrs Robinson”. Watching a ruthlessly funny movie about people doing disgusting things sure made the nearly 3 hour run time run out too soon!
Thanks to this movie I’ve been listening to a whole bunch of folk music for a few weeks now, such a craftily done movie by the Coen Brothers about the folk music scene in New York before the Dylan era. The feel and aesthetics of the 60s as done by the Coen brothers is just beautiful to look at and you really get the feeling of being right at that specific moment in time. The movie also feature numerous full songs right in the movie itself which I don’t think happens too often these days, at least not without cutting in to another scene with the music in the background, you really believe the Oscar Isaac is straight from the early 60s with Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake leading a cast of talented side acts to Isaac’s Daivs with of course the cat being the animal performance of the year for me!
I was lucky enough to catch this in it’s short theatre run, Brie Larson leads a very strong cast of young actors playing troubled teenagers in a foster care home. This movie is packed with ingredients that bring out strong emotions out of the viewer, it’s not a pretty movie by any means but it so beautifully gives us a glimpse in to a tough side of society we don’t get to see too often in film. This movie has definitely earned all the recognition it has received so far but also deserves a whole lot more. Here’s to hoping it gets another run in theatres so more people get to experience it!