My Top 25 of 2013

by witster18 | created - 09 Dec 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Here's MY Top 25 for 2013. I have yet to see all the films on my 2013 watchlist - but I've seen most of 'em. I'll add anymore that I see that deserve a spot. IT'S JUST AN OPINION - so don't get bent out of shape about it.

It is a particularly exciting year for me at the movies. My two favorite directors, Wong Kar Wai and Brian De Palma released new movies, and a bunch of sleepers are dominating the list.

A Few months ago - I thought that 2013 might have been a pretty weak year for movies, but now that I've come to the end of the watchlist, it was actually a VERY GOOD year for movies. Seldom do I have so many 9's in my top 25, and seldom do the 8's go nearly to the bottom of the list like this. By the time I'm done there may not be a 7 on the whole list. Amazing.

will edit as I see films that deserve a spot on the list. (last edit was out of NINETY-THREE films viewed from 2013). Will likely/eventually be out of about 110.

Sometimes my top 25 lists(see previous yrs) might include films that imdb says were released the previous yr... but I go by the us dvd or major u.s. theatrical release dates... not festivals etc..

at times it was rough. had to cycle through some rough patches... Spring Breakers... it "looked" good, but what the heck was that about? Pain and Gain... much, mUCH more pain than gain... Rapture Palooza? Take me Away.

here's the Just missed list:26.The East 27.Mental 28.Nebraska 29.Blue Jasmine 30.Only God Forgives 31.The Prey(french)32.Warm Bodies, 33.StarTrek:Into Darkness 34.Maniac, 35.Fruitvale Station, 36.Before Midnight, 37.Disconnect(last of the 7's) Captain Phillips, Redemption, Grandmasters, Rush, Eden, Side Effects, Man of Steel, Gangster Squad, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Oblivion, Last Vegas, Trance, Dark Skies, Extracted, Hatchet 3, Stoker, Olympus Has Fallen, Red 2(last of the 6's)

I suggest inverting the list.............................................\/

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1. Prisoners (2013)

R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

71 Metascore

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo

Votes: 560,504 | Gross: $61.00M

Three captivating characters, and a determination to cover it's tracks lifts this high-powered, violent thriller into rarified-air. A late scene involving rain, fast-driving, and Jake Gyllenhaal is truly one of the most exciting cinematic moments of the year - the entire wrap-up is very tight for a thriller. Exceptional cast. Let me note that the top three are STILL vying for a number one spot. It's close. I think it's a clear step down to \/ Charlie Countryman down there @ 7/8. This could hold onto a top 5, then again, maybe not. There are still a few well-received films on my watchlist. This is a must-see film from 2013.

2. Short Term 12 (2013)

R | 96 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton | Stars: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever

Votes: 77,179 | Gross: $1.01M

Tight race for number 1 so far. Short Term has Long Term aspirations. CLose, close race for #1.

3. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Craig Van Hook

Votes: 235,525 | Gross: $21.38M

I was wondering why I didn't see it in nearby theaters... then the buzz wore off and I finally rented-it on redbox... great movie... this isn't the boring "Drive" clone that we all expected - it stands just fine on its' own. I say Ryan do a third movie like this and we call it some sort of tragic-trilogy. And a good one at that.

4. Her (2013)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

Votes: 505,100 | Gross: $25.57M

5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

R | 180 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey

Votes: 1,101,174 | Gross: $116.90M

Leo's best performance to date, but Bale and MM proved too much according to the Academy. THis movie is a blast. Fastest 3hrs I've seen in a long time. If you like Sales, F-Bombs, Girls, Money, Drugs, Fast Cars, and/or fine-direction - you'll dig THe WOlf.

6. Lone Survivor (2013)

R | 121 min | Action, Biography, Drama

60 Metascore

Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster

Votes: 256,289 | Gross: $125.10M

Seldom do we know what's coming anymore than we do here, but it's truly amazing how "Survivor" starts rolling down the mountain and quickly becomes a runaway-train-wreck-of-a-heck-of-a-good action thriller . Pure Adrenaline.

7. Charlie Countryman (2013)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

31 Metascore

While travelling abroad, a guy falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in her violent, charismatic ex.

Director: Fredrik Bond | Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger

Votes: 26,158 | Gross: $0.01M

A fantastic directorial debut. Great action sequences and music highlight this whimsical tale about a common man's wet-dream gone wildly real. Bond clearly has been influenced by some of the finest stylistic filmmakers in the industry(Besson, Boyle, Wong Kar Wai, etc.). Unrealistic dirty little guilty pleasure of a movie. Style and heart make up for a few flaws, but for every questionable scene there are two fantastic scenes. Amazing soundtrack. Will eventually be added to the library. Nuff said.

8. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

93 Metascore

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 131,277 | Gross: $13.24M

Been a lot more musical films of late, but Inside Llewyn Davis has a nice realistic edge to it thanks to some fine musical recording, a terrific cast, and a dark comedic, yet-mostly hard-hitting script. THis could creep up a bit - I'm still chewing on it. Very Good!

9. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 607,336 | Gross: $56.67M

Arguably the 4th best performance of the year, but Ejiofor is excellent here. So is Fassbender and the rest of the cast. Shocking and Brutal. Excellent film.

10. Gravity (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

96 Metascore

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen

Votes: 740,371 | Gross: $274.09M

I liked the simplicity. There is a chemistry between Clooney and Bullock, and the entire film moves as one solid, simple movement, done with precision. Doesn't overstay it's welcome or have any open-ended-confusing-agenda. Solid flick, but with another 10 or so films left on the watchlist, will it hold onto a top-ten spot... I say it's probable.

11. Mud (2012)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard

Votes: 161,342 | Gross: $21.59M

Mud is part Stand By Me, and part Killer Joe. SO far the top 10, save Lone Survivor, did relatively poor at the box-office.Late Edit - It's not top ten anymore? WOW. WHat an incredible year for movies when films like this one and the next 3-4 don't even make the top 10... great year for movies... maybe the best since 1994.... though '94 was more top heavy with multiple 10's for me.

12. Joe (I) (2013)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter, Ronnie Gene Blevins

Votes: 44,151 | Gross: $0.37M

13. McConkey (2013)

TV-14 | 100 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

68 Metascore

An examination of the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports.

Directors: Rob Bruce, Scott Gaffney, Murray Wais, Steve Winter, David Zieff | Stars: Ingrid Backstrom, Andreas Barkhall, Mark Broderick, Rob Bruce

Votes: 748

14. Enough Said (2013)

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband.

Director: Nicole Holofcener | Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette

Votes: 57,094 | Gross: $17.54M

Very tidy script. Great cast. Very realistic. This is what Before Midnight should have been.

15. The Spectacular Now (2013)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Votes: 139,152 | Gross: $6.85M

Teller, one of the best young actors, pairs with one of the best(if not the best) young actress(es), Shailene Woodley. Similar sub-category as "Perks of Being A Wallflower", and nearly that good. Having a film this good yet this low on the list speaks to the overall quality of the films in 2013 in general. Amazing year!

16. The Hunt (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm

Votes: 259,350 | Gross: $0.69M

extremely well-executed.

17. Blackfish (2013)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, News

83 Metascore

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite | Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall

Votes: 59,067 | Gross: $2.07M

The interview from the guy that participated in the capture of Tilikum is worth the price of admission all by itself. To imagine the impact, not just of that moment, but the weight of the future impact that he now felt responsible for... that was one of the most heart-wrenching/amazing scenes from all of 2013(that and "Prisoners" driving scene at the end). I think the film could have given us even more to look at and consider. It's a bit short and less-than-informative, but some of those moments in the middle are mouth-dropping, engrossing film-making at it's finest.

18. The Way Way Back (2013)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb

Votes: 136,025 | Gross: $21.50M

Sam Rockwell supporting Oscar nod a distinct possibility. The ENTIRE cast does a fantastic job here.

19. August: Osage County (2013)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

58 Metascore

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

Director: John Wells | Stars: Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis

Votes: 81,824 | Gross: $37.74M

20. The Book Thief (2013)

PG-13 | 131 min | Drama, War

53 Metascore

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.

Director: Brian Percival | Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer

Votes: 122,871 | Gross: $21.49M

The lighting, the cinematography, and most especially John Williams score are, in a word,.. exceptional! The acting is first rate. Great film! The criticisms seem to be nit-picking - that's always sign of a good movie. It's fresh on me, and I've been steadily moving-up the list solely in comparison to the other films around it. Simple stuff, but done right.

21. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama

81 Metascore

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn

Votes: 419,867 | Gross: $27.30M

22. A Single Shot (2013)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

53 Metascore

The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.

Director: David M. Rosenthal | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs

Votes: 10,120 | Gross: $0.01M


23. Passion (2012)

R | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

53 Metascore

The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson

Votes: 20,745 | Gross: $0.09M

I just fail to understand how a film that is made with so much care rates as low as it currently does on IMDB. Passion is just that. It's the typical De Palma flare for trash, camera play, music, mystery, murder, and his unrefined screenplays(like life is that polished anyway). This is excellent, but it IS a slower-paced thriller that probably won't endear itself to young audiences.. If you wanna see a seasoned professional put it all together - watch this. If you want action - I'm sure you can find something else at the theater or redbox. Both female leads are incredible.... and beautiful, and unpredictable. WHy do I always feel dirty after De Palma? Love it.

24. American Hustle (2013)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Votes: 432,710 | Gross: $150.12M

it's extremely well-made fare, and Christian Bale is really in a dead-even heat here with MM(Dallasbuyersclub) imo... great performance. the rest of the cast is great too... BUT... two problems with this. A. it's just a little bit TOO MUCH like Goodfellas in it's approach and tone, and B.the story isn't half as interesting. I guess I just expected something great in terms of plot and I didn't get it. In every other way this film is a success.

25. The World's End (2013)

R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from twenty years earlier unwittingly become humanity's only hope for survival.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 247,791 | Gross: $26.00M

A little disjointed late, but the script for the first half is aces, the direction is on point, and it is gobs of mostly harmless fun. Edgar Wright is definitely a bigtime director in the making(if he wasn't already).

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