Here are my top 10 movies of 2013. I admit that I have not seen some films that have been incredibly praised such as, “12 Days A Slave,” “Captain Phillips,” “Blue Jasmine” or “American Hustle,” but when I eventually see them then I’ll amend this list. But for now, of the movies I have seen this calendar year, these are my top 10.
10. Warm Bodies: B+
-This is my dark horse. Coming out around Valentines Day, this unorthodox romantic movie really delivered above and beyond what I expected. Nicholas Hoult is hilarious as the zombie “R,” and this undead softy has a friend by the name of “M” (played by Rob Corddry) who steals some genuine moments with some great one-liners. Some of the symbolism is forced, and the dialogue a bit predicable, but “Warm Bodies” is a fantastic surprise worthy of attention. It’s funny, charming, and relatable.
9. Frozen: B+
-If this doesn’t win all the awards for best-animated film of the year, then something is truly amuck. “Frozen” is a return to glory for Disney. It reminds the audience why the musically animations such as “The Lion King” and “Beauty And The Beast” are memorable. The script is incredibly funny, and the songs are irresistible; I myself know the all words to two or three of them courtesy of my girlfriend and roommate, both of whom obviously loved the film. “Frozen” is the best animated future of this year, and the best I’ve seen as a whole since “Toy Story 3.”
8. The Wolf On Wall Street: B+
-Talk about a ride. “The Wolf On Wall Street,” as described by my cousin (who got me addicted to movies), is a “drug filled orgy,” that “should not be watched with the parents.” Martin Scorcese, in his brilliance, creates a three-hour journey that is filled with ups and downs, all centering around drugs, money, and sex. The story moves ferociously, and while it did drag at times, overall the plot is incredibly engaging from beginning to end. Leonardo DiCaprio was great in the lead role, but he DOES NOT deserve to win an Oscar. It’s just short of that plateau.
7. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug: A-
-When Peter Jackson directs a film high expectations are automatically attached, and “The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug,” delivers on all accounts. This second part of the gigantic trilogy is more action packed then its predecessor, making it appealing to those who critiqued the first in the franchise for being to slow. The truly awe inspiring aspect of this film is Smaug, the fire breathing dragon voiced by none other than the incredibly talented Benedict Cumberbatch. I urge viewers to see this movie in IMAX, because the special effects feat of creating this deadly animal are on par with the ingenuity it took to create Gollum in the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy.
6. Star Trek Into Darkness: A-
-I’ve come to the conclusion, everything Benedict Cumberbatch touches is gold. His portrayal of John Harrison, AKA Khan, is truly the highlight of the film. Along side him, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto both shine in the roles of Captain Kirk and Spock. J.J. Abrams brings both comedy and action in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and one can only hope he brings the rejuvenation juice from his efforts into the “Star Trek” franchise to the other science fiction juggernaut, “Star Wars.”
5. This Is The End: A-
-I’ll be the first to admit I thought “This Is The End” would be a bust, but boy, was I wrong. This comedy is over the top, crazy, unpredictable, and simply hilarious. Easily the funniest movie of the year, the cast glows in their ability to make fun of themselves. Jonah Hill takes the cake for trashing himself the best, and James Franco’s and Seth Rogen’s bromance is one all bros everywhere envy. Also, Danny McBride as the jerk is superb.
4. Prisoners: A-
-Talk about a movie that makes you squirm. “Prisoners” has a phenomenal ensemble cast, led by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The two characters these actors play verbally combat one another on multiple occasions, and between their exchanges the depths of human love is examined. How far would you be willing to go to save your family? “Prisoners” is stunning in its storytelling, and the ending just makes the movie even more memorable.
3. Before Midnight: A
-“Before Midnight” is a simple story, but through the remarkable acting of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The relationship between the characters these actors wear so well is grounded into reality more so than any other romantic film this year. Hawke and Delpy delve into real conversations and portray emotions that hit emotions hard; their fights aren’t disguised with an inevitable happy ending, it’s refreshing. “Before Midnight” is not a sappy romantic movie, it’s a real one.
2. Mud: A
-“Mud” is a simple tale, but the depth of the characters and the way in which they are portrayed is simply remarkable. Matthew McConaughey plays the lead role, and does a fantastic job, but Tye Sheridan deserves an outstanding amount of praise. The young actor plays a fourteen-year-old boy, and through various circumstances, the teenager is flung into trouble he must emotional and physically get out of. “Mud” is simply a tale that’s told beautifully, and it deserves praise for best picture of the year and Sheridan deserves praise for best actor at the Oscars.
1. Gravity: A+
-“Gravity” will hold you and simply never let go. This film by Alfonso Cuarón uses amazing special effects and the superb acting talents of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock to make one of the most stressful science fiction films of all time. Bullock surpasses her performance in “The Blind Side,” and in my mind she should be a front-runner for the Oscars. The unnerving fear of floating endlessly in space makes one feel remote and desolate in their seat while watching “Gravity.” It’s stunning, magnificent and simply a must see.