Thursday, December 26, 2013

My favorite movies of 2013

So here we are.  Another year gone!  And for the first time since the blog began in 2004, I'm not doing an actual 'top films' list.  I saw 50 films that were released this year, which is up from last year's 36, but there are still SO many I didn't get to see.  On top of that, I can't say I saw 10 films that I enjoyed enough to recommend.  That doesn't mean this year sucked for film; perhaps I was watching the wrong ones!  But when a TV show put every film I saw to shame, it makes doing a year-end list a moot point in my eyes.  Having said that, here are a few movies I saw this year (in alphabetical order) that deserve some praise:

Captain Phillips -- Greengrass turns down the 'shaky cam' and turns up the tension.  Over two hours just flew by.  Even though I knew how it was going to end, it was still very enjoyable.  The final few minutes were improvised on the set, but might be the most powerful moments in the film.

Gravity -- The best technical exercise I've seen in years.  The opening shot is marvelous (even if it's a little too dependent on CGI trickery).  I still think that Children of Men is Cuaron's best film, but this might be the most intense 90 minutes I've spent in a theater.

This Is The End -- My favorite 'dumb comedy' of the year.  The stars play amped-up parodies of themselves, and you can't help but laugh at how much fun they have with the script and setting.

Upstream Color -- Arthouse for the sake of arthouse.  Hard to recommend to anyone other than the nerdiest of film nerds.  The plot is almost impenetrable, but boy is it beautiful.  I'd be scared to see what Carruth could accomplish with a real Hollywood budget.  It's no Primer, but I still couldn't take my eyes off of it.

Warm Bodies -- One of the better mainstream teen comedies I've seen in a while, and it managed to do something a little different with the zombie genre too.  It possesses a gory heart of gold, and was a lot better than the trailers let on.

Films from 2013 that I still really want to see (in alphabetical order):

12 Years A Slave
The Act of Killing
All Is Lost
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
Fruitvale Station
Inside Llewyn Davis

Safe Prediction for 2014 -- The Raid 2 will kick every single ass.

No comments: