And so… 2013 has left us and just like any year ending we start making lists and deliberating on the good and bad things we went through in the past 12 months. Of course, movies are not different and 2013 was definitely as exciting as it was a disappointing year for the big screen.
Do you wonder what you missed out on? Did you see a bunch of terrible summer blockbusters and gave up on cinema altogether only to miss out on the truly good things out there? Well, I know how you feel, so here is a list of what was truly worth it movie-wise in 2013.
The list is made based on my personal preference as well as recommendations by other reviewers and movie websites.
The best movies of 2013 and the most pleasant surprises:
- At World’s End
The third in the crazy Pegg-Frost trilogy and in my opinion by far the best! Hilarious, insane and attractive to the end journey to the alcoholic inside all of us. Definitely one of the funniest movies of the year! More Info
- The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola remains one of the few directors (male and female included) that can truly grasp the fine nuances of modernistic trends, female obsessions and desires as based on the time and age the story focuses on. The movie is as good as the characters are annoying, proves to say she did a marvellous job. If you want to know what goes on in the head of crazed modern fashionista’s this would be your best shot…check it out! More info
- The Great Gatsby
The most beautiful film of the year! An explosion of aesthetics, art and culture, definitely one of my most favourite film for 2013 and why not in general. You can read more of my thoughts on it here.
A very pleasant surprise, that is to say if such a dark twisted movie can be called pleasant. Excellent acting, fantastic camera work, thrilling ending, this movie was enjoyable and fucked up from start to finish. Definitely a recommendation. More info
- Spring Breakers
The movie of the year that I was entirely wrong about. Getting hugely pissed off at the trailer I failed to grasp the irony, cynicism and masterful cinematography that this movie offered. And it was not hard to realize how good it was once I watched it and as such I highly recommend it. The colors, dynamics of the camera, excellent performances, the over exaggerated characters describing to the smallest details whole strata’s of modern society and the slight ironic feministic undertone of the main story are only a few of the positive features this movie brought forward. Spring break forever bitches, so go see it! More info
- The Grandmaster
I suppose this would be the kung fu movie of the year, with amazing visuals, even more amazing fight techniques and a thrilling representation of China in the early 30s. If this is your style, do not miss it. More info
- Before midnight
I have been a huge huge fan of the ‘Before..’ movies and I remember being obsessed with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset from a very early age. This third movie is brilliant on so many levels, a review could consist of one sentence: potentially the best movie of 2013 (and perhaps a few years before that, too). Hardly ever has a movie made me feel so many things at the same time, staying true to its prequels, yet adding so much more. The characters have grown up, they have met life and all its beauties and challenges. Heart-warming dialogue, breath-taking performances and a great reality check, proving that life is not like in the movies. Or is it?
Watch it, or better yet, watch it together with the first two movies, for if there was ever a movie about life and people, this could very well be the one. More info
- The Kings of summer
The most summery summer movie of the year and probably the only one that was worth watching in the hot months. Fresh, funny, boy-ish, this movie is more of an adventure than all the guns-and-explosions, white-houses-falling, sea monsters and cities of bones this year. Inspiring young acting, fun twists and so much imagination it makes you remember your best summers and those crazy times when you would stay by the fire all night or build a forest fort to escape reality. If you need some spirit uplifting, that’s the one, don’t miss it. More info
The cinematography wonder of the year. The movie that will transcend you to space. For more detail analysis of why you most definitely need to see this movie, go here.
- Pacific Rim
The blockbuster that saved the summer. A real geek-asm, with great casting, magnificent effects and so much more. Also, Charlie Hunnam fighting monsters. Read more here.
Disney at its best! You can still see it in the cinema, so go! Now! If you liked Tangled, you will definitely love this one. It is modern, funny, beautiful and still so so Disney. Very enjoyable, I am looking forward to watching it again! More info
- Drinking Buddies
Not very famous, rather small budget, this indie-like movie is more interesting than it seems on the surface. Based on mostly improv with almost no script and pre-written dialogue, it is natural, unexpected and surprisingly uplifting. For a new type of romantic comedy, I recommend you check this one out. More info
Art-house or less mainstream movies, highly recommended online, but not yet released in most cinemas (I have not seen all of them, but I am looking forward to all of them):
- Frances Ha
- The Broken Circle Breakdown
- Blue Jasmine (The new Woody Allen)
- The Great Beauty
- Beyond the Hills
- Laurence Anyways
- Wolf of Wall Street
- Upstream Color
- Light after darkness
- A touch of Sin
- 12 years a slave
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- The wind rises
- Pain and Gain
- Blue is the warmest color
- Prince Avalanche
A few documentaries:
- At Berkeley
- The Act of Killing
- White Soldier
This is my list. Of course, as any list, I do not claim high external validity I am sure there are some you don’t agree with, others that I have forgotten or not seen, bit in any case, these are my thoughts. As always I’d love it if you share yours!
Happy 2014 and may it bring us many and good film adventures!